growth comes from ???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by John at JDH Select, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. John at JDH Select

    John at JDH Select LawnSite Member
    from Indy
    Posts: 66

    It never fails...the best method for growing my business is word of mouth that comes from a quality job. My individual clients tell friends / neighbors. My business clients take me into their homes and additional businesses, but my affiliations with others in the green industry have proven to be AWESOME this year.

    I've tried flyers and small scale advertising in local papers. I have to admit that I have never had measurable success with these methods.

    What has been your greatest means of growth this year?
  2. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    I learning something that gets overlooked alot, you expand greatly from not losing customers. What I mean is, you can gain 20 accounts a year from any method, but if you lose a substantial amount, you've gone nowhere. This year I have to try alittle harder at keeping the pain in the @ss accounts. I always seem to lose the ones I hate for some reason. POINT... its cheaper to keep customers then constantly get new ones. I don't advertise anymore.
  3. John at JDH Select

    John at JDH Select LawnSite Member
    from Indy
    Posts: 66

    Good point FGA...but, aren't some of the PITA accounts worth losing? I have a few accounts that I absolutely dispise cutting. On the other hand, their $$$ spends just like the $$$ from the "gravy" accounts.
  4. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,226

    the greatest means of growth for my company last year was a factor of 2 things, one being add on services and the other was from a fertilizing company that i got really good in with. since i don't fertilize and they fertilize most of my accounts, i offered to take the head tech. to lunch. since then they refer me landscaping, mowing, seeding and some plowing accounts since they don't offer any of those servces and i send them fertilizing.

    add on services you might look at are shrub maintenance, edging ( driveway and sidewalks ).
  5. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 811

    Wow, great post and good information here. I agree 100% with Keep what you have. It's really hard some times. Talking to a pita getting all tense,wishing you could walk away and never look back. Some times I get in the truck and figure out how much $ I will make for the season with the account. I have dorped few inthe past and will drop some more. When I drop them I hope that it is for my benefit and not my competitors. I have raised my rates on some, just to see what will happen and they didn't drop me. Kind of my way of getting back and making me feel better about going there. My policy this year is to not turn down anything so I'm bids are a little higher this year. I went to look at one yesterday that was down a 3 mi.dirt road so full of pot holes I couldn't over 10 mph. After a 11/2mi. I turned back and called and said no thanks. I am picking up a lot of account from a guy that got out this year because he couldn't make enough $. My rates are about 30 to 40% higher than his. All he had to do was raise his rates. Anyway this is a good read and great sounding board. It's nice to know your doing the right thing. One mans pita is another mans lunch money.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Good point Adam, but in our business, attrition does exist...meaning you will lose a certain amount of business each year due to no fault of your's at all. People move away, die, decide to go back to mowing the lawn by themselves again, etc.

    Secondly, it's ok to examine your customer base periodically and "thin out the herd" so to speak. Drop the unprofitable accounts (ie, ones that are always late paying, complain too much, out of your driving route, not getting enough per mow, etc.)

    Lastly, the easiest sell is a client referral. The new prospect already knows something about you and this paves the way for adding to your client base. BTW, we haven't advertised in 10 years...100% of our new work is all by referral.

    And yes, networking with others in the Green Industry is an excellent way to increasing your customer base as well.
  7. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    I agree 100%, I'm just looking over my starting "line up" for the this year now that the clean ups are basically done. I lost some houses due to my fault, either bad neighborhood, or lady was alittle strange, etc. Even though they were profitable and payed timely. So far I've only picked up about 5 or 6 new accounts, but I've lost 11. most weren't my fault due to moves and a stroke (nice guy:( ), but the ones that were my fault will hurt in the end now. Instead of being 6 up, I'm almost breaking even. Maybe because all the rain we've had so far, i haven't had people coming up to my truck while I'm parked on a street working.
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I will agree with you there...the weather this month has not be conducent to people thinking about their yards that is for sure. I think all of us in the Ohio Valley area and the NE have had it up to our necks with all this rain:mad:
  9. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,332

    I AM up to my neck in rain, Rod!! It won't stop..

    Adam- referrals are key, but don't forget to up-sell your existing client base.Remember: roughly 80% of your income will come from 20% of your clients.No wasted money in advertising to someone who already knows about the great work you do.Hang in there, it will get better once the weather clears up..
    <a href='' target='_blank'><img src='' border=0></a> I have at least enjoyed a little extra sleep each day from the rain...<a href='' target='_blank'><img src='' border=0></a>
  10. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    LOL, I keep trying to sleep, but the Amigo shows up in the morning rain or shine.... then I feel bad and drive him home. Because of this rain, I think I've posted more on this site in the last week then i ever have before.

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