How can I get more customers?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by greenedge, May 5, 2004.

  1. greenedge

    greenedge LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    Hello all,
    I live in Houston and currently have 20 regular customers and another 5 that call every once in a while. I started doing my lawn service last September. I have put out 1000 flyers and about 2000 business cards. I am in school til June 12th so I haven't really tried to get too bogged down because of my school-work hours conflict. When I graduate next month I want to really get going with my lawn business. I need to start making some real money because my wife thinks I am waisting my time.
    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get the more customers? Thanks Jesse
     
  2. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 3,556

    theres a place here that sends out advertisments in the mail, it goes by zipcode, for instance, i had flyers sent in everyones houses mailbox, there are 15,000 homes... each house cost me 3.9cents. it came out to about 500 some odd dollars. the flyers go out next weds. the 12th... the expected return rate is 3%, which is 450. im hoping just to gain atleast 20-30 customers. We'll see :) hope this helps
     
  3. meathead1134

    meathead1134 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 637

    PremierLandscaping

    Can you give us the information on that. Is that just in your state or is that comething on the net you found???

    Ken
     
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    Jesse,

    First of all, you should look at why people would want to hire your company? What are the best kind of lawn care customers? In my experience, our best customers have always been upper middle class and upper class people who have really nice manicured lawns and can easily afford a lawn service. Most of them are too busy with work to do it themselves. They are not home much but have enough expendable $ to pay someone else to do it. Next, ask yourself, what does someone like that look for in a lawn care company?

    I'd argue that there are basically only two things these kinds of customers are looking for. 1) Professionalism 2) A good price.

    Now there are many facets to being professional. One of them is the appearance of you and your company. This is very important to a lot of people. Your personal hygeine (facial hair, tatoos, cleanliness, etc.) is part of that. The way your work vehicle looks is another part. What do the big professional company's trucks look like? Uniforms.....Bid Forms....Business Cards.....etc. These things all create a company image that instantly tells the customer whether you are a professional or just some dude mowing lawns.

    Being professional also means you handle business in a professional manner. You have excellent communication skills. You're on-time to appointments. You're on-time with your service each week. If something unexpected comes up, you let them know ASAP.

    People can get an idea of how professional you are just by looking across the street at you while you're working on their neighbor's house. If you look and act professional, you can get a lot of calls from neighbors and passerbys.

    Next issue is price. You have to be affordable. Even rich people shop around. Now, you don't have to be the cheapest around. Most people are willing to pay little more if the service and company are perceived to be of higher quality than most. But they usually aren't willing to pay a LOT more. You have to constantly work at finding ways to keep overhead low. Keep your prices competitive. There are some here on lawnsite who are the most expensive in their area and they are proud of it. I suppose if you're a solo op. and have all the customers you want, you can afford to be a little pricey and you don't need to be affordable to too many people. But for those of us who are trying to grow and get more and more customers, we can't afford to be the most expensive LCO out there. Most people just won't pay that much. Like I said, they'll pay a little more, but not a LOT more.

    Work on ways you can keep quality high but overhead low. Shop for everything. From auto insurance to equipment dealers to a shop to store your equipment.

    That being said, I really think flyers are one of the best ways to get new customers. Don't just do 1000 flyers and give up. Do 1000 more! And another 1000! Every minute you are not mowing lawns or giving estimates during the work week you should be out passing out flyers! But keep in mind that even with the flyers, people need a reason to chose YOU over the competition. Why do you think most flyers just get trashed? Because most people don't see any difference between your flyer and the other 20 they got that month on their door. Find a way to make yours stand out from the crowd! Make yours look more professional!

    Eventually, you will not need to do flyers anymore. Your good name will get you all the business you can handle. I bought 10,000 full color double sided flyers early last year. We passed out about 5000 of them in March last year and another 5,000 of them are still sitting in my garage. For over a year now, we haven't needed to advertise at all. I get more calls than I can handle each day. And except for our website and trucks, we're not advertising at all. It's taken several years, but now people know us, consider us professionals, and see the number on our trucks or get it from their friend or neighbor and give us a call.

    Best of luck to you with your company. You can do it!
     

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