I have a question about getting new accounts.

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by River City Lawn Care, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. River City Lawn Care

    River City Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    I live in the mid-west (Kansas City, Mo), and it seems like there is so much competition out here that unless you are a huge company with a fleet of mowers and 10 trucks it's darn near impossible to land some of the larger accounts. Does anyone have any suggestions on this. I have a large neighborhood account that I do now (about 21 acres of homes), but I would like to expand. Please help.
     
  2. Mrs. H

    Mrs. H LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 708

    Getting customers, especially commercial/Industrial, is all about you and how you present. You are going to sell all the qualities YOU have that the other "big guys" don't. Maybe being more personal and accessable is something you can point out.

    Draw up your bid on a neat looking letterhead. Doesn't have to cost, just make it up on Word. Maybe submit it in a colored folder along with copies of your licences and proof of insurance or whatever the customer is requiring. Call ahead and ask what docs are needed and when a good time to meet with the manager is. Wear a nice shirt. Clean, preferably not one you cut in (I know they get grundgy). Smile. Maybe point out other accounts that you do that the customer may have seen in town.

    And be fair in your bid, to yourself. Undercutting can be detrimental to your profitablity. If you've got the equipment, you can do it better for less. Pick accounts that you are confident you can work with the equipment you have now. Walk in with that confidence behind you.

    I wish you luck. Hope I helped a little. :)
     
  3. River City Lawn Care

    River City Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Thanks for the advice. I will that a try. I've been finding that a lot of the bigger commercial places want a combination of lawn and snow, and I don't push snow. I'm trying to find a sub for that but, I think most would like to be billed by one company instead of two. I don't understand the difference, it doesn't seem to me that it would be that big of a hassle to receive invoices from to different companies. Any suggestions other than start pushing snow?
     
  4. Mrs. H

    Mrs. H LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 708

    Sub-contracting work very well most of the time. If you really don't want to or don't have the equipment, Subbing can really help get the account if that is what the customer is looking for. I think it really does help when they can hire someone for a year and never have to think about the grounds maintenance again. They usually have bigger fish to fry.
     
  5. River City Lawn Care

    River City Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Is it better to have the sub bill me or have them send it directly to the account. I know some companies charge a little more than what their sub quotes to make a buck, but I don't really want to do that for pushing snow.
     
  6. Mrs. H

    Mrs. H LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 708

    When we were the sub, we would bill the contractor, who I am sure was making a little more than we were charging and saving on the gas and milage for getting to the site.
     
  7. River City Lawn Care

    River City Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Thanks for the useful info. I'm going to give it a try.
     
  8. CLARK LAWN

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,526

    if you want to grow you are going to have to plow. i make about 1/3 of my money from plowing and only have to work about 15-20 days out of the winter.
     
  9. River City Lawn Care

    River City Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    It does appear that would be the easiest thing to do.
     
  10. lawnangel1

    lawnangel1 LawnSite Senior Member
    from KY
    Posts: 601

    I maybe one of those companies you are talking about. I have 12 trucks total and it seems I am always fighting the guys with 20 trucks. Bottom line David will always be fighting Goliath, there is just no way around it.Unfortunately these big companys have tons of money to blow on networking and marketing so every dime I put into networking and marketing has to be worth it. Bottom line be professional, do a quality job, do it a fair price. Remember not all commercial properties take the lowest bid.
     

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