Ideas and Thoughts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Expert Lawns, Jan 5, 2003.

  1. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,660

    I'm thinking of sending all my customers a letter telling them I will now be providing a few new services. I know I will be including Hauling (furniture, junk, garbage etc.). Hauling christmas trees, and assisting anyone with taking down holiday decorations (especially the elderly customers). Anyone have a few other ideas to throw my way? I've been reading a lot of past threads and have gotten a few ideas....i thank you all for that.

    I need to find a good way to word the letter and how to sell the idea, pricing, etc....any ideas and comments are appreciated. thanks guys

    :p
     
  2. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    EL--I am not able to give you the answer you are looking for but I do have a comment.

    I think you should not digress your biz into other things unless you know you are gonna make real good money.

    don't get me wrong. I'll do favors for any good customer that asks but I am not gonna advertise for work that takes me away from high profit mowing.

    for example, I'll haul off a Christmas tree or spend 10 minutes on a ladder taking down Christmas lights asa courtesy but I just don't see how there is any money in it.

    and hauling furniture? that would really cost somebody!:eek:


    GEO
     
  3. MSYardman

    MSYardman LawnSite Member
    from MS & LA
    Posts: 62

    When we first started in the business, we would do all kinds of items just so we could stay full time and not have to get winter jobs.

    Items included cleaning rent houses, cleaning out garages. Basically, the marketing strategy was to charge $25 per hour for labor plus expenses with a small markup. It was amazing how much work is out there for someone who is willing to market themselves.

    We walked dogs. House sit. Picked up mail and newspapers. Cleaned gutters. Put up and took down Christmas lights. Hauled all kinds of furniture, exercise equipment and other items to the dump and to other people's homes.

    It was great word of mouth. As soon as the word was out, we worked as much in the winter as we did during the season. Now, of course, we have plenty to do during the off-season, but I would recommend a labor only marketing offer to anyone just starting.
     
  4. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,939

    I tried this last year, and got no response until spring, when I started mowing, and of course I had no extra time. You may have better luck, I will look for my flyer and post it when I find it.
    Crawdad
     
  5. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,380

    I would make sure I had the right insurance if I was going to be hauling customers property. I know that soon as its on your truck or trailer you are liable. My policy I have on my equipment while hauling on trailer, will not cover someone elses things. Maybe you have thought of this, just wanted to let you know.
     
  6. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    I know winter months are tough, and hopefully someday you can make enough money in the summer to kick back, rest a little, and prepare for the next season during those winter months. I hate to criticize anyone for trying to make money, but I would be somewhat selective in what services you will offer people during slow times. Keep it related to the industry. I think the idea of just doing "whatever" to make some money cheapens yourself and the industry. Slightly backs some peoples perception that anyone can do this and leans towards a bit of a "gypsy" type trade, if that's a good term for my thoughts or not. Just something to think about when someone wants you to clean out their basement. I know I wouldn't do it. Just some things to consider. :)
     
  7. LAWNS AND MOWER

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,129

    You need to ask yourself if you're a professional LCO, or a handyman?? Seems like this plea for extra work would be embarassing.
     
  8. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,073

    Sometimes it's hard to give advice without knowing a person's exact situation.

    But if it were me, I would not bother sending any letter out at all.

    If you're little short of cash this winter, I think you would be better off picking up a part time job for these next couple of months.

    When did you plan on actually sending out the letters if you did? Because around here, people are already taking their christmas decorations down. And most elderly here don't seem to even bother decorating, so there isn't anything to take down.
    Also our town has free Christmas tree pickup. We just put our tree to the curb, and the borough employee comes and takes it. Does your town/county offer free tree removal already?

    So instead of trying to think up ideas and ways to word your letter, start brainstorming and think about sending out an early spring newsletter which tells your customers some of the services you will be providing that are related to the green industry.
    Spring Cleanups, Spring aerations, etc..

    I have a regular furnace repairman that once a year (in October) does a check/tuneup on our furnace. In January he doesn't send out a letter saying that he will take down our decorations/haul our junk away/, or clean our basement. I think of him as our furnace man, and I want our business to be thought of as a lawn maintenance business, not anything else. That's just how I see it. Stick within your field.

    One last thing. If a customer were to call you and ask you to move some furniture, then you don't have to turn it down if you are looking for some extra cash. But I wouldn't openly advertise these services.
    Good luck,
     
  9. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,660

    Many good points. MANY things i've overlooked. thanks again..

    :)
     
  10. KDJ

    KDJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 325

    Offer pressure washing, (Driveway and sidewalks) Its good money when it is slow. And it adds alot to curb apeal. Some of the homes I service I just do it and bill them. Never had a issue, they love it.
     

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