Question on getting customers quickly

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by gmanlq, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. gmanlq

    gmanlq LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    I would like to get customers quickly. I was thinking of going into subdivisions that have lots that are the same size say 1/4 of an acre and offering $35 to $40 to cut w/o bag, edge, and blow to the first 10 customers that sign up. Customers after the first ten would have to pay a bit more say $5 or so. Has anybody done this before and if so how did it go? I'm confident that once they see my work they stay on board.

    Thanks
     
  2. cz lawn care

    cz lawn care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    35-40 per month?
     
  3. Dynamic

    Dynamic LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    35 - 40 per cut, or per month? if its per cut I think most are already there. If its per month I think your nuts because your giving one person adeal why should the rest not get one? Why can your work stand out enough just to get referrals? Do you carry insurance and look professional or are you a non-insured lowballer? Not trying to be rude just all I see you have is a 21" craftsman and I generally associate this with the non-insured, cash paying/receiving lowballer that hurts the professional legit tax paying business. Just a thought and if you are legit then I definitly did not mean insult.
     
  4. gmanlq

    gmanlq LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    I'm legal and insured. I'm buying an enclosed trailer and a 36" Metro, bag, sulky, trimmer rack and more for the trailer...will add it to my signature once it happens in the next week of two.

    My idea was a per cut charge not for a month. I can't work and not cover my costs. I'm just wanting to get customers quickly. I'm confident that once they see my work they will stay and give referrals but I'm not very patient. Was wanting to hear how people can get numerous accounts quickly in a subdivision. Your thoughts?
     
  5. Dynamic

    Dynamic LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    If it is a new subdivision, try talking to the developer as sometimes they will gladly refer you. Secondly I would try the door to door and/or door knockers, but offering deals I think might bight you in the arse if you don't give a deal to everyone? But you will never know until you try. Maybe try one advertising aproach in one subdivision and another else where. Let us know what you do and how you make out!
     
  6. StBalor

    StBalor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 798

    when i use to to charge per cut i would offer th 6th cut free, or something along those lines. Give it a try, got a lot of lawns with that add. Now that i charge a monthly fee, my flyers i put out in beginning of march say that they will get 25.00 of 2nd months bill with signed seasonal agreement.
    Just try different things. It may be cheaper fo you to give them 1 cut free somewhere in the season then to give them 5.00 off of every cut.
     
  7. Penscape Landscaping

    Penscape Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 357

    He man I think it sounds like a good plan! THese guys that are hounding u could have a whole different price bracket. Guys we all started somewhere!!!! This would be an ok price in my area. Here in foothills of NC we are all running (except for lowballers) an low rate somewhere in the 42.00 per cut range so this would not be out of the question for a 1/4 acre. what is that 30mins? I have seen guys around here lowball us out at 20 or less per cut on up to 3/4 acre that is crazy!!!!!! Good luck let me know if it works!
     
  8. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,515

    I have not found that a 10% or 20% lower price increases the chance of signing up a good new customer. It does help sign up cheap, price-shopping, disloyal, slow-paying complainers.

    What works for me is a prompt response to a customer phone call, showing up quickly and on time, having a sign on the truck and a logo on your shirt, looking and sounding professional, not being to pushy, and asking to start asap.

    Of course, the phone has to ring, so that requires some advertising/marketing.

    Getting numerous accounts in a subdivision may require door hangers, knocking on doors, signs in yards, etc.
     
  9. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,927

    You have made an implicit assumption in your initial post, namely that most (all?) homeowners in the sub-division have a contractor do their grass cutting. If that is true, then you may be successful. If not true, then the pickings for customers will be thin.

    You also make an implicit assumption that another contractor does not already has those sub-divisions under their control. If that is the case, you will have to be very special for wooing over customers to you, a new contractor without a track record in that sub-division.

    If sub-division properties were all available for potential customers, and if none of those properties were being worked by another contractor in recent years, then your plan is a great one. However, usually these two factors are not in your (or anybody else's) favor. Often getting new customers when just starting out is a challenge since "everybody" is not a candidate for your target marketing.
     
  10. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,073

    Getting customers quick? Is that a good thing?
    From our experience, it's easy to get the phone to ring....... but the question is.... are they the type of customers that we want?
    It's NOT easy getting GOOD customers, it took us YEARS to tweak our routes. Thru the years, we have dropped MANY customers.
    Finding good customers is the hard part. Customers that want their grass cut weekly, customers that pay ON TIME, customers that stick with your service year after year even after they get price increases.

    Sure you can get customers quick, but you will be left with a boatload of pita's that gripe, "cut the grass shorter", "cut the grass every 2 weeks or once a month in the summer", customers that don't clean up after their pets and they have 4 big german shepards in the back yard, lawns that no other LCO's want to touch because the terrain is so hilly you can barely get a mower on it, and of course customers that pay their bill whenever they feel like it and you're left waiting for your money for months.

    Bottom line: you don't build a business quick
     

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