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Running a business

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jaredslawncare, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. jaredslawncare

    jaredslawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    I really need to know how to get a customer base so that i will in only a few years have a full time business. i have been mowing for 4 years and have had a few residential accounts off and on, i now have only 1 but have 2 large commercial accounts, I am wanting to go into the landscaping end of business but want to stay with mowing too. I will soon have my license and have a business partener that i will go full time with when i graduate in 2 years he has about 9 mid sized accounts, but i need to know how you go about getting customers to accept bids that you place, i have been calling my target commercial areas and asking if they would like quotes and if they do i give them a letter telling how much and what i can do, and tell them if they think im too high ill take 20 percent off what they are now paying,(Which means a insured lawn care, not a "scrub") I need to establish customer bases for the long run, ive been going for commercial accounts, do you think i should first go for residential accounts and then go for the commercial, or what? please tell me what you would do if you were me. Thanks
  2. bayoulawn

    bayoulawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    Dont tell them youll take any percentage off.
    Stick to your guns and youll be glad you did.
  3. rookiemower

    rookiemower LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 766

    dont get involved with partners, usually partners lead to trouble in the long run, especially with friends
  4. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,850

    agreed, never undercut. the only thing you're doing is killing the market. PICK YOUR CUSTOMERS, don't let them pick you.

    BOTURF LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 316

    i have seen to many guys giving % off every cut or giving cuts away, we work way to hard for what little profit margin we make anyway so once you give a price stick to it , The accounts will come just be percistant on advertising and doing good work. I been full time since 93 and started with 15 accounts now i have 65 full accounts and the calls keep coming WITHOUT a bit of advertising just word of mouth
  6. monkey9197

    monkey9197 LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 77

    dont agree i say undercut everyone as long as its not to low and get a small base first then once you have a decent amount of people keep there rates low and all the new people give them higher rates. sort of an introductory offer
  7. bayoulawn

    bayoulawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    What if after getting the job you realize you should have charged 20% more on your original bid. Then you are down 40% already.

    BOTURF LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 316

    oh ok so if you undercut everyone so why dont you come mow all my accounts for say half of what i make then i will just sit back and sub all my work to you and still make money myself . Its people like this who ruin it for the rest of us trying to make a good living and bring the imagine of pro lawn care up to a respectable profession , I hate being know as lawn boy
  9. Flipperneck

    Flipperneck LawnSite Member
    Posts: 164

    I agree, don't undercut. I doubt many people got laid on their 1st pickup line unless they were as manpretty as me.....but getting shot down is part of life. I plan on putting out 15,000 flyers in the newpaper this May. if i get 150 calls (1%) and 50 customers out of those 150 I will be happy with that for a moderate to high priced customer base. I've never advertised and those numbers may be ridiculous but that is what I'm hoping for.
  10. monkey9197

    monkey9197 LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 77

    im saying that if u are charging $20 ill charge $18 not $10. like u are saying. if the customer leaves you for $2 u arent doing a good job with them. half my new clients came because they where unhappy with there old company. not to just save $2. so if they get a flier that says $23 one thats says $20 and one thats $18 and they are leaving tehre current company no nmatter what. who do you think will get the customer? its a new customer they have no idea who will do the better job so they gonna go for lowest price for basic services im not talking about $10000 jobs. for things like mwoing and clean ups

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