Starting a business and having serious issue's with getting yards

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Mt. Zion Lawn Care, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. Mt. Zion Lawn Care

    Mt. Zion Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    I recently took the plunge and started my Lawn Care business. I have a New Stihl fs70 trimmer and a new stihl 86 blower and a John deere 717 commercial zero turn and trailer. I live in a small town probably 15,000 or so and probably another 30,000 in the county. Its a farm town. I've priced around 15-20 yards and only have gotten 5. I know I have not over priced these lawns either. I even had one lady tell me I had it to come mow it and when I got there, one other company was already mowing it. Frustrating. I've put adds out in the paper, facebook, craigslist, other local classifieds, and even went door to door, and handed out fliers. No returns. What am I doing wrong or what have I not done to get these valuable jobs I need?
     
  2. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,535

    it just takes time. i'm in my 3rd year and only have 15 customers. people move and such and everything is always changing year to year. i had up to 20 at one point. it just takes time to get those customers that will stick with you year after year. you just have to slowly build it up over the years.
     
  3. calvinslawnservices

    calvinslawnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 806

    I'm in my 4th and only have 20. But they are all at least an acre and they are all very loyal and not price shopper's, want quality not price. I have probably hundred or so other people that I do clean ups, mulch, and other things for.

    Don't write off any one time clean ups, they turn into yearly clean ups and potential referrals.

    Calvin
     
  4. cgasrcia

    cgasrcia LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Sounds like your in the same boat as me only 4 better. Put out nearly 400 door hangers and only one reply. I'm thinking of selling my 2 new Hustlers just to break even.
     
  5. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,365

    i'm in my second year, have around 30 lawn app customers but only 10 mowing customers. first year was rough on calls, didn't think i could give my services away. second year, plenty of calls, but its weeding out the damn deadbeats, and people that want to waste your time which is hard.. I feel the frustration, i got days when i think this is never gonna work, but i keep at it, keep trying to do the best job i can do.

    having a website and being ranked on first page of google was very helpful for me. I avg. 30 calls a week now that spring has set in, i don't know if thats good, but it is enough for me.. sometimes alot to handle when i'm trying to get my work done, or at home watching my 3 year old all day trying to get him to stop playing in the toilet or whatever.. lol. i have hardly put out any flyers this year. I could imagine it would be hard in your area with the few amount of people. Are there any surrounding towns that may be more populated?
     
  6. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 16,763

    Its a tough business, it took me 4 years before I could quit advertising. I did lawncare part time for almost 2 years befor I went full time.
     
  7. Father&Daughter Lawn care

    Father&Daughter Lawn care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 418

    Starting my 6th year and have 60+ customers. I started out with just a few and have done very little advertising. Word of mouth is the best advertising you can get. Call your friends realative and let them know you are looking for yards the jobs will come. If you do not have some sort of name for your business get one and get it on your truck. I have had people call me to give a bid as they were following me down the road. Good Luck.
     
  8. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Posts: 6,229

    Why did you buy 2 hustlers with no customers?

    As for the OP, it takes time. I, nor anybody, gets 100% of the jobs they bid on, Ive put out 13 quotes for lawn maint. this year and only picked up 3 new customers. Your not doing anything wrong
     
  9. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,716

    This was the first thing that stuck out reading this thread.

    Also agree that these things take time. Our first year in business we had 1 account and grew from there.
     
  10. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,592

    Think about this.
    Over ten years ago I found this site. There would be maybe 1000 people on here reading. Look tonight over 15k. There are plenty of threads telling how to market, EDDM post cards door hangers etc. look how many people are posting about there marketing strategy, what they use where they buy. Our first year we used 500 door hangers that resulted in about 40 accounts. Now we use thousands of post cards and hangers. We pull up to customers houses and there are hangers on the doors, mail boxes and laying in the yard. I get hangers on my door, post cards in the mail weekly in the spring. The information on here is great but how many guys in each of our areas are on here?. How many are using the same strategy as us? Potential customers are flooded with flyers post cards etc. maybe all of this is contributing to overall low response rates?
     

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