What should I do to get 30 accounts next spring?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by BlueGrassBoy, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    I agree! A positive attitude will come natural if your really enjoying what your doing, it will carry over to your sales presentations. I'm almost always happy to meet a new client and why wouldn't I be? It's a chance to get more business, talk and showoff all the great work we've done. If you don't get up in the morning and look foward to the day your probably not in the right business. You really have to tell yourself "Never Quit" Take that option completly off the table.
     
  2. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 812

    I did $36k my first year. I was 17, in high school, and worked 2 other jobs. I used a new Exmark rider. I doubled business 2 years in a row, before I almost went bankrupt in 2008-2009. I dropped all of my low paying accounts, and rebuilt while going to college. Now back over $100k, hopefully will hit 200k next year.

    Theses are my suggestions for reaching your goal:
    -Craigslist ads will give you cheap leads. waste of time
    -Service Magic will give you cheap leads. waste of money
    -Start a web page, buy a domain name, and advertise with google adwords. Make sure you understand adwords first or you will overpay quickly. We use intuit site builder and godaddy for domain. Also, buy all domains related to your business that you can--its competive sometimes...people will hold onto domains until others are taken up so they can sell them for a good profit.
    -after setting up your web page, learn how to get ranked on google searches...this involves using other free sites to list your business and link to your website with similar key phrases.
    -Twitter is stupid
    -Facebook has been useful
    -We still use fliers---full color rolled and rubber banded and tossed in driveways. The new business outweighs the complaints.
    -customer incentives for referrals. Either free annual flower beds, gift cards, free service amounts, or what ever they want. Maybe consider giving them gift certificates so they can gift your service to a friend---haven't tried this yet, but I plan to do it before Christmas. Its going to be $50 or maybe more...if the customer's friend calls us for service, we will grant the current customer with the same $50 off their bill.
    -I've gotten accounts and a strong database by driving through neighborhoods with my videocamera documenting each house number and street, also all of the hedges, pruning demands, and possible immideate upsells I saw. Then used goilawn.com to measure the properties and sent proposals after acquiring the mailing list. Its a pain in the butt, but only after sending 1 letter to 4 neighborhoods, I still sell jobs a year later.
    -door hangers--we only occasionally door knock when we do a several day install. The flier on the door introduces ourselves, and request that people come and check out our work and ask us questions.
    -yard signs---we only use these on installs, leaf clean up, and on new properties in the spring. We only leave them up on a maintenance account for 3 days.
    -all 3 trucks have graphics and our logo is consistent in all printed and online stuff.
    -Take over your neighborhood...be friendly with your neighbors.
    -generic signs placed at busy intersections work sometimes. Signsonthecheap.com would be my recommended place to go. Currently, I have some out that just say, "Leaf Clean UP Licensed and Insured Full Service Lawn Care and Landscaping and my phone mumber". No logo or name goes on road signs like this.
    -Figure out a static schedule for your customers. Mine is month by month how frequently we will visit, and its important to memorize this so you can make the sale very fast. Several times you will make the sale before the price has been mentioned through your words.
    -I had a quote published about a year ago... it read, "Do what you know and do it well. If you don't know something, research and know it well before you do it."
     
  3. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Posts: 2,570

    something that no one ever hardly takes into account when asking "how can I get XX customers". A HUGE factor is, what is the population density of the area you live in? It's 10x easier getting 30+ clients in an area that is densely populated, in more rural or suburban areas, not quite as easy. If there is a local newspaper, I would focus on it. You might be surprised at what kind of advertising rates you can get out of it. The newspaper weeds out a lot of deadbeats too... most people who are "cheap" won't subscribe or purchase a newspaper. In our local paper you can run a 1.5"x1.5" ad w/logo for $60 a month. That's a daily run w/weekends included.
     
  4. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    Yellow page ad. That's all I do.
     
  5. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    How much per month does that cost? and how many leads does it produce?
     
  6. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Posts: 555

    Referrals from your clients is hands the best way to get new clients. Also if you can get in good with a supply distributor they may be willing to give out your company name if you do good work. I don't know diverse you are as far as lawn mowing, landscaping, weeding, mulching, hardscaping, etc..
    I would definitely go door-to-door in the neighborhoods you are already cutting lawns in but don't waste your time going to other neighborhoods yet.

    Also unless you are buying out another small company I wouldn't plan on getting 30 new accounts, you can aim for that but it will be hard to get 10-15 new lawns.

    I would also advise that you upgrade your weedwacker and possibly your blower to a backpack model. I personally love my Echo equipment and don't plan on even trying other brands such as Stihl and others.

    -Michael
     
  7. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 812

    I agree and Disagree. Go with Echo's larger models, give referral incentives, do good work. It is possible and I do it every year since I started. Answer your phone when it rings, save all numbers, keep your schedule and notes organized, and be in constant communication are some of the most important management things that I'm learned.
     
  8. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Posts: 555

    Im not sure what competition is like in the Carolina's but I know we have a ridiculous amount of companies in Delaware and everyone is ready to underbid the next guy. This is all my experience of course and yes their are plenty of good guys out there and I know I don't undercut anyone, most new clients say that I am the same price as their previous LCO or a couple dollars more, i.e. previous LCO charged $25 +$3 gas, whereas I just charged them $30.

    Also offer incentives to pull weeds and freshen up the mulch, because some LCO's don't do landscaping work. The client's feel it is one less thing they have to worry about when you are already looking correct any issue's with their yard before they ask. Just make sure that you have a "price list" in their head so they know what you are going to charge.

    I plan on mailing out flyers to my zipcode, it will be 25,953 houses/companies. One online company quoted me around $1800.

    -Michael :sleeping:
     
  9. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,094

    What company quoted you at $1800? For that many houses that's a great deal. Can you share that with us?
     
  10. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Posts: 555

    http://www.nextdayflyers.com/postcard-printing/

    I have never used them before, but I was referred to them by another member in another thread. I used business cards 24 . com for my cards last season and I was happy with them, my car door magnets on the other hand lasted until a couple weeks ago when they started to tear through. :cry:

    -Michael
     

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