When do you start for next year?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by wormburner, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. wormburner

    wormburner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    When do you start approaching customers for next year Feb?March?Also how do you approach commercial sites?Just walk into the business and ask if they are accepting bids for next year? any help would be greatly appreciated.Thanks.
     
  2. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    March and mostly April for residentials. Seems like most people wait until the last minute to find their lawn boy, if they don't already have somebody. Commercials, now is the time. Most want to line something up prior to the new year. Best option would be to present yourself and ask for the facilities manager.
     
  3. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    March for residential, this year I am gonna do two or three "hits". One in February so I can get my name in front of them, then one in March. Then I'll get out and do door hangers the last week in march.
     
  4. LawnscapeMN

    LawnscapeMN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 65

    I am also wondering the same thing about getting clients. Also, what do you think is the best way to attract people? Door to door type, or ads in paper/online. I have put free ads on Craigslist.com and recieved alot of attention. Im just a curious new guy in the biz too, getting excited for next season. Thanks
     
  5. wormburner

    wormburner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    Thanks for all the help.Also wondering how to pick up common areas in sub. divisions.These seem to be hard to get.
     
  6. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    When to start??? Yesterday!-
    Most of my customers are on contract and most run year to year. If you want one of them you better be working now.
    How many customers did you have last year. Are you going to keep them?
    Send out Christmas cards, thank them and state that you look forward to working with them next year, (its much cheaper to keep a customer than to get a new one).
    Do last years customers have friends????--referrals!!!
    Send a Christmas flyer out to your farm.
    Start planning the Jan. flyer. " we are accepting new clients---beat the rush--- routes filling fast. Pass out that and than another in Feb and a last chance one in March.

    I used the word farm, do you know what that is?-- It is the area that YOU farm to cultivate new business. The area that you network in to build a reputation and referral business.
    This also works well for the HOA question. Pick a subdivision and work it. Work it hard. Advertise each month ALL YEAR. Get known by everybody in it. Become the expert.
    I have one area that is a great example--240 homes, First job in 2002- fall.
    ( these homes start about $250.000 and run up to about $800.000 on the water. Waterfront community.) Spring of 03 we picked up about 10 properties in it for maintenance. Started passing out monthly fliers and talking to the neighbors. As we close out 05 we have - from this hood- 45 full service lawns,
    21 lawncare contracts, (so 66 lawncare total). We did 107 total aerations with 88 of them including seed -lime -fertilizer. (this includes our full service)
    BUT, from this same hood we also have picked up a industrial park, 16 hours of work a week, an auto parts store- 4 hours, a Church, 5 hours, (2) office buildings, about 3 hours total, and a restaurant, 2 hours.
    AND we have moved with 6 families to their new homes in OTHER communities. ( read start new farm). Plus lots of trimming and other landscape jobs.
    And in 04 we got the HOA of the whole hood, (which we got mid year because they were unhappy with the old company-- so always perform and produce the best work possible or you can lose it all too! FAST!). This contract alone is worth 60K+

    You can do this with anything- not just an subdivision. Church, Scout Troop, any club you are a member of, wifes work. Just watch the drive time.
    Bottom line is to NETWORK, and to do it starting yesterday.


    Just a PS- The hardest part of growing is employees. I had to cut loose a whole route this year and cut back another because of employee problems, so watch as you grow and don't do it to fast.
     

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