Whos looking to almost double ther route?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jpocket, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    For 2006 I want to double my mowing route and add one full time employee,
    This is for MOWING ONLY, I may take 5 or 6 Full service accounts, that's all I want.

    I had about 65 at my peak this season ended with about 60. Iam planning for 50 returning accounts (Worst case scenario) and plan to add about 45
    I am doing door hangers and Post cards, las t year I did doorhangers and flyers and pick ed up around 20 new customers, so I figure if Im more aggressive this spring I can easily add double that.

    Who else is planning to do this in 2006? What are you strategies?

    Some of you more seasoned guys what are your thoughts. (MAC, Rodfather, DFW, Brian)
  2. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Posts: 4,785

    At the beginning of this year. Next year I'm only taking what I want, I will be picky about gated back yards and potential PITA customers.
  3. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    I did a comprehensive study of my churn from Quickbooks reports last Sunday. As of December 31st of this year, I will have three full years in the business (started 01/01/03).

    I divided each year into halves. First half, 01/01 thru 06/30 and second half 07/01 thru 12/31.

    I then filtered the report in Excell to show me a list of all customers who contributed mowing revenues in the first half of 2003. There were 27 customers on that list. Some were one time cuts, etc, but I have no way of filtering that out. Then, I pulled a report of the second half of 2003. Of the 27 customers who contributed mowing revenues in 1H 2003, only 22 contributed mowing revenues in 2H 2003, a reduction of 19%. But in 2H 2003, I had 50 customers who contributed mowing revenues during the period. Of those 50 customers, 45 contributed mowing revenues in the 1H of 2004, only a 10% reduction.

    The numbers varied, from only a 10% loss of Over the three year period, I am finding that I lose, on average, 21% of my lawn mowing customers every six months. That numbe is distorted by customers who take one time cuts, but all told, that is the rate of churn. I would guess (and it is only a guess) that if I threw out the one time cuts and only count customers who agreed to a six cut minimum (which I can't track from my billing records), I lose about 15% of my customers every six months.

    It is IMPERATIVE that you have a way to replace those customers. Whether it be word of mouth, walk-up business, yellow pages...whatever. But you have to be able to replace churn or your business will slowly wither and die.

    As for what you can expect, I cannot help you. I added $60K to my business last winter and a substantial portion of that went into advertising. Some of the methods worked, some did not work. The amount you will grow by will ultimately be a reflection of your ad budget.

    All I can tell you is, your expected churn of 10 customers out of 60 sounds about right. Just the nature of the business. People move, get laid off, get divorced, etc. We are the first thing to go when money is tight.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  4. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    Thanks DFW very informative. I always find myself every winter guessing at which ones I will lose, just by how the previous year went. ( If I pissed them OFF)
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501


    I will give you some of my thoughts tomorrow
  6. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    Dude. If you are losing worst case 42% (21%x2) or Best case even 30% (15%x2) of your clients a year....you are either providing crappy work, poor customer service or are doing something else very wrong! Even with movers and deaths, no way you should lose more than 1%-8% in a YEAR during season.
  7. Mueller Landscape Inc

    Mueller Landscape Inc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 489

    Something to keep in mind is that you need to market your business many times to the same people throughout the season. Keep hitting the same areas over and over. Also develop a successful ad and keep using the same ad. You want people to recognize the ad after they have seen it a few times. Like you said, be aggressive. Good Luck!
  8. Mueller Landscape Inc

    Mueller Landscape Inc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 489

    Your math assumptions are wrong! But 15% - 21% does seem high. Since DFW has only 1 season with his new system, I'll bet that this will improve greatly over the next couple years.
  9. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    NO, they're not. He said 21% and 15% every 6 months during a calendar year, so that in fact equals 42% and 30% for the entire year....even if he replaced some of the 21% & 15% during the next 6 months he said he still was losing another 21% or 15% during that 2nd 6 months.
  10. Mueller Landscape Inc

    Mueller Landscape Inc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 489

    Unbelievable!!! Does this mean that in 2 years it will be 84% and 60%? It won't be long before he has customers in the negative. LOL

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