Customer Acquisition/Door To Door

Cross Creek Lawn Care

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Middle Tennessee
Hello, I am a teenager operating a lawn business within my own neighborhood. I currently don’t have many customers for mowing and I am researching the most effective ways of acquiring them. My first Choice has been knocking on doors, telling them about my services. If they already have a service or do the lawn themselves I tell them “I would be happy to mow your lawn free, with no obligations, to show that my quality is at the level of a professional if not above for a significant discount and increased flexibility” is that a good approach? Also, should I bring my friend around with me, we are both extremely competent, and look years older than we are which makes us look more legitimate. It is obvious that I am the brains of the operation, I was wondering if having my friend there makes me look less legitimate. I like having him there as it improves my confidence when knocking on a random persons door. My plan was that, a week after I knocked on doors I sent an email to the neighborhood to remind people to contact me and provide my contact information in the case they lost the business card.

How does that sound to y’all? Do you have any suggestions or ways that have worked for you, you’d be willing to share?
 

Jeff@diyokc

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Owasso, Oklahoma
Not a fan of working for free, because you have your overhead expenses of gas/oil/wear on the mower etc. your biggest enemy is time, doing one for free was an “opportunity cost” of doing one or two for money.

try door to door and keep track of how many yes’s you get vs how many you contacted. Websites and word of mouth are huge, but try and see if your approach works.
 

Jeff@diyokc

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Owasso, Oklahoma
I’m assuming you are wanting people to give you their info in order to contact them, they may be a sticking point with some people.

as far as “legitimate”, let’s face it, your driving a mower up, not stopping with a 17ft trailer. Why not just play to a strength of being determined and wanting to grow a business, unlike your peers who may be playing call of duty?Help people understand your reliability and dependability!
 
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Cross Creek Lawn Care

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Middle Tennessee
I totally agree with that! By legitimate I mean just not some stupid kid with a Lowe’s tractor in it to make a quick buck. I’ve got a hustler XONEi A Br800 and a Kombisystem with edger and string trimmer so I definitely can do nice looking work. The few times I have offered mowing for free I have taken a completely uninterested person to a “well I’ll consider that”. Being that I’m limited to 120 houses many of which mow themselves it’s worth the $10-15 in equipment costs to gain a customer since there are relatively so few. Does that make sense? I appreciate your help!
 

Jeff@diyokc

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Owasso, Oklahoma
It’s worth it only if you close them and turn them into customers. At some point, you’d want to work on some upsells where you can make that money back that you didn’t make on the “free” mow.

you are running a business, the business needs to be successful and you need to profit. You’ll have to replace equipment eventually, buy a vehicle, trailer etc. your friend may move on And you have the possibility of doing this alone.

work to make money, not just to work.
 
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Cross Creek Lawn Care

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Middle Tennessee
I make plenty as it is, my mower was such an incredible deal that I could sell it a year later for $1000 more than I paid and I have been able to keep my overhead and operating costs low. I can tell when someone is definitely against hiring a teenager and I won’t offer to them. So I think it will be somewhat successful. I’ll let y’all know how it goes. Do you think official business cards or just some info on cardstock is better? You also mentioned a website. I’ve looked into it, I’m thinking a simple Wix website with customer testimonials and a list of services is the way to go, what do you think?
 

Mac-s Lawn & Snow

LawnSite Senior Member
I totally agree with that! By legitimate I mean just not some stupid kid with a Lowe’s tractor in it to make a quick buck. I’ve got a hustler XONEi A Br800 and a Kombisystem with edger and string trimmer so I definitely can do nice looking work. The few times I have offered mowing for free I have taken a completely uninterested person to a “well I’ll consider that”. Being that I’m limited to 120 houses many of which mow themselves it’s worth the $10-15 in equipment costs to gain a customer since there are relatively so few. Does that make sense? I appreciate your help!
I don't like the free thing either. Here you say your limited to 120 houses, can you get these addresses and mail them a flyer. You could make them your self or budget some money and get a print shop to print up 500. Do the door to door thing by yourself on Saturdays. It wouldn't hurt to get a couple shirts printed up also. With a little hard work everyone in the neighborhood will know who you are. Get a general contractor liability policy with the first round of money you make.
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
VA
I make plenty as it is, my mower was such an incredible deal that I could sell it a year later for $1000 more than I paid and I have been able to keep my overhead and operating costs low. I can tell when someone is definitely against hiring a teenager and I won’t offer to them. So I think it will be somewhat successful. I’ll let y’all know how it goes. Do you think official business cards or just some info on cardstock is better? You also mentioned a website. I’ve looked into it, I’m thinking a simple Wix website with customer testimonials and a list of services is the way to go, what do you think?
A free Google my business website will get more traction in Google searches than a Wix site.
 
OP
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Cross Creek Lawn Care

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Middle Tennessee
I don't like the free thing either. Here you say your limited to 120 houses, can you get these addresses and mail them a flyer. You could make them your self or budget some money and get a print shop to print up 500. Do the door to door thing by yourself on Saturdays. It wouldn't hurt to get a couple shirts printed up also. With a little hard work everyone in the neighborhood will know who you are. Get a general contractor liability policy with the first round of money you make.

Can you explain the general contractor liability policy to me?
 
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