First Year Blues

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by southerlawn, Jul 22, 2013.


    GARRETTWOOD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    Get a copy of real estate transfers every month and target higher $$$ sales with direct mail.
  2. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm not even sure what you're asking.

    Is what typical? You didn't even mention how many clients you have.

  3. wegomow

    wegomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    My first year was tough but this is my second and it is much better. When I started it was part time, not by choice. It's full time work this year. Give it time.
  4. twomancrew

    twomancrew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 940

    Here when I started residential it seemed like when I pulled up to a curb all the locals pulled out mowers and the whole neighborhood is mowing. I spent some time walking and waving neighbors down to introduce myself. Tuck in the shirt and take off your hat when you meet someone. Talk to every neighbor you can. I was occasionally asked to do small tasks like edge a sidewalk or clean gutters was a real common one. Don't approach as a salesman, approach as a nice guy who like to shake hands. It works wonders being your own word of mouth. The neighbors can see you do top notch work, and they want to know who you are.

    I try to gauge how hard it is for my competition to find out who I am because they will try harder than Joe A. Customer to figure you out. If it's really easy for the competition it will be easy for your customers. It hasn't taken me to the big league level, but it finds work.

    Don't EVER walk onto a non customer's yard. Always smile and wave from the sidewalk and if you are invited to go further... you get my drift.

    Lawn services is the easiest small business to startup, unless you want to do at-home daycare.

    Purchase some market research. Amazing what those folks can tell you.
  5. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,096

    Sorry to hear doesn't have to be this hard. I'm not saying this is an easy business, but it should be easier. PM me if you want any help. I don't know everything in this business, but I know what has worked for me.

    Good luck
  6. Slimreynolds

    Slimreynolds LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    This is my first year in the biz also and of my 12 weekly lawn accounts 6 have come from Craigslist and the other 6 by word of mouth. Craigslist is free and can be a successful form of advertising if you write a good ad and don't over post. I would hit craigslist with a few different ads once or twice a week.

    I will quote a job a little lower just because I want to get my name out there and get in good with some people.

    MOST IMPORTANT...Do quality work and people will notice! Quality work at a reasonable price always works!
  7. Penncare

    Penncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 179

    If there are other lcos making it work, it likely has a lot to do with reputation gained over time. The cheap guys are not putting them out. Your work looks good and you should hang on if you can financially. If you can't try to find out all you can about the winning lcos or even get a job with one of them.
  8. Eric's Lawnservice

    Eric's Lawnservice LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    Do you have a pesticide license? Those things open some doors. Also comes in handy at aeration time when you can sell fertilizer to go with the seed. I have only been doing this for a little while now, but I have noticed there is a second surge of homeowners who are looking for an lco about this time of the year. (atleast in my area) So hang in there. Craigslist is good free advertising spend some time on how your ad looks and sounds. separate yourself from the crowd.
  9. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,506

    Have you approached any of the commercial possibilities? I mean the c stores and strip malls. Contact some property managers, realtors, store managers. Talk to someone at your bank and see if they have any properties to service. Try craigslist. Not just posting but check under the gigs section, where people post for services wanted.
  10. Utah Lawn Care

    Utah Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,560

    I am in the middle of my first year. I maintain about 19 properties right now. My city is only about 25k. I will try to break down how I got my current clients. I spent $1000 on post cards this spring. I spent about $100 on door hangers. Door hangers got me a few 1 time jobs, but no weekly clients. Focus on your online presence. I spent all winter making my site and making my business easy to find.

    post cards:2
    door hangers:0
    Word of mouth:1

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