First Year Blues

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

  1. Slimreynolds

    Slimreynolds LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    I'm thinking about doing direct mail postcards this coming spring. How many postcards did you send out for $1000 and how many weekly lawn accounts did you gain?
  2. Utah Lawn Care

    Utah Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,555

    I sent out about 1700. I had a couple 1 time jobs and got 2-3 new clients. For 1000 bucks that's pretty awful.
  3. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,508

    That's about right for the number you sent out. Direct mailing is the form of advertising to die. Most go straight in the trash without even a look. Some guys send 25 to 30 thousand several times a season.
  4. Slimreynolds

    Slimreynolds LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    Not if they're paying you $45 per cut for 10 years...I heard the national average is 2% if you send them out to specific households. A guy said they can send them out to female only households age 30 to 75. I think that would be our best bet to get weekly lawn accounts. Of my 13 accounts, 8 are single female households age 30 to 75.
  5. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    You have to market at a LOT of different angles all at once to really get the phone going!

    We market on 1- Angie's list 24/7 365
    2- Craigs List we run several different ads all throughout the day everyday! 10-12 hrs a day
    3- Website 24/7 365
    4- Multiple lead websites 24/7 365
    5- Always talking to people and other business owners. Constantly!
    6 - Business cards and magnets constantly.
    7- Send out the helpers on rainy days and knock on doors. If they are competent enough!

    You'll spend a LOT of time and money in the beginning but as your work load builds you can taper off and start being more picky about your clientele.It takes a while, even if you have to go get a part time job, DO IT, I DID do it until your financially sound, it's probably the best thing I did, but I kept marketing marketing marketing. We still market very heavily just more focused now.
  6. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    One more thing! Direct mail is too expensive and the ROI is not there for this industry! Honestly! Web presence is where it's at nowadays.
  7. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    Just wait for the 5 year blues and the 9th. Year freek out
  8. bwanderson79

    bwanderson79 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    I am not trying to throw cold water here, but location is of crucial importance in this business. Sparsely populated rural areas will probably never generate the kind of business that urban areas will.

    I'm in Houston, TX where there are millions of people who commute from the suburbs to downtown and the last thing they want to do with their free time is spend a few hours using poor equipment to mow their lawn. Many of these people make a decent salary so paying me $30 to mow their average sized lawn is an easy decision.

    Another thing to consider is how many HOA neighborhoods there are in your area. That's half the reason that people here get their lawns cut every week, just keep them off their back.

    Just my 2 cents...
  9. JBNC

    JBNC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    I've got family in N. Wilkesboro and am fairly familiar with your area. Especially up around Hays you are going to be hard pressed to stay busy in my opinion. Especially if there are 5 other well known LCO's. Do you service Wilkesboro?? That would at least open up some commercial opportunities for you. If you want to stick with it you are going to have to prove you are better than the other guys and/or offer more services than them. Get you pesticide license, that will give you an advantage and open up new doors for you.

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