First year flop

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by BLC14, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. mwalz

    mwalz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,178

    Taken me 3 years to get 15 lawns to do, not that i really advertised, but do good work. I screw up on that sometimes and don't leave a property in perfect shape, and as already said, someone is ALWAYS watching you. Act professional and clients will come. I do door hangers for advertisement. I would suggest somewhere around 3k door hangers. So far put out 800 of them, and have gotten 5 calls. 4 for mowing(got 3 of the jobs), and one from a guy wanting to sell me a mower.
  2. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,285

    If you don't have a website, get one.

    Invest some advertising dollars on Google AdWords.

    Do another round of postcards if you have the funds to do so. Post a copy of your postcard here and get some feedback on your marketing message.

    Get door hangers and hang doors when you are not mowing…your job is to market and sell new business.

    Contact/go to every church and house of worship in your area and submit a bid to takeover their lawn mowing. While you are there, ask if they distribute any printed material to their parish members and inquire about purchasing advertising space. Also consider trading services for advertising space.
  3. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,017

    Website, website, website. NOW.
  4. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    CL only gets bottom feeder's where I am.
  5. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,636

    Local home town papers were always good for us. Placed an ad in the classified next to about 10-20 other landscapers. Cost like 70 dollars a week we use to run it for 8-10 weeks every spring and it would always generate 1-2 new lawns a week. When it slowed down we would pull it.

    In a normal year Id say your screwed but this year is anything but normal its very cold and many lawns in my area still aren't even growing. So its very likely you shot to early and missed your target because they were not thinking about lawn mowing yet. Don't be afraid to spend a few thousand and increase your exposure by trying several methods of advertizing and get on it now while many people still haven't found their new lawn care company. It only gets harder later in the season so get to work.
  6. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,636

    Your not kidding about that either. I am looking at leasing my mowers in the future so I won't have to deal with these scumbags when its comes time to retire a piece of equipment and get your money back out of it.
  7. Tn Turf

    Tn Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    Who are "scumbags"? Craigslist users? :confused:
  8. georgialawn88

    georgialawn88 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,075

    advertise advertise advertise. then advertise some more. post cards door hangers. door hangers on sat. and sunday. when it rains walk in the rain while everyone else is watching tv not doing anything. craigslist. When you mow a yard give their neighbor a estimate. keep going don't quit and you tube eric Thomas when you want to quit. Then watch the persuit of happyness. Then watch rocky. Then advertise more. Then go do some more advertising. give yourself pep talks. then advertise more. then give free cuts for referals. then quit your pizza job you hate advertise some more and go full time. the end
  9. georgialawn88

    georgialawn88 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,075

    you must be a craigslist user. :laugh: jk
  10. Mowinglifer

    Mowinglifer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Build a website and work on the search engine optimizing, going with godaddy you can set up a site cheap and easily and the SEO tool is like $8 a year. It's probably the cheapest way to have a constant "billboard" out there for people to find. Good old doorhangers can't be beat either, they take time to do but you have time, in my early day's I'd put 10K out every spring and saw great results. As others have said referrals will happen, it just takes time, start tossing a note in on your invoices that you'll give a $25 gift card for referrals, it seems like people don't often talk about their lawn guys, but throwing that incentive out there really helps.

    It took me a few years of constant advertising to get to fairly full schedule (or at least as full as I wanted) then I cut all my advertising except a website. At that point I wanted to stop spending on advertising and start "cherry picking" customers anyway.

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