Help getting accounts?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by robkule424, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. robkule424

    robkule424 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Alright guys, I know this question has probably been asked about a million times before, but I'm struggling to pick up my first few accounts.
    Over the past 5 days, I've handed out 650 flyers to homes around my town. No calls, No emails, NOTHING! I know it's late in the season to start advertising, but I was at least hoping somebody might be interested in having lawn care.

    Are there any tips you guys could give from past experience? How long do people typically wait before calling? I'm getting down about the fact that my advertising has been a complete failure. I need some support! Give me something to be excited about!

    Here's my flyer I've handed out:
    Look alright? Effective?

    I'm only 17 so I'm going to have a lot of free time this summer to pass out my flyers. Should I continue passing out, or is it too late?

    Thanks so much and wish me luck.

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  2. ChevHayes

    ChevHayes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    Flyer looks decent......You just gotta grind it out... Flyers are said to have a .5-1% return rate, so i generally pass thousands out to get a few "leads". Remember not everybody who calls will hire you. I suggest maybe running an ad in local paper while passing more flyers out. Like i said its a grind that you just got to stay on until you get the desired customer base. It takes times and if you stick to it and do it right, you will gain new customers every season.
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Yeah, Flyer looks decent, clean. I think I'd leave out the Deere though, since it's not a professional mower. Also $20 seems really cheap, maybe too cheap. I don't know what pricing is near you but nobody mows lawns for $20 where I am. Maybe people are thinking that it's too good to be true, the low price, the first month discount and the free referal mowing. Almost seems like you're giving away the store/desperate. Let me tell you a little story.....

    I have a friend who makes "distressed" furniture, really nice stuff. He had his stuff at several indoor flea markets on a consignment basis at really low prices. He couldn't understand why he wasn't selling it, so he kept dropping his prices with no luck. He was talking to an "old timer" at one of his locations one day and asked the guy why his stuff wasn't selling. The old timer told him it was because his prices were too low and to double them. My friend did just that and soon got a call from the flea market manager that his booth was empty and needed restocking.

    My point is that while people are looking for a good value, some people, especially those with money, don't want to go with cheap because they perceive it to be of low value and not fitting their life style. I could see you picking up some customers who just want their lawn mowed, but you're not going to get the "good" customers with a lawn tractor and dirt cheap pricing and give-aways.
  4. 007mower

    007mower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Don't throw in the towel just yet. The flyer you have looks alright.. I would work on the way your passing them out. You need to make yourself look bigger then what you are. Little things like a Polo shirt with a collar.. get a logo knitted onto it like a small tree or a pair of old school hedge clippers (shears) or something like that with your company name cresent shaped on it right above your logo. If your just starting off, simple logos like that are not as expensive to get done 'cause they don't have to custom make it like the one you have on your flyer. I got a polo shirt from Ross for about $9.00 they had the same one at J.C. Penny for $15.99 went to a uniform store got a palm tree with company name embroidered on it spent about $18 bucks all together! Stay away from business companies that market Magnets for your truck and cards, flyers etc.. 'cause it will cost you like just $50 to download an image of what you want plus what the charge to stich it on your shirt and might have a minimum of 5 shirts to buy or something like that. The uniform shop just has scrubs for nurses and other uniforms they put names on, so if you go in there with one shirt ask for a catolog of available stiching they can do- they will hook you up For a fraction of the cost of a big company. Go to your mall and go to Lids hat store they also do embroidery but for hats only.. so get a solid color hat matching your shirt. They got them plain solid ones for about $10 ask them to stich your company name on it that cost around $15 bucks. This will make you look real professional. Even if it's a one man company. I agree with derryl gesner, get rid of that john deer tractor picture, put a commercial mower on it even if you don't own one.. you will sooner or later! Mention on the flyer "summer special" that way they feel like ther're really getting a deal. Don't print an expiration date on the flyer, so when people call you when it really get's hot and sticky out you wont feel obligated to honer that same low price. You can now go back to regular price for all the late last minute birds, you have to feel them out when you talk to them you can tell them you'll honer the first cut at that price and the rest..well, you know what to do. See.. all you want to do is get your foot in the door with these people. you don't want to low ball so much that every time you finish a yard your kicking yourself cause you know that you should of charged them more for your time and sweat.
    Now.. when you go passing these flyers out try knocking on the door, take 2 steps back away from the door so when they open the door your face is not the first thing they see. This way you wont seem intrusive. If some one comes to my door and they're right in face it will put me in my defensive mode. So step back 2 steps so they can see your nice attire with company logos on hat and shirt (make sure shirt is tucked in, hair is brushed or cut neatly,shoes are not same ones your gonna cut in, eyes are visable not hiding behind sunglasses or looking at the grown when your talking to them, you're the boss and owner so you gotta look and act like one ) compliment them of their yard or anything you see right off the bat that they take pride in like their flower garden, car, dog, whatever even a hanging chandelier in front of their door. Be honest with them let them know you just starting off a business. They gonna be expecting you to ask for their business just like everyone else asking for money, but don't ask anything! don't even ask if they have anyone or if they need any services. (at least not yet you want to fish) Bring with you a clipboard and paper. Tell them " I just want to make sure you recieve my summer special." That's it dude don't say any more! Smile as you give them your flyer it's contagious! They'll smile back as they start to read your flyer... but now start to walk backwards but don't give them your back (they will feel not valued). Start to thank them for their time, smile again and begin to wave. Giving the impression that you have a very busy day and alot of customers to go get. this is what I call "going fishing". You see.. people will appreciate you for knocking on the door and respect you enough to listen to what your saying about yourself and flyer. For a couple reasons. One reason, is the way you simply look, you look like a Boss. You look professional. You look like you know what your doing. You got your ducks in order. An other reason is you remind them of themselves, people that have careers, people that have their own ducks in order, you gonna be talking to plumbers, electricians, teachers, nurses, other business owners. So as I was saying earlier.. "going fishing" they,the customer will be in an "aw" like, Hey what just happend? Where is he going? He will ask you before you even take another step. 'Hey how much for my lawn? DING!! DING!! DING!! You got yourself a customer. You got'em hooked real good 'cuase you didn't seem money hungry or desperate. Now don't loose 'em have your clipboard ready. Go into your sales pitch, but keep it simple just like your flyer. Tell them it's just $20 bucks with your summer special. Now don't say a word. First one to speak looses. What ever he says tell him your in the neighbourhood tomorrow you can swing by and give him a cut. If you follow this technique you will have an abundance of work. I passed out 750 flyers last summer just around a few blocks in one weekend, got 60 regular customers added to my account. I did not get to talk to everyone when I passed out the flyers. But it got me in the block and neighbours talk. When they see you comming every week to their street they will stop you and ask for service. So always do your best when servicing a lawn. HAPPY CUTTING! :usflag:
  5. yanks1

    yanks1 LawnSite Member
    from vermont
    Messages: 17

    Some pretty good advise(though long winded) from 007.
  6. ringahding

    ringahding LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 611

    Looks good..Deer & $20 I would do without.
    I don't see a "domain address" on the flyer...I do see a "email address"...that's fine, but I can tell you potential clients or people LIKE us, NEED pictures of our work...we want to see what we are gonna pay for ....1st: Build a website (preferrably someone who knows how) 2nd: Get your business listed 3rd: Hand out fliers 4th: Social Media....if you do all these things right your phone will RING(Lawn Care..LOL) off the hook! 650 fliers? Try 2500 + ... & keep hitting the same areas for @ least 3 months in a row(yes same areas you have already passed them out) Bryan Ring
  7. 007mower

    007mower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Ya.. I agree too long of a speach! Ya.. and $20 bucks aint gonna make you rich, but down here in FL there's to many low ballers it's just plain crazy.. :cry:
  8. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    You can't worry about the lowballers, set your price and stick to it! $20 is TO cheap. If you think cheap then you'll never make money. I priced some of the local Lawncare companies in my area (not the lowballers) when I started and set my pricing in the middle. I sale on quality and customer service not how cheap I am.
  9. MB3LawnCare

    MB3LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Rob, if you are 17 and have lots of time this summer, you probably are not licensed, insured or registered as a business so I can see why you can charge so little. If you are only going to mow for the summer while school is out, then you might be better off looking for work with an existing lawn care company. This way you can learn the business from someone else and probably make more money with less hassles and overhead. It's tough to compete with someone that does this for a living as they are out there year round doing anything they can to make a buck. Customers I have are looking for a one-stop-shop to take care of all their lawn and landscape needs. My two cents. Good luck!
  10. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Most lawn care/landscaping companies require you be a minimum age of 18. Not sure if it's the law or what. I know it is the law for construction contractors.

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