How do you obtain commercial business?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by gregglawn, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. gregglawn

    gregglawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I'm helping my father think of ideas that can generate new business.

    Luckily I have experience with online marketing, as I work at an agency that is all digital marketing. So I've helped him with his website and we're about to launch an AdWords campaign.

    My thinking is that, while AdWords will bring him some irrigation system residential clients, I'm not sure how we can get him commercial lawn care clients, which is where he can get the most growth for his business.

    So my question is, how do you guys get new commercial clients? I'm going to list some of my ideas down below, but keep in mind, I am just guessing, I have no idea.

    - Speak to existing happy commercial clients about how you'd like to grow. Let them know you appreciate their business and you'd love to have more clients like them. Give them some cards and ask them to share your cards with any peers that are looking for a new company.

    - Pay extra attention to your commercial clients. It's the little things that count. Throw in free fertilizer every now and then, or make suggestions and offer deep discounts on certain projects. Make sure to keep in contact with your commercial clients and make sure they are happy. Keeping them happy will cause them to tell their peers about you and if their property looks good, neighboring properties may ask who does their lawn work.

    - Get on management company partner (not sure of the name) lists. So when they would like to get pricing for properties lawn maintenance, we show up on that list and have a chance to bid it competitively.

    - (This one may be annoying, so I"m not sure if it would work) Introduce yourself to decision making people at management companies, bring in donuts every few months and check in. Create relationships with these people.

    - Recently someone told him they dind't give him the chance to bid a job because his company was "too small." So, talk to people with objections liek that and tell them about how commercial business has and is what makes up 60% of your revenue so you are well versed in managing commercial clients. Ask for a trial period with some smaller clients to prove your company, no matter the size. Last, let them know as your client's grow, you hire on crews to cover the work, so size should never be a worry.

    Thanks ahead for any feedback. I really appreciate forums like this, there does not seem to be many resources on Lawn Care business growth out there.

    THEGOLDPRO LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,222

    We don't like to give all of our secrets away.
  3. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,764

    Just an idea but he could grow his business and offer more services to attract commercial work...... ;)
  4. gregglawn

    gregglawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    LOL, You've got to be kidding! That's the goal. He offers all services already though. His guys are legit with irrigation licensees, weed spraying, of course lawn care, tree trimming. He has commercial clients already, just wants more. He also has workers comp.
  5. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,764

    The topic of the thread was how do you obtain commercial business. If he already has commercial accounts then he knows how to obtain commercial business.....
  6. Empowered Results

    Empowered Results LawnSite Member
    from FL
    Messages: 2

    Hi, I just joined this forum and found your post interesting. Perhaps you got your answer already but here is my thought: 'word of mouth' .... You already have a clientele from that list with referral discounts/incentives...if your Dad's company is will generate more leads via his customers. Hence spending the money on giving back to the customer than marketing.
  7. beargins

    beargins LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    gregglawn, I sent you a PM.
  8. Thomas Industries

    Thomas Industries LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 2

    Wow, then what's the point of a forum. He asked a question and you give that asinine response? Awesome.

    OP, use the contacts you have now. Every commercial property I have (36) is a word of mouth, friend of a friend, past associate who went to a new company, a former co-worker who didn't like his current service provider, the credit union I have been banking with since 1994, the friend of the bank manager who was impressed because we "...made the bank grass look like a ballpark".

    Business cards. Simple but effective when your cold calling and pressing flesh (shaking hands). I had a guy call me 5 years AFTER I gave him one. Luckily my home phone didn't change. That one call was worth $1,000/month in new billings.

    This business isn't any different than any other where it's your work that speaks for you. If there is a secret it's this. DO NOT SIT BACK, don't think a fancy website is going to land you a bank. Be aggressive, cold call, give out cards, tell people your in business and looking for more.

    Your ideas are pretty good. especially the donuts. Hell I'm stealing that one for myself since your no where near me. LOL Just be persistent.
  9. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    I don't know if your area does the same thing or not but the local chamber of commerce has monthly meet and greet events for members both at traditional meetings and there's a "young professionals" group. Both of these are full of local decision makers. Show up with plenty of business cards and talk to everyone you see. Annual membership costs less than a week of adwords.
  10. Randallhorton175

    Randallhorton175 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I like the property management approach. I think that will work good here by me because we have a ton of rental and commercial properties. A buddy of mine in Michigan told me about an iPad app for sending postcards called street bidder. I may consider that as well.

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