How many new customers can I expect next year?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by FrankenScagMachines, Nov 19, 2002.

  1. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    OK if I start from scratch next year and get listed in the phone book yellow pages and in the newspaper classifieds, and do some door to door and some fliers and biz cards and get in touch with commercials, how many customers can I expect to get in the spring or now if I get out and work at it? How much money can I expect to spend and what's the most effective way? I want maybe 12 hours or more a week of work to start with, is this too much to expect? I mean any size job if I had a 36" w/b, 48" w/b and a 60" rider ( I might get these in a sweet deal, not for sure yet) but anyway I could take on most any size job with this stuff and I would have extremely low overhead with this stuff (not to lowball but could make more money faster). My town is about 38,000 strong and about 65,000 in the county but wanna stay near town. I have a few options about expanding my biz next year and wanna research each one before blowing money on it. Thanks,
  2. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

    Can you drive yet?

    If you want to work 12 hrs/wk, then you will know your sales if you can estimate worth a hoot. 12 hrs for me gets sales of$600. From there, figure out your expenses per hr and that gives you your profit.

    12 hrs per wk should not be that hard to come by, just takes some effort.
  3. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    Thanks for the quick reply (Time is money and money is everything). I don't know much about the marketing aspect because I didn't market much this spring because I have a limited radius. Next year my mom has volunteered to drive me until mid June when I get my license :) :cool: . Round these parts doing 12 hrs/week small residentials gets you about $400. I might be able to raise the bar, maybe not. Thats ok though. I dont' even need 12 hrs/week to start with but that would be nice. One of my other options has the customers and 12 hrs/$400/week work so thats what I'm comparing it to. However, it will run me about twice as much startup money as this option. Mowers will not be as reliable and modern but having 3 different sizes instead of 1 will be nicer and make more money, also I'm a good mechanic so I can do work on them myself save $$$$.
    Thanks alot for this reply and in advance for others,
  4. LakeSide Lawn and Landscape

    LakeSide Lawn and Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 337

    I say go for it!!you can do what ever you set your mind to as long as you work hard at it.And lets face it $400 a week and still in high school is good money for only working 12 hours.
  5. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    BHB, I must say it's very refreshing to see someone your age with the drive and attitude you have. Good luck to you.
  6. bilbo7021

    bilbo7021 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    BHB, just for some advice in this end. I started with flyers in mini marts, banks, and stores where I knew the owners. Then I went to a small classified in the Service section of one of the two dailys here. That alone got me 10 customers after only two weeks, then they refered me to others.

    What I mean is, don't spend a fortune for startup if you don't have to. Remember this K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid)! The simpler the method, the more efficiant the method (most of the time).
  7. bilbo7021

    bilbo7021 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    BTW, ya want to come up here and teach some of these high schoolers what it means to "earn their money"? :)
  8. dlandscaping

    dlandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 835

    possibly none
    dont make any huge purchases before you have these clients
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    You could get tons, you could get none. I've gotten 50 in one year before. Just depends on how hard you're willing to work at it. If you REALLY want to expand rapidly than I'd do this;

    1) Avoid Yellow Pages - you pay year round for calls you'll only get for 6 months. Not good for our industry. I know, I've had 3 or 4 already.

    2) Flyers, Flyers, Flyers. You mentioned in another thread you did 150 flyers last year. Hell, we do 150 flyers in 2 hours! We'll sometimes do 600 or more in one day. And we'll do that for 3-4 days straight if we are slow. You gotta play the flyers game right - it's a numbers game. In the spring time (e.g. April - May) you should be able to get a call for every 10-20 flyers you put out.

    3) Does your truck or trailer have lettering? Can people see it from a distance? Does it create a lasting impression in people's minds? Will they remember your name?See, everyone wants to be like the big guys but most people aren't willing to do what it takes to get there. I truly believe this is a big part of it. We don't get calls every day from the signs on our trucks and trailers, but we get several per week. Even during the winter we get 1 or 2 per week from them. Why pass up on this almost free form of advertising?

    4) Newspaper classifieds is good only during the spring. Use this only until calls start to fall off. Then cancel the ad.

    If you do all of these things there's no reason you shouldn't grow like crazy. Man, when I still growing, we did flyers like crazy. Every day we weren't mowing for a full day - we'd do flyers the rest of the day.

    If you want to grow fast, you gotta want it bad enough to do whatever it takes. You gotta be willing to drive a truck around that makes you look like the lawn boy - even when you go to a friend's house or to church or whatever. It may seem embarrasing at first, but it is what will get you the $ and business growth you are looking for. Same thing with flyers. You gotta be willing to go out every free minute and start puting them on doors.

    My 2 cents.

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