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I have a question about getting new accounts.

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by River City Lawn Care, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. River City Lawn Care

    River City Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    That is the truth around here. There is so much competition it's insane. From the bigger companies with fleets to even the smaller companies like mine, there are so many mowers around here it's hard to establish yourself.
  2. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,993

    Good luck. The market here is so saturated its unreal.

    I like to play to the fact that I DONT have 10 trucks going out and I give every customer personal attention. Ive landed lots of accounts because people are just sick and tired of not being able to communicate with the companies they are using.
  3. River City Lawn Care

    River City Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    What's been your best approach for getting contracts. It seems that people now are comfortable with their current provider and don't even want to be given a bid. I'm also having trouble finding people looking for services.
  4. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,993

    Are you talking about commercial accounts or residential?
  5. River City Lawn Care

    River City Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I would prefer commercial but both would be fine.
  6. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,993

    Commercials are tough to break into. I got mine because my customers own the businesses or from friends.

    Your best bet is to stick to residentials till you get big enough and then branch out.

    As far as homes goes...I have always let my work do the talking. Word of mouth is the best reference you can have.

    I do some advertising. Doorhangers and local newspapers are the best way to go. Postcards are great also.

    Winter is a great time to get everything together for the spring. Start advertising in March and blanket your area. Make sure everyone sees your name. Get a sign for your trailer. Letter your truck. Join your cities Chamber of Commerce.

    If you go to church advertise in their bulletin also.

    DONT waste your money on a yellow book ad. I spent over $4000.00 in 3 years and got ONE lead off of it. Its a total waste of money.

    Also think about a website. I get a lot of traffic off of mine.
  7. Dschlott

    Dschlott LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    River City -- Gotta tell ya I wish we were a small company right now.. The fact that as a smaller business your overhead is extremely low as well as taxes, payroll, etc... Use this to your advantage when formulating a tight bid. Use your best rates to break that first nut open. Your larger companies cannot compete with you -- what holds you back is a long list of performance successes. I would have to say this market is prime for the small guy who can forulate a great presentation and guarantee personal service.

    As far as your sub and how they bill -- they bill you - the reason you would offer that sub is so your commercial customer writes just one check a month.. Consider searching out a few subs this winter to make yourselk more turn-key -- get a pool guy, spray sub, plumber (for backflows only), an irrigation guy, and a snow company on your list of ammo for your next big target.
  8. River City Lawn Care

    River City Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Thanks for the advice. I sent out about 400 postcards last year and only received 1 call. I know you can expect a low percent on those, but I thought I would get more than one call and it only ended up being a one time deal to get the season going for this home owner.

    I never really thought about having all those other subs on hand but it really makes a lot of sense. I do have people I would use but have never made it official that they are the ones for sure, it was more like if something came up I would call and see if they could check it out, no guarantee that they would do it.

    I don't necessarily want to become big time, I would like to just remain busy and not have to have a whole lot of window time. I prefer the one stop bigger jobs.

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