Is it a good idea to give incentives?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jakegrass87, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. jakegrass87

    jakegrass87 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I will be starting my business this year. I have no clients i think a good way to get clients would be to mention free yearly airrating and fertilizing with every contract made before march 15. I would put this on my card and fliers. Does it sound like a great way to amp the amount of contracts since i know most people would have to pay a lot to have these services done otherwise.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    Yes, but I think you're giving away too much.

    That is to say, you will get a few who will cancel out on you right after aeration / fertilizing... These few folks will call you to tell you the grass don't need cutting no more or some such bs and so you will lose around 8-10 cuts (total) right there, which is why I'm saying...

    Not to scare you but those few will cancel regardless of their signature on the contract...
    Worst case scenario would be if you decided to aerate or fertilize in spring, heh.

    I think, perhaps, just make it either free aerating OR free fertilizing, but not both.

    And yes, incentives do increase customer interest some.
    Hope that helps.
  3. jakegrass87

    jakegrass87 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    so if i charge them to do the aerating and fertilizing what would a good price be for each job asuming it is a typical 1/4 acre lot.
  4. dwlah

    dwlah LawnSite Senior Member
    from Argo Al
    Messages: 558

    Just a thought
    What are you going to say to the potential customer when he calls you on Mar 16 and wants the free fert/aerating?
  5. jakegrass87

    jakegrass87 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    so dont have a deadline is what u are saying. just thought maybe it would cause people to act faster instead of waiting and then forgetting. Is there enough benifit u think to just deal with it if it happens. Or maybe i can say well OK and just give them the deal cause I get the lawn either way.
  6. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    Just another thought, you may NOT want to include fertilization, if you are not experienced at it. You could do some real damage; not to mention that many clients will want weed-n-feed, or pre-emergent (like Scotts with halts), you would need to be a licensed applicator to apply either one. State ag guys love finding unlicensed applicators putting down weed-n-feed from Wal-mart and nailing them to the wall.
    Lot's of LCOs around here offer a free aeration w/ season sign-up. You may lose a few as Topsites indicated, but that is a not too big a loss - you could even offer the free aeration in the fall.
  7. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Aerations are too much WORK and also too big of a money maker to be giving them away! Like others said giving away one straight fert application would be a good idea, but make it WINTERIZER as the freebie, that way they can't take the free first app and then drop you...

    The best option would be to be certified and then throwing your weed spray in as a freebie, since that one actually costs the least of any application for you, but it's the most visible application to the customer.
  8. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    If your going to do free fertilizing have them pay for fertilizer and donate the labor and aerating is way to much work for free. You have to make $$$$ if you want to stay in business.
  9. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    Unless you have a large business with 500k in the bank, incentives will mostly deplete your revenue and nothing else. Doing a bang up job and doing commercial will immediately earn you more money. As soon as you work for someone who had to earn that money ie... homeowner, these people will watch every goddam penny. Mostly you'll slowly go broke till you realize 10 years
  10. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    How about giving a 5% discount to anyone who signs on with you by march 15th and charge them for aeration and sub out the fert. Get a commision on the fert and 1000's of dollars in areation sales. You could make money instead of working for free.

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