just starting out and want to share my progress

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Byerley, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MD/NC
    Messages: 2,861

    You can't 'renew' daily. You can only do this after a few days when it allows you. Telling others to advertise on Groupon is horrible advice.
  2. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,220

    I'll second that from experience.

    Waste of time
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Byerley

    Byerley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    I have never thought about group on that's a great idea
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. Double J Lawn Care

    Double J Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I am right there with ya Byerley. Brand new and too few clients. I will say craigslist has served me pretty well recently. 5 weekly accounts and one brush haul away in the last two weeks. CL lets you repost an ad 48 hours after it was last posted so I have 4 nearly identical ad's. Two under services and two under Lawn and Garden for sale (turns out many search for services under for sale). Definitely throw in some pictures of your work and a link to your website. Just be prepared for customers who haven't touched their lawns all season...
  5. RichardC

    RichardC LawnSite Member
    from NH
    Messages: 102

    Craigslist has been great for me so far this season..
  6. tlc23

    tlc23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    Black shirts on hot summer days will make you miserable. Green logos look great against black, just not a good idea for shirts.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. kemco

    kemco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 978

    Long post but just trying to give some opinionated advice... My advice starting out would be to spend money only on those things that are directly related to getting you business: website - today it's just expected and I think you are doing the right thing by not spending a lot of money on one right now until you can get your customer base up. We did a few of the "free" onine advertising mediums a few years back and the only calls we were getting were way out of our tight cutting area and were usually a few feet tall so we don't do that anymore. I would not have suggested spending any money on branded t shirts but since you already have I guess stick with what you have got. I've been running a 3 man crew for about 5 years and our "uniform" shirts are still plain white T-shirts with no lettering. Next year I'm considering getting some branded shirts but my opinion has always been that the shirts are not going to really get you any business and I think that's what you should concentrate your time and money on right now. It's only now that in our customer area that some people are starting to recognize our logo on our truck and know the name "Kemco Lawn Services."

    Advertising that has worked best for us is still to this day postcards, and over the years Ive tested print ads, fliers, etc. So far this year we have netted 31 new customers, 41 gross but lost a few and decided to not continue to do work for some others that were either not money makers or other reasons. About 30 of the new customers were from postcards, the other 11 from referrals or from people just pulling up to us when we were on a lawns and asking for an estimate. So far we've put out 4000 postcards this year all of which were directed to areas that we already cut in. And we will put out another 2000 before middle of the Summer. Spend your time and money on getting customers, customers that are close together is the key. Less drive time equals more time you can do what you are getting paid to do.

    The nice new truck and/or equipment, second truck and equipment set, branded T shirts, professionally designed website, tablets, secretary, client management system will all come in time as your business grows.

    When I restarted in the biz in 2008 part-time I still kept my customer info in a notebook and then on excel. Any billing or invoices I did were for the most part hand-written on preprinted forms I got at office max. Only as my customer base grew and only when I absolutely had to spend money on it did I start doing things like using service auto pilot for my record keeping and billing, a semi-custom website, a tablet computer in the truck, etc. Be careful not to put the proverbial cart before the horse or you will find yourself with a lot of neat things like Tshirts that you can show your kids one day in the future about how you once tried to run your own business. Not trying to be harsh just trying to be honest.
  8. Byerley

    Byerley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    Thanks for the advice. The T-shirts I only got because when I was getting my post cards I have a 50% promo code with vistaprint and I only got one. All my tools so far have been off of craigslist or pawn shops. Right now I am still working a full time job and advertising and mowing yards on my days off. Lucky for me I work 4-10's so I have three days off a week. Today I had a little over a 1000 post cards go out in the mail and already have gotten a few calls from them. It is hard while I am at work to get to the phone fast enough to answer the phone and I feel that because of that I am losing about 50% of the calls because so many people do not belive in leaving a message.
  9. RichardC

    RichardC LawnSite Member
    from NH
    Messages: 102

    I cant imagine you're losing customers by not answering the phone immediately during the day, they should expect that you're out working when they call. I dont even carry my phone on me, I check it in between jobs, and do most of my callbacks at the end of the day at home.
  10. Byerley

    Byerley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    I am still having a hard time getting new customers. I have been using EDDM the last few weeks and been getting some calls.

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