New to business, slow start...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Premierlawns, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. Premierlawns

    Premierlawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Just started the business, have a new truck, trailer with advertising, new Hustler 36" mini Z (starting with residential) , Shindawa equipment, Toro walk behind. I have sent out 1000 door hangers, advertised in the paper and have sent brochures to 12 major real estate property managers....have 3 accounts in 2 I missing sonething other than patience..?
  2. bullethead

    bullethead LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 273

    Sounds like you're long on equipment, short on sales. Personally, I would have just bought the essentials and passed on the ZTR until I had the business to support it.

    Regardless, 1,000 door hangers is not going to get you much, you need to ramp up the advertising. Many on here have very high response rates to their door hangers (according to them). I have found that if you get 1 customer per 1,000, (which is 0.1%) you're doing very well. Personally, I'm getting about 1 per 1,500 and I have put out about 120,000 so far this year. You have to build a brand/name recognition - as this improves - I think your response rate will, too.

    At a minimum, circulate your 1,000 door hangers to those same households at least 3 more times on 2 or 3 week intervals and see what happens.
  3. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    How are you guys distributing your door hangars? Just going door to door yourself, or paying someone to do it for you?
  4. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,064

    If you only got three customers you have a lot of free time, if you're short on cash delivery your own door hangers. You could prolly deliver 500 a day.

    Me, when I do door hangers I hire from a temp labor service and supervise them. I drive them to the neighbour hoods and keep them delivering. Expensive though.
  5. sbc1971

    sbc1971 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    Also,if you just started looking for customers now it will take a bit longer.90 days ago you would have had a larger # of calls.One more thing,I know its not an exact science, however, regarding doorhangers, I think 1% to 2% success rate is more likely than one tenth of 1%(0.1%).Thats what usually get and usually other people I know of get.I mean, one hit for every thousand,that would be hard to take around here.Hang in there,do good work and watch it grow.
  6. Ol'time Lawncare

    Ol'time Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 497

    hope you payed cash for all your NEW stuff,lol!Some will go out and buy all new stuff and not be able to make that payment, buy the end of the year if you can't land enough accounts say good buy to all that new stuff and the business> good luck.
  7. Rhett

    Rhett LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,071

    Don't be discouraged. Weather is getting hot and the second volley of phone calls is coming. Do a gerat job on the 3 you have and they will send you 3 more. Keep plugging along and it will come.
  8. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Yes you need a lot of patience in this game, people have not been waiting by the phone for you to start, 99% of people have got there regular lawn care crew and you are probaly looking at 1% of the market , but beware these are quiet often the ones nobody else wants, 3 acc in 2 weeks sounds ok, allow yourself a couple of years before you make good money,its in this period most go broke, remember the more you get the more advertising you are getting by being out there( on the job, making lots of noise, signage on truck).

    Anyway you will find plenty of advice on here , i hope you dont have a large family to support. best of luck:usflag:
  9. Mrk'sLawn

    Mrk'sLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    I started this year in early March. It was very slow for me in the beginning too. I was very worried that the calls would never come but they did. It was a slow start. I can honestly tell you I got more business by word of mouth than my fliers.. You just have to go out there and show them a good job. Like everyone else is saying.. Do a great job and word of mouth will take you far. Best of luck. I wish you the most success with you business..
  10. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,064

    One thing about my flyers that you may or may not be able to copy is that I offer other services besides lawn care. One side of my flyer is for window cleaning and eavecleaning and the other lawn care. When Winter gets closer I will add xmas lights and snow removal.

    What I'm saying is if you offer multiple services the % of calls might go up. Window cleaning always gets more than 1-2% for me. Well all my flyers do actually. but I usually just put them out in prime time (season wise).

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