Picking up new customers this late

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by green-pa, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    How many of u senior ( or more experienced ) LCO's have picked up considerable # of new customers at this point in the season? It's about 1/3-1/2 over here in IN I think. But I'm planning on getting a 36wb. That's going to cost me like $2500 or more I think. I'm wanting to know how hard it would be to at least get enough new customers this year to pay for that. I have about 25 weekly customers and 5-10 bi-weekly ones now. I think if I just got 3-4 more weekly's it would pay for the monster. I say monster because to me, the scag 36 wb I've been looking at is giant and super heavy compared to my small jd mower ow 21in. My 21 is like 97 lbs, but the scag 36 is about 470!!!
  2. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    I am in Florida. So it is quite a difference from Indiana. But I am consistently getting calls and picking up a few new customers. I think it can be done. Also, you could do a couple small landscape jobs and dang near pay that thing off.
  3. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    Double post. whoops
  4. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    dont get it untill there is a need.....

    but to answer your Q.... Jsut last week I picked up 4 new customers...

    it's gettign HOT now, and people are starting to think it's NOT that much money to pay a guy to cut the grass.....
    Of corse that's the way it's going for me... I'm in Texas.....

    to helo ya a bit,,,, I almost ordered a quick 36 Friday, and today I'm glad I didn't, I thought I would need it for this 1 new customer.... but it turned out just fine with my ZTR.....

    I dont have many Regular lawns " 1/4 acer" a walker would speed me up a Little... But not enoulf to pay for it self NOW...... maybe next season....

    try to hold off buddy, I know it's a PITA.... But like you said it's getting late in season for ya... and try to wait untill your customer base can support the price of a walker.
  5. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    I usually pick up 5-10 new customers in july. It gets hot and every fly by night figures out mcdonalds is easier work with more pay. People go on vacation and I do a lot of one times that turn into many years.
    I recommend putting the money away for next year and buy then. Keep building your customer base and lawns that warrant a 36"
    I bought my 36" the second year in business and still use it daily. Love that machine and was my main machine till 3 days ago when I bought a 52"z. Ahhh life is wonderful.
  6. Scagguy

    Scagguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,522

    Yep....I agree totally with that. Wait until you are dead sure you need it then buy it. Nothing worse than to buy something you THINK you need then turns out you didn't need it right then or worse yet you didn't need it at all. I picked up 5 new clients in the last 10 days. On one of them I sure wish that I had a 48" ZTR instead of my 36" Z. I know that I could use that mower on at least 4 other properties that I maintain. After thinking it over, I bought a velkie to use on my 36" Metro and train my helper on it. New 48" Scag is $6000. New velkie $225. The difference in productivity running a 36Z and 36WB with both of us weedeating and edging vs. buying the 48Z and my helper doing the weedeating and edging is yet to be determined, but I do know that right now I saved 6K by not buying the 48Z at this time.
  7. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    I'm mixed about it now. Maybe I should just buy a pro 21 or 32 or snowblower/s for the winter. I think if I really start putting flyers out again or even knock on doors ( that need cut badly) then I could make enough extra to pay for the $2500-3500 machine. I think I'd need about 8-10 new customers to pay for it ( weekly ones). I'm just itchin' to try one cause I see most of the other guys with trailers and big wb's or z's and I'm with my 21. I'm thankful, but a 36wb would cut back a lot it seems on 1/2 my properties.
  8. KTO Enterprises

    KTO Enterprises LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,286

    We finally just started getting some rain. More in the past 9 days than in the previous 9 weeks. Now that grass is starting to grow again, people that bought houses since november are starting to see a need for service, I have had more calls in the last 2 days that I had in any week time frame for the past couple of months
  9. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    I usually read all of your posts ... since we are both located in the same general area. What kind of got me though was how you mentioned that the season is almost 1/3 to 1/2 over. It's only the first week of June ... you can mow up till the first part of November, and then there are leaves too.

    When it comes to your particular situation, I somewhat disagree with some of those who say to wait on buying a new mower. I know you started out with the JD homeowner mower from Lowe's .. so I see it as upgrading your equipment to commercial ... which is what you wanted, or needed to do ASAP.

    Larger mower means more productivity, which means more work accomplished in a specific amount fo time. I have three friends who are in this business as well, and their schedules are full. One buddy is in his 2nd year, and I help him from time to time when his schedule gets to overwhelming for him because his son (who is supposed to help him all the time) decides he doesn't want to work.

    ** (You know ... (off your subject here) ... talking about his son not wanting to work ... I can remember lying about my age when I was 14 so I could get a job ... now-a-days people 25 - 30 yrs old don't want to work, and they still want to live at mom and dad's house! What's up with this?)​

    Anyway ... I say if the mower is a good deal .. I would go for it. The work is there ... and like I say ... your productivity will go up with the larger, better mower.
  10. ThompSon

    ThompSon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I picked up 25 new customers yesterday and only been running for about 2 weeks or so

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