What Am I Doing Wrong

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by FLMOWER, Jan 29, 2003.


    FLMOWER LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Ok, I need some help. I have been in business for 3 months and only have 1 account. I did the whole truck sign, business card, newspaper, flyers and passed out 400 door hangers. I have been targeting moderately priced residenials. Is this just bad timing or am i mising something.

    36" Toro Proline Tbar WB
    Shindaiwa stick edger
    Shindaiwa line trimer
    Stihl SR 400 Blower
  2. grshppr

    grshppr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    It is still quite early in the season. I don't start getting calls until Feb or March. I see you are in Florida so your season would start a bit earlier...or it never end at all. Try going to real estate offices, or other property management companies, and leave a card and company profile. You'll be sure to get calls from thos places for bidding on complexes. I find an business card size picture ad in the miscelaneous section of the classifieds works well.
  3. KirbyKLC

    KirbyKLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Yes, our season is perpetual, but at this time of year it is extremely difficult to land new customers. If you do however, they are profitable immediately if you do it correctly. Best time to start lining up new customers is August. By the time they actually make a decision it may be October or November. Once again, make profit early in the contract. Just this week, I have started to get a few more calls than I had in December and early January. We've had our freeze for the year and it will hopefully start warming and greening so that people will start to get into that mind-set.

    I'm guessing from your profile that you are a fireman??? Just be patient and keep your day job!!!:D
  4. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    Try a simple tear-off flyer on grocery stores or anywhere they have bulletin boards. It's small time but they get a lot of looks and you are small. Pre tear a couple, makes you look like a hot comodity.


    FLMOWER LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    thanks for the help
  6. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,260

    Thats how I got started. But you want to keep an eye on your flyer. Other lawn companies will tear it down.
  7. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    Getting "new" accounts this time of year is .... very .... very .... very tough .... the last "new account I picked up was 1st of Dec. .... but I had been bid on this job 2 times last year .... finally the HOA had enough ( of dream weavers with a killer price n %$#@ service) n finally called us (nice time of year to get a good one) .... last good resi we got was like 1st of Oct. ....

    Get some "mulch flyers n pruning flyers together for Feb n door hang ...... when March runs around .... door hang the %$#@ out of areas with mowing flyers ....... do a good job ..... be RELIABLE n hang on thru the hot months .... Good Luck ;->
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,864

    I can't comment about Fl. but around here you don't really pick up many customers during the fall or winter. We pick up most of our new clients in the spring time. The rest kind of mozy in here and there until the end of the summer. But March - June is high time for us. And I'd never try to start a LCO biz. in the fall.

    So I think a lot of it is the time of year.

    Still, there are some things to consider. Flyers only work when you do TONS of them. Keep at the flyer game. When we do flyers, we go to nice up-scale neighborhoods where houses are packed close together. You can do 60-100 per hour per man. That's 480-1600 per 8 hour day - depending on how many guys are doing it. Do that for a week and you'll sure as heII get some accounts. Well, as long as it's the right time.

    Truck signs are great. But realize it's something that takes time. It takes name recognition. I had my truck labelled from my 2nd year. But it wasn't until my 5th year, when we had 4 trucks on the road every day and people saw us all over the place that I REALLY started getting calls from the trucks. Once it finally set in and people finally recognized us as a name brand (after repeatedly seeing us several times a week) then the calls started to really come in from the trucks.

    You said you're doing "moderately priced residentials". Well, try to go up from there. Where I live, we don't get nearly as much response from the middle class neighborhoods as we do from the upper class neighborhoods. And for good reason; $100 or $150 a month is a lot to a guy who has a 3 room house, a family, two car payments, and a mediocre job. But to a guy with a 6 BR house, 4 car garage, House in the hills, family, and a 300K / year job, $100 or $150 is NOTHING to him!!! The higher up you go, the better success you'll have. But you'll also want some pretty professional looking flyers too.

    I am not saying don't do those neighborhoods you mentioned. It could just be timing. But try different kinds of neighborhoods. I still flyer them all. But I always START with the upscale neighborhoods and then do the middle class ones after I am done with those.

    At this point, I'd say pour on the heat with the flyers. Well, maybe wait till spring. But then start passing them out like Candy. Do it 3-5 days per week. Whenever you have free time, go put out flyers!!! They work. And their the best marketing tool I've ever come across. It's just as numbers game. And timing.

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