Lawn Care Forum banner
41 - 60 of 88 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
15,880 Posts
Goals for 2023 - Looking for 50% growth

  • Build a fert apps division - I will do this part until I can hand it off to an employee
  • Increase route density!!!
  • Implement P4P
  • Continue to improve the customer experience
  • Get quotes out faster
  • Refine systems and procedures - Mostly the process of doing quotes
  • Fine tune automations - In place but needs some tweaking
  • Monitor close ratio
  • Develop a maketing plan - new this year
  • Attend the equip expo
  • Totally out of the field by the end of the year


Lets go!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,481 Posts
Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Answering the phone more. I think many potential clients call but don’t leave a voicemail. Figuring out a way to pay employees 12 months per year. Not being as grumpy towards employees. Adding a full day of maintenance so 4 days a week will be filled for 2 guys without having to sell. That’s also 16 hours of work per week w minimal use of gas / trucks / or equipment. Gonna fill my mowing route to 3x 9 hour days with a goal of $1260 per day w 2 guys including lunch break .
No major purchases for me. Raising price on 25% of existing lawns. Slight raise on landscaping hourly $ but I found last year I was loosing a lot of bids @ my increased rate which was only $70hr. Material prices had a lot to do w that I think. So idk how far I’m gonna push it w raising prices. Kinda sucks I’m not doing the “large projects” like $50-100k where there is still lots of $ to be made.. that work goes to the few big companies in the area that have the advertising , equipment, and crew to get it done . Gonna ride this year out and play things safe . Would like to go from 1 employee and me 80 hrs … to 2 employees @ 80hrs and me working 20hrs. But I’m fine if that doesn’t happen this year. First need to make sure I’m REALLY filling every week w 80+ billable hours. (Will then push it till we have 100 hours every week … at that time I’ll hire)

I have found if a lawn service doesnt pick up the phone, a lot of times the potential customer just moves on to the next one in line to call. I still have a landline and it forwards to my cell phone so even if Im working I can answer the phone. I did it this way so mu customers dont have my cell number but I still get their calls. I can also then block any spam calls.


Not sure why you're being grumpy towards them, but those guys are there to help you be successful and make you money.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,626 Posts
I would like to cut mowing back to 3 days a week from 4. If pricing goes above 10 percent this year, people won't have a hard time finding someone cheaper. Snowplowing next year looking at bigger reductions in customers, Most all plowing customers will need to be mowing customers for me to continue service. My customer base is moving towards all customers are vacation property owners here with properties vacant most of the time. A niche end to the customer spectrum here butyou have to follow the money.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
15,880 Posts
I have found if a lawn service doesnt pick up the phone, a lot of times the potential customer just moves on to the next one in line to call. I still have a landline and it forwards to my cell phone so even if Im working I can answer the phone. I did it this way so mu customers dont have my cell number but I still get their calls. I can also then block any spam calls.


Not sure why you're being grumpy towards them, but those guys are there to help you be successful and make you money.
I hired a call service awile back. All calls get answered now.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,737 Posts
Goals for 2023 - Looking for 50% growth

  • Build a fert apps division - I will do this part until I can hand it off to an employee
  • Increase route density!!!
  • Implement P4P
  • Continue to improve the customer experience
  • Get quotes out faster
  • Refine systems and procedures - Mostly the process of doing quotes
  • Fine tune automations - In place but needs some tweaking
  • Monitor close ratio
  • Develop a maketing plan - new this year
  • Attend the equip expo
  • Totally out of the field by the end of the year


Lets go!
Although apps are very profitable there is quite a bit of extra work that make it quite a headache. Ex: in Ct you first have to make sure no neighbors are on the list to be notified of chemical apps & if so email them / app apps must be reported to the state / picking up and / or storing pallets of chemicals & to do it by the book there are obviously a lot of safety procedures / changing in and out of ppe sometimes full body suits / loading the truck full of 50lb bags and then getting a faceful of dust every time you fill the spreader. Just pointing out some downsides if you haven’t done apps before : it’s pretty dam annoying. Ntm the skepticism from customers about chemicals it can become a real headache
 

· Registered
Joined
·
15,880 Posts
Although apps are very profitable there is quite a bit of extra work that make it quite a headache. Ex: in Ct you first have to make sure no neighbors are on the list to be notified of chemical apps & if so email them / app apps must be reported to the state / picking up and / or storing pallets of chemicals & to do it by the book there are obviously a lot of safety procedures / changing in and out of ppe sometimes full body suits / loading the truck full of 50lb bags and then getting a faceful of dust every time you fill the spreader. Just pointing out some downsides if you haven’t done apps before : it’s pretty dam annoying. Ntm the skepticism from customers about chemicals it can become a real headache
I'm licensed and have all the equipment. I tried to get this going a few years ago but was having employee issues. I'm in a better spot now.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
Are you offloading the accounts to your local competition? How many are there?
I only had a handful of them last season and I have given them to friends that do commercial lawncare.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Brucey

· Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
I’m hoping to go from ~15 accounts last year to 40+ this year.

What was your strategy for getting that many accounts in one season?
Honestly, I couldn't exactly tell you. I'd say luck, but I don't believe in that. I believe that luck is a combination of preparation and opportunity.

The market I'm in has a lot of busy people that commute to work and is a mid to higher income levels. Having a professional service is something that attracts business, so I prioritized that by investing in a CRM, building a website, branding and quality equipment. I also know that many contractors (of all types) in my area do crappy work, don't communicate well and are not reliable (won't show up, etc.). I always hated dealing with people like that, so making sure I don't fall into any of those categories has also been a priority.

I did very little marketing outside of a few social media posts. I offered a few new client and referral discounts, but I think less than 10% of my client base came from those promotions. I'd say that close to 20% came from referrals of other clients or friends. The cheapest marketing is word of mouth from happy clients. Keep your best clients happy, and they will bring you more great clients.

Finally, don't charge the going rate, but instead charge a fair amount to cover your costs and make a profit. Gas prices shot up this year and I didn't raise prices for any of my clients. I also didn't price match to see what others in the area were charging. I based my pricing off the time it would take me to complete the work and I strived for efficiency without reducing quality. In a few cases that I've gotten feedback from clients, my pricing was slightly cheaper than my competitors.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,481 Posts
Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Honestly, I couldn't exactly tell you. I'd say luck, but I don't believe in that. I believe that luck is a combination of preparation and opportunity.

The market I'm in has a lot of busy people that commute to work and is a mid to higher income levels. Having a professional service is something that attracts business, so I prioritized that by investing in a CRM, building a website, branding and quality equipment. I also know that many contractors (of all types) in my area do crappy work, don't communicate well and are not reliable (won't show up, etc.). I always hated dealing with people like that, so making sure I don't fall into any of those categories has also been a priority.

I did very little marketing outside of a few social media posts. I offered a few new client and referral discounts, but I think less than 10% of my client base came from those promotions. I'd say that close to 20% came from referrals of other clients or friends. The cheapest marketing is word of mouth from happy clients. Keep your best clients happy, and they will bring you more great clients.

Finally, don't charge the going rate, but instead charge a fair amount to cover your costs and make a profit. Gas prices shot up this year and I didn't raise prices for any of my clients. I also didn't price match to see what others in the area were charging. I based my pricing off the time it would take me to complete the work and I strived for efficiency without reducing quality. In a few cases that I've gotten feedback from clients, my pricing was slightly cheaper than my competitors.

What will you do when your expenses start to go up as you grow, and you are not charging enough?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,170 Posts
I’m hoping to go from ~15 accounts last year to 40+ this year.

What was your strategy for getting that many accounts in one season?
just a comment. That’s not a hard thing to do.

have a good website. Not a cheap one. Pay a professional
spend money on advertising

Answer the phone

Have a smooth system to price work and deliver an estimate. I recommend over the phone on the initial call, but that’s me.

I add hundreds of new accounts each season.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,170 Posts
Honestly, I couldn't exactly tell you. I'd say luck, but I don't believe in that. I believe that luck is a combination of preparation and opportunity.

The market I'm in has a lot of busy people that commute to work and is a mid to higher income levels. Having a professional service is something that attracts business, so I prioritized that by investing in a CRM, building a website, branding and quality equipment. I also know that many contractors (of all types) in my area do crappy work, don't communicate well and are not reliable (won't show up, etc.). I always hated dealing with people like that, so making sure I don't fall into any of those categories has also been a priority.

I did very little marketing outside of a few social media posts. I offered a few new client and referral discounts, but I think less than 10% of my client base came from those promotions. I'd say that close to 20% came from referrals of other clients or friends. The cheapest marketing is word of mouth from happy clients. Keep your best clients happy, and they will bring you more great clients.

Finally, don't charge the going rate, but instead charge a fair amount to cover your costs and make a profit. Gas prices shot up this year and I didn't raise prices for any of my clients. I also didn't price match to see what others in the area were charging. I based my pricing off the time it would take me to complete the work and I strived for efficiency without reducing quality. In a few cases that I've gotten feedback from clients, my pricing was slightly cheaper than my competitors.
I shake my head at the pricing part. The number one reason that people don’t choose to use you, should be because your pricing is high.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,346 Posts
just a comment. That’s not a hard thing to do.

have a good website. Not a cheap one. Pay a professional
spend money on advertising

Answer the phone

Have a smooth system to price work and deliver an estimate. I recommend over the phone on the initial call, but that’s me.

I add hundreds of new accounts each season.
what type of description do you ask, just square footage? Then you do a site visit to confirm?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,170 Posts
what type of description do you ask, just square footage? Then you do a site visit to confirm?
Measure with software. Yes Sq footage. It has risks, but they are relatively small. Maybe a property is undercharged by $3-5 due to complexity…. We eat the cost for 12 weeks, then raise their price. In the mean time… I sold 30 other new accounts at proper pricing levels simply because we picked up the phone abs gave them a price over the phone.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,481 Posts
Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Measure with software. Yes Sq footage. It has risks, but they are relatively small. Maybe a property is undercharged by $3-5 due to complexity…. We eat the cost for 12 weeks, then raise their price. In the mean time… I sold 30 other new accounts at proper pricing levels simply because we picked up the phone abs gave them a price over the phone.
I do the same thing a lot of the time. 90% of the time it works out fine. I can’t waste my time driving by every single house I get a call on for mowing. I’d spend 8 hours a day driving around.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,481 Posts
Discussion Starter · #57 ·
I shake my head at the pricing part. The number one reason that people don’t choose to use you, should be because your pricing is high.
That’s the main reason I get from people.
“Oh that’s 10 dollars more a mow than what I was paying the last guy”
My normal response is “well what happened to him?”
 

· Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
just a comment. That’s not a hard thing to do.

have a good website. Not a cheap one. Pay a professional
spend money on advertising

Answer the phone

Have a smooth system to price work and deliver an estimate. I recommend over the phone on the initial call, but that’s me.

I add hundreds of new accounts each season.
Thanks. I am planning to spend more on advertising, hopefully in more productive channels this year.

I’ve done a bit of quoting using Google Maps last summer. Hoping to take yards I mowed last summer and pin down more accurate prices based on sq footage.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FLC2000

· Registered
Joined
·
1,413 Posts
After 26 years of mowing lawns on weekends as a side hustle, I'm looking to get out. I still enjoy the work very much even though it's been a little harder the last few years as I've gotten older and run into some health issues with age. A 60 plus hour work week at my regular job doesn't help either. However, the biggest problem is cheapskate customers who still think the prices of the 1990s should still be the norm. This past year, I barely made minimum wage. Most of my clients are rich stockbrokers, lawyers etc. who take a lot of joy in watching people make their properties look like gold while they pay nothing for it. One guy, who is a retired bank exec., took $25 off my bill for a fall clean up because he claimed that he picked up a bag of leaves himself. He buys himself $100 000 SUV each year but he has zero money for my services. I'm just really tired of these arrogant and snobby people. True you can find new clients but I find in my area, at least, they're all the same. They don't value lawn care and want it done for the cheapest price and only when the lawn needs cutting. With expenses where they are now, you can't really make a decent amount of money doing that. If I could find someone that would take me on to work on Saturdays, I would take it but it's hard to do as companies want a longer term commitment.
 
41 - 60 of 88 Posts
Top