What types of clients starting out?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by RVA-Outdoor Services, Dec 25, 2019.

  1. RVA-Outdoor Services

    RVA-Outdoor Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Hi, so I kind of dipped into the lawn care game back in September towards the end of the season. I have business experience as I previously ran a moving business. However, even being 27 it was way to physical for someone as skinny as me. I also hated the non recurring aspect of clients since people move on average every 5 years. Anyhow I have a question is it better starting out to take EVERY client that comes my way and then once I reach capacity start to be selective or start out being selective only taking the high end customers that may take longer to grow but more worthwhile? In moving I initially took everything thinking I was making a ton of money but I really wasn’t since I was working so many hours for cheap. Then I started only going after wealthy folks and found myself working half as much for twice as much. For those of you that have tried both strategies which did you prefer? Lots of volume to get out of the field faster or be more selective and have a more hands on approach? I currently have a 21” Honda I just bought yesterday, 30 Timemaster, 6x12 dump trailer(left from previous business doing junk removal jobs), Lesco leaf loader, 150bt blower, 128ld trimmer, and a Barreto 30SG stump grinder which I run as an add on service. I also have 2 or 3 guys more than willing to help me whenever needed from my last business as they enjoyed working with me as I don’t believe in paying pennies. Next on the equipment list is a walk Behind or stander 36 or 48 and then I think I’m good for my first full season.
     
  2. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 16,474

    Lots of ways to go with this and all of them have advantages and drawbacks. Starting out, depending on your needs, it makes sense to take what one can get just to generate some $. Once established replacing difficult/unprofitable clients is what most of us do. Best wishes.
     
    1620cwj, Mark Stark and Cam15 like this.
  3. No gloves

    No gloves LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 340

    Do whatever comes your way.you may discover you like doing smaller "middle class"lawns or bigger estate"rich" property. just used the quotations to reference your question and train of thought.but you may find you prefer one over the other. I remember my father in law felt bad for me and hired a moving company to move my big stuff because of back problems.those guys busy butt and it's physical work.can you explain how you worked less for the wealthy and made more money?
     
    hort101 and Cam15 like this.
  4. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,420

    Good customers are not overrated. Good rich customers are even better.
     
    Cam15 and RVA-Outdoor Services like this.
  5. OP
    OP
    RVA-Outdoor Services

    RVA-Outdoor Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I was able to get considerably higher rates from those specialty type of moves. So instead of the $75/hr per 4 man crew I started the business with I eventually topped out around $130/hr per 4 man crew so with that added money in my pocket I could work less. I realized after the first year my time and my physical well being we’re worth more to me.
     
    Cxb5nm8 likes this.
  6. OP
    OP
    RVA-Outdoor Services

    RVA-Outdoor Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Yeah I had one very wealthy guy I did a lot of business with moving things between his 6 houses up and down the east coast. I learned a lot in dealing with him. I once tried to give him a discount and he looked at me and asked why? I said because you send me a lot of work. He then asked if I had done a lesser quality job or worked less hours on the job I was currently billing him for and I was like no? He was like okay then charge me the regular price unless you’re in the business of working for free. Then he said something that stuck with me. “If you give everyone a break YOU only end up with broken stuff you can’t afford to replace or just broke”
     
  7. No gloves

    No gloves LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 340

    got it. yea glad you learned your lesson before you destroyed your body
     
    hort101, rclawn, Cam15 and 1 other person like this.
  8. smallyardman

    smallyardman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 84

    take all you can handle at first. get word of mouth advertising. then can be selective and take big money jobs
     
    Cam15 likes this.
  9. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 7,064

    The question is what type of client do you want to work for. Do you want high volume mow and blows or full service property care? Commercial or residential?

    Are you trying to jump head first and have to eat off this. Well take everything hunger is good motivation.
     
    Cam15 likes this.
  10. rclawn

    rclawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,088

    If you don’t make the first mistake most new guys do (bidding cheap to get the work) you are already 1 step ahead
     

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