why isn't the plan working?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by BltFordTuf, May 29, 2007.

  1. hi everyone

    my names doug, im 17 and from a small town in north jersey. Probably 4 years ago i started doing yardwork for people...anything from weeds, to cutting grass and blowing leaves. Winter was always my biggest time of year due to snow and the people who don't want to shovel it.

    The last couple years i have had enough accounts (like 4) to pull me through the weeks. This year i have my license, an f-150, and a walk-behind mower (not many big yards around here to do).

    For some reason, i send out flyers and no one calls. When they do i tell them a price and never hear from them again, then another group is doing it a few days later. Any tips on ways to get more customers?

    One customer actually forgot to tell me that they werent using me this year, and after the first cut told me they wouldnt be paying me because they cancelled (i got the voicemail later that day once it was cut)

  2. Pitbull05

    Pitbull05 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    Different types of advertisment work better in different areas. Nobody can answer why. The best adverstisment you will have is word of mouth, so make sure you do the best you can on the jobs that you have . Are your prices in line with your competiton? DO NOT lowball, but make sure you are competative and act professional. You are still young, so stick with it and you will do fine.
  3. thanks pitbull...my prices are about that of the other companies. My trouble is that since I'm a kid, a lot of people think im gonna do a crappy job. I have like 6 jobs a week right now, but I need more. I might actually go work for one of the companies that my friends cousin owns and do some on the side too.
  4. Darrin A.

    Darrin A. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Take some pictures of the jobs you do and start a photo album. Show the pictures to your prospective clients when you do an estimate. They will then see your work. Also, ask your current customers if you can give their address so people can drive by if they want to.
    Working for someone else for a while to get more experience is not a bad idea either.
  5. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    Just my take. A 17 year old... mower in back of truck (non commercial???) no license no insurance and charging the same as a reputable contractor with more experience its gonna be a no brainer decision UNLESS I have a reason.

    I really do suggest going to work for someone else until you gain more experience and making sure its ok with your employer to do some on the side.

    Why dont you post up your flyer so we can see if there is any errors in it
  6. proscapes. I figure into the cost the fact that im not a professional. Normally i am lower than what a company would do. I do want to become fully licensed and all that, but i have to see where i am going to college first to decide if i will have the time to be around. The guy i might work for is fine with that. He has had two guys this year leave him to run full time jobs and are doing fairly well. He is more into the landscape aspect now than mowing and has given them jobs that he can't do any more

    I'll work on getting a flyer up.

  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    I don't know about you, but I had it all figured out at least 30+ years ago, the perfect plan.
    I went over it many times, and by my meakest calculations I should've been a millionaire more than a few times over, and years ago. I figured, absolute worst case scenario, one lousy million by the time I was 34, 36 at the absolute latest, assuming nuclear war and the world crashing around me.
    But, no.
    Not even close, I don't know what happened. :confused:

    I went over the plan time and again, I tried many more times, 5 and 10 years later still no million...
    20 years later, I knew the drill.

    Part of the problem, I did figure out, is money eats little tiny holes in my pockets, and it slips away unnoticed.
    That's the closest I ever came to a solution, but I never could find the holes, I would've patched them for sure.
    Of course, I looked.
    And I wondered, where does it go, where did it all go? :confused:
    Who knows?

    I have no clue why that is so or why it doesn't work, it's just the way it is, I guess.
  8. firefightergw

    firefightergw LawnSite Gold Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 3,340

    I do mowing estimates on the phone all the time. However, because of the response you are getting, I wouldn't do them at all. Instead, I would make a point to nail an appointment with every call you get. You need to turn a perceived weakness (your age) into a strength. Show up for the appointment (to give an estimate) dressed nice. Don't try to hide your age. BRING IT UP. Tell the customer that you have loved landscaping for as long as you can remember and that you are using the money that you are making, doing lawns, to send yourself to college and your major will be Horticulture. Tell them it is difficult because many of your friends want you to go do things with them but that your goal is very important to you and that you are confident that the sacrifice will pay off. Tell them your goal is to make their lawn the best looking one on the street and when you get out of college this is what you want to do for a living. I bet you will close almost all of them.

    But only if this is true.:laugh:
  9. ffgw
    i do let them know out front that i am a kid. Many of them like that and feel it is good to see a kid out working for his money instead of getting it handed to him from his parents.

    Also, my friends are used to me not going out or whatever because im working or dead from working.

    The other day i was working on a mulch/weed removal/reseeding the front yard after pseg screwed it up and a guy up the street stopped by. He just put in a new pool, a bunch of retaining walls, and is in the process of putting stone down. In july/august, he is having me come up and put in the plants/mulch/ reseed the grass, and then take care of it. That should be a nice big job.

  10. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    Yes, "Money Holes", know all about them. they are sneeky. this is actually a issue that can be overcome. once you get past this issue their is less stress.

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