Saturday

How To Get New Lawn Care Business Customers From Scratch

We received the following lawn care business question this week and it's one we've been getting a lot of lately so we want to post our thoughts and share them with others.

1. Would you share with me a few of the most effective ways to get some lawn care customers and contracts? I'm just starting out, got my truck and equipment ready to work, just picked up my business license last week and it seems like getting that first customer is the hardest thing to do. I made some flyers and distributed it out at some public places, school teachers lounge, employee lounge and a few other places. No bites and I'm going on two weeks. Is this normal? What's the average wait time before a lawn business lands its first customer? I'm trying different marketing approaches one at a time, and allowing time in between each one to measure and see which ones actually work. So far nothing is working.

ANSWER:

First of all congratulations on taking the step towards starting and running a lawn care business. Believe it or not, most people won't even take this first step because they are too afraid.

Right off the bat make a quality decision that you are going to do this no matter what. The reason is because starting out and getting momentum in your business can be challenging and you need to have persistence. The main reason is because you have to get those first few customers and you don't have any experience under your belt in doing that so unless you make a quality decision, it's too easy to get discouraged. Sometimes customers can come quick, sometimes it can take some time but only the persistent lawn care business owner wins.

Put the law of averages to work for you. This means that it could take 1 out of 100 or 1 out of 250 flyers or more before you get a quote. Just keep taking action. Just keep handing out your flyers and any other advertisements you have on a consistent basis. Doing it once or twice won't cut it.

You see imagine a pizza coupon. Most people get them once a week and how many times do you throw them out or just skim over them? But when they come on a regular basis, week after week, eventually there does come a day when the flyer comes and you want pizza so you call.

Your customers are the same way. It may take several exposures to your ad before they realize they need to call you . That's what a lot of lawn care business owners don't know. Your advertising needs to be consistently going out.

The 3 areas important for your marketing are: MESSAGE, MARKET, MEDIA. This means your ad has to be arranged and setup properly. You have to be advertising to the right market. And the last one means you have to be using the right form of media.

The good news is that it sounds like you have several marketing weapons working. What you need to do is have them all working at once. That is where you want to be. You want to be taking action on several fronts at the same time because sooner or later (as long as your ads are compelling, you shooting at the right market and using the right media to market), you will get phone calls.

We constantly recommend that you educate yourself about marketing. It doesn't mean you have to spend money. You can pick these books up from your local library for free, but just start to read about how marketing works. It's quite fascinating and in this game, the more you know, the better you become at making winning ads and beating your competitors.

We haven't seen your flyers or other advertisements but it's important that your ads have the following arrangement (our book recommendations at the end of this post will give you similar advice).

  • ATTENTION ---> HEADLINE
  • INTEREST
  • DESIRE
  • ACTION

There are a few schools of thought on this but the above layout in the ad is important. So a quick example of this would be...

--------------------------------
Do You Want The Best
Lawn On The Block?
Finally, come home to a fresh,
green lawn, cut and trimmed for you
ALL SUMMER LONG!
__________________________
$20 LAWN BUCKS
Valid on your next order over $100.
__________________________
Call or email us today for a
FREE ESTIMATE
555-1234
NoNameMowing.com
Hurry Offer Ends March 20xx!
--------------------------------


Your ads need to give people a reason for calling. They have to persuade and stir a reader to take action. Always have a great offer with a deadline and impel them to contact you. Yes, keep track of your responses. Ask people who called, why they called. Even ask those who didn't call why they ignored the call to action. Get your trusted family and friends to look over your ads and see if they find them compelling.


2. What are your thoughts on buying an existing lawn care business? My problem with this is not having the upfront cash to purchase the business. Is this an idea worth looking at?

Buying a lawn care business is another way to get customers. Most businesses don't sell so anyone selling a lawn care business may be persuaded to be flexible.

This means that what we have seen is that a seller may be willing to allow you the purchaser to make monthly payments over a period of time for the business. Not having to have the cash upfront may be the winning ticket. They might also be willing to help you with the transistion of ownership, working alongside you for a period of time.

The HUGE red flag with buying a lawn care business is that you need to be very cautious. Why are they selling? Are the customers on contract? Does the sale include equipment? What shape is the equipment in?

Doing your due diligence is VITAL. It's an absolute. Visit NOLO.com for information on buying a business.


MARKETING BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

9 Lies That Are Holding Your Business Back

How To Make Your Advertising Make Money

Advertising Secrets Of The Written Word

No BS Sales Success



Well we hope this helps!

The Staff
www.howtostartyourlawncarebusiness.com

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1 Comments:

Anonymous LT Lawn & Landscaping said...

Wicked post dude.

March 16, 2008  

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