Lawn Business Help: What Do You Do When You're The New Kid On The Block?
I live in a small town in central Texas @ 5,000 in population. I am a "new kid on the block" with a 4 mos full time lawn mowing experience for an expensive boarding school campus while residing in Wisconsin last year... I have noticed 3 active lawn mowing guys as my competition, the season is here, grass is starting to get really green, I only started to read the formula and there's so much to learn with little time. Not even half way into getting all the red tape cleared, (actually don't need a permit to mow in my county [of Coleman; no zoning ordinances on paper either]). I have the money for a trailer, push mower, blower, and trimmer, My target is towards senior citizens... I have absolutely no marketing experience nor any 'sales-manship' nature in me, I have created an ad flier and that's all I've got. Time and spring is not waitin' around, what can you tell me, in order to be able to still get ahead and have a profitable start.
Well there is no magic potion or quick riches with lawn care. We wish we could give everyone success in a bottle but that just isn't possible because it always come down to individual lawn business owner.
What we can do is offer your some ideas that you can digest and decide if it's what you need to do.
Daniel started when he was 12 -- no marketing experience, no sales experience, nothing but the mower from his parents garage. Look at where he is at now.
If I was in your shoes I would be planning on saturating your market with weekly advertising. Being consistent is what counts. Dropping off flyers once a month or once a season will not cut it.
Look over this blog for some ideas on the bare essentials of an advertisement as well as some good advertising resources like books (of course continue to pull ideas from the course).
I would mow when I have to and hand out flyers when I am not mowing. Hopefully the amount of time I have to hand out flyers drops as new business comes my way. Or I would work at a part time job when I am not mowing, until enough new business comes in that I can work at
I would also suggest marketing your lawn business with as many forms of media as you can afford. If it's all about cheap or free advertising because that is all your budget can handle then you may want to look into:
Free local classified papers online / offline
Bulletin Boards in Grocery Stores / Retail Stores/ Malls
And always educate yourself about lawn business marketing. It doesnt matter that you dont know anything right now, but you have to learn or you will be eaten alive by any of your competitors that do know about marketing.
Whats it going to cost you to learn? $20 or $30 for that first book. Take action on the tips you learn from The Formula. Try to have as many things going as you can so that if one, two, or three ideas bomb, just one other may take off and bring in the business you need.
Also, advertise to any customers you already have. It's easier to sell to them than to find new customers.
Be persistent and don't give up. If you must, mow part time until the business justifies your full time attention. No point in going belly up when you can start safely.
You don't need a ton of customers to make a lot of money. You just need to profitably mow 10, 20, 50, 100+ and what you make just increases. Grow your list with care. Look after the customers who do say "yes" to you so they keep coming back each year.
Think about simply doubling your business each year. 10 customers this season, 20 the next, 40 the following, and 80 after that. Maybe you go to 160 for the next year and so on. How much could you make with 160 customers?
Be patient and never stop learning how you can become better at every aspect of running a lawn care business. Then take ACTION on what you learn over and over again.
The road to failure is paved with good intentions. In other words, people intend to advertise each week, but they don't. They intend to sell to their existing customers, but they dont. They intend on doubling their lawn business, but they don't do anything about it. Whatever you do, do something.
Do your due dilgence with the advice given to you above.
Hope this helps!