When you are trying to get your lawn care business to grow, think of these 5 simple steps you can easily follow. Join this discussion at the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
Charles wrote “I currently have a lawn mowing only operation, and it’s worked out very well for me. My travel time is very low and the routes are tight, with a two man crew averaging about 25-28 lawns per day. This works great in my area, however if I tried this where I grew up in in another state, I wouldn’t have a chance. It definitely depends on the market you’re in, as well as what rules you set forth to the customer.
I’ve had absolutely no complaints this year, and most people are on credit card billing. I attribute this to “choosing my customers” rather than them choosing me.
My lawn care business is only mow and go and has been for two years now. I only use postcard advertising hand delivered door to door to gain my customers. We run 21″ toro prolines, no trailers, two trimmers and 1 blower. Basically everything is paid for, and with 22 lawns or more per day it’s going well. My next step is getting out of the truck and starting another crew. I have learned a great deal from my first year doing this, mostly:
Keep it simple! I decided to narrow my business down and focus on the 5 main things that I needed to focus on and the rest would take care of itself. If you focus on the most important 20% of your business, you will succeed.
The 5 for me were extremely simple:
1) Find a cost effective way to distribute postcards. I always without fail generate 1.2 - 1.8 % landed job rate from my cards. So basically it’s a sure bet if 5,000 go out, I’ll always get 60 customers or more. How do I distribute the postcards? I’m considering a direct mail route next year, but I do like the door to door as they at least have to hold it in their hand for 20 seconds on the way to the trash.
2) Do quality work! Sounds like a no brainer, but in fact my major competition now here in the has a huge turn-over of customers from year to year. Although my business method involves somewhat of a revolving door scenerio, retention is a key priority now for me. This DOES NOT mean I stray from my guidelines of service however. It’s about a win-win situation with your customer.
3) Strive for automation. I’ve had almost 80% of new customers sign up online without ever talking to them. There’s nothing better than coming home to 15 e-mails of people signing up for service with their credit card ready to go.
4) Answer phones and return emails promptly! While missing calls can possibly cost you a job, make sure your voice mail directs them to #3, your website to sign up. Always leave them with YOU in mind. I currently do not have a phone person, although it’s coming up on that very soon. However, with the proper voice mail greeting you can have people signing up anyway. (Provided you convince them with your website)
5) Maintain the equipment. Again, a no brainer, but honestly I was running low on things to make my biz successful while putting it together over the winter so this came to mind for the #5 slot. There’s nothing worse than trying to start a trimmer on lawn #15 and it not starting with 8 more to go.
I should also say that I pay my help extremely well also, and I only work with people I respect and admire. I am not doing this soley for income, but for personal satisfaction and achievement as well. Therefore, although I do watch P & L and numbers carefully, I would much rather create a successful work environment for everyone in which we all can grow. This has always paid off for me in the long run, as it’s universal law and cannot fail.”
Great advice we all should consider!