A little investigation on your part can really go a long way when it comes to finding a way to make your lawn care business stand out from others. By asking friends and neighbors about their lawn care service provider, you can learn a lot about what they like and don’t like in the service they receive. As we will see from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, giving the customer what they want will get you a lot more profitable jobs.
One lawn care business owner wrote “before I got my lawn care business started, I had a career in another line of work, not to different from lawn care, where the business was 75% customer care and the rest was the specific service. I had worked as a landscaper in the past, when I was younger, but never for myself. So to start, I got some equpment and a cheap trailer from an internet classified ad and started getting the word out by making flyers. Then I would wake up early to drive around my ‘geographic target’ areas that have the best chance for someone to look at the flyer and actually go to my website, or dial my phone number.
To find out how I could compete with all these other lawn care businesses in my area, I did a little research. I started by talking to my neighbors and friends who have a landscaper and listened to what they had to say about the level of service they were receiving. The common responses I received was that almost all landscapers start to do the job just like they say they would, but as time goes by, the customer sees that this no longer is the case. One of the big reasons why I feel this happens is because they bid the jobs too low in hopes of landing it. By competing on price, they minimize or remove all hope of actually making a profit on the job. As time goes on, they realize they aren’t going to be making any money or very little money on these low bid jobs so they try to hustle through as many of their low bid jobs as possible in order to pack in as many jobs as they can in one day. The faster they go through the job, the lower the quality service they give.
I also see that many landscapers have the know how to work but business is not what they relate to. They don’t know how to interact with their customers or how to actually run a business. So with this in mind and a lot more hard work, it gives me a road map to a competitive advantage.
After I mow I utilize a house-specific check list to review all my work before I leave a property and compare my results to the quarterly customer surveys I give out. Looking over the yard I just mowed might not be the best way to spend my time, in some people’s view, but I feel it is very important to provide a higher level of quality that makes me stand out. It’s important for me to make sure I didn’t miss anything and to keep my customers smiling.
Other lessons that I’ve learned:
- Time spent on a property walk through during an estimate is seldom wasted … Visit each site BEFORE committing. You don’t want to bid a job over the phone, only to pull up on scene to find a 60 degree grass slope! …
- Don’t feel obligated to take EVERY job. You can turn down unprofitable work…
- Cover your butt. The camera on my cell phone has been a Godsend. I walk each jobsite, and ensure I get before and after pictures. It takes just a few moments to snap some pictures and people are less likely to try and pin that broken lattice on you when you can email them timestamped pictures.
So if you are trying to find a way to stand out in your area with your lawn care business, do a little investigation work first. Ask friends, family, and neighbors about their yards and the level of service they receive from their lawn care service providers. Use the information you receive to find ways you can improve upon and stand out from others. Lastly, know your costs and bid jobs so you can make a profit on them.”