Getting the landscape customer involved can get you more work.

How important is it to get customers involved with landscape work when they show signs they are interested in doing so? Plenty important as we will see from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. Once you get the landscape customer involved at the job site, more work tends to come your way. Customers get a chance to be outside and help while they also get to knock off jobs from their yard to do list.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I understand some lawn care business owners do not want their customers involved in anything, personally I do and I promote it. Let me explain to you how I operate.

One day earlier this week we were rained out so I jumped in my car and headed to my newest target market. It’s a private wooded community with two 5 star golf courses, and all built new within the past four years. As I drove around I looked for issues these customers could use help with. At one house I saw a few dead trees that had fallen in the yard and I left a card that says ‘I see you have wood to be chipped.’ Long story short, he wrote me that night and asked for a quote. I responded within 30 minutes of his email and my helper and I met him at 8 am the next morning. I gave him  the quote and he said do it. In fact, he said, I am telling my neighbors about your services as well. He told me I won this job for two reasons. One, the equipment pictures on my website are amazing and he knew that someone with this kind of equipment would be able to perform such a wood chipping job. He said there are 11 neighbors on his private road and they all need wood chipping. Then he wanted to know if he could help us as well? I said by all means! We encourage the owners to help.

The second reason I won the job he said was because I wrote back so soon. Most companies take days to respond if they ever do!

Over the course of three days at this job site,  5 owners called and said while you are here can you chip us also? I sent three of our biggest chippers. Five home owners helped and guess what, while they helped, each showed us what they would like done. I took notes on what they wanted, starting with improving their road. It seems the developer put 12” culverts for drainage that could handle small streams but when it rains in the area, the road tends to get flooded out. Those culverts should have been made 20” to handle the heavy rain water. He also used the wrong type of rock, in short it’s a mess.

I let my workers work with the owners while I wrote a four part quote in the truck and printed 11 copies for the road repair. I gave five out to the immediate neighbors and the other 6 to the fellow who is the local home owner’s association president. The bid included a four step road repair process and will be around $50,000 for what they wanted. All 5 agreed they wanted me to start ASAP however they have to have a meeting to approve the expense and said they will do so the first part of this week. They were shocked we were set up do print a proposal so fast.

With all the positive responses I got, I was a pretty happy camper. While talking with the different neighbors, they said they had hired chipping crews in the past and some were bigger than us but not one held a candle to our friendliness, equipment or staff. I the best employees I have to make a good impression and went there myself to mainly build the relationships. Luckily my plan worked and worked well! I want into this area, there is big money to be made here.

If there are lessons to be learned from this for the newer and smaller lawn care business owners, it’s this. Talk with your customers and let them be a part of the process. This is hard work, and I don’t expect any of them to last long. I know they are thinking they will save money helping but as soon as they find themselves working beside one of my trained guys for two hours they will be ready for a nap. In the end though they still feel they are helping and feel involved. As long as they wear safety gear, with the watchful eye of my crew, they can even feed the machines! My staff will give them a 5 minute crash course into wood chipping to let them experiment with it. If this is too much for them, they may simply lug the wood from the woods to the operator feeding the chipper. It doesn’t really matter to me.

I tell the home owner right from the start, you are more than welcome to help however it has no bearing on the rate to do this job, these jobs are bid by the hour. We have probably had 30 clients help us feed chippers this past summer, not one has lasted more than half a day. Some only last two hours. Some see how fast we are going, and decide to grab a chainsaw they own and start cutting more trees down that are dead or whatever.

From my experience, the more I allow the customers to get involved, the more I make at the job sites because the homeowner keeps finding more projects they want completed.”

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Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
How To Get Lawn Care Customers Vol. 2
The landscaping and lawn care business plan startup guide
A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
Stop Lowballing! A Lawn Care Business Owner\'s Guide To Success