Harnessing the ‘old lady network’ to grow your lawn care business.

We say it often here that people buy from people they know. So if you want to sell more, whether it be cars, soup, or lawn care services, you need to go out and meet people. In this great example from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one entrepreneur who’s mother created enough buzz for him that he has been in business for over 20 years! Think about that next time you are having a hard time trying to find new customers.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I have been mowing lawns, offering leaf pick-ups, and snow removal for about 22 years now. The last 4 years have been full time. I have about 40 lawns and 20 snow jobs. That’s enough for me. It keeps food on the table and me warm in the winter. I have simple needs.

The transition from part time to full time evolved over years. My first customer started out being my mom. Then a couple of her neighbors signed up with me. When they saw the quality and personal touch of my work, I was put on the ‘old lady network.’ That is what I call it when my mom and her friends get together and talk about me at card clubs, church groups, and over morning coffee. It only just took a few of them and the phone began to ring and is still ringing to this day for new jobs.

For 20 years I limited my total amount of customers to around 15 lawns, 8-10 snow jobs, so at not to interfere with my full time night job. At the time I was a restaurant cook.

Four years ago I was at the point in my life where I was totally unhappy in the restaurant business. So I quit and stopped turning down new clients. For me, 40 customers seems to make a comfortable living. So that’s where I stay. As for lawn care equipment I use consumer grade. I know, I know, I probably shouldn’t for a long list of reasons, but I feel my customer base would be turned off by a large commercial rig and I would lose that personal feeling with them. Maybe I’m wrong. But I have been doing this for two decades and am still going strong.

So far I’ve been able to keep every thing running as I do my own repair and maintenance. I may not be the typical lawn-care business business owner, as I’m happy with 40 lawns and most likely won’t grow any bigger. That being said, I never bought any piece of equipment without having the cash to do it. I also have one years income saved away in the bank. I’m very conservative with my business operations and it has served me well.”

Order the book “The Lawn Care Business Can Get Dirty, Ugly, And Mean.: Stories Of Survival And Success To Get You Through The Rough Times” today.

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