Does appearance matter when you pull up in front of a new potential lawn care customer’s house to give an estimate? Do you need to show up with a brand new truck or can you show up in an old beat up one? Does the customer mind either way? What about the way your lawn care equipment looks? Does this matter at all? That is what one lawn care business owner wondered when he brought this topic up for discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
He wrote “here is my situation. My personal appearance is very professional. I have 2 vehicles I can use for my lawn care business. I have my SUV and my car. The SUV looks nice but is very very expensive to use getting all of about 6MPG. The car gets great gas mileage but it’s old and has 3 different colors. A few years back I put a very loud obnoxious exhaust system on it and it’s still on there.
The other day it cost me $10 in gas to drive to a lawn estimate as a opposed to the car which would have cost me about $2 in gas. Even though the car is ugly, I wonder should I use it instead of the SUV because it would give me a higher per job return or should I use the SUV because it looks nicer and just deal with the high expense of using it?
My personal opinion is it should not matter. My work is good. I know it and the customers see it, so better for me to keep the bottom line as low as possible. Also all gas and MPG aside, the SUV is just more expensive all around to operate. It cost more to maintain and more frequently, parts need replacement. The tires, air filters, and plugs are more expensive and so forth.
But in the end, if I am turning away customers because I am pulling up in a loud, beat up car, I will have to change the way I operate because I don’t want to lose money. What should I do?”
A second lawn care business owner said “after 30 years in the lawn care professional field I discovered I could tell a lot about someone by how they cared for their equipment and their appearance. As they could tell about me.
Often this is mistaken for ‘image’ i.e. sharp looking clothes, new(er) model car, etc. But instead I found it was how they took care of what they had. Anyone with money can buy a new car, a new suit, new shoes, etc. But it takes effort to keep it clean, inside and out. It takes efforts to keep your appearance neat, not just clean. I have often found myself talking to a new lawn care customer near my truck and catch them looking inside to see how clean I kept things.
Customers feel if a lawn care business owner takes the effort to clean the inside of their truck and keep it organized, regardless of the age of the vehicle, they would generally take the same care/pride in their work.
On the flip side, when I am wearing the hat of the home owner myself and use another service industry professional for work at my house, I do not look for the company with the newest trucks, and the ‘latest and greatest’ in equipment. I know that the newer the equipment is, the higher the overhead will be and the higher the price given to me will be. But I do look for the same ‘neat and organized’ theme.
I think it’s important for every lawn care business owner to use this approach in the way they project their image. My trailer, while small, is always clean and neatly organized every time I move it. I don’t just throw the equipment in and go. It takes a few more minutes to keep things neat, but it demonstrates I care about my equipment, and if I care about mine, I will also care about your property.”
Order the bookÂ 90% Of Lawn Care Businesses Fail In Their First Year. Learn How To Survive With These Tips! today.
Use these lawn care and snow plow estimators for your Android phone.