Things can be tough when you first get your lawn care business started because you haven’t tapped into your social network yet. You may not even know at the time, the power of utilizing your social network to promote your business. As you become more aware of what your social network can do for your business growth, you harness it more and more. Here is a great example from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum of what you can gain when you successfully tap into your network and put the word out about your business.
One lawn care business owner wrote “I just got an additional 26 lawn care accounts from one phone call. I have a friend whose landlord was looking for someone to mulch up some leaves on the property for him. So after hearing this, I give the landlord a call. After visiting with him for a while and making my sales pitch about how I’m licensed and insured, he decides to give me a shot. I show up and mulch up all his leaves from last fall, and recommend a fertilizer and grass seed program to help make the property look nicer and he starts asking questions. I tell him he can make the property look nice without spending a ton of money and offer my services. He accepts.
Later this evening he calls me up and wants me to bid on mowing 26 more of his properties because his previous lawn care guy was charging him for mowing, but wasn’t showing up. The next day I go take a look at the properties and about 2 hours later I call him back with the estimates. The properties are larger old homes that have been converted into apartments for the college kids and have fairly small yards which meant it would be mostly trim work. I shoot him an offer and he tells me I have the job.
I have to admit, I didn’t see that one coming. I didn’t over bid, but I made sure to make it worth my trouble considering that parking around these locations will be a real pain in the butt. After doing some figuring, I will make over $12,000 this season off him alone. That’s just one of the 56 accounts I have going so far, this is up from 20 lawn care accounts last year. I guess I’m gonna have to break down and hire some help this year.
At the time this happened, I hadn’t thought of offering any referral incentives to anyone, it never crossed my mind. However after my friend gave me the tip that this guy might be looking for someone to take care of him and that he may possibly have 26 properties, I told him if I got the jobs, I’d mow his lawn for free this year and I’d take care of his mole issues for free too. I have a feeling that probably is why I got the excellent recommendation from him. I’m actually not out anything as I was only charging him the friend price of $10 last year for his little bitty lawn.
Sometimes, we forget that the things we offer and don’t think anything about, mean a TON to someone else. I always make it a point to offer something free to my customers every once in a while to make them feel special. Usually it’s removing a low hanging limb, taking their mail to them from the mailbox, picking up their newspaper and handing it to them at the door when I first show up. Just treating them like a neighbor is so important and not simply as the checkbook that pays me every week. You’d be surprised at what took you an extra 30 seconds to do, can affect your future business! We all have that extra 30 seconds, I don’t care who you are.”
A second shared “every company that I have ever owned or managed has at one point or another gotten to where all of a sudden things come easy. Where business comes to you rather than you trying to find it. The reason for this is networking.
I can’t preach networking enough. Every one of our clients has a network and if we are doing good work we shouldn’t be afraid to to ask if they have friends, family etc. that could use our services. In my case, we seem to have hit that point where lawn care and landscaping work is coming in hand over fist and our clients are telling their friends and neighbors about us on their own.
When we get our lawn care business started, it seems we all fight to get to a certain point and sometimes we almost starve getting there but if we stay positive and work those contacts, business will grow. Those contacts you make are your strongest tool in your business development tool box.
Tell your lawn care customers you appreciate their referrals. Then do a little something that shows you appreciate them. Doing this creates a very strong relationship. It makes both of you feel good and that encourages them to tell more people about you. This has been my experience for over 25 years and I use it to it’s fullest in the lawn care/yard care business and it works.”
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