When mowing season starts to slow down, leaf clean up services can pick up. There is quite a bit of money to be made in the fall that can help you get through the slower winter month, but how do you go about getting customers for such services? Also is there a most profitable way to collect leaves? That is what this one lawn care business owner was curious to know when he wrote us on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
He asked “does anyone have any recommendations on how to obtain customers for fall leaf removal services? I am currently using a lawn care flyer template but I wonder if I should go door to door with them, mail them, or maybe even put an ad in the paper of it?”
A second lawn care business owner shared “I just added a tow behind leaf collector which mulches leaves for this fall to my equipment arsenal. To promote my leaf cleanup services I am doing a few things to get clients.
Currently I have around 200 clients in the database most of which were one time deals, excavation customers, mowing customers or simply properties I previously cleaned up. To them, I am sending an email explaining my fall services which will include images. The graphics and mail merge functionality I use from my database make the email look very personal.
Next is a large ad I will run in two small newspapers in communities I have done work in during September and October. I am also having post cards printed as we speak. As I am out driving around I will simply drop the cards off at local homes or if I see someone out raking I will stop and hand them a card.
My target for this service is the center area of town where leaves are an issue. I am going to start this area by doing leaf collection on a weekend. The reason for this is I know from experience when the neighbors see the leaf collection equipment set up I have, they will want me to service their property as well. I also get a lot of business from drive by traffic.
Speaking of drive by traffic and walk by, a business card and flyer holder on your vehicle, in my experience, is critical. When I am on site, I can get use a large orange street construction type warning signs with velcro strips that allows me to change my message depending on the service. For the fall, I will have the sign say ‘warning leaf clean up ahead’ along with my phone number on it.
I will do other one off jobs on Saturday and Sunday afternoons as I can fit them in. Yesterday I spread gravel on two new driveways using a tractor and box blade then rolled it. The results were amazing! One place was in a perfect spot for major traffic and people were stopping to watch what I was doing. I had 7 service inquiries this morning and I was only at the spot for 2 1/2 hours.
The customers commented to me that I was ‘a Picasso with that tractor.’ The results are truly amazing. Anyhow he wants me to now come back and re-do his lawn. It’s about an acre in size and his attitude is if you do that kind of work on my driveway, I want a lawn to match. I know that due to the location I will pick up a lot more business from it.
A picture is worth a thousand words and people will remember pictures a lot longer than words. I learned this long ago and it has been proven to me time and time again with my logo usage as well as my other marketing material. People tell me on a regular basis they saw my vehicle, and remembered my logo.
I have no competition on power leaf collection and mulching. I know this as I had my assistant call every landscaping company in our area she could find, every one, even the real big companies (20 ++ trucks). She asked them and they all said they do leaf collection with a blower and manual workers. Knowing this, my advantage will be the mulching, time, and price. I will kill them all on price and still make a very big profit. The advantage for me is it’s a one person task. That is a lot less labor and what would normally take days to do manually will take us an hour or two at most.
I figure I can do 12+ locations a day in the city. Outside the city will be less because the lots can be very large. For example I am 15 min outside the city core and have 5 acres, this is not uncommon if you bought and built 15+ years ago. Lots today are 1/2 acre due to land cost but this is a very large market for us.
To attract new customers, get the message out with your marketing material. Do good work that people will stop, look, and talk about. Utilize equipment to give yourself a competitive advantage over others in your area.”
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