It is great to learn from those who are out there running successful lawn care businesses and hearing what makes them run so smoothly. A lot of variables are involved in achieving longevity in the lawn care industry. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we will learn a lot of simple but powerful tips that can help turn your lawn care business into a powerhouse.
One lawn care business owner wrote us and shared “after working for other lawn care companies for a few years, I decided to start my own. Within the first year I was able to grow my company from zero to 28 lawn care accounts and so far I am happy to say things are going well. I am currently driving very hard to build the company even more.
When the second year rolled around, I found myself yet again doing very well. By the end of the season I found myself with about 70 lawn care accounts and still growing. The secret I have found to steady stable growth is to stay involved with the day to day operations and utilize part time help when needed.
I have been using some part time help this season, and next season I plan on hiring my first full time employee. After I get an employee in place I plan on supercharging my marketing campaign. I have also been spending quite a bit of time, as the season slows down, working online with search engine optimization and updating my website.
The way my schedule works right now, I have a full week of lawn cutting that I can handle myself in about 40-50 hours, if I don’t get any foul weather. An employee can knock that down to 20-30 hours. Performing the jobs faster opens the door to me being able to accept more lawn care accounts and more side work.
An important key to growing successfully is growing slow over time. When you grow this way, you don’t have to worry about all the pitfalls that come when you scale up too quickly. I’ve seen a lot of lawn care business owners fail from going too big too soon. Another secret I have learned is to target wealthier clients. These lawn care customers are more willing to pay for better service and less likely to cancel in a down economy.
For now I am staying very active in the mowing process. Customer satisfaction is one of the most important keys to success. If you’re not there on site every day, you are less able to make sure things are being done to your standards. Customer satisfaction will get you repeat and referral business which is another important key for growth.
My part time employee and I work from 7 or 8am depending on the day, until we finish. That could be anywhere from 11am - 4pm depending on the jobs we have to do, the weather and how busy the schedule is that day.
My Wednesday route is 7a-5p by myself in the summer but with a helper I’m done by 1 at the latest. These jobs are all at one big neighborhood and because of my marketing to neighbor’s of current customers, I can park the truck once and go to work all day. Doing this cuts down on my expenses and you would be amazed how much money is eaten up driving from job to job, especially when you have an employee.
The rest of the week I have a typical lawn route that takes me all over, but I am working on trying to consolidate how far I have to drive on those days to by tightening my route with more new customers in one area.”
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