I started my lawn care business, now what?

We tend to make this idea in our heads that starting a business is this huge deal. Like it is some mammoth effort. Then we go through the handful of steps to become a legitimate business and the next thing that happens is nothing. No phones start to miraculously ring because we opened up shop. That is when the entrepreneur has to take a moment and get to work on the hard part, acquiring customers. Let’s take a look at this topic more in depth from a discussion we had on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

One lawn care business owner wrote “Ok, I’m just starting my lawn service and have made it to the point where I am sort of taking a deep breath and asking now what?

I wanted to make sure I had all my t’s crossed and i’s dotted before I went out to talk to people about them becoming potential clients. I have my occupational license, insurance in place, all the appropriate forms and documents filed with the IRS, and an LLC established. My only snag now is, I don’t have much grass to mow!

I have a couple so called accounts with friends and family that cover expenses, but I don’t want to just cover expenses. Can anyone help me with the next step?

I have run into a few dead ends and while I’m not discouraged, I need a little advice. I may have jumped into this at the wrong time of year, but it is what it is, and now that I have the formalities and legal issues (that I am aware of) covered, I’m ready to get to work.

I tried to find work with a few foreclosure asset management companies and while I met all their qualifications for insurance, licenses, etc., I either had to have been established for at least a year or they didn’t have a need for anyone else to service my area.

I’m still waiting on my marketing supplies that I have on order to arrive, so I really haven’t been able to go and sit down with any potential customers because I feel like I should at least have my business cards in hand when I approach them. I have been spreading the word to people I know and having them tell others, but this should be more effective once my business cards and all come in.”

A second lawn care business owner said “in my first season I had a lot of success using Craigslist.

One thing that I have found which sets me apart from 99% of the other ads on that site is that I use an image rather than just a line ad with text only. I’m also fortunate I found a talented graphic designer and was able to create ads to place on Craigslist. I got many positive comments on my ads from people who are now my regular clients.

I also picked up a few clients by hanging an ad at a local grocery store and I’ve had some inquiries through my website.

I’d suggest that you strive to present yourself as a professional. In your advertising, your appearance, your attitude, in everything you do. People take notice and they talk.

I picked up two clients the other day because the previous lawn care operation that was servicing them was overcharging as well as conducting themselves in an unprofessional manner while on the job. The customer complained about the use of foul language and overall bad attitudes.

Then the customer said to me ‘I watched how hard you work on my neighbor’s property, you do good work and that is why I hired you.’ Like I said, people notice.

ALWAYS have business cards on you. Give them to anyone and everyone you speak to. TALK to people. At a minimum, say ‘hello’ to every person you see while you are out working. There are people who WANT to ask you questions, but may not want to disturb you while you are working - give them the opportunity by chatting with them. You WILL pick up work this way.

Going door to door with flyers or door hangers may or may not be effective. It worked OK for me when I was just starting out and had nothing better to do. I don’t have time for that kind of thing these days. Also, you may need a permit to solicit door to door. Every municipality has their own rules.”

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Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
How To Get Lawn Care Customers Vol. 2
The landscaping and lawn care business plan startup guide
A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
Stop Lowballing! A Lawn Care Business Owner\'s Guide To Success