Lawn care business improvement tips.

One may think that starting a lawn care business would be quite simple. That it is not too tough to hand out some flyers and go out and mow lawns. Once you are in the mix of things though, it doesn’t take too long to realize that not everyone is right for you and the customers you want have to meet certain requirements you need met. Here is a great example of that from a discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

One lawn care business owner wrote “hello I’m new to the business. I recently started up and I am now insured and legal from head to toe as far as I know. I have been wanting to be in business for myself for a long time. Currently I am 29 years old. So far it seems like the lawn care industry is easier to start up in than most other businesses. I like working outdoors an enjoy mowing my own lawn so I figured why not. This may be a gateway to another business and maybe another later.”

A second lawn care business owner said “as far as it being easy to get started, that depends on what you want to get out of your business. To become successful you have to make some good contacts and do good work, advertise, and keep studying. I know how tiring it can get but when I feel down I always  think of baseball great’s Joe Dimaggio who said ‘I go hard every day just in case there’s one person in the stands who hasn’t seen me play.’

Lawn Care Business Improvement Tips

Lawn Care Business Improvement Tips

I have been in that situation many a time and have mowed yards where I just wanted to finish up quickly. From my experience though, I have learned your best business card is the quality of work you do and for that you must charge accordingly. Learn from your mistakes and just be an honest person. I don’t sweat the small things and if a problem is out of my control, it’s out of my control.

Don’t take on more work than you can handle and if you say you are going to do a job, live up to it. For me, my lawn business is a chance to give my customers what I want from a service provider. I know I want great service, quality work, and reasonable prices, so that is what I give.

Always try and think of smart ways to advertise. Use flyers, door hangers, etc. Decide how you want your company to look. Legit, cheap, expensive or just good. Create a business plan based on those goals and stick to it.

Early on it is hard to know your market or your customers. When it comes to knowing your market, this is what I mean. In the beginning I had many yards that I priced at $30 to mow and then later realized I should have been charging $35 to $40 instead. I underbid those jobs because I didn’t know my costs and didn’t know what the market would pay. Once I found my prices were too low, I either had to increase them or find other customers in a market that would pay what I needed to make a profit. If you underbid a job and you do good work, it is very important you raise your prices to the correct amount as soon as this error is found. That is why it’s important to avoid using lawn care contracts in your first year or so because the last thing you want is to be locked into a price for a year where you are losing money or breaking even every time you show up to mow.

I have also learned a lot about who my ideal customer is and who it isn’t. At first, I thought my ideal lawn care customer was anyone who called and agreed to pay me for my lawn care services. But after beating my head into a wall trying to please everyone, I found I work better with certain type of customers and I can’t be everything to all people.

Here is an example of what I mean. I had this one lawn care customer who lived on an acre sized property that I charged $100 bi-weekly to mow. He was a good customer who paid on time but he always complained about his jasmine not looking good and wanted it trimmed. I would tell him that if I kept trimming it, it would ultimately burn in the heat. He didn’t care and said his wife wanted it trimmed. So I trimmed it pretty often and guess what happened? It died out.

This customer also never watered his lawn. He wanted a well manicured lawn but didn’t really want to pay any extras. Due to the excess summer heat and lack of water, the lawn always looked bad and I just couldn’t stand mowing his yard anymore.

Then to make things worse, he rescued a little dog. Because of this he wanted me to only go to his house after 5pm so he could let the dog in. I explained to him that I have a business to run and this new scheduling change was messing up my day. But I decided to abide by did his request, though not for long. He was costing me money with paying a worker, changing my scheduling, etc, etc. plus. I was stressing over the way this customer’s yard was looking. In the end I decided it was better for me to just let him go and try to get a better customer and a better account.

I don’t need lawn care customers like that. Lesson learned, stay with the good customers, do a good job. Good residential customers will remain faithful and bad one will screw you in the end!

The thing you need to keep in mind is this. If a customer is calling you, then they can’t handle the work, don’t have the time to do it, or just don’t want to do it. Over time you start to pick up on warning signs that you are going to have a good or bad customer even from your initial meeting. If I have a new customers try to lowball me on price or try to tell me how to do a job even though I know from experience, that’s not going to work, I tend to bid the job high or just pass on it all together.

The bottom line is that, you need to find customers that want what you are willing to offer. Don’t try to force a customer to fit into your mold because it won’t work out and don’t try to force yourself into the customer’s mold either. There are a lot of customers out there willing to pay the price you need. Keep on the lookout for them and always be trying to improve your lawn care customer base by serving those you work best with and passing on those you don’t.”

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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