Lawn care marketing plan and business growth.

The first couple of years after you get your lawn care business started can be a trying time. Sure you can make some money, but with this business as with many other industries, it takes time for you to build your customer base and grow. Here is a great example, from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, of how one business owner harnessed his lawn care marketing plan and found growth. If you find yourself stalled early on, compare what you are doing to what he did and maybe you will find more ways to push ahead.

He wrote “well this past winter has semi sucked for me. My state hasn’t received as much snow as I plowed last year. Actually based on my calculations we received less than a foot of snow in total by January 26th! Many storms either pasted us by or turned into rain or warmed up on us. So in January I only made $200.00. My savings was almost depleted!
To push ahead and help spur more growth I wanted to share with you my lawn care marketing and business plan.

This Season:

I intend to distribute my flyers between 03/21 -03/31. Based on prior years analysis, I have done, I have found that most people will throw away your lawn care door hangers, flyers, cards prior to the first day of spring. Before spring hits, they aren’t thinking ‘I need someone to cut my lawn’ just yet. Last year I passed out several hundred flyers on 03/30, 03/31, 04/03 and 04/04. I received a good amount of calls all within 5 days. Overall I was hired for either the whole season or several months by 43 clients. I only distributed 400 flyers. That’s a 10.75% response rate. Considering the industry average is 1-2%. I think I did something right.

I started my lawn care business two years ago. In that peak season I had 25 lawn care clients, and ended the year with 16 who stayed.

Last year I had 35-40 lawn care customers, peak season and 19 who stayed for this year.

The reason for clients leaving was due mostly to people moving, losing jobs and not being able to afford my mowing services. Some bought a cheap mower, only later to realize they still needed to have trimming done. Which I still told them I would charge full price to just come out and do that. Others I dropped for failure to pay in a timely manner.

This year so far I have picked up a bunch of new clients. These were people I have known my entire life. Relatives and neighbors I had growing up. They all were tired of the service they received from their lawn guy, fired them and hired me instead. This taught me the importance of marketing to my social network and people I know versus just strangers I don’t.

My intended target market for this spring is somewhere between 600-900 homes. If I can sign the same 10% I did the previous year, I will feel fantastic! That would be 60-90 new homes. One can only hope.

Additions to Company:

Two years ago
1 gas push 22″ mower, electric trimmer, electric blower, 200 ft of cord, chevy malibu (didn’t have a truck yet) No employees

Last year
2 gas push 22″ mowers, 1 32″ tractor, 1 gas trimmer, 1 handheld blower, 1 backpack blower, 1 6ft X 10ft utility trailer, 1 nissan frontier truck, 1 employee however SHE sees all the profit. My fiance did 90% of the mowing. I did 10% mowing, 100% trimming, edging and 75% cleanup, She did 25% cleanup. This is for the lawn maintenance work. Side jobs we worked together to complete a job.

This year
As of now about the same as last year. Not all things listed for last year were purchased at the same time. We may have 4 mowers, 2 push, 2 self propelled. If we have 50-100 clients, I would like to hire someone part time to do the mowing. That idea is still up in the air. Trying to mow 50-100 lawns with 2 people is just plain nuts. A 3 man crew would make it more do able.

Marketing:

My lawn care flyer hasn’t changed much. I am using last years copy for now. Since I have about 200 left over flyers. Why re-invent the wheel?

Short term goals for this year:

Purchase a commercial grade walk behind mower. Preferably a 32″ or 36″ to fit through gates.

Long term goals:

Sign contracts with 39 more clients to bring our total clientele to 60. I will accept up to 80 more clients which will bring my total to 100.

In closing all above listed dates for this year may change sooner than later depending on the weather. They are calling for warmer weather by end of next week. If this warmer weather stays in place, the grass will start to grow sooner and our season will start about mid march instead.”

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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