Listening to your lawn care customers can make a big difference.

I know it sounds so cliche to say listen to your lawn care customers, but I think this is one of those simple issues that is way to often overlooked. One lawn care business got on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and shared with us a story on how he has been able to grow his business by listening to his customers. What he found was, the more he listened, the happier the customer was with him and the more referrals he got from them!

He wrote “A few years back, I was getting ready to retire from the the Army after 27 years of service and decided I needed something else to keep me busy. So I decided to start a home maintenance and repair company in my spare time. Three years later, it is now doing really well for me. I deal with a lot of property managers and Realtors. As I explored more, I found there was a need for curb appeal in the housing market. So after some thought, I started a lawn care division and was blown away by the response from home owners needing service for their lawn care.

To date I have landed enough weekly, bi-monthly, and monthly accounts to keep me busy. I am now considering the possibility of offering snow removal this winter too.

One of the things I have done to promote my business was to partner up with a national painting company in town. Not only does this other business help me spread the word about my company but they I am able to return the favor and  spread the word about their company too. This other business owner has several property managers he works with that are always looking for people to maintain their property during vacant times.

A second activity I took part in was I became a member of a networking group in town. We meet every 2 weeks and there are always new faces there. The potenial to expand my business’s exposure is great! From this group I got a tip to sign up with a leads generating company that provides me with daily leads to new customers. So far this has the been the greatest bang for my buck.

Thirdly, I use a lot of free internet advertising networks. I am on two different local community forums as well as post daily on craigslist. They are both free. The internet can also be a great way to pro-actively look for potential commercial clients. When you find them in your area, save their contact information to a datebase and reach out to them with future mailings and phone calls. In the slow winter months I use direct mailing.

For people who have never run their own business before, my biggest piece of advice is don’t easily give up. In the long run, perseverance will win out. Spend as much time as you can on marketing, marketing,marketing. I still handle all my marketing. It is the only way to keep marketing cost down, which is important your first few years.

Another piece of helpful information for everybody starting a business is this. Listen to your customers. I was at a customer’s house mowing her lawn and she happened to be home, so I took a few minutes to talk to her. I asked how she liked our service and if there was anything we could do to improve. She replied that she was very happy and we exceeded her expectations. Sometimes you have to read between the lines to hear what your customers want. During our initial conversation, all she said was she was allergic to chemicals. With that information in mind, I made the effort to find organic fertilizers. In our next conversation, I told her I had found an organic fertilizer that I would be appyling to her lawn in the spring.

She was thrilled that I had paid attention and that I was looking out for her health. She also thanked me for edging her drive way because her previous lawn guys did not perform that service. Over time, due to the lack of edging, the dirt and grass had grown on to the concrete and it detracted from the home’s curb appeal.

I will also do other extra things that are not in the the original bid, if I am ahead of schedule which take about 5 minutes worth of extra work. Things like cleaning up the street gutter in front of the driveway, picking up limbs in non-maintenance areas etc. Those extra 5 minutes during my weekly mowing shows my customers I am concerned about the looks of them and their property.

So remember to listen to what your customers have to say and that will lead to more job opportunities. I already landed 2 more jobs from this client and she has told me she is giving my name to a few friends who also are in need of my services.”

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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