Finding your first lawn care job can be tough to do. When you are going from a stand still, it takes a lot of effort to overcome all the friction that is going to try and hold you back. Here in a discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we see a new lawn care business owner find that sometimes those initial jobs you are tempted with aren’t so great after all and may play a better role as preparation to help us get our presentation together than as actual unprofitable work.
He wrote “today was my first day with my new lawn care business. I walked 3.25 miles leaving flyers at any home that didn’t have a dog on the porch, or a sign that said owner will shoot!
A few hours later I received two calls. One guy needing landscaping help (which I’m not licensed to do yet, so I had to decline), and a woman who needed work done on her three properties. She gave me the addresses to them so I could take a look.
This was my first bid, and I was beat out by another lawn care business owner who under bid me by $15. This was even after I tried to cut $5 off from each property to ensure that I would get my first job. I guess the bright side is that I must be quoting decent prices.
Since I am new, I have a hard time figuring my mowing price based on square footage so I looked at each property and try to estimate the time it would take for each of them. With this first job, I bid it based on the $1 per minute rate then I shaved $5 from each property. I thought I would be the lowest bid. The woman told me that I was the second runner up out of 10 people. The guy who won the bid must live next door to one of the properties or something because that’s the only way I can figure he keeps his costs so low.
Two of these properties were a half mile away from each other but one was 8 miles from the two. With that distance, in the future, I would need to add an extra cost for fuel for traveling. I didn’t this time and I still lost the bid because I was hoping by getting this job, I could use it to showcase my work and gain other customers from each subdivision.
In the end it might be a blessing in disguise. As much as I want work, what I need is work that will be profitable and not work I am paying the customer to perform.
Oh well… it’s on to another 3 miles of door hanging tomorrow! I am writing this day off as a success, even though I didn’t get the job because I at least got the phone to ring. With more marketing, I am sure I will land more accounts.”