There is a lot of prep work and planning that goes into getting a lawn care business started. It can take quite a bit of time and money to be ready for your first mowing customer. Then all of a sudden, with the proper mixture of preparedness, know how, and equipment, you land your first customer and hit the ground running. Here is a great look, from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, at how this all comes together.
One lawn care business owner wrote “I had an awesome day today. I was two for two on mowing estimates-turned customers!
The first customer went like this. I went to talk to a lady yesterday about a mowing estimate. She got my number from the bulletin board at a local grocery store where I had hung up a flyer. Since her lawn was larger than I’m used to mowing in my own neighborhood and I was unsure how to accurately estimate the time it would take, I offered her a first cut at $20 (this was obviously not a $20 lawn), and told her I would give her an figure after having completed the first cut.
Today I cut her lawn. In total, it took an hour, but I know I can shave at least 15 minutes off of that. I took my time with the trimmer, neatening up along the raised, brick sidewalk. I picked up a lot of twigs before mowing, and spent an extra minute or two fixing planters that had fallen over during the winter, and cleaning/blowing debris off of the porch.
The owner wasn’t home when I did the work, so I left an invoice for the $20 ‘Discounted First Mowing’ and a note to call me to discuss my estimate. She called, said it looked good, and asked what I came up with for a price to mow her lawn. I told her the price would be $45, and if she chose to pay cash, I would take off $5.
She agreed, and we further discussed a schedule of weekly mowing in the early spring while it is growing fast, then going to bi-weekly, as the growth slows.
Yay! This is my FIRST ‘regularly scheduled’ client! I had to celebrate a little as this is a big step for me.
The second customer went like this. I answered my phone at 5pm today and was asked about an estimate for maintaining a lawn. He got my information from my Craigslist ad. (FINALLY! After two weeks, I got a call!) I was there to give the estimate at 5:45pm. (if you snooze, you lose)
It’s a very small lawn on the edge of the city. He wants someone primarily to mow the lawn so he can spend time with his family. He also is interested in repairing some dead patches in the grass.
The place is 3 miles from me, and located in a semi-affluent community. If I can pick up some nearby clients, it could turn out very well for me.
I quoted him $25 to mow. Much the same as the first client. Weekly and/or as needed. I will need to prepare a quote for the lawn reseeding/patching, but for right now, he’s happy to be getting it cut later this week.
And just like that I celebrated my SECOND ‘regularly scheduled’ client!
After the handshake and before I left, I did ask him what it was about my ad that made him call me. He chuckled, and said, ‘Well, first of all, my wife said I BETTER call SOMEONE!’ lol Then he started thinking and said ‘Well, you know, most of the larger companies don’t want a lawn this small, it seems. I thought I’d look on Craigslist, and I saw your ad.’ He went on to say that he picked up on the fact that it said professional and dependable. He also liked that I took the time to make a nice ad.
Awesome. I’ll be there on Thursday! Oh, and although they have two dogs, they are cleaned up after, so no land mines to worry about! This day is just FILLED with awesome!
I’m sure there’s a science as to when to post on Craigslist, but right now, I just do it when I have time.
What I have found is that if you post after midnight, you may be near the top in the morning when people browse while drinking their coffee and if you post right around 5pm, your ad will be near the top at the end of the day. Which is better? I haven’t a clue. By adding the keywords at the bottom, my ad(s) come up using a variety of searches.
I’ve tried posting with the ad(image) first, and now I have the text on top. I also ran it (once) without the image, wondering if the polished look may be scaring away customers who felt I would be too expensive. Since I use a ‘nice ad’ as opposed to a text only ad reading ‘I cuts grass cheep.’
I’ve changed the title once. It’s hard to say what goes on in the reader’s mind.
At least I found one person who was drawn in by my work.”
Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯