Should I advertise $12.50 per lawn?

Creating a niche and trying to differentiate your lawn care business from others is a great thing to do. However at times, newer lawn care business owners feel they have fewer options to play with in their marketing, therefore they like to experiment with creating a low cost mowing niche. Trying to stand out and compete based on price is never a good idea because there is always someone willing to go lower. Here is a great discussion on it from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I wanted to get some thoughts on a few lawn care postcards and referrals handouts that I designed. Before you all jump on me about the low price for cutting the lawns of town homes, I have to say the goal is to get about 10 or more lawns in the same area. I don’t have any overhead. I own all my stuff, however I do plan to get a trailer and a bigger mower. As of now I have a cargo van so loading/unloading is really fast.

I can mow a townhouse in about 10-15 mins total. With that in mind, what do you think about this marketing and the promotion of $12.50 per lawn? I am going to have 5-10,000 postcard full color front/back printed like this. They will cost me around $280. My ultimate goal for these postcards is to get 300 townhouse customers so I can make at least $15,000 per year.

This lawn care marketing special is just for the first 3 months. Once I have a good relationship with the customers I plan on upselling them with more services to improve my profit margins.

This will be my 1st season handing out such marketing material, so only time will tell if it will be successful. Along with the postcard, I am also creating a referral marketing program that includes $20 off lawn bucks postcards. I figure in these tough economic times, $20 off a bill is not a bad deal for a referral. Just say if you were a customer and you were going to refer me anyway but you got sidetracked, if I give you a $20 bill/lawn bucks, you would most likely get on the phone or put the lawn bucks somewhere where you find easy so you didn’t forget.

It’s not proven but hey why not. Also if I am in a garden center and I see you shopping for lawn items I can walk up to you and hand you the lawn bucks. I think it would start a conversation right there. If anything it is a great ice breaker.”

Another lawn care business owner wrote “I find most of my lawn care customers are not looking for a hand out. They are happy to help me with referrals if they feel I do a good job. So unless you provide quality work, regardless of money involved, I feel you won’t get referrals that way.

Your lawn care postcard looks nice and it should get the attention of the home owner, my feedback on that is I don’t know how on earth you can mow a lawn for $12.50 and make money at it. I understand they are small and perhaps you will get a pile of them in a row, however it would seem at a certain point, to handle that amount of customers, you will have to hire someone to help you. It’s been my experience that hired help doesn’t always work as fast as you may. So the slower they work, the more time it will take. The more time it takes, the more expenses you will have to mow that property.

I assume you know your costs, but it seems desperate low to me. Also owning your lawn care equipment outright or not, you still will have operational and overhead costs. Trucks, mowers, and trimmers will break down and you will have to fix them, replace them, fuel them up, pay taxes on them, insure them, have a business license, pay workers comp, and on and on.

You only want $15,000 for 300 homes? To put that into perspective, my minimum is $25 on a single cut. I won’t even drop my gate for less than that. I steer clear of per cut customers. I like having my customers on monthly contracts, that way I know what I’m going to be making. With that figure you mentioned of 300 homes, I would want to be bringing in $200,000 - $300,000 easily per year.”

lawn care postcard

lawn care postcard

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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