Should I give away free lawn care?

Desperate times call for desperate measures, but as we will see from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, you should never feel desperate enough to want to give your lawn care services away for free. There are other, better ways to attract lawn care customers. If you are going to be exerting energy performing a task to promote your business, you need to get the biggest bang for your buck back in return. Read on to learn how.

One lawn care business owner asked “I’m getting ready to start planning out my spring lawn care marketing and i don’t have many customers. This is my 1st year in business. I really didn’t do too well with my marketing and am thinking about trying something different. What I am considering is offering a free trial lawn mowing offer next year, even though like most of us I really can’t afford to work free. Any suggestions on this or ideas if it would be worthwhile? I know it sounds desperate and it kinda is, but after this, I just don’t know what else I would try.”

A second lawn care business owner suggested “so you are saying your plan is to mow someone’s lawn for free? If they liked it they would continue to hire you and if they didn’t it would just be a free mow?

I would not suggest you do that. That could lead to a lot of free mows and no customers. Instead, with the time you would spend mowing those free lawns, and the money on gas, machine wear, etc. you can spend that on going door to door. By doing that you can meet new potential lawn care customers and offer them specific services you can tell they need by looking around their yard. The money you would spend on gas for the free mowing would be put to better use by having business cards made or fliers you can hand to the potential customer printed.

You should also analyze why you don’t have as many lawn care customers as you want and change some of the things you did in order to attract more.

Try doing the following:

Have business cards made out with your information on the front of the card and a coupon on the back. This coupon could be for 10% off 1st month, or final mow free with annual agreement but put an expiration date on it, if you don’t want to use the same offer in the future years.

Then pick an area you would like to do business in (generally the closer to home the better, less travel time) and take those cards and place them in as many places as you can…

example: gas stations, restaurants, etc. also take some cards and go door to door and hand them to your potential customers. Let them know about the coupon on the back.

From my years of experience, I know the start up phase of your lawn care business can be challenging but there is no need for freebies.
I’ve had absolutely no luck with gimmicks. Just do a good job at a fair price and you will do well. Go out and distribute door to door flyers every day that you are not working.

Something else you could consider doing is looking into buying some lawn care accounts from other lawn care companies. The downside to doing that is those customers are never as loyal as the ones you earn yourself by doing good work.

Consider all these options before you give away free work. Free work attracts cheap customers and cheap customers are not the kind of customers you want.”

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