What can you do to get more lawn care clients?

There is nothing more frustrating than spending time and money on lawn care marketing and not hearing the phone ring because of it. This can happen for a lot of reasons. Are the services you are marketing in need at the moment? Are potential customers getting your marketing message? Is it too late to start your marketing? These are some of the topics that came up in the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum as one new entrepreneur was trying to figure out what he was doing wrong and how he could get his phone ringing.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I am a new business owner and I have gone legit. However, it has been an EARLY spring here in my state. People are already mowing their lawns, so that has got me worried. Am I too late with my marketing push? I ran some newspaper ads a few weeks ago. I ran the ad for four weeks. The calls I have gotten from the ad have been few to none. I’ve also handed out flyers. Still I am getting very few calls. What should I be doing? I’ve put all my eggs in this basket and am feeling a little discouraged. Any advice would be great.

Should I be approaching real estate companies about property management for their listings? What can I do better to get more clients?”

A second lawn care business owner said “it is never too late to reach out and contact people. The more people you can talk to the better. Have you talked to your neighbors? Have you handed out flyers and given lawn quotes in your area? How many people in your area know that you are now in business? The more people that do, the better your chances are at gaining new customers. Have you put ads in craigslist too?

When you placed your ad in the newspaper, what kind of ad did you run and what section did you put it in? The section you place your ad is just as important as what you put in your ad. If a certain section is just chock full of other competitors, you need to either be first or second on that list by paying more for better placement, or you need to move your ad to another section that will be less competitively intense.

Are you tracking where these few calls you are getting had initially heard of you from? If you don’t ask people when they call, where they found you, then you are advertising blindly. You need to know exactly where they found you. Was it from a newspaper ad? A flyer? A friend or what? Keep track on a tablet that you keep with your phone. Then every week, tally up the different places callers found you. Drop the ads from places no one uses and increase your marketing in the methods that do work.”

A third added “I feel your pain. I have been advertising like crazy. I mailed out 1,000 postcards with 2,000 more in the next couple of weeks. Distributed a couple hundred flyers. My newspaper ad goes in the paper this Sunday. I got a website, using adwords, etc and the phone is silent.

I don’t think it is too late to approach real estate companies or real estate agents for that matter. I would continue your newspaper ad if you can afford it. Also submit your business info to google local business listings and also to bing and yahoo local search. You don’t need a website to submit a listing in most cases. Also not a bad idea to have some web presence if you can afford it. You can get some pretty cheap hosting and most places have templates you can use.

I would say that for the most part the grass is still not ready to be cut in most areas. I suspect that most homeowners are procrastinators and we will start seeing the phone ring when the lawns actually need to be cut. I suspect 2 more weeks.

My best method for getting work has been word of mouth. It is a slow go, but at least it is a start. Start talking to friends and family. Spread the word you are in business and looking for work. We are in a pretty tough economy so it is going to take some time and work to build up a business. Don’t give up.”

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