When you are starting and running a lawn care business, you might think you have an idea what your customers want and what they don’t care about. From what I have read on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, it seems like the difference between what your lawn care customers want and what you think they want is a huge gap. Sure each lawn care customer wants their lawn to look nice but what more is there? What are you missing?
Have you ever asked a new lawn care customer what complaints they had with their previous lawn care service provider? I bet if you did, you would get an earful. I asked this question on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum andÂ got some interesting responses I want to share with you. One forum member responded by saying:
“Most of my clients biggest complaints about their previous company was on of these:
- The guy did good work but was unreliable & went to long between cuts.
- I signed the contract with him for monthly billing & he started scalping the lawn so he didn’t have to come nearly as often.
- I signed the contract with the guy & never saw him personally here again & none of his lawn care employees speak English!”
Now let’s jump to the story that involves one of our newer forum members. He is 17 and he runs his own lawn care business. He writes: “How do you save to prepare and buy future lawn care mowing equipment? I want to buy new everything. Besides a landscaping trailer, which I already bought. I have everything but it’s old and I want it to look professional. The reason I want new equipment is I’m trying to be as professional as possible. Many people don’t think I’m serious since I’m only 17. But I am, so I’m trying to show it more.”
This is a problem many new lawn care business owners run into. They think newer equipment will promote a more professional image which will lead to them finding more jobs and making more money. However I can tell you the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum is full of posts from business owners who are no longer in business. Why? Because they focused on issues their lawn care customers couldn’t care less about. Customers don’t care how new or old your equipment is.
If you want to do something to promote your level of professionalism, spend $50 and buy a couple of embroidered polo shirts and get some khaki pants and a customized baseball cap to create a business uniform. Get a sign on your truck and trailer to show that you are legitimate. Lawn care customers hate the idea of handing over money to someone who looks like they are about to take off out of town, never to be seen again. People want to feel secure in some kind of permanence. They want to know you will be around. They want to see you around town and know that you are involved in their community.
Look around your town. Most start up lawn care business owners don’t wear any kind of uniform and have no brand image at all. You can do this for cheap and you will be the lawn care business that stands out. Let me now jump to a post to show you a real life case of what I mean.
Howard: “Well In my area the lawn care businesses usually have business shirts and tan pants on. Signs on their equipment. I knew this guy who ran a very successful tree company. The thing was, he was quite a goofy guy but he was smart when it came to marketing. Here is what he did.
Every single piece of equipment he ever bought he would always have it painted bright yellow. I mean everything was yellow! he had tons and tons of different trucks and tree hauling equipment. But his love for “everything yellow” did NOT stop there. He made the outfits all bright yellow. He ordered custom work boots that were yellow and had the company imprinted in the leather. Every single personal car he had was yellow. He was a pretty wealthy guy so he had a bunch of cars and crap always sitting in his driveway, including 2 big motor homes trailers, dump truck you know…everything.
The whole moral of this is, Every time I heard people talking about his business they always referred to it as “that business that has all the yellow stuff” and he was well known for just being the color yellow. You know it might not be the nicest looking color in the world but it got him SO much business.
I talked to him about 2 weeks ago and he now owns 3 big shops/warehouses/storage areas and has small cranes and a few bucket trucks. He has really grown!”
Look professional, act professional, create a brand and your business will grow. Only buy lawn care equipment as absolutely needed. Don’t spend yourself off a cliff. Stay out of debt.
If you would like to join in on this discussion further visit the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.