There’s more to running a successful lawn care service than meets the eye. Many people are entering this arena because of low start up costs and its pretty easy to begin. Because of this the lawn care industry is very competitive. The good news is that there are sub-niches that provide many opportunities.
The difference between making a real living doing this and generating some extra money here and there depends on your ability to become the “go to” person for lawn care, a trusted resource. So maybe the title of this article should be, how you can you stand out from the crowd to generate more business for your lawn care service? It’s all about having the right tools, ones that will allow you to market effectively on a shoestring, as well as the right equipment to become as efficient as possible and last but not least providing excellent customer service.
If you’re thinking of starting a lawn care service or if you have an existing service these tips will help you to grow and generate more leads and business this season.
1. Advertise with Custom Apparel – Generate more leads by wearing your own apparel while you and your staff are out in the community working. This is a tried and true method for generating more leads without having to say a word. The apparel tells everyone who you are, what you do and how to contact you. Whether you place your website on the shirt or a phone number, you will generate leads while wearing the shirts in your spare time. Why not create opportunities when you’re running errands on the weekends or wherever are wearing the shirt.
Shirts with your logo and imprint on the left pocket are great ways to advertise your business during the summer months. Buy shirts (like the one shown) in bulk and save, and have enough shirts to pass out to employees and family so that they can help spread the word. T-shirts are great to work in and they make great company uniforms.
2. Solve more problems – What lawn care or landscaping issues did your customers have last year? Did they complain about a certain pest or was their yard in need of a treatment or service that you could provide? Creating additional products, tips and services that will help them solve lawn related problems will make you invaluable. If you’re only providing mowing services, you might add to that with services like planting trees or shrubs or removing tree stumps. If you have a truck and the equipment this may be something to consider.
3. Circulate business cards, postcards and flyers often – Business cards are an inexpensive general marketing tool that still works well for introducing your business or for generating leads. Leave a professional looking business card with everyone you meet as well as friends and family to help you spread the word about your business. Mail postcards or leave flyers in the neighborhoods where you want to work, with special offers, asking for their business. Do this at least twice in the early spring and as often as possible during the season for maximum impact. Postcards make it easy to announce specials with promo codes (everyone loves a bargain) and for keeping in touch during the winter months that are sometimes not as active.
4. Use social media to build business relationships and a sense of community for your customers – If you’re not on social media at least create Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook accounts and learn how to use them to grow your business. This is one of the most effective, convenient ways to reach the masses. The other big benefit to social media is that it’s free and more than likely your customers are there, so you can’t ignore the opportunity to use it. Providing useful information and content is key and it can also be a way to business owners in complementary industries to learn even more about opportunities to grow your business.
5. Create a blog or website – If you don’t already have one, this is a must have to grow your business. A website or blog that lists all your services will make you look more professional and make it easy for customers to find you when they need your services. A website also makes it easy for customers to request an estimate or sign up for additional services. A website or blog enables customers to obtain more information on specials, incentives and rewards offered by your company. Read the article Why Your Business Needs a Blog to see some of the opportunities you may be missing without one.
6. Add additional revenue streams – Sell your own branded apparel with catchy lawn care related slogans on your website to bring in additional revenue streams. If you have a brick and mortar store with foot traffic it’s all the better. Join our affiliate program to save on t-shirts, and other promotional items that you can sell in your shop.
7. Expand your knowledge – Learn more about lawn care during your inactive months. Winter may be an inactive time unless you offer cold weather services, like snow removal. Your down time provides an excellent opportunity to learn about new trends in lawn care, landscaping and new equipment that may enhance your business.
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8. Invest in new equipment – Investing in new equipment that enables you to cut, trim and remove debris in less time will enable you to provide service more efficiently. The more lawns you service, the more you will make, however you don’t want to sacrifice quality over quantity. If you have enough clients, think of adding additional employees to expand your territory and grow your business.
9. Expand Your Billing Capabilities – What about billing? People then to spend more when they use credit or debit cards. Do you offer payment methods that work for your customers? If you take cash only, it might be inconvenient for your customers because many people don’t keep cash on hand. To make it easier for them to pay you, consider getting a credit card machine. PayPal and other credit card services card readers that fit onto your cell phone allowing you to swipe credit card payments to your cell phone. You can also allow them to pay online or offer a discount if they pay early.
10. Ask for Customer Feedback – Make sure to periodically leave customers surveys that provide a phone number or email for follow up if the customer has any questions or concerns. This information will help you hone in on any problem areas and set up new products and services to meet the needs of your customers. The goal is to receive constant feedback and information that will help you improve and address any problems.
Sites like Surveymonkey.com has free surveys that customers can complete online or you can print surveys and leave them when you provide service along with a few little tips to help them take care and preserve the services you provide.