You may have a couple of customers already, but if you want this to be a steady, full-time job, you need to learn how to get more customers. Now you are ready to earn money mowing lawns you may be wondering, "How can I find customers for my lawn mowing business?"
Well, in order to spread the word about your awesome lawn mowing service, you will either need to get out there on your own to let people know or have someone else do it for you. Like most lawn mowing companies, you can use a combination of both options.
With so many different ways you can find customers, really the methods that you choose to are only limited by your budget and imagination. To give your thinking a jumpstart, here are 23 tips to find customers and grow your lawn mowing business.
Letting Somebody Else Find Customers For You
Tip 1: Get listed on traditional online directories (for a fee or for free). These listing sites (like Hot Frog, Start Local, and Yellow Pages) can help to drive customers to your site, while you are out mowing lawns. However, it can be difficult to get noticed on the directories that have thousands of listings on them.
Tip 2: Register with expertEasy If you’d prefer to mow the lawn and let someone else find your customers, we truely believe this will work for you, expertEasy is a marketplace that specialises in lawn mowing, gardening, landscaping and home improvement. We send customer jobs to you to provide quotes for, and save you having to go out to find jobs on your own to bid on. There are other websites like ours that work a similar way charging for leads. However, usually, those sites send the opportunity for quotes to a greater number of lawn mowing businesses, they charge more per lead and some of them also charge an initial listing fee. We only send jobs to at most three local lawn mowing business, and we have transparent pricing with a satification guarantee.
Tip 3: Partner with other lawn mowing companies and ask if they will send their extra work to you. Tell them you will pay them a commission for the lawn mowing jobs they refer you to. That system can work very well if you are able to partner with busy lawn mowing companies who are happy to have somebody helping them. Just keep in mind that a majority of companies are going to be very protective of their customer leads and the customer may never know what your business name is to refer you to people they know. If the work continues to come in then that's fine, however, it might not work so great in the long term and you may find it's closer to being employed than running your own show.
Finding Your Own Customers
Tip 4: Remember to think ahead for the winter, also encouraging any commercial clients to sign up to a twelve month contract is also a great way to ease the pressure off making money during the off-peak season.
Tip 5: Place an ad in your local newspaper. We also recommend creating a brochure for your business and placing them at a couple of the local gathering places in your area.
Tip 6: Deliver door hangers, marketing flyers, and/or business cards to the houses in your local area. If you have enough confidence, try to knock on doors as part of your process, so that customers will be able to put a face with the name of your business and you can try meeting people in person in order to earn initial rapport with them.
Tip 7: Make improvements to your customer service. All of us think of ourselves as being friendly. However, there is a big difference between being passionate-and-willing-to-impress and being friendly-and-not-interested. It also doesn't necessarily involve extra time or money on lawnmowing jobs. Quite often it is simply the way that you respond and listen to customers. After each interaction you have this week be completely honest with yourself and ask, "what else could I possibly have done if I was the customer?"
Tip 8: See if you can find your lost customers and follow up with them. You will need to be courageous, but if you are able to find out the reasons why somebody cancelled your service, and that is something that is related to your business that you can improve (and remember that often it doesn't have anything to do with you), this can possibly save you thousands of dollars down the line if you never lose any more customers for that reason.
Tip 9: Offer your current customers incentives to refer you to their neighbours, family, and friends.
Tip 10: Tell everyone - neighbors, former colleagues, family, friends, parents at your child's sporting club or school, store clerks that you buy things from - everyone and anyone you can possibly think of that may either need your services themselves or know someone else you might, again, remember those business cards!
Tip 11: Find related home service businesses to partner with. That will allow you to promote those businesses to your customers and them to promote your business to their customers. Having an endorsement from someone you are doing business with already will always work a lot better compared to a faceless flyer that someone finds in their mailbox.
Tip 12: Build a website so that you will have a presence online that will work for you while you are out mowing lawns - and when you are sleeping as well!
Tip 13: Set up a Facebook business page. That will give people a home that like hanging out on Facebook and make it easy for them to 'like' businesses and communicate with businesses that have a presence on Facebook.
Tip 14: Also experiment with some other social media channels. You may want to try Google+, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. Social media can mainly be hit or miss, so if you don't end up with any work from it, don't let it disappoint you. However, at least you may gain new online skills, find some new business ideas by seeing what other businesses are doing, or maybe develop business relationships with some other lawn care services (even those outside of your local area) to sometimes bounce ideas off with.
Tip 15: Ask satisfied customers for reviews on expertEasy or video testimonials that you can use on your Google+ account, Facebook business page, and/or your website.
Tip 16: Attend business networking events in your local area. People love doing business with people that they know personally. So go out to local events and meet people. This is an excellent way for more people to become familiar with what you do, get to know you better, and then start doing business with you. If you are lucky, you may end up meeting some busy executives who might love to have someone take over their lawn mowing responsibilities for them. And when you consider that a majority of lawn mowers are mowing lawns rather than networking, then you most likely won't have anybody competing with you during the networking breaks.
Tip 17: Get in the news. Journalists are always searching for stories, so think of a story that you could be included in that would give you free press coverage either in your local newspaper, or thinking even bigger, a national or state paper. You will have to find an interesting angle (Some data you gathered? Someone you helped? Something you saw?) and make sure you use an attention-grabbing sentence in your phone call or email.
Tip 18: Consider paying for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). That is something you most likely won't want to do in the very beginning unless you are very familiar with it and are able to effectively interview your SEO agency. However, it is something to consider for the future, once you are earning decent revenue. Qualified professionals offering SEO services definitely can work to get your business website ranking higher in the search engines - and that can save the amount of money you have to spend on Facebook ads, AdWords, and other advertising channels.
Tip 19: Consider using Facebook Ads. It's easy to just click a couple of buttons and then have your online ad campaigns on 'set and forget,' and discover later that the costs of your ads are much more than you were anticipating. So, make sure to set a daily limit for yourself, and monitor your results every day.
Tip 20: Consider using Google AdWords. However, just be careful that you don't overspend. If you don't set any limits it can be very easy to spend too much. Keep track of how much money you earn from online ads from your paying customers to determine whether or not this channel is worth investing in.
Need more Inspiration?
If you need more inspiration of some inspiration for kickstarting your efforts to find customers for your lawn mowing business? If so, check out the 28-minute video below called: "How To Market A Lawn Care Business"
Doing everything yourself can be very difficult. That is why a majority of lawn mowers have a tendency to use a combination of get-my-customers-for-me and DIY approaches. There is no such thing as a right or wrong way. It all depends on how you like hunting for customers compared to how much you would prefer to be out mowing lawns and how much you enjoy juggling two different marketing approaches. It's completely up to you since it is your lawn mowing business!
Tip 21: Stay Organised from the start Before you get busy
When you own a lawn care service, your most important job, of course, would be the actual lawn care. However, even if you only have a couple of customers when you first start your lawn care business, it is important that you record details so that you can create a good habit in the beginning. These days, you should really be somewhat familiar with excel, google sheets, or even specialised software.
Here's a pretty entertaining video from Curtis from New Orleans on running his lawn care business, he really breaks things down.
Tip 22: Manage your equipment spending
We understand you may want to go out there and buy the best equipment you can find. However, you don’t need to get yourself too far in debt before you even have routine customers. If you already have some handy lawn equipment, learn how to make do with that. Having every piece of equipment you can think of isn’t that big of a deal – your clients are only going to care that the job is getting done – they’re not going to size you up based on the equipment you’re using.
As you start bringing in money, put money to the side for equipment breakdowns and yes, new equipment. If you don’t set aside a certain portion of the money you make, you might find yourself stuck with broken equipment when you need it the most. Imagine having a lawn mower that won’t work when you need to mow a couple of lawns that day …that certainly isn’t going to be good for your business.
Tip 23: Build a Team of Trustworthy People
As your business grows, there may come a time where you need to pull in some extra help. Regardless of the position, whether it’s a fully time field tech or a part time worker to help you manage your business, the individuals you decide to hire can have a major impact on your company. Before you hire someone, we recommend performing a background check – there are numerous companies that can offer in-depth checks. You should also ask for references and follow up with them.
As with any business, it’s going to take some time before you start to see some profit coming in. Just be patient, give it your best, work hard and you stand a good chance at making your lawn care business a successful one.