Articles in the Series:
- Starting a Lawn Care and Landscaping Business
- The Landscape and Lawncare Services Industry
- How to Start a Lawn Service Business
- Tools and Equipment Used for a Lawn Care and Landscaping Business
- Pricing Your Lawn Care and Landscaping Services
- Marketing and Promoting a Landscaping or Lawn Care Business
- Additional Services and Revenue Streams for a Landscaping or Lawn Care Business
- 10 Tips to Succeed in Lawn care and Landscaping Business
- Resources to Help Start a Landscaping or Lawn Care Business
How to Get Customers: Marketing and Promoting a Landscaping or Lawn Care Business
The most challenging part of starting a business is finding customers. The key is to find your first neighborhood, and then be sure to do an outstanding job, be on time, do what you say you are going to do, and set yourself apart from other companies and you will succeed. Customers make purchasing decisions based on referrals and perceived professionalism and quality.
Here are some ways you get customers for your lawn care and landscaping business:
1. Advertise in local ad magazines and coupon services such as ValPak.
Study their ads particularly their offers and come-ons for first time customers. Offer free services that would help you land their account such as free lawn analysis, or free tree and shrub analysis. Others offer discounted first lawn applications. The key is to entice the customers to use your service.
Advertise around late February to mid-March when customers are starting to think of the spring season.
2. Always ask for referrals.
Your existing clients can be your biggest help in spreading the word about your business. This business thrives on referrals, so make sure that you talk to your existing customers and ask them if there’s anyone that may benefit your service.
However, give them a little encouragement and make the act of referring your services to others worthwhile for them. Consider offering your existing customers a discount off their monthly service fee for every account that they refer to you.
3. Send or drop off promotional door hangers (or even postcards) outlining your services to homes with lawns in your area.
With printed door hangers, your advertising message reaches your audience instantly. Potential clients are more likely to see your doorknob promotional material, as the doorknob is the first place they reach as they enter or leave their home or business. Unlike mailers which may never be opened, or flyers which may get wet, blown off a windshield, or be discarded on the seats or floor boards of the family auto, door hangers are likely to be brought into the home or business and more carefully reviewed.
4. Network with contractors, realtors, management of commercial properties, and other key decision makers in your target market.
Also network with other lawn care services in your area. Yes they are your competitors, but sometimes they will have requests for their services that they can no longer do – and they may instead give those accounts to you.
5. Consider direct marketing, which is a very effective way of reaching potential customers for your lawn care business.
You can either create brochures that provide details about your company or a postcard that highlights what your business is all about. Whatever format you decide in your direct mail campaign, it is important that your ads must be written in a way that speak directly to your potential clients. Emphasize the reasons why you are better than other lawn-care companies. List down the benefits the customers will get when they hire you. Carefully think what your headline will be: remember, your headline can make or break your direct mail campaign and it will spell the difference between sending brochures that are kept or postcards that are thrown immediately to the trash without being read.
Better yet, hire a copywriter (a professional ad writer) to create direct marketing materials for your company such as brochures, flyers and postcards for your company. Then rent a list (ask the copywriter for reputable sources of lists) that meets the specifications of your ideal client. List brokers can also assist in providing label-printing ready list of names and addresses. For example, all the people living in houses within a certain zip code; or all the people that commute to work who own houses that have a yard over 1/4 acre, etc.
6. Put on a professional image.
Your appearance is important!! As much as possible, present yourself in a clean and tidy manner — even wearing a collared shirt or better yet, your company’s uniform — when talking to your potential clients. Professionalism also means doing an outstanding job, arriving on time, and keeping your word to your clients, and doing what you say you are going to do. These are the qualities that will set yourself apart from other lawn care companies. One of my pet peeves is having a lawn care company telling me that they will come tomorrow but only to show up 2 days later after you’ve made 10 follow-up calls to them.
7. Maximize the advertising opportunity of your vehicle.
Your truck is one of your most effective — and cheapest — advertising tools you can ever have. It’s your walking billboard. However, avoid the common mistake of putting all your business information in the ad. Doing so clutters the whole ad and makes it very hard to read. Remember, the ad in your car — which can either be stickers or magnet — will be read by people on the street as you drive by, other cars driving alongside your truck or behind you — and that means that people will only have a few seconds to get your information. Focus on a single information that you think people will find easy to remember — either your business name or website — and use the biggest font for that information.
8. Use the Web to market your business.
A website is one of the most important marketing tools you can have. Your site will serve as your online brochure, allowing you to sell your services 24×7 and giving your customers 24-hour access to you via email. Your website should contain information about your services, testimonials about your work, pictures showing the lawn care or landscaping work you’ve done for clients.
Visual testimonials and portfolio of your work are an important element of your website as it will allow prospective customers to see the quality and style of your work. Photographs of previous work are a must, though some businesses even offer videos and multimedia capability that allows website visitors to see a 360 degrees view of the work done for other customers. In selecting the work to showcase, make sure you offer different price points depending on your service packages (for a landscaping company, put pictures of what they can expect with $3,000 budget, and then put $10,000 and put those $30,000 and above).
Also use social media to market your business by creating a business page on Facebook, and being active on sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, among others.
9. Advertise your business on the Web.
With or without a website, use the Web to get the word out about your business. You can advertise in classified ad sites such as Craigslist. Ensure that your business is listed in Online Yellow pages such as Whitepages.com and YellowPages.com. If there are directories or websites about local businesses, make sure that your site is listed in there. Check and respond to reviews on online review sites such as AngiesList.com, Yelp.com and others.
Recommended Books on How to Succeed in Lawn care and Landscaping Business:
- Lawn Care Business Guide: The Definitive Guide To Starting and Running Your Own Successful Lawn Care Business
- Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid.
- GopherHaul Extreme Lawn Care Business Tips.: Unfiltered, unedited, and a little rough. A collection of landscaping & lawn care business lessons.
- Start & Run a Landscaping Business (Start and Run A)
- How To Get Commercial Lawn Care And Snow Plow Customers.: From The Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum & The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show.