It’ll soon be time to ramp up lawn care for spring, summer and fall, so now is the perfect time to drum up more business for your lawn care company. But attracting new customers isn’t always easy – especially when homeowners think they can handle all their lawn maintenance chores themselves, or when they’re simply reluctant to spend their hard-earned money on their lawn.
Figuring out how to get new lawn care customers requires focusing on your business network, your reputation, your advertising campaign and your business metrics. Provide the best service you can, offer package deals to entice new customers, harness technology to see where you’re going wrong and collaborate with other local business owners to generate new referrals. Soon, you’ll have so many customers you’ll need to expand to handle them all.
1) Focus on your reputation
For small lawn care companies, reputation is everything. Like other contractors, small lawn care businesses can suffer from bad word of mouth, especially when homeowners are already inclined to distrust contractors.
Besides, good recommendations from existing customers represent the easiest and cheapest way to increase business. However, satisfied customers are much more likely than dissatisfied ones to keep quiet about their experience. They post fewer online reviews and speak less about your company to their friends – unless, of course, the friends happen to ask, “Hey, who does your lawn?”
Boost your reputation by soliciting feedback from customers. Offer customers a simple form for comments, negative or positive. Positive comments can be shared online to boost your reputation. Negative comments and complaints can be mined for data to help you improve your business. Offer points, discounts or other bonuses to customers who refer others, and make it easy for them to do so. Prioritize great customer service and work to offer the best lawn care you can.
2) Offer package discounts for scheduled lawn maintenance
Fertilization, aeration, dethatching, mulching and tree trimming, rather than mowing, tend to be your money makers in the lawn care industry. The trouble is, many homeowners want a nice lawn, but not if it costs a lot. Paying to have your lawn mowed is one thing – it removes a strenuous, time-consuming and often unpleasant chore from the homeowner’s honey-do list – but many homeowners will simply fertilize their own grass, or skip fertilization and other less regular maintenance chores altogether.
Take some of the sticker shock out of lawn fertilization. Offer package discounts for homeowners who sign up for lawn fertilization, aeration and dethatching package. You’ll get more customers willing to shell out for the extra service, and that’ll be more money in your pocket.
3) Use technology to analyze business metrics
How well is your business performing? Are you quoting the right price for jobs, or do you sometimes find that you under-quoted a job because it’s taking much longer than you thought? Are your routes organized for maximum efficiency so crews spend as little time as possible on the road between jobs? How many jobs a day do your crews perform?
Use field service software to collect data on how long it takes you to do jobs, how efficient your routes are, how many jobs you’re doing a day and more. Make adjustments as needed to minimize costs and maximize revenue and profit.
4) Collaborate with other small business owners
If you want to bring in more money, partner up with other small contractors in your area to establish a system of referrals that can benefit everyone. Develop relationships with independently owned hardware stores, plumbers, landscapers, construction companies and other small businesses that interact with homeowners on a regular basis. Business networks can strengthen all of the small businesses in your community because they provide a forum for sharing business ideas, as well as customer referrals.
For example, let’s say one of your customers has a patch of exceptionally overgrown grass on their lawn. Recommend a local plumber from your business network to check the customer’s leach field for leaks. Maybe that plumber will recommend you to one of his customers who needs someone to take care of his elderly mother’s lawn. It doesn’t cost you anything to be part of a network, but it can give you access to many more potential customers than you might otherwise come into contact with.
5) Use a combination of traditional and new media advertising
Social media marketing and organic search engine results are two powerful new media ways of promoting your business, but people still watch TV, read newspapers and notice billboards on the highway. Investing in organic search engine optimization (SEO) will help your business appear at the top of search results when customers search for local lawn care companies.
Social media marketing will put your advertisements and content into customers’ social media feeds, and it’s free apart from paid advertising posts. Traditional media advertising will bring your company to the awareness of older and less tech-savvy customers – the exact market that may be most likely to need a lawn care company.
Bringing in new business for your lawn care company can be a challenge, but it’s one that you can definitely rise to. With a strong business network, a comprehensive advertising campaign, a solid grasp of your business metrics and a stellar reputation, your business can grow as fast as the lawns you care for.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written by Jackie Carrillo. Carrillo is a content coordinator and contributor who creates quality articles for topics like technology, home life, business management, gardening and landscaping and education. She studied business management and is continually building positive relationships with other publishers and the internet community.