9 Ways to Get New Lawn Care Customers Fast.
So you have everything you need to start mowing lawns; only one thing is missing.
Well, rest assured you have come to the right place. I have tried not to talk about the same methods everyone else does. You will find some good ideas here and a couple you won’t find mentioned anywhere else, including my last method that I have done myself and can get you going full-time from day one.
I have started a lawn care business from scratch three times in my thirty-year career. I have continually built and sold lawn care businesses that entire time. If you are looking for my entire startup recipe, I recommend you read this article.
This is a list (in order of importance) of what I would do if I were to start over again.
1. Set up a website.
This is the first thing you need to do. You don’t have to spend huge amounts of money on this. People are not looking for the most flash site in town when they are searching for a lawn care guy. You will be fine if it looks professional and contains all the information they need.
You can set up a website for free with Google (with no ongoing costs) at the same time you set up your Google Maps listing. There is a course on how to do that here
2. Set up your business on Google Maps.
Listing your business on Google Maps is a great way to get your phone ringing from day one for free. If you are not sure about how to set up your business on Google Maps, I also have a tutorial about that here.
Three tips to make your Google Maps image rank.
- Fill out as much information as you can, and make sure your address and phone numbers are formatted exactly as they are on your website. Doing this is essential as it helps with ranking.
- Get as many reviews as you can. You would be surprised at how many lawn care operators don’t do this. Be proactive when asking for reviews. Mow lawns for family and friends at no charge, then ask them to give you a review. If a customer compliments your work, ask them for a review. When starting your business, always ask for a review (as long as the customer is happy). Tell them your business is new and you need the reviews. Don’t leave anything to chance. Have the review link on your phone and text it to anyone you ask for a review. Doing this will increase the rank of your listing.
- Post on your Google Maps page regularly. Take photos of the lawns you mow. Remember to ask the customers if this is ok. Do before and after photos to post on your Google Maps page. If you use the Google free website, they will also appear there. You can use canva to do this. It is free, and you can edit your images there. I also have a free tool that I use that recycles posts from a premade library. I start with 30 posts and add about ten new ones a month. It just keeps posting daily and can post them daily on Google Maps. You can find the posting tool here.
3. Run a Google AdWords ad.
You will have to pay to run Google AdWords, but it is definitely worth it as this can bring you calls in immediately. You can have this up and running in a few hours; it is time well spent.
It is not hard to set up a Google Ad, and as long as you keep control of the budget and use the right keywords, you will definitely get a few calls coming in. If you would like Google to lead you through this process, then you can use the official Google help page.
If you are patient, you can get a discount. You will need to sign up a couple of weeks before advertising and then do nothing. After your account has sat idle for a couple of weeks, then Google will email you a discount voucher. It’s usually something like “You spend $90 and get a $90 credit.”
If you will use Google Adwords, remember to keep an eye on what the other lawn care operators are doing. See who is spending the most to come up near the top on a regular basis. Pay attention to what they are doing. Start by doing the most common search, which is “lawn care (name of your city here)”. for Example, “lawn care Hamilton”. This will give you an idea of who is doing what.
4. Do a deal with a local lawn care operator.
This is something that hardly ever happens, and it works really well. Over the years, I have had very few calls from new lawn care companies wanting my excess leads. I am selling pre-qualified leads to another lawn care operator for $20 a lead, but I have given them away for free before.
The first thing you need to do is find a lawn care operator that has been around for a while and is working close to full capacity with no plans on expansion.
You then call them and offer to take their excess leads. A lot of lawn care operators are happy to give callers another number if they cannot accept any more customers. You may have to offer money if they do not sound too keen when you talk to them. If you are going to pay for the leads, remember to set a few ground rules. Here are a few that I use.
- For a One-Off cut, set a minimum charge that the customer must agree to before you take the lead. As a seller, I tell the customer that the estimate is free but will not be any less than $50 if they want to go ahead. I then package and sell the lead.
- You need an address, full name, contact number, and whether it is a One-Off or regular mow.
- All leads must be sent to you by text within 10 minutes of coming in.
- It needs to be an exclusive arrangement. The person taking the call needs to give the customers your name and let them know you will be coming around.
You can make this agreement with as many lawn care operators as you want, but make sure that you always keep the customers in the loop. If you cannot make it around, let the customer know, and you still need to pay for the lead. I have stopped supplying leads to unreliable lawn care operators even if they are paying me. I do not want to receive calls telling me that my recommended operator did not turn up.
5. Use free bulletin boards.
Another good way of generating local leads that will only really cost you time. The first thing you need to do is design a card which has some pre-cut tear-off strips. Then pull off a couple of tabs so it doesn’t look new. You may have to keep a spreadsheet with locations and days, as some places require you to date anything you post.
A few of the places you can find these near you are listed below.
- Grocery Stores
- Convenience Stores
- Coffee Shops
- Community Centers
The best thing about using this method is that it makes it easy to keep your marketing local.
6. Go door to door with cards.
Now I didn’t say this was going to be easy. If you are made of stern stuff, you could go out on a Saturday afternoon and drum up a bit of business. Be prepared for the occasional bad reaction. This cannot be helped, but it is actually still a very effective way of getting customers.
Don’t try to sell them anything; simply ask, “Would you like a free quote on lawn mowing?” If they say “yes” they have something like a flyer with a quote form on the back, and fill that out. If they say “No, ” thank them for their time and move on.
There are some things you really should do first that will increase your chances of success, so you will need to check these items off the list.
- Be presentable – Make sure you are clean and tidy and not smelling like you have been working all day.
- Wear a uniform with branding – You are going to be walking around people’s properties, so you need to look professional and trustworthy.
- Carry lots of business cards – Preferably the fridge magnet type. These are going to stay around a lot longer. I got two calls last week from fridge magnets. One was from an estimate I did over a year ago, and the other person had no idea how the card ended up on their fridge, but it had been there for a while. This doesn’t happen a lot, but it happens enough to make it worthwhile. I get my fridge magnets through Vistaprint.
If you get the chance to do an estimate, then write it down for the customer on the quote form and make a note of the address and the quote to enter in a spreadsheet for your reference later.
7. Direct mailing a street.
This is a good idea that is hardly ever used. It works best on new subdivisions where all the lawn sizes are similar.
If the subdivision is really new, then Google Maps is not a lot of help. They may have a new satellite image every day, but they will only use the image on their maps if it is clear (no cloud etc.). This can lead to a long wait between updated images in some areas.
There is a way around this by checking out a few open homes. You will probably be the only one checking out the lawn. Once you have an idea of the general size, you are ready for the next step.
Send a direct mail letter to all the occupiers on the street saying that you mow lawns in that area and giving them a price for a regular service.
This can be a bit pricey, but I have heard of this method bringing in good results. Test it with 100 postcards first and gauge the results. If it works well, then you can do this more often.
8. Set up multiple social media accounts and post daily.
This is actually a lot easier than you would think. The main accounts you want to set up as listed below.
- Facebook – Set up a business page. If you do not know how to do this, I have a tutorial here.
- Twitter – Set up a business profile here too.
- Instagram or Linkedin – You can use these, but I have found that the results are not that great for a lawn care business.
- Google Business – Otherwise known as Google Places or Google Maps, but you have already done that, haven’t you?
Now set up daily posts on all these profiles. That might sound like a lot of work, but it is not really. All you need is a library, and you can have your posts set on recycling then, you only have to write a post once, and you can post it once a month.
I build my library by writing the first 20 posts and adding a few new ones every month, and my library keeps growing. I do try to focus on evergreen topics (always current). If you write any seasonal posts, keep track of them and stop them when the season ends.
If you don’t want to do the posting yourself, there are a few programs you can use. I use Recurpost, and they will let you post on 3 profiles and have a library of 100 posts for a reasonable price. That should keep you going for a while.
9. The last method (warning this is not for the faint-hearted)
This method of getting new customers is not easy, but I have used it a few times (twice, starting with nothing), and it has worked really well every time.
My five-step plan to get you working full-time from day one is as follows.
- Have you got a copy of the local White Pages? If not, your first step is to get a copy. Pick a page to start on. I prefer not to start at “A” because if anyone else in your area has tried this, then this is probably where they started.
- Starting at 9 am on a Monday morning and start calling. Keep note of the number of calls you make, and you will find that you can average around 20-30 calls an hour, and you will get a quote every couple of hours. (I used to average one on 50 at worst). I have an example of my script below.
- The exercise aims to secure a new reoccurring customer or, at worst, do a One-Off job and earn some extra money. When you get a quote, you now have a couple of choices.
- Go out and do the quote immediately. If they accept the quote, do the job ASAP, and if it is a regular job, work out the schedule. Then go back home and get back on the phone.
- My method was to move the head out time an hour back for every quote I got. One quote = Head out at 4.30 pm, two quotes = Head out at 3.30 pm, etc. If you get home early, get back on the phone.
- Keep doing this until you are working full-time or you have no time left to telemarket.
There is a bit of flexibility on the time you call. You can choose to call evenings if you prefer, although I have found 6-7 pm, not the best time to call as a lot of people will be eating dinner.
The last time I did this, it took me three months to go from no lawns to a full-time income.
My phone script.
Hi, my name is ……………………, and I am just ringing around to see if anyone would like a free quote on lawn mowing? ( If you get the feeling they did not quite catch what you said, you can follow up by saying. I own a lawn care business. If they say “no”, then say. That’s fine; thank you for your time. If they say yes, then confirm the address in the phone book. do not say, do you live at …………………….?, as this seems to put some people off. Say something like. Thanks, could I please confirm your address? If you need to mention their street name, say the street only, not the street number.
With this script, I could normally make a call every 60-90 seconds. If the customer wants to keep talking, that is fine, as it could lead to a quote. Do try to avoid anyone who starts talking for talking’s sake.
If you follow the steps here, you should have your very own lawn care business in no time. However, the work does not stop there. A large number of new business fail. In order to run a successful lawn care business, you need to have good systems. Have a browse through this site and use the systems here, and you will swing the odds of succeeding in your favour.
PS: Looking to launch and grow your own profitable lawn mowing business without overspending? You’ve come to the right place! Sign up today and try our membership for free for 7 days to learn the insider tips and tricks for success. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to take your lawn care business to the next level!
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