Now that you’ve got your paperwork sorted and you’re ready to make money mowing lawns, you might be asking, “But how can I get customers for a lawn mowing business?”
The short answer is that to spread the word of your amazing lawn mowing prowess, you either you have get out there yourself to tell people, get someone else to get out there for you. Or, as most lawn mowers do, you could rely on a combination of the two options. Otherwise the phone will never ring and you will never have a successful mowing business.
To kickstart your thinking, here are 20 ideas to get customers for a lawn mowing business:
Get Customers Yourself (DIY)
There are so many ways to try to attract customers that your methods of choice are only really limited by your imagination – and your budget.
Idea 1: Tell everyone you know – friends, family, former colleagues, neighbours, other parents at your children’s school or sporting club, store assistants you buy from – anyone and everyone you can think of that might either need your services or know someone who needs your services.
Idea 2: Offer incentives for current customers to refer you to their friends, family and neighbours.
Idea 3: Deliver business cards, marketing flyers and/or door hangers to homes in your area. If you’re confident, try knocking on doors as part of the process, so that customers can put a face to the business name and you can try to earn some initial rapport by meeting people personally.
Idea 4: Build a website for your business so that you have an online display case that works while you’re out mowing lawns – and while you’re sleeping!
Idea 5: Set up a Google+ account and encourage customers to leave reviews on it. This can also help your business show up better in Google search results.
Idea 6: Start a Facebook business page. This gives you a home for people that love hanging out on Facebook and find it easy to ‘like’ businesses or communicate with businesses who are also on Facebook.
Idea 7: Experiment with other social media channels as well. Perhaps you might like to try Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Social media can be largely hit and miss, so don’t be too disappointed if no work comes of it. At the very least though, you might learn some new online skills, gain some some business ideas by learning what others are doing, are perhaps develop some business relationships with other lawn care businesses (even if they are outside your local area) who you could bounce ideas off sometimes, and vice versa.
Idea 8: Get video testimonials from satisfied customers, that you could use on your website, Facebook business page and/or Google+ account.
Idea 9: Improve your customer service. We all think we’re friendly, but there is a difference between being friendly-and-not-interested and being passionate-and-willing-to-impress. And it’s not necessarily something that involves money or extra time on the lawnmowing job. It’s often just in the way you listen and respond to customers. Be honest with yourself after every interaction this week and then ask yourself, “If I was the customer, what else could have been done?”
Idea 10: Partner with related home service companies, so that they can promote you to their customers and you can promote them to your customers. An endorsement from someone you’re already doing business with is always much better than a face-less flyer left in a mailbox.
Idea 11: Consider paying for Google AdWords. Be careful how much to spend on this though. It’s very easy to overspend if you don’t set limits. Track how much you earn from paying customers from these online ads to see if it is worthwhile your ongoing investment in this channel.
Idea 12: Consider paying for Facebook Ads. Again, it’s easy to click a few buttons and ‘set and forget’ online ad campaigns, then find out later on that your ad cost way more than you anticipated. So, set yourself a daily limit and monitor the results on a daily basis.
Idea 13: Get in the news. Journalists are looking for stories, so think of what story you could be a part of that could get you some free press coverage in your local paper, or thinking bigger, your state or national paper. You’ll need an interesting angle (eg. Something that you saw? Someone that you helped? Some data that you’ve gathered?) and be sure to use a ‘grab attention’ sentence in your email or phone call.
Idea 14: Follow up with lost customers. This takes some courage, but if you could find out why someone cancelled your service, and if it’s something related to your service that you could improve (because many times it has nothing to do with you, remember), then this simple act of bravery could potentially save you thousands of dollars in the future, if you don’t lose customers for that reason ever again.
Idea 15: Attend some local business networking events. People love to do business with people they know. So going out to meet people at local events is a great way for more people to learn what you do, get to know you, and do business with you. If you’re lucky, you might meet some busy executives who would absolutely love to be relieved of their lawn mowing duties. And considering that most lawn mowers are out mowing lawns instead of networking, you probably won’t have anyone competing with you in the networking breaks!
Idea 16: Consider paying for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). This is something you probably shouldn’t do from day one, unless you really know what you’re doing and can quiz your SEO agency effectively. But it’s something to think about for later on, when you have some decent revenue coming in. Quality professionals that offer SEO services can indeed help your business website rank higher on the search engines – which can save you money on AdWords, Facebook ads and other spending channels.
Have Someone Else Get Customers For You (Pay-a-Pro)
Idea 17: List on various online directories (either for free or for a fee). This way, the listing sites (such as Yellow Pages, Start Local, Hot Frog, Come On Aussie) can potentially drive customers to you while you’re out mowing lawns. But it can be hard to get noticed on sites with thousands of listings.
Idea 18: Pay for online leads from potential customers. For example, quote-based sites like Service Central and Hi Pages can send you customer jobs to quote on, to save you going out to find jobs to quote on. Sites like these charge for “leads”, regardless if you win the quote or not (as well as a potential initial listing fee). Such sites usually send the quote opportunity to multiple lawn mowing businesses. This option can work well, if you are receiving a regular flow of jobs to quote on, are happy to pay the lead without guarantee of work, and you are winning enough jobs to cover the cost of money spent on leads that did not turn into paying customers.
Idea 19: Approach other lawn mower contractors and ask if they could send their excess work to you, and invite them to keep a commission for referring you the lawnmowing jobs. This system can work well if you partner with lawn mowing providers who are busy and therefore happy to have someone help them. But just bear in mind that most providers will be protective of the customer leads and the customer might never know your own business name in order to refer you to others. This is fine if the work keeps flowing, but not so fine if you have nothing to show for it once you lose that customer.
Idea 20: Register with us! GreenSocks is a marketplace for lawn mowing services. You mow the lawns and we’ll find the customers to send your way. Our jobs are real jobs, not just quote leads. We don’t send jobs to multiple lawn mowing business providers and we only take a commission after the customer has paid us for the completed lawn mowing. If a customer leaves, you’ll still get to keep your customer ratings on our system, so your efforts in building your reputation will never be wasted. So, what have you got to lose?
A Combination of DIY and Pay-a-Pro
It’s hard to do everything yourself, so most lawn mowers tend to work with a combination of the DIY approach and the get-my-customers-for-me approach. There’s no right or wrong option. It just depends on how you much you enjoy chasing customers versus how much you’d rather be mowing lawns versus how much you like juggling the two marketing options. It’s your lawn mowing business, so it’s totally up to you!
Need Some Inspiration?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need some inspiration to help kickstart your efforts to get customers for a lawn mowing business, check out his 28 minute video below entitled: How To Market A Lawn Care Business – The First 10 Steps, by American Andrew Pototschnik, the Lawn Care Millionaire (yes, that is really one of his brand names), who is also known as the Lawn Care Marketing Expert.
Good luck with your lawn mowing business!