Getting your first customers in any business can be a daunting task. The following are some tips for getting your first 30 landscaping or lawncare customers.
Don’t come off as salesy. Simply say, “Hey, I’m doing some work in the area and just wanted to see if you needed any work done.” You can also ask if they know anyone else who might be interested in your services. After you do each job knock on 10 houses in the neighborhood and see if they need any help. You may also want to go to VistaPrint.com and use their business card template to create a business card that you can leave behind. For under $50 you can have 1,000 cards that you can leave with people.
You can create a free Facebook business page to showcase your business, post pictures and collect reviews. You can also join local town groups (many towns have more than one) where community members congregate online to discuss various issues. You can periodically post advertisements for your business in many of these groups, just be sure to read the rules to avoid being banned. You can also your friends, family and customers to recommend you within these groups when people post looking for lawncare or landscaping services.
Google Business Profile
You can create a free Google Business Profile. Google uses these business profiles to determine which businesses it should show in the map pack for local searches. When someone types in “landscaper near me” Google will show a map with 3 local businesses. This Google Business Profile also comes with a free website from Google. It normally has a name off of business.site but you can also purchase a custom domain for $12. You can also use a more expensive website builder tool such as Squarespace.com to have a more professional website, although you should consider doing that once you have your first clients.
Appearing in the Google Map Pack can bring in a lot of leads for a business. So make sure to build out your profile complete, including adding pictures, listing all of your services and creating posts showcasing your projects. Also make sure to focus on getting reviews from all of your clients. The number of reviews, how recent they were and the average rating are significant ranking factors in how well you will rank in the Google Map Pack. So make it a priority and part of your process to ask every customer for a review. Give them a reason when you ask and give them a direct link. You’ll find that you often have to ask multiple times and through multiple channels (in person, on invoices, in follow up conversations) to get someone to leave a review. So make sure to not pester them but keep in mind that people often get busy and will forget about leaving you a review.
Finding other non-competitive businesses and networking with them can be a great source of leads. Find lawn fertilization, tree services, pool companies and other related businesses and offer to refer them business if they will do the same for you. You can even talk with other landscapers and lawn care companies and see if there are opportunities to refer each other work when it’s not a good fit or when the location isn’t in their desired area.
Another option for networking is to visit a local BNI (Business Network International). These are paid groups but you can visit numerous times before having to commit to a membership. You can also offer to be a sub for those who can’t make a meeting. Members love having a roster of subs and you can attend meetings for free while still getting more exposure.
Consider leaving yard signs when you do work so that people passing by see your business. You can also leave door hangers on the houses on the street after you do a job. USPS Every Door Direct Mail can be a great way to pick up clients in a specific area by sending postcards to specific carrier routes or neighborhoods. This can be a great way to increase density in a specific neighborhood.
Also try to think outside of the box. A client started their landscaping business by standing outside of the train station in his suburban town after people got out of work. He handed out brochures for his new landscaping business and built his business by this unique approach.