Ladder of Success 500 - 1500 Lawn Care Customer Base

You have been in the lawn care business more than just a few years.  You have a business location, several employees, a couple of fully equipped trucks, maybe an office manager/assistant/partner.  Growth has become an issue.  You have heard stories about big buyouts by national corporate lawn care companies and would like to position the company to be more attractive.


  • You are ready to add an additional lawn service truck because your current fleet is reaching its limits.


  • You have the staff and drive to take on an additional 250 - 500 new customers next year. You have the staff to run 500 - 1000 new leads in the spring.


  • Your customer base has grown to cover most of the community, but is not really saturated in most neighborhoods.



What to do?


Besides all of the options mentioned in LADDER OF SUCCESS 0-500, you should be thinking of using additional marketing tools.  TELEMARKETING can still work to build density in specific areas if you can find enough targeted names and phone numbers to call.  It can be turned on and off as needed so that you don't fall behind in running leads.  There are, however, federal and state Do Not Call regulations with which you must comply – see DO NOT CALL.   The best use of telemarketing is calling previous cancels and rejects.


Consider a spring Direct Mail campaign.  (Read more about Direct Mail: DIRECT MAIL OVERVIEW; DIRECT MAIL PROGRAMS, COSTS & RESULTS.)  Direct mail can be highly targeted and can reach prospects you can't reach by phone or other sources.  Direct mail sales traditionally have a lower cancel rate than other forms of marketing and revenue per sale can be higher.  A minimum test of a direct mail campaign should be 10,000 pieces at a cost of around $5,000.


When adding new vehicles, consider adding up-scale graphics that will tie in with your web site, direct mail and other marketing materials.  This is typically more than just a logo and phone number, but large decals that cover a good portion of the van or truck.  This helps build consumer recognition of your name and service and improves all other forms of marketing.


  • WEB SITE - The foundation of your marketing strategy


  • Business Cards - An inexpensive way to make a big impact (less than $0.07 + postage)


  • DOOR HANGING - Neighbors of Current Customers ($0.16 each + labor & fuel costs)


  • Pre-Pay Letters to Customers, Cancels, and Prior Year Rejects - Send a Pre-Pay Letter to customers and customers that cancelled during the previous two years.  Offer them a substantial discount of 10-20% if they prepay for the entire full season.  Filter your cancel file to remove bad debt/problem customers.  You can also find success mailing the same or a similar offer to rejects (leads that did not close) from previous years.


  • Direct Sales - Knock on a few doors while you’re out treating lawns, especially if you work on Saturdays or evenings when people are home.  You may come home with three new customers to add to the route you just treated.


  • TELEMARKETING - Call previous cancels and rejects and make them an offer they can’t refuse.


  • DIRECT MAIL - The best time to generate quality leads and long-term customers is in the spring in most markets.  Direct Mail, when accurately targeted with a highly selective list, can generate lots of new leads and sales profitably.


  • Premium TRUCK SIGNAGE - Truck sales account for between 2 - 4 % of new sales each year. You can make a lasting impression with quality truck signage.  Investment depends on size and quantity of graphics.  Include your web site address on your trucks.


  •  Invest in continued training by joining your state lawn care association.  Learn how others have become successful and put yourself in a good position for solid future growth.