In Part 1, we discussed how to prepare to start a lawn care or landscaping business. Once you’ve made that decision, the real fun (and work) can begin. In this part of our guide on how to start a landscaping or lawn care business, we’ll outline strategies for attracting and retaining clients so you can enjoy a steady stream of revenue.
How to Attract New Clients to Your Lawn Care or Landscaping Business
In the era of the Internet, advertising is both easier to do and more confusing to understand. While lawn care flyers hung around the neighborhood used to be the gold standard for advertising, today’s lawn care business owners must consider a few more advertising outlets.
- Online marketing: Creating a website and / or a company page on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media channels is a great way to connect with potential customers, demonstrate your legitimacy, and make it easy for customers to contact you. If you’re interested in a more robust online presence, you could maintain a blog or purchase online ads targeted to your ideal customers.
- Physical advertising: If your audience is local and / or older, flyers and Yellow Pages ads may still prove effective ways to connect with them and spread awareness about your name. Both are often fairly inexpensive and can help you establish yourself in the early months.
- Word of mouth and referrals: For any business, one of the best sources of new customers is from referrals from happy existing customers. Make it part of your standard policy to ask your clients whether they know of anyone else who could use your services. To make the referral process easier for them, consider including a business card in the bills you send so they can quickly pass your information on to others. You can sweeten the deal by offering a special deal if and when a referral becomes a client.
- Special offers: Offering special pricing for new customers can help you introduce your services to new people. During slow seasons, try creating promotions (e.g. spring garden preparation in the fall) that attract customers who might otherwise not think to hire a lawn care or landscaping business.
Hiring Employees for Your Lawn Care Business
If you find that you need someone besides yourself to serve your clients, you’ll have to have a strategy for finding the right employees for your business. While your individual needs will dictate some of your hiring decisions, a few basic principles can help all landscaping businesses:
- Offer a competitive wage. One of the best ways to attract and retain quality employees is to offer a decent salary.
- Incentivize long-term employment. The longer you can hold on to good employees, the less time, energy, and money you’ll have to spend looking for, interviewing, and advertising for new ones.
- Consider the hidden costs. Turnover is expensive for a lawn care business: every time you need a new employee, you have to devote valuable time to finding, screening, and training someone.
Protecting Your Lawn Care or Landscaping Business and Clients
While running a landscaping or lawn care business means that you’ll get to spend your days outside in the sunshine, it also means you’ll face a number of risks: you could break your expensive equipment, damage a client’s property, or even cause injuries to one of your clients or employees.
Lawn care and landscaping business insurance can protect you against all these risks. With adequate insurance policies in place, you can avoid spending your hard-earned business assets on expenses related to accidents, property damage, and personal injuries that happen on the job.