Now that you know what type of business to run and when to start it, how are you going to get your first customers? Well, one of the things that we like to use in our companies, and it has functioned very very well for us, is what we call the twenty-dollar special. Or now, because of inflation, it might be a twenty-five dollar special.
For the twenty-dollar special, you go to a neighborhood where the lawns have approximately the same size lots for each of the houses. You put fliers and door hangers on every door. By the way, you’re not allowed to put them on the mailbox. That’s handy, but the US Postal Service says those mailboxes, even though they belong to the homeowner, belong to the US Postal Service. So, they will not let you do that.
But put the flyers on the doors. Take a little while to walk down through these neighborhoods. The special is $20 or $25 whatever you decide for your first cut. You might say, “well wait, I might lose money on that first cut.” You might, but who cares. You’re going to lose money anyway by doing estimates and all. Everybody offers free estimates.
Make Money While Gaining Your First Customers
Don’t worry about that. If I, as a customer, want my lawn mowed, I’m probably not going to bother you by saying, “oh bring me a free estimate.” Or, “oh, I have to meet with you.” I have to do this. I have to do that, and I have to do the next thing. At the end of the day, I don’t have anything but a piece of paper that says you’re gonna do the work for “this much” money.
What’s better than that is the special that says “I will do the first cut for $20 or $25. After that, I’ll leave you an estimate and tell you how much it’s going to cost.” Now, the cool thing about that is that you get to make $20 or $25. Not very much but it’s something right?
The other thing is that you’re not wasting your time. You’re doing something.
The third thing that it does for you is it gives you the ability to actually try the lawn out for the first time. If you try it for the first time and you see that it’s very intricate, it has a lot of toys laying around and takes a long time trimming and all that kind of stuff then you can know that your estimates are going to be a little bit higher. Because the bottom line about an estimate is it’s always about how much time it takes to do this lawn.
Give Accurate Quotes The First Time
So, once you have that you can say “okay if this lawn is going to take me a half-hour and the hourly rate that I’m trying to come up with is forty-five dollars per man per hour then a half-hour would be $22.50.” That’s my estimate for this guy. It really creates a nice relationship between you and the customer right from the front.
There’s no mystery here, there’s nothing going on, and a lot of people are willing to put out the $25 just to get their lawn mowed the first time. Then when they see how easy it is and how nice a job you did, they end up signing up. They’ll pay you $32 or $35 or $45 per cut because you’ve already created a relationship.
You’re way ahead of those other guys that say “hey call us for a free estimate. Then we’ll arrange for an estimator. Then you have to be there, and you have to meet with them, and then we’re gonna high-pressure talk you into something…” You’re beyond all that. You’re just trying to create a win-win situation so use that $20 special on those door hangers to get your first customers.