Lawn & Garden Landscaping

How to Get Lawn Care Customers: Simple Ways to Turn a Budding Business Into a Lucrative One

Lawn care companies that are looking for ways to increase their client list can follow these tips and tricks to obtain and maintain a loyal customer base.
how to get lawn care customers

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Starting a lawn care business requires a business plan, a well-thought-out budget, and the right equipment. But lawn care services are nothing without customers, so determining ways to promote the business and drum up customers is the logical—and essential—next step for business owners. The good news is, translating a strong work ethic into learning how to get lawn care customers is not rocket science. It takes backbone, self-promotion, networking, and some smart decision-making to go from one lawn to 100 and beyond. These 13 steps will help business owners learn how to get lawn care customers and keep them.

Before You Begin…

Learning how to get lawn care clients is all about expanding the customer base, so for most lawn care services, this will start local, as in friends and family, and literally grow from there. At this point, the lawn care business has a name, a logo, a budget, the necessary start-up equipment, and a solid business plan. But to cover all those costs, there have to be clients. One critical consideration for lawn care business owners is making sure they have the proper licenses and insurance coverage. The cost of lawn care business insurance varies but generally averages around $45 a month—a small price to maintain customers’ trust and preserve the company’s reputation and finances.

Tips for Getting Lawn Care Customers

  • Start local with family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Advertise in the areas where the lawn care business is already operating.
  • Establish a customer loyalty and referral program.
  • Keep prices competitive and advertise them clearly on the company website and lawn care flyers.
  • Use social media, Google Business, and other sites like Angi and HomeAdvisor to connect with customers and respond to their comments and concerns.
  • Establish a referral network with other businesses such as real estate agents and home repair services.
how to get lawn care customers
Photo: istock.com

STEP 1: Build a base client list by reaching out to local family and friends.

Whether it’s working for a friend or mowing Grandma’s lawn, every business has to start somewhere, and the owner’s immediate circle can be a great place to start. Letting family and friends know about a new lawn care business venture can be the beginning of a strong client list and repeat customers. Entrepreneurs may want to consider offering a family and friends discount or creating a loyalty program to let customers know how valuable they are. Business owners can offer lawn care services to people who already have trust in the new business through a personal connection, which can be a boost to a client base from the start. Entrepreneurs will want to let their family and friends know that the business is also insured by one of the best lawn care insurance companies (such as NEXT Insurance or Thimble). This provides assurance to customers that their property will be protected if the lawn care service causes damages, which is important when hiring a lawn care service.

STEP 2: Ask your neighbors if they would like to hire you to care for their lawn.

If curb appeal is what homeowners are looking for, many think of their lawn as the focal point.  Busy schedules and lack of equipment or expertise can mean lawn care takes a back seat. Enter the friendly neighborhood lawn care pro, who can swoop in and offer fertilizing, cleanup, seeding, and regular mowing, especially during the spring and summer months. A business owner can save travel time and fuel costs by starting out working in their own neighborhood, freeing up time to take on more lawns.

“When I kicked off, it was just me and my mower,” says Bryan Clayton, CEO and cofounder of Green Pal, a service that connects customers with local lawn care and landscaping businesses. “That’s the beauty of landscaping—you can start small. You get to learn the ins and outs of running a business in the most hands-on way possible.”

STEP 3: Canvass neighborhoods while on a job and pass out flyers.

Being visible in a neighborhood can go a long way toward securing new clients. As a business, taking on clients in the same general geographic location cuts down on travel time and creates an efficient business model while helping to establish the lawn care service as a neighborhood fixture. One way to do this is to ensure the vehicles used on the job advertise services, whether that’s with wrapping or magnetic signs. Another way is to take a boots-on-the-ground approach and go door-to-door in a neighborhood, ideally with lawn care business flyers, business cards, or door hangers in hand. Business owners can consider offering new-customer discount codes on these flyers, or they can assign a neighborhood discount code to help track where new customers are coming in.

how to get lawn care customers
Photo: istock.com

STEP 4: Create a referral program to encourage existing customers to send business your way.

A referral program is a way for a lawn care business to offer current customers a reward for spreading the word about the business. A program like this gives regular customers a perk (such as a discount) in exchange for each new customer they refer who signs up. The new customer also gets a similar discount or perk for signing, and the lawn care company keeps both clients happy. It’s a win-win for customers and business owners alike. Business owners will want to keep the customer in mind when creating a referral program and make it easy for customers to become ambassadors for the lawn care service. Whether a new customer simply mentions a loyal customer by name or enters a special code when booking a service, it’s important for the business owner to keep the process simple and user-friendly.

STEP 5: Encourage customers to provide feedback on your services.

Unlike other businesses that may spend more time interacting with their customers online, lawn care pros are constantly interacting with customers in the field. And while customers may be satisfied with services, they may not always go the extra step of leaving a review. Honest customer reviews can give potential customers confidence they’re making the right choice. Lawn care business owners can encourage their customers to leave a review by suggesting they do so on an invoice, flyer, email, or other regular form of communication. They’ll want to include a link to the applicable review platforms such as Yelp, Google, Facebook, or elsewhere.

Business owners will need to keep in mind that not all reviews will be five stars, but this can be an opportunity for them to show current and potential customers how they handle complaints. While a lawn care service wants all of its customers to be satisfied, not everyone will be happy all of the time, and how a company responds to both positive and negative reviews can give customers an idea of the business owner’s operating style. Mistakes happen, but when a business owner addresses them in a proactive way it shows customers that the business listens and takes issues seriously. This can go a long way toward giving new customers confidence in the business.

STEP 6: Consider offering discounts for bundling services.

Lawn care services can include everything from routine lawn maintenance to seasonal cleanup. One way for a business owner to secure repeat customers is to offer a financial incentive for engaging multiple services. For example, a customer may pay a flat rate for standard monthly lawn care services such as fertilizing and mowing. Some of the best lawn care services go beyond lawn care and offer basic landscaping services such as pruning and fertilizing garden beds. For a lawn care business already on-site, the additional work isn’t a huge investment in time. And instead of paying individually for each service, the customer gets a discount on services by bundling. Another common practice among lawn care businesses is to offer discounts for engaging regular services, particularly during the growing season. Customers pay less for quality services, and the lawn care business has steady income they can count on.

how to get lawn care customers
Photo: istock.com

STEP 7: Create a user-friendly website and keep it maintained.

A user-friendly website that is easy to navigate and very clearly states what lawn care services are offered signals to the customer that their time is valuable. This prevents customers from getting frustrated trying to find images of past jobs or lists of services and pricing. It’s also important that the website is mobile-responsive so that the information is visible on a phone as well as on a desktop. Most of the best website builders for small businesses (such as GoDaddy) take this into account and make it easy for a business owner to create a helpful and attractive website.

It’s also advantageous for the business owner and the customer alike when the website makes it very obvious the scope of lawn care services offered. For example, some companies prefer to limit their services strictly to maintenance such as mowing and fertilizing, whereas other companies may also offer sod installation and basic landscaping services. Businesses that make it clear to the customer what they can ask the lawn care service to do saves the customer and the business time. It is also common, but not a requirement, for lawn care services to list up-front pricing on their website. If choosing to do this, the business owner will want to do extensive market research on the cost of lawn care services to make sure prices are fair and competitive. Many lawn care services also choose to offer a free consultation and estimate once they have visited the property, as the size and scope of services needed can affect the price.

A lot of lawn care businesses choose to set up a portion of their website to support customer learning with content such as how-to videos, after-treatment support, lawn care basics, and FAQs. Whether someone has a one-time installation job or is a repeat customer, it’s in every lawn care business’s best interest to make sure the grass stays green on those lawns. This is also a good way to showcase that the website is up to date.

STEP 8: Be active on social media and online neighborhood groups such as Nextdoor.

Social media can be an effective way to grow brand identity using photos, short videos, and links to other content a lawn care business has on its website. Like other landscaping and floral industries, lawn care businesses have the added advantage of their subject matter being based around beautiful yards and gardens, which means photo ops abound. Before-and-after images and on-the-job photos can boost visibility on image-driven social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook. Other social media can be an effective way to distribute content, including how-to articles, gardening tips, and more. Being active on sites like Nextdoor can help lawn care businesses be aware of local customer needs and concerns as well as gain recommendations in an organic way similar to Google Reviews.

“Make sure you are consistently adding value to people’s lives. We always strive to create intentional touch points between us and our customers and followers,” says Coulter Lewis, cofounder and CEO of Sunday, which creates custom DIY lawn care plans for customers. “We use social media to provide helpful tips, one-on-one lawn adviser sessions, and educational content that guides our followers along their journey to creating beautiful and healthy lawns. We also have an online blog with tons of free helpful DIY/how-to content to help support those who wish to care for their lawn and garden in a thoughtful way.”

how to get lawn care customers
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STEP 9: Make sure your Google Business Profile is accurate and up to date.

When learning how to get lawn care customers fast, it’s essential for business owners to ensure that the business information that appears in a common search is up to date. Having a Google Business Profile can help any lawn care business manage what information potential customers see when their business shows up during a search for “lawn care services near me.” This includes operating hours, business address, website, and other contact info. The Google Business Profile can also contain images, which helps increase engagement with customers who want to see photographic evidence of services offered. A Google Business Profile can allow business owners to understand how a customer is finding their business and how often customers use the listing to contact their business. It also enables business owners to interact directly with customers by reading and responding to reviews.

STEP 10: List your business on lead-generation websites such as HomeAdvisor, Angi, Handy, and Thumbtack.

Sites such as HomeAdvisor, Angi, Handy, and Thumbtack are aggregators that allow customers to search for lawn care, landscaping, and other home services through a trusted platform. These aggregators often require businesses to undergo some level of screening before listing them on their site. For example, when searching on Angi for a lawn care company, customers will see an “Angi Certified” badge next to businesses that have been screened by the site, though businesses can still create listings without being screened. This gives potential customers more confidence in contacting a business. Searches can be filtered by location, which can save customers and businesses time. In addition, customers can post about their experience with the business, creating added confidence for new customers who are interested in engaging lawn care services. Many of these aggregators include apps to get lawn care customers so a business owner can manage their listings from a mobile device.

STEP 11: Advertise your services using traditional methods as well as digital ones.

When evaluating the cost of starting a lawn care business, entrepreneurs will want to ensure they allocate some of their budget for advertising. Lawn care businesses offer physical services and as such, tangible methods, such as front-yard lawn signs, can translate well to lawn care marketing. Satisfied customers often agree to allow a lawn care service to temporarily place a lawn sign with business contact information. When a business uses lawn signs, the proof of the service quality is on display, so it can give customers peace of mind that they are hiring the right company. Other effective lawn care marketing ideas include distributing flyers, door hangers, pamphlets, postcards, and lawn care business cards. Businesses can also consider vehicle wrapping for greater visibility.

In addition to traditional methods, business owners will want to think outside the box when considering the best way to market lawn care businesses. Digital advertising doesn’t just have to mean ads on the Internet. Mark Marino, founder of Bellingham, Massachusetts–based lawn care business Lawn Phix, has seen success using digital QR codes to advertise in local businesses. “I’ve found sponsoring local restaurants to be the best,” Marino says. “For example, I get a lot of feedback from people saying they saw my logo and information on the local diner’s menus and restaurant mugs. Using a QR code for people to scan makes it even more convenient for potential customers to view your website. Many local restaurants even have a spot to leave business cards for free, so take advantage.”

how to get lawn care customers
Photo: istock.com

STEP 12: Invest in business software to keep track of jobs and manage invoices.

When focusing on how to get lawn care customers, lawn care business owners will be spending a lot of time in the field. Between the physical work of providing lawn care services and all that outreach and marketing, they’ll want to look for lawn care software for small businesses designed to help lawn care services save time and stay on top of daily operations. The best lawn care scheduling software programs, such as Jobber, directly address the specific needs of operating a lawn care business. There are also a number of free apps for lawn care businesses that can assist business owners in managing the business while still in the field, including ways to generate invoices and check scheduling right from a phone.

STEP 13: Build a referral network with other local businesses.

In addition to creating a customer referral network, business owners may want to consider establishing a referral network with other businesses that overlap (but don’t directly compete) with lawn care services. For example, property managers and real estate agents frequently have clients looking to ensure their curb appeal is in top form. Plumbers, contractors, and other home-based services can also be a good resource as they also directly interact with customers. Like with customer referrals, business owners will want to establish an easy way to track where these referrals are coming from with a business code for lawn care unique to the referring business. And naturally, the owner will want to repay the favor in kind. This might even extend to local restaurants or coffee shops, which might advertise the lawn care services, and in exchange, the lawn care company might recommend the business or frequent it with their own staff.

If lawn care is the game, hard work is nothing new. Therefore, taking those entrepreneurial skills and using them wisely will go a long way in making a young lawn care business a trusted pillar of the local economy. Customers are the heart of any business, and learning how to reward loyal customers and attract new ones will be the secret for a lawn care business to ensure growth for years to come.