Hundreds of individuals make their living in the lawn care field, and there’s no reason you can’t do the same. But you should be mentally prepared to take certain steps to achieve success. To set the stage, so to speak, it’s important to keep one key factor in mind: This is not going to be a part-time summer job. It’s a business that must be operated on a daily basis just as any other business is conducted.
If you want to make some comfortable amount of money without going through all the business steps, you can probably do that just by increasing the number of local homeowners you mow a lawn for. But if you want to be a business owner and make a very good income in the near future, you should learn how to get lawn care contracts.
It’s been mentioned by dozens of lawn-care veterans: The business has specific parts, one of which is marketing. You have to present yourself correctly in order to acquire contracts. When you follow these steps, you will construct a foundation on which you can build a career.
From the start, you should begin to look at local newspapers differently. Read the ads, especially the classified section, to see if there are companies or government agencies seeking lawn-care services.
The process for bidding on contracts will be similar in some ways, but each company or agency will have its own requirements. Be sure to allow plenty of time to read the details of the bidding process, with special attention to the way you present your bids and when bids will be accepted.
If you have questions, talk to the right individual within each organization, so you can clear up any issues beforehand. Bids are rejected all the time because they aren’t in the right format, or were submitted at the wrong time.
You should also visit websites of both private companies and government agencies. In many cases, you will find information about contracts and bids online. When you’re starting a business, don’t ignore the Internet.
For example, a quick search for “how to bid on government contracts” will give you dozens of places to start. If you want to work with local companies or small businesses, you may have to do some footwork, visiting the owners or managers in person.
Listing Your Company
You will also find a number of online sites specifically for companies that offer services. When you start your business, think of yourself as a contractor and start listing your services under your business name. For example, one site asks you to fill out a short form with your contact information. You are simply creating a listing that individuals and companies can use to get in touch with you – for your specific services.
There is a method related to this type of marketing that may be effective in some locations. It’s also a type of marketing, but it’s quite different from traditional advertising. In fact, there are experts in this field who believe that placing a traditional display ad in your local newspaper is one of the least-effective ways to get new business. They state this is like paying money to hope for success.
You can do better by contacting individuals and companies directly. But when you do, make sure you get their attention by including an offer with a deadline. While you may still have to go through a bidding process or a formal quote, direct mail can be effective as an attention-getting device. Caution: Be sure to present yourself professionally, and don’t flood companies or individuals with mail, phone calls, or emails.
To summarize the subject of “how to get lawn care contracts”: If you want to acquire government contracts or lawn-care jobs for medium-sized and large companies, you have to get started at the right time of year. For example, you won’t have much success bidding for government or corporate work if you start in March.
The bidding deadline is probably long past by that time. But use some of the suggestions mentioned earlier to see if there are re-bids or changes in bidding schedules.
You should start now by looking at area newspapers and free weekly papers to see if businesses are actively searching for lawn-care providers. You can also call companies directly to ask if they accept bids for your service.