I have a small lawncare company and was wondering if there could be potential with setting up a website in which people can pay to have their grass cut ahead of time. I could also offer the other services that i normally do like delivery of mulch and tree work as well as landscaping. What do you think? Could it work? Usually i have found the best way is to price jobs when you see them but, if there was a way for people to enter their address or how large their yard is then i think it could work. You could have a guarentee that someone will be out in 5-7 days to do whatever service they paid for. And have their money be dropped into a paypal account.. Is this possible, i am a newbie to making a website. Thanks for the input.
ELCEO...get in your CEO mind---that`s waaaay too much work for an emerging small business owner and remember the backbone of small business is being LIMITED and having a limited audience. The smaller the audience, the more potential. Think doggy day care. Think Niche...grow rich ;-)
Chris- great idea and great concept. Here`s why. It is much better if you can automate some things that you now do manually. Here is the issue you run into with putting it on the web though:
You have to market that site like mad on a global scale when in fact you are looking for a local audience. So setting up the website is a business in itself. So it can`t be an experiment persay. You have to decide to do it or not do it. In fact, maybe beyond just grass cutting, what other how to things can you put on there for people who are Do It Yourself types? Anyway, there are a few other challenges as you know, what if local people find you and they are all over the place, so now you are doing a job on this side of town and then this afternoon you have to be on the other side of town. So it could end up being a logistical nightmare.
ELCEO also mentioned the issue of the size...but really how many people are going to `measure their lawn`. People want to make things easier for them not more difficult. The flyer idea is good but it is not likely your best use of time or makes sense to hire another person to pass them out...UNLESS, you are already doing a job in that neighborhood. So think if you are in specific suburb for instance and every house is a cookie cutter house or McMansion. You already have an idea of time and cost bc they are more or less all the same. So what you do is you make a flyer on a special color paper with a code. And it says, you`ve probably seen me on your street before (picture of someone`s lawn...blank out house number details etc) or get permission from homeowner. Give the flyer to everyone on the block with a meticulous lawn or not...YOU NEVER KNOW...they may not like the company, the price, etc. they are currently working with and have been too lazy to look for someone else. Even if the person is paying less, they never usually discuss personal finances or $$$ with other neighbors so don`t worry about that. Besides, people buy from who they like, know and trust first, price is always secondary.
Say, now I am offering a special to everyone in this neighborhood and for a special cost of blankety blank dollars you`ll get (name the package) and then you start with a basic package offering. "Did you know that I am in your neighborhood on the 1st week of every month?" Essentially they can enjoy your reduced rate bc you are eco friendly and can save time and gas by already being there...hmmm, clever eh? ;-)
(1) Offer a consultation package that offers a DIY option for $100 or something bc there are always a few people who think they can do it for a fraction of the cost, they just need the `expert` information to get started`, lol.
(2) Offer the actual grass cutting package itself with follow on monthly service with a discount when prepaid for the year and you can offer premium service if they want `the whole enchilada`, bushes trimmed, etc. At the same time you better be looking for employees :)
(3) Offer a special discount of blank % when you order on the web. Go to blankety blank page enter your code/flyer color etc. This way you can manage that growth and all the calls you would probably get and you don`t have to worry about size, going from one side of the city to the other. Then all you have to do is go home and call them to schedule an appt. Better yet with all that growth you should be able to afford a VA ...go to www.guru.com or www.elance.com and look for one where you can prepay for 15-20 hours a month or something to do your call backs, appt scheduling and invoicing for you. As a matter of fact, a freelancer can also quickly put up your site for you and optimize the page etc. As I have several virtual teams I have worked with over the past 2.5 years, if you need some recommendations on this PM me.
Anyway, Chris. Sounds like a great idea. Stay your path. Hope it all works out.
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