Getting commercial lawn care accounts is a great way to add more high-paying work to your schedule.

The process of winning commercial contracts is a lot more complex and competitive than it is for residential jobs, though.

In this article, you’ll learn how to find commercial lawn care opportunities, build relationships with clients, and bid on commercial contracts so you can secure profitable, long-term work.

1. Identify your target clients

To find commercial lawn care clients, focus on specific types or sizes of business as your clientele. Only contacting clients that are a good fit for your business increases your chances of winning work.

If you’re just starting commercial work, start with small properties. You need to build up a reputation for doing great commercial lawn work before big clients will contact you for large-scale jobs.

Look for businesses with small properties (e.g., under one acre), or single-business properties. These can include local restaurants, retail stores, gas stations, and bank branches.

If you have commercial experience and are ready to tackle bigger contracts, look for:

  • Real estate agencies
  • Condo associations
  • Homeowner associations (HOAs)
  • Commercial property management companies
  • Warehouses and distribution facilities
  • Heavy manufacturing facilities
  • Companies that manage special-purpose properties like theaters, resorts, sports arenas, schools, places of worship, and senior care facilities

READ MORE: How to write a lawn care business plan [with free template]

2. Make a list of potential clients

Once you’ve chosen your target market, look for companies that fit the description. Here are some ways to find potential clients:

  • Look up businesses online. Search Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, and business directories like Yelp for the type of business you’re targeting. You can usually find a phone number or email address for businesses that have directory listings.
  • Drive around your area. When you go driving to scope out businesses in your service area, you’ll see which lawns need better care. Take note of those businesses and look them up online to find out who manages the property.
  • Ask your residential clients for referrals. Everyone knows a business owner—so ask your existing customers to pass along contact info from businesses they know. That could include their barber, dentist, child’s daycare, or the workplaces of their friends and family members.

READ MORE: How to ask for referrals [scripts and examples]

Advice on how to get commercial lawn care accounts from a lawn care entrepreneur on LawnSite

Advice from a lawn care entrepreneur on LawnSite

Once you have a list of companies, find out who the decision maker is at each one—that’s the person with the power to choose a lawn care contractor.

The decision maker could be a property manager, site manager, facility manager, or the owner of the company, depending on the business.

Use LinkedIn to see who works at the company, or call their office directly and ask who manages their lawn or landscape maintenance contracts.

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3. Market your commercial lawn care business

Now that you know what companies you’re going after, you can create marketing materials to support your sales pitches and attract more clients like them to your business.

Here are the marketing materials you should prepare:

  • Business cards with your name, business name, and contact details. Look online for graphic design websites that offer free templates, like Looka and Canva—and services like Vistaprint and Moo that offer printing, too.
  • Lawn care flyers that list your lawn care or landscaping services, show high-quality photos of your work, and include special offers. Use our tear-away flyer maker to easily promote your services on local bulletin boards and signposts.
  • Facebook and Instagram accounts where you post content that shows off your work. For instance, you could share before and after images of recent jobs, or videos of happy clients talking about your business.
  • A lawn care and landscaping website that lists your services and contact info so potential clients can reach you.

Advice on how to get commercial lawn care accounts from a lawn care entrepreneur on LawnSite

READ MORE: The best lawn care advertising ideas: how to market your lawn care business

4. Build relationships with decision makers

Regular contact with your potential clients can help you earn their trust in you and your business. Not all the people you network with will become lawn care clients, but they might lead a potential customer your way.

Use these tips to build relationships with potential lawn care clients:

  • Go door to door. Visit businesses and ask to see the owner or site manager. Then tell them you run a lawn care business and you’ll be around when they want a change in service. If you can’t meet the decision maker, leave a business card at the front desk.
  • Create connections on LinkedIn. Follow the client’s business on social media so you can like, share, and comment on their posts. Once you’ve shown genuine interest in what they do, send a friendly message introducing yourself—and continue engaging with their posts to keep the connection strong.
  • Join a trade association. Your city or town probably has a small business association, as well as trades associations for other lawn, landscaping, and home service professionals. Many of these groups host events where you can connect with people in your industry—and start earning referrals.

READ MORE: 25 lawn care and landscaping industry statistics to watch in 2022

5. Make your sales pitch

Start contacting potential clients you’ve met and offer your services. Tell them why you have the best team for the job, and that you can send a bid when the client is ready.

If you have a phone number, call the client to make your pitch. If you only have the client’s business address, send a customized pitch letter that tells them why they should invite you to bid as a lawn care provider.

Your pitch letter should include:

  • Your name, business name, and address
  • A subject line that states you want to offer your services
  • The services you can offer the client
  • How much experience you have in lawn maintenance
  • What makes your company unique
  • Any special techniques or equipment that would help you do a better job than your competitors
  • Limited-time offers or discounts that sweeten the deal

After sending your letter, follow up with the client over phone or email to find out if they’ve looked at it. If they need more time, ask if you can follow up again in two or three days.

Following up frequently ensures you stay on your potential client’s mind, and it increases your chances of getting invited to bid. Don’t be afraid to keep following up—it’ll feel less aggressive and easier the more you do it!

Advice on how to network with commercial lawn care customers from a lawn care entrepreneur on LawnSite

READ MORE: Quote follow-up emails to help you seal the deal [templates]

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6. Submit a commercial lawn care bid

Once you’re invited to bid on a commercial lawn care contract, it’s time to set service pricing for the client. You need to price thoughtfully—pricing too low hurts your lawn care profit margin, and pricing too high drives away business.

After you do a walkthrough to assess the client’s property, here’s what you need to ask yourself when setting prices for commercial mowing jobs:

  • How many labor hours will you spend on each visit? How many workers will you need?
  • What materials will you need to purchase? Will you need to buy new equipment for the job?
  • Does the site or property manager have any special requirements?
  • Are there optional, add-on services you can upsell for the job (e.g., spring or fall cleanup, pest control)?

READ MORE: How to price commercial lawn care contracts

If the client decides you have the best team for the job—at the best price—they’ll pick you.

Remember, landing commercial contracts is hard work. Many clients stick with their current lawn maintenance contractor out of convenience. You just have to keep trying!

Keep searching for commercial lawn care opportunities

Winning lawn care and landscaping contracts takes a lot of work and experimentation. It’s easier when you know who your target clients are, where to find them, how to build strong connections, and how to ask for the sale.

Start out small and see what’s working best for your business. Once you land your first commercial contract, it only gets easier over time.

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