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View Full Version : Where is the best market?


CHEESE2009
11-14-2009, 05:32 AM
Copy & Paste & Edit the following to fit your Location & Prices

Service: Residential Snow Removal
Location: Canada Montreal
Price Range: $170.00-250.00

Service: Lawn Maintenance
Location: Canada Montreal
Your price for an entire season (2000 sqft lawn): $480.00


Maybe one of us will move if the market is better somewhere else :P

I'm curious if snow removal is as low cost where you guys are?:rolleyes:

Steve
11-14-2009, 11:59 AM
I am having a feeling that no matter where you go there will be pretty heavy competition.

picframer
11-14-2009, 10:43 PM
I am having a feeling that no matter where you go there will be pretty heavy competition.

Which is correct, where I am it's all about equipment, quality of work and word of mouth, price is not always the deciding factor.

Unless you have a hundred grand of cash to invest, in my city Halifax, you will probably starve, you need to build relationships with paying clients and your company has to be structured to attract them, your bar has to be higher than the small buys and lower than big companies, there is middle ground, I proved this early in our business which is growing at an insane pace.

I was a banker for close to 15 years and I can tell you I have never seen a company turn a profit as fast as this one has but honestly it has taken contats, capital and a very stategic target market.

Phase 2 next year will take it into some interesting areas, I will be certified to install septic fields, its considered a license to print money, the course is very tough, very few companies are certified but I am not concerned plus we will offer complete new home residential construction (turn key) from clearing your driveway of trees and rocks, chipping, building your road, clearing for the house, grading, septic system and them landscaping and spraying. Average is around $80,000 per lot, I am not worried about finding the business, I have the contacts and have already been contacted many times, we simply did not have the gear but now do, I had to figure all this out before I bought the proper gear, patience is critical. Various laws on new construction are on my side also if you want to get a mortgage.

Snow removal, yes there is money in it, once again it depends on the equipment and client list, I sub out all but 9 lots, personally not interested. We do offer mowing and have around 50 places however that is not where the money is, in my experience in our area.

Steve
11-15-2009, 12:27 PM
Andy,

What is your view on what lawn care business owners should do who find themselves in situations like Scott's where the competition is heavy and you don't have much funding? Does it then come down to a long process of chipping away at market share or is there more that should be done?

picframer
11-15-2009, 07:36 PM
Andy,

What is your view on what lawn care business owners should do who find themselves in situations like Scott's where the competition is heavy and you don't have much funding? Does it then come down to a long process of chipping away at market share or is there more that should be done?

That is not an easy answer.

There are so many factors from quality, sales skills, marketing and of course access to capital to set yourself up and go after itl

Personally I am not interesated in chippping away, what can I offer others do not, it doesn't take a big investment to get the market, you have to have a plan.

Steve
11-16-2009, 10:21 AM
Personally I am not interesated in chippping away, what can I offer others do not, it doesn't take a big investment to get the market, you have to have a plan.

That is a very good point. It explains why some entrepreneurs toil their entire lives with little to nothing to show for it, while others can hit on something rather fast and just take off.

I think a tough part about this is when you are getting your first business started, you tend to have little to no business education. Because of that, you don't know even to consider planning. You have no idea what to plan for or what to even consider. You don't know what you are doing.

Many feel if they can simply wake up in the morning, get out, work a bit and keep themselves busy, enough to cover their expenses, then they have done enough.

But there is so much more

Planning seems to me, like a very high level term not often utilized. I would even venture to guess, if you asked the average entrepreneur, what is their plan, they would have none but if you pressed them, they would say something to the effect of, 'well my plan is to hopefully make more money this year than I did last.'

What's your view on that?

picframer
11-16-2009, 05:04 PM
That is a very good point. It explains why some entrepreneurs toil their entire lives with little to nothing to show for it, while others can hit on something rather fast and just take off.

I think a tough part about this is when you are getting your first business started, you tend to have little to no business education. Because of that, you don't know even to consider planning. You have no idea what to plan for or what to even consider. You don't know what you are doing.

Many feel if they can simply wake up in the morning, get out, work a bit and keep themselves busy, enough to cover their expenses, then they have done enough.

But there is so much more

Planning seems to me, like a very high level term not often utilized. I would even venture to guess, if you asked the average entrepreneur, what is their plan, they would have none but if you pressed them, they would say something to the effect of, 'well my plan is to hopefully make more money this year than I did last.'

What's your view on that?

That is part of it.

The lawn mowing is a cheap business to get into that is why we see so many posts here, "I am just getting started"

It takes many skills to make money, quality service, marketing, finances, business plan, advertising etc.

The issue in my mind is I receive a lot of personal PM's and Emails saying "How did you do this so quick" "What should I do??"

I can't give a specific answer because it depends, what are your personal strength's, what financial resources do you have, what is it the client wants you could possibly do or buy the equipment to do that others will want.

It takes a lot of skills to make a lot of money or the ability to accept I am not very good at ........ get a person that is and grow, issue is many think they are good at everything and we are not but if we accept this and find the person to fill the gap, hang on for the ride.

picframer
11-17-2009, 05:07 AM
One other thing that came to mind after I posted it, if you can get equipment that sets the bar higher than the competition then you will reap the benefits, I understand it takes money to make money and one should be careful going hand over fist into debt, there is a fine line.

As I have posted education and knowledge is power, I am not saying you have to be the smartest person on the block, I am saying you have to do your research and have a plan.

The Internet is like having the worldest largest library at your finger tips, use it, there are all kinds of forums to help you including this one.

Be careful buying some of these programs, especially in Lawn Care that claim they will turn your empty bank account into thousands, some of the things they have will work, some will not, that is a key, what works for you, what you can do and what equipment can you get.

Personally I have set the bar quite high compared to my competition, I have the gear to do what they can't or won't, staff that do outstanding work and I am very fussy, I am not affraid to take on those projects that have risk, risk could be the home on water frontage, very tight areas etc. We run into this a lot cutting trees near power lines, we have the gear and trained staff that to us there is little no no risk however the money you can make is nuts.

Search out what the others are not doing and the customer wants and go after it, you will win and if you try butting heads with the competition offering similar services, well in my experience you might make a living but you will bust your butt doing it.

I grew my woodworking business the same way, I do not work with woods that others do that you see at craft shows, I work with 76 species of woods very few will touch as they simply do not have the equipment and the equipment is not cheap, I probably have $150,000 in woodworking tools in my shop, that is not a gloat, it took me 19 years to get it there and man it makes a killing, when we have product which we don't at the moment and that is a serious issue so I am shutting down the landscaping and excavation next week for the year.

arthur712
11-17-2009, 10:23 AM
Andy,

What is your view on what lawn care business owners should do who find themselves in situations like Scott's where the competition is heavy and you don't have much funding? Does it then come down to a long process of chipping away at market share or is there more that should be done?

No competition for snow removal here in Florida, but you will starve. lol

Steve
11-17-2009, 12:36 PM
One other thing that came to mind after I posted it, if you can get equipment that sets the bar higher than the competition then you will reap the benefits, I understand it takes money to make money and one should be careful going hand over fist into debt, there is a fine line.

There are barriers of entry for every business. One can easily think, well if I invest $X amount of dollars into my business, I will set myself apart and be able to make more money than others.

Getting over the barrier of entry is simply one part. That just gets you in the game. But just getting into the game is no guarantee you will succeed.

Take for instance the BBC television show Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares (http://www.fox.com/kitchennightmares/).

Watch any episode and the story line is almost always the same. A family $1million dollars in debt and sinking fast because their restaurant is failing.

Money alone, equipment alone, infrastructure alone, is no guarantee of success. This just puts you into the game.

The X factor is YOU. People sell to people. Restaurants do not sell. Tables don't sell. Benches don't sell. People do.

If you go into a restaurant that looks like a million bucks but the people are rude and the food takes like sh*t. You will never go back.

Restaurant schools can teach you how to cook but I bet 99.9% don't teach you how to run them.

These are the lessons you need to learn from working at other restaurants, or from your family if they pass it down to you or experiment with through trial and error.

Unless you are given a proven system and trained properly, you could spend your entire life experimenting with your business and never get it right. The trouble with experimentation is that it costs money and if you run out, you are out of the game.

So keep all this in mind when you are looking to invest your money into anything.

Lawn care is great because the barrier of entry is so low, you can get started immediately, but the down side is that the competition is high. However as we have seen time and time again, if you learn how to provide great service, you can make almost any business work successfully.

To sum it up, get your service skills in check first before you even consider going into debt to buy any type of business or equipment.

What's your view on this.

picframer
11-17-2009, 08:58 PM
Yes Steve you are very correct.

It takes a lot, service skills however you point out, what service can you offer that won't cost you a lot can generate the cash to mae you grow.

It takes a pile of skills to make it, if you have a skill in one area but it takes a skill in an area you do not personally have, find someone that does and find them fast.

We sometimes have to humble ourselves, I might think I am excellent at sales but my results are not great, this is only an example as I do sell sell but my point is find someone that can join or help you.

Basically take stock of yourself, what are you good at, where do you want to be and how are you going to get there, don't be afraid to change the plan along the way, good god had I not realized two weeks into this business I made a major mistake trying to head butt lawn care, I would not be where I am today, I found the initial niche, Organic lawn care, that made a killing then I took off and am not looking back.

Steve
11-18-2009, 04:19 PM
I found the initial niche, Organic lawn care, that made a killing then I took off and am not looking back.

Andy,

I bet a lot of new lawn care business owners are sitting here reading this post and wondering to themselves how the heck can I find a niche?

What would you say to them? Do you feel there is some sort of filtering process you must use in order to find a niche? Or is a lot of it simply luck?

picframer
11-18-2009, 09:23 PM
Andy,

I bet a lot of new lawn care business owners are sitting here reading this post and wondering to themselves how the heck can I find a niche?

What would you say to them? Do you feel there is some sort of filtering process you must use in order to find a niche? Or is a lot of it simply luck?

Luck has nothing to do with it, you have to be innovative and a bit of eye for detail, what is it you see the customer might want? Simply ask the customer what is it you do that is a PITA, I might be able to help you...may sound corney but it grew my company in less than nine months.