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View Full Version : When starting out. Should I get a business license?


psparaco
12-10-2009, 03:33 AM
If i were to try to get any commerical lawn accounts for 2010 season. Do most require the landscaping company to have a business license? Since i started my own business in april 2009. i never got a business license cause i was just doing residential clients and most just gave me cash or check. Plus i wasnt bringing in that much that would justify getting a license. i know as i grow. i will require the whole 9 yards with taxes, licenses, insurances, etc. I figured, if i could land 1 commerical account. i could ask for half the season's fees up front and that could pay for all the licenses, bigger equipment, a truck, trailer, etc. just exploring my options for next year since fall cleanup is just about over and the only thing i have left is snow removal. if and when it snows lol. " I never got a business license when i was a teenager either and i ran my business from age 15-19. I am now 32 and i know i need the licenses, insruances, tax id's etc. i just dont know when to get it all. I would guess if i had any commericial accounts, it would require all that but i dont know. any help would be appreciated.

paul

picframer
12-10-2009, 05:39 AM
It's the law where I live as is insurance, min 2 million liability for any commercial work and there is no real reason to not have a registration and license.

CHEESE2009
12-10-2009, 08:31 AM
I sent a private message to steve and he asked me to post it here. this is what i wrote him

"If i were to try to get any commerical lawn accounts for 2010 season. Do most require the landscaping company to have a business license? Since i started my own business in april 2009. i never got a business license cause i was just doing residential clients and most just gave me cash or check. Plus i wasnt bringing in that much that would justify getting a license. i know as i grow. i will require the whole 9 yards with taxes, licenses, insurances, etc. I figured, if i could land 1 commerical account. i could ask for half the season's fees up front and that could pay for all the licenses, bigger equipment, a truck, trailer, etc. just exploring my options for next year since fall cleanup is just about over and the only thing i have left is snow removal. if and when it snows lol. " I never got a business license when i was a teenager either and i ran my business from age 15-19. I am now 32 and i know i need the licenses, insruances, tax id's etc. i just dont know when to get it all. I would guess if i had any commericial accounts, it would require all that but i dont know. any help would be appreciated.

paul



Well personally for just beginning I can't say you're on the wrong track.

I'm not 100% sure about this, but I believe a license is required if you make a certain amount of income on what you do.

You're plan is pretty solid. Residential customers never demand to see a license for lawn maintenance.

The only flaw would be you're pricing.

On the Forum:

Business owners can say, because you aren't paying taxes you are able to lower your price & low ball everyone. Though personally it's not a big concern.

I suggest to go about your ways until you decide to get into commercial lawn maintenance.

It's hard to build a business when your funds are being depleted at the very beginning.

And almost impossible to take out a business loan with no way to prove how to pay the bank back.

Example: "I want to borrow $XXXX, I have 5 clients for lawn service"

It will never work.

You gotta get your customers, even getting your business registered they will tell you it's not required until you have a steady amount of customers, & prove that it will be able to bring in a continuous source of income.

Anyway, this question is very difficult to answer. Everything depends on your location, goals, & whoever you talk to.

Just don't put a business name on your truck, or marketing supplies & you should be good to go!

Totables
12-10-2009, 07:03 PM
I sent a private message to steve and he asked me to post it here. this is what i wrote him

"If i were to try to get any commerical lawn accounts for 2010 season. Do most require the landscaping company to have a business license? Since i started my own business in april 2009. i never got a business license cause i was just doing residential clients and most just gave me cash or check. Plus i wasnt bringing in that much that would justify getting a license. i know as i grow. i will require the whole 9 yards with taxes, licenses, insurances, etc. I figured, if i could land 1 commerical account. i could ask for half the season's fees up front and that could pay for all the licenses, bigger equipment, a truck, trailer, etc. just exploring my options for next year since fall cleanup is just about over and the only thing i have left is snow removal. if and when it snows lol. " I never got a business license when i was a teenager either and i ran my business from age 15-19. I am now 32 and i know i need the licenses, insruances, tax id's etc. i just dont know when to get it all. I would guess if i had any commericial accounts, it would require all that but i dont know. any help would be appreciated.

paul

Well Paul, just to answer a few of your questions.

1. I haven't had one company ask for my license, however they almost all have asked for my insurance certificate. In order to get liability insurance you will need to talk to an insurance agent to see what they need for you to get liability insurance. Most commercial customers require at least 1 million in liability insurance coverage. My liabilty insurance runs roughly 1500.00 per year. I have 2 million liability plus my equipment is covered in case of theft so mine is a little higher.

2. I doubt seriously if you will find a commercial account to pay you half the years fees up front. If you do let me know.

3. Federal Tax ID number may be required by your commercial accounts as some will want you to fill out a W-9 form. It doesn't cost you anything to get a federal tax id number. Banks will not open a business checking account unless you have a fed id number as well.

Steve
12-10-2009, 07:53 PM
If i were to try to get any commerical lawn accounts for 2010 season. Do most require the landscaping company to have a business license?

When you say business license, what are you referring too? Do you mean registering your business name? Or does your area require contractors to purchase a license to operate?

Since i started my own business in april 2009. i never got a business license cause i was just doing residential clients and most just gave me cash or check. Plus i wasnt bringing in that much that would justify getting a license. i know as i grow. i will require the whole 9 yards with taxes, licenses, insurances, etc. I figured, if i could land 1 commerical account. i could ask for half the season's fees up front and that could pay for all the licenses, bigger equipment, a truck, trailer, etc. just exploring my options for next year since fall cleanup is just about over and the only thing i have left is snow removal. if and when it snows lol. "

With commercial lawn care accounts now, I would think you may be lucky if they pay a single invoice within 60 days. Some might hold off 90 days! I don't think there is anyway most commercial accounts are going to hand over that much money in advance. Everyone is hurting with this economy now.

I never got a business license when i was a teenager either and i ran my business from age 15-19. I am now 32 and i know i need the licenses, insruances, tax id's etc. i just dont know when to get it all. I would guess if i had any commericial accounts, it would require all that but i dont know. any help would be appreciated.

Here is my take on all this, you gotta be prepared to win. There are a few things here that seem to be holding you back and they are very simple steps to take. Why let them hold you back? Why not get insurance and get your tax id and all that. Then there would be nothing stopping you from going out and building the business you want.

Totables
12-11-2009, 07:37 AM
I have to agree with Steve totally. If you want to start a business and do it right, there are some steps to making sure you are legit and doing what it takes. The last thing you want to do is come across a really good opportunity to have it taken away because you didn't follow a few simple rules. I haven't been in the lawn care business very long at all but I have put things together that have kept me from the serious headaches that could arrise later.

1. In NC, you have to have a pesticide license if you are going to spray or lay any type of chemicals. You may want to check in your state to see what the law is. It cost me $55 for the class and materials. But now I don't have to worry. I also spent 2 days in class, but what is 2 days compared to years in college to make the same amount of money you can make in lawn care.

2. Liability Insurance: Check with you insurance agent for a quote. Normally it is really low and they can set up payment schedules for you.

3. Tax Id: This is up to you. But I suggest you call your local IRS office and get a tax id number. Business Checking accounts,etc... will all require this.

4. If you don't have the equipment to do commercial accounts, then start with the smaller commercial accounts. There are many areas and business that are smaller but pay well and you can do their lawns with the equipment you have. However, you do not want to spend all day on an account four days a month and only make only pay you 300.00 a month.

5. Financing Equipment: NEVER finance anything unless you can justify the payment with accounts you already have. Purchased used equipment if you can.

The key to success in this business is to get off you duff, and get out there a sale your services. Don't be afraid to knock on doors.

psparaco
12-11-2009, 08:29 AM
Don't get me wrong. When i started out I wanted to get all the insurances, licenses, etc. but didnt and still dont have the renevue to do it. I was laid off from my engineering job. I made a little over 50,000 a year. so you can imagine its a kick in the butt to lose that much money. I managed to get unemployment but that was no where near enough to keep a roof over my head. So i decided to mow some lawns to make up the difference. I know i am slowly growing with my customer base and need to get all the legalities out the way. I dont have a truck. I manage to put all my equipment in the trunk of my car and the back seat. I know its slow now being almost winter, so I am using this time wisely by mass marketing. going door to door. Putting flyers in mailboxes, knocking door to door. Although i find knocking does no good when most home owners are not home when i am out and i am not knocking on their door after dark. Most wont answer anyway. So i mass print several hundred flyers, folder em neatly and drop them off in their mailbox. My small goals next year are to go full time in the business; get all the neccessary insurances, id's, licenses; buy a used truck and buy a trailer. I have to consider alot. where am i going to park the trailer when not in use? where am i going to store and secure all my equipment? I currently keep the mower outside except in winter. I keep the blower and trimmer in my basement. all fuels are outside always in a certain location away from any combustible areas like exhaust ports for my furnace and/or dryer exhaust. My big time goal is to move to a better area where i can park all my stuff at my place and keep it secure there. But wrapping up. I need to be able to bring in 800 a week (after all expenses, taxes) to come close to what i used to make and i dont don't come anywhere close right now.

Steve
12-11-2009, 10:25 PM
Have you been thinking of services you could offer this late fall and winter? Are you promoting any of them?

Did you get any signs made for your truck yet?

psparaco
12-12-2009, 02:46 PM
I did print out a few flyers for leaf cleanup that i designed. Microsoft Publisher works great for that. I had a few who i did run into while dropping flyers off for that, inquire about getting their leaves cleaned up, but none called me back. I only managed to do 3 leaf cleanup jobs.

Now its almost mid december and i dont expect to get any more jobs for leaf cleanup. but as i am out passing out my 2010 lawn care flyers. Anyone i run into, i intend to ask them if they need their leaves cleaned up if they even have leaves.

Most of my current customers are aware that i also am doing snow removal, which isnt a problem since i live on a major bus route and the entire area is flat. so i dont have to worry about hills. the downside to it all. i don't have a gas stage 1 snow blower, nor have the room to fit it in my trunk and/or have the money to even buy one. So i will be limited to using a snow shovel, and a bucket of blizzard wizard i bought from home depot 2 months ago. and charging 1 rate for snow removal and an additional fee for salt application.

I am hoping for atleast 3 snow storms but in the past 10 years here. we get 2 major storms a decade. so snow income i cant rely on.

so i have to look forward to srping and keep working my numbers as for proposed number of clients for 2010 and try to come as close to it as possible. I made a spreadsheet with excel to help me calculate how much i earn mid march thru end of october based on a current and proposed number of clients. expenses from november thru end of february to plan for zero (0) jobs in that time frame so i can afford not to work then. If i do any leaf cleanups, gutter cleanouts, snow removal, etc. thats just extra income i'll have for that time frame. i do have 1 client who wants me to weed out his flower beds once a month which is an additional fee. I know what i want and how to get there. its just getting there is the hard part. but slow and steady wins the race i always say.

paul

Steve
12-12-2009, 09:12 PM
I did print out a few flyers for leaf cleanup that i designed. Microsoft Publisher works great for that. I had a few who i did run into while dropping flyers off for that, inquire about getting their leaves cleaned up, but none called me back. I only managed to do 3 leaf cleanup jobs.

How did you go about dropping these flyers off? Did you stick them in doors? Mail boxes? Knock on doors? How many did you drop off?

psparaco
12-13-2009, 10:02 PM
How did you go about dropping these flyers off? Did you stick them in doors? Mail boxes? Knock on doors? How many did you drop off?

I drove around surveying any properties clearly in need of leaf cleanup. I knocked and all of them weren't home cause it was during the day, so i dropped the folded flyer in their mailbox and moved onto the next one that looked like it needed it. I believe i dropped off about 10 flyers. out of the 10, i recieved 1 call back for a leaf cleanup. it just so happened that a neighbor needed a cleanup in his back yard that i didnt drop a flyer off at and his neighbor referred me to him. and i miss counted. i did 4 leaf cleanups. 3 of them are current customers from 2009 lawn care season. 1 will most likely be a new client for 2010 lawn care.

On a lighter note... I posted a link on my facebook of my flyer i published to my comcast account and received 1 inquiry for service. He signed with me to finish up lawn care for 2009 season. i think i mowed his property twice and have him for all of next year.

I also posted an ad on craigslist and recieved 2 emails for leaf cleanups. 1 i visited the property to generate an estimate. called the owner back and when they finally got back to me 5 days later. their current lawn care guy had come by and cleaned the leaves up. she never mentioned she had someone and it was a total waste of my time. the 2nd person emailed me and also emailed another company. the other company beat me to the property cause i had to take my daughter to school that day and when i returned home. and called her back the other company had showed up and was in the process of cleaning up the leaves as i was on the phone with her. she said she may call me back the end of november to cleanup the rest of the leaves but she never called. and i never followed back up with her. I didnt have a good vibe with the conversion. she mentioned she has a lawn tractor and does her own yard and only needed leaf cleanup.

I did however have a good long conversation with a friend of mine from grade school. He is in the process of being laid off and mentioned he'd work with me. and said if i considered a partnership, he would be able to purchase a trailer and used truck if we needed. since i intend to do this full time next year i would be able to service my area, his area in another county which has alot of richer neighborhoods who would pay double what i charge now. but with me doing it full time i already ran the calculations and it would work out for him and i and if we hired 1-2 helpers for part or full time help. we still would make alot. his concern was being a part time helper would not provide him with a decent income to support his family and i told him i'd consider the partnership. when i did this when i was 14-19. i had a partner for my first 2 years. then he got lazy and ended up quittign the business with me and i kept going. so a partnership isnt that bad of an idea. with 2 people. we can do double the work and make more money to get better equipment faster. so if i decide to do this solo. my goal for 2010 is 50 properties. if i decide to go with a partner. my goal will be 100 customers. i'll let yall know more when i know more. i am still talking it out with my buddy matt to see whats feasible.

until next time,

paul

Steve
12-14-2009, 06:07 AM
i'll let yall know more when i know more. i am still talking it out with my buddy matt to see whats feasible.

Is there some service he could offer that would compliment yours and yours his? Maybe he could open a business where he could help you with some things and then you could refer him jobs and him you?

Or maybe he could just open another lawn care business in another area and you two could help each other out?

I drove around surveying any properties clearly in need of leaf cleanup. I knocked and all of them weren't home cause it was during the day, so i dropped the folded flyer in their mailbox and moved onto the next one that looked like it needed it. I believe i dropped off about 10 flyers. out of the 10, i recieved 1 call back for a leaf cleanup.

That's a 10% response rate which is really good! One of our forum members, Andy, keeps different post cards in his vehicle for different services. When he sees a home that could use the service, he can jump on offering the opportunity because he has a postcard on that specific topic with him.

Do you find you are constantly looking out for properties you could offer different services too? Or did you stop at those 10 homes and haven't done anything else like that since?

psparaco
12-14-2009, 06:46 AM
Is there some service he could offer that would compliment yours and yours his? Maybe he could open a business where he could help you with some things and then you could refer him jobs and him you?

Or maybe he could just open another lawn care business in another area and you two could help each other out?

thats a great idea about him starting his own lawn care business and helping each other out to get more properties done. saves me from the hassles of dealing with partnerships i was reading on.



That's a 10% response rate which is really good! One of our forum members, Andy, keeps different post cards in his vehicle for different services. When he sees a home that could use the service, he can jump on offering the opportunity because he has a postcard on that specific topic with him.

Do you find you are constantly looking out for properties you could offer different services too? Or did you stop at those 10 homes and haven't done anything else like that since?

I stopped on the 10 only cause i had somewhere to be with my family and i havent resumed due to it being rainy here and/or snow. might i add it snowed and never layed. i was upset. i was hoping for some snow removal jobs lol.
I did however stock up on blizzard wizard in case it does snow, so i can offer salt application too.

i intend today after dropping my daughter off at school at 8:30am to load up the car with my equipment. print out several flyers and go door to door passing out flyers as well as targeting leaf cleanups still in need. Since i am slow with doing lawns. its the best time to get out there and advertise. i also thought about putting a flyer in the help wanted section in the local supermarkets. someone also told me to put a flyer in doctor offices, dentists any store who allows it in their window. the bottom of my flyer has tear aways with just my name and number on it. so its a flyer that doubles its use. i do know the weather for the next 7 days are suposed to be rain free which mean perspectives chances to make some more money and sign 2010 lawn care contracts. Well i gotta get off and wake up the little one and get her ready for kindergarden. cant wait til they do everything on their own. lol. i'll hit yal up later. thanks everyone for great advice.

Totables
12-14-2009, 07:14 AM
PSParaco, you're on the right track and doing what you need to do to get things started. The key is, "Don't Give Up". It takes a lot of "no's" before you get a "Yes". I was in sales for 25 years before we started the lawn care side of our business. The way I see it, most guys give up after working a couple of weeks to try to drum up business and things are running really slow. There is a process to building your business and it takes a while to get there. Just keep hitting the doors, passing out the flyers, add other services such as Christmas light Hanging and once Christmas is over, you can even do uninstalls for Christmas deco and Christmas cleanup. Just keep pushing your business!!!

psparaco
12-14-2009, 08:13 AM
ok so i have a little bit more time this morning to do some research on here and marketing. the ground is literally soaked to the bone from the rain we got yesterday. so i dont expect it to be dry or less muddy until 11am ish. so i can get some things done around here. I pondered something on the pruning. are landscaping companies allowed to do tree limb pruning as long as its ground based and not climbing ladders? i have one of them long extended poles with the saw and bypass shears on it with the long rope that i could prune some low lying limbs that people may want trimmed back and now that its colder and the threat of insects and disease is minimal, no sealant will be needed. I am guessing a job like that would be about 35-40 bucks as long as it took no more then 90 min tops. i loved the service to hang and remove people's xmas decorations and lights. great idea.

psparaco
12-14-2009, 06:24 PM
ok so i have a little bit more time this morning to do some research on here and marketing. the ground is literally soaked to the bone from the rain we got yesterday. so i dont expect it to be dry or less muddy until 11am ish. so i can get some things done around here. I pondered something on the pruning. are landscaping companies allowed to do tree limb pruning as long as its ground based and not climbing ladders? i have one of them long extended poles with the saw and bypass shears on it with the long rope that i could prune some low lying limbs that people may want trimmed back and now that its colder and the threat of insects and disease is minimal, no sealant will be needed. I am guessing a job like that would be about 35-40 bucks as long as it took no more then 90 min tops. i loved the service to hang and remove people's xmas decorations and lights. great idea.

Well i never made it out. the streets finally dried by 3pm. the ground is still soaked so i stuck to doing calculations for next year and budgeting proposals. also counted houses with google maps, screen shotting the area. and marking each house with a dot so i know i counted it.so i know how many flyers i need to produce. been doing that since october. i intend to put out between 2500 and 5000 flyers. If i can get 15% to call for estimates(375-750) and sign 5% of those for 2010. that will net me 18-40 new clients. i dont expect to get more. maybe 1-2% less. but if i get more than i anticipate. i dont know what i will do. I know i wont be able to manage more than 75 lawns. i do intend to hire 1-5 people but even still what do i tell those who want to hire me and i am at my capacity. i would hate to turn away business.

on a higher note. i found on craigslist a used mower for $60 and a used snow blower for $40 that i can use to add to my equipment . the guy with the snow blower offered to sell me his old ford f150 truck thats like 20 years old. he is the original owner and everythign is new on it cep the frame. all for 1,000. i told him i dont have the money now but if u hold it for me til may. i'll have the money then. and he said he didnt see a problem with that. the other perk. he lives 5 min up the road from me. so i'll go inspect the snow blower and mower on thursday to see their conditions and if its feasible to purchase. cause if i can expand to 2 mowers, a trimmer and blower. my fiance can help with some lawns while the little one is in school and we can knock out lawns faster with 2 mowing. but i'll keep yall posted after thursday on how the inspections got for both equipment.

until next time

paul

Steve
12-15-2009, 02:10 AM
What about gutter cleaning and simple home repair issues? If the people in your area think of you as a mr. fix it during the winter, they will call upon you for many services that could keep you busy.

Did you get business cards? Are you handing them out?

Are you a member of any social organizations in your area? Do all your friends and family members know about your business? Do they all have cards from you to hand out to others?

psparaco
12-15-2009, 07:19 AM
What about gutter cleaning and simple home repair issues? If the people in your area think of you as a mr. fix it during the winter, they will call upon you for many services that could keep you busy.

Did you get business cards? Are you handing them out?

Are you a member of any social organizations in your area? Do all your friends and family members know about your business? Do they all have cards from you to hand out to others?

I also do some gutter cleaning of what i can reach from the porch walls. the gutters on the roofs, well i dont have a ladder. more so. i dont have a truck yet to transport the ladder i have. i have a 40 foot ladder at my parent's house i can borrow if needed until i get my own. I also offer fall and spring yard cleanup and now thanks to a suggestion on here. i am offering xmas light/decoration removal. I am adding tree pruning of dead limbs from any ground based operation; shrub/hedge/bush trimming, dead shrub/bush removal, fertilizing i am considering, weed control not just yet until i get the licenses for it, but with all this time i have to do research and what not. i am slowly adding a ton of services to keep me busy all year next year.

I did once have someone ask me if i could do electrical work but i told them i don't.

I don't have business cards just yet. I have inquired already to vistaprints.com and also a local printer who would make me 5000 copies of my flyers for 75 bucks. he very reasonable. all my family members do not have my flyers or cards. my parents and my grandmother are 2 of my clients. my sister lives in another state. my brother lives in another county that i do not intend to service until 2012. so no point in giving them my flyers to distribute. I do not belong to any social organizations just yet. once i have more money available for such things. i plan to. its just a slow process. well time to get the little one ready for school. and then i am going grocery shopping with my fiance. and while i am there i intend to post a flyer on the help wanted board.

Then i intend to go out and try to get some more leaf cleanups. The ground is semi moist and may be dry enough later to do some work. time will tell.

until next time,

Paul

Steve
12-16-2009, 02:17 AM
I also do some gutter cleaning of what i can reach from the porch walls. the gutters on the roofs, well i dont have a ladder. more so. i dont have a truck yet to transport the ladder i have. i have a 40 foot ladder at my parent's house i can borrow if needed until i get my own.

Why let that stop you. You could get a folding ladder. Some of these can reach the gutters on a two story house!

http://www.allproducts.com/manufacture100/cthladder/product4-s.jpg

psparaco
12-18-2009, 10:21 AM
they are calling for 6-18 inches of snow tomorrrow. so i am running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I've already called all my current clients and left them all messages for snow removal services. about to head out and go door to door asking if anyone wants services tomororw. I am hoping to make a killing. I need to pick up more salt at home depot today. go pick up a snow blower i found on craigs list. already spoke with the guy about it and been waiting on a check to clear so i could pay the guy. Wish me luck in getting customers lined up.

paul

Steve
12-18-2009, 11:56 AM
I wish you all the luck :) You can make it happen!

Keep us posted on how all this turns out.

psparaco
12-22-2009, 05:40 PM
Well i went out saturday to shovel and plow my driveway and sidewalks only which was about 12-15 inches already. Since it was still blizzard conditions, no one wanted their property shoveled until it stopped snowing. The next day the road wasnt plowed until mid day and on top of things my car was buried in snow from the county trucks. So i spent 2-3 hours digging out my car to be able to do any properties. those i left messages for, none called back. I ended up doing 3 properties. So i made the money back i spent on the snow blower which is a plus and then some. I had to plowe another foot of snow that day on top of it at my place. i would have been happier with just 6 inches but 22 inches and drfting snow is overwhelming. I have plenty of salt to last the rest of the winter which is a good thing. so maybe next time we wont get as much snow. the snow blower works great even though its 24 years old. When i looked up the model number it was manufacturered in june of 1985. not bad for 40 bucks huh. Well i dont expect the snow on the ground to be gone for another week or so. We may be getting more snow the end of this week so i may get another 2-4 more storms before the end of the winter. in the meantime. i'll keep plugging the door to door flyers and hope for the best. until next time.


paul

Steve
12-23-2009, 07:01 AM
I heard you got an amazing amount of snow over there. Did you take any pictures of it?

psparaco
12-24-2009, 01:53 AM
no but i can take a picture of the wanna be igloo i helped make for my daughter in my backyard. its still semi intact. hasnt caved in yet. the temps have been over 35 degrees all week.

paul

Steve
12-24-2009, 06:57 AM
Let's see it :)

http://1000awesomethings.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/building-a-snow-fort.jpg

psparaco
09-19-2010, 11:09 PM
Sorry for such a huge delay in posting these pics.

1. I forgot to download them off the camera until spring.
2. by the time spring hit, i was far to busy to post them.

Sometime this week I will post all my triumphs and pitfalls i experienced this year.

Until next time,

Paul

psparaco
09-20-2010, 09:03 AM
Well i got a few minutes before i must start the day.

This year i have accomplished quite a few things.

I got in a bad car accident in late winter/early spring tragically resulting my car being totaled. But as fate had it. I was able to get a truck as seen in the below post.

http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=11234


I managed to market 3 neighborhoods with about 300 total flyers distributed. I also marketed the business through my daughter's soccer club she joined.

Overall we maintained and serviced 30-35 properties we week. Remember on one of my posts on this thread about a leaf cleanup i got a call for who when i ended up calling her back had someone there already doing the work. Well we got a call in the spring for a hedge trimming and they ended up hiring us for weekly lawn care.

Several services we have performed include: bush/hedge/shrub trimming, bush removal (due to snow destroying the plant), gutter cleaning, pressure washing, garden weeding, spring cleanup, bare patch reseeding.

New additions this year include the use of my dad's tractor, purchased low end consumer mowers, a new trimmer, a new blower, hedge loppers, pruning shears, a used 1990 3000 lbs gvw utility trailer as shown below. Overall we have 3 mowers in operation but only carry with us 2 at a time either in the trailer or bed of our truck. We have 2 mowers that we mainly use for parts as customers handed them to us to dispose of and we kept to retain them for parts. 1 trimmer, 1 blower and several gas cans to reduce trips to a gas station but once a week if that.
Trailer pics located on this post below.
http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=12505


We did manage to hit a slight issue with the trailer that will require the hitch and main beam assembly being replaced so the trailer is out of service at the moment but will be fixed sometime this week.

Fall services being offered are Vinyl Siding Cleaning, roof cleaning, gutter cleaning, leaf cleanup, deck cleaning and pressure washing. The lower temperatures are perfect for such services. Vinyl Siding Cleaning and roof cleaning are new services and thanks to several posts on this site along with literature from several members, i am able to educate myself and perspective customers on the need for cleaning algae and mold/mildew off their homes to extend the life of the exterior of their homes. I have done all this week before for my parent's home in the past before, just never thought of offering it to others. $$$$ is everywhere. As lawns are slowing down on growing. Why not offer other services in need. Roughly 30-40 homes in my parent's neighborhood have lawn care guys who only do mowing/trimming/edging/cleanup type service. When asking around if they do anything else, most tell me that's all they do. I intend to educate them all on the importance of having the algae removed off their roofs and mold off their siding and offer a small discount if they sign a 2010/2011 weekly lawn care contract. Since i am moving this fall to my grandmother's house who recently passed at the ripe age of 97. It makes sense, i store all my equipment anyway at my parent's house in their huge shed. My parents live next door to my grandparents for the past 51 years. I currently store our trailer in my grandmother's driveway. She has a huge 10,000 sq.ft. yard that we can use to dress up and show off our work. 99% of the homes in that area are all homeowners who i can market "other services" to.

So as this lawn cutting season slows down, we currently have 25 customers. My fiance and i do all the work and have no intention of hiring anyone until we get over 60 customers. Roughly 45% of our clients are rental properties and the other 55% are home owners who we can or have done other services to. We didnt get the amount of work i hoped for but last year we ended 2009 with 18 customers. This year we increased our work by 39% more customers. Our goal was 50 customers. For most of the spring/summer we maintained a 200% increase in client base. We lost roughly 25 clients due to people moving, or getting their own mowers. None left us for another company and did express would call us back when they can afford the service.

I have not gone legit yet unfortunately. I felt why spend the money on a piece of paper for licenses/insurance when i could buy better equipment to get us more work, ie: trailer, additional mowers, etc. All equipment additions were purchased with cash. Hopefully with additional clients next year with our existing client base, the additional funds will net us the ability to get the licenses/insurances.

Well enough ramping. time to head out to my shop to pick up the equipment and come back and wake up my fiance lol. I let her sleep in. ( a very rare thing).

Until next time,
Paul

Steve
09-20-2010, 04:07 PM
You have accomplished a lot this past year! What are the goals for 2011? Have you planned that out yet or no?