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jardo67
01-05-2010, 03:50 PM
Hello all,
I am new in the business and just starting out... my father in law has been doing landscaping several years and has recruited me to start my own business (so I can hire him part time) so here I am. I have been working on getting one commercial account (which opens the door to a second property with the same customer) which comes up in Feb. and so I have reached crunch time I have to get the rest of my equipment and insurance this month…
Looking at a few different commercial mowers (Hasqvarna, Hustler, and SCAG) just trying to get more information on each…

Steve
01-05-2010, 06:03 PM
Welcome to our forum!

Has your father in law been able to help you create your business plan or help you with pricing or marketing?

What are you doing so far to attract your first few customers?

How do you like being in business for yourself compared to what you did in the past?

jardo67
01-06-2010, 02:18 PM
Yes, he has been helping me get clients and he will continue to help out as a ‘consultant’ when it comes to job functions that I am not experienced with. So far, I have actually been approached by a apartment complex to be their contracted lawn care service, it actually pays the same as my last full time job and requires less hours away. The only caveat I have is that I have to purchase my equipment relatively quick.
Which is not a problem with this contract and just after I started doing research on prices and licenses I have had 4 residential jobs open up… with my father in-law’s contacts he has even been able to help out other companies who have too much work.
Compared to my last job, I will be working for myself and have time with my wife who will be helping out as well…

jardo67
01-06-2010, 02:20 PM
As for attracting new customers, I am open to suggestions… I figure that I will be looking for more customers and any help will be appreciated

Steve
01-06-2010, 04:23 PM
That is fantastic news! How many man hours per week would it take you to maintain the apartment complex?

jardo67
01-07-2010, 09:16 AM
I am estimating about 5 hours each. And I have a few residential properties… my plan is to get enough clients (both residential and commercial) to pay off the equipment and allow for survival if one of the clients goes away…

Steve
01-07-2010, 12:48 PM
I am estimating about 5 hours each.

A lot of new lawn care business owners have big problems estimating their first commercial customers.

How did you come up with your man hour estimate for the apartment complex?

jardo67
01-08-2010, 09:51 AM
Well, actually I didn’t, my father in law did... I just added an hour to his estimate for my learning the ropes... I figure since he does it now, it was fairly close... and I will get faster and more efficient as time goes by. I noticed a few people have mentioned estimating software for businesses… are they worth it?

Steve
01-08-2010, 02:46 PM
I think in this case, having a father-in-law that can help like this is invaluable. I am sure he will be able to teach you a lot about estimating.

When you compare your personality to him, do you find one of you is more out going than the other? Do you feel he has better sales skills or do you feel that you are equal?

Often it seems such skills are built up over time.

jardo67
01-09-2010, 09:35 AM
He has more experience and the contacts... he is more of an outgoing person; I am coming from an office setting and a more structured environment. I have management skills and the education in business management. I think with this combination we have a good chance…

Steve
01-09-2010, 11:54 AM
I think this is a good combination too! It's going to be an exciting year for you!

What are you looking forwards to next now most?

jardo67
01-09-2010, 05:30 PM
looking forward to being outside... and away from the office... and being the boss :)

Steve
01-10-2010, 11:36 AM
Keep us posted. I hope this will be a great year for you.