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bigdad
02-10-2010, 11:43 AM
Ok I was doing property preservation but we have lost the contract we had. I was in the process of turning my business in to a lawn care company and have made some good contacts and will have lawns this year, about 20-30. I have been offered my old job back and i have to take it. I also anticipate that i will get more lawns because I havent even advertised yet. I got the 20-30 from a home health care agency. My problem is having the time to mow them. How would you guys go about doing this. My new job will be super busy and I wont be getting off til about 5:30 everyday.

I was thinking of hiring a former wrestler of mine that gets off at 2:30. I have a truck and trailer that he could run when he gets off and I have another mower that I can run when i get off. Is this how you guys would do it?

Thanks,
Alex

ProCut TM
02-10-2010, 11:52 AM
I would do it after hours and on weekends to get it done. I always like to be on the job, I don't trust other with my livelihood.

If you get a couple good helpers 3 of you could easily know out 20-30 lawns on a Saturday (as long as you didn't get rained out)

Steve
02-10-2010, 05:44 PM
I agree. No one will do as good a job as you. If you try to run it remotely like that, I think you are going to run into many problems.

If your long term goal is to build up this business you have to spend time on it. I know it's tough to do but if you are trying to bridge that gap from working fulltime to going fulltime into your business, you quite often need to pull double duty.

What are your thoughts on that?

I got the 20-30 from a home health care agency.

That is awesome! How did all that come about? Why would a home health agency be looking out for yards? That is really interesting!

bigdad
02-10-2010, 08:26 PM
Well those were my thoughts too. I dont think I will be able to pull double duty. I will work from 8am-4:30pm. Some days I will have to work later. If I do get off at 4:30 I would be heading to the first lawn by 5pm. That only leaves 3 hours of daylight to mow. I will have to work some weekends as well.

Home health agencies take care of people in their homes. So I figured if they cant take care of themselves then then they cant take care of their lawn. So I just did some cold calling there and landed one agency.

Steve
02-11-2010, 09:21 AM
Well those were my thoughts too. I dont think I will be able to pull double duty. I will work from 8am-4:30pm. Some days I will have to work later. If I do get off at 4:30 I would be heading to the first lawn by 5pm. That only leaves 3 hours of daylight to mow. I will have to work some weekends as well.

It is very difficult to do the double duty thing. Maybe you could take on a smaller amount of customers and slowly scale up over time and scale back the job?

Home health agencies take care of people in their homes. So I figured if they cant take care of themselves then then they cant take care of their lawn. So I just did some cold calling there and landed one agency.

I have to say this is GENIUS! If I had an award now for creative thinking I would give it to you. http://store.chapel.us/synchback/feature-award-b.gif

I wonder how they would handle the billing. Would they be billed or the customer and how would they be at paying.

This is fascinating!

Yard Elements
02-11-2010, 01:12 PM
Do what you can save up six to eight months worth of wages and go full time mowing and Landscaping. If you can't trust anyone you will never be able to expand past a certain point. I am still a small one man show but I know from working places if the boss can't trust his employees, he will always have to be there, after a certain point you should be able to hire a foreman. Just what I know from experience.:D

Steve
02-11-2010, 04:18 PM
If you can't trust anyone you will never be able to expand past a certain point. I am still a small one man show but I know from working places if the boss can't trust his employees, he will always have to be there, after a certain point you should be able to hire a foreman. Just what I know from experience

How do you feel your view applies to the concept of hiring someone fulltime to do the job while you are away at a full time job? Is it possible to trust someone will do a good enough job when there is no supervision? Or is that what you meant when you said he should save up and then go fulltime because it wouldn't work out to well any other way?

bigdad
02-11-2010, 11:40 PM
Im going to try to do as much as possible but I will have to have someone cover for me sometimes. We'll see how this works out. does anyone know the ratio for putting out 100 signs? about how much could that generate?

Steve
02-12-2010, 06:01 AM
That is a good question about the signs. I haven't seen a % return based on them but I have seen posts on here that talk about where to put them so they don't get pulled. Check out these articles on bandit signs (http://lawnchat.com/index.php?s=bandit+signs).

When it comes to the customers you got through the home health agency, how they would handle the billing. Would the agency be billed or the customer and how do you think they would they be at paying?

Yard Elements
02-12-2010, 02:17 PM
Quote "How do you feel your view applies to the concept of hiring someone full time to do the job while you are away at a full time job? Is it possible to trust someone will do a good enough job when there is no supervision? Or is that what you meant when you said he should save up and then go fulltime because it wouldn't work out to well any other way"

I'm not sure how to quote so i did it the way I did any way. I feel when you are running a one man show and working full time it won't really work if you have alot of clients. If the business is full time enough to hire someone, you should do the work your self and make the extra profit, and quit your "Full time job" . I am not sure how you could properly run a "full time" Business and work forty hours a week at another job. I work 7 days a week sometime ten to twelve hours and still can't keep up. One of the things that separates large business from small is major tax deductions. home office, Vehicles etc. I take all the deductions I can it's a lot of work but pay off in the long run. I also have to keep track of my maintain for equipment and to save money I do the Small Engine Repair and maintain my self. I also work on my own vehicles to save money they charge 65$ an hour and so do I so to pay them would be point less. I also clean my equipment once a week and wash my vehicles once a week. Sorry for the long post just an explanation why working full time at a 9-5 would make it almost impossible to run a money making business. thanks for reading if you made it this far

Yard Elements
02-12-2010, 02:24 PM
"Im going to try to do as much as possible but I will have to have someone cover for me sometimes. We'll see how this works out. does anyone know the ratio for putting out 100 signs? about how much could that generate?"

Signs won't really get you calls by them selves. I have taken a few classes on marketing and it should be a approach that you use various mediums. Such as signs, newspaper ad's, post online and a blog, and truck signage. Think about it how many times have you stopped to write down a number form a sign and called them. You don't. It creates brand name awareness. I goes somewhat like this. They drive by see your sign, see your trucks looking clean and fresh,with vinyl wraps, see you guys working in uniform, see your blog on your local news site(I blog for the local paper), then see you classified ad in the paper or online on online classifieds and they call you instead of your competition because they are aware of your brand. What this does belive it or not is build trust, that is the number one seller trust. Would you let some derelict with a muddy old truck and some guy that looks drunk work on your house hell no LOL. I'm exaggerating but you get the point that is what I learned from six months of marketing classes in college.

My company name is now Hubbard's Landscape Services Slogan= "A Name You Can Trust"

Steve
02-13-2010, 06:50 AM
(I blog for the local paper)

Very interesting! What got you into that and how has it benefited you? Can you plug your business in your blog?

Yard Elements
02-13-2010, 12:33 PM
A lot of local paers have places open for people to blog. You just have to find the place and write to them with a good idea. I noticed the paper did'nt have a Home and Garden section, so I offer to blog about one for them. I wrote to them telling them who I was and what I know. It has benefited me quite a bit.
Although there is no direct Return on investment it is Free. People have seen my blog then my ad's and decided to contact me becuase they already knew I was knowledgeable and knew who I was. I cannot plug my business directly. I have a writer profile that details my business. I also post picture of the subject I am blogging about. I use pictures of myself and picture with other "Company" items in them. I get a lot of followers on twitter from the blog and cross promote through the blog, twitter, myspace, face book and craigslist. Brand name awareness.:cool:

Steve
02-14-2010, 06:57 AM
That is very interesting! Do you have a way for the readers to respond to your articles?

Also, where do you get the ideas for articles and how often do you write them?

Yard Elements
02-15-2010, 12:30 AM
I have quite a few responses. To get ideas I just use what I am working on. This week I had a customer who has a commercial lawn mower he has me use. He won't let me use his. Want me to sharpen the mower blades. I took pics. and used that as a post. I post once a week for now.

Steve
02-15-2010, 07:18 AM
That is brilliant! Do these blog articles appear in print too or are they only for their website?

Yard Elements
02-16-2010, 12:45 AM
I have quite a few responses. To get ideas I just use what I am working on. This week I had a customer who has a commercial lawn mower he has me use. He won't let me use his. Want me to sharpen the mower blades. I took pics. and used that as a post. I post once a week for now.

I meant he won't let me use my lawn mower. Even though his tears up his lawn.LOL. No they don't appear in print. I wish they did! I also post comments on my other local papers articles using my business name as my username! It's a little hard to keep track of how well this works but I'm Getting call like crazy!

http://blogs.pnwlocalnews.com/lawngardenlandscape/ That is the URL is anyone wants to check it out.

Any suggestions for posts would be great!:D

Steve
02-16-2010, 07:21 AM
Being that you have a working relationship with the newspaper, could you get them to help organize a community cleanup day of a local park or something like that?

Could you blog about it, get it printed also and actually be out there MAKING news?

That could get you a lot more attention.

Yard Elements
02-17-2010, 12:18 AM
I have actually been thinking about that. I'm thinking I will do that here soon. I will let you know how it goes and what develops from it. I was thinking of cleaning up my street and looking for volunteers using press release through the local papers. Call it a clean up day or something and writng the expense off as a business expense!

Steve
02-17-2010, 10:19 AM
Maybe you could also check out your area and create a top 5 list of areas that need a clean up and then have some kind of vote through the paper to see which area the residents feel is the biggest eyesore that could use a cleanup?

jasonw
02-17-2010, 02:20 PM
I would do it after hours and on weekends to get it done. I always like to be on the job, I don't trust other with my livelihood.

If you get a couple good helpers 3 of you could easily know out 20-30 lawns on a Saturday (as long as you didn't get rained out)

I agree completely. I had some hired help this last year and found 2 things. first and foremost I really didn't need to wast money hiring help. I was just lazy and wanted someone ells to do the dirty work, next I was very close to cutting him loose on my clients while I relaxed at home and enjoyed the profits but on the first job I supervised him on was the death of that idea. He took 45 minutes to trim half a bush that I do in 10 minutes flat. I have not had any idea of trusting anyone sense then. I don't mind having help on the job but I will not think of letting anyone represent me alone until I get so busy that its necessary and until I find the right clean, professional, hard working person to do so.

Yard Elements
02-18-2010, 12:33 AM
I agree completely. I had some hired help this last year and found 2 things. first and foremost I really didn't need to wast money hiring help. I was just lazy and wanted someone ells to do the dirty work, next I was very close to cutting him loose on my clients while I relaxed at home and enjoyed the profits but on the first job I supervised him on was the death of that idea. He took 45 minutes to trim half a bush that I do in 10 minutes flat. I have not had any idea of trusting anyone sense then. I don't mind having help on the job but I will not think of letting anyone represent me alone until I get so busy that its necessary and until I find the right clean, professional, hard working person to do so.

What where you hiring procedures, did you do a background and drug test. Did you interview them well. If you interview quite a few people then hire someone it works best. You really need to be diligent on that. Also don't be too impatient, if they are lagging teach them some people just don't know how to work and some are just plain slow. Good Luck!

jasonw
02-18-2010, 02:43 AM
What where you hiring procedures, did you do a background and drug test. Did you interview them well. If you interview quite a few people then hire someone it works best. You really need to be diligent on that. Also don't be too impatient, if they are lagging teach them some people just don't know how to work and some are just plain slow. Good Luck!

I agree with all you say but I did none of it. My hired help was my unemployed brother in law, nuff said LOL:)

Yard Elements
02-19-2010, 01:34 PM
LOL it's hard to fire you lazy a$$ brother in law.

Yard Elements
02-20-2010, 07:51 PM
I have a disabled lady you needs a mailbox put in. She has the post, and the box. She just needs the old one taken out and the new one put in. The old one does not have any concrete. She bought a six foot mail post.

What would you charge????????


Thanks to everybody for all there help.

Steve
02-21-2010, 10:27 AM
Is she a current client? or a neighbor of a client? That sounds like it would be a fast job.