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View Full Version : Too early to think Fall?


mharbert
03-06-2010, 04:24 PM
Hello everyone,

My name is Matt and I have been a John Deere garden tractor collector since I purchased a house about 2 years ago. I grew up working for my parent’s part-time mowing service and have always loved mowing the yard. Coming from a semi farming background (my father) I made my first mower purchase of a 1964 JD garden tractor.. I love the style and there is nothing better than an old Deere in my mind.

It was time for me to move up to a little larger tractor if I was going to start my lawn care business.. My Father had a JD 318 and 420 (currently has one x485) when I was in Middle School, so I thought I'd look for one.. Being a part of a Deere forum I looked for one to fix up. Found it :)

Now being a Craigslist (CL) deal hunter, I just got back from purchasing another 318.. This one has a MCS (materials collection system) Operated by a rear PTO.. I took a buddy on the 8 hour trip to pick up this morning last weekend and we came up with ways to make additional money using our "toys" and doing what we love "Hobby JD collector"..

This fall we plan to offer leaf removal and I wanted to get your opinion on this service. Some older areas organize a cleanup day where everyone rakes there leaves to the curb and a company will duck them up into the back of their trucks.. We are looking to offer a premier service that will blow leaves from gutters, mow/bag waste debris, trim, aerate, and apply dry fertilizer (winterize) Since these are organized neighborhoods coordinating a 20+ house effort, we feel we would be able to pick up a lot more than sending out flyers to everyone. We have several contacts in the neighborhoods we wish to offer our service.

I'd be interested in ideas/suggestions on the risk that we'd be taking.. or things to consider...

-I will have Gopher Software within a week or so.
-I am working on what I need to do to "start a business" Do I just apply for a tax Id?
-I'm drafting a business plan.. No investors since we have the equipment and funds, but just to give me direction..
-I hired a graphic artist to create a logo for shirts, vehicle graphic, yard signs.
-We plan to attract clients by referrals and FUNNY yard signs with just our number on them and a good one-line-er
-I need to buy a blower and trimmer within the next couple weeks and I will be searching through previous threads to find recommendations since JD doesn’t make their own line anymore.

Thanks for any tips/suggestions you may have; I can’t wait to hear them! If you are asking “why fall, why not now..” My answer to that is simple.. For us, the timing isn't right to leave our newborn children.. We've weighted our options and feel this is the better solution for the two of us. We plan to direct our attention to a 3-4 week period of time in oct/nov. From this large base of client base we’ll have this fall, we hope to hit the 2011 season running, and a little more prepared than we would be now..

Steve
03-07-2010, 12:02 PM
Welcome to our forum.

You got a lot of great things going on now.

The business world is all about experimentation. If you want to start in the Fall, then start in the Fall. Think about the services you will want to offer in the Fall and in the Winter to get you through until next Spring.

What is your view on starting up with a partner like that versus by yourself?

mharbert
03-08-2010, 08:06 AM
Welcome to our forum.
What is your view on starting up with a partner like that versus by yourself?

Thank you for the welcome, Steve. My partner and I work well together. We bring different resources and networks. With mowing, yes we could each do our own accounts, however with leaf removal one trailer would be used for hauling yard waste and the other would be used for hauling equipment. We each have connections to high end clients and opposite sides of the city. Since we're located in different towns, I wouldn't make him travel an hour to mow with me.. However for leaf removal we hope to have clusters of 3-10 houses in an area and it would be easier to not switch implements. (one tractor has 3pt aerator, the other has the MCS unit.) We plan to take 1 week off during the fall to do leaf collection all week long.

Great prompts, this forum has a ton of content!

Steve
03-08-2010, 12:14 PM
That sounds like a plan. When would you start marketing for that and what kinds of things would you be doing to promote all your services?

mharbert
03-08-2010, 01:57 PM
We plan to attract clients by referrals and FUNNY yard signs with just our number on them and a good one-line-er

Any Idea's for funny slogans?.. If I can't come up with any by Mid July, they'll will just say:

"Leaf removal
515-778-xxxx"

We're mainly going to work off referrals, but maybe we'll get 5-10 accounts with the signs.

What do other guys do for season specific advertising?

Included with the statement after time of service we'll provide a magnet, or coupon to attract mowing clients the 2011 season. We might also send a targeted flyers to these consumers, or ask for their email address to do a promotional email blast when the snow melts (for non-snow removal clients)

Tips or suggestions? That's why I came here!

SuperiorPower
03-08-2010, 08:14 PM
Leaves fall for us!

Be Leaf in (Business name).

I had a few more but my computer crashed just as I was about to post them :(

mharbert
03-08-2010, 10:28 PM
Good Stuff!

ProCut TM
03-08-2010, 10:54 PM
Leaves fall for us!

Be Leaf in (Business name).

I had a few more but my computer crashed just as I was about to post them :(

good stuff SP

SuperiorPower
03-08-2010, 11:09 PM
Some more ideas:

Leaf the clean up to us!

Leaf the work to us!

Leaves are our business!



How about this:

Leaf Patrol
1-234-456-8901
insert business name here