View Full Version : Newbie Open for suggestions...

04-02-2010, 07:27 PM
Hi All, I'm not gonna lie, I don't know how to do all this business stuff... and haven't done as many things as the professionals have... so I'm kinda lacking on the experience and confidence part... but I did drop off a two sentence ad to the community newspaper saying I'm open for business... my background is in residential construction. I do have experience with caretaking of the family property (1.5 acres) with orchard/small vineyard... that included mowing, trimming, fixing broken pvc pipes, some electrical & carpentry, vineyard stuff, etc. So my question is how to get more experience in things like paving, sod, installing irrigation systems/pipes, etc without wrecking a customers property? Should I rent dvd's? Volunteer with another guy for a day or so, or just lower the price and tell the customer I'm new and this will take a while... Anyways, I'm thankful for this site which has a lot of information, but is kinda overwhelming at the moment... If anyone has recommendations on what steps I should do first, that would be awesome... the equipment I have is a pickup truck, commerical snapper walking mower, echo blower & weeder, and mclaine edger. lastly, a gardner said I should look for residential management companies instead of working directly with home owners... any thoughts on this route? much appreciated, Josh

04-02-2010, 07:45 PM
Well to be honest, what is most likely overwhelming is the fact you are jumping into all of this too quick!

You have the perfect set up for residential mowing, I'd stick with that & then build yourself up.

You want to be steady & safe.

If you jump into commercial mowing, you are screwed if your equipment breaks down. Or if they fire you... Relying on a commercial account is the worst thing you could possibly do. I'd rather have 5 residential customers vs 1 commercial customer... Residentials are easy to replace!

Start offering services that don't eat up too much of your time, you are a one man operation.

Do your lawn maintenance, do your gutter cleaning & garden weeding. It's quick & easy money.

Irrigation work takes quite a bit of time, & it may interfere with your other plans.

Then later on, you can add more to your services... for example:

Lawn Maintenance
- Mowing
- Edging
- Blowing of debris
- Fertilization
- Overseeding
- Sod Laying
- Aeration

Garden Maintenance
- Weeding
- Removal of Withered Plants
- Mulch/Rock Spreading
- Weed Stop Fabric Installation
- Edging
- Planting

Gutter Cleaning
- Removal of Debris
- Caulking of Rooftop Fixtures
- Gutter Guard Installation

Hedge Trimming
- Trimming of Hedges & Other Plants
- Pruning of Branches & Other Plants

Spring & Fall Cleanups
- Removal of Leaves
- Removal of Withered Plants

Pressure Washing
- Sidings
- Driveway & Walkway

Snow Removal
- Salting of Driveway & Walkway
- Walkway
- Driveway

04-03-2010, 01:58 AM
Thanks Scott for writing all that... that helped a lot... i think I'll stick to residential for now and build it up as you suggested... those bullet sections are great things to provide to future customers... now i just have to write them down and present them on a business card...

04-03-2010, 04:56 AM
Hi Josh,

Welcome to our forum!

Scott, that was a great post and I totally agree with you. When you are getting started, keep it simple.

As you go you will learn more and be able to offer more services.

Should I rent dvd's? Volunteer with another guy for a day or so, or just lower the price and tell the customer I'm new and this will take a while

All these ideas are great to learn more. In fact the other day, I posted a video on here from the chef Mario Batali who said if you want to be a great restaurateur, you should go to the best restaurant in your area and volunteer to work there for a year and learn everything you can.

I think that is a great view.

Also don't be afraid to experiment on your own property to get better at certain skills before offering it to the public.

Taking it step by step will help ease the feeling of being overwhelmed.

What are you going to be doing to attract customers?

04-03-2010, 11:34 PM
Thanks Steve, for attracting business I put an adverstisement in the local paper, but I plan on hitting the streets and passing out my card to anyone who will take it and going door to door... plus my neighbor said he'd tell his friends in the town too... I'm hoping word of mouth will spread... thanks for the ideas, and if a fellow landscaper will allow it, I'd volunteer a bit too to learn the ropes.

04-04-2010, 06:09 AM
Who would turn away free help? :)

Are you a member of any social organizations in your area? Or a member of any clubs? Are any of your friends and family? Can you get business cards out to these people?

Could you also look into doing so good deeds around the area to get media attention and build goodwill within your community?