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s13browe
04-10-2010, 06:55 PM
Hey me and my father have been in business for a few years doing everything from Decks to custom kitchen cabinets and remodel work. Do to this great economy we have been out of work for the last year trying to hold on.. We have not started anything yet this is actually our first steps into research, but are determined to do this if we can survive.

We both are big DIY types and also big into gardening and organics. We love the outdoors(living in TN), and enjoy mowing our own lawns and just working outside all day is great. That is how we decided to give this a good shot. We both have good experience in new home building that includes starting landscapes and sowing grass. plus we have been self employed for years. So jumping into this field i feel we have a head start. I also was an ASE certified mechanic for 3 years. I am 26 years old and just had my first baby and really need some cash. I may get a part time job till we can get enough work going.

Neither of us have any money for different reasons i won't get into now but we are starting with no money and the following equipment:

- 89 Toyota 1 ton Flat bed converted to Dump by me.
- 03 Dodge Dakota closed camper top.
- A very big closed box trailer Toyota won't pull but dodge does.
- My free old rat rodded Murray riding mower i rebuilt. unprofessional looking
-my dad has nice old Craftsman 42"? riding with 4 speed transmission? also not to professional but would work?
-Stihl weed eater couple years old works great
-older not perfect stihl hand blower
-weak honda residential push mower.
- Various hand tools for the job.

So we have many questions and will be going over this site and others over the next few weeks. Here are a few i can think of..

- I have a 05 Yamaha fz6 sport bike i will be selling for some machines. So with our setup what do you think we should buy with around $4,000? I'm Sure we need good push mower to keep up? And probably decent rider? My dad thinks a yard machine 33" pusher, im thinking more a commercial 21" and a used 40+" rider? Mostly residential starting out. Any suggestions in these areas will be helpful..

-We just moved to the area and don't know anyone. We Have absolutely no customers,no ads or flyers or anything and the season has already started so we need many ideas for catchup on the season? We don't look to professional until we can get some decent equipment. So we don't want to go out too strong and look bad for later? We have been learning some good ideas from your youtube channel but could use any help for our specific situation?

-Pricing We are figuring out how to price everything in this field, so any help here would be nice. should we price lower to get jobs with our old equipment, or give deals?

- We want to offer organic fertilizers. So Questions like how to spread compost easier and faster than just throwing it out there? Tips on corn Gluten? Milky spore for grubs? Pricing for organic services? Any suggested products or techniques?

Any help or tips for us will help i will try to keep you all updated on how we do wish us luck..

bruces
04-10-2010, 08:26 PM
your equipment needs will depend on the jobs you get .There are many ways to skin a cat ,but I would spend my time looking for work,then buy the equipment to complete the jobs or repair the stuff you have .

s13browe
04-10-2010, 11:17 PM
yeah that makes sense, i guess my reasoning would be to help get the jobs i should look presentable. Better equipment should help a lot right? Any experience on weather equipment quality could help get jobs?

bruces
04-11-2010, 02:26 AM
as long as your equipment is clean,fairly quiet ,safe and reliable ,and you yourself are presentable [clean clothing,clean shaven ,etc ] I cant see any real difference your equipment will make in terms of landing jobs .Better equipment will help you to complete your jobs quicker ,and with less breakdowns ,which will make you more money in the end ,but in all reality,I am positive , more lawn care business' have been started and run succesfully with the old mower in the shed than with the latest and greatest gear known to man .I bet you and your dad didnt start your deck and cabinet business' with all the best gear ,why would this be any different?

JP Landscaping
04-11-2010, 09:32 AM
go to vistaprint.com and order some shirts with your company name on it. You can get them for as little as $4 each. Order some business cards and perhaps fliers (or you can make these yourself). also some door magnets for your trucks. I got all this and more for about $80.

If your equipment doesn't look presentable, give it a new paint job. sand paper and a few cans of spray can make a big difference. $30

run an ad on the local paper and on craigslist.

Focus on getting customers instead of your equipment. when you have more customers than your equipment can handle, then you can start looking into buying.

If you really want to invest in some equipment now (though I don't recommend) I would recommend a 36" walk behind mower. You can do most residentials with it and it fits thru the normal gates on fenced yards.

As far as advertising goes. Take your fliers, go door to door, and knock on the doors. Tell home owners you are doing promotion for your company and are giving free estimates. ask them if they would like a free estimate. If they are not home. Leave the flier between their strom door so it doesn't blow away.

Steve
04-11-2010, 09:43 AM
Welcome to our forum!

We just moved to the area and don't know anyone.

I would think you should start networking in your area. Start to get to know people. Your neighbors. People you buy stuff from. Store owners. Give them business cards. Talk up what you are doing.

Can you hand out flyers in your area?

Have you experimented with the online business estimate calculators?

http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?p=43299#post43299

s13browe
04-12-2010, 09:03 PM
Steve: Thats a great idea we are both hard workers and always struggled on the sales end of jobs, but we do need to get out and over our shyness..always got our jobs in the past from word of mouth and good work ethics. I will have to look into whether i can hand out fliers in my area, any tips who to ask?



JPlandscaping: You have excellent ideas and will probably do Just what you have said. Great help!



Bruces: I do agree with your comments too, My mowers look like crappy rusted loud missing hood machines more than they do mowers. Thats why i am concerned. I deff. see your point about easing into it though.

jessechaveriat
04-13-2010, 12:08 AM
What part of tennessee are you from?

Steve
04-13-2010, 10:12 AM
I will have to look into whether i can hand out fliers in my area, any tips who to ask?

I'd start with my immediate neighbors and I wouldn't ask anyone, I'd just do it :)

Then I'd do it on my block and the surrounding blocks.

Let your neighbors know you are now in business and things will pick up.

s13browe
04-13-2010, 05:44 PM
What part of tennessee are you from?

Maryville Looks like im just down the road from ya.. any local advice? Average price for mowing for say 1 acre? I hate to make someone come and give me quotes just so i can find the average local going rate, i know i wouldn't want someone wasting my time.

jessechaveriat
04-13-2010, 09:45 PM
if its flat, without a lot of obstacles, $45 an acre. also depends on the neighborhood. If its million dollar houses, i might go up to $55, and then do little stuff, like bring in their garbage cans, or spray their flower beds with weed killer....etc

I come to maryville at leaste twice a week. we can get together and discuss business plans and what not, if you want.

Steve
04-14-2010, 09:46 AM
we can get together and discuss business plans and what not, if you want.

How important have you found business plans to play in the growth of your business?

jessechaveriat
04-14-2010, 02:47 PM
My plan is the most important thing to me. I set goals, and stick to it, untill I accomplish them. Without new goals every year, I'd probably just have the same 10 customers every year, and never make any money.

Steve
04-15-2010, 07:45 AM
That is a very good point. We all would probably find a lot more success if we set such goals with everything we did.

s13browe
04-15-2010, 10:42 PM
jessechaveriat: I Think we are getting it all figured out pretty well thanks to this forum and people and dealers we have been talking to. But thanks for the offer ill remember your here in case we have any questions or want to meet up. thanks.