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Sherm6178
05-11-2010, 12:03 AM
Hello guys. just a quick intro. My name is Dave owner of Dave's Precision Lawn Care. I owned a lawn and landscape company part time for about 3 yrs back in 2001. Never grew large enough for me to support my family and was missing my kid growing up so i shut down and sold off. About a yr ago i was laid off from yet another sales job (mortgages go figure) so i decided to jump back in. So far i have been able to gather 10 new customers and am now picking up great tips from this site as well as the podcast. Love the site and the software even more, Looking forward to interacting with you guys and building my company much larger. Great to be hear...:D

Steve
05-11-2010, 03:58 PM
Hi Dave,

Welcome to our forum!

When you compare what you are doing now with what you did in your previous business, how do you feel the two experiences compare?

What have you been able to do differently or better this time around?

Sherm6178
05-12-2010, 12:26 AM
Focus Focus Focus. Thats all I can say. This time around I am not working a full time job and worried about time to find customers. In less then 1 month I have been able to get 12 ( after the 2 new customers I just got today ) customers just from craigslist and work of mouth. Also this time I can stay away from my short falls from the first time. In stead of going out and buying 10k in new equipment, I just watched craigslist and the local swap meet and have been able to pick up great used equipment very very cheap. Enclosed trailer and 48" Gravely walkbehind for $1500 and since then I found a great used Classen power rake for $150 and a Billy Goat self propelled commercial grade vac for $200 which looks brand new and has all the extras already. So far everything is well on its way of paying for itself already. Thanks to your podcast, which is the only thing that i listen to while I mow, I have business cars, a few card caddies, some yard signs, vinyls for the trailer as well as the truck. Things are looking much better then the first "PARTTIME" try.;)

Steve
05-12-2010, 03:50 PM
Very interesting! I think a lot of people try to get their business going part time while they work at a full time job. How do you feel trying to do that effects the ability to get a lawn care business off the ground?

How does it help and how does it hinder?

Sherm6178
05-13-2010, 12:46 AM
As far as helping, for most it takes the pressure off building up quickly to support them. As far as hindering, it again takes the pressure off them which in turn they don't really have that push. I think it just depends on the person. Me personally, I work much better when under pressure. Not to mention the fact that I had been laid off for some time. I did still have income coming in from another business venture that me and my wife have been doing on the weekends for about 1 1/2 yrs that can support us just fine. So I guess I have the best of both worlds. All in all, for me, having the time to focus most of my energy and time toward my mowing and getting this started.

Steve
05-13-2010, 03:01 PM
Also this time I can stay away from my short falls from the first time

What other short falls do you feel you ran into when you first got started that others should be wary of?

Sherm6178
05-14-2010, 08:48 AM
Mainly just the fact of spending a ton of money when at first you just need to get a lower priced rig and focus more on getting some customers. Also this time i am focusing on residential at first. Last time I was under the normal haze of "If I can land a few massive commercial accounts I can make a ton of cash." Instead I am just going to go after residential and get my feet wet until I have a book of business that will support me if the "Big one" decides they want to use someone else. Just all around working smarter this time.

Steve
05-14-2010, 02:36 PM
Last time I was under the normal haze of "If I can land a few massive commercial accounts I can make a ton of cash."

Many new business owners won't know what is wrong with this theory. Can you tell us why that is not a good initial way to go?

Sherm6178
05-15-2010, 11:22 AM
The issue is that you are going from nothing to a/multiple LARGE accounts. Sounds good, right???? Well the real answer is no. Not only do you not NORMALLY have the correct equipment to handle these said accounts but it is also a little different from mowing your neighbors yard. 99% of the time they will have you bill monthly and on top of that they may take 30 to 60 days to pay. Lets do the math here, 30 to bill average 45 days to pay that is 2 1/2 months. My suggestion is to start with residentials and maybe a few small commercial accounts, then learn how to manage those. Once your comfortable with that then move up to a larger commercial account.

Steve
05-15-2010, 04:10 PM
That makes a lot of sense.

When you look back at your previous experience versus now, how do you feel your marketing and sales presentations have changed over time?

Do you think they have? Has that helped you this time around?

Sherm6178
05-17-2010, 12:41 AM
As far a the advertising this time around I have changed everything. last time I call throught the phonebook for Been working so far.