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Rickey C
05-28-2010, 12:05 AM
my name is Rickey , have been doing lawn care and landscaping part time for many years , have a lot of hands on experience and would love to have my own business, just spent about ten grand on a trailer and lawn equipment , i work full time for a garden center , but the pay is not that great , i have about seven clients and would love to add more to that list . I absorb as much info as i can on starting a business , and would love to do it on a full time basis , I've done fliers , and hand out a lot of business cards . any info that any one has on getting my business started would be greatly appreciated , thanks Rickey C

Steve
05-28-2010, 09:24 PM
Hi Rickey,

Welcome to our forum!

Everyone has their own unique way of getting their business started. What made you decide to choose the route you did? Why did you buy the equipment you bought? How did you decide on what you would need?

Rickey C
05-30-2010, 12:01 AM
I worked in food and beverage industry since 1988 , before that I worked for a landscaping company and really enjoyed it , and did lawn care and landscaping part time during the day and worked as a bartender at night , I always dreamed of having my own landscaping and lawn care business , started my own thing with push lawn mowers and some hand tools and an old truck, took a landscaping course at a community college and read a lot of books on the business . I left the food and beverage industry taking a big cut in pay to work for a lawn and garden center a year ago to learn more about plants and fertilizers and any thing else I could learn about the materials used in lawn care and landscaping . i took my savings bought a new truck a nice trailer and new equipment , a z turn mower and all commercial equipment , i wanted that professional look and love the way the trailer looked with all my equipment set up on it , you know weed trimmer racks the whole nine yards . I knew I needed good equipment to be competitive .
I still work full time at the garden center , but would love to quit and just do the lawn care full time , but I only have seven clients and worried i wont get enough clients to pay my bills , I feel that working full time at the garden center keeps me from getting out and building more business this is my problem , how do I advertise and what to charge and how to grow is what I need to learn, I take pride in the work I do and hope one day to be very successful in this business , I would appreciate any advice from any one in the business very much. thanks Rickey C

mburse1977
05-30-2010, 02:02 PM
Hello ricky. Mike here from westwego. Just started up this year my self as i have not went as far on the equipment as you have i have done lots on the marketing end and hope to grow a lot this year so i can do the same and quit my job and go into this full time.The key to get customers is marketing and lots of it. there is no one right way just got to do different things and one will work most will seem like a waste but you just can never tell.

The only way to fail is not to try at all so we got to give it a go and go for it. I Plain on using this year as a learning experience and hope to have everything i need by next year. It has been a slow start but can not get any were tell you leave the starting line so here we go. I think there is lots of business out there just got to get in front of them and they will come in time. I got some things im testing so will see what i use for next year depends on how they work this year.

thanks mike

JP Landscaping
05-30-2010, 06:47 PM
My advice is to keep marketing your business. If you have the equipment and knowledge down, then now all you need is customers. So keep at it and don't quit your full-time job until you can afford to.

The way I figure is: If you are not working, then you should be working to get work.

good luck

Steve
05-30-2010, 10:28 PM
I still work full time at the garden center , but would love to quit and just do the lawn care full time , but I only have seven clients and worried i wont get enough clients to pay my bills

Can you market through your job at the garden store? Handing out cards to customers if they need help installing plants?

Can you put on any seminars on how to do certain jobs and if the customers get stuck to call you? When you are there on site, you can always attempt to upsell additional services.

Maybe you could even have a business card holder at the check out that says, need help with your yard?

Would any of that work?

robgee05
05-30-2010, 11:09 PM
I think the best bet for you is to go back to bartending at night and go full throttle at the lawn thing during the day. Hopefully you picked up enough knowledge at the garden center and thru the courses(great idea BTW). My brother was waiting tables for a few years after working for landscaping for someone else. I have a good full time night job i plan on retiring from in about 10 years. But help him with bigger projects and pressure wash during the day. In a few short months Ive helped him build about 30-35 customers, with and old pick up some good commercial power tools, trailer, and a push mower. And were in the market for a z turn or stander, as we've been beating up my residential troybuilt for now. But it gets the job done. He may have to wait tables the next couple winters or find a seasonal job the next couple holidays, but hes doing way better then he was working for someone else. Bartending is a great fall back gig though, until you build up the base. As far as building up the base, Id say referrals are #1. If you look like a pro and service like one this shouldnt be a problem. Beyond that weve gone as far as going door to door in neighborhoods to get customers. Leaving cards and flyers, craiglist and a few news paper ads here and there. May look at yellow pages next year(be interested to hear from other who are listed in the phone book and how that works). But between lawns, clean ups, pressure washing,shameless self promotion and maybe a larger $2-3k project every couple weeks(on top of my my full time job) weve been pretty busy. Work seems to be there even in a tough economy. Good lucK!