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View Full Version : Help for starting and or failing Lawn business!


LawnMoore
02-15-2011, 09:39 PM
Ok guys first i would like to say, "i appolagize for not being around lately but i am back!"

On the topic: I live in one of the poorest counties in the state of florida i think.

However there is nearby towns in the next 2 counties that have potential!

I am however, also coming into my first year of lawn care fairly blind.

My 2 questions that i need help with are,

#1 What do you think is the most effective advertising method on a budget, At this time most likely a 300$ budget.



#2 What other service, other than mowing is a great early spring upsell?


*Any replies are encouraged and may help, not only me, but others!

950thomas
02-15-2011, 09:51 PM
I like tree work as an add on service

LawnMoore
02-15-2011, 10:05 PM
ok thanks for the idea, i already do tree work, and am looking for a service/upsell other than that, but thanks ;)

I also stickied this thinking it would add it to my subscribed threads, i will most likely unsticky this, after some imput and may not depending on its replies.

Looking forward to more input from all of you as i think this is a "tipic" that a lot of us might be able to relate to and contribute to.

950thomas
02-15-2011, 10:13 PM
I am upselling irrigation installs in the spring plus everything else sorry I could not help

LawnMoore
02-15-2011, 11:07 PM
Oh no, you are helping!

This is not exactly my case haha, i am sure to be ok, but i wanted to help others as well, and i am sure you are helping!

However, with my insurance i am insured atm, @ 2 mill dollars, covered from landscape and tree removal, but not covered under outside plumbing, lol.. which is ironic imo, but untill i get an irrigation job i will not add it.

Any other ideas for easy/cheap advertising, or easy/lowstartup upsells?

keep in mind craigslist is great but my area is so small the nearest Clist forum is 70 miles away ;(

And if any other members have a question they believe the answer to might also help a starting or failing lawn business, please ask it!

jymie
02-16-2011, 01:02 AM
The easiest way to me is to list your business on all the business directories you can find. This is FREE, as is submitting yourself to google maps and your website to all the search engines.

psparaco
02-16-2011, 10:23 AM
Good upsells other then lawn care for spring are as follows in my opinion:

1. Gutter cleaning - Leaves, other debris that was caught in them during the winter.

2. Pressure washing - All concrete surfaces from salt, snow, storms, mud have dyed the surfaces but make sure to wait until the air temps are above 65 degrees unless you like dooing this line of work in the 30 degree range lol.

3. spring cleanup - can include leave removal and dethatching in the same process

4. aerating of the lawn

5. top soil delivery and installation - mid march - early april is the perfect time to start putting down new top soil, and planting those perrenial flowers but make sure its after the last frost.

6. mulch delivery and installation - can be applied anytime . i have mulch in my garden from last year. it helps keep the ground insulated from the cold during the winter months.

7. dethaching the lawn - remove of all dead grass and debris is essential.

8. exterior window cleaning - home windows are dirty from all the elements such as snow, wind blown rain, etc hitting them all winter long. as you should know windows tend to hold onto dirt better when its cold and come clean when warm.


Ok I think i touched on a good amount of upsells for the spring. I offer just about all of them.

Paul

Growing Green
02-16-2011, 11:08 AM
Good upsells other then lawn care for spring are as follows in my opinion:

1. Gutter cleaning - Leaves, other debris that was caught in them during the winter.

2. Pressure washing - All concrete surfaces from salt, snow, storms, mud have dyed the surfaces but make sure to wait until the air temps are above 65 degrees unless you like dooing this line of work in the 30 degree range lol.

3. spring cleanup - can include leave removal and dethatching in the same process

4. aerating of the lawn

5. top soil delivery and installation - mid march - early april is the perfect time to start putting down new top soil, and planting those perrenial flowers but make sure its after the last frost.

6. mulch delivery and installation - can be applied anytime . i have mulch in my garden from last year. it helps keep the ground insulated from the cold during the winter months.

7. dethaching the lawn - remove of all dead grass and debris is essential.

8. exterior window cleaning - home windows are dirty from all the elements such as snow, wind blown rain, etc hitting them all winter long. as you should know windows tend to hold onto dirt better when its cold and come clean when warm.


Ok I think i touched on a good amount of upsells for the spring. I offer just about all of them.

Paul

Good stuff Paul! Thanks for this info.

Matt

Steve
02-16-2011, 01:35 PM
Could you also walk around your customer's house and look to see if they have issues you could resolve?

LawnMoore
02-16-2011, 07:22 PM
Could you also walk around your customer's house and look to see if they have issues you could resolve?

Absolutely, which makes me think of wasp removal.

Steve
02-17-2011, 12:09 PM
Oh yeah! That is a great idea. No one likes to do that, which makes for a great service!

Do you see that being much of an issue in the area? Are there other similar services you could offer?

CanadayLandscaping
02-17-2011, 10:53 PM
I am still trying to get my business moving period. So I am always trying to think of other services to offer, especially to get me in the door. Unfortunately, thus far, I have gotten into NO doors. LOL (crying inside though).

Anyway, I was thinking, especially as a spring offer, pet waste removal. Seems simple, and usually after a long winter, the yard needs it. I don't know though. There are actually companies starting off that offer only this service, but it seems like a natural job for a lawn care guy.

LawnMoore
02-18-2011, 12:48 AM
Oh yeah! That is a great idea. No one likes to do that, which makes for a great service!

Do you see that being much of an issue in the area? Are there other similar services you could offer?

Yes, there usually are a good amount of Mahogany and Guinney Wasps in Florida or any warmer climate i think, im not sure if there zone specific.

However, i am worried if i offer the service that i could run into a bigger job/nest than i know what to do with :eek:

Similar services as to wasp removal would just be pest removal maybe..

Alligator removal, which i have just looked into, is a long process of being selected. I better go ahead and apply now so ina few years i can be a nuisance alligator trapper :D

I am still trying to get my business moving period. So I am always trying to think of other services to offer, especially to get me in the door. Unfortunately, thus far, I have gotten into NO doors. LOL (crying inside though).

Anyway, I was thinking, especially as a spring offer, pet waste removal. Seems simple, and usually after a long winter, the yard needs it. I don't know though. There are actually companies starting off that offer only this service, but it seems like a natural job for a lawn care guy.

If you havent already, i think you should download the trial version of gopher Software, it has the ability to keep up with services quite easily!

Pet waste removal is a great idea, however i think i will have no part of it, LOL, idk i might consider it :rolleyes:

LawnMoore
02-18-2011, 01:47 AM
5. top soil delivery and installation - mid march - early april is the perfect time to start putting down new top soil, and planting those perrenial flowers but make sure its after the last frost.


Does any one have any more information about this top-soil service?

psparaco
02-18-2011, 09:50 AM
what sort of info on top soil are you looking for? Top soil is also called black dirt, vitamin dirt to name a few. Its rich in nutrients that is great for flowers, shrubs, anything that grows. I even use top soil for when i do bare patch repair on lawns.

I can get the top soil free from my local landfill which processes it and you scoop and haul it, its free. Otherwise, you can goto lowes, homedepot, etc and pick up a bag of the stuff. Prices vary with quality of the product.

Use this calculator created by Steve from Gohper forums

http://www.gopherforum.com/uploaded-files/pages/topsoil-mulch-estimate-form.php

to figure out exactly how much top soil you will require. On average you will want to have a depth of top soil of 2-4 inches.

Growing Green
02-18-2011, 01:18 PM
Here in Texas we have to be licensed to spray wasp. Apparently, I would have to take 3 tests, buy books, pay for tests and pay $180 for application to become licensed. Total cost is about $300. Then would have to pay $180 a year for annual fee. Crazy!

As for dog waste. Ugh! I don't enjoy this at all, but I do it. It takes forever, so make sure you charge a good amount.

Matt

psparaco
02-18-2011, 02:08 PM
I don't mess with dog mess. You have a dog. Be responible and clean up after your own animal. If not we fine you a 20 dollar fee and leave the property until its cleaned up. If it happens again. We terminate the contract.

950thomas
02-18-2011, 03:23 PM
We just mow over dog crap if I fired everyone with crap in there yards I would be out of biz

psparaco
02-18-2011, 11:36 PM
99% of my clients who have dogs, clean up the animal's poop. I had one client who honored our policy for 6 months. then his roommate got lazy and we showed up. poop everywhere. We left, emailed him and shot him an invoice with the $20 fee and stating all dog mess must be cleaned up prior to our arrival. He paid the $20 and apologized for the inconvience and it never happened again. Lucky me if ended up terminating the contract 2 months later cause he moved. It was a rental. we service about 30 properties each year that are rentals. sometimes more, sometimes less. Depends on who moves in and dont have a mower. I service 3 areas with a grand total of 450 rental townhomes. Those with dogs are respect of cleaning up the mess. #1 its written in their lease agreement with the landlord that dog mess must be cleaned up and #2 we fine ya too if you don't clean it up.

LawnMoore
02-18-2011, 11:51 PM
what sort of info on top soil are you looking for? Top soil is also called black dirt, vitamin dirt to name a few. Its rich in nutrients that is great for flowers, shrubs, anything that grows. I even use top soil for when i do bare patch repair on lawns.

I can get the top soil free from my local landfill which processes it and you scoop and haul it, its free.

Wow thats awesome you can get it for free, i can get limerock for free, but its graded and dirty!

Im just looking for some info on the top soil dressing that ppl do sometimes, where they do the whole yard with a couple inches.. or anything like that service.

nnyparts
02-20-2011, 06:15 AM
I have never heard of charging a fee and then refusing work until its accomplished. I am with run it through the blades and mulch it in as fertilizer and then charge for that service. :)

AttractiveLandscape
02-20-2011, 11:42 AM
Wow thats awesome you can get it for free, i can get limerock for free, but its graded and dirty!

Im just looking for some info on the top soil dressing that ppl do sometimes, where they do the whole yard with a couple inches.. or anything like that service.

If you want to do the whole yard then you would also be getting into grading with a skidsteer, unless you really wanted to try and go for it by hand... We generally charge $150/hr for machinery: pays for gas, operator, machine, and ofcourse some profit.

I have never heard of charging a fee and then refusing work until its accomplished. I am with run it through the blades and mulch it in as fertilizer and then charge for that service. :)

I'm with ya on this one;) Only thing I don't like is the damn smell and the fact that it gets in the tires... nothing a hose doesn't take care of though...:cool:

LawnMoore
02-22-2011, 12:25 AM
I have never heard of charging a fee and then refusing work until its accomplished. I am with run it through the blades and mulch it in as fertilizer and then charge for that service. :)

Im confused here, it must be an inside joke ;)

Edit: oh nevermind, must be the duty dropping!


Ok so, you guys just spread topsoil on top of lawns at a rate of 1-2 inches thick, and then what next?

Just try to level it or drag it with a chainlink or?