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View Full Version : New to the business and New equipment purchase


jax0mxp
02-20-2011, 08:51 PM
After 33 years in the Corporate world I retired, but a year into retirement I found myself wanting to do something and be my own boss...After following the Gopher Form for about a year I took alot of the ideas concerning marketing, appearance, image and first impressions to put together my lawn cutting business...It has been a little nerve racking trying to get business, but after my first 3 weeks I have been able to secure 7 residential accounts and bidding on 2 commerical accounts..The commerical accounts came almost word for word from one of the earlier post I read...While I was getting my commerical insurance I asked my Insurance Agent about doing his home lawn and with that he gave me a bid on his home association and a private club that he is the treasure of....It just goes to show you never know until you ask...

Thanks
Mike
"There is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being- to help one succeed"

wandfsmall
02-20-2011, 09:34 PM
wow that is a nice setup

950thomas
02-21-2011, 05:09 PM
That's a good looking trailer

Steve
02-21-2011, 07:11 PM
Welcome to our forum Mike.

As you look back so far on the creation of your business what do you feel was the toughest part and what was easier than you expected? What should new start up businesses be looking out for?

Also, how do you feel bidding on a commercial property vs residential properties at this point in your business development?

jax0mxp
02-22-2011, 03:16 PM
Steve,,,,,,Here are the answers for the questions you asked below...

The toughest part of the setting up the business and which I thought would be the easiest was deciding on the logo and what to name the company. As you have said on your form it has to be something that you want people to remember you by. With that being the case, between myself and my wife we decided to go with the more traditional classical look because of the clientel we are targeting...

The easier part of setting up the business, again what I thought was going to be the hardest, was getting the license, setting up the BNA and getting the insurance. I thought it was going to be a real issue, but it was complete in 2 days.

As far as what a new start business should be looking for I would say the most important think is to take your time to set it up. Don't rush into it. I took 10 months to get everything together. That included reading books, the form, asking questions of business that service lawn companies....etc. Taking your time also lets you look for almost new equipment in the off season where you may be able to get good deals. I bought all my used equipment from Oct to Jan which saved me a considerable amount.(nothing is more than a year old). The only thing I purchased new was my trailer. I ordered it because none of the used ones i looked at had some of the things I wanted in the trailer.

One last thing on starting a new business. As it has been stated many times in your form before, Image is everything and which goes along with what my my parents taught me , "You never get a second chance to make a first impression". Make sure you have everything as professional looking as possible before you make the first contact with a future customer. You want them to be thinking good things right off the bat.

On the last question of how I feel on quoting residental vs commercial...Residental was a lot easier. I have asked around on what the market is in my target neighborhoods and have gotten a field for the prices...On the ones that I bid on I used the caluclator that you have here and it has worked out well...The commerical is another issue altogether..I have no guide lines to go on so I am using the caluclator on your form, putting in the bid and see what happens....

Thanks Mike

Steve
02-23-2011, 02:40 PM
As it has been stated many times in your form before, Image is everything and which goes along
Mike in what other ways have you found yourself working on your image?

Have you gotten truck signs, uniforms, hats? Are you carrying your image theme through into your marketing material?

Do you have an ideal in your head of how you want to look? Do you compare where you want to be image wise with any other lawn care companies in your area or are none of them image conscious?

jax0mxp
02-23-2011, 08:00 PM
Steve,,,,Here are the answers to the questions you asked below......

As far as carrying my image forward I have taken the logo, colors, and fonts that are on the side of my trailer below and for lack of better words, made it my trade mark.

Everything from, invoices & estimates, (from your Gopher Software), stationary, envelopes, rubber stamps,,,,etc all have the same logo, color scheme, and wording that is on my trailer. That way everything stays with the same familar indentification mark.

My uniforms and business cards carry the same black color as my trailer with the same color logo and writing. This way the same professional image is carried thru out my operation

My idea of how I want my image to look is, "first class equipment and a first class job done...As crazy as it sounds I wash my mowers everyday after I finish work. That way the next day I start out as professional as possible. As has been stated on your form many times, the quailty of your job is the main object for your customer, but having a clean professional image does not hurt.

As far comparisons, I do not really look at other companies as a comparison. We are all trying to do a job and we have different out looks on things. I know from the company I worked for these last 33 years their trade mark and image was the most important thing to them and those beliefs have made that company into one of the leading Fortune 500 companies in the world.

Thanks
Mike

Steve
02-25-2011, 12:28 PM
Mike do you have any pictures of your uniform shirts? I'd love to see them!