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Mattcrump
03-10-2011, 11:55 PM
Hey guys I live in Birmingham Alabama and this will be my first official season running a lawn company. I am sub contracting all of the chemical work to a friend who owns a chemical company bit as far as everything else goes are there any pointers you guys can give me?

How often should they water the grass this early before its hot?

Should I be doing any pruning yet?

Should I be doing any planting yet?

When is a good time for a color change?

What are some good options as far as hedges, bushes and flowers I can put together that will grow in Alabama?

Am I supposed to cut the grass really low for it's first cut to promote growth or is that all BS?

Any answers to these questions will be super helpful and any other insight you might feel is important would also be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Matt

Mattcrump
03-11-2011, 12:32 AM
Also I had tshirts made from a company here in Birmingham who did a great job. They charged me $9 short sleeve, $13 long sleeve and $19 hoodies. Are those good prices compared to other companies out there? I was able to sell about 60 shirts the first week I had them. Everybody loved them and I made money advertising my company. The shirts were jersey 50/50 which fit great but I also had the choice of Hanes and a few other name brands.

We have also been looking at some different ways to market our business than just the every day business flyer or door hanger. Some of these ways have been very beneficial for us. We got with a local fire dept in a nice city who was sponsoring a charity golf tournament. We sponsored one of the holes and then had koozies made up with our company info on them and placed them in the gift bags. These of course went out to all of the wealthy golfers who were donating money to the charity.

We also had koozies printed up and passed out at the Chillie Cook Off. We have done a great job networking and meeting the right people who just seem to want to help us. We have had a few write ups in local news papers or magazines around Birmingham as well as work out at a crossfit gym full of higher end clientele. Most of them pay $300/month or more just to work out. A big majority are lawyers or doctors etc. Once they found out we were firefighters and ran a lawn care company they wanted all kinds of work and word spread quickly without spending a dime.

We have gotten to know local realtors and have been asked to take care of certain properties until the homes sell. We have also gotten in good with other local companies who do work like tree cutting or landscape lighting etc... we recommend clients use them for work and they do the same for us.

We may not be the most knowledgeable or the best at what we do because we are so new but we have done a very good job marketing ourselves so far and everything we do is very professional. Meaning, out proposals are all in full color with pictures and graphs as well as personalized letters of thanks or introduction, all placed in a clear proposal folder. We do not turn in anything that hasn't been perfected. We have also made welcome kits to give to all of our new customers explaining who we are and what the services we offer are. We include brief bio's of the two of us and include that we are local firefighters. Finally, playing off the whole firefighter persona... we have our 36 inch walk behind eXmark that is all red with Engine 1 painted on the side of it. All of our equipment is somehow marked as some sort of fire ground vehicle which people see and it starts conversations.

any insight would be greatly appreciated. Any suggestions or concerns or anything that we are doing that may not be good I would love to have insight on.

Thanks again

Liberty Landscaping LLC
03-11-2011, 01:25 AM
Hi
I like your marketing plan different. The koozies are an excellent idea. I passed out flyers at the local Fire dept, EMS, and Police stations. Also did the real estate offices in my area. They have vacant houses they want to look good as well as open houses and want it looking terrific follow up with those and make a lawn sign ask them if you can display it during the open houses that's what I do. I also ask them to put out flyers and cards. It has worked really well. I bill the real estate office/realtor monthly for all the accounts/ jobs. Not all of them are steady a few stayed on but it's a good way to put your name out there and make a little extra money. I like the blinking sign with card holders. I am going to make something up for my truck this year and get a sign made. Def lettering on your truck and trailer. Look profesional when working. Clean pants tee shirt lettered. It makes you stand out. Keep good launguage and what not around clients/public and clean truck. If you take your time with yourself and equipment it will show you are going to do it in your work. Clients LOVE it. I never thought to sell my shirts that's something I have to look into. Deli's and small businesses post flyers and cards. Convienence stores and what not too. Giving out all my secrets so no one better use em in NJ LOL.

Steve
03-11-2011, 10:35 PM
Matt,

I don't know your climate down there so it's tough to answer your questions. Although with your pruning, I would figure if you are past your cold spells, anytime now coming up could be a good time to cut back hedges or the like.

Finally, playing off the whole firefighter persona... we have our 36 inch walk behind eXmark that is all red with Engine 1 painted on the side of it.

Do you have any pictures of your equipment or scans of the article write ups? I'd love to see what you have been up to.

Mattcrump
03-13-2011, 07:22 PM
Matt,

I don't know your climate down there so it's tough to answer your questions. Although with your pruning, I would figure if you are past your cold spells, anytime now coming up could be a good time to cut back hedges or the like.



Do you have any pictures of your equipment or scans of the article write ups? I'd love to see what you have been up to.

Hey Steve,

I don't yet but I will work on getting some soon. We are right in the middle of doing our equip maintenance and business taxes right now to try and get ready for the season but I will try and get some soon. Thanks again for the help

Golftrick17
03-13-2011, 10:13 PM
Cut the Bermuda short for the first mow. It will help get rid of the dormant brown from the winter. I don't like to mow zoysia very short on the first mowing, just my opinion. Any fescue around go around 2.5 to 3 inches to get, When the summer heat hits mow the fescue tall, 4 inches or so. Pruning can be done now, Make sure there are no buds on anything you prune, they are about to bloom. Planting and color change should be good for you now. As far as what to plant, check with the nursery you will be buying from, they will be happy to help.

Hope that helped.

Now I want to pick on you a little.....
I have a fireman in my sub. that mows also. I really want to tell people if their house is on fire call him, if you need lawn work call me (but that would just make me look bad). Please try to gain as much knowledge as you can. What if customers ask you something you don't know? It really helps to have worked for someone who can teach you, then start on your own.

Thank you for your service as a firefighter, my great uncle trained the firefighters here in TN for many years, you may have heard of him Lewis Baker.