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TLC131
04-14-2011, 10:28 AM
Hey, my name is Tim. I have been cutting lawns in my neighborhood since I was 14 (5 yrs). Started out driving my dad's lawn mower around, which was a good opportunity to wave to everyone in the neighborhood. LOL

I am currently entering a stage where I believe it might be benificial to hire a helper. I maintain about 40 lawns, 15 of which are in my neighborhood :D

I also do snow plowing and have about 37 accounts, that my girlfriend helps me do :)

My equipment consists of:
2004 Chevy 2500 (68,000 miles)
6x12 open trailer
52" Great Dane Surfer (350 hrs)
44" Simplicity Rider (where it all started)
36" Gravely Walkbehind (50 hrs)
21" Toro Push Mower
Kawasaki Trimmer
Costco Trimmer (no throttle or cruise control?)
Echo Sidewalk Edger
Echo Backpack Blower PB-770 (BEST BLOWER EVER!)
2004 Arctic Cat 650 with plow (for neighborhood sidewalks)
2009 Western Poly Pro 7'6" (awesome money maker)
2004 Suzuki GSXR 750 (not a tool, but my awesome toy!)

I love owning my own business, which became legal in the spring of 2010. It's awesome to be able to turn a summertime hobby into a full time job. I love learning new things like operation and mechanics. Hopefully I wont be doing the labor when I'm 40 and I can just manage and do more of the business side, that is my goal. This forum is great to connect with others and to better educate myself on different things.

Steve
04-14-2011, 03:13 PM
Welcome to our forum!

You sound like you are doing great!

What advice do you have for other teens out there trying to get their business started?

What do you feel they should be doing to attract new customers?

TLC131
04-16-2011, 12:00 AM
It's weird, this year I havent even put out flyers yet and I have still gotten a consistent call volume for my size. Referals and the phone book.

I would suggest putting an add in a phone book, but not the expensive local one (they got me for $500, not worth it, but I thought it was cool). The Dex phone book was about half as much and I have gotten a lot more calls from it.

And to answer steve's question, I would advise that everyone take pride in your customers and equipment. Also the opportunity to be able to do the work is awesome, I'm not too big, but my stuff is paid off and I enjoy my job a lot. So, enjoy what you do, take pride in what you do, and be open and thankful for any new opportunities that arise.

To attract new customers, I would just be kind and show interest in others, I don't have a fast track plan for growing, it just seems like it happens over time. I have a lot of loyal customers who don't even have to think when I ask to renew. So I guess the one word that would answer steve's questions is CARE.

TLC131
04-16-2011, 12:34 AM
My girlfriend is a huge help awesome, If youre reading this, thanks:D

Vaulter721
04-16-2011, 12:39 AM
Haha, thanks :) I think its fun to help out with everything. I would just add to pay attention to detail with all of the work you do. Don't just mow half a lawn and forget to do the other half! Lol :) But more seriously, customers like it when you treat it like your own. Quick responses to phone calls and questions from customers will help as well.

Steve
04-16-2011, 12:16 PM
It's awesome to be able to turn a summertime hobby into a full time job.

Do you have any advice to those looking to make that jump from running their business part time to full time? It's something that a lot of people seem to have trouble with.

TLC131
04-21-2011, 12:23 AM
I think I have had it easy in the transition because I started so young with so little responsibility. I volunteer at my church. Now I have more stress because I have chosen this field instead of a business degree and now I really need to make a go of this business. Plus I like my girlfriend to be proud of me.

So I don't really have much advice on the transition to full time work, but take the jobs that you have and learn as much as you can from them. I don't think the draft picks for the NBA always start their first year but I'm sure they are learning a lot before they can play and be most effective.