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ChrisLeon
05-01-2011, 08:01 PM
Hey everyone, My name is Christopher Leon. I am from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois and I am a college student. I just started my lawn care biz (College Kid Lawn Care) this April, I have two clients and thus far I really enjoy it. I currently work at Chipotle, and just put my two weeks in because I am unmotivated working a "job" and just want to pursure my passion being an entrepreunur/investor. I am trying to not rely on a steady paycheck so it will push me harder and further to make something of myself while learning how to build a business from the ground up. I am trying to look FEAR in the eye and say "hey, gimme your best shot." It's funny, I never noticed how many laandscapers, and lawn care business there were until I started building my clientele base. Talk about saturated market. I plan on going avoe and beyond when it comes to customer service and use being a college kid in my favor to get lawn accounts. One question I have for anyone is, if I am just offering mow, trim, edge, and blow am I shooting myself in the foot when competing against companies that have been in the game already? I thought maybe I would add services along the way if my customers I obtain ask for those services, but to be simple I thought I would offer no contracts and mow and blow service to get started and build relationships with people. If anyone could enlighten me to thisquestion that would be awesome! Thanks for reading everyone. Much luck on your mowing season!

Christopher Leon
College Kid Lawn Care
"we study your lawn so you dont have to"

ChrisLeon
05-01-2011, 08:09 PM
Hey, I just got this logo/business card made and wanted to get peoples opinions in the business. Please let me know what you think. Please be truthful and honest, constructive crticism builds character in my book.

TLC131
05-02-2011, 12:53 AM
Hey, welcome to the forum I hail from Lake Zurich. This website has been helpful to me so far. What equipment do you have?

elrascal
05-02-2011, 03:26 AM
Welcome to the party

ChrisLeon
05-04-2011, 08:48 AM
Hey Lake Zurich! Im in South Elgin, I have a echo pb 250 blower, shindiawa commercial trimmer, a honda push mower, a black and decker hedger (electric, unfortunately.) I REALLY need a trailer though to hook up to my Ferrari aka Ford Taurus. How's things up in Lake Zurich with business?

Hey Peewee, thanks for the welcoming to the party! Im ready to get down like four flat tires!

Steve
05-04-2011, 05:27 PM
Hi Chris,

Welcome to our forum!

I plan on going above and beyond when it comes to customer service and use being a college kid in my favor to get lawn accounts.

What's your view on how you can be better than others when it comes to customer service?

Also, how do you feel you will be able to play up the college kid angle to your benefit?

One question I have for anyone is, if I am just offering mow, trim, edge, and blow am I shooting myself in the foot when competing against companies that have been in the game already? I thought maybe I would add services along the way if my customers I obtain ask for those services, but to be simple I thought I would offer no contracts and mow and blow service to get started and build relationships with people.

Yea, why not start with the basics and scale up as the need increase. Keep your eyes open for other services you can offer while at the customers location and suggest different services to them.

ChrisLeon
05-04-2011, 09:27 PM
Hey Steve! Great site here, pal. This is a great tool for someone like to me to learn and use as a reference. I appreciate all the hard work you have put into this site and all your videos. I can tell your seasoned. :)

Some ways I feel I would be able to showcase my customer service would be my people skills first and foremost. I am very personable and I genuinely care about my work and people I have relationships with. Also, I feel customer service just isnt come by do the work and say a couple things; I plan to not just do the job I told them I would do, but go the extra mile in any way I see I can capitalize on. I am referring to the little things like bringing a treat for their dogs if they have some, let them know I am always in the area and if they have company or a graduation party (which are coming up very soon) that I will come and clean up the yard, do some trimming or something. I also plan to send handwritten notes after acquiring business to express my gratitude and why there business helps. I think WOWing a customer is what its all about. Whatever you came to do, do that as good as you can do it. Spend some extra time on the edge or trim, or the line of the cut. Furthermore, always look for something you can let your customer know you did that they would be appreciative of.

In response to your second question about playing up the college angle: Firstly, I am a college student. I am on the deans list and I might even consider sending my customers a little copy of my semester grades to show how well I am doing in school while learning how to run a business. A person that goes to school and gets solid marks, says alot about a person's character. Where I live, most of the people probably did go to college so I feel confidant making the connection with my demographic. I know people want to help those that are in school, especially those that did go to school. Tuition in the nation has increase 40% in the past 30 years, and they know it as well as I do. Realistically, I am up against a hell lot of competition, but to most people getting their lawn cut is a luxury and a service at that. People not only want their lawn cut nice if their paying for it, but knowing they are helping someone in the process for a solid cause I think makes the decision process easier on them. This must be played strategically, but I feel confident in my approach. Also, to really sell the college model, I plan on going door to door with my marketing and business cards and build a relationship with each and every person. I do not just want to be a flyer on the door, I want them knowing the face behind College Kid Lawn Care, so when they see my second wave of marketing they can be like "oh, yea. I remember that kid." Aside from having a good image and good people skills, I feel this "product" I have packaged (being a college kid n all) will play out nicely for me. I currently have 2 clients, and my goal is to get 2 more each month until the end of the season.

What do you think of my approach Steve? Secondly, I am not offering contracts, what kind of pitch can you suggest in order to retain my customers to call me or let me cut their grass every week/bi-week? Any additional advice is much appreciated. Thanks alot!

P.S. What do you think of my business card/brand I attached? Just want some lawn mowers opinions.

Christopher Leon

Steve
05-05-2011, 04:59 PM
What do you think of my approach Steve? Secondly, I am not offering contracts, what kind of pitch can you suggest in order to retain my customers to call me or let me cut their grass every week/bi-week? Any additional advice is much appreciated. Thanks alot!

P.S. What do you think of my business card/brand I attached? Just want some lawn mowers opinions.

I would think even if you aren't using contracts, you should be looking to sell your lawn care service weekly, especially during the mowing season.

How are you handling things now with your customers? Are you waiting for them to call you per cut?

Also, I like your business card. Are you taking that theme and applying it to your uniform? That might help you when you go door to door.

elitelawnteam1
05-07-2011, 09:27 AM
I'm up in Cary, IL

I think the best piece of knowledge I can give you would be that FLYERS/DOORHANGERS are only a step in the process of gaining accounts. I've dropped flyers all over Cary, FRG, Crystal Lake, etc. and I'll get a few customers in each area.

Then, when I begin to service those accounts, people will come up to me "hey can you do mine?" and soon I have 2-3 all in a row!

Do you have a website? you should. Because you miss out on a large amount of people who go to google and search (lawn service in xyz town)

make yourself a website (I use officelive.com) it's free, you may want to buy a domain to make it www.collegekidlawncare.com but that's only like $10/year.

Go to google and search Google Places and register your company so people can search "lawn care in Elgin" and your name is up front on the first page. I just did that this year and already 7 people told me that's how the found me.

I'm 16 I've done this for 4 years and will make this my profession. I have 35+ weekly maintenance accounts and get about 50 clean-ups/dethatching/aeration/mulching in the spring, and about 20 in the fall


Good Luck!

ChrisLeon
05-10-2011, 04:19 AM
Thanks for that tidbit ETL! At first I didnt think of making a website thinking it would cost a bunch, but I may look into it if you say there is business to be obtained.
I agree, flyering is only the first step in the process of marketing, and since im just starting out I am relying on that to get my brand out there. I just came up with a new way to market using flyers and will let everyone know how it goes after I have done it. Theoretically, it sounds sexy, but execution will be key. Ill keep you posted. I hope everyones mowing season is going awesome. Im up to three clients and working on getting more. WHOO!

Steve
05-10-2011, 08:02 PM
Then, when I begin to service those accounts, people will come up to me "hey can you do mine?" and soon I have 2-3 all in a row!

Do you do anything to better facilitate this? Do you have signs on your truck or uniform shirts on?

People may not walk up to someone mowing a property unless they know they are professionals.

elitelawnteam1
05-11-2011, 07:05 AM
I do have stickers for my van, It's a 1995 Mercury Villager, and it does pull a trailer. I do have plans for replacing it this year because I can only carry 2 1/2 yards of mulch because of the weight.

I used to have company t-shirts for everybody who works for me, but they started getting too many holes in them. Soon I'm going to buy some hi-vis t shirts.

As far as people coming up to me, most don't really care, I'm only 16 anyway, so there's a certain line drawn to where that's as professional as I can look. I own a lot of the specialty equipment that most homeowners need to rent (overseeder, aerator, dethatcher) and that attracts them.

I have a 36" Ferris Hydrowalk and to them, that's a HUGE mower. I wear my company shirt when I work, but In my area, I just think most want things done on time and with a big mower.

Steve
05-11-2011, 03:38 PM
Good for you! You are gonna have more customers than you know what to do with!