PDA

View Full Version : New Member, Indiana Iraq Veteran


Timbo
07-14-2011, 09:44 AM
Hello all,

First of all, Id like to say I respect YOU! I respect anyone who had the guts to go out into the unknown, put in the work, and become self employed and sucessful. I salute you!. That is the American dream for me.

Well and little about myself. I'm a 26 yr old veteran. I have 5 years in Active National Guard. Deployed to Iraq in 2008 as an Artillerymen (Cannons) Looking to go to Afghanistan in or aorund 2013.

For the most part my hours are 7-4 and I know in advance if I'm going out of town or not. That leaves me with alot of consistent available time in the evenings to work a side gig. I'm pretty handy and have done a few remodels I like doing renovation type work but its time consuming, there are ALOT of unknowns when taking on those jobs. Id much rather work outside and know what to expect.

Which leads to my passion for landscaping. I love to stare at a nicely striped lawn with clean edges. I want to do this. I'm not greedy I dont want a huge business. Honestly I would be happy with a one crew operation. I just want a self employed side gig where I'm the boss for a change. (I have authority issues lol)

I've landed a few gigs via advertising on craigslist and have already made a few rookie mistakes I can tell. I like to consider my self a smart guy. My problem is I never have a rolemodel to show me the ropes. I've always been forced to go out and learn the hard way.

This is me putting in the work,time and effort to research as much as possible and learn from you guys. Thanks for reading my rediculously long introduction.

Hedgemaster
07-14-2011, 09:56 PM
Welcome.

I'm learning as I go as well. I got into this as a means to keep from losing my home after having no luck finding work in my field and after a scary-slow start this spring, things have picked up nicely for me.

The work is the easy part (sort of) - it's things like learning how to bid a job and/or calculate how long it will take that's tough. Every job is a learning experience, as is every phone conversation with a potential client, and every estimate that is given.

Best of luck in your new venture and thank you for your service!

wandfsmall
07-15-2011, 08:49 AM
Good luck so where in indiana are you from?

Steve
07-15-2011, 09:36 PM
Welcome to our forum!

What are you looking to do next now?

What's your plan on where you would like to take it next?

Are you landing any weekly clients?

Timbo
07-19-2011, 02:51 PM
The work is the easy part (sort of) - it's things like learning how to bid a job and/or calculate how long it will take that's tough. Every job is a learning experience, as is every phone conversation with a potential client, and every estimate that is given.


You're absolutely right. its amzing how many things happen I didnt even think of. Hidden hazards for example I ran over a long metal coil that was hidden in the grass and wrapped it around my blades. By the time I realized it, I had drained my battery trying to re-start my mower. I misdiagnosed the problem and wasted money on a solenoid.

I was also hoping I could give rough estimates over the phone based on the customers discription and that turns out to be a huge no-go. Showed up to a job that was 90% weed eating on 2 acres and only 10% mowing. Since it was my first customer I didnt have the fortitude to adjust the bid. After a gallon of sweat later I do now!

I havent landed any weekly customers yet but I havent advertised very much either. Im slowly putting together some half decent reliable equipment and taking it slow while I work all my bugs out and make my mistakes. Its late in the season and we are in one heck of a heat wave. I barely have to maintain my own lawn.

I'm in Indianapolis and try to get work in all the surrounding townships as well.

Steve
07-19-2011, 09:27 PM
Hidden hazards for example I ran over a long metal coil that was hidden in the grass and wrapped it around my blades.

Do you do anything now to check for such hazards?

Timbo
07-20-2011, 10:43 AM
I literally trimmed right over it and never saw it. It was rusted and deep under the grass. Not sure what else I could have done in that situation.

But normally I will trim first to get familar with the area on foot.

wandfsmall
07-20-2011, 02:06 PM
what kind of mower do you have that you can start it with the blades engaged?

Timbo
07-21-2011, 11:50 AM
lol Your gonna laugh, an old Murray 12hp/38 cut. Everything on it is mechanical except for the head lights and starter. It was given to me for free in horrible condition but the motor was strong. I rebuilt the axle and started advertising.

I just landed my first weekly client so I'm looking to upgrade to a walkbehind.

I found a 36' Howard price commercial grade in my area with a kawasaki engine that has an oil leak. He is asking 550$ I will try to talk him down a little more but it looks decent. This is the best deal I've come across so far so Im pretty sure I'm gonna jump on it.

Steve
07-21-2011, 02:11 PM
Things seem to be on a roll for you now. Make sure you market to the neighbors of your new client and ask the client if they know of anyone else locally that could use your services.