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View Full Version : 2 new clients, possible 3rd.


JeffK26
10-07-2011, 11:41 AM
I haven't even started yet, official startup is next spring and i have 2 accounts with a possible 3rd. I haven't even put myself on the market yet. I'm still planning and pricing equipment, figuring costs and all that junk. haha

Of course i have mentioned my business to my family. They tend to talk at work as all people do. The 3 accounts have mentioned to family members that they are unhappy with their current service and would like to give me a try next spring. I have talked to each and gave them an estimate on mowing, trimming and blowing, the basic service.

I asked about Spring clean up and 1 of them said no, they enjoy doing that part of the job because it's spring and it's a nice project and it's good to be outside after the long winter, but they hate the weekly maintenance. The other yes is a possible on Spring clean up. The 3rd is a yes on Spring cleanup if they decide to use me.

This is pretty cool, i didn't even have to do anything for my first client! Haha, that seemed to be the biggest pressure facing me: getting the first client.

SECTLANDSCAPING
10-07-2011, 12:26 PM
thats pretty cool. I would put them under contract though. You should have seen how surprised I was when I showed up to cut my very first customers lawn and there was another company there. I signed them up during a fall clean up but come spring I was forgotten.

JeffK26
10-07-2011, 12:52 PM
Thanks for the advice. I was looking into doing that, but i was not expecting any customers before the end of winter/spring.

I'm thinking of going with a service agreement, same as a contract just without the ominous legal sound of the word.

My wife did some market research on just that as she was walking the dog the other day.....She asked a few random people if they would be more inclined to sign a service agreement or a contract. Out of 12 people 7 answered with a service agreement, 3 pointed out there are very few differences but service agreement sounded better. 2 said they wouldn't sign anything, guess they thought she was actually selling something haha.

SECTLANDSCAPING
10-07-2011, 01:02 PM
Thanks for the advice. I was looking into doing that, but i was not expecting any customers before the end of winter/spring.

Word of mouth is powerful marketing even when its from a family member.


My wife did some market research on just that as she was walking the dog the other day.....She asked a few random people if they would be more inclined to sign a service agreement or a contract. Out of 12 people 7 answered with a service agreement, 3 pointed out there are very few differences but service agreement sounded better. 2 said they wouldn't sign anything, guess they thought she was actually selling something haha.
I love the research! Maybe we can get all our wives to do this and have one big study group.

JeffK26
10-07-2011, 02:39 PM
Ha!

The wife loves helping out. She's actually a pretty bright lil cookie. I didn't even ask her to do it....she just comes up with ideas like that and asked cuz i brought it up before bed the other night.

Another idea she has is when my sister has another neighborhood garage sale next spring we're going to set up a table with free donuts and coffee and hand out our business cards and fridge magnets to people.

Steve
10-07-2011, 07:23 PM
You are doing fantastic! This is the way to get rolling. Put out your feelers. Ask friends or family if they need lawn care and then ask them to ask around for you as well.

Keep us updated on all your future successes with this.

Hedgemaster
10-07-2011, 08:14 PM
Cool. Off to a good start!

If you're in a populated area/city, you'll be fine - there are plenty of people who want someone to do their lawn work for them.

I may do a service agreement next season. A member here shared the one he uses and I modified it to suit my needs, but never actually implemented it.
I've been lucky enough to have excellent clients who don't need the threat of a $20 fee for not cleaning up their dog poop ahead of time - they just do it. Late payment charge? 99.9% of my clients have payment ready when I arrive on site and the ones who forget sometimes toss in an extra $5 for my trouble when I need to stop back for it.

JeffK26
10-21-2011, 10:04 PM
Update.... I signed the two to a service agreement for next year. The 3rd is holding off but has my number....not relying on it but understand not thinking about someone cutting grass 7 months before it has to happen...

My wife has her own seamstress business, nothin big, yet, but with her mind she'll probably end up making more than i do when i'm out full time mowing lawns haha.... but she plays me up, so i may have 4 other customers just from her hemming some pants and ironing some clothes! haha... she does quality work, so her quality work means i do quality work....soooo here i am...about two months into only planning what i'm going to do next spring and i have 2 for sure clients, i have 4 people i'm going to quote next week and i don't even have a mower yet! ( 85% of the money for one....)

Plus i have 4 snow removal accounts.

I decided to leave leaf removal for next fall. Too much of a headache for me right now...i'm planning my business, i'm working my regular job full time, and i'm going to school full time, plus i have been training for a half marathon i have to run this sunday ( oct 23 )...

All in all, reading these forums and even getting feedback on the small steps i'm doing so far....feels pretty good...it's all motivational...i've said this before, but i'm feeling like a kid a couple days before Christmas!

bruces
10-21-2011, 10:27 PM
so....your wife does quality work so that means you do quality work also ? how would your work rate if your wife did a crappy job ? [hypethetically speaking of course ] I guess all you single guys better start looking for a high quality work producing woman ,or there is no hope that you can ever do a nice job on a lawn .

JeffK26
10-21-2011, 10:54 PM
WOW, 99.9% of people on this thread would get the meaning from that statement. for those .01% that do not.....i charge 35 bucks minimum drop my intelligence to your level.

Hedgemaster
10-22-2011, 08:05 PM
Leaf cleanups... it may not be a bad idea to at least do a few to get a feel for things. I say this because I'm all geared up for leaf removal and I really don't know what to expect - I've never had to deal with leaves before.

I don't know how long it will take, what to charge, what method works best... I'm crapping my pants! I'm sure I'll figure it out and next fall it will be much easier, but right now, I'm looking at my fall jobs as a learning experience more so than a revenue generator.

SECTLANDSCAPING
10-22-2011, 09:38 PM
I don't know how long it will take, what to charge, what method works best... I'm crapping my pants! I'm sure I'll figure it out and next fall it will be much easier, but right now, I'm looking at my fall jobs as a learning experience more so than a revenue generator.

Even when you do its still a guessing game. If your inexperienced at bidding I suggest go a few bucks higher then what your gut is telling you. I looked at yards and thought Ill be out in less then 4 hours and it took 10. Surprisingly that was a small yard. Working around hedges doubles time. I find it faster to do a big wide open yard then a compact one with bushes. I would base your time off using a rake. Then use your blowers, vacs whatever you got. The rake does work the best just takes the longest.

If you can charge by the hour and by the dump. Then you can figure it from there. I know a lot of people dont like per hour figures but it might save your ***.

JeffK26
10-22-2011, 10:02 PM
The company i used to work for would use blowers and tarps. He was lucky because he lived on a wooded lot ( the ex boss ) so we could just dump the leaves there. Pretty basic but we got it done fast.

I have a half marathon to run and a co-ed baby shower ( ugh ) tomorrow but I'll see if i can get in touch with him tomorrow and see how he priced it and estimated time...he's been doing this for 25 years now.

I'll pop in here tomorrow night to let ya know.

JeffK26
10-25-2011, 11:06 PM
Hedge, i talked to the ex boss, he pretty much said the same as Sect. Plus if you bid a job and then it rains between the bid and the cleanup and the leaves are still wet, or a windstorm blows more leaves from the neighbor than previous years, yada yada yada..

sorry couldn't be more help, I've only done leaf removal with him, never had to bid.

Hedgemaster
10-25-2011, 11:25 PM
Yeah, I did my first real leaf work today. 7 properties, mostly small, but one had lots of "obstacles" like shrubs and fencing that made it take longer than I had anticipated.
I think it took me 45 minutes and I charged $35. (That was my initial estimate - assuming a 30 min job and I stuck to it)

All the ones I did today were "blow to curb" work with the understanding that I'd be back a few more times before the final cleanup. This works for me because I can "learn as I go" and I'm not getting stuck with a massive cleanup all at once.