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Growing Green
01-27-2012, 12:23 PM
Sorry I haven't been on here as much as I would like. A lot of times I do read the forum, but don't post as much as I used to. I was presented with an opportunity yesterday and I wanted to run it by all you guys and see what you all thought. I would really appreciate any feedback or ideas.

My mechanic (great guy with integrity) has extra space in his shop. He is willing to rent out a part of his shop that faces a road that has 19k people a day that drive by. Currently I'm parking and keeping all my stuff in my garage and it takes up the whole garage. The area he is offering is HUGE. Much bigger than what I need. He has a table saw in there, welding machine, water with drainege, electricity, can sharpen chain saw chains, he has grinder for lawn blades. I basically have access to all his stuff. Plus he said I could use his office as well. He told me he doesn't want to just use this as a storage for me, but for me to use this as a business opportunity. He said I could put anything out by the road to sell. I sell garden boxes so I could put those out and he is there M-F 8am - 5pm and will help sell them. Plus he said I could keep all my stuff out in his lobby and he would try to sell my service as much as he can. I could have lots of stuff around and with people waiting around for him to change oil or fix car what better way for people to spend their time by readying stuff about my business or what we offer. :-) He is wanting to charge me $500 a month, which is not that much, but I just started the business a year ago and $500 is a big chunk of my profit.

So what would you guys do? What would you guys sell or put by the road? I'm not very skilled with my hands so kind of limited in that area. I could put a bunch of nice plants in different type of ceder boxes and hope to make money selling those, but I don't think it would be anywhere near $500 worth.

I just don't want to pass up this opportunity as it could possibly be huge. Help!

thegroundscrew
01-27-2012, 12:45 PM
Growing Green,

There is very few opportunities like this one. I would not pass it up and would dive right into it. However, think economically as well. Do you need the space? Will you put the space to use? etc. It seems as if this place has everything you need... an office, tools for equipment repairs, lobby, ability to display goods and services. If it was me I would see where in my personal life I could eliminate expenses such as eating out a little less each month, maybe even cutting back on the number of cable channels, etc. If I were you I would make any effort to use this space and consider a place that you can grow and expand your business.

What i would display in front of the building is first off a large sign that has your logo with number and says what type of company you are, services you offer, etc. Then I would start by displaying your garden boxes. But if you are aloud by the city I would sell gravel, different barks, sand, salt (for snow removal), etc. That could be expensive for start up costs but can be very profitable depending on your location and the demographics.

Having a mechanic in the shop with you is very beneficial. If he has a middle class to higher class clientel (working on nicer cars) then the majority probably have a landscape management company or are looking for one. Plus if he will help you sell your product and services, that is the biggest plus I can see. You could meet a lot of people and also learn a bit about the mechanic business which can be beneficial for working on your own cars and equipment.

Well good luck and try to make this opportunity a reality. It is something that does not show up often, so maybe you might just take the risk.

Curtis Michael

PS: if you need any additional help or idea send me a message.

Also, if you could post some pictures of the outside and inside of the building plus the parking lot. I would get a better idea of what you are getting yourself into.

You should also view the thread "Been three years since I've check in" started by DeamScapes. He has a shop in the city similar to the one you are explaining. He also has a very nice sign on the side of the road that can attract many customers. This thread will hopefully help you.

dpld
01-27-2012, 01:53 PM
i agree few opportunities like this come along but at the same time i would only do it if you can afford it during the worst of times because a good deal don't do much for you if it put's you in the poor house.

thegroundscrew
01-27-2012, 02:12 PM
I agree with DPLD. You have to be able to afford it but sometimes in business you have to take risks and this might be one of those risks that you might be willing to make. You should talk with the property owner and aski if you can get the first month for free or for at least half price so you can get a better vibe of what it is like and see if it can help increase business and efficiency. Whether you take this deal or not it will be a good learning experience and something to ponder about in the near future. Is he wanting an immediate reply or do you have some time to make your decisions? If you wait to long is there someone else lined up to take the spot?

Like I said, good luck.

ringahding1
01-27-2012, 02:56 PM
First: Promote Promote Promote~ This will sound like a PREACH, but if you heard me say any of the following, you will know I am passing along what has made my company successful for the past 10 years.
So don't take anything personal, just know there is always work that can be done.

Optimize your website
I see you provide mowing, but what all is involved with your mowing service?
The same goes for most of the services you provide, explain in more detail so a potential customer #1 stays on your page(which will help you rank your website better) and understands you are a PROFESSIONAL.

Blog
This is not new for getting traffic to your site. Join more forums and groups related to your niche.

Write articles
Writing articles about your niche is not new either. There are 100's of article directories that are free that you can submit to. You can also place them on your website, which search engines will pick up if you optimize good enough.

Flyers
Another one that is not new. Create a flyer that a potential client will have a hard time throwing in the trash, once it's in their hand.

Business Listing
I don't if you have already, but just glancing at your website for 10 seconds tells me one thing, you didn't list your business everywhere possible that matters and is also FREE!

Good Luck on the shop space and getting more clients

stevef1201
01-27-2012, 03:25 PM
After reading ringahding1 's post, how about you guys look at my website, and try and remember it is under construction, and tell me what you think. It is searchable with google by 'lawn care zephyrhills fl' I come up #4 on the reults so I think that is good, but I need some constructiove feed back. Thanks in advance

www.stevesaffordablelawncare.com

ringahding1
01-27-2012, 03:46 PM
After reading ringahding1 's post, how about you guys look at my website, and try and remember it is under construction, and tell me what you think. It is searchable with google by 'lawn care zephyrhills fl' I come up #4 on the reults so I think that is good, but I need some constructiove feed back. Thanks in advance

www.stevesaffordablelawncare.com

Hey Steve there are many things you can do to keep that ranking all explained in the comment I made earlier. Is "Zephyrhills" the only city you provide service or are these possible areas you could:

Plant City, FL
Winston, FL
Lutz, FL
Temple Terrace, FL
Mango, FL Lakeland, FL
Lake Magdalene, FL
Brandon, FL
Lakeland Highlands, FL
Bloomingdale, FL Egypt Lake-Leto, FL
Citrus Park, FL
Tampa, FL
Auburndale, FL
Spring Hill, FL

I could help you with your site as you don't need to broadcast "Intuit's" name on your website, especially when this is all about "Steve's Lawn Care".

I just switched to WordPress from Intuit, and could not be more happy!!
You only have 3 pages, doesn't Intuit give you 5 pages in their package deal?
WordPress is UNLIMITED pages and has unbelievable functionality that will blow your mind!

I pay $150 for two years of HOSTING and I use Themes I've purchased for $39/year (which are great) if i get sick of looking at my current SITES, I can change them and have 50+ to choose from.

Your site could use some real SEO work, but your over-all effort is not bad, could be GREAT!

Hedgemaster
01-27-2012, 04:03 PM
Do you ever watch "The People's Court"? "Judge Judy"?

Don't go into anything without a contract.
Otherwise we'll be watching YOU on TV trying to explain why he owes you the space and why you don't owe him $1,000/month because you had a verbal agreement, and blah, blah, blah...

Steve
01-27-2012, 04:26 PM
I was presented with an opportunity yesterday and I wanted to run it by all you guys and see what you all thought. I would really appreciate any feedback or ideas.

First off, why do you need to do this? I can understand your garage is packed now but does it still work? How might your lawn care business be better off the end of this year with an extra ($500 x 12 months) = $6,000?

You only have so much time in the day. Are you going to be focusing on lawn care or do you want to get into retail? Do you need to spread yourself into other areas now?

Alot of what you choose to do is based on your goals of where you want to take your business.

Give us some more of your thoughts on this.

Growing Green
01-28-2012, 06:58 PM
Great feedback guys! I'm still on the fence on this. Not sure if I would be able to make $500 a month for this spot, but it does help to be able to get a sign up in front of 19k people a day. There isn't enough room to put rocks/mulch/etc... Would only have a big area that is inside building. I'll take some pictures on Monday and try to post them that day.

We would definitely have a contract drawn up though.

Ringahding1 - thanks for the feedback regarding website. I still have A LOT to do on it.

Also, mechanic said if I wanted to fix lawn mowers on the side that he would be happy to advertise that and he would just take a cut of the profit. Bad thing is I'm not really good mechanically. There are just so many opportunities here and don't want to miss an opportunity, but again like Steve said I don't want to spread myself to thin and loose out on customer service. I'm starting to get reallly busy. Maybe I would just hire someone to help me at times. Sorry I'm all over the place. So much going through my mind.

Will post pictures soon.

Take care!

Steve
01-30-2012, 02:07 PM
Bad thing is I'm not really good mechanically.

What kinds of mechanical problems are you finding yourself running into? I bet if you started working on the smaller issues and built your way up, you could be more mechanical. It's also good to have that skill and know as much as you can about your equipment.

If you run into any mechanical problems, why not post them and learn how to resolve them.

but it does help to be able to get a sign up in front of 19k people a day.

We don't know how that would effect things. You could put a sign out in front and pay him a smaller fee as a test run for the sign only.

How about a big 4'x8' plywood sign that advertises one of your services?

You might get some response from it or you might not get any. But you won't know unless you test it and if you can test it on the cheap, that's even better.

Growing Green
01-30-2012, 06:22 PM
Ok here are the pictures. The monthly cost includes that huge yard now. I didn't know that was part of the deal. I could store a ton of stuff on that land including a big greenhouse if I wanted. I love gardening and several of the organic nursery's have asked if I wanted to grow stuff so might venture into that as well. Excited about this, but as of right now I'm still on the fence. Before the yard was included I was going to say no, but now this is even more exciting.

I would have access to the whole area in the picture and the picture I took of the road he said I could have that whole area to put whatever I wanted out there. Pretty big area.

SECTLANDSCAPING
01-30-2012, 08:39 PM
when I first read this I was assuming it was a yard with a garage. This is pretty much a commercial property. If you put signs up it would look real professional. Plus theres a lift in there.

Growing Green
01-30-2012, 09:02 PM
Yea, he has his own property and then I would just rent out that garage that is connected to his shop. Plus he has a lot on the back end of his property see pictures in previous post that he said I could use. Looks like this could be a good opportunity.

thegroundscrew
01-30-2012, 09:35 PM
If it was me I would jump right on this opportunity. Their is just so much potential and opportunity that is almost endless. If you decide to follow through with it I would reccomend working your butt of the first few months coming up with design plans (signs), maybe cleaning up the outside kind of showing off your quality of work, start some green houses, etc. Work hard at the start coming up with potential ideas and possibly retail and start promoting your business and searching for customers. The things you can do this property are endless. For $500 a month your truly getting a hell of a deal. Good luck and keep us posted on what you decide on doing. Remember ask if you can get the first month free.!

Steve
02-01-2012, 12:48 AM
I am glad you are getting a lot of feedback from many members. My view is, buy what you need and grow at the pace you deem comfortable.

Keep us posted on what you decide to do.

Growing Green
02-03-2012, 08:41 AM
Well I think I might go through with this. It is going to be a month by month agreement so no one year contract or anything like that. Plus he is going to give me the first 2 months at $300 to give it a test run.

I'll keep you guys updated and get new pictures when I fix the place up.

Take care!

Chaz
02-04-2012, 02:08 AM
Well I think I might go through with this. It is going to be a month by month agreement so no one year contract or anything like that. Plus he is going to give me the first 2 months at $300 to give it a test run.

I'll keep you guys updated and get new pictures when I fix the place up.

Take care!

the test run is an awesome opportunity.

Something that wasn't mentioned and i am quite surprised that it wasn't;
is this shop closer to your customer base? It could cut costs if your command
center is closer to your customers... However, if it is further, that will add costs.

Growing Green
02-04-2012, 08:49 AM
the test run is an awesome opportunity.

Something that wasn't mentioned and i am quite surprised that it wasn't;
is this shop closer to your customer base? It could cut costs if your command
center is closer to your customers... However, if it is further, that will add costs.

Yes, it is about 2 miles away from my home. So it works out perfect! Good point though.

Growing Green
02-04-2012, 08:51 AM
I'll be starting out March 1st. In the mean time, I have A LOT to do. I put together a list of everything I need to get done before I move in. Plus I need to go clean the area up.

There is a part of me that doesn't want to do this as it is going to create a lot of work and it is far outside of my comfort zone, but there is another part that is saying "Let's get'er done!". I am excited.

brian'slawncare
02-04-2012, 09:57 AM
that looks great! $500/month is not bad at all. Post a satellite image so we can see!

bruces
02-04-2012, 05:02 PM
I would of been already working out of it ! good score for the cash .

Growing Green
02-05-2012, 07:00 AM
I've attached a satalite view of the area. Smaller area circled in red is what I can use to put anything out there to advertise/sell to 19k cars a day passing by. Other area circled is where I can put mulch/rocks/compost/etc... Will eventually have access to the whole area.

Keep feeding me your thoughts. What would you guys sell? What would you do if you had this opportunity? What would you take advantage of?

I'm trying to think of every opporunity, but I know you guys will have great ideas.

Take care!

The Cleaning Doctor
02-05-2012, 08:03 AM
I pay $150 for two years of HOSTING and I use Themes I've purchased for $39/year (which are great) if i get sick of looking at my current SITES, I can change them and have 50+ to choose from.


You are paying way too much for hosting. I don't even charge near that much.

As for what to sell.....

1. How about vegetable starter plants such as tomato plants etc
2. All kinds of landscaping plants, shrubs, trees, flowers
3. Fall... Mums and pumpkins and dried corn stalks
4. Fruit and vegetables.
5. Christmas Trees

That is all I can think of at the moment.

Growing Green
02-05-2012, 01:25 PM
You are paying way too much for hosting. I don't even charge near that much. http://xtremedomainhosting.com

As for what to sell.....

1. How about vegetable starter plants such as tomato plants etc
2. All kinds of landscaping plants, shrubs, trees, flowers
3. Fall... Mums and pumpkins and dried corn stalks
4. Fruit and vegetables.
5. Christmas Trees

That is all I can think of at the moment.

Thanks Pat! That is good info! As for the hosting that wasn't me that posted that. Was someone else. I don't pay nearly that much.

Take care!

The Cleaning Doctor
02-05-2012, 07:06 PM
Yeah, I just did not feel like quoting his entire post.

Thought of more

Sod or at least have samples on hand.
Those concrete statues

I would say retaining wall blocks but I don't think FL has any hills... LOL