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View Full Version : Starting a new landscape maintenance company is still possible in hard economic time


Turningleafmaintenance
03-08-2012, 08:15 PM
About a year ago my wife and I had decided it was time to make a change in our lives. After much deliberation we decided to start our own landscape maintenance company. This decision was not made "out of the blue", both my wife and I have been off and on landscapers for over ten years, and in 2001 I owned my own landscape company in Boise Idaho for a brief time.

Here in Eugene, Oregon there are literally hundreds of landscapers in this town of less than 300,000 people, so it might seem that in these hard economic times that jumping headlong into an already saturated market was risky if not plain stupid. I think perhaps it was a little bit of both, but here we are one year later and although we aren't rolling in money(in fact we are essentially broke) we are still in business and bringing in money (not quite as fast as we spend it.)

Now I don't think just anybody should attempt this, we have literally worked our tails off, at times for a much lower rate than is needed. We have distributed over 8,000 fliers door to door in the south hills of Eugene (this is an incredibly hilly area). We have spent countless hours building our own website, our customer base, and our company image.

Sure you can start a "Mow & Blow" company out of the back of your chevy blazer with a $200 rinky dink trailer from Home Depot, and trust me there are plenty of these "Jalopy Joes" cruising around town under cutting prices and generally under performing. You can make money that way too, but don't expect to create the income needed to raise a family or pay off student loans.

Today we are still in desperate need of more clients, and more work but we are making it and I think that there is still room for others to do what we did. We expect to be paying bills comfortably by the end of the year and in this economy thats all you can really ask for.

If you think your ready to make the jump into owning and operating a landscape maintenance company, the go for it. You will be spending the next few years working your butt off weeding, mowing, blowing, pressure washing, mowing some more.... whatever you have to to get by. A little startup money won't hurt either, we tried to be professional by installing our own vinyl logo and phone to the truck and trailer. We also splurged at first to buy dickies shirts and embroider our company logo and our names on them.

The niche for any new company is professionalism, your customers want it and with landscapers I don't think they are getting it very often. here are some tips from me:

Be on Time
Be friendly
Work Hard
Create a good looking flier and website
make sure your rig looks professional
keep your equipment in good shape
offer many services (i.e. deck restoration. roof cleaning, pressure washing.)
Flier your butt off!
ask for referrals.

We are still struggling to refine our company image so if you have the time please visit one of the links below to our website blog, FAQ, and facebook page. Any comments or suggestion you have on how to continue to draw customers would be appreciated!

Our FAQ: (it still needs more questions and answers so feel free to submit a question)
http://www.turningleafmaintenance.com/FAQ/index.php


our Blogjust getting it started)
http://www.turningleafmaintenance.com/tlmblg/index.php

and facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Turnin...wall&filter=12

wandfsmall
03-09-2012, 09:45 AM
Our FAQ: (it still needs more questions and answers so feel free to submit a question)
http://www.turningleafmaintenance.com/FAQ/index.php


our Blogjust getting it started)
http://www.turningleafmaintenance.com/tlmblg/index.php

and facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Turnin...wall&filter=12

I looked at your website. It is nice and clean but I did not see that you were insured or anything about licenses. I would suggest putting that info in an easy to find location maybe in more then one location.

Steve
03-09-2012, 04:06 PM
Welcome to our forum!

When you are dealing with that much competition, do you find that you are looking for certain specific niche services you can offer to stand out or do you feel if you strive for a professional appearance, that should play a big part in standing out?