View Full Version : New guy here from the Houston area

Big Al
07-10-2012, 09:49 PM
Hey everyone, I'm new to this site, well I've actually been reading and learning from everyone here for months now. I decided it was time to join not only to say thanks to everyone that's been helping me without knowing but also to offer my help to anyone that needs it.
Let me tell ya'll a little about myself and what I'm doing.
My name is Alan, I'm a 22 year old college student and I own a business called "Tuition Lawn Care". I'm planning on getting a degree in electrical engineering and hopefully a certificate in entrepreneurship.
I started the planning stages of my business this past December and decided I was going to use the money from my tax return as start up money since I didn't have much money or a job at the time. I began making my fliers and getting the word out in February and started working in March. I started very slow because I did have classes going on and was doing lawns in my spare time. At one point work came to a stop because I wasn't out looking for customers anymore because I was falling behind in one of my classes(not because work but because my teacher wasn't nearly as helpful as he should have been). As soon as the semester ended in May I was back on the ball and I was out busting my hump to get new customers.
Anyways, business has been really up and down and I'm learning as I'm going along. I've got about 10 regular customers right now and I feel like things are getting better. Work is hard but I'm no stranger to that, running my own business is probably the best decision I ever made.
Oh and by the way, I am using my brothers truck for work, my dads Troy-Built self propelled mower and Craftsman trimmer, and I bought myself a Craftsman blower. I'm planning on trading my car for a truck so I don't have to use his and I'm probably going to sell my motorcycle for a walk-behind mower. I'm also buying an edger tomorrow. I bought a cheap $10 cell phone with a prepaid carrier, I have a website up and running, a craigslist ad going, I'll probably get a business facebook page up in a few days, and I use my laptop that I bought for school for all of this.
I suppose I've said enough for now, I apologize if my post seems a little unorganized, I havn't slept in a couple of days(not because of work, simply because of insomnia) and its starting to get to me.

07-11-2012, 12:10 PM
Welcome to our forum!

I love your business name!

Have you been promoting that you are a student paying your way through college? We have had a couple of forum members do that and had found positive results from it. People like to help others who help themselves. Maybe even a picture of you in your marketing material as well could be helpful.

Big Al
07-11-2012, 10:14 PM
Yeah everyone close to me that I ran that idea by thought it was a great idea, I've gotten jobs and customers for the year just because of the name. people that already have a lawn service have changed over to me because they "would rather pay someone that's going to put that money towards an education rather than pay illegal immigrants even though they do great work."(their words not mine)
I hate to take someones business away like that but I suppose no matter what you do you're always going to step on someones toes.
But anyways, I do market the business as "Hard working college students earning money to put ourselves through school." I'll upload my flyer as soon as I can so that everyone can check it out.
Whenever I have to hire employees I'm hoping I can hire only college students or people hoping to go to school. I'd like to stay true to the name as much as possible.
Also, I'd like to thank ya'll for the Gopher Software, It's really helped me out and I'm going to continue using it. I'm hoping that ya'll are working on a new version of the software because I'd love to see it.

07-12-2012, 02:28 PM
I'll upload my flyer as soon as I can so that everyone can check it out.

That sounds great! I'd love to see it.

Big Al
07-18-2012, 03:11 PM
Sorry for taking so long, I've been extremely busy. It rained for a week straight over here and I just got caught up with all my work, whats worse is that I lost my helper. But here is my flyer as promised. Next batch of fliers I make will say "free estimate" on there or have a more detailed average price list like my website. In case you wanna check it out, my website is tuitionlawn.com

Please let me know what you guys think, what should be changed, any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

07-18-2012, 05:01 PM
Do you really charge $30 flat rate? If so, you'll get a lot of business!! But you won't make it long...

Big Al
07-18-2012, 05:45 PM
Well, my trick is to put these flyers only in neighborhoods or houses where I believe that its only a $30 job. But also if you read under the "$30 flat rate" it says in smaller print "The flat rate applies to everyone that receives this flyer unless otherwise specified" that way I can still charge extra if the yard is ridiculously overgrown or the back turns out to be huge. I did have a bit of an issue with it in the beginning, thats why I wanted to change the fliers to "Free Estimates".
Do ya'll really think $30 is too cheap?
I do have some some customers that I charge more than $30 to one-time yards, or larger more difficult yards.

Big Al
07-18-2012, 06:27 PM
Ok so I suppose that was a bad idea, but I haven't had any issues with yet... Looks like my next batch of fliers will say "Free Estimates".
So what is the average that ya'll charge on an average sized home, with an average amount of obstructions, and average difficulty?
Also, what is the minimum that ya'll would ever price a job at?

Caskey Lawns & Landscapes
07-18-2012, 07:06 PM
The best way to do estimates I have found is to determine how much you want to make per hour, this should include your time/equipment costs,etc...I use an average of $50 per hour and I know about how long it will take me to mow it by looking at it, If you can't determine that yet it will come with time...Keep up the good work and good luck to you...