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View Full Version : just started this year..


sharplawnsturf
09-02-2012, 05:54 PM
i am off to a terrible start, but i was slow getting things together because i was recovering from shoulder surgery for the past year, and i couldn't work in the spring. I started late in the season with my advertising (around mid july). I am doing things strictly on the fert and squirt side for now, but may try to offer mowing in the spring when i can get atleast a 36" walk behind mower.

I have 1 customer so far, its my mom. I have many years experience working for others doing chem. apps. I feel i do excellent work. Just trying to find ways to get the name out there, word of mouth just isn't working like i thought it would. i got out about 700 post cards which didn't help, but i know that is just not enough. i have mostly mailed my post cards. I have a hard time knocking on doors.. and in my area there are alot of "no soliciting" neighborhoods. I have my info on my truck, you can see the web address and phone number from a long distance back..

I carry my business cards and post cards everywheres i go. I leave them any place i can think to leave them that people may see them, pass them out, etc.. I am working on SEO for my website and trying to improve my search engine ranking by the spring, i feel like this could help. my website is at http://www.sharplawnsturf.com

gonna try introduction letters soon. been getting some addresses together of potential clients, i drive through neighborhoods everyday after i get off of work at my night time job... so i'm getting a good list of potential clients together. Hoping this may get me one or two.. but i have a feeling this will work better in the spring.

I invested in a copy of the gopher billing software, and its really been great so far, just haven't gotten to do very many estimates yet. I am looking forward to using it more. anywyas, its good to finally be on here, i put it off long enough.. i have read some great information here so far.


here is a copy of my 4x6 post card that i have been using. with no luck, i guess its just not the right time! thats what i keep telling myself. its been very frustrating to say the least, i really want to make this work.
http://i711.photobucket.com/albums/ww118/chainsaw61/craigslistflyer1.jpg

SECTLANDSCAPING
09-02-2012, 06:39 PM
If your a licensed arborist. I would contact lawn guys that dont offer those services. Give them a discount price and see if you can do some spraying for their clients.

LawnBoy0311
09-02-2012, 06:47 PM
I got fire ants in my pants, is it still $25 to squirt them?

Congrats on the new business, never stop advertising!!! You'll pick up in no time, just don't lose focus!

sharplawnsturf
09-02-2012, 07:05 PM
lol, i'd take what i can get at this point. the discounted first application is so common around here, i feel like its a must do. MANY go for the $19.00 first app. but with the price of fert and pre-emergents, as well as gas prices.. i have a hard time going much lower than $25.00 up to 4k or 5k sq. ft. i think In future ad's i'm gonna just say $10.00 off first application for new customers, because thats essentially what it is.

thanks for the motivation.

I got fire ants in my pants, is it still $25 to squirt them?

Congrats on the new business, never stop advertising!!! You'll pick up in no time, just don't lose focus!

sharplawnsturf
09-02-2012, 07:07 PM
thats one thing i started to do recently too, talked to one or two landscapers so far that do not do applications, so it could be something that could help as well.

If your a licensed arborist. I would contact lawn guys that dont offer those services. Give them a discount price and see if you can do some spraying for their clients.

SECTLANDSCAPING
09-02-2012, 07:55 PM
thats one thing i started to do recently too, talked to one or two landscapers so far that do not do applications, so it could be something that could help as well.

Go big, talk to a few dozen. It sure is easier then advertising and there getting money off the top to. So its a win win for everyone involved.

Chaz
09-03-2012, 08:57 AM
you should by a push mower and begin offering mowing this year.

If I were offering the same services you were I'd be at the same level.

I find a lot of my clients like to do those services themselves if they don't like to mow.

sharplawnsturf
09-03-2012, 11:27 AM
i think you are right. i have everything i need to mow, have equipment that i use on my own lawn. Might as well offer as many services as i can to start. I see more profit in the lawn app's.. over mowing, but mowing could help me get things started i guess. I was banking on my night job to keep me afloat until i got enough customers, but i can honestly can say 8 years on the night shift, and i'm about burnt out because i don't sleep well during the day.

you should by a push mower and begin offering mowing this year.

If I were offering the same services you were I'd be at the same level.

I find a lot of my clients like to do those services themselves if they don't like to mow.

Steve
09-04-2012, 12:38 PM
Welcome to our forum!

i got out about 700 post cards which didn't help, but i know that is just not enough.

Something to consider is that you might get a better response if you send out your postcards to 200 homes, once a month for three months than to 600 homes, once.

Also, you probably won't see much word of mouth until more people have hired you. The more people that are your customer, the more that will talk about you and see you around town servicing someone in their neighborhood.

sharplawnsturf
09-04-2012, 01:47 PM
i had better luck in 2004 when i just offered lawn maintenance. i ran off a flyer made from a template i found on this site, i may have put out 50 flyers, got a few customers off of that.. then word of mouth and people driving by stopping to ask if i could look at their yard led to more work.. next thing you know i had a good little bit of work in one season.. It just isn't happening that way this time. :) late, late start for me, we saw a little bit of some drought conditions but not as much as other parts of the country i'm sure. I figure the economy has alot to do with it as well.

i will cut back on the postcards to a couple hundred a month to see what happens next time. atleast 500 but saving those for the spring.. i am kinda getting cheap with my advertising, really working for a higher google ranking by spring.. thinking this could help me out alot.

SECTLANDSCAPING
09-04-2012, 02:04 PM
Google should help.

I would pick up more services. Theres a ton of competition for mowing and its lower profits then others services such as pressure washing or gutter cleaning.

A lot of homeowners are cutting back on their budgets and fertilizer is one to go. Its also easy for them to do unless they have a specific problem. How about offering a lawn analysis for $30? So the DIY people could fix it themselves. All youll be doing is offering advice.

I think the big difference is the timing. The economy was in better shape then and you were offering a more general service.

sharplawnsturf
09-07-2012, 05:31 PM
the bad timing back in 2004 was i didn't have a wife who worked bringing in a second income like i do now, so the night job and lawn biz got to where i had to pick one of the other and had to go where the money was. 8 years later.... stuck on the night shift, i want to work outside doing what i enjoy.. but i don't want to work for somebody anymore. if i could bring in 1,000 a month after expenses i'd be able to focus on just the business and growing it. seems like a small amount.. even in this economy.

fert and weed control apps are still pretty big here in north metro atlanta, i'm seeing people with lawn app companys in many different income brackets. i did alot of driving around, i talked to many people trying to get an idea of prices, and what they liked or didn't like about there service.. after about 7 months of that (i was out of work with an injury) i got the confidence to pull the trigger on this thing.

now i'm focused on aeration and overseeding ad campaign, and hoping mabee i can pick up some full program sales from some of those jobs.. i've got a good offer that i think will land me a few jobs, i have a few lined up already. this spring i'm gonna work on picking up mowing accounts, and try to upsell them lawn apps at a discount with that service.. even tho mowing isn't as profitable, its more money per month i guess... something to supplement the income until i get more spraying accounts.. i tried pressure washing my house a few weekends ago.. first time.. thats something i need to practice on.. gutter cleaning, i won't even get on a ladder to do my own... :)


Google should help.

I would pick up more services. Theres a ton of competition for mowing and its lower profits then others services such as pressure washing or gutter cleaning.

A lot of homeowners are cutting back on their budgets and fertilizer is one to go. Its also easy for them to do unless they have a specific problem. How about offering a lawn analysis for $30? So the DIY people could fix it themselves. All youll be doing is offering advice.

I think the big difference is the timing. The economy was in better shape then and you were offering a more general service.

Steve
09-10-2012, 12:58 PM
I am sure with a little bit of time, you are going to see your business grow. Step by step and customer by customer, it will happen.

Keep us posted on your success.