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View Full Version : Old Fashioned Lawn Care Business Idea


jtcaldarelli
12-23-2012, 02:15 AM
Hi, I have a small Lawn Business Located here in Elkton, MD. In my area Landscaping is extremely Competetitive and Im trying to think of ways to stand out in my area, and come next year I am looking to replace my current truck a 95 Chevy 1500 Extended Cab Short Bed, Main reason I am looking to replace it is the Short Bed Sucks working out of, and I need a little bit heavier Duty truck to pull my Tractor around. I have a lot of older Equipment that I use to work with. Even though I am in a small Hick Town, alot of people are starting to move to the area from New Jersey, and since they dont know anyone in the area it seems that they fall for the guy in the Flashy New Truck from out in Delaware with The Enclosed Trailer based on Appearance and Prestige. Not that there is anything wrong with someone in a new Truck, as Im sure theyve earned it, but I cannot compete with it, as Im 21 years old and work at a Truck Tire Shop making 9 Dollars an Hour, so a New Chevy is out of the question.

So my idea is to maybe compete and be noticed along with the prestige boys from out of town in the area is to do the polar opposite, Since I need another truck I have thought of maybe buying an Older Chevy/GMC (Wont run a Ford or Dodge) 3/4 or 1 Ton from the 50's 60's, 70's or 80's in Respectable Running Condition, Put a Flatbed on it, Slap a coat of Paint on it and go to Work. Im not sure how New Jersey people are, but I figure a Nice Older Truck goin down town with my business Info will catch eyes and grab attention just as well, if not better then the New Ford 350 Diesel with the Pretty Painted Trailer, Pretty Brand new 15,000 Mowers since you are used to seeing it all the time. From my experience if I see an older front end or side of a Truck Coming up the Road It grabs my attention. So more or Less it, my idea is to maybe have a Gimmick of an "Old Fashioned" Service since no one in my area is really doing it.

And Please dont take this post as a knock on you people with a new Truck and Trailer, Dont get me wrong Id love to have nice things like that one day, but right now its not in the Cards and I simply cant afford the note hanging over me to try and compete in the "Prestige" Department If you will

I am Looking for thoughts, ideas, and if anyone is doing the same thing in there town how are the results? Thanks and merry Christmas to you all!

stevef1201
12-23-2012, 05:32 AM
Olde Fashion Lawn Care
We do things the Old Fashioned Way - We do it CORRECTLY

CS-LawnService
12-23-2012, 06:32 AM
i run early to late 80 model trucks myself the customers do not seem to care as long as they do not look an eye sore

paint it and keep it clean and let your work speak for you when you do a lawn.
even if you have a new truck and trailer the first few years are the hardest .i am going into my 3rd year and just now starting to be able call it a full time job the first 2 years it was part time lawn service and full time social networking

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/390316_515761461775035_1610498892_n.jpg

ringahding1
12-23-2012, 07:35 AM
I get where you are coming from. Sounds like you know where you want to be. It also seems your passion is not working the $9 per hour job and landscaping would trump that.

I say do not buy everything brand new right away, work your butt off and when the time comes to buy new stuff->>>>You'll know!

My suggestion would be to make a nice flyer, fix up an affordable truck & continue to work that 9-5 until it is time to quit that job.

My first vehicle in this business was a mini-van, try landscaping out the back of that brother. You can do this man!

stevef1201
12-23-2012, 09:57 AM
All right now is the time for the absolute truth. Your customers really don't care what your equipment looks like, old new it does not matter. As long as it is not falling apart. What they care about is that you give them the look they want, the grass mowed and trimmed to thier liking. The mulch installed that they want and where they want it ( in the grass instead of the bed is not going to cut it). They want you to come in , do the work as quickly as needed, and leave them a beautiful yard. I know I have a 1993 Chevrolet pickup, I just recently repainted it, and put a new sign on it. I have not lost one yard because 'your truck is old'. As long as it looks nice (no rusted out falling apart junk), and you are not spending more each month than a newer one would cost, keep on trucking.

ringahding1
12-23-2012, 11:15 AM
@stevef1201
I disagree that customers do not care about "Looks", but I suppose every market is different.

For sure our business has increased like crazy with the upgrades of our trucks, mowers & trailers. Personally I cannot picture having all the work we do running around with mini-vans(the vehicle I started with) or the 1982 Chevy(R.I.P. miss ya baby!)that once was our main vehicles.

Smart business owners know that "First Impressions" are EVERYTHING, do not fool yourself thinking that is does not.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8022/7301021996_d558768b37_t.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ring_lawn_care/7301021996/)http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6053/6370645935_ce6803b395_t.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ring_lawn_care/6370645935/)http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8063/8212611131_e42afdd78e_t.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ring_lawn_care/8212611131/)http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7081/7382733878_ed0cbd7a62_t.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ring_lawn_care/7382733878/)

I suppose you would have to put yourself in your customers shoes, looking out the window.

stevef1201
12-23-2012, 12:17 PM
Ring I didnot mean go to the customer in a beat up piece of sh*t. Personaly I use a sedan when making the estimate or going to see the customer. Its the work truck Iwas talking about

Cashin H&P
12-23-2012, 01:25 PM
I agree with Ring 100%

I dont have a brand new truck, infact its almost 8 years old. But I keep it in good condition. My customers are all high end and I feel that if I had my first truck (94 f150), which was also in perfect condition, that I would not have any of the customers I do now.

Image is EVERYTHING. Keed your equipment clean and at least some what modern.

SECTLANDSCAPING
12-23-2012, 02:28 PM
You might dump more money into a old truck then a newer.

I get what your saying I seen a 55 dump truck a few weeks back and it was a eye opener. I talked to the guy and it only had 115hp. So there really underpowered. This guy was lucky since it had no rust. You have to think of parts availability. I just had to buy a part for my 01 f250 off ebay because its not made anymore.

Steve
12-24-2012, 12:03 PM
I think it is always important to accentuate your positive and eliminate your negative. Promote what you have and what makes you different.

There have been a few members on here who took the angle of standing out by promoting 'old fashion service.'

Check out this logo designed by one of them.
http://www.gopherforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=824&d=1231686779

Then check out the post Remember When Lawn Care (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=8008).

And the blog article on them.

Using a lawn care business niche and theme to stand out. (http://lawnchat.com/lawn-care-business/using-a-lawn-care-business-niche-and-theme-to-stand-out.html)

See if any of the ideas used could help you too.

ringahding1
01-04-2013, 07:57 AM
Ring I didnot mean go to the customer in a beat up piece of sh*t. Personaly I use a sedan when making the estimate or going to see the customer. Its the work truck Iwas talking about

I used to do that in order to save on fuel. Sadly I do not own a Piece of junk anymore. So if I were to pull up with my TOY(cadillac), how is that going to look?

Spending a little money(on fuel)here & there driving the work truck with my name on it, has sent sales through the roof! Not every LCC has the luxury we have, and that is having a selective service area.

Clearly every market is different and some have to drive for miles before getting to a property, but the decision to not drive more than 10 miles has paid off tremendously.

nice2weedu
01-04-2013, 08:43 AM
Hey! I know a guy who rides a bike. It's a sight! He wears the blower, straps a weedwacker to the bike, and pushes the mower with with one while holding onto to the handlebars with the other. Did you ever think that the guys with the new trucks and trailers could be saving on business insurance? All of my trucks and trailers are used, but I have the peace of mind in knowing that they are maintained, registered, and insured. Hold your head high! All good things come to those who wait.