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Hi I'm MBLC,
I have co-owned my company for 4 years with my brother. We had both worked for a larger company when we were younger, then we left to pursue other interests. He ended up at a desk job, I ended up a certified auto technician. After a few years, we both realized that we missed the sunshine and smell of fresh cut lawns, so that brings us to today
We have a small lawn mowing business, and are trying to expand.
I still turn wrenches in my free time and enjoy maintaining my equipment as much as my lawns.
03-18-2013, 12:59 PM
Welcome to our forum!
What kind of lessons do you feel you were able to learn from your previous employer, that you can apply to your company now?
I learned how to fix my own equipment. That has been huge, saving us quite a bit every year.
We try to maintain a very solid line of communication with all of our customers. They always know when to expect us and if we aren't going to make it, we let them know.
We don't cut in the rain. We use Scag walk behinds. I don't like the look of wet grass being cut, the lines (ruts) made by tires, clumping. Always thought it looked unprofessional. Not to mention what it does to my equipment. I don't know if it's a local thing or not, but everyone else around here still cuts in the rain. I never liked it, now I don't "have" to. Got any opinion?
I used to wonder what my bosses did cooped up in the office shuffling papers were doing, now I really know. Paperwork/office work is not my favorite thing. Necessary evil.
Biggest lesson I have learned, appears to be the one everyone here preaches; sell the value of your service. You won't make it doing $20 cuts unless you are cutting ALOT of corners.
03-19-2013, 10:26 AM
I don't know if it's a local thing or not, but everyone else around here still cuts in the rain. I never liked it, now I don't "have" to. Got any opinion?
You could use that in your marketing. You could say how quality is #1 and you won't cut in the rain unlike competitors who do and leave ruts. Maybe show a picture of what they do to a lawn and what your lawns look like. It could help gain more customers.
Biggest lesson I have learned, appears to be the one everyone here preaches; sell the value of your service.
What is your view on how you go about that? How does one actually sell value?
When we meet customers for the first time, we explain how we do things. No cutting in the rain is a biggie.
Now that you mentioned it, I think I will put it in our letter of introduction that we give with our new estimates. It was always just verbal info in the past. Thanks for the good idea. :D
I guess "value" isn't exactly the best term for it. More explain what the difference is between "us" and "them". In our county and the adjoining one, lawn care services are a dime a dozen. The reason we cost more than the kid next door is that we are professionals. You don't go to the kid next door to fill a cavity, even though he is less expensive than your dentist do you? Anyone with the tools can do a job, a pro does it well, consistently, and if there is a problem, the pro can come in, fix it and save the day. Little Bobby next door just wants $20 to get a snickers and a slurpee. Same thing goes for the company cutting for $20 a week. How long has that kid used a mower? Is he even insured? Can he identify problems developing in your lawn or are you just another stop before his day is done? That is the stuff we do. Their lawn is a reflection of our skill level, and we pride ourselves on our work.
Of course some people just don't care, so we leave our info, and tell them if they get tired of the other service, give us a call.
We try to get on a first name basis with everyone. Naturally this is simply not possible for every customer, but we make an effort. This seems to have worked well in our favor, we aren't some faceless corporation, we are people that they have a relationship with.
03-20-2013, 12:07 PM
Very interesting! I am sure if you keep marketing yourself and show potential customers how you differ from competitors, you will stand out and grow.
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