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gmoney55
04-09-2008, 05:17 PM
Hey guys new to the business and i had some flyers made and need to hand them out. i will go to shopping mall parking lots and such but was wondering has anyone had any luck driving around subdivisions and putting out flyers on homes that look like they need their grass cut pretty bad. i was driving around today and noticed several homes that are in dire need of grass cutting. I live close to new orleans so we have been cutting grass here since february and some of these homes lok really bad. just wondering what ya'll think of this and if any of you had any luck doing this. also any ideas on where else i can pass out flyers. thanks

Steve
04-09-2008, 05:42 PM
Hi Gerald,

Quote[/b] ]has anyone had any luck driving around subdivisions and putting out flyers on homes that look like they need their grass cut pretty bad. i was driving around today and noticed several homes that are in dire need of grass cutting.

That is a very interesting question!

From the things I have seen on the forum in the past, when a home is overgrown, it is overgrown for a reason. Is the homeowner absent? Maybe the home is in foreclosure? Or there is no money to cut the lawn.

However, that doesn't mean you can't turn it into a positive.

A lot of communities will fine a homeowner if they don't maintain their lawn.

If you know that someone living at the house is really in a bad position and needs help maybe you could clean up the yard and take before and after pics. Send the pics and the story to the local paper on how you are helping out your community.

These could be great photo ops.

Also make sure if you did this to document it on your website. It will build goodwill between you and your community.

Whats your thoughts on that?

quickcleanlawn
04-09-2008, 08:37 PM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ April 09 2008,6:42)]Hi Gerald,

Quote[/b] ]has anyone had any luck driving around subdivisions and putting out flyers on homes that look like they need their grass cut pretty bad. i was driving around today and noticed several homes that are in dire need of grass cutting.

That is a very interesting question!

From the things I have seen on the forum in the past, when a home is overgrown, it is overgrown for a reason. Is the homeowner absent? Maybe the home is in foreclosure? Or there is no money to cut the lawn.

However, that doesn't mean you can't turn it into a positive.

A lot of communities will fine a homeowner if they don't maintain their lawn.

If you know that someone living at the house is really in a bad position and needs help maybe you could clean up the yard and take before and after pics. Send the pics and the story to the local paper on how you are helping out your community.

These could be great photo ops.

Also make sure if you did this to document it on your website. It will build goodwill between you and your community.

Whats your thoughts on that?
steve I agree, especialy in the new orlean area pos katrina.
there are still lots of people that just have to many things to worry about besides there lawn. I target high end up kept yards that may need small things that the current lawn care may not be able to take care of.
hey gerald,
Im in Kenner, where you from?

FourSeasons
04-09-2008, 11:05 PM
I would put flyers at all houses whether they look like they need some maintenance or not.
I was thinking the same way when I was passing flyers out when I started, but my girlfriend told me to do it to all of them. One of my best and first customers came from a house that didn't look like it needed any maintenance.

Some people are already on the verge of not doing their own lawn care because of medical reasons or whatever and your flyer might be that little nudge for them to get you to do it. Thats what happpened to me.

I wouldn't recommend putting flyers on cars in parking lots. I know I don't like it when someone does that to me and alot of the time people dont like it when their cars are messed with. You might upset someone doing that and lose a customer instead of gain one maybe?

gmoney55
04-09-2008, 11:45 PM
I am originally from St. Bernard but bought a house in slidell a month before katrina hit. I really got hosed from that freaking storm. I was going to the act of sale on my house in violet on august 30th and the storm hit on the 29th. I had 15 feet of water in my house in violet and lost my roof and had lots of rain water damage in slidell plus 2 giant oak trees from my neighbors yard in slidell went through my roof. been paying 2 house notes for the last 2 plus years and cannot do it anymore. got screwed over by my insurance company and by fema. that **** is a freaking joke. My wifes parents live in kenner on erlanger by the levee.

musician/lawnman
04-10-2008, 05:25 PM
Yeah I hear ya Gerald, My home got destroyed in hurricane Charlie in aug. of 2004. The insurance company screwed me too. Fema turned me down for any assistance at all. Spent 7 months in b class Rv in the driveway, working 6 days a week & working on my house by myeslf every night til 2 or 3 am & every weekend for 7 months! I didn't do my roof or the floor tile but everything inbetwee was ripped out & replaced by me & me alone (my wife was pregnant & in pre term labot for 5 months of it & couldn't help, My brothers & my father were fixing their homes the same way & couldn't help me either) I had promised my wife we would not be brining the baby home to that Rv. That we'd be in the house. I got it finished & painted, had it tiled. I layed the carpet on monday. Moved back in on tuesday & my daughter was born on wed march 30th, 2005. That was aweful d a m n close.
I hated it but I have never felt more proud of my house. I basically built it by myself. It did teach me that I can tackle a project of any size & get it done. Keep your head up.

yardworksinc
04-20-2008, 04:36 PM
My wife and I started our business 04/14/2008 with 1000 flyers. We made a half page ducoment and cut it in half to get the most out of our money on the initial advertising. It is printed in black and white. I will upload it to the appropriate forum soon.

I spend 30 minutes handing out flyers on day one in my own neighborhood of townhouses. I came home to grab a drink and the phone rang. Bingo! I received another call an hour later and then picked up the neighbor of that yard. Day 1 3 yards. I realized I have been horribly underestimating jobs but I knew I would need to feel it out before I can really get my prices solid.

For the door hangers, I get about 2% business. So for every hundred flyers there are 2 that call and I have not been turned down by one yet.

I also posted to criagslist today. No calls yet but I will make sure I revisit the site. It seems to be a decent place to look for used equipment as well!

Steve
04-20-2008, 05:04 PM
Hi yardworks,

Quote[/b] ] I realized I have been horribly underestimating jobs but I knew I would need to feel it out before I can really get my prices solid.

Can you tell us how you came to this conclusion and what you did to resolve it?

FourSeasons
04-21-2008, 08:13 AM
Quote[/b] ] I realized I have been horribly underestimating jobs but I knew I would need to feel it out before I can really get my prices solid.


I did this to when I first started. And then it was frustrating when I knew I was still doing it and didn't have estimating down yet. Sometimes I still underestimate jobs. Not very often though. Just when I come across something I havent done before.






[/QUOTE]I also posted to criagslist today. No calls yet but I will make sure I revisit the site. It seems to be a decent place to look for used equipment as well![QUOTE]

I've got some good equipment off of there for great prices. You just got keep looking for what you want and it will come up eventually.

Steve
04-21-2008, 10:53 PM
Quote[/b] ]Sometimes I still underestimate jobs. Not very often though. Just when I come across something I havent done before.

Rob,

What advice do you have for others who find themselves underestimating jobs? What have you done to improve on your estimating?

yardworksinc
04-22-2008, 01:58 AM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ April 20 2008,6:04)]Hi yardworks,

Quote[/b] ] I realized I have been horribly underestimating jobs but I knew I would need to feel it out before I can really get my prices solid.

Can you tell us how you came to this conclusion and what you did to resolve it?
I found myself putting much moretime into a job than what I originally thought. When I found myelf edging, cutting, cleaning for 1.5 hours at the rate of 10 bucks I figured I was WAY off! That was a cleanup job though. The return trip should not take but 20-25 minutes. It will only be that long due to a hard to access backyard.

The guy was so impressed with the price and the work (or he really foudn a great bargain) that he paid 6 weeks ahead before I was done with the rear lawn. Halfway into it I knew I underbid but I put in EXTRA effort to make sure this lawn would shine and advertise for me.

To rectify it I am now trying to estimate the time better and setting a rate of 25 an hour. I plan to get a rider so I know my times will drop. I figure if ittakes me 1 hour to mow a lawn with a self propelled mower, I canmost likely do the same work with a 36-42" rider in less then half the time. I am also putting more time into starting a job to get it to where I am just doing maintanence. Do all the hard edging now and just trim later. I also add a touch with diagonal cuts which will be cut perpendicular every other mowing for the appearance and better growth.

I want the client and their neighbor to see a manicured lawn. I think I will estimate jobs at 50 an hour if I cannot get access with a riding mower and 25 an hour if I can. That way my prices will not need to be changed when I do get a mower. I tell my customers that I estimate based on me having a rider even though I am using the self propelled.

I am stuck on estimating hedges though.

Steve
04-22-2008, 03:09 AM
I am sorry, but I am a little confused. Are you shooting for $25 an hour now or $50?

yardworksinc
04-22-2008, 10:00 PM
Yeh confusing I know. My intentions are to shoot for 50 an hour. However, I am estimating the time it will take to do it as though I am using a riding lawn mower if and only if the client approves its use on there property. Since I am not using a riding lawn mower I am charging 25 an hour with the push. I feel that I will be able to get at least double the performance from a rider.

So if I charge 25 for 2 hours today I will be keeping that same price when I have a rider.

2hrs x$25=$50 with self propelled
same work 1 hour or less = $50 with rider.

Again if I come across a property that I either cannot get the rider into or onto I will be charging 50/hour and using the self-propelled.

clients with Soft lawns will be informed that a rider can cause damage to the turf and I will offer to mow with rider or without. Price will be less with rider since the time will be less. Am I making sense? It totally works in my head. I realize alot of folks say 60/hr is the standard in their area but where I am at I am hearing 35. I think that is WAY low so 50/hr is my target when I am fully equiped and I will feel out my bids and client assets to increase prices when I think I am able to do so.

I'm happy to get a few slightly underbid jobs now and learn. I intend to get a crew when the work demands it. They will be making less than what I am charging and I'll be free to mow other properties and visit sites for estimates while the crew member(s) do the underbid work. This will still net a profit with the right workers.

I'm thinking of offering 40% of a job payment (minus supplies)to the crew instead of hourly work, while still adhering to the minimum wage requirements. I'll need to emphasize quality over quantity while instilling a sence of urgency that allows an employee to earn more based on his/her productivity. 10% will go to fuel and maintenance and the remainder to the company and owner benefit.

I have no clue how to pay myelf as a sole proprieter. I believe I will be focusing my research on that this evening.

Steve
04-23-2008, 07:47 AM
Quote[/b] ]I have no clue how to pay myelf as a sole proprieter. I believe I will be focusing my research on that this evening.

Do a search for all posts from member realhuntin

Tim has a lot of posts on how to pay yourself.

yardworksinc
04-24-2008, 12:49 AM
Awesome, thanks! I'll start researching!