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08-03-2007, 12:43 PM
First off thanks to the quick response from gopher support with my access issues.

Just wanted to introduce myself. I'm a firefighter(paid)/lawnboy (2nd time around) due to just getting back from Afghanistan at the end of last year (Missed seeing grass). Like most, always working to build up my business.

I like to fool around with graphics and webdesign. And finally I hope to be a contributor to this forum.

If I can be of help to anyone just shoot me a message.

Steve

Steve
08-03-2007, 01:07 PM
Hi Steve,

Welcome to our forum. Have you made a logo for your business? Can we see it?

Also, do you have any photos from Afghanistan you could post and tell us a little about your experiences there? I think you might be our only forum member who has been there!


One of our forum members who was in the military is actually looking for a logo design in this post.

Maybe you can help?

http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum....ry23413 (http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=23;t=5371;st=0;&#entry23413)

08-03-2007, 04:53 PM
Sure, I can post some pics. I will also post my first rendition of my logo. Till then you can see it at My Webpage (www.ImpressionsLawn.com) I want to redo it with a little more flair. I will also dig through my Afghan pics.

To be honest, going to Afghan was the reason I took up golf. To much sand, I wanted to be around more grass. I think in the end we did more good for the people there than taking a bite out of the bad guys. But more on that later.

I get in touch with warrior and see what we can do.

Glad to be here..

Steve
08-03-2007, 05:28 PM
I love your web site. It's really outstanding! I look forwards to seeing your pictures too!

If you can, please jump in and answer questions that are posted. Many lawn care operators ask questions on here that I either miss or don't know the answers too. Even if you have a best guess, it's better than no response.

What has been the toughest part about starting and running your business so far do you feel?

08-03-2007, 08:27 PM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ Aug. 03 2007,5:28)]I love your web site. It's really outstanding! I look forwards to seeing your pictures too!

If you can, please jump in and answer questions that are posted. Many lawn care operators ask questions on here that I either miss or don't know the answers too. Even if you have a best guess, it's better than no response.

What has been the toughest part about starting and running your business so far do you feel?
Thanks,

For me the hardest part is not underbidding while trying not to feel like I am over bidding. It is hard to guess how long it will take to mow new areas, cut hedges, clear an area etc. Until you do it the first time when you see those issues that you missed on your walk around. The more you do it the better.

Asking allot of questions helps, especially when its a job you either really want and need insight, or one that your gut tells you that you really don't.

Work on your time management, buy a 99 cent spiral notebook and keep track of how long it takes you to mow a certain size area or cut a certain amount of hedge. Take digital pictures of plants and flowers and make notes about them. These will help you make better estimates.

Carry a tape measure, I have a 35' an a 100' reel for getting measurements. Even if its just to check a gate width for that extra inch.

Secondly I think trying to get too much cool new equipment to fast hurts most people. Starting out, you have nothing but time, a small 36" walk behind or a Phazer would suit most people perfect and not hurt the wallet. Later you can get that 52 or 60 inch ZTR. I lucked out and sit somewhere in the middle.

Ask allot of questions. Ask allot of questions. Did I mention to ask questions.. allot of em.

Steve
08-03-2007, 08:50 PM
Great information!

As you reflect back on your business experiences, if you could start again and do something(s) different, what would they be?

08-03-2007, 11:46 PM
smaller mower. I have a 50" Exmark. and I am just now getting a 36" gravely wb. (used but great cond).

A friend who I helped start after I returned picked up a 34" Phazer and it is more versatile. The 50" come is handy for a few larger properties but it is nothing I could not do with a 34". And I would not have to push mow the back yards.

You have to figure that once your business grows to the point that a larger mower would mean better productivity, you can afford it then. For starters, you have nothing but time.

Steve
08-04-2007, 12:04 AM
So if you are just starting out you would advise the first mower to just be a small push mower and then scale up from there?

How many lawns would you suggest a lawn care business owner need before they start considering a larger mower?

08-04-2007, 12:35 AM
It depends on our lawns of course, but I do think if you are gonna do this business and want to be successful you have to make some investments and get good equipment. If it happens to be a 21" push, then go get em.

But for the average starter who can afford a little more,, a 34 - 36" WB is fine. so it takes you 30 minutes to mow that small lot. Does it really matter when you only have 4 or 7 or 10 yards.

Once you find you self becoming cramped for time, then you make wise decisions based on needs, not wants. Then you upgrade to a larger mower for productivity, not braggin rites.

rudeboy
08-04-2007, 03:05 AM
well you finally made it glad that you made it here hes the one that made the fox lawn care logo

Steve
08-04-2007, 05:32 AM
Ohhhh how outstanding!

Steve,

Have you at all found yourself able to mix into your marketing that you are a firefighter and a veteran?

Do you think including such information would be helpful when connecting with the customer to sell more?

08-07-2007, 09:57 AM
Sorry for the lack of activity. Things have been very busy. I will try to get some pics of afghanistan up in the next day or so.

As far as marketing. Absolutely. I think people feel better when they see that I am a fireman or Veteran. If you can claim one of these. Use it to your advantage.

I can post my flyer. Its a simple design I print on #65 cover. I use bright green or yellow and a $20 paper cutter from Walmart. The flyer makes 4 per page so a 250 sheet pack yields 1000 flyers. All for about $30. And my response has been better than my $250 marketing campaign.

People, like having a warm cozy feeling about purchases. Stating your a veteran or public safety individual can't hurt.

Steve
08-07-2007, 10:00 AM
I am looking forwards to seeing your pictures and your flyer!

08-07-2007, 09:59 PM
Here are a few pics,

http://digitalfyr.com/images//43630789%20%28small%29.jpg

http://digitalfyr.com/images//dsc00405%20%28small%29.jpg

http://digitalfyr.com/images//img_7803%20%28small%29.jpg

tiedeman
08-07-2007, 10:09 PM
welcome to the site by the way

Steve
08-08-2007, 07:04 AM
WoW! Great pictures! Can you tell us what we are looking at? Is that an Russian tank?

I'd love to hear any stories leading up to those pics!

Do you want to put together a press release with your pictures and stories to send off to the local papers in hopes of getting them to write an article about you?