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pmblair
10-05-2007, 12:19 AM
Hi everyone!

My name is Patrick. My partner Jason and I have started our own lawn care and pressure washing business in metro Atlanta, GA. We're both relatively new to the business side of these things, but we're good at what we do. I LOVE working in my yard... morning, noon, evening... I could stay out there all the time if I had the time. Jason is a top-notch guy with a pressure washer. He does family members' houses and cars all the time just as a help to the family.

We decided to get together and put our love for what we do into a business that could make some money. We've started our marketing (with the help of some of the flyers on this forum) and are already getting some good responses.

I just wanted to thank everyone for pitching in with their ideas and knowledge to all us new people in the business. You have and continue to be a big help.

Thanks everyone!

Patrick
Green & Clean
Lawn Care. Pressure Washing.
http://www.GreenAndCleanGA.com/

Steve
10-05-2007, 08:20 AM
Hi Patrick,

Welcome to our forum and thank you for your post!

What got you interested in starting your own business?

So often it seems we hear bad stories about partnerships not working so it is refreshing to hear yours is working. Could you share with us some of your insight as to how you make your partnership work? What suggestions do you have for others considering starting a partnership?

Oh and I love what you did with your website! Very nice! Your logo looks top notch as well!

pmblair
10-05-2007, 10:39 PM
Well, I was in retail management for more than 10 years. I know business (although a few tips and pointers is ALWAYS welcome).

In 2005, I was working as an assistant store manager at a large local construction supply chain. In April, my third child was born. A little girl (after two boys). She's a special needs child with a rare genetic syndrome called Trisomy 9 Mosaic Syndrome (you can read more about my baby girl and her medical struggles at http://www.MaggiBlair.com/). (http://www.MaggiBlair.com) She was in Neonatal ICU for the first three weeks of her life. After that, she was scheduled for TONS of doctor and specialist appointments to determine what her diagnosis and prognosis would be.

My work was very lenient with me for a month, then when I went back, they tried to transfer me 30+ miles away (I was previously working 6 miles from my home). I told them that with everything going on with my daughter, I just couldn't do it. They told me it was either transfer, or I wouldn't have a job. I figured at that point that God had a different plan for me, so I left their company.

I took up doing web design to make a little money, and that branched into a business. After 2+ years of doing that, I finally realized that my knowledge of web design was so limited that I couldn't keep up with the newer technology that was growing at exponential rates.

At the same time, my new partner was going through struggles with his old partner (they did pressure washing). They decided to fold the business. I talked him into keeping his half the business and coming to talk with me. We decided that we could go into business for ourselves, that was I wouldn't have to worry about getting a job just to be released weeks or months later due to the excessive call-outs and such from the ER visits we still go through with our daughter (on top of that, my wife has a brain tumor and recurring ovarian cysts).

We bonded in the business world and "Green & Clean" was born. With my knowledge of the internet and all it's many resources, I set out to figure out the best ways to get this particular business going... how to properly market it, tips and tricks about the lawn care and pressure washing industries, and good ways to make money in the off season. I found this forum and have been putting many of it's ideas and resources (flyers, door hangers, etc) to good use (as you can see from my site).

We have found that constant communication is the key to a good partnership. My wife does the office management, and Jason and I go do the estimating and the labor. My wife also comes from an extensive landscaping background, having worked for one of the premier landscaping companies in the Los Angeles County area of California (they did contracts for BIG names (Rob Zombie, for one http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif)). So we're ready to blow up. We already have bids (for both lawn maintenance and pressure washing) on the table with many corporate clients (McDonalds, BP Oil, Burger King, and others) in our area, as well as calls coming in from residential clients.

More about the partnership communication- we have found that weekly business dinners have helped us stay on the same page and focused. Jason and his wife come to our house once a week for dinner. We discuss what we've done, what we're doing currently, and what needs to be done next. We discuss what we have and what we need. Oh yeah... and Jason and I go out after dinner and throw about 4-5,000 flyers, too. (THANK YOU http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/thankyou.gif ) We take the flyers (that I manipulate), fold them, and staple them to a small ziploc style bag with a couple of small rocks in it (for weight) and throw them in 7-8 neighborhoods to every house (and drop one in the Home Owners Association box, too).

Suggestions? I think the only real suggestions I could have would be constant communication with your partner (and your employees). That comes from so many years in retail management. ...and persistent marketing. I plan to take flyers out when I take the kids out trick-or-treating (thanks for the idea!)... I also plan to have a haunted garage this year... next year, hopefully, we'll have warehouse space (already working on that). If we do, then we're going to do the costume contest idea!

You guys are great! I'm VERY jealous of everyone's equipment, but I am also very inspired by the ex-military guy who carries (carried?) his weed whacker and push mower in the trunk of his car. Currently, we have a Snapper Hydrostatic lawn tractor with a 42" deck, 2 push mowers, a weed-whacker, electric hedge trimmers, electric blower, a few rakes and a 5'x10' trailer to pull behind my partner's truck. We also have a pressure washer (4000psi), 150' of high pressure hose, a 275 gallon tank (getting 2 more for $75 (total, not each) soon) and two wands. We're drooling over some of the set-ups that we have seen on here. One day... one day...

Thanks for the warm welcome. I plan on putting Gopher banners on my site soon (it's still a work in progress). Maybe that'll boost my chances for the signs from AMW, eh? http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Oh and thanks for the compliment on the site and the logo. I did it all myself (former web designer, you know...lol). If anybody needs some help with their site, or wants to have their own site, shoot me an email. I wouldn't mind doing some basic web design work on the side as well. (I love money)

Thanks again for the welcome! I fully intend to GOPHER IT!

Patrick
Green & Clean
http://www.GreenAndCleanGA.com/

Steve
10-06-2007, 10:26 AM
Hi Patrick!

WOW you have an amazing story! Amazing! You have so many things going on in your life. I am very impressed how you handle it all!

Quote[/b] ]I plan to take flyers out when I take the kids out trick-or-treating (thanks for the idea!)
Could you take some pictures of this and share them with us? I'd love to see what you did!

Quote[/b] ]I also plan to have a haunted garage this year. Can you take pictures of this as well?

Quote[/b] ]I plan on putting Gopher banners on my site soon (it's still a work in progress). Maybe that'll boost my chances for the signs from AMW, eh?
Please do and send us the link. I would love to have you in the running for the signs.

Will you be offering any holiday outdoor decoration services?

pmblair
10-06-2007, 04:48 PM
I will certainly take pictures of anything I do and share it with the group. I've learned so much from you guys already, so the least I can do is share with you guys what I know and do... http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Here's what I have done on my site:

http://www.greenandcleanga.com/images/gophertv.jpg

...and here's the link: Green & Clean's Gopher Haul TV page (http://www.GreenAndCleanGA.com/gopherhaultv.html)

I've got two links at the bottom of each page... one for the Gopher Haul TV page on my site, and the other to www.GetGopher.com.

Hope this helps my chances... I NEED those signs... http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Patrick
Green & Clean
Visit us online! (http://www.greenandcleanga.com/)

Steve
10-06-2007, 06:01 PM
Oh Patrick thank you so much! You did a fantastic job!

Will you be dressing up for Halloween with the kids when you hand out the flyers? Are you going to be putting any prices on the flyers? Any thoughts on what your flyers might look like?

What about magnetic business cards? Will you be doing that?

Or what about the idea of handing out candy from your home with a business card attached and taking pictures of the kids for the Halloween contest?

pmblair
10-06-2007, 07:36 PM
Quote[/b] ]Will you be dressing up for Halloween with the kids when you hand out the flyers?
Absolutely. *We're actually taking the kids to our church for about an hour or so for their fall festival. *Then, we're coming home for trick-or-treating around our neighborhood. *The kids will actually be doing the "Trick or Treat for UNICEF" thing around the neighborhood. *I'll be dressing up and handing out the flyers then. *(I'll take pics) *Then, it's back here for the Haunted Garage of Doom! (I'll take pics)

Quote[/b] ]Are you going to be putting any prices on the flyers?
Never. *I always offer a percentage off, or something free with the purchase of something else... or, I'll make coupons for $10 off services totalling $100 or more... stuff like that. *But I never put my prices on there. *(I'll get into why I don't do that in a separate post)

Quote[/b] ]Any thoughts on what your flyers might look like?
I think I'll use one of the Halloween templates I've found on here and promote us as a new business with a discount to new customers on their 6 or 12 month contract for lawn service, or a discounted price for pressure washing.

Quote[/b] ]What about magnetic business cards? Will you be doing that?
Nah... not right now, at least... maybe sometime down the road...

Quote[/b] ]Or what about the idea of handing out candy from your home with a business card attached and taking pictures of the kids for the Halloween contest?
This is a DEFINATE for next year. *I'll probably drop a business card into every bag that I drop candy into (and we get TONS of trick-or-treaters!).

What about you? *What are YOUR personal plans for Halloween marketing?

Steve
10-06-2007, 07:42 PM
Great stuff! I am looking forwards to all the pics!

Quote[/b] ]What about you? What are YOUR personal plans for Halloween marketing?

Well, I guess come up with halloween ideas / templates and share them with our forum members http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

pmblair
10-06-2007, 07:44 PM
Quote[/b] ]Well, I guess come up with halloween ideas / templates and share them with our forum members

AWESOME!!! =-) It's just like Christmas in October! lol