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Angelik99
10-12-2007, 11:34 PM
My dad actually started his lawn service business over 12 years ago after a lay off at his work. Guess he'd rather take everything into his own hands. I've helped on and off through the years. But a couple months ago I lost my job and couldn't find another one anywhere. Seems like projections of lower sales coming up retail wise has killed hiring for the holiday season here.

So my dad offered me a job, kinda, we joked about it, but I soon thought it would actually be a great idea. Since now I have my own house and bills to pay. So we're both going independent, our own customers etc, but helping each other. It's going really well so far. And I'm constantly learning!!

Next week I'll be going out and talking to potential customers for myself so I found this site and wow I think it's really going to help!!! So thanks for the site!!!

Steve
10-12-2007, 11:39 PM
Hi Angelik99,

Welcome to our forum!

What do you feel were the benefits to two companies vs 1 company?

pmblair
10-12-2007, 11:42 PM
Will you two be servicing the same areas? Are you going to have the exact same services?

Angelik99
10-13-2007, 12:05 AM
Well a few years ago my older brother moved here from out of state and he started the same way with our dad, and now has his own completely seperate business and is doing really well. So I think it has it's advantages. The people get to know you through someone they already know, you learn the neighborhoods, and little to no startup cost. I'm using his equiptment, etc.

For now we will have the same services until I figure out what else I could do as far as other services, what I'm capable of, what extra hours I'll have available, etc.

Steve
10-13-2007, 12:20 PM
We were just talking in another post with our friend Teresa. In the post we were discussing how she should play up that her business is a female owned business. In an industry where so many lawn care businesses are owned by men, this really makes your story unique.

Can you tell us a little what you do in your marketing? How do you make yourself stand out from other lawn care operators?

Angelik99
10-13-2007, 06:39 PM
Well still working on that part, that's why I came here hopeing to start brainstorming.

I'm thinking about going door to door after work monday once I'm all cleaned up around a neighborhood we only have one lawn in, try to cut travel time, etc. Just introduce myself, and leave them with a flyer or business card. Get friendly with everyone.

Steve
10-13-2007, 08:07 PM
This is a very interesting situation.

It's been my experience that you a greater return from projects where you utilize synergy than when you don't.

What I mean by this is here is a situation where your dad, your brother and you all do lawn care. It's my view that one larger company would make it easier on everyone. You don't have to duplicate services. For instance, one of you could be in charge of marketing and drumming up business. Another one or two of you could run lawn crews or one of you could specialize in fertilization.

The downside is, you all need to get along and sometimes with family members it's very difficult, but if you ask me, working together is the way to go.

Have you come up with a business name yet that would stand out?

Will you be using your own vehicle or his? Could you customize your vehicle to stand out?

Have you asked your dad what marketing methods have worked best for him in the past?

Angelik99
10-18-2007, 12:51 PM
Yeah us all working together would be nice, but completely not possible. We all work differently for example my brother charges more, his g/f is working with him and doesn't get along with my dad very well, well anyone really. They are pretty rude to customers, and my dad likes to work in the morning since it's cooler out and my brother always gets a late start. There are many many factors of why it wouldn't work, lol!! But I agree it would be nice.

I meet up with my dad at his house, we take his vehicle and equiptment. We're going to keep it that way unless the rare chance his vehicle breaks down then we'll use mine temporarily. So this all works out for me pretty nicely to get me started. And I will always need someone with me, so if I do branch out I'll need a helper. So for at least the next year I'm just going to be riding with my dad.

And no I've been so busy latley I haven't picked out a name yet.

I've always been the marketing person for my dad when it comes to finding new customers in bulk, typically I use the flyer method, because he refuses to hire employees due to insurance, taxes, etc. That way he doesn't get more customers than he can handle like with an ad or the yellow pages, but picks up the amount he needs/wants.

In about a year I do want to hire people and build it up. My dad has been doing this for about 12 years I think, so if he had listened to me years ago he could just be sitting at home right now, lol!! Have his crews do all the work, but I think he likes to work anyway.

The biggest way he picks up customers on his own (w/o me) is word of mouth or someone seeing him cut a neighbor's lawn. He also makes a deal with some customers, cheaper cuts if the person can get him more customers in the same area.

I figure that would work great because if your neighbor is saying how great their lawn care service is, you're likely to want the same. ;)

Steve
10-18-2007, 01:55 PM
Have you thought about going along with the similar theme we were talking with Teresa about? The pink vehicles and mowers? This might be a crazy idea but what if you had a logo created for your business that included your image and then called the business something like "Blond Ambition Lawn Care." That would play off you hair. You could use that as your trademark and I bet there isn't a single business named anything like that in your area. Or call it "Angelik Lawn Care." Something that plays up a feminine feel?

Any thoughts on that at all?