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LGYardService
12-05-2007, 11:14 PM
Him im luke with LG Yard Service. I'm only 14 but already in the lawn care business. I'm just getting started with Gopher but am looking forward to it!

Let me tell you how my business is going. In the mowing season, I have approx. 5 good,weekly customers. I don't own the most advanced equiptment but it works. Just recently I purchased a new trailer and can't wait to use it this summer!

Anyway's, right now, I'm having a rough time with the lawn care business. Winter is setting in but i have no jobs! What is the best way to get snow removal jobs? Also, i'm wanting to do some Spring marketting with flyers,doorhangers, etc. Please let me know how to gain som new customers and "step" up the business. Any ideas will work! Thanks![B]

FourSeasons
12-05-2007, 11:41 PM
Welcome. Since you are limited on funds probably make up a flyer using ms publisher or something like it and advertise on craigslist for a cheap starter.
and when people call be professional try to know what you are talking about since your young, and learn about what you don't know so you can be confident in yourself. People like to see someone thats confident and knowledgeable. I learn new stuff everyday that i am able to use when talking to customers.
maybe some of this will help you.

realhuntin
12-05-2007, 11:41 PM
Hi Luke, Glad to see a young man of your age working so hard and trying to advance. KUDOS to you.

When I was younger I would got to the neighbors around and knock on the door and ask to cut their yard or shovel the snow drom their drive and walks. Maybe this is something you might try.

Or you can put your computer to work download some of the snow removal fliers from here and take them to Kinkos, Stapes and have copies ran for as little as 0.03 cents a copy and start passing them out.

You never know one shovel job can lead into a sping clean up and then into a weekly cut.

Remember to be a kid along the way, that is important also.

Good Luck to YA!
Tim

Steve
12-06-2007, 02:14 AM
Hi Luke,

Nice to have you here on the forum!

What about holiday decorations? Is that something you can offer?

Also can you show us some pictures of your new trailer?

LGYardService
12-06-2007, 05:00 PM
[B] Hey guys,
Thanks for all your suggestions and your time. I think i'm going to do some marketing flyers for snow removal jobs. Hopefully, like you siad, this will lead up to *complete spring and summer mowing accounts. What do you think is the best place to place these flyers? Like, should i go door to door or just place them on public places? I already have a few on some local billboards and I try to hand as many business cards to everyone as i can. Also, I'm in a couple local yellowpages and phone directories which hopefully helps. I already have a few mowing jobs with my neighbors and local residential account but ts seems like the business almost Stops in the winter. *Thanks so much and I'll post some pics of my equiptment and new trailer in the next ouple of days. I hope i can keep getting helpful info from all you professionals! *THANKS http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Steve
12-06-2007, 06:54 PM
The more people you meet the better. So letting your neighbors know you are in business will help you.

Another interesting thing that might help is creating a press release and sending it out to the local paper with your photo and talk about how you are a teenager and are running a successful lawn care business. That could get you a lot of attention as well.

ABurlison
12-06-2007, 06:57 PM
First and Foremost as I would tell my own kids, make School your #1 priority! *I learned this the hard way myself, skipping out on most of my senior year of high school and then later on wanting to go to college, I sure had to back track and make up all those lost credits to get my Diploma. *

Although I'm sure you get dollar signs in your eyes, without the proper education, you may or may not find it harder to accomplish your goals. *English especially, there's nothing I find more disgusting is when I see a flyer at the store for lawn care or whatever, that is full of mis-spelled words and incorrect grammar, it just makes that person look like an inept baboon.

So, whatever my advice is worth, take it to heart.

ANDY

LGYardService
12-06-2007, 07:36 PM
I totaly agree with keeping school first and consistant good grades. I always have aA's and B's so I'm doing fine right now. lol [QUOTE]Another interesting thing that might help is creating a press release and sending it out to the local paper with your photo and talk about how you are a teenager and are running a successful lawn care business. That could get you a lot of attention as well.
But do you really think a press release would work? If so, it sounds like a great idea! How would I go about this? Thanks again! * http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/thankyou.gif

realhuntin
12-06-2007, 07:40 PM
Quote[/b] (ABurlison @ Dec. 06 2007,7:57)]First and Foremost as I would tell my own kids, make School your #1 priority! *I learned this the hard way myself, skipping out on most of my senior year of high school and then later on wanting to go to college, I sure had to back track and make up all those lost credits to get my Diploma. *

Although I'm sure you get dollar signs in your eyes, without the proper education, you may or may not find it harder to accomplish your goals. *English especially, there's nothing I find more disgusting is when I see a flyer at the store for lawn care or whatever, that is full of mis-spelled words and incorrect grammar, it just makes that person looking an inept baboon.

So, whatever my advice is worth, take it to heart.

ANDY
This has to be the BEST POINT AND ADVISE OF ALL, Thanks Andy for reminding us we are giving advise to a young man that needs his education before he needs a job. I'm glad to say he is a insperation to all in his age group and even some that could be older. I'm sure this is a great summer job for him and I hope he's willing to just enjoy his childhood along the way.

Best of luck you Luke!

Tim

LGYardService
12-06-2007, 07:50 PM
Thanks guys!

I really appreciate all the help and inspirations. As you can tell, I'm fresh in the business and have questions on many things. Please continue to guide me through the business! The forum and site have been great! Thanks http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/thankyou.gif

FourSeasons
12-06-2007, 07:52 PM
Quote[/b] ]I'm in a couple local yellowpages and phone directories which hopefully helps

wow thats good im not even in there yet. Its expensive to be in there.

if you want to do a quote you put the quote at the beginning and at the end of whatever you copy and paste.

ABurlison
12-06-2007, 08:00 PM
For example, I just recently won a proposal I submitted to a local property management company for 8 properties, they said they picked me because they were so impressed with the proposal I submitted, it was the most professional they have ever seen, so paying close attention to detail will win you more jobs, even if your not the cheapest they receive. Just a little peice of advice referring back to my comment on english and grammar.

Steve
12-06-2007, 08:15 PM
Quote[/b] ]But do you really think a press release would work? If so, it sounds like a great idea! How would I go about this? Thanks again!

It costs nothing to try and it can't hurt.

If I were to do this, I would create a human story with it. For example I would help someone this holiday season that could use some help with their home or give them some holiday cheer.

Is there a neighbor on your block that lives alone and is elderly? Can you hang some Christmas lights for them. Have someone take a picture of you doing this. Then we can help you put together a little story about you and your business and then send that and the picture to the local paper.

It would really be a great touching human story. "Teenage entrepreneur spreads holiday cheer."

ABurlison
12-06-2007, 08:19 PM
http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

ABurlison
12-06-2007, 08:23 PM
That last one didn't work, lets try this one.

LGYardService
12-06-2007, 08:32 PM
That would be great! Iv'e actually done some stuff like that for elderly folks but I can manage to do something else. If I help out with some Chrictmas lights or just say shovel their sidewalk & driveway, do you think that would be enough? For some reason, it seems to me like I have to do a bit more? This will give me great word and a good reputation. I'll look more into this with the newspaper and some elderly people in my area. That reminds me! do you think an end of the year survey about my service is a good idea? Thnx! http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif Quote[/b] ]"Teenage entrepreneur spreads holiday cheer."

Steve
12-06-2007, 09:04 PM
Think of something visual for the paper. I like the lighting idea more because it's more visual, but that's just my view.

You could also include this on a news section on your website as well.

Quote[/b] ]That reminds me! do you think an end of the year survey about my service is a good idea?

Absolutely, in fact I just had one emailed to me I will be putting up tonight. Maybe it will help you.

LGYardService
12-06-2007, 09:17 PM
Yeah i like the bordering of christmas lights on the flyers myself, too. I downloaded the program and am gonna edit the flyer tonight! But i do have to tell something. Well actualy, to tell you the truth, I don't have a website. I've been trying to set one up but I don't think i can affoard the cost right now. http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif I know $10 or so a month may not seem like a lot but when this gets muliplied by all the monts it runs, the price starts to add up. But sooner or later, it will happen! Thanks

Steve
12-07-2007, 07:27 AM
Quote[/b] ]Well actualy, to tell you the truth, I don't have a website. I've been trying to set one up but I don't think i can affoard the cost right now. http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif I know $10 or so a month may not seem like a lot but when this gets muliplied by all the monts it runs, the price starts to add up.

Don't sweat it, we've all been there.

Now just to show you how important these press releases can be. A press release helped launch the company Aquascape.

Here is the website. http://www.aquascapeinc.com/about_us/about-pond-guy.php

And read the highlighted blue text area in the image.

I hope this gets you motivated to think big.

LGYardService
12-07-2007, 09:09 AM
http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
OK thanks!I'm definately going to try it! any other suggestions?

Steve
12-07-2007, 07:51 PM
Yea, take some pictures of holiday decorations and submit them here http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum....ry27752 (http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST&f=8&t=6159&st=0&&#entry27752)

Because I have a bunch of free goodies to give away and I bet you could use some of them.

LGYardService
12-08-2007, 06:35 PM
ok i will....do u think i have a chacne of winning? Thanks http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Steve
12-08-2007, 08:52 PM
Yes http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

LGYardService
12-08-2007, 09:33 PM
Steve,

I go the pics but I think they are going to be too large again. Do you think you could post them for me? Or you can just tell me how to resize them and I will post em? thanks again http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Steve
12-08-2007, 09:42 PM
Sure email me them.

LGYardService
12-08-2007, 09:48 PM
ok http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/thankyou.gif

pmblair
12-08-2007, 10:34 PM
Hey Luke! I'm just getting into the conversation, but I wanted to offer you a little help, too...

First, I agree that your main concern should be school, but as long as you're doing well and your work is getting done, then absolutely go for it in the business! I'll bet you could even get some of your parents friends to hire you on to do their work for them!

Look at it like this.... every person you know that owns a house is a potential customer... every person you meet that owns a house is a potential customer... in fact, all of your FRIENDS' parents are potential customers. If you mention something about it to everyone you meet, SOMEONE will hire you... I'm very impressed that you've already had 5 regular customers! That is outstanding! ...but think about this, too... if they've already been paying you to do jobs for them, why not keep them through the winter, too... ask them about holiday decorations... gutter cleaning (if you aren't afraid of heights)... dog walking... snow shoveling... ANYTHING! Anything you can think of, talk to them about it... just tell them that you enjoyed providing them services through the warm season, and you'd like to keep them as regular customers... then ask them do they have anything else that you can do for them... don't sound too "desperate" for the money... instead, make it seem more like you really want to help THEM out... when in essence, they're really helping to pad your pockets! = )

Good luck to you! I can't wait to see where you go!

On a side note, I do web design and graphic design... I can help guide you through the web design when you get ready and I can help guide you along with the flyers and such... just shoot me an email to pmblair@blairprod.com.

LGYardService
12-08-2007, 11:43 PM
Thanks a BUNCH patrick. Like you said, I'm going to offer as many services as i can to my existing customers. I just recently bought a snow blower and am getting a lot of use out of it, not just with my customers but with neighbors and other friends. But anyway, I really appreciate you advice. But I do have a few other questions:

How important do you think a website is in this business?
Do you think a Myspace works just as well?
And what about local online directories and yellowpages?

Once again thanks for all your help and I'll probably be asking some more questions in the future. lol Thanks


http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/thankyou.gif

FourSeasons
12-08-2007, 11:58 PM
Quote[/b] ]And what about local online directories and yellowpages?

I just had a salesman call me on this last week.
the base package for where I live is $55 per month and then you pay a certain amount per click on your ad. He told me during the on season the average is about 250- 300 per month for advertising. Thats a little high for me. On the other hand everytime I do a search for lawn care in my area the ones on top are from the online yellow pages.
It probably pays for itself during the spring summer.

Have your neighbors become your customers as well.

LGYardService
12-09-2007, 12:14 AM
Thanks for your help Rob, but yeah that does some a little high for each month. I'm already in the yellow book pages and actual phone book so I don't think I'm going to the internet directory just yet.

And just one of my neighbors is a full-time customer. I mean I do on-and-off jobs for others but I only completely service one of them.( I've been trying to get more)

Thanks!

pmblair
12-09-2007, 12:17 AM
Quote[/b] ]How important do you think a website is in this business?
It's VERY important... remember when the fax machine was a neat thing to have... then it became a GOOD thing to have... now most businesses NEED them... websites are the same way... they're REALLY GOOD to have... Ask Matt from J&M Lawn Care. He had Rodman build his website and do the Search Engine Optimization on it... he's now at the TOP of the list when anybody does a search for "Dothan Lawn Care"... in fact, he's gotten calls from companies like Wachovia Bank asking him to bid on their properties...

Secondly, I think they're good to have because they're a 24/7 advertisement and source of information about your company. You can put your web address on all your marketing and invoicing materials... business cards, flyers, door hangers, estimate forms... everything... then, you put all the information on your site; list of services, pricing information (if you really want to), your service area, etc... people have access to your info any time they want it. You could even put discount flyers online for your potential customers to download and print themselves to redeem when they call on you for services. That way, you save ink! =)


Quote[/b] ]Do you think a Myspace works just as well?
No, but MySpace has its benefits as well. You can list your services, write blogs about your experiences and what customers can expect when they call you (or why they should call you at certain times in the year), add pictures at will with no problems... then, you can do searches on MySpace for people in your area... ask to be on their friends list, then start marketing special discounts directly to your entire friends list using the Bulletins feature...

On the other side of the coin, you can't control EVERY aspect of the design on MySpace... there are certain things that will come up whether you want them to or not... and your older customers will not know anything about MySpace...

Use MySpace, but don't rely on it as your only source of online presence.

Quote[/b] ]And what about local online directories and yellowpages?
I LOVE online directories! Anytime you can market for FREE on them, that is.... the free ones are your "golden ticket"... sometimes people look SPECIFICALLY on those types of sites before they ever visit a certain company's website. You have that extra effort to advertise to people looking specifically on those sites for a company just like your's! ....and then you have the other people who advertise other services on those types of sites that look through other ads for things and services they may be needing as well.

The YellowPages are good, too, if you want to pay that much. I think the YellowPages are probably the MOST expensive "basic" advertising you can do (unless you consider TV and Radio commercials "basic" advertising)... my company is not in the yellow pages... it's just too expensive for me right now... maybe in a few years... but not any time soon.


I hope this has helped you... sorry if I was a little too wordy and long winded... lol

Feel free to ask ANY and ALL questions you may have... we're all here to help you along the way... we all help each other. = ) We may even learn something or get ideas and inspirations from you as well!

FourSeasons
12-09-2007, 12:22 AM
I think more and more people are turning to the internet though.
For ex. I wanted to take my dog to get a bath so he could come in for the winter. I went on the interenet and typed in dog grooming in everett, wa

Maybe a do it yourself website where you can post pics of your work would be good with patricks help

FourSeasons
12-09-2007, 12:28 AM
Quote[/b] ]the free ones are your "golden ticket"... sometimes people look SPECIFICALLY on those types of sites before they ever visit a certain company's website.
Where are these at? I want to be in them to!

pmblair
12-09-2007, 12:38 AM
Go to my website - Green & Clean Website (http://www.greenandcleanga.com/) - and scroll to the bottom... there's a list down there... those are all the ones I use (so far, anyway)... Merchant Circle is the BEST so far... I added my listing, and within 5 minutes, that listing put me to the #2 spot on Google (on the Merchant Circle site, that is) for searching lawn care in my area.

LGYardService
12-09-2007, 01:18 AM
http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
Patrick,

Thank you so much for the help! I really appreciate your advice and time. So I guess websites are more important than i thought LOL Sooner or later I'm going to NEED one! What is the best price you've seen for a website host? From what I've been looking at, they're all about $10 or so a month. And also how do you get those free direstories things you were talking about? I know you already told FourSeasons but I didn't quite get it. lol But once again, thanks a bunch!

Luke