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choicelandscapes
01-15-2008, 03:06 PM
Hey guys wanted to take a second to introduce myself. I currently teach ag sciences just outside of Birmingham AL and have recently have opened up a landscape business and hoping to grow the business to the point that I can quit teaching and make some real money doing what I enjoy. All without going to the bank to get a loan. I left a fairly lucrative job with Monrovia Growers as a sales rep to move back to Alabama. Several reasons played into my decision to leave and come back to Alabama. However I feel that this is not the place to talk about that.

I graduated with a BS in hort from Auburn and studied hort abroad in England. Competed in national compitions (irrgation design, trouble shoot, etc.) while in school and placed in the top 5 in all. I like to think I have some knowledge to share while at the same time hoping to gain some. I am not really on the maintenance side of the business I do installation and quarterly maintenance. However, I have found many items on this site that I feel can help me suceed. I am currently in the process of building a web site and that is how I found this site. The templates are awesome!

Hopefully I can be of help to others and find some help along the way.

Best of Luck
Tom

jeffslawnservice
01-15-2008, 06:47 PM
Thanks for joining and good luck with the biz.

Steve
01-15-2008, 06:54 PM
Hi Tom,

Welcome to our forum!

Can we see your new website?

Also, how do you feel your background in sales has effected your ability to sell your landscaping services? Can you give us any suggestions or lessons you learned that apply?

choicelandscapes
01-15-2008, 07:30 PM
My web site is not up yet. I am actually still trying to figure out how to use the template. The experience I gained at Monrovia was very valuable. I worked outof their North Carolina location and basically managed a territory from Maine down to Alabama and out to the Dallas area. I wa ahead of my sales goals 85-90 percent of the time. One thing that helped me was staying ahead of the curve. Letting people now what was budded up in the nursery and by the time I was able to ship it to them it would be prime for their garden center. If I had advice I would say stay ahead of the curve. Know your target market and let them know of services coming up for any given season well in advance. For example I plan to start advertising color change out and irrigation start ups in february and mpush into early March. So that when spring begins here usually around mid to late March I will have things lined up and ready to go.

Can anyone help as to how to put my logo and info into the web templates and once I do that the process behind finding someone to host the site? I am very confindent in my landscaping skills however when it comes to the web I am a little shaky.

Thanks in advance
Tom

Steve
01-15-2008, 07:34 PM
Hi Tom,

Quote[/b] ]For example I plan to start advertising color change out

Could you tell us a little about this service?

Quote[/b] ]Can anyone help as to how to put my logo and info into the web templates and once I do that the process behind finding someone to host the site?

For this we need to find you a web host first. Let me send a few messages out and see if someone can jump in and help.

choicelandscapes
01-15-2008, 08:07 PM
What I mean by color change out is annual color. Most people here have out panies and ornamental kale cabbage etc. I am wanting to advertise on pulling those out and putting in spring color. Go in pull out the fall color, add some fert., mulch the area, and replant with spring color. if done correctly there are good profit margins in this and I usually include this in the quarterly maintenance clients that I have.

Steve
01-15-2008, 08:10 PM
Tom,

This is fantastic! It seems like many smaller start up lawn care business owners don't offer this service!

Do you have any advice or suggestions on how to charge for this?

Also if one wanted to do this, what should they be considering to plant in the spring?

choicelandscapes
01-15-2008, 08:24 PM
Plant complementary colors. Orange with Blue, Purple with Yellow etc. (example purple iris with daffodils). Use color combinations and be creative!

As far as actual plants that is going to very with which heat zone you live in. Here in Bham we are between a 7 and 8. I like mixing yellow lantana with purple wave petunias or something to the equivilant. Further north this my not work due to temp.

As far as cost what I do on the color is take my cost and multiply it by 3.5

Example.
10 bags of premium potting mix at 3.OO a bag= 30.
2lbs of 10-10-10 say 2.00
5 flats of annuals at 11.00 =55

So I have about 90 bucks in it and charge
around 300. A 200 dollar net income for half a day.


So lets sa

Steve
01-15-2008, 08:55 PM
Hi Tom,

That is very interesting!

How much of the color change plantings do you do in pots (large or small) and how much are planted in the ground?

Do you find customers have a preference of one over the other?

accesslawns
01-15-2008, 11:27 PM
Quote[/b] (choicelandscapes @ Jan. 15 2008,8:30)]*

Can anyone help as to how to put my logo and info into the web templates and once I do that the process behind finding someone to host the site?
Tom,
Check out this link, you can purchase a domain name here for about $6.00 a year and run your own website with email address for as little as $9.99 per month and its real easy to use.
Good Luck!!!
http://www.1and1.com/?k_id=15212340

choicelandscapes
01-16-2008, 09:38 AM
Quote[/b] ] How much of the color change plantings do you do in pots (large or small) and how much are planted in the ground?


It depends from house to house. Som peopl have decks or patios with pots that needs changing out. While others have color around focal points, front doors, etc. I would say 90% of mine is in the ground.

Steve
01-16-2008, 06:36 PM
Tom,

I was just thinking this and I don't see this around too much anymore, but do you think there would be a market for window flower pots or boxes?

http://www.kaccents.com/Pictures/b30.jpg

http://www1.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/1568551/2/istockphoto_1568551_flower_pots_in_the_window_sill .jpg

Would customers pay to have these created and installed? I would think this would be a unique service.

What's your view on it?

choicelandscapes
01-18-2008, 06:05 PM
Yes this looks good. But you have to be careful who you ofer it to. "mow blow and go" customers probably will not be interested in the service. However your high end residential customers are much more likely to buy into such a product.

Steve
07-11-2008, 11:15 AM
Good point. I do wonder if offering such services, say for instance on your website, would help you reach out to more higher income customers? Also would offering such services really help build a buzz about the higher end quality service you provide?