View Full Version : Larry's Lawns joining to learn
01-20-2008, 10:50 AM
Hello to all from Larry's Lawns in Seguin Texas. I'm joining your forum in hopes of learning some of the basics through advice, hopefully avoiding having to make the mistakes for the lesson.
Overview of my startup situation. - I reached burnout in the hi-tech field a couple years ago and escaped corporate ####. I spent some time doing mostly two things, sightseeing on my new bike and restoring an elder's property to livable. Caring needs for this family member will continue. Some say I'm stuck in mid-life crisis now. True or not, I intend to never go back into such an atmosphere.
I started Larry's Lawns last year as a part-time income generator using equipment already in the garage. Although most would find mowing lawns a huge prestige demotion from my previous life, it's much more compatible with my principles and soul. Having confirmed this to myself, and having completed the huge project of restoring the property, it's time to build the business.
This year it needs to start becoming a full-time income. My desires are to keep it simple though. I think for this year I still want to stick to mowing and trimming as what I mostly do, but also expecting to fullfill some additional needs of existing customers as requested. I will start the year working alone and am undecided on getting help. We'll see what the future brings.
Seguin is a smaller town but growing due to two cities encroaching on it, San Antonio and Austin. Last year I advertised only once, for one week, in the local radio station's freebee newsletter. That tiny effort kept me as busy as I needed to be until the weather became dry again. This year I will be in the phone book's yellow pages. It may be enough to get me ramped up to speed, but I will advertise more if my time isn't filled.
Well.. got a lot of questions for y'all about things like; equipment, methods, bookkeeping, etc... but I see this is getting long. I'm looking forward to discussions with you and hoping as time goes by I can return more to the forum than I receive.
01-20-2008, 12:35 PM
Welcome to the forums, Larry. We have a plethera of knowledge here. Scan through the messages. Most likely, you'll find the answer to any question you have and some you don't even know you have yet. If you can't find the answer, feel free to ask. I'm almost certain that SOMEONE on here can give you an answer.
If you're in need of a logo, website or any other type of graphic design, there are a lot of us here who do just that, as well.... I'm one of them! =)
Make sure you watch as many of the Gopher Haul Shows as you can, too. VERY informative. Steve does a great job with the web shows.
01-20-2008, 09:35 PM
Welcome to our forum!!
Thanks Tim for posting that link. Great information there.
Quote[/b] ]Overview of my startup situation. - I reached burnout in the hi-tech field a couple years ago and escaped corporate ####. I spent some time doing mostly two things, sightseeing on my new bike and restoring an elder’s property to livable. Caring needs for this family member will continue. Some say I'm stuck in mid-life crisis now. True or not, I intend to never go back into such an atmosphere.
Can you explain to us more what your take is on this mid-life crisis point? This has come up before and I am glad you brought it up as well. There are many many forum readers, that will be reading this post and feel a connection with you already for what you have said.
The only difference between you and them is you made the jump. Can you tell us a little bit about what finally pushed you?
I don't want to put words in your mouth about how you feel so I would rather hear it from you. I do think many people get to a certain age and ask themselves as the look in the mirror, is this it? Is this as good as it gets? What ever happened to my goals and my dreams? I thought if I played my part in the game, I would find happiness. If I let myself be a cog in the machine, they would take care of me. And then all too often, you find yourself ground to a pulp wondering what happened.
Beyond all that. What would I do if I just jumped in? Meet people! Meet a lot of people! Let everyone in town know who you are and that you are in the business of taking care of lawns. Get business cards out to everyone you can. Make phone calls to everyone you know. Have you used craigslist.com yet? If not, use it, its free! Get flyers made and hand them out. Don't want to walk and hand out flyers? Get postcards made and get a mailing list of your area and mail out postcards. Get a website up. Pretend you are running for office, because the process is very similar to what you have to do to get your business off the ground. Also read all the posts on here. Tons of info.
What's your thoughts on that?
01-21-2008, 12:05 PM
Pretty responsive community here!! Thanx to all.
Great link and info Tim, I'm sure I'll be discussing websites with Patrick.
I've been watching some of your forum shows over the past few months Steve. Well done and inspiring.
Had to replace the hard drive a while back so no pics available right now.
A little bit in response to your thoughts: " I do think many people get to a certain age and ask themselves as the look in the mirror, is this it? Is this as good as it gets? What ever happened to my goals and my dreams? I thought if I played my part in the game, I would find happiness. If I let myself be a cog in the machine, they would take care of me. And then all too often, you find yourself ground to a pulp wondering what happened. "
All those things apply well. Your curiosity, understanding and empathy to mid-life crisis sound similar to mine before I had some of it behind me. ;p -Informed but not a full grasp of it. - Well, first, I hope you never get a full grasp of it. But in my need to understand it better, I have come up with a 'nutshell' description for mine.
There are two major factors that combine exponentially I think. There seems to be a shift from seeing things with the view of how long I've been going, to how long I have left before I wear out. The other is a sudden realization that you already know who you are and it's past the time to embrace it. This being said, my best advice is; don’t be the first in the house to go through it!! Those who haven’t been there yet cannot understand it.
Instead, a much better plan would be;
It's likely you're probably already into building investments, living in densely populated areas and spending too much time and money on entertainment in the years before it's likely to strike. Maybe even too much extra time devoted to work. And you've probably heard it's coming, but aren’t too concerned. You may be one of those who avoid it. Still, ya have to wonder...
If these fit, I would definitely decrease the time and money spent on entertainment and put them into multiplying the money mowing your neighborhood’s lawns. Even if you’re going to stay in your current career, this would increase your retirement fund tremendously and you'll meet some fine people you wouldn't have met otherwise. And better yet, there's something therapeutic about the simplicity of it all.
Thanks again for the warm welcome. Looking forward to great things..
01-21-2008, 02:38 PM
Congrats Larry, GOOD LUCK!
I am right there with you, I am at the same point in my life currently.
As others have said, need flyer's & a business card.
I have a free website offered by Microsoft Office live (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/officelive/default.aspx?ofcresset=1)
Good enough to start with. Of the websites that I have looked at, most have less than 200 hits. So I am not going to throw funds at a website yet. I just don't think a website will draw people to me enough to invest in it.
Bob at Plan-it Graphics, is having flyers & a biz card done for me. I should get them today or tomorrow.
Hope everything turns out GREAT for you.
Gopher has made me decide to try something that I actually like doing.
So if anyone starts in with the I can't believe your doing that BS.
Just say -hey, are you doing something that YOU like to do?
01-21-2008, 04:00 PM
Just wanted to let you know that a website, when built right and optimized properly for search engines, can be your most valuable asset. *It works while you work... or while you eat... or sleep... anybody can find your information at any time... and the better built your website is, the more professional you appear to your potential clients (especially commercial ones). *Would you rather have a professional print your company shirts, or take a white t-shirt and draw your logo and name on it with a marker? *The same can be said of your website... if you do it, it may not have the same quality of professionalism as if someone did it for you that has done it for a while (a professional). Plus, a professional could probably get it done faster... and it would take the stress off you so you could focus on other aspects of your business.
I'm not saying your website is bad.... nor am I saying that ANYONE HERE has a bad website... *Please don't take this message to say that at all... but having been a web designer for almost 4 years, I can tell you why it's good to have a professional build your website.
.....and on a side note, I have had over 600 hits to my website since September. I have gotten about 12 calls from my website (and it's not even peak season)...
01-21-2008, 08:32 PM
Great insight. For me I think Tim said it best in another post when "I already retired once! and now Im a professional kid, i get to play in the dirt and mow lawns, best part I get PAID to BE a PROFESSIONAL KID!" from this post (http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=1;t=6126).
It's my take that most if not all guys, would rather never 'grow up.' They would rather be paid to be a professional kid.
The moment you get away from that concept is the moment I think you start to lose the place of where you want to be.
What's everyone take on this? Is this an internal direction we all have or no?
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