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Lawn Pro
04-01-2008, 11:45 AM
Hello to all...
First off... This site is AWESOME and it has already helped immensely.

Me... I'm retired military and am actively in the process of opening/beginning my own lawn care business. I've researched my state and city business registered names and have chosen "Lawn Pro". I will get a business license and insurance.

I hate coming here and asking for help right off but, I am really excited about working for myself and controlling my own destiny for once. I need help w/ a logo, slogan, flyer, marketing strategies and a web site.

I am in the process of buying my equipment and plan on starting off w/ a 12' trailer, 50' WB mower, trimmer, hedger and blower.

Services I want to offer, initially:
Mowing
Trimming (Grass and Hedge)
Edging
Mulching
Weeding (by hand)
Tree trimming/pruning
Spring and Fall clean up


Later on:
Deck cleaning (power wash)
Siding cleaning (power wash)
Cleaning gutters

I have 2 teenage sons and they are excited also.


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

Steve
04-01-2008, 11:52 AM
Hi Brian,

Welcome to our forum!

Do you or your sons know how to edit html? I have a bunch of free web templates available for download and hundreds of lawn care business logos you can use as templates to create your own. Also have you checked out the free flyer and door hanger templates?

What got you interested in starting your own lawn care business? Have you ever run any other kind of business in the past?

StartALawnCareBusiness
04-01-2008, 12:05 PM
Hi Brian:

Congrats on getting started.

What are your deciding factors in purchasing a 50" walkbehind? What brand have you picked?

I think you will be happy with a walkbehind as your first mower over a rider or a Z-turn. Maybe I am old school but walkbehind mowers always seem to have greater versatility over all other styles given varying terrain.

Best of luck in '08.

Keith

Lawn Pro
04-01-2008, 12:33 PM
Thanks for the welcome...

My boys are not familiar w/ html yet...

What got me interested..... I love taking care of my own lawn and a friend ran a lawn care service and told me how much satisfaction he got working for himself.

I'm getting kind of a late start but, I want to be in it for the long haul and expect to have a steep learning curve.

I've looked at an Exmark WB and have a dealer nearby that I have discussed my needs with. Haven't decided yet. I have another dealer to visit first.

I really want to run a professional operation w/ good advertising and quality work (still learning though).

I have some business experience but, still consider myself a novice.

I know this will be hard work and I'm in good shape... knowing I am in charge of my own destiny is motivating enough.

The website is on he back burner for now. Getting a logo first and then business cards and flyers to drum up business are my priorities now.

Should I have different priorities?

Thanks
Brian

Steve
04-01-2008, 12:52 PM
Hi Brian,

Here is my take on it.

I think getting some business cards and handing them out and then landing your first few clients is most important.

Why? Well because I think it reaffirms you can do this. I tend to see that when new businesses get started, everyone doubts the entrepreneur. Either it's family or friends or neighbors or whoever. A lot of people will be like oh you are starting a business huh? And then not take it seriously. Then they jab at you as you try to get it going.

So if you get started with a few customers, you will then realize you can get a business started and there is nothing like success to breed more success. As you go, add things like logos, better marketing material, websites, truck signs, all the imagery.

This is a very low cost way of getting started but I think it is effective.

What's your take on this?

Lawn Pro
04-01-2008, 01:00 PM
Steve,
I agree but, I want a logo to put on business cards and flyers. Excellent advice.

I like this as a logo.... thanks to your site. I did it in about 5min.

Is it ok to use... I want to have the yellow the same shade but, can't do it

Thanks,
Brian

Steve
04-01-2008, 01:21 PM
Brian,

Yes that is good.

Keeping things simple is so important.

When you get the logo printed I am sure they will be able to use the same color.

Do you have a lot of friends in your area or are you involved with any local community groups? Keep all these things in mind when you start your marketing. Let everyone in your social network know you are in business. Maybe they can help you get business too!

kdvandco
04-04-2008, 02:12 PM
im loving the logo..id like to know which one you decided on..

good luck in 08

Lawn Pro
04-07-2008, 08:36 PM
Quote[/b] (kdvandco @ April 04 2008,1:12)]im loving the logo..id like to know which one you decided on..

good luck in 08
Thanks... it's the one I posted. I've bought a 6X10 trailer, 48" Hustler Fastrak Z-turn mower, trimmer, edger, blower by Robin and a residential push mower.

I just got my cards in, flyers will be ready tomorrow and I've got magnetic signs for my truck and a metal sign for my trailer.

I've already got 3 long term commitments for lawn care and I haven't really advertised yet.

Marketing plan is to:
1. Ad in the paper for 3 weeks
2. Ad in Penny Shopper
3. Distribute 2,000 flyers
4. Talk to a lot of business owners
5. Give cards to my friends and neighbors for them to distribute.
6. I live near a large military base where about 80% are deployed. I plan to approach some Family Support Groups and offer my services at a discount to family members of deployed Soldiers.
7. Look into cost of Yellow Page ad.
8. Possibly set up website

BTW... I invested in some polo shirts and hats w/ the logo to ensure I present a professional appearance.

I'm excited... any other ideas.

Brian

UniversityLandscapers
04-07-2008, 09:42 PM
Wow...you've really covered your bases. My only advice would be to monitor your marketing. It's been talked about a few times on here, but make sure you ask each new client how they heard about you and record that somewhere. That way when next season rolls around, you know where your $$ is best spent.

I love the idea of offering the discount to the deployed soldiers' family too...great way to drum up business as well as a great way to help the community, it's a win-win.

Steve
04-08-2008, 12:42 PM
Brian,

That is all fantastic. I was thinking, maybe you could experiment with advertising on craigslist too. It's free and it just might work for you.