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Steve
08-20-2010, 10:42 AM
Welcome to our forum!

What kinds of things are you doing to market your business?

ltmarine
08-23-2010, 08:22 PM
been doing this for about 25 yrs. not always for myself but mostly sub. now im the contractor.....go get em.

Steve
08-24-2010, 02:30 PM
Welcome to our forum!

What have you found was the difference in being the sub-contractor vs. the contractor now?

What did you like or dislike about both of them?

K&S SERVICES
08-31-2010, 10:32 PM
new guy startn out , and cant wait

Steve
09-01-2010, 11:05 AM
Welcome to our forum!

Whats your next step in getting your lawn care business going?

donniec
09-04-2010, 07:52 PM
Hey everyone. New for me getting out of the suit and out in the street!!! Three friends and i got sick of answering to someone else and decided to do our own thing !! that being snow plowing and lawn care. huge demand and the prospects are endless. Im "only the brains my partners are the braun and brains!!! of the whole operation. Just starting out and open to suggestions and shared experiences ..... Keep ya posted if i can survive this first year Wish me luck and back at all of you guys out there!!!

Steve
09-05-2010, 10:55 AM
Hi Donnie,

Welcome to our forum!

What is the plan on how all of this will be structured? What will everyone do and how will you keep them all happy?

davidgarrett
09-20-2010, 07:32 PM
Hey everyone...this is my first forum and first business. My buddy and I started about 2 months ago with my home equipment and his truck. Good times for sure.
We have one solid contract that keeps us pretty busy doing foreclosure clean-ups. The money isn't super, but it's ours and we are building as we go.

Thanks for this forum, I got the link from your you-tube vids. (great by the way) I am looking forward to learning a lot as we are really flying by the seat of our pants.

Dave

Steve
09-21-2010, 02:58 PM
Hi David,

Welcome to our forum!

What are some of your future marketing plans now to attract more customers?

newday21
09-22-2010, 02:00 PM
Hi!

My name Is Courtney G. Shelley and i am the Owner of Auxiliary Property Management and I am attempting to get into the arena of Property "Clean-Out" but finding it hard to get to the right people. Can you guide me in the right direction to make this dream a reality!

Steve
09-22-2010, 04:48 PM
Welcome to our forum Courtney.

Can you tell me what you define property clean out to be?
Who are you trying to market this service to?
Why did you decide to focus on this niche?

Answering these questions should help us create a battle plan.

greeneyed_diva
09-23-2010, 12:37 PM
I have been doing this three years, never once have I had anyone ask me for a proposal. I have gotten all my accounts by word of mouth and neighboring houses.. Now my hands are in the air as I don't know where to turn for some sort of layout or even the information my proposal should contain. That's when I found this forum but haven't seen anything jump out at me yet as I am still looking! Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.

Steve
09-23-2010, 03:57 PM
Welcome to our forum!

Did you check in the templates section and more specifically the contract section within it?

http://www.gopherforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=34

There may be some proposal ideas that you can use.

What made you decide to go with proposals now after not using them for so long?

greeneyed_diva
09-24-2010, 05:30 PM
I was never asked by a customer for a proposal, I am assuming that she had a company doing her lawn and plowing prior to her asking me, and they must have given her a proposal. I did however find the forms very helpful in the way to word and spell everything out. I am hoping for the best, I hand delivered it to my customer this afternoon, and I'm anxious to hear her response. Wish me luck

Steve
09-24-2010, 06:05 PM
Keep us posted on this. It might work out easier for you in the future, if they want an estimate form, to just try and get them to sign it on the spot. When they have to sit on it and think about it for a while, sometimes they don't follow through.

jbalmes
10-01-2010, 11:14 AM
I was in the Commercial snow removal business in northern Michigan for 30 years. I quit 10 years ago and I am getting back into it again. This time on a smaller scale. One truck and me.
JerryB
Balmes Construction Inc

Steve
10-01-2010, 09:18 PM
Hi Jerry,

Welcome to our forum!

What kinds of advantages do you feel you have now going into the business with such a great history in it? How has it helped you so far?

4 seasons maintenance
10-05-2010, 10:06 PM
Hey all, my name is Rich. Happen to stumble across this forum by accident, and glad I did. I started doing light landscaping part time 2 years ago just to make some extra bucks here and there. Well it quickly grew to where it was to big for me to do part time. Started to interfere with my home life, and having a child thats not going to work. So I hired someone to take care of it for me. Well this year it has outgrown the person I had hired, so I quit my job of 19 years on July 2nd and now going at it full time, and things are going well for me. I do have alot of questions and will look all around here to find the answers, or should I say "guidance" instead. So any input or ideas that may work for you, I am all ears, thanks. Richs 4 Seasons Maintenance Landscaping and Snowplowing

Steve
10-06-2010, 02:04 PM
Hi Rich,

Welcome to our forum!

You took a very interesting path to go from part time to full time. I think a lot of people try to do what you did and don't have a good outcome.

How did you supervise your employee when you werent there to insure a quality job?

4 seasons maintenance
10-06-2010, 09:54 PM
Hi Rich,

Welcome to our forum!

You took a very interesting path to go from part time to full time. I think a lot of people try to do what you did and don't have a good outcome.

How did you supervise your employee when you werent there to insure a quality job?

I would every day show up at a different job in a company vehicle and just stop "need anything" or I'd show up with lunch or a cold gatorade for him. I had pretty much free reign to come and go at my previous job, so it was fairly easy for me to leave at different times of the day. He had already been with another company for 13 years, so I knew what kind of work he could do. I've nicknamed him "Edward Scissor Hands" to some of my customers, due to the comments they have made on how well he's trimmed trees, and shrubs. I really have lucked out with him, he's 30, has a young family, and is eager to work, and very good at what ever I ask of him. Might I add takes great pride in what he does as well, and is eager to help me grow my business!

Steve
10-07-2010, 04:08 PM
That is fantastic! What suggestions do you have for others attempting this when it comes to pay? Should they pay a flat salary or pay a % of the job? Or maybe even a mixture?

How should you ensure the employee will want to keep himself going through the day and not drag it out?

lewis34
10-07-2010, 04:31 PM
Hello my fellow landcapers, i am just trying to absorb all kinds of good landscaping information and came across this site. I live in one of the top rated retirement communities in the US and have some very beautiful places i take care of year round. I am trying to figure out the best equipment and way to do things. So i hope to learn something from this and make some new friends at the same time.

Cheers

Steve
10-08-2010, 03:07 AM
Welcome to our forum!

What got you interested in starting your own business?

cruzgardening
10-14-2010, 12:51 AM
hey guys how are you? like the title says i just started working a route previously owned by someone i knew they were getting overwhelmed and well i bought the route with the equipment its a 27 lawn route. I went with him to see all the houses and all but 2 are less then an hour worth of work, most of the clients are mow and blow clients, so i can handle it i started a few months ago and its going well but like in everything there is room for improvement and well here i am looking into the great Gopherforums and boy am i learning something every day! great site and nice having such an involved community sadly here In the Los Angeles area there is no real gardener community... hope to learn even more from you guys thank you.

Cruz gardening

Steve
10-14-2010, 06:44 PM
Very interesting! Did you talk much with him on why he felt overwhelmed? Do you feel it's something you should know so as not to find yourself in the same situation?

Is it possible he felt overwhelmed because he wasn't charging enough and didn't feel compensated enough for his time or do you think it was other reasons?

cruzgardening
10-15-2010, 12:05 AM
Very interesting! Did you talk much with him on why he felt overwhelmed? Do you feel it's something you should know so as not to find yourself in the same situation?

Is it possible he felt overwhelmed because he wasn't charging enough and didn't feel compensated enough for his time or do you think it was other reasons?

Hi Steve, Well he was working a full time job when he first started he wanted to go full time on the gardening service but after he got 15 houses and he doped his main job to par-time he got 12 more houses and thats when he realized he could not take it anymore and started looking for a way out and thats when i showed up.

He was undercharging almost all of the houses, his average was $25 which was not a good price once i took over i raised the rates 3 clients did complain and left me but as i started reading about what to do to get more clients and so far i created some flyers and advertised on a local magazine and i got 3 new clients.
it is still a 28 house route and i feel i can still handle it.

So yeah he was overwhelm cause of the preasure from the other job and mayb his underpayment but so far the preasure has not kiked me in the butt.


BTW I do come from a Gardening Background my father has a Gardening route himself and i use to help him before i bought this one.

CruzGardening

Steve
10-15-2010, 06:52 PM
That is very interesting.

What is your view on what he should have been charging for the lawns he was charging $25 for? How long was he spending on those properties?

Do you feel that maybe if he had charged more, his transition to fulltime business owner would have been smoother? Or even possible?

What about the fact he dropped working his job part time. Do you feel he should have just quit and focused fulltime on his business? Maybe they he could have had a chance at success?

Arkangel81
10-15-2010, 08:04 PM
Welcome to our forum!

What got you interested in starting your own business?

Being my own boss.

Yard Architect
10-18-2010, 07:03 PM
Hello Landscaping Friends,
My name is Rick Bannister. My business is called The Yard Architect. I'll try to make my bio brief. I grew up in the country on a multi-million dollar farm. I knew everything about land, fertilizers, animals, equipment, etc. All thru high school I worked at the local hardware store & learned a wealth of information on seed planting, tools, techniques, etc. I discovered I had a knack for carpentry & started doing all kinds of projects as a hobby. I also saw our family lose the farm & decided there was no money in it so I moved to the big city of Augusta after college. After I got married in 1992, I lost my jobs 5 times in 10 years! Finally I got tested for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and bingo! We also discovered our daughter has it too. We started educating ourselves on this. My self-esteem was at an all-time low. I had been everything from a salesman, an estimator to a project manager and more! So I really got serious with God and prayed hard about what He wanted me to do with my life. I also relied on my wife a lot. It was clear that since I liked golf, I should find something in that field. So I went to school & got a lot of college credits towards Golf Course Management. I became a Caddie at the Augusta Nationals Golf Course. I was so interested in the lawn mowers & fertilizers and the whole lawn maintenance system they use. It's awesome! I started using my carpentry hobby to make some money on the side during this time. Friends started telling friends & before I knew it, my phone was ringing off the hook with people wanting all kinds of odd jobs, not just carpentry. I knew without a shadow of a doubt, I had found my calling in this world. I started "Rick's Home Repairs". The first year was steady and full of learning experiences. The winter was awful! I got no work for a whole month. My wife & Mother-In-Law were on their way to church one morning & the wife starts calling every Realtor sign she passed asking if they had any use for a handyman on their properties. One realtor said to send me in that day cause he just lost a man. They liked my work so much they gave me all kinds of jobs! When I would visit these properties, I would let the office know the grass needed cutting. My parents invested heavily in my business & provided some very nice equipment.
So then I started doing landscaping/lawn care in Spring & Summer and did the home repairs in Fall & Winter. I started doing landscaping more & more because of word of mouth and this realtor company I was working for started throwing landscaping / lawn care jobs my way. Then other businesses started calling me. God just blessed me with so many opportunities. This year I changed the name to The Yard Architect. I got the name from my college years when I used to pick on my Dad & call him a yard architect because he is so persnickety! I got licensed, insured & bonded this year. I have found it really makes a difference in the type of customers you get and it's peace of mind for you. I still do the home repairs weekly and work them around the lawn schedule. My wife handles the schedules, marketing, finances & customer service. Looking back, I can see where all those jobs I thought were failures, were really preparing me to do what I was meant to do. Because I have been in Sales & been an Estimator & been a Manager & been a Farmer's Son, I was being trained for this. God brought me the perfect mate to be my Helper. She got me the handyman job with the realtor that lead to all the other jobs coming my way. She does my flyers & business cards & signs. She just got me some free advertising with the local newspaper - they do something called a "Daily Deal". Local businesses will offer a daily deal to folks to gain new customers. The paper blasts the deal out to 250,000 people on their email list & they print it on the front page of the daily newspaper. It's all free! She is the one that found this site for me! This is the best site I've ever seen! I'm still learning & I enjoy the personal stories. It's good to see I'm not the only one who has ever run up on some really whacked out customers! ;) Sorry if this is long, I tried to make it short! God bless you all!

Steve
10-19-2010, 10:13 AM
WOW! Fascinating Story!

You hit on a lot of great points there.

So often we see newer lawn care businesses having such a rough time trying to find customers and here you all picked up the phone and called every realtor sign you saw.

Do you feel that launched your business? If you hadn't of done that, do you feel it might not have taken off? Do you have any other advice for newer start ups when it comes to finding customers?

Also you hit on another point that is rarely discussed, (ADD). Attention Deficit Disorder seems to be something that is still relatively unknown and I would venture to guess many people struggle with this and have no idea they have it.

How have you found running your own business has helped with your A.D.D.? What kinds of issues do you think you have had to over come as an entrepreneur with A.D.D.?

orbitalawn Lawn services
10-19-2010, 03:05 PM
Hello boys, girls and other.
I think I use to be on this site but lost all of my info.
I own and operate Orbitalawn in Zephyrhills and Wesley Chapel Florida.
I have about 15 years experience and 5 years of business ownership.
This has to be the best "job" in the world. Seldom do you hear people say they love their jobs or even their customers.
I can proudly say both. My customers couldn't get any better they help make my job all that much better.
And we work very hard on gaining more customers.
I appreciate the ideas & goals shared on this site and I hope to hear more of them.

cruzgardening
10-20-2010, 01:13 AM
That is very interesting.

What is your view on what he should have been charging for the lawns he was charging $25 for? How long was he spending on those properties?

Do you feel that maybe if he had charged more, his transition to fulltime business owner would have been smoother? Or even possible?

What about the fact he dropped working his job part time. Do you feel he should have just quit and focused fulltime on his business? Maybe they he could have had a chance at success?

he should of been charging at least $35 that is the rate for the area where we are at, even though there are people charging $20, he use to spend 45 minutes i spend the same amount of time but there are times that some of the places can take up more time since there is extra weeding. Also the 45 minutes do not count the time it takes me to get to the property.

i think if he had done what i am doing now, giving more services and higher quality services he would of made the transition better since he could of charged what i charge with no problem, so yes i think it would of been possible only if he had raised the price by $10.

i think he chose not to drop his fulltime job because he was afraid. but i think its possible to make money in this business i am doing it full time btw i got 2 more houses this past week so far its a 30 house route and i can handle it all by myself i think haha.

Yard Architect
10-20-2010, 04:08 AM
WOW! Fascinating Story!

You hit on a lot of great points there.

So often we see newer lawn care businesses having such a rough time trying to find customers and here you all picked up the phone and called every realtor sign you saw. Do you feel that launched your business? If you hadn't of done that, do you feel it might not have taken off? Do you have any other advice for newer start ups when it comes to finding customers?

______________________________
Well, I feel I should make it clear that it was my *WIFE* calling the Realtors in desperation because I hadn't gotten any Home Repair jobs in a month. Most realtors are men and most can't resist a woman's tears. It wasn't a ploy we thought up. She was on her way to church with her Mom when the idea came to her. I went into the place to meet this guy who I thought had just said what my wife wanted to hear to get her off the phone. He gave me a small handyman job and I had to prove myself. Once they felt comfortable with me and liked my work, they started giving me bigger & better assignments. I was always interested in the lawns so I would report that to them on my own. It wasn't my duty to do that. Then when my parents offered to buy me the equipment to launch a landscaping business, I jumped on it and this Realtor really boosted me right on out there with their properties and their connections in this city. My advice for newer startups is to pray, pray, pray. God will open doors you never even thought about!
______________________________

Also you hit on another point that is rarely discussed, (ADD). Attention Deficit Disorder seems to be something that is still relatively unknown and I would venture to guess many people struggle with this and have no idea they have it. How have you found running your own business has helped with your A.D.D.? What kinds of issues do you think you have had to over come as an entrepreneur with A.D.D.?
______________________________
Running my own business gave me back my self-esteem that ADD had taken away. Working for other people requires you focus tremendously on every word spoken to you. Running this business for me requires I focus on my words spoken to the customer & most of those are written. My wife helps so much. She does all the behind-the-scenes stuff and she is the customer service part. I couldn't be doing this without her. I still have some issues to overcome with ADD. Most of it is small. I have to force myself to pay attention to details. For an ADD person, that is a challenge. But it's the details that wins the customer. It's the details that gets them calling you back. Another challenge is staying on task. Wifey keeps my schedule. I have to go by the schedule. Don't deviate from the schedule. Follow the schedule! It's hard. My brain gets scattered and I get distracted. But when I do what's on the schedule, it all gets done by the end of the day and I get paid! Now I don't want to make it sound like it's so rigid there's no flex room. Schedule gets changed all the time. It mostly gets changed to save gas, save time or knock out the bigger, higher paying jobs first. Another challenge to overcome with ADD is wanting to work all the time. It's so easy to get tunnel-vision & focus on the next job & the next paycheck & forget my family. I have a little boy that worships me and a little girl that is Daddy's Princess. Their whole world lights up when I come home. I don't want to miss that. I have to put some jobs off till the next day to be home before the sun goes down & enjoy my family. With ADD, there's a challenge there to disconnect from something and start something new. We've researched this ADD thing extensively and found some great all-natural herbs & vitamins that do a tremendous job in helping take the edge off. I'm 10 feet tall & bullet proof & on top of my game when I take that stuff continually. This has to be the all time best job in the world! I truly feel God gave me the jobs & customers and I love them! We work very hard on gaining more new customers. The advertising blitz with The Daily Deal in the newspaper will hit in a few weeks. That will reach 125,000 people thru email alone. It will also have my business on the front page of the newspaper that day. All that advertisement will be for free!
I'm meeting with someone today to discuss a deal of a quarter page ad 3 times a week for a month in the newspaper in exchange for $30 back to them for every customer I get from that ad. This is something you guys might look into. This guy travels the country negotiating this kind of deal for small businesses with their local newspapers.
I really, really appreciate the ideas shared on this site and I hope to hear more of them. God bless all of you!

aclandscape
11-11-2010, 03:55 AM
My little brand spanking new lawn business is called A.C. Landscape Maintenance and I am located in southern California, where there is are as many landscapers as there are starbucks. I come from corporate aviation industry where the business is 75% customer care and the rest is flying. I have worked as a landscaper before but never for myself, so I got some equpment and a cheap trailer from Craigslist and here I am making flyers at 1:50 a.m. I will be up early to drive around my "geographic target" areas that have the best chance for someone to look at the flyer and actually go to my website, or dial my ph#. I have read some of the posts and its comforting to know that there are so many good people doing this awesome business and I am really happy I found this forum. Thanks and greatest of luck! Amado

Steve
11-12-2010, 01:25 AM
Hi Amado,

Welcome to our forum!

How do you feel your previous background in landscaping and aviation will help you with your new business venture? Do you feel it may be a little easier for you to get this rolling than others without such a background?

aclandscape
11-13-2010, 05:37 PM
I've been talking to my neighbors and friends who have a landscaper and the common denominator is that almost all landscapers start to do the job just like they say they would, but as time goes by, the customer sees that this no longer is the case. I also see that many landscapers have the know how to work but business is not what they relate to. So with this in mind and a lot more hard work, It gives me an advantage to have a house-specific check list (just like in the ****pit) just to review until I can have all items memorized then eventually just do a monthly review and compare that to the quarterly customer survey. Since time is money, looking over the yard I just did might not be the best way to spend my time, just look the list once over to make sure I didn't miss anything and keep my customers smiling.

Cheers! Amado

Steve
11-14-2010, 03:01 AM
Hi Amado,

That is good stuff!

So over time, what you hear from friends and neighbors, is that a new landscape company comes in and wants to perform work on the customer's property. Initially they do a good job but then start to slack over time.

Have you asked in what way they tend to slack? That would be interesting to know because you could not only use that to your advantage in your operations but also in your marketing message!

Why do you think they slack off? Is it the aren't charging enough to make it worth their while? Or that they get bored of it? What's your view?

Teamguy
11-28-2010, 04:38 PM
Hello I am new to this site and have owned a lawn business going on 13 years now and have enjoyed the freedom from conventional jobs of me working directly for someone. I am also in the Navy and just got back from my 3rd tour in Afghanistan so I live in two totally different worlds and love it.

Rick

Steve
11-29-2010, 09:56 AM
Welcome to our forum Rick!

How are you able to keep a lawn care business going when you are serving over seas?

whitepropertydetail
12-04-2010, 10:40 AM
Hi

I am the sole proprietor of White Property Detailing. I reside up in Canada It is my lawn care and snow clearing business. I went about establishing it with the same finesse as a bull in a China shop. Like Rick on the forum earlier, I am a soldier of 30 years, I have six tours, two of which were in Afghanistan; sick of dodging 107mm rockets and rusty AK bullets, I am now ensuring I'll have something better to do when I retire than counting nails at Home Depot. I love to cut grass, my problem is that I'm against the 'in and out, good enough' philosophy so prevalent with so many lawn care companies. I am still serving, so I use my free time to teach myself the lessons of this industry. I bought all my equipment outright, and brand new. (mistake #1) New Chevy 3/4Ton, Toro Z-Turn, Cyclone XL Leaf Vac, BCS Tiller, 14' Dump and Go Trl, 2x Lawnboy 21", Stihl MM55 with every attachment, Leaf Blowers, Trimmers, Rollers, Detachers, Aerators, a couple of Hiniker Plows, Snowblowers, Gopher Software, the list goes on and on. I say it was a mistake because I wasn't expecting the inevitable 'post Afghanistan' divorce. I'd prefer to stick to the residential side of the house, I offer a full range of services and by default stripe each lawn like nobody else. I want to keep this 'fun', I don't want employees, and payrolls, and stress. Other lessons that I've learned: (a) Time spent on Recon is seldom wasted ... Visit each site BEFORE committing. 60 degree slopes suck! ... (b) Don't feel obligated to take EVERY job. "No Ma'am, I didn't rake up the cores after I aerated, is there a problem??" ...(c) CYA...the camera on my iPhone4 has been a Godsend. I walk each jobsite, and ensure I get before and after pictures. People are less likely to try and pin that broken lattice on you when you can email them timestamped pictures.

So that in a nutshell is a year in my sideline business. It has been fun. It IS rewarding. Next season, I am simply dropping all my 'problem' clients, don't need the stress, don't owe them anything... (except for the divorcee in the west end who hasn't paid me with cash yet!)

I think one more year of doing lawns 'part-time' will ensure I'm well established. Being in the Army has gotten me countless jobs from troops that are deploying themselves, from vets, and they do the 'advertising' for me. Some people retire and live at the golf course, I'm going to retire and cut it!!

Excellent site BTW


JJ

Steve
12-04-2010, 12:21 PM
Hi JJ,

Welcome to our forum!

What have you liked or disliked about the equipment you purchased so far?

What is your view on why you went with that style truck?

I went about establishing it with the same finesse as a bull in a China shop.

When you say this, what do you mean by it? If you could, would you have liked to re do your start in a different manner?

Jason090480
12-05-2010, 12:09 PM
Hi everyone, we are Yard Barbers LLC My brother Jesse and I are co-owners of the business we started on October 1st of this year. Yeah we know strange time to start a lawn care business but, we have several clients and have made a little money. Most people tend to not understand that lawn work is actually a year round job and we try to capitalize on that.

Steve
12-05-2010, 04:44 PM
Most people tend to not understand that lawn work is actually a year round job and we try to capitalize on that.

Welcome to our forum!

What kinds of things do you focus on to offer all year round service?

Growing Green
12-06-2010, 09:31 PM
Hi everyone,
My name is Matt and today marks the first day that I started my lawn business. I've been buying equipment, truck, getting website ready, created flyer and all the other small things for the past month. I worked for a large internet company for the past 11 years and put off this dream for a long time. I finally got the courage to put in my resignation and was able to begin. This is GREAT! Today I posted ad on Craigslist -

http://austin.craigslist.org/fgs/2097840469.html

and I then went and passed out flyers to my whole neighborhood. Tomorrow I will go and pass out another 100 - 200 flyers. Hopefully, I get some calls.

Feel free to visit my website at www.allgrowinggreen.com and I would love any feedback.

Oh one question I have for everyone. Should I have contracts for the packages I created?

Thanks,
Matt

Steve
12-07-2010, 01:09 PM
Hi Matt,

Welcome to our forum!

Your site and ad look great!

Early on, it seems it is always better to keep things simple. You may later want to use contracts, but in the beginning it's probably better to feel things out first before you lock yourself into your own contract.

What have you thought of the experience so far of starting your own business?

How has this experience compared with what you previously had done?

aclandscape
12-07-2010, 04:29 PM
Hi Steve,

You asked "Why do you think they slack off? Is it the aren't charging enough to make it worth their while? Or that they get bored of it? What's your view? "

The factors you ask about do come into play when it comes to any landscaper mediocrity. Also, here in southern California the housing industry was a major employer, when that industry took a turn for the worst, many construction personnel found it easy to pick up a cheap bunch of equipment and start their lawn business.

The fact that one can work a machine, doesn't necessarily make an expert in the trade. I read somewhere in this forum that reading and educating ourselves is a good way to start a business in landscape, and it was right, but not all out there follow this basic principle.

I see really good landscapers that also came from the construction trade and I have built a good working relationship with some. They care about what they do and it shows. When it came time for me to ask questions, they were receptive and knew their "stuff".

Amongst other things, I am studying for the Chemical Spray Certification here in California, turns out, it's required by state law.

Also, kudos to Matt, that is a great website!

whitepropertydetail
12-08-2010, 09:47 AM
Hey Matt

Great job, I checked your website. Do you think the flyers or the website will yield more results. What would you charge a customer for a onetime Dog waste cleanup just prior to servicing their lawn. I am looking for fair ways to be compensated for this task myself, leaving it in situ and casually cutting over it, or worse, hitting it inadvertently with a string trimmer, tends not to be the best option. Any advice you have on this matter (no pun intended) would be appreciated. I did read your Dog Waste service page, but was wondering how you'd be compensated if it was a casual 'one time' cut and there was dog waste.Steve is correct about the contracts. You can still perform the same high quality work, and be just as dependable without a contract. I explain to people that I am still serving in the Armed Forces, and as a result am unable to sign a contract per-se, but as long as I'm on the ground here in Canada, I will continue to service your lawn, on time, on target! Also, as you have indicated your website is new, you may want to check the spelling of Securely and the grammar on the "Payment be due". I know US and Canada have variations, Zee -Zed, color-colour etc, it's just something that jumped out at me as I read it.

Best of luck with your business, and do keep it fun!

JJ

Growing Green
12-08-2010, 06:41 PM
Hi Matt,

Welcome to our forum!

Your site and ad look great!

Early on, it seems it is always better to keep things simple. You may later want to use contracts, but in the beginning it's probably better to feel things out first before you lock yourself into your own contract.

What have you thought of the experience so far of starting your own business?

How has this experience compared with what you previously had done?

Ok, I'll stay out of the contracting business for now. The experience of starting my own business has been great. I don't think there is anything better in this world than that.

As far as what I previously did...well this is COMPLETELY different. I was sitting behind a computer in the AC all day and now I'll be outside sweating it out. The only hard thing is now I have to hold myself accountable. I have the gift of procrastination so this has been one thing that I have had to keep on myself about.

Growing Green
12-08-2010, 06:43 PM
Also, kudos to Matt, that is a great website!

Thanks! :)

Growing Green
12-08-2010, 06:56 PM
Hey Matt

Great job, I checked your website. Do you think the flyers or the website will yield more results. What would you charge a customer for a onetime Dog waste cleanup just prior to servicing their lawn. I am looking for fair ways to be compensated for this task myself, leaving it in situ and casually cutting over it, or worse, hitting it inadvertently with a string trimmer, tends not to be the best option. Any advice you have on this matter (no pun intended) would be appreciated. I did read your Dog Waste service page, but was wondering how you'd be compensated if it was a casual 'one time' cut and there was dog waste.Steve is correct about the contracts. You can still perform the same high quality work, and be just as dependable without a contract. I explain to people that I am still serving in the Armed Forces, and as a result am unable to sign a contract per-se, but as long as I'm on the ground here in Canada, I will continue to service your lawn, on time, on target! Also, as you have indicated your website is new, you may want to check the spelling of Securely and the grammar on the "Payment be due". I know US and Canada have variations, Zee -Zed, color-colour etc, it's just something that jumped out at me as I read it.

Best of luck with your business, and do keep it fun!

JJ

Oh darn good catch JJ. I looked over that website a bunch of times and missed that. I added "will" and "securely" has now been corrected as well. Thanks again and I appreciate the kudos. I used "weebly" to create it. Only $3.99 a month. Very cheap and so far I've been very pleased. If you have any questions about it feel free to ask. :-)

As far as the dog waste...well I'm just starting off this business. Don't even have one customer yet. :-( So not really sure what to expect. I was thinking that I would add $10 a month for one dog to their monthly bill and $5 more a month on every other dog they have. I figured I would just clean it up every 2 weeks I'm out there. Not sure how customer will respond on that. Will let everyone know when I get more experience in that area.

I've put the website on google, put it on craigslist in Austin and have passed out flyers in my neighborhood. Tomorrow I'm going to pass out over 200 more flyers to a bunch of other neighborhoods around me. There is a TON of competition that do the same thing so I've been trying to think of other ways to get customers. I just moved to Austin from San Antonio so I don't have a lot of connections. Any suggestions on other ways to advertise that doesn't require a large cost? I'm thinking of going and volunteering in the farmers markets and all the other stuff that is always going on here in Austin to build connections. Austin is all about being organic and green. I LOVE IT!!!

carefreelawncare
12-10-2010, 01:35 PM
Hello to all . I just signed up on your website and have learned a lot. I have mowed grass for a few years around the neighberhood and just picked up a walk behind and thought it was time to go a little bigger with this. I have worked for a big box company going on 4 years and hate to be inside for 9 hours a day. Before that i ran a skid loader for a excavating company.I will do all the basic stuff , mowing trimming edging mulching and yard clean up.I also do downspout repairs

Steve
12-11-2010, 12:21 PM
Welcome to our forum!

Did you consider doing smaller excavation jobs as well? Did you enjoy that kind of work?

Robert G
12-11-2010, 08:17 PM
What's up everyone, my name is Robert and I'm new to the lawn service business. I got the idea from my girlfriend about 2 months ago when we were having a discussion about me being unhappy at my current employer and wanting to start my own business. She came up with the idea of cleaning gutters and also leaf clean up and removal, and from there my brain went in to over drive about all the services that can be offered in this industry. I've been able to aquire 2 clients for leaf clean up, but its been slow for the most part. All help and feedback would be greatly appreciated, as I sometimes feel lost as to how to gain more business and market myelf properly. We came up with the name Bob's Lawn Service.

carefreelawncare
12-11-2010, 08:41 PM
Steve
I will do a little excavating work. Yard prep for grass seed and install new downspouts
My main focus is mowing for now , but hope to grow and do more hardscapes BIG MONEY there.

Steve
12-12-2010, 03:25 PM
Welcome Robert,

What have you been doing so far to market your services?

nino
12-14-2010, 12:23 PM
Just stopping by to say Hello - I have found very useful information.
Just stared plowing last year for a lady. I'm not sure what to charge, got lots of jobs requesting bids. How do I know what to charge them?

Steve
12-14-2010, 02:09 PM
Welcome to our forum!

The simplest way would be to ask around locally and find the average hourly fee, but you could also experiment with the snow plow calculator (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?p=43299#post43299) here.

squisher
12-30-2010, 03:32 PM
Hello,

My name is Justin I own a small tree service business in BC Canada. I've been operating for 4 years now and do snow removal in the winter. I don't do any lawn or even small tree work but found this site while doing some looking around on the net. I'm a cert'd arb who also logged for 12 years before starting on residential work.

Thanks for all the info here.

JL ProCut
12-30-2010, 09:35 PM
been off the board all season had to reregister, just stopping by to say hi all

Steve
12-31-2010, 12:57 PM
Welcome back John!

What have you been up to?

JL ProCut
01-01-2011, 04:59 PM
working and riding my bike until the crash now I have been resting the last month. with about a month to go.

Happy New Year!

GroGreen
01-06-2011, 02:23 PM
HI everyone.. my name is Roz. My husband and I started our landscaping business last year and we love it. Currently we have a little over 40 residential accounts and one small business account. I find this forum very helpful. Thanks for all the info.

Steve
01-06-2011, 05:07 PM
Hi Roz,

Welcome to our forum!

40 customers is quite a good amount for your first year! Do you have any advice for new lawn care business owners just starting up on how to hit that goal?

dcmowing
01-06-2011, 11:15 PM
Has anyone worked on any of the foreclosures?

Steve
01-07-2011, 06:00 PM
There have been a few discussions on here about that.

Do a search on the forum about foreclosures and also check out these articles on my blog.

How to get lawn care & yard work on foreclosed homes. (http://lawnchat.com/?p=307)

Big money in maintaining foreclosed homes. (http://lawnchat.com/?p=342)

Let me know if they help.

DeRosa Landscaping
01-14-2011, 06:19 PM
Hey guys,

New to this forum, hopefully i can get some info to take the mistakes out of business. I have been reading this forum for quite some time and i have noticed that there is a lot of talent here through various posts.

A little about myself...
i im from the boston area and have always been around family business's, i guess its in the blood. i am currently 24 and started my company on my own in 2005 right out of high school. I didn't own anything to my name other than a shovel wheel barrel, rakes, and a small mower. All's i knew is that i did exceptional work and had plenty of will power to achieve the American Dream.

Little by little i aquired more and more equipment. Eventually i worked off my truck, worked off my trailer, got a nice walk behind mower spent money that i had on equipment that i new would make me money in the long run. I lived like no one else to LIVE like no one else.... its taken me a long time and alog of blood sweat and tears, but i am finally in a better position now...

Although i have made plenty of mistakes and still continue to. I devote all my attention on my business and continually ask questions. the biggest advice that i can say is to not give up. stay with it. That saying that if it were easy to do everyone would be doing it hold the most truth out of anything that i have ever heard.

And to anyone out there thats trying to make it, If you underbid, its OK! as long as you learn from it!! there is no secret equation to what is right and wrong... If you do undercharge, make sure you do the job that you said you were going to do, its not your customers fault that you underbid yourself. Either you will get sick and tired of underbidding and you will learn what your prices are, or your customers will not be loyal to you because of the lack of workmanship that you perform. Either way it is a no brain-er and you wont be in business for that long.

Anyways this is a little about myself, and how i want myself and my company to be portrayed. These are just my opinions, and everyone knows what they are like ;o) everyone's got one!

Growing Green
01-15-2011, 12:38 PM
Hey guys,

New to this forum, hopefully i can get some info to take the mistakes out of business. I have been reading this forum for quite some time and i have noticed that there is a lot of talent here through various posts.

A little about myself...
i im from the boston area and have always been around family business's, i guess its in the blood. i am currently 24 and started my company on my own in 2005 right out of high school. I didn't own anything to my name other than a shovel wheel barrel, rakes, and a small mower. All's i knew is that i did exceptional work and had plenty of will power to achieve the American Dream.

Little by little i aquired more and more equipment. Eventually i worked off my truck, worked off my trailer, got a nice walk behind mower spent money that i had on equipment that i new would make me money in the long run. I lived like no one else to LIVE like no one else.... its taken me a long time and alog of blood sweat and tears, but i am finally in a better position now...

Although i have made plenty of mistakes and still continue to. I devote all my attention on my business and continually ask questions. the biggest advice that i can say is to not give up. stay with it. That saying that if it were easy to do everyone would be doing it hold the most truth out of anything that i have ever heard.

And to anyone out there thats trying to make it, If you underbid, its OK! as long as you learn from it!! there is no secret equation to what is right and wrong... If you do undercharge, make sure you do the job that you said you were going to do, its not your customers fault that you underbid yourself. Either you will get sick and tired of underbidding and you will learn what your prices are, or your customers will not be loyal to you because of the lack of workmanship that you perform. Either way it is a no brain-er and you wont be in business for that long.

Anyways this is a little about myself, and how i want myself and my company to be portrayed. These are just my opinions, and everyone knows what they are like ;o) everyone's got one!

Just reading your post you had several comments in there that remind me of Dave Ramsey. You ever heard of him?

Matt

Steve
01-16-2011, 01:48 AM
Welcome to our forum!

hopefully i can get some info to take the mistakes out of business

I'd love to hear about some of the mistakes you ran into as you were growing and how you overcame them. I bet others reading this could learn a lot from it.

newguy3344
01-24-2011, 08:20 PM
Hello new to forum and planning on starting up a new lawn care business this year. Will accept any GOOD advise.

Steve
01-25-2011, 03:00 AM
Welcome to our forum!

What kinds of issues are you dealing with now as you are gearing up to get your business started?

jrod14
01-26-2011, 08:36 PM
Am i outta my mind? haha! I am currently trying to target 1 acre property home owners. i have mailed out 100 ads/letters from myself personally. now this is the crazy part. i offered one free mow with referral. thats a one acre property! Of course there are some restrictions in this offer that i will explain once i get calls. Such as, the only way they will be entitled to a free mow is if they are under a 1 year contract and it cant be their first cut. Did i go about this the right way? i mean...i could have offered 25% off or even 50% off. But i am true to my word. I guess i just dont want it to sound too good to be true..haha! Any insight would help. The only reason i am able to do this is because i do have a full time job. I started the lawn business to be as an early retirement but its really hard to do it when i work at another job 40-50 hours a week. I am just actually looking to get 10-15 one acre propertiesso i can sell my small accts. I currently have 4 and 12 standard lawns that range from $25 to $40 per lawn and there is just way more money and less time in the larger acre properties.

Steve
01-27-2011, 01:45 AM
Welcome to our forum!

What do you charge for an acre of mowing? Have you compared the time and profits for large properties vs the smaller ones?

guardacorte
01-27-2011, 05:15 PM
Hi,

Great forum from what I have seen thus far, My name is Simon, I have been in the "garden Care" business for 3 years now having moved from Gibraltar back home to UK I didn't fancy the commute to London everyday to sit in an office playing with servers that were located 30 miles closer to home!.

Business going well,approx 50 privates a week mid season and a few commercial contracts all year round so no time for hobbies at the moment.!

Looking for ideas and marketing on ways to grow the business as taking staff on full time end of February and have not needed to advertise before as word of mouth has carried me this far.

Thanks for your time.

Steve
01-28-2011, 03:41 AM
Hi Simon,

Welcome to our forum!

You got a good amount of customers already! Could you scale up your word of mouth efforts to attract even more?

jrod14
01-28-2011, 11:08 PM
Welcome to our forum!

What do you charge for an acre of mowing? Have you compared the time and profits for large properties vs the smaller ones?

********************************************************************************

i usually charge $100 to $130 an acre for residential and between $115 to $150 for commercial. but then again i charge Commercial properties more on time than anything due to all the obstacles. for an acre residential property, it takes me by myself about 75 to 90 minutes. thats cut, edge, trim and blow. 30 to 45 min with a helper. I am trying to stay away from commercial due to lowballers but then question my bidding abilities on commercial as well. i have picked up a couple of commercial accounts but then lost them when they found someone cheaper. but, you get what you pay for and the 1 account i lost looks riduculous now! haha! i guess i just feel like your residential customers are gonna be faithful because of your quality, work ethic and professionalism. Commercial is more about saving a buck for the company. im just hoping i get some calls soon on the acre properties because i can ultimately make more money. it takes way too long to load up from these small accounts. i figure if im cutting 3 reg lawns an hour at $30 each and making $90. I can cut an acre lawn in 75 min and have less travel time. it will ultimately be good. Another good thing is....the customers with the acre properties pay on time every time. sometimes i have a hard time with some of the smaller accounts. I have been reading alot of posts on this site and i appreciate all the insights. they are really helping. its good to know that there are other lawn businesses out there that actually care about quality and customer service. How about the prices im charging? too high? too low? what are your thoughts?

Steve
01-29-2011, 05:01 AM
How about the prices im charging? too high? too low? what are your thoughts?

There are a bunch of variables that have to be taken into consideration to answer this. One of them being how competitive are you in your local area with other companies?

You also need to know your break even point and if you are making enough profit on each job. As your schedule fills up, you can experiment with raising your prices to see if the market will bear it. If it will, raise the prices for other customers and if they leave, fill them with higher paying customers.

jrod14
01-29-2011, 02:10 PM
There are a bunch of variables that have to be taken into consideration to answer this. One of them being how competitive are you in your local area with other companies?

You also need to know your break even point and if you are making enough profit on each job. As your schedule fills up, you can experiment with raising your prices to see if the market will bear it. If it will, raise the prices for other customers and if they leave, fill them with higher paying customers.

I have called several other companies and asked them what they charge for an acre of mowing. most said they have to see it and some have said $75 to $100. Usually, the businesses charging $75 are using riding lawn mowers. It takes them longer than myself using zero turns. I have offered free weed control also as an incentive on gaining clients. I really dont have much over head so i am making money. I guess im just answering my own questions here! ahha! I have used the price estimator on this site and its been pretty much right on with my estimates. I recently put in a bid on a 10 acre apt complex. its actually about 6 to 7 acres of mowing. i estimated this bid on time. i used the estimation calculator for 6 hours with 4 total workers. it came out to $1253.57 so thats what i sent for the bid as bi weekly and $1034.00 as a weekly bid. Before i used the estimation calc, i was only $5 to $10 off which gave me some confidence. That is an awesome tool and recommend it to all lawn businesses out there. Thanks for your help Steve...Im gonna experiment with the price raising on the smaller accounts this spring. I guess now would be a good time to send a notice in the mail about it! Thanks again!

Jacob Rodriguez

Rich
01-30-2011, 12:33 AM
Hello everyone my name is Rich. I don't have my business yet but im hoping to have it up and running by the summer. I live in New Mexico in a small town called Rio Rancho. The town is growing fast and i hope people will need my services. The climate is very dry so I think ill get more jobs spreading gravel and clearing weeds than anything else will see I guess. Anyways wish me luck!!!:cool:

Steve
01-30-2011, 02:30 AM
Welcome Rich!

You must live in a very pretty area. I looked up some pictures of it and found some really wild designed homes in your area like this one.

http://www.bartprince.com/images/photos/RioRancho-015.jpg

guardacorte
01-30-2011, 08:35 AM
Hi Simon,

Welcome to our forum!

You got a good amount of customers already! Could you scale up your word of mouth efforts to attract even more?

Thanks very much.

I don't think word of mouth will ever stop. Have decided to blitz a local retirement area with leaflets and have bought a freephone number to help entice them in. Surprisingly its not to bad price wise....for UK , 1000 full A5 colour leaflets, designed and printed for 120.00 and the freephone number was 15.00 setup and 10.00 monthly + whatever fees I incur receiving calls to landline or mobile. Pre season I am hoping to increase lawn care by at least 15%, but we will see.

kdvandco
02-01-2011, 02:07 PM
Whats up every one glad to see your all still doing good. I myself have been doing great. this year my busines roughly doubled from 9 customers to about 17. this year I also purchased my first Zero turn. A Gravely 34z with only 185 hours on it.. paid 2k cash for it. I am now selling my Cub Cadet 46 inch cut, actually raffling it off this Super Bowl! Any ways Ive been meaning to post more pics And will when i have time.


as for my business, nothing pays off like doing the best you can. use your stick edger everywhere you can, blow everything aways and take pride in your work, the neighbors ARE watching you! I have found simple flyers to work the best. Ill upload copies of mine also


I have one thats pretty detailed and in color and 3 or 4 that are just black and white print. I take every chance I get to pass out flyers and business cards. And talk about what I do. Each year I start earlier and grow bigger. I am turning down big jobs and concentrating on residential yards as I can work them alone. Any how just wanted to say hi to everyone and Say how happy I am to finally get a zero.. I could have bought one along time ago, but wanted it to come from mow money! And it finally did! Next.... New truck.. I love my 88 Primered Ford but doesnt look to cool infront of them fancy houses!

nadman
02-02-2011, 03:20 AM
My son is really the one starting out...I had a landscape /chimney company from 1980 to 1999...I just joined to keep up to date.. Great place to be...i wish there was somethig like this when i first started out !!!

Steve
02-02-2011, 07:54 AM
Welcome to our forum nadman!

How has it been for you helping your son get into the business after you had been in it for many years?

Do any business lessons from your time of operation stand out that you could share with us?

joel_grassman
02-02-2011, 09:32 PM
Hey my name is Joel Howes, I'm from Clinton Ontario Canada. I've been in business since 1995, started at the age of 17 right out of high school. I haven't really been all that aggressive at growing my business, always just let work come to me. I'm at the point now that i have a full time employee, and i have him working three days a week in the summer doing grass routes. Thank you gopher for making this easier! Then two days a week we go together on grass routes. The days he's by himself allows me to trim shrubs, hedges, flower bed maintenance, and whatever needs to be caught up on. Spring and fall cleanups we end up working together quite a bit. I'm starting to think about getting another employee to help alleviate the work load.
Equipment: 2000 Dodge 1 ton Cummins diesel with dump box
1993 Chev half ton
ExMark Navigator, and Lazer Z HP with QDS
Steiner 230 with 60" deck, rotary sweeper, bucket, core aerator
16' custom built trailer
Gravely walk behind sweeper, Ariens 32" snow blower
Echo blowers, wackers, hedge trimmers,
Stihl with wacker, sweeper, and hedge clipper attachments
Husqavarna chain saw
I'm always looking for ways to improve and be more efficient, suggestions are always welcome. My wife helps out in the office work. She came accross Gopher last winter and thought it would help out. We used it last season for the first time and i gotta say i love it and couldn't do without it! My next step now is to build a shop on my property, my 20' by 20' garage is not cutting it any more. That is what i'm working at planning right now, if anyone has any suggestions on shops i'm all ears.
Thats all i got for now, wife is calling.

Rich
02-02-2011, 11:03 PM
Welcome Rich!

You must live in a very pretty area. I looked up some pictures of it and found some really wild designed homes in your area like this one.

http://www.bartprince.com/images/photos/RioRancho-015.jpg

yeah Steve that house actually is not that far from where i live pretty wild. you see the land around it thats how most new houses yards are. water is a big issue here so the city pushes everyone to xeriscape there yards. Tough work but guys like me have it in there blood.

Steve
02-03-2011, 04:30 AM
the city pushes everyone to xeriscape there yards. Tough work but guys like me have it in there blood.

Are there services you could offer that work with xeriscaping? Maybe installs or maintenance?

nadman
02-03-2011, 04:37 AM
as i had mentioned, my son is starting out...but, i will be helping him...as i had to learn by trial and error..I was very lucky, in that my business was part-time...i was a produce manager for a large supermarket chain here in iowa , and had great business training. I knew about advertising, controlling labor etc....but the best business advice i ever received was from an old guy who worked for me..he told me; "remember nad..manage your business....don't let it manage you" He was right ...that is really the key to not getting burned out...The biggest thing that i have seen in my son starting out , is the same thing i did ..... he tries to get EVERY bid he has sent out...only thinking of sales and hustle...that is what business is all about..., but........ one must learn to "craft" their business...i remember many days...working at the store from 4 a.m. 'till noon, then sweeping chimneys or mowing 'till the very last rays of daylight were gone....only to get up and do it all over the next day(s)...I was getting more then burned out...and did not know how i was going to grow my business when i was already working myself to death...then it hit me...if these people are only keeping me on for price, then they really do not care if it is quality work...i prided myself on quality, and thought hey, if i raised my prices 50% and lost 50% of my customers...what would i really be out....same dollars, but more slots opened up and maybe some time for my wife and 4 little kids...While i do not advocate gouging someone....in this type of business, going with you or a competitor is the customer's choice...they already knew the kind of work i did so i let them make the choice for me...i did go up 50%.....and yup, i lost some customers....most were the ones i did not look forward to doing anyway...but after that , the ones that stayed were my real loyal customers...and that year was the first time i actually "had a life" after 5 years of running my own gig...also i made 500.00 more for the season, then i had ever any other year up to that year...and, now that my son is doing it ....many of my old customers and their kids are having him do their yards...
one thing i did when someone called me for a bid was ask them to let me be the last guy bidding....that way, the low ballers would not have my bid to shop...I also explained to the prospective customer that my bid was between them and me...that gas, insurance, equipment etc.. were all pretty much the same for all landscapers...but i was willing to give detailed bids and spend time giving them the best honest bid i could...and would hope that they would not "cheapen" the bidding process by showing my bid to a competitor and have him knock off 10.00 just so he would get the bid....many people were kinda set back by this...but i found i got a higher caliber of customers this way....even had a few call me back after they hired someone else and were not happy with them, asking if i would still honor my bid.
enough for now...
nadman

Steve
02-03-2011, 04:52 AM
.he told me; "remember nad..manage your business....don't let it manage you

Many new lawn care business owners may not understand what you mean by this. What is the difference between managing your business and having your business manage you?

The biggest thing that i have seen in my son starting out , is the same thing i did ..... he tries to get EVERY bid he has sent out...only thinking of sales and hustle..
So ultimately one of the big lessons to learn from this is that you don't want to get every bid? But instead you want to get the bids from customers that are looking for your level of service and are willing to pay for it?

Adam Harper
02-09-2011, 08:01 PM
Hello
I am currently unemployed. But I was thinking bout going out on my own and starting my own business. My dad had a lawn and landscaping business when I was younger and I helped him alot. I have a few yards I mow now for extra money. What all I need to make my business legit? Im in Indiana.

Just found this site today and I want to say is wow alot of info.

Thanks

Steve
02-10-2011, 08:09 AM
Hi Adam, you may need nothing more than some liability insurance. If you go with say Adam Harper Lawn Care and have the checks made out to you, you may not have to register the business name because you are using your name. But it never hurts to register the name with your local county court house.

What are some of your upcoming plans to promote your business now?

Adam Harper
02-10-2011, 10:16 AM
Hi Adam, you may need nothing more than some liability insurance. If you go with say Adam Harper Lawn Care and have the checks made out to you, you may not have to register the business name because you are using your name. But it never hurts to register the name with your local county court house.

What are some of your upcoming plans to promote your business now?

Steve

Going to advertise on craigslist,newspaper, try flyers etc
Going to learn more on this site its awesome

Thanks

paralawnworks
02-10-2011, 02:53 PM
28 years old from Arkansas. Starting lawn care business as a side job to pad my original salary. Not looking to take on more than 15-20 accounts. Already have three commercial and 2 residential. Just wanted to say, Hi. So anyways. About me. One wife...no girlfriends....lol....one beautiful daughter that will be three in May of this year. I will be 29 years old in a week and a half. Wife is a mortgage lender. Daughter is a domestic rugrat. Free time is spent buying and selling just about anything. Like to browse craigslist, clssifieds of any kind trying to find the next bargain. Lake house in Mountain Home, Ar is a blessed retreat for our family. Wish there was more time for it.

grasseater
02-11-2011, 11:29 AM
Hello,
I am 57 years old and live just north of New Orleans. Sorry I am just getting around to introducing myself but up until just a couple of weeks ago I was still mowin' and blowin' and in mid-December we sold our home and only had two weeks to find a place and move. Thank God we are out of that $5,000 a month house note. I have been married 38 years and have six children; three adults in their 30's and three young daughters ages 8, 6 and 3 who we adopted from China over the last 8 years. Over the last 38 years I have started several businesses which became successful. The first was a building material company which grew to 200 employees which I sold to the employess in 2000. The last was a home building company which built 44 houses in 2007 and by the end of 2008 almost broke us.

I got into the lawn care business in the spring of 2009 by accident. I own a small business park with 9 properties. I was paying my nephew, who has 4 employees and cuts 251 lawns, to maintain my properties but when the economy finally caught up with us and I started loosing tenants I had to start maintaining these properties myself due to cash flow. One day when I was edging and blowing off one of the parking lots an older gentleman stopped and asked if I would give him a price to take care of his 2 acre home near by. I went the next day with my equipment, gave him a price and did the job while I was there. Before the day was over I had done his four neighbors also. By the fall of 2009 I had 41 yards and by fall of last year I had 71 yards. Even though most are bi-weekly it is still quite a load by myself. This year I am doing some advertising so I can consolidate and cull the scttered jobs and the pain in the necks.

I do not really have any hobbies. I love to fish but all of my time is spent with my daughters or working. We are finally getting back on our feet financially. I really do love working outside. It is a great job. I have really enjoyed this site. Keep safe. It is going to be an awsome year!
Thanks

Art Vandelay
02-15-2011, 10:05 PM
B & B Lawn Beautification, been in business 2 yrs, mostly cut grass, but do some light landscape and tree work. Have roughly 60 mowing accts, all residential, do most of the work myself but I'll hire a helper thru the spring. I'd like to pick up some business accts and hire somebody full-time.

Steve
02-16-2011, 12:20 PM
. Over the last 38 years I have started several businesses which became successful. The first was a building material company which grew to 200 employees which I sold to the employess in 2000. The last was a home building company which built 44 houses in 2007 and by the end of 2008 almost broke us.

Over those years and with all your experience, what business lessons do you feel most stand out that you could pass on to others just getting started? Any specific do's or dont's that you think new business owners should know?

Rich
02-17-2011, 02:57 PM
Just registered my business with the Tax and Revenue Department does this mean i can start doing business?

grasseater
02-17-2011, 07:52 PM
Over those years and with all your experience, what business lessons do you feel most stand out that you could pass on to others just getting started? Any specific do's or dont's that you think new business owners should know?

Steve,
You know that advice is worth what you pay for it, not much. Most knowledge I have acquired has been industry specific-construction and real estate development. When I have had the chance to mentor younger businessmen that have met with me the advice has been very basic.

Have a written business plan. A real plan!
1. What is your goal. To grow a business or just get by until something comes along?
2. What is your purpose? This is a little different that a goal.
3. Have very specific benchmarks. Number of clients, gross sales, net profits, and in what time frame.
4. What point will make you successful? How will you keep yourself motivated after that point?

This is basic advice you will get from most business managers.

The biggest things I have learned from mistakes I made is to [B]collect you money[B]. In 1988 I had a building material company doing $15 million a year in sales and that year we wrote off $1.2 million in bad debt. It almost broke us and it took 6 years to become viable again. In 2005 when Katrina hit a closet remodeling company I had wrote off $90,000.00 from customers that disappered. Collect your money!

Just because financing is available does not mean you need to use it. Credit card companies and banks are in the business of selling debt. That is how they make money. Just because you have a credit card you do not need to use it. Just because a bank is willing to finance a development does not mean it is the best thing to do. Just because a bank is willing to finance 15 houses does not mean it is the right thing to do. Just because a bank is willing to lend you money for new equipment and expansion does not mean you should.

The best thing I have learned is to listen. Just because you are soaring high does not mean you(me) know everything. You do not. The worst habit I had was to be preparing a response to someone before they were near finished speaking. You do not need to heed all advice but if you are taking the time to talk with someone at least hear them. In 2000 we started an insulation contracting business. My outside sales team was setting the world on fire. The owner of the largest insulation company in the area stopped by one day for a talk. He told me our prices were too low. I had finished deciding what I was going to say long before he finished talking. Months later when we finished really crunching the numbers, he had been right. Listening to him could have made us alot more money. Listening is a skill.

This site is a tremendous source of education. I thought anyone could cut grass. Right? I did not know anything about thatching, pruning, fertilizing, lawn equipment, etc. I would not have thought of getting realtor emails from magazines if I had not read it on this site. I have asked my 27 year old nephew for business advice many times in the last two years, and I listen. I thought he was a kid who would out grow mowing lawns. He is one of the most successful people I know. Who knew.

Recently I read someone's comments on here about finally finding out he had ADD. I really believe I have ADD also and this business is perfect. You can probably tell by the way I write. Anyway if any of this interest you let me know.

Thanks.

Steve
02-18-2011, 02:48 PM
Just registered my business with the Tax and Revenue Department does this mean i can start doing business?
Hi Rich, that and insurance and you should be all set to go.



The biggest things I have learned from mistakes I made is to collect you money.

What is your view on the best ways to set things up to do this? How do you feel you did this before and how would you do it now?

Recently I read someone's comments on here about finally finding out he had ADD. I really believe I have ADD also and this business is perfect.

What is your view on how that has effected your business and what should people who have a.d.d. do to combat it when it comes to business?

ElGringoLawn
02-19-2011, 03:33 AM
I am only just starting out in the business , here in California:cool::cool:

Growing Green
02-19-2011, 09:53 AM
I am only just starting out in the business , here in California:cool::cool:

Perfect slogan for you as my wife wanted me to use this one for our business, "Let this gringo make your green grow". The name of my company is Growing Green so it was perfect for us.

Matt

ElGringoLawn
02-20-2011, 11:55 PM
I like it that is a good one .

on my card it says , Don't be coy call the white boy! :D

Steve
02-21-2011, 06:26 PM
Welcome ElGringo,

What was your inspiration for your business name and motto?

How do you feel it has been working out for you thus far?

Yard Architect
02-21-2011, 11:25 PM
It's a funny story how I got the name for my business. My Dad has always been nit-picky....well.....anal about his lawn & tools & shop my whole life. He measured the height of the grass, he moved rocks & fountains around a number of times before he was satisfied. He would get up in the middle of the night to make sure he put his tools back where they belong. Heck! He even waxed his lawnmower! When I would bring friends over from college, I would tease him & call him "The Yard Architect"! He took it in stride....till now that I have named my business after him. Now he's busting with pride! My wife says that I'm a chip off the old block. Guess I am a lot more detailed than most landscapers. I research online & at the home improvement stores and on this forum for the best way to service my customers and just the right type of plants they want, etc. I spend a lot of time washing my truck & tools. Throwing my tools on the ground is reason to fire a worker. I have to have everything organized. If I have to go back to someone's house to get my equipment or tools that a worker left behind, it comes out of his pay. I go back over each lawn I do at least 3 times before we leave. We do a lot of followup to make sure customers are pleased & give us feedback. I guess I am pretty nit-picky. . . just like Dear Old Dad!

grasseater
02-22-2011, 10:23 AM
Hi Rich, that and insurance and you should be all set to go.





What is your view on the best ways to set things up to do this? How do you feel you did this before and how would you do it now?



What is your view on how that has effected your business and what should people who have a.d.d. do to combat it when it comes to business?

Steve,

There is no real secret to collecting money. You have to be diligent and persistent. First, you really need a decent accounting system. I use Gopher Lawn Care Software (http://www.gophersoftware.com). I print invoices every night for the jobs scheduled the next day. If the owner is home, I collect. If not I leave the invoice. My wife looks through the schedule several days in advance and lets me know if a customer has not paid. She will call them to see if they wre unhappy with the service, just a polite opening. She will then ask that they have a check on site for the open balance and the new service when I arrive. If the check is not there I ride. I have not lost any customers yet but I am sure I will. When we had larger operations I learned that the person interacting with the customer in the field is not the best person to collect the money. I had credit managers and never asked the salesman to collect. Good cop, bad cop. When you are on a job trying to make the customer happy you are not in the best position to collect, the wife calling for money is much better. Quick story. A young man that had worked for me for 25 years as a truck driver started a lawn care company. Last fall he was in a head-on automobile wreck. The other driver was at fault and she was killed. His knee and ankle were shattered. In the hospital he asked me to contact his customers-about 40-and let them know what happened and asked if I could help cover for him so he would not lose his customers. I sad OK, where was his list of customers. He had no decent records. I had to ride around several neighborhoods with one of his helpers pointing out houses. I had to knock on doors, tell them the situation, tell them I would perform the same services for the same price until Floyd returned in the spring. I had to then ask what he did, when and how much. I asked them if they owed him money. Most said yes but they did not know the amount but paid something. We do not know how much money he did not collect. Decent records and accounting are important.

I do not know officialy that I have ADD. I have three adult children and three young children. One of my older children was diagnosed with add so we learned alot about it. I have read much about it because I think my six year old also has it. We have some testing scheduled. Or I have a compulsive/obsessive disorder, whatever. The problems were typical. I would start a business or project and about the time it took off I would get antsy and start something else. We were starting a house a week, large detailed house. I had a blast starting houses but I let too many drag on because finishing big houses is a pain. Fortunately I had hired good people that ket me from crashing and burning. The years I had to sit at a desk for ten hours a day were misery. I would have ten stacks on my desk to review and never get the the bottom of any. Drove my office manager nuts.

I have developed some habits that help.

1. I work from a detailed daily schedule. Because I have my entire day scheduled in 30 minute increments I have a much easier time not going off on tangents.

2. I have a completely clutter free desk. I only get out what I am going to work on.

3. I like to read but of course I read a number of books at a time. I review alot of documents for some mediation work I do involving some Katrina lawsuits. I use a Kindle. This has been a great device. Everything is always there when I need it. It has been an amazing tool.

4. I ahve a set bedtime. I use to stay up half the night bouncing from small project to the next and wake up exhausted. This has been an amazing change.

5. Gave up golf. I would go to the practice range vevery day but by the sixth hole of every round I add enough.

These all probably sound dumb but what I have had to do is manage my life.

Lawn care has been great. You move around all day long. Jobs are finished in short time. You are outdoors all day. When you finish you see what you have done. The money is really good.

What is your weather like? It has been in the mid-70's everyday for weeks and all of my customers think it is spring. We are getting really busy.

ElGringoLawn
02-22-2011, 05:28 PM
It is my way of trying to take back jobs in America. I just figured more and more Americans would rather hire an American , just had to figure out a way without offending anyone to much to let it be known that I am a true US born citizen and I am here to do there lawns by god, lol. Actually , I really don't care if it offends anyone. They don't care if we are offended and it is tough when they been undercharging and people are expecting such low ball prices. So anyhow , won't go on about all this or we will be here for all day. Just want it known I am an American and I am taking back whatever I can and hopefully it will work out.:)

Steve
02-23-2011, 02:49 PM
My Dad has always been nit-picky....well.....anal about his lawn & tools & shop my whole life.

I'd love to see some pictures of your shop or trailer! I bet things are kept neat!

I learned that the person interacting with the customer in the field is not the best person to collect the money. I had credit managers and never asked the salesman to collect. Good cop, bad cop. When you are on a job trying to make the customer happy you are not in the best position to collect, the wife calling for money is much better

That is genius! So true! It's amazing how this just never comes up on the forum but now that you brought it to light, I hope others consider this as well!

cruzgardening
02-25-2011, 01:46 AM
Hello everyone my name is Rich. I don't have my business yet but im hoping to have it up and running by the summer. I live in New Mexico in a small town called Rio Rancho. The town is growing fast and i hope people will need my services. The climate is very dry so I think ill get more jobs spreading gravel and clearing weeds than anything else will see I guess. Anyways wish me luck!!!:cool:

hey rich i do a lot of xeriscaping here in Souther California right now before you start your business you should start some accounts with suppliers this will be wise since by the time you start getting supplies you will know the suppliers and they might give you bigger deals, thats what i did and it worked great!

try talking to rock suppliers and a place that sells mulch and gravel so you can get good deals when you start getting jobs and you can basically buy the gravel cheap and give it to the client at retail price and still make a profit :)

LawnMoore
02-25-2011, 08:03 PM
twst !@# twst

Guys, be sure to join your states directory "social group"!

Rich
02-25-2011, 11:36 PM
hey rich i do a lot of xeriscaping here in Souther California right now before you start your business you should start some accounts with suppliers this will be wise since by the time you start getting supplies you will know the suppliers and they might give you bigger deals, thats what i did and it worked great!

try talking to rock suppliers and a place that sells mulch and gravel so you can get good deals when you start getting jobs and you can basically buy the gravel cheap and give it to the client at retail price and still make a profit :)

so cruz do you mean kinda go around to the suppliers and just kinda let them know i have a landscaping company and ask them what kinda deals that they can give me if i buy from them. thanks for the advise sounds like a plan. Hows it going in California is business picking up? what kind of marketing do you feel works best?

cruzgardening
02-26-2011, 01:14 AM
twst !@# twst

Guys, be sure to join your states directory "social group"!

i joined already :) thanks for creating it!

cruzgardening
02-26-2011, 01:27 AM
so cruz do you mean kinda go around to the suppliers and just kinda let them know i have a landscaping company and ask them what kinda deals that they can give me if i buy from them. thanks for the advise sounds like a plan. Hows it going in California is business picking up? what kind of marketing do you feel works best?

what i did when i knew i was going to get into the business, and i am still doing this, i would look around my area and search what landscape suppliers where around, there are 4 of them in my area. I would call them and ask them this simple question. "If i created an account with you what type of discount would you offer me". they usually ask you simple questions such as how long you been in business and other questions like taht i would lie and say i was in business for a few years already and i was looking for a supplier closer to me. They usually want your business so they either start you at about 10-15% discount but if you are lucky youll find bigger discounts. if they say they don't give you a discount unless you are a licensed contractor and you don't ahve a license don't bother with them they lose your business.
do this for everything else not only rocks and gravel i do it for everything and i usually get at least 10-15% off my purchases, Nurseries love us because we buy hundreds to thousands of dollars every couple of months and they kick in with bigger discounts.

California warms up sooner than most places so it almost never dies off specially Southern California, so business is great here, right now the rain keeps me at my house but this is the time i invest in learning and connecting with my clients.

marketing i use craigslist! which is where i get lots of calls from every week, Flyers are also great but i need to walk a lot, i pass out flyers around the area i service after i am done usually 2-3 hrs daily and a couple of free websites to build my Internet presence before i have the money to buy a decent site haha..

sorry i made it so long hope its useful :)

Brighter Look
02-26-2011, 06:06 AM
Hello everyone from Pa.
I started my business about 5-6 years ago. I was doing a lot. Pressure washing, Lawn care, Snow removal, and furniture moving. Without reliable help (i.e. call outs or dont answer cell phones) all of that became VERY stressful. So I've decided for 2011 to limit my services to lawn maintenence and snow removal. Looking forward to gaining a lot of info from those that have come before me to become a better businessman. Thanks in advance.

Troy

Steve
02-27-2011, 07:41 PM
Hi Troy,

Welcome to our forum!

How did you get involved with offering such a variety of services? Was it just a matter of listening to the customer and fulfilling their needs?

As you cut back on offering those services, are you concerned you won't find the same amount of income? If that might be a problem, how will you combat that?

Liquid
02-27-2011, 11:23 PM
Hello guys my name is Donald i am 38 . What got me started is i had thought about it for a long time and thought could i get jobs ,make any money .
, Things like that i worked at a cabinet door shop for 16 years when the economy slowed .
It was either me or the bosses daughter guess who won .
I got a job at pizza hut delivering part time then went full time mt mower was shot .
I told my boss she said i could start with the pizza hut yard told the wife if i could make enough to buy a new lawn mower would be happy got another yard and another i didnt even make business cards didn't think i would get much work . I dont have a lto of yards but i ordered cards from vista print the other day looking into the door hangers , here all the posts and calculators i will take any advice i found the videos on you tube Im in lawn care heaven here . this place is exactly what i have been looking for

Brighter Look
02-28-2011, 07:38 AM
Well, a lot of times people would see me my truck and ask what all do I do. The idea of making a fast dollar excited me as well. But as time went on I couldnt keep up with the demand or the expectations of my customers. So I scaled back the services that were the most labor intensive. I own now a 97 F250 a scag walk behind, two push mowers, 2-8050 red max leaf blowers and red max weed wacker. As far the snow side of things right now its two 24" cut snowblowers. Trying to save for a meyers setup but a challenging with a full time job and family if you what I mean. Not concerned with the loss of income. I just want to excel as much as I can in these two areas. I believe I was spreading myself too THIN. Thanks for the reply

Troy

Turfsurfers
02-28-2011, 08:44 AM
[B]Hi all from TurfSurfers Lawncare & Lanscaping .
Few years ago had 30+ customers under my name , hurt my back well im back ;) new enclosed trailer,exmark lazer-x well all new equipment. starting out this time with a more stand out name. Need marketing tips will check forums. This not just a job its what I like to do..... Tim

Steve
03-01-2011, 04:48 PM
The idea of making a fast dollar excited me as well. But as time went on I couldnt keep up with the demand or the expectations of my customers. So I scaled back the services that were the most labor intensive.

What did you scale back on? I'd love to hear more on how the customers expectations had increased over time and how that effected you.

Also what services did you get more into?

frivera02
03-10-2011, 12:19 PM
Hi I'm Frank from DreamScape Lawn Care,

I just started my first season of lawn service...This site has been very helpfull and will always be open for suggestions..Thanks again and wish all of you a productive year :D....

GreenBeast
03-20-2011, 09:18 PM
Hello all, been away from the site for far to long. I thought I would reintroduce myself and, get back to the swing of things. Looking very forward to reading all the great information this site has to offer. See ya's around!

Steve
03-22-2011, 05:53 AM
Oh that business card looks great!

What kind of changes have been going on since the last time you have been on? What business lessons do you feel you have learned or how have you grown?

robert24
03-23-2011, 11:52 AM
Hi to everyone on the forum ...

My name is Robert and I'm just starting my lawn care business in Illinois
i have always been interested in owning my own lawn care business but never really had the time to get started. After working for several years at a state funded facility the state decided they were no longer going to fund our facility and began implementing deep cuts thus, kick starting what i hope to be a long and successful buisness for me and my family. this is one of the better and most informative sites online and i'm glad i found you guys. thanks to steve and all the forum members i have gained a ton of knowledge since finding this forum.

Steve
03-24-2011, 04:16 PM
Hi Robert,

Welcome to our forum!

What are some of your plans now that you are getting your business up and running?

LuckyImage
03-24-2011, 06:10 PM
I own a small lawn care company in Georgia. I've been in business officially since last year, but have been cutting lawns for quite some time. I'm looking to expand and learn a lot, and this site is very informative. I look forward to the advice and knowledge to gain from here. I am currently running a one man gig with a 12 foot trailer with landscape box. I have a Toro 42" zero turn, Stihl Br600 backpack blower, Stihl commercial weedeater, a 22" murray pushmower, and of course your normal hand tools. I currently have 7 full time accounts that I was able to roll over from last year, but I'm looking to add a good bit to that this year I hope. I can handle somewhere around 25-30 and am looking for some ideas to help me get there. Any input would be helpful.

grasseater
03-25-2011, 02:22 PM
I own a small lawn care company in Georgia. I've been in business officially since last year, but have been cutting lawns for quite some time. I'm looking to expand and learn a lot, and this site is very informative. I look forward to the advice and knowledge to gain from here. I am currently running a one man gig with a 12 foot trailer with landscape box. I have a Toro 42" zero turn, Stihl Br600 backpack blower, Stihl commercial weedeater, a 22" murray pushmower, and of course your normal hand tools. I currently have 7 full time accounts that I was able to roll over from last year, but I'm looking to add a good bit to that this year I hope. I can handle somewhere around 25-30 and am looking for some ideas to help me get there. Any input would be helpful.

I have only been doing this a couple of years so I am no expert. Last year we ended the season with about 70 regular customers. I wanted to get a few new customers and exchange some bad customers this year. I would never have believed postcard would work. I used print shop and designed a postcard and used blank sheets of postcard stock from an office supply store to print my own post cards on a laser printer. My wife mailed postcards to 78 homes in one subdivision the last week of February and I immediately got 6 new customers plus several garden jobs. Last week she mailed 100 cards in another upscale subdivision and I have gotten 4 new customers. I have had more calls than that but of course some owners have had cheaper prices from budget cutters. I figure the cards are costing us about 36 cents to make and mail. We get the address and names from our local property tax assessors web site. I have also made a postcard that I send to any realtor I see with a sign up on a house.

Steve
03-26-2011, 08:19 AM
That is fantastic! Can you imagine how many more customers you would get if you created seasonal postcards that you mailed out at different times of the year?

grasseater
03-27-2011, 08:38 AM
That is fantastic! Can you imagine how many more customers you would get if you created seasonal postcards that you mailed out at different times of the year?

I am with you. We are working on some designs now for each season and I will have them printed professionaly. Christmas decoration installation and removal. Fall clean up. Vegetable garden installation. I am getting ready to take the test for a Louisiana horticultural license because we are getting so many calls for large landscape jobs. Any other ideas?

Steve
03-27-2011, 09:00 AM
I think you are on top of things. As you implement all this marketing, I think you will find yourself busier and busier!

LuckyImage
03-27-2011, 04:42 PM
I have only been doing this a couple of years so I am no expert. Last year we ended the season with about 70 regular customers. I wanted to get a few new customers and exchange some bad customers this year. I would never have believed postcard would work. I used print shop and designed a postcard and used blank sheets of postcard stock from an office supply store to print my own post cards on a laser printer. My wife mailed postcards to 78 homes in one subdivision the last week of February and I immediately got 6 new customers plus several garden jobs. Last week she mailed 100 cards in another upscale subdivision and I have gotten 4 new customers. I have had more calls than that but of course some owners have had cheaper prices from budget cutters. I figure the cards are costing us about 36 cents to make and mail. We get the address and names from our local property tax assessors web site. I have also made a postcard that I send to any realtor I see with a sign up on a house.

Great Advice...I'm going to give that a trial run in a few subdivisions around here and see how it turns out for me. Local tax assessors website??? Im not positive how to find that but I can give it my best shot! Also, hopefully if I try it with some Realtors it might help me, because I have been completely unsuccessful with them.

LuckyImage
03-27-2011, 04:50 PM
I found the website for the Tax Assessor in my home town. I never knew that type of info was available online. Thank you for bringing it to my attention, I am definitely going to use it to my advantage over the next few weeks.

jerryanderson1
04-10-2011, 09:07 PM
Actually, I am a student in a Lawnscape Management curriculum at Southwest Tennessee Community College.

We are in a Business course and I had to make a presentation on How to get customer for a small lawn service.

I have found your books and your forum services invaluable. As my son and I develop our business, I will be coming back to check out your software.

I am a retiring college professor who has taught engineering for 39 years and am really looking forward to working with my son on his new endeavor.

Thanks for all of the advice.

PhivestarLawnCare
04-11-2011, 01:13 AM
ok so i seen the say hello figure i would use it and introduce my self. My name is Brad. I own PhiveStar Lawn Care in corvallis Oregon.. What got me started in the lawn care business was i have been mowing lawns since i was about 12 years old.So i decided since i love doing lawn care why not make a buisness of it..Like Steve says if you dont start your buisiness this year. you will be at least one year older when you do. i believe that lol. Any way i wanted to introduce my self to the forum and say my hello to you all.

Steve
04-11-2011, 12:53 PM
Welcome to our forum Brad!

resq31
04-25-2011, 01:46 PM
Hello, I own a small business in PA. This is our first 'official year' for lawn care. Do winter time snow removal / plowing also. Just starting out and trying to keep it simple with some spring clean up, mulching, mowing. Work with a company who provides the lawn chemical programs for fertilizaiton and weed control. Very very slow start to gaining customer base. I am trying to stay true and now 'low ball' the industry. I have been lurking around this forum for some time, I am absolutely impressed and thank full for the subjects and the in depth detail on the forums. Looking forward to learning more, gaining knowledge and becoming well established.

Steve
04-26-2011, 09:35 AM
Welcome to our forum!

What kind of issues do you feel the forum has helped you with the most and what other topics are you looking to expand your knowledge on?

slboas
04-27-2011, 06:52 PM
I am helping my teenage son get a summer business started. This has been a great resource for flier ideas to help him. Now we will be back to check out how to do estimates and I am sure he will be on here to chat with others about questions he will run into. He has already been maintaining mowers for a few years and taking care of a few yards, but now he is getting serious.


Thanks and we will spread the word!:D

Steve
04-28-2011, 11:10 AM
Welcome to our forum!

I look forwards to hearing your update!

mow that grass
05-02-2011, 08:37 AM
i would like to say hello i am just starting out in the lawn biz and have found that there is a wealth of info on this forum. thank you all for the advise and i look forward to learning from you as hopefully you from me. my company is based in florida and i am excited to learn a new biz. i currently own my own painting company and looking to expand my income thru this new biz. i just started a web page so f anyone has any ideas please let me know. thanks and God bless you and your company
chris

resq31
05-04-2011, 11:02 AM
It has helped out with getting ideas for initial advertising as far as flyers and templates with different ideas. And some of the most helpful would be the encouragement I have gained from hearing how being diligent and staying at it does pay off. It helps what now seems to be discouraging at times and finding out others went thru the same and the hard worked payed off.

Some ideas of not just offering lawn care and mulching, taking initiative to specialize in certain areas. .... just gaining alot of good solid ideas from very seasoned guys on here is helping me vision the endless possibilities.

Ultimation
05-07-2011, 02:47 PM
Hello everyone! I have been using the forum/blog for a few weeks, and I thought I'd go ahead and say hi.

I just recently found myself out of work in banking right before they closed the branch I worked at down. Fortunately, I sort of saw this coming and was prepared to start mowing lawns on the side anyway. With the full-time job gone, and not really being motivated to spend 8 hours a day filling out applications for jobs I don't want to work anyhow, I decided to invest my time in something that could generate immediate cash.

Having a truck and a weed-eater already, I simply bought a mower and was in business. I've not had a whole lot of business just yet, I think partially because of the drought in Oklahoma - nobody's grass is growing! So far I have done several one-time jobs, and I have my first season-long customer. The equipment is about halfway paid for, so if I can get a few more customers I'll be in the black very soon.

The forum and blog has been a great help in getting me started, thanks to everyone for your participation!

Steve
05-09-2011, 05:05 PM
Welcome to our forum!

How have you liked/disliked running your own business now as compared to working at a bank?

What have you liked or disliked about it so far?

Ultimation
05-12-2011, 07:15 AM
Well, running your own business has a much greater sense of pride to it as compared to working for someone else. Even though I hardly have much of a customer base yet, I feel energized to keep getting out there and putting out my fliers.

Yesterday it was raining for quite a while, so I spent some time reading a book about starting a business, keeping my books up to date, and writing down some goals I have for the company.

As for the dislike, I suppose the only major thing I can think of would be timing. I would have liked to have had more money saved up before launching, and would totally recommend anyone considering a venture like this to have 6 months CASH saved up for living expenses. You never know what kind of "emergency" could come up, but it will be much less of an emergency if you have a plan in place.

Wolf41
05-15-2011, 10:03 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm new here. I found you through a web search. I'm looking to start up a small lawn care business. I'm not to prepared to do this full time so just plan on getting this going on the nights and weekends. My goals for this season is to be able to pay for my equipment and upgrade my vehicle and trailer. I am just starting out with a 21" mower, a backpack blower, and a trimmer.

In my free time I will surely be trolling these boards for all the tips, tricks and general info I can get to help my learning curve along.

Thank you :)

Done Rite Lawn Care
05-15-2011, 11:13 PM
Hello everyone,

I have been mowing lawns for 4 years (part-time). This year I'm looking to expand my cliental and offer more services. In hopes of someday doing it full-time.

I have started small and put together nice equipment as I have went along. Paying for it as I go so I'm not in debt. I would like to upgrade my trailer this year.

I'm glad I have found this site for its wealth of information. Giving me a lot of ideas.

I will be searching these forums a lot like Wolf41.

Thank you all!!!

dblawncare
05-16-2011, 09:12 PM
Hello! I'm not in the landscaping business (yet). I have been a full-time electrician for fifteen years now. My first job as a kid was mowing lawns for my family members (like many of us). For the first few years out of high school, I worked in small engine and lawn mower repair. That job didn't pay very well, and eventually I got accepted into our local electrical apprenticeship. Being an electrician was, and still is, a great way to make a good living working for someone else. I've always liked mowing and working with power equipment, but always thought I couldn't make a living at it. It never occurred to me to work for myself.

Now it's fifteen years later, and I am much more open-minded than I used to be (I'm 38 now). I live in a small town where I have a 30'x40' shed and 1-acre lot. My wife and I have tried to enjoy landscaping as a hobby, but that only goes so far. In recent years I have aquired a Lawnboy walk-behind mower, a 50" Toro residential ZTR mower, a White walk-behind with a bagger, a Stihl weed trimmer, a Bobcat CT230 tractor with a front end loader, and a 18' car hauler trailer. I would like to start mowing part-time and eventually build up a business. The tough part would be building up the accounts while working full time as an electrician, as I wouldn't want to walk away from a $74,000 a year job prematurely. Right now I have a 2-year old and my wife has been a stay-at-home for the last 2 years. Luckily she is a farm girl who likes to mow, is willing to help me out, and will be ready to transition back to work next spring.

The equipment I have is all paid for, but I don't have money in the bank, so I need to start fairly small. The way I see it, my challenge early on will be to get customers and later, if I'm successful, transitioning from my current job to full time landscaping. I think I will have to handle expansion carefully. I will have lots of questions I hope to find answers to on this forum. Thanks for listening!

tv_3
05-17-2011, 03:41 AM
hello from mass, the rain is killing me!!!!

Godzboy
05-17-2011, 05:59 PM
My company name is Grocott's Cutting Edge and I'm in Orland, CA. I've been cutting lawns for money since Sept. '10. I'm enjoying the help I find in these forums and look forward to paying it back when I can.

Steve
05-17-2011, 08:13 PM
The equipment I have is all paid for, but I don't have money in the bank, so I need to start fairly small. The way I see it, my challenge early on will be to get customers and later, if I'm successful, transitioning from my current job to full time landscaping. I think I will have to handle expansion carefully. I will have lots of questions I hope to find answers to on this forum. Thanks for listening!

What have you been doing so far to market yourself and attract new customers?

dblawncare
05-17-2011, 10:42 PM
Nothing yet. I have moved rock and dirt for a couple of people I already know, but I have'nt done any advertising yet. My primary purpose for the equipment I have accumulated is for personal use, with the idea that I could eventually make some money with it. Now I definitely want to make some money, but I need to do more research about how much to charge, insurance, regulations, etc. before I am comfortable putting myself out there. I hope to gain knowledge on this by reading books and chatting on this forum.

tv_3
05-18-2011, 03:55 AM
well my business is doing very well.i have about 2 or 3 jobs a week now mostly mulch and clean ups i have been in business about 2 months.i have my website and i rely on Craigslist.thats it .oh and i also have 3 mowing accounts as of today..iam very happy......

billy424
06-08-2011, 07:01 PM
Hi yall,
My name is Billy. I started "Bad Dog Lawns" last winter by selling firewood. I have read a few books about the lawn service including one by Steve. While this is a part time job (3 days a week) I am actually finding enough customers to stay busy, even in this economy. I have one commericial client, so far. It is a church. I have found that no matter how dirty I get or how sore I am when I come home, that I love what I am doing. In this short time that I have been doing lawns, I have had more job satisfaction than in my full time job in years. I think that is why I am finding customers is because of my attitude. I live in rural Georgia. I went from door to door handing out fliers, however this was to not much avail. I donated a couple of months of services to different organizations and that is where my business really picked-up. It has grown mostly by word of mouth. I have also been adding a few extra services for free, just to stand out among my competition. I wished that I had started this years ago.

Steve
06-09-2011, 06:52 AM
I donated a couple of months of services to different organizations and that is where my business really picked-up.

That is fantastic! What kinds of services did you do and how did you get the most word of mouth bang for your time spent there?

Any advice for others who want to try to do this?

momower1020
06-09-2011, 07:56 AM
Hi guys I have a business in Missouri just looking for ways to expand and this site is defiantly helping.:)

Manny-MLandscape
06-13-2011, 08:52 AM
Hello Fellow Landscapers & Lawn Maintenance Peeps,

Well I must say that I'm a bit ashamed for not posting here sooner. I found Gopher about 1 plus years ago and have benefited from Steve's site tremendously, not only from the ready (free) forms and constant advise that's always posted here but from his software, I've tested it over and over again and it's always within 20 bucks of my numbers amazing. Steve thank you for a great site and solid advise.

Sincerely,

Manny Hernandez
Majestic Landscaping, Inc

Steve
06-14-2011, 10:31 AM
You're welcome Manny.

When you get the chance, get on here and offer some of your insights to others just getting started. We'd all love to hear what you have to say.

rblack77
06-14-2011, 06:11 PM
Hi, everyone I've been doing landscaping for about 13 yrs and have 34 accounts mostly residential and I'm trying to take it to the next level.I'm wanting to do more commercial accounts, banks, hospitals,apartments .. Etc. I just can't get my foot in the door and how do I get there. Thanks Southern Carolina Landscape

Manny-MLandscape
06-15-2011, 06:44 AM
Hi, everyone I've been doing landscaping for about 13 yrs and have 34 accounts mostly residential and I'm trying to take it to the next level.I'm wanting to do more commercial accounts, banks, hospitals,apartments .. Etc. I just can't get my foot in the door and how do I get there. Thanks Southern Carolina Landscape

SCL,

I found for our company that the best way to approach commercial accounts would be with persistence & lots of patience. I'll toss my two cents in and hopefully others add to the list.

1. Create your company portfolio (Pictures, letters, insurance and so on)
2. Grab a phone book or google the management companies in your area of business.
3. Go and visit the one's on your list and hand out your portfolio and ask to be put on there bidding list.
4. Make sure that each manager get's a portfolio and you get a business card.
5. Wait for a couple of weeks and either email them or call them asking if there's any properties available that you can bid on. Don't over push or sell yourself.
6. Do not I repeat do not guess on pricing (get your wheel out and measure) you'll be surprised to know that when guessing a property even though you might be close on your man hours you'll lose money on your fert, mulch etc.


There are a few other things but I found this was the most personal & cost effective for our company. The bidding process is like filing a job application and like a job application most of the time (more than not) it gets filed under TB (Trash Bin) and your forgotten. I've got management companies calling me out of the wood works and all I did was introduce my company & myself to them years ago letting them know that I'm here when they need me. Heck I've got a management company that only calls me to bail them out, we've even gone as far as walking properties with them and pointing out what we saw wrong in order to help them (managers) manage the other companies that are dropping the ball.

Steve
06-15-2011, 01:15 PM
There are a few other things but I found this was the most personal & cost effective for our company.

What else stood out as far as learning lessons went?

The bidding process is like filing a job application and like a job application most of the time (more than not) it gets filed under TB (Trash Bin) and your forgotten. I've got management companies calling me out of the wood works and all I did was introduce my company & myself to them years ago letting them know that I'm here when they need me.

A lot of times we see talk on here about submitting unsolicited lawn care bids. From your experience, do you feel it is better to not do that and instead, simply give the management company a portfolio of your company? Or do you feel it is a good idea to bid on a property even without knowing what services the management company would want?

Manny-MLandscape
06-16-2011, 03:12 PM
What else stood out as far as learning lessons went?



A lot of times we see talk on here about submitting unsolicited lawn care bids. From your experience, do you feel it is better to not do that and instead, simply give the management company a portfolio of your company? Or do you feel it is a good idea to bid on a property even without knowing what services the management company would want?

LOL ok Steve here's more

1. If your dealing with a management company never say "I Don't Know", tell them it's noted and you'll email them a reply or get back to them.

2. Get the property manager to rely on you as much as possible, my goal is to do there job for them, I have a few managers that instead of a weekly visit they go there once a month or longer to inspect the property. I manage the property and they've come to rely on me for it, so when you got a bid out they'll be the first one's telling the board members that you're the best thing since slice bread.

3. Also get to know the board members if your in a community with board members, property management companies come and go but most of the time board members stay longer and have the final say.

4. Return calls ASAP even if it's just to tell them that your busy and will call them back.

5. Give back to the community, I've budgeted 20 3-Gallon plants per year that if need be I use it, and when I bill them I let them know it's at no charge.

6. When doing a walk through, don't point out things you see wrong let them do all the talking if possible, only acknowledge what's being said and take care of it.

Ok I can go on and on here, everyone does things differently, I'm sure there's people that can argue everything I've put here. LOL

I don't waste my time giving out unsolicited bids. For me it's a tacky way of trying to generate business. With the portfolio it's all out there, saves you the time of measuring out a property to have it tossed in the trash, also what if you come in at a higher price? For me there's to much negative in doing it that way.

rblack77
06-17-2011, 10:56 AM
LOL ok Steve here's more

1. If your dealing with a management company never say "I Don't Know", tell them it's noted and you'll email them a reply or get back to them.

2. Get the property manager to rely on you as much as possible, my goal is to do there job for them, I have a few managers that instead of a weekly visit they go there once a month or longer to inspect the property. I manage the property and they've come to rely on me for it, so when you got a bid out they'll be the first one's telling the board members that you're the best thing since slice bread.

3. Also get to know the board members if your in a community with board members, property management companies come and go but most of the time board members stay longer and have the final say.

4. Return calls ASAP even if it's just to tell them that your busy and will call them back.

5. Give back to the community, I've budgeted 20 3-Gallon plants per year that if need be I use it, and when I bill them I let them know it's at no charge.

6. When doing a walk through, don't point out things you see wrong let them do all the talking if possible, only acknowledge what's being said and take care of it.

Ok I can go on and on here, everyone does things differently, I'm sure there's people that can argue everything I've put here. LOL

I don't waste my time giving out unsolicited bids. For me it's a tacky way of trying to generate business. With the portfolio it's all out there, saves you the time of measuring out a property to have it tossed in the trash, also what if you come in at a higher price? For me there's to much negative in doing it that way.

Thanks Manny & Steve! That is some great info. and I've already started on it.This is a great forum.I will keep you guys posted. Thanks,Ritchie

Steve
06-17-2011, 01:16 PM
Manny that is great insight. Thank you. I am sure that will help others operate in a better manner.

Martin
06-17-2011, 03:59 PM
Just wanted to say hi and tell you all what help you all have been in starting my lawn care business

Steve
06-20-2011, 09:15 AM
Hi Martin,

Welcome to our site!

What kinds of things have you been doing to promote your lawn care business?

TanPoppet
06-25-2011, 01:16 AM
Hi my name is Peter Dravitzki and i run Dravitzki Eco Lawncare in Stratford New Zealand. i have been in business for 4 weeks and currently have 4 clients I advertise on the local supermarket noticeboard and also walk around town and talk to people. I offer first time customers a free mow regardless of size or condition of the lawn and i also charge $30 for each lawn thereafter.With the price of petrol being so high in NZ i decided to go eco-friendly with my services so i mow with a reel mower i brought at a second hand shop in town i use grass shears for trimming a foot powered edger for the edges and a broom for the paths and driveways i offer all services other than the mowing free except the cost of materials i currently have only one regular customer because it is winter in NZ and i am looking at other services to offer.
I hope that with the help of the members on this forum and also the resources you have availiable my family and i can be financially independant within 10 years

Cheers Peter Dravitzki
Dravitzki Eco Lawncare

kpoincon
06-25-2011, 01:59 PM
Hello From Louisiana

johnsmohr111
06-29-2011, 05:48 PM
Hey everyone, I am in the infant stages of starting my own lawn service business. I am currently working on some marketing material(logo, flyers, mailers etc.) I currently have limited experience on landscape design but have been cutting lawns for my current employer(Town of Babylon) for years. I am going to focus my business on lawn maintenance and add services as I grow. Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated by all the pro's out there. Thanks John :)

Steve
06-30-2011, 11:48 AM
currently have limited experience on landscape design but have been cutting lawns for my current employer(Town of Babylon) for years.

Hi John,

Welcome to our forum!

How do you feel your experience will be helpful to you now? Do you feel you will be better able to estimate job times? Also maybe you will be able to repair your own equipment too?

Manny-MLandscape
06-30-2011, 05:52 PM
Hey everyone, I am in the infant stages of starting my own lawn service business. I am currently working on some marketing material(logo, flyers, mailers etc.) I currently have limited experience on landscape design but have been cutting lawns for my current employer(Town of Babylon) for years. I am going to focus my business on lawn maintenance and add services as I grow. Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated by all the pro's out there. Thanks John :)

John,

Congrats & Good Luck. As I read your post I noticed you mentioned that you would add services as your company grow. I for one think it's the best thing for a company to offer the "complete package", on the other hand I see where you have some companies offering Landscape Design, Irrigation Repairs, Fertilization & so fourth and not know what they're doing and getting it all wrong giving the "Lawn Service" name a black eye. My company mentions nothing of Lawn Service as it title it's offered as a service item because I've when mentioning lawn service as my main business people look at us like just another company mowing grass with limited knowledge and this ticks me off because now I've got to work twice as hard to show them we're not like the others and that we're landscape certified, Irrigation Licensed, BMP Certified & Bonded, we're currently not certified as Pest Control but do offer it through a local company (Network). We won't and don't offer a service that we're not professionally licensed or know about. My advise to you is simple do not offer a service that you know nothing about, the customer should not be your classroom, learn the differences in the ferts, plants & for goodness sake use commercial parts if your'e tinkering with someones irrigation Home Depot or Lowes isn't the place to buy this things. And when you get the urge to take that one job because you think you know how to do it, careful it just might be the one that puts a major dent in your pocket. Network yourself with other companies and share the wealth.

tstienstra79
07-01-2011, 01:17 AM
I have been working in the landscaping field from 1996-2005 I have thought many times to form a company but I am just slowly easing into it now. I am lucky to have a very computer oriented wife to help me set up my website, email, Facebook page, and design flyers. I have been gearing up for my marketing campaign focusing on hedge trimming since it is the middle of the season now. I am also looking into taking some courses at a local community college to get some more know how in the design, pest management, and fertilizer areas. I will be looking into the course offered on this site as well. This is a great site I was just browsing topics yesterday and found some good ideas.

Steve
07-01-2011, 05:10 PM
careful it just might be the one that puts a major dent in your pocket.

Early on, did you have any stories where you got in over your head with a job you weren't sure about? Or have you had to be called in by another contractor to fix a mess they made?

Manny-MLandscape
07-05-2011, 01:24 PM
Early on, did you have any stories where you got in over your head with a job you weren't sure about? Or have you had to be called in by another contractor to fix a mess they made?

Yea what happen was when I bought a landscape company out in 2008 it came with 2 Cat 287B machines so I figured I would offer grading, I know how to run the machines because of planting tree's and ripping out stuff but grading was a totally new thing but I figured how hard can it be? Well after my grading was done It failed the C/O because it wasn't within the 2" perimeter that's required, I got canned by the contractor and lost about 10 grand. So I learned not to offer something i know nothing about. Since then we've learned how to grade and have even bought a laser level.

Steve
07-06-2011, 08:40 AM
WOW now that must have been a shock to have happen. But it seems things did work out to a positive outcome and that is a good thing!

Site*Rite
08-13-2011, 10:37 AM
:D Name's JC. I own Site*Rite Maintenance Services, in Maui. I'm a one man show, and it's mostly been my part-time gig, as i have worked fairly regular assisting a General Contractor on Custom Home builds & Condo Remodels. Things change, though, and i'm heading off on my own. Ready to work for myself again.

I'm more likely to trim or remove Trees than to mow a lawn, but occassionally i'll upgrade a timer box, fix a pressure valve, or replace a sprinkler head or two. Mostly, though, i'm more on the handyman/light construction side of things.

:confused: I just had to ask you, though, Steve.....uh, lets see...you referee this site and pass out all kinds of helpful advice, make your own instructional videos & pod casts, wrote about 300 "how to" books it looks like, and even developed software for the admin side of the biz....****! When do you find time to mow lawns???? quite impressive, really.

arthur712
08-13-2011, 11:18 AM
:D Name's JC. I own Site*Rite Maintenance Services, in Maui. I'm a one man show, and it's mostly been my part-time gig, as i have worked fairly regular assisting a General Contractor on Custom Home builds & Condo Remodels. Things change, though, and i'm heading off on my own. Ready to work for myself again.

I'm more likely to trim or remove Trees than to mow a lawn, but occassionally i'll upgrade a timer box, fix a pressure valve, or replace a sprinkler head or two. Mostly, though, i'm more on the handyman/light construction side of things.

:confused: I just had to ask you, though, Steve.....uh, lets see...you referee this site and pass out all kinds of helpful advice, make your own instructional videos & pod casts, wrote about 300 "how to" books it looks like, and even developed software for the admin side of the biz....****! When do you find time to mow lawns???? quite impressive, really.

I feel that Steve is just a Fantastic Coach!

Welcome JC and Mahalo if that is what they say! LOL

greenandhome
08-18-2011, 07:31 PM
Just dropping in to say G'Day! I'm new around here. I own Green and Home Lawn Care & Property Services in Sydney Australia. Just recently gone full time with the business.. It's a little slow but we are just coming out of winter.
Check out the new site www.greenandhome.com.au
Cheers!

Bevc
08-19-2011, 06:26 AM
Welcome new forum members! Make a new post and say hello to us. Tell us a little about you and your company. What got you to take the jump and start your own business?

Hi there Steve,
Just starting out myself based in UK. I really like your site, great tips and very helpful. I took the jump because I was very fed up working for my boss in an office job, my boyfriend said, "Quit moaning and do something about it". So I advertised my skills on a jobfinding website a couple of months ago, a few weeks ago I got my first enquiry and visited my client to assess the job. I sent her a quote and she accepted. I'm returning end of August to do the job for her. If she's happy with the work she can leave feedback on the website for other potential clients (so I will do a great job! ;)

I have to stay in my office job for now until I can build up the business, which is why your website has been a great help. I needed to widen my criteria on the jobfinding website to attract more enquiries as they match your skills to the clients requirements and put you in touch if you're interested. Funny how things gather pace - my brother does hard landscaping and we have now joined forces to widen our criteria and will hopefully get some more enquiries. :)

Steve
08-19-2011, 11:56 AM
That is fantastic! Keep pushing forwards and I want to hear more updates as you go!

joeblack
09-08-2011, 12:22 AM
My name is Joe and I am in the process of starting my lawn care company. I'm finishing my bachelor's from Unversity of North Texas Spring'12 however I have always preferred to do my work outside, rather than a cubicle.

So here I am playing on photoshop and using all kinds of great ideas from this forum to draft company names and advertising material.

I'm aiming to grab my first clients by offering fall clean up services.

I look forward to getting to know the members of this forum because I will definitely be seeking advice from the lawn care 'vets' to grow and become successful.

Steve
09-08-2011, 07:22 PM
Welcome to our forum Joe!

I'd love to see some of the designs you come up with!

carolinaturfandgreens
09-09-2011, 03:47 PM
Hello my name is Jeff and I started my landscaping business beginning of 2010 after I got layed off from my job of 14 years. I had in previous years ran a small side business in residential lawn care and decided to reestablish the business full-time. I am appreciating all the advice I have read so far on this site. So far I have concentrated on residential accounts but looking to expand to commercial accounts. Looking for advice on the commercial bidding process. I want to submit a bid for lawn/landscaping maintenance for an apartment complex but actually don't even know a ballpark figure. Any advice would be appreciated.

Steve
09-10-2011, 11:22 AM
Hi Jeff,

Check out the section of how to get commercial lawn care customers (http://lawnchat.com/?cat=39), in my blog. It should give you quite a bit of information.

carolinaturfandgreens
09-11-2011, 09:25 AM
Hello, My name is Jeff and I started this business officially recently but have always done lawn and landscape maintenance on the side. I've been laid off from a job of 13 yrs and have decided to do this full time since it's been my passion anyway. I am currently working on my first apt complex bid and have no clue what to bid. My next step is to walk the property and to take some measurements. This site has been a huge help already. Anyone have some ideas for me?

Coconut
09-11-2011, 01:16 PM
I want to say hello to everyone on the forum, I run a small lawn maintenance company in SW Florida. This is not my first go-round with the business as I ran an operation up North for many years. It is by the way a different time and place, some things are the same and others are completely new. Just living and learning as I go.

We run Bobcat (48" Walk Behind), Yazoo Kees (42" ZTR) and Exmark (52" ZTR)mowers along with Shindaiwa and Echo handheld power equipment.

This is our second full year in business down here and I must say it has been pretty tough getting used to the humidity and heat. We currently use an open trailer for its ease of access.(We pull it into a garage at night fully loaded) We are planning to wrap the truck this winter and looking forward to doubling our size through marketing, advertisement and aquisition.

We currently cut approx. 55-60 residential properties per week during season and back down to about 20-25 during off season. I would like to get up to about 80- 90 residentials during season and about 45 year rounders.

I am looking forward to reading through the forum and getting caught up with the knowledge that has been passed around.

Thanks

Steve
09-12-2011, 01:38 PM
I am currently working on my first apt complex bid and have no clue what to bid. My next step is to walk the property and to take some measurements. This site has been a huge help already. Anyone have some ideas for me?

You should tell us some specifics about the property in a new post.

It is by the way a different time and place, some things are the same and others are completely new. Just living and learning as I go.

What are some of the things you had found to be the same as it was and what has stood out to you as different this time around?

ToLazyToMove
09-27-2011, 12:07 AM
I keep my blades sharp and my truck clean! I have been in the lawn care business for two years.. Just about done with this mowing season here in Georgia and now back to constuction for the winter. I use Dixie Chopper ZTR's and a 6.4 Ford Super Duty truck. I will never change that setup. My hand power tools are echo's and will be getting rid of those POS after next season when the warranty is up! Not that the warranty matters because you can't get anything fixed w/o sending it off and waiting 2 weeks. My 14' tandem axle enclosed trailer is to small, and I would suggest that anyone getting into the South East lawn care business buy nothing less than a 20' enclosed trailer 2 or 3 axle. With my DC's I am able to mow grass/weeds up to 6' tall, and have maxed out my trailer weight rating more than once with yard waste. It's also important to have enough land to build a huge compost pile!

Steve
09-28-2011, 05:22 PM
It's also important to have enough land to build a huge compost pile

Welcome to our forum!

Are you able to utilize that compost once you pile it up or is it more of just a dumping area?

ToLazyToMove
09-29-2011, 11:08 AM
I have had a compost pile on my land for over 15years with just clippings from my yard. It now has doubled in size in just two years of being in the lawn care business. I make compost tea that I spray on my lawn that really cuts down on the amount of water it needs. I also collect rain water that is used for the tea. I have been thinking about getting a 500gal tank that fits in the bed of my Super Duty with a pump and offering it to customers next year!

Steve
09-30-2011, 07:39 PM
That would be a fantastic service to offer! Keep us posted on how all that goes.

tricitylawnenforcement
10-31-2011, 04:58 PM
Hey All,

I am new to the business and am from the Tri-City area of Virginia. I am currently a Police Officer (hence the pun of LAWN enforcement) and am starting small in hopes of growing a business before I retire in 7 more years. I am gonna try to focus on the small yards that the 'big boys' dont wanna fool with. I am putting myself out there as "Lawn Care" NOT "Landscaping" as I realize there is a world of difference and alot of people call themselves landscapers when all the do is cut grass. Landscapes may come later.

I am starting out with mostly good new equipment, Sthil trimmer, echo trimmer/edger, echo backpack blower, toro push mowers, Husqvarna saw. The only questionable item is my Craftsman (husky made) YTS 3000 rider. Buts its only 2 years old and will be good for first season. I am gonna offer basic cut/trim/blow, edging, hedge trim, leaf work, small (very small) tree work, trash out, light hauling, mulching, yard cleanup, and light duty residential snow removal/salting (concrete/hard surface).

This is a great site and hope to meet some people from my area.

Mike Bresko

Clays Landscape
10-31-2011, 08:30 PM
We currently cut approx. 55-60 residential properties per week during season and back down to about 20-25 during off season. I would like to get up to about 80- 90 residentials during season and about 45 year rounders.

Thanks

You say that you have 20-25 offseason yards you do weekly. Can you tell us what exactly you do to these properties while in the off season?

Steve
10-31-2011, 08:40 PM
Welcome to our forum Mike!

OziGardenGuy
11-05-2011, 06:58 AM
Just saying "hi".

I'm doing the due diligence, costing and profit assessment that is needed before making the decision to move away from a technology-related business into something that will get me out into the fresh air, using my body and some interesting machinery to make a living, however, still needing to kiss clients' backsides (a commercial necessity).

I won't be posting much because this forum is mostly relevant to the USA. I'm based in Sydney, Australia. There are many legal and other differences between Australia and USA for garden guys, lawn maintenance specialists and all the other flavours that make up those who are called "Lawn Mower Man" but who are really so much more.

My ambition is mostly to learn from the wisdom and experience of the other esteemed members of this forum and their commercial sense and client-management skills, and Godwilling, give back some experience and ideas to help new guys when I have earned my stripes.

Cheers - OziGardenGuy.

NB - We Australians tend to refer to ourselves as "Ozzi", not "Ossy". Something seems to get lost in the translation. :D

Steve
11-07-2011, 02:58 AM
Welcome to our forum!

I'm doing the due diligence, costing and profit assessment that is needed before making the decision to move away from a technology-related business into something that will get me out into the fresh air, using my body and some interesting machinery to make a living

Are you looking to buy into an existing lawn care business or start your own from scratch?

What have you been finding so far as you do your due diligence?

fullthrottlepower
11-08-2011, 08:19 AM
Hi, thanks for having me.

Looking to expand to include snow removal. (have done it more as a result of being asked to do.)

Lots of people here have plows, not looking to do that route.

Looking to focus on driveways , walkways , steps

as well as sidewalks.

I currently have G L in the amount of 2mil aggr

In the process of business planning.

Not looking to invest thousands and thousands.

But want to focus on affluent developments. (Lazy people)

Need to get involved with centers of influence.

Your feedback is appreciated and respected.
thanks again for having me.

Ron S.

Steve
11-08-2011, 01:10 PM
Hi Ron,

Welcome to our forum!

OziGardenGuy
11-08-2011, 05:18 PM
Hi Steve

I'm planning to go it alone, and grow a business either to keep or sell off later.

Franchises here in Australia run at least $30K, and some don't have a good name among consumers, so no matter how good you are it would mean that you're already fighting an uphill battle against market perception. Besides, to me, paying someone else for a job isn't a good bet because you have to accept their way of doing things as part of the franchise contract, so freedom is about the same as working for someone else. Not my idea of fun.

The due diligence process is all about costs (assets, repairs and maintenance, probable MTBF/MTFF hours, consumables) and profits, marketing, guesstimated statistical results and the like. I'm just analysing it the same way I have done for companies I've worked for: account for all costs and time, value those accordingly, then add a 'fudge factor' to increase costs by say 20% and see if it still can work.

In the target locale, the average housing lot varies between about 500 square metres and around 1100 or so square metres (i.e. about a little less than 3/16ths of an acre and a bit over a quarter acre), with the house being about 120 - 250 square metres (roughly 1200 sq. ft - 2500 sq. ft) so most mowing is walk-behind or SP 20" and similar.

Similarly, the clientele are between lower and upper middle class with some very well off and some doing just OK. Property values range between about $600K and a few million or more (average value of a house for all of Sydney is about $630K) within a 15 km (10 mile) radius. Thus, the marketing needs to be adjusted to suit the demographic of each suburb or area, so that's just a little more work and design time in the pre-launch period.

So far, the whole idea looks to be fairly agreeable with a moderate profit and there is no need to low-ball quote to win work - just play a good and fair game.

Looking forward to learning more about the biz from the forum members and your good self. :)

Cheers - OziGardenGuy.

Steve
11-09-2011, 01:30 PM
This is really fascinating! You certainly are putting in a lot of time to make sure this new business of yours gives you the returns you want. I look forwards to your updates to hear what your next moves are. Please keep us posted. It will also be very interesting to hear how your actual figures compare to your estimated figures, once you get started!

OziGardenGuy
11-17-2011, 09:06 AM
This is really fascinating! You certainly are putting in a lot of time to make sure this new business of yours gives you the returns you want. I look forwards to your updates to hear what your next moves are. Please keep us posted. It will also be very interesting to hear how your actual figures compare to your estimated figures, once you get started!

If a new guy examines how long a machine can last, conservatively, and take into account the buy price for it and its maintenance costs and relative down-time, as well as off-season nil-production, this business is a no-brainer.

No-brains other than accurate and correct bids, excellent customer service, humility and wisdom about what is said to clients and the purpose of any conversation, commercial tenacity better than a lawyer in negotiations, precision and certain confidence in proposing add-on services... and the list goes on.

Me choosing this business as my life-style? Yes, I'm in. Recommending it to others? No. Why? The balance between commercial, marketing, legal and actual performance is a very fine balance. I'm sure many can do it, but if one part is out of check then the whole game can come unstuck and very, very quickly.

Mow'n'blow guys - go find another quickie deal. You may think you made a profit on a $20 job, but you really made a much bigger loss if you do your numbers correctly (your time, machine time, consumables, transport, etc, etc, etc). Break one window pane with a rock flung by your mower or line-cutter?in the lawn and your profits are already in the weeds for at least the next five jobs, or time in jail if you don't pay up for the damage.

Professional Lawn and Garden Men? Yes. You really are professional.

Cheers - OGG.

Steve
11-17-2011, 11:07 AM
The balance between commercial, marketing, legal and actual performance is a very fine balance.

When you look around at other businesses you see in the area, where do you feel most of the mess up with? Which part or parts of what they have to balance do you feel is most often unbalanced?

Bigron
11-18-2011, 10:33 AM
Hello, New to the landscaping buisness. Two of my nieghbors were fed up with their present lawncare service so I took the work. Presently I only have two accounts but would like to grow my buisness part time. This site has tons of info for the new guy .Thank you.

Steve
11-18-2011, 01:44 PM
Welcome to our forum!

That is great you are already up and running! Now maybe you can see if they can refer you other customers or you can find more neighbors in your area that are fed up with their current lawn care service providers.

merrifae
11-19-2011, 11:33 AM
Just wanted to drop a quick "hello" to everyone. My name is Merrifae and I started my lawn care company in 1992. I got in the business as a way to have a more flexible schedule while I was raising my small children. My husband, myself and our children now operate the business together. We have a 4 month old grandson and a 2 month old grandson that we can break in next :D

one man gang
11-20-2011, 11:39 AM
My name is Paul I've been in the LC biz 16 years the past 6 full time . True solo now with occasional help but had 2 crews for a couple of years. I've been on a few other LC forums and have been thrown out of a couple mostly due to political talk . Anyway, nice site and I will look foreward to exchanging info but I'm done talking politics .

Steve
11-21-2011, 12:27 PM
Welcome to our forum, it's great to have you hear.

kymd82
11-28-2011, 10:57 AM
Hello,

My name is Kyle. I have been in landscaping as a laborer for a few years, while doing some jobs on the side for friends. This coming spring, I will be in business for myself. I'm excited about the possibilities, but I have a lot to learn.

amanhisdog
11-29-2011, 06:58 PM
Hi we are a pet friendly property care provider in business for 5 years. We are always on the lookout for ways to improve and for pet friendly products.

Steve
11-30-2011, 07:16 AM
Welcome to our forum!

Hi we are a pet friendly property care provider in business for 5 years. We are always on the lookout for ways to improve and for pet friendly products.

This is great! How did you get the idea for this and how do you market it to stand out by offering those services?

gil500
12-15-2011, 04:06 PM
I am new to all this and not sure what I'm doing. I would appreciate any advice and/or suggestions to help me get started.

jrod14
12-15-2011, 11:30 PM
I am new to all this and not sure what I'm doing. I would appreciate any advice and/or suggestions to help me get started.

what are your questions? in a nutshell.....

1. get good equipment

2. know your prices

3. advertise

4. keep your word

5. dont be afraid to get paid for your work (very important)

Behrens lawn Service
12-19-2011, 05:30 PM
Hello fellow lawn peeps, just joined this site and have really enjoyed reading all the great advice here. I have been in the business only a short time, 3 years, and it's only a weekend thing for me right now to earn some extra cash flow. I really love what I'm doing and looking forward to getting some additional accounts this coming new year, so far I only have 15. Well, just waned to say "hello" and introduce myself, I'm sure I will have tons of questions to ask all you pro's.:D

bhowell
12-20-2011, 06:57 PM
This banner ad is for forum member kellillek.

Hi all, my name is Bruce and my lawn care co. is Bruce's lawn care. I live in Mcminnville Oregon in the awesome Northwest just south of Portland.This is my first year owning my own business and looking for new customers is causing sleepiness nights. Got all the equipment, now just cant get clientele built. Thanks for your site and look forward to the forum.

bhowell
12-20-2011, 07:10 PM
Hi all, my name is Bruce and my lawn care co. is Bruce's lawn care. I live in Mcminnville Oregon in the awesome Northwest just south of Portland.This is my first year owning my own business and looking for new customers is causing sleepiness nights. Got all the equipment, now just cant get clientele built. Thanks for your site and look forward to the forum.

Steve
12-21-2011, 11:34 AM
Got all the equipment, now just cant get clientele built.

What have you been doing to attract new clients?

CGdmacias
12-22-2011, 09:59 AM
Hello my name is Daniel, I work as a Landscape Maintenance Manager for CGreen Landscape Irrigation, out of Dallas, TX. I have been in the Green Industry for about 10 years now. The majority of my experience is in Landscape Design, & Installation, but am happy to learn more of maintenance side of it.

The reason I decided to join, was to possibly obtain some good, useful, and helpful forms/ templates for different things I am trying to implement here. More organization, better tracking, and improve overall efficiency.


Thanks for having me!

Daniel :D

gardenbarber
12-22-2011, 10:47 PM
Hi Guys

We run a lawn care and garden service business in Durban South Africa and we are always looking for new ideas on how to expand our business.

Kevin

Pat Drumm
01-10-2012, 03:26 PM
hello everyone

Steve
01-11-2012, 01:20 PM
Hi Pat,

Welcome to our forum!

What got you to start your lawn care business?

bhowell
01-11-2012, 01:31 PM
Hi Steve, thanks for the opportunity to visit with you and others in the lawn care business. You asked, "what have I been doing to get clients". I have tried the local newspaper for one month of ads and no response at all. It seems making flyers and going door to door works a little bit but I now have five customers which is not paying my bills if you know what i mean and need to build at least 30 more to make this business work.I am really stressed on what to do since I have very little money to work with for advertising. I have looked up property management places, real estate businesses and emailed if possible to get on their vendor list with little success, out of 15 five have responded that they would put me on their list but no open doors to making deals with them. I want very much for this to work and just don't know what to do to build my clients. Any suggestions would be appreciated, thx.

Steve
01-12-2012, 01:00 PM
A couple of things to consider, when you don't have money to market, use your time. When you don't have time to market, use your money.

So in this situation, going out and introducing yourself to your potential clients is the way to go.

Also, don't give up after one email. Send many. We see the more successful lawn care business owners contact potential customers 6 - 10 times to increase the response rates they are looking for.

Don't give up. Especially after reaching out to a potential customer only once.

Keep us posted.

PlumCreek Gardens
01-28-2012, 06:08 PM
Hi from PlumCreek Gardens
My name is Kevin and I've been in business now for two years and growing slowly.
I've got lots to learn and found this great site and hope it helps me grow for the future!

Steve
01-30-2012, 02:03 PM
Hi Kevin!

Welcome to our forum!

What kinds of things are you looking to improve upon in this new year?

gardenbarber
01-30-2012, 11:37 PM
Hey Steve

We have about 50 odd regular fortnightly home owner gardens that we do the garden maintenance for and that keeps a team pretty busy and more or less covers the business costs. I want to develop the next team but as you know that's like starting the business again - another bundle of tools, another vehicle - which I have just bought - and another 50 gardens.

So I'm looking to get into more large gardens - complexes, schools, corporate gardens etc. But those seem dominated by the big branded services.

I have also just bought a pressure washer to add that service to the mix. tested it out on my house roof - concrete tiles and cleaned about 80 sq feet in an hour. To be competitive I need to clean 250 sq feet an hour so have to figure out how. Hope I didn't make the wrong move there...

So I'm going through the forum looking for marketing ideas. Found lots and will have some flyers done this week for drop off next week. 7400 homes in my area (lots of other garden service teams though) Figure that should bring in about 20 gardens.

Then maybe run a special with our current gardens and get maybe 5-6 more. Regular advertising probably get's us a couple new gardens a week so maybe a month and up to a full second team.

I was going to juts buy another service that was for sale in the area but decided not to - very difficult to know if the numbers are true.

So that's my plan. Any suggestions would be helpful.

JamesB
02-02-2012, 11:53 PM
Hello. I'm James and I own and operate Bailey"s Lawn & Garden. I have been maintaining yards professionally for about 25 yrs. Before that I just cut grass, weed-eat, blow- off debris from drives and did clean-ups for about 11 years. So, I guess I have been doing yard work for most of my life.
Well, I love to just cut yards and do regular maintenance on them. But like everyone else I got rooked into doing other things. I love to hunt Whitetail deer, squirrel, and I'm going to go hunt Turkey for the first time this spring. Love to fish for bass, white perch, catfish. Love the outdoors. LOVE MY LORD and SAVIOR!
I am a full-time firefighter/EMT with the Pearl Fire Dept. where I am a captain of my engine company #3 and have been with them 26 yrs.

reghie
02-08-2012, 01:11 PM
I'm Reghie and i've been doing lawn work for other people for awhile so this year i decided to try doing it for myself it. Hard because i really do know about pricing to well but think this will be an experience to remember

avetslawncare
02-15-2012, 01:00 AM
Well Guys...I have been out of the business for years and got out of the military in September and went out and bought all my equipment....I survived the winter and now it is time to get things kicking again. I have picked up 6 accounts in the last week but still have some ways to go. I need some advice from some people, on a few different topics:

- What is the best way to get commercial accounts

- What changes should I make to my website? www.avetslawncare.com

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You.

Avets Lawn Care

Steve
02-15-2012, 11:57 AM
- What is the best way to get commercial accounts

We have a lot of discussion on the forum about this and on my blog. Check out the section on how to get commercial lawn care customers (http://lawnchat.com/?cat=39) here. There is a lot of reading in there that should help.

Also check this out for more info. How To Get Commercial Lawn Care And Snow Plow Customers (http://www.amazon.com/Commercial-Lawn-Care-Snow-Customers/dp/1468055186/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_2).

- What changes should I make to my website? www.avetslawncare.com

I like your website a lot and LOVE your logo. Fantastic work!

thegroundscrew
02-15-2012, 12:07 PM
I love your logo! Did you make it?

CHEESE2009
02-15-2012, 03:33 PM
http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m25/mad_insane/gopher-1.png

Say hello to Mr. Gopher.

avetslawncare
02-15-2012, 11:55 PM
Thanks! I didn't make it myself but had it professionally made and got all copyrights to it. I did the website myself though.

ctussey
02-18-2012, 08:56 PM
Hey gang, my name is Chris
I sarted mowing last year with my father, we were able to get 14 yards last year and we are looking to try to turn this into something good this year. We don't have a company name or anything but we do have what I think is some decent equipment (48" Commercial Snapper zero turn, a residential walk behind, and a couple weed eaters and blowers).

I would love ANY help/advice that any of you are willing to provide. We are located in Ohio. Heck I cant even come up with a good catchy name. I will reply on here and you can also email me at ctussey1@yahoo.com.

rmm7c
02-23-2012, 05:46 AM
I am the new girl on the block:) My Husband and I just purchased an existing Lanscaping business and just looking for ideas, good deals and anything that can help our business GROW! Looking forward to all the great things I see. Right now, I am looking for a pre-designed door hanger that is reasonably priced.

avetslawncare
02-23-2012, 08:49 PM
well guys, I spent 10 hours on a yard today....and working there all day tomorrow. I took some before photos and wil post the after ones too.... we should start a before & after photos thread.

Also, I picked up a church and 3 state farm insurance's and a couple of houses this week...business is picking up big time in South Carolina!

earthworks knoxville
02-25-2012, 07:43 PM
hi my name is michael.I just started EarthWorks of Knoxville lawn care.I have been in business manegment for many years.i was never really happy in an office.with all the lay offs and such i found my self running a crew for local lawn care company.I found i really injoyed the work i do.so as of this year i started my own.hate to say im second guessing myself alot lately.i honestly belive i did the right thing im just scared i will take the wrong turns startimg out.any adsvise would be valued greatly.thanks:eek:

CHEESE2009
02-26-2012, 05:22 AM
hi my name is michael.I just started EarthWorks of Knoxville lawn care.I have been in business manegment for many years.i was never really happy in an office.with all the lay offs and such i found my self running a crew for local lawn care company.I found i really injoyed the work i do.so as of this year i started my own.hate to say im second guessing myself alot lately.i honestly belive i did the right thing im just scared i will take the wrong turns startimg out.any adsvise would be valued greatly.thanks:eek:

Hey, and welcome to the forum!

I believe that we all start off lacking in some areas, but I'm sure you will manage. This business is all about trial and error, do your best to never make the same mistake 3 times, twice is fair :D

Personally, I find the labor aspect to be very easy. It's the behind the scenes work I have had to learn, and found it very difficult.

If you have any questions at all, go right ahead and start a topic, and we can do out best to give you a helping hand!

sean222007
02-26-2012, 09:45 AM
Hello everyone

My name is sean, I have been mowing lawns since 2000. im 26. i lost my job back in july, and i had an interview with a big landscaping co Belknap landscaping in nh. Now i am going for orentation in the next week or two. ill know wed. afternoon. i am going to be a crew leader and possible trainer i cant wait. i came to this sight to get tips on how to make the most use of my skill. i love mowing lawns and any tips would be awesome. im always willing to learn more.

earthworks knoxville
02-27-2012, 02:12 AM
thank you cheese2009 very much.im at that point where i have all the equipment and ready to go just dot have my first customer.i have couple promises when ,mowing starts but for now nothings happening.any advise on how to get the ball rolling guys?whats been your best marketing to start of with?

Steve
02-27-2012, 02:07 PM
Welcome to our forum.

There are a ton of discussions on here about how to attract new customers.

If you want to read for a while about it, check out this section on my blog about how to get residential lawn care customers (http://lawnchat.com/?cat=44).

That should keep you busy for a while. Let us know if you have any further questions.

Top Lawn Guy
03-04-2012, 10:27 AM
Hi, my name is Timothy Gregg. I am just getting started in the business. I am 27 and look even younger. I have purchased a huqvarna MZ5225ZT zero turn, a simple Toro self propelled, HC 150 Echo, Stihl FS 85 trimmer, new Stihl curved shaft edger, Stihl 600 blower new and a dark grey ford ranger with a 5x8 trailer. I have the truck lettered and everyone says it looks great. The truck was done about a week ago and have had no calls as it is still early, should I be worried about this and does the truck letters really help to get new customers? I am also thinking about getting some rubber band style door hangers and business cards to go door to door. I have found thru intense research of my own the equipment is the best I could do with my funds. Had a few set hacks and can't pay for advertising, so the cards and hangers by door to door is the best and most cost effective way to to reach potential customers. Any input to how to talk with these potential customers would be great. I am worried about looking unprofessional. I am also not the best people's person, lol but I want to try. The door hangers I am checking into are found at adeqsprinting.com I think this is a cool site with some fair prices.

willshome
03-04-2012, 12:11 PM
TOP LAWN GUY
rubber bands with post cards work great and are cheap, just use hole punch in the corner. I carry some with one inch ofpostertape on them and just peel the backing and stick it on, here are some links but look around postcards are cheap 500 for $20 Shipped (http://http://print.staples.com/postcards.aspx?cid=PS%3aMS%3aCP%3aCP%3aE%3a28%3a82 90%3apostcards&GP=2%2f4%2f2012+3%3a13%3a06+PM&GPS=2341822277&GNF=0&GPLSID=&rd=2) 5,000 for $99 + shipping (http://http://www.ladyprinting.com/test/postcardprinting.html)
I have used the $20 they are good and fast

jandrbusiness
03-07-2012, 03:27 PM
How is everyone here doing? I am happy we had such a mild winter this year.Hopefully we will have a great year for lawn care.

I was wondering if anybody using leads based companies such as Service Magic? I believe this is another good marketing plan to get new clients.They do all the leg work for you all you have to do is close the sale.You do have to pay more per lead but you have 40%-60% of making the lead a customer.I got several new customers from using this method.

I just wanted to toss this out there to see what people thought and give me some opinions on this matter. Well take care and hope to hear from you soon.

jt

branchoutshrub
03-07-2012, 04:39 PM
Hi, My name is Jason Brusewitz and I own a shrub trimming/pruning business. (Branching Out Shrub Trimming) I'm very excited to be heading into my third year. Spring seems to be come early this year (no more snow!!) and I've never been more excited to get working. I decided to reach out to a business that I saw on a google search to try and find out if there was a need for shrub trimming/pruning for his customers. Little did I know, I found a guy that is as excited as me for the season to start. We talked about some goals and what we could do to help each others business. He also happened to be awesome at building websites and boy did mine need a fix. My point to this is-By reaching out to a local business, you may find someone that has goals like yours and build a new relationship that can benefit everyone involved.

Steve
03-12-2012, 01:11 PM
Hi Galvin,

Welcome to our forum!

What got you interested in starting your lawn care business?

RobertRK
03-19-2012, 05:08 PM
Hey all, this is my 1st home business, and quite frankly i'm a little scared. Here's hoping i can make it work, and at my age, 54, this is not a small undertaking. I picked up 2 Dixon ZTR's real cheap along with a Honda self propelled lawn mower, just need a good trimmer now and i'm all set.

Steve
03-20-2012, 12:47 PM
Hi Robert,

Welcome to our forum!

What about this new endeavor has got you scared and what are you doing about dealing with those issues?

aldc
03-20-2012, 04:00 PM
Hello I'm new to the website, 2012 will be our second year in business and I just want to take a moment and thank everyone who post helpful documents and information on here. My wife and I started our own Landscape Design Build company and also do lawn service and being part of this forum has saved me a lot of time with all your help. I wish I would have found it last year, but this year is more then a blessing.

P.S. If anyone has a question when starting a business please feel free to write me as well. I made some simple mistakes and choices that I can help you with.



Thanks! & May your God bless you!

Steve
03-21-2012, 01:09 PM
I made some simple mistakes and choices that I can help you with.

Welcome to our forum!

I'd love to hear more about some of those simple mistakes you made early on and how you overcame them.

mandmlawn
04-04-2012, 08:50 PM
Sure am glad that I found this site. I am looking into the lawn care business here is South carolina. I love to cut grass and do yard work and figured since I just work first shift that I could make some extra money on the side after work. having a hard time finding my first yard to cut but remain optimistic. Thanks in advance for any tips I find to help get me started.

gage2001
04-05-2012, 10:50 AM
My husband is a go getter!! His love is for landscaping!! We had 5 children and 4 of them are boys ranging from 10 months to 10 yrs old. He has been doing side jobs for as long as can remember. I have been telling him that all it takes is 1 commercial jobs and the sidework that he has now and from there he will soar!! I am taking this upon myself to get him started. I plan for the year 2013 to be our year!! My goal is set for our future. He has a relative that works for a medical building and they are accepting bids. We have never truly bid something this large, so all I am working with is a proposal from another company. I also looked up some local businesses in our area for some of the services that they offer. I believe we are low balling tremendously. The way I look at it is that it's a start. The contractor bid for a weekly lawn service 175.00 I bid 150.00. He is charging for a garbage removal 15.00 I am not charging at all. On my proposal I threw in Spring and Fall cleanup n/c. replenishing mulch beds once a yr he charged 750 I charged 650. He is spraying the mulch beds weekly for a charge of 10. I as well charged 10 for mulch bed maintence weekly. Tree and shrub pruning he charged 525 I charged 475. I would like to throw into the proposal edging of walkways and planting beds that the other con tractor did not. I am not sure what to charge??? Any suggestions? That is my final part in submitting my proposal. I am limited on time if anyone can help!! ty kindly. Wish me luck.

gage2001
04-05-2012, 10:51 AM
and how often do we need to edge??

d-nice
04-05-2012, 06:48 PM
Hello every one I'm a 24 year old single male and go by the name Darion with 2 kids. I got into some trouble with the law so my opition for work is to be self-employed/entrepreneur. Im new to the lawn care services/business and this a be my first year at it. I need alot of help I have no clue where to start!
Ill be on this site daily with questions if any one can be so kind to guide me ill really appreciate it :) Thanks!

pmurray
04-05-2012, 09:08 PM
hi im paul
thinking of doing some lawn care and found this site thought id check it out