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ToLazyToMove
04-06-2012, 12:11 AM
and how often do we need to edge??

Every other week. But one thing I have learned: Don't Low Ball! Offer same price and thow in something extra!! Just something that would only be extra labor, like keeping a rolled edge on pinestraw or keeping the mulch turned up so it has a fresh look after each visit.

What type of mowers do y'all have?

obarr31
04-06-2012, 08:40 AM
HI! my name is Brian, im from Columbus OH. I work a full time job during the day and do landscaping, lawncare at night after 5-my cut off time from the normal job. I dont have a business name yet, but am currently thinking of " After 5 lawn care" as the business name for obvious reason, though im not sure that works-what do you think.

Ive been listening to you on my iphone for close to a year now, what got me started finally in thinking of starting this business. I think lawnscaping to me is not only a good way to make a little extra funds, but to me is very meditative. I LOVE IT! lol and your honesty has lead me to be on your site, thank you for being so open on things, most I find are so quiet about lawncare one could hear a pin drop.

Why Start now, ummm! why not, why wait and keep hoping when the only thing that will happenif you dont start now is youll be another year older, im 45 I dont have much more time to wait lol.....

Well, id love some help on getting a proper and fitting name for the business and some much needed help in going professional, if you can assist-much appreciate it! im also taking your clases-great lessons, hope they keep coming and again thanx!:D

Steve
04-06-2012, 05:03 PM
Welcome to our forum!

After 5 lawn care

I love the creativity of the name. The only thing that might be bad about it is what if people only think you can mow after 5? Might that work against you getting customers? What about when it gets dark earlier?

Will you mow on the weekends?

obarr31
04-06-2012, 06:54 PM
my plan is to work after my full time job until dusk or until the job is done. I also will be working every weekend from dawn to dusk when jobs start coming. That was my thought to that people might be thinking i only work after 5, so on my web site, flyers and door hangers i put m-f 5pm til dark, sat&sun dawn to dusk to match my hopeful clients needs.

I only have a toyota corolla, with the seats down will carry most of what I need right now. Im hoping to start canvassing columbus soon with flyers and door hangers, praying to have a truck of some sort by the end of the year.

Just starting out anyone have any other ideas that might help! I only have a mower, weed wacker, and garden tools. anything else thats a must for a beginner

jandrbusiness
04-08-2012, 10:43 PM
this is joey and I do my mowing durning the day and work a couple of part time jobs at night.If you have a few customers working after 5 is good but when you start getting 5 or 6 calls a day, it becomes a little more challanging.I do agree with Steve if you are able to work the weedends would be a plus.

Well anyway I wish you all the best in your lawn care business take care

JT

OziGardenGuy
04-17-2012, 04:23 AM
Welcome to our forum!

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?

It has been a while since I logged in here as I have been busy, well, starting the business and marketing it, as well as moving house and renovating.

I want to thank you, Steve, and the other members of the forum who are so willing to share their experience and give advice. It has been very beneficial and made getting started a less onerous task.

Looking forward to seeing more of you.

Cheers - OziGardenGuy aka My Garden Guy.

Steve55
04-17-2012, 11:35 PM
Hi everyone my name is Steve I'm from Tx and I am currently working as a machinist 6 days a week 12 hr days blah anyhow here's my story my wife is currently in school she will be done with her BA in about a yr I've decided that I want start a lawn care business I plan within the next yr to get all my equipment and start doing a little on the side (NOT MUCH) for obvious reasons like the hrs but I would like to get all my equipment ready for when she graduates and finds a job and have my license and insurance all lined out I need some advice on what equipment I should start out with so that I can pay cash for and should I go ahead and get the business license and checking and start depositing money into it also need some advice on advertising

Thanks Steve55

Steve
04-18-2012, 03:32 PM
I need some advice on what equipment I should start out with so that I can pay cash for

I'd say keep it very simple at first because you don't know what kind of properties you will have or if you will even like doing it. Do you have any lawn care equipment for your home that you can start with?

and should I go ahead and get the business license
Does your area require it? If so than do it. Not all areas require a license.

and checking and start depositing money into it
If you registered a business name, you will want a checking account with that name to deposit checks.

also need some advice on advertising
There is a ton of lawn care marketing tips on here and the lawn care blog (http://www.lawnchat.com).

The basics of it is, get business cards to hand out to everyone you know and then hand out flyers in your area.

Bamanutt
05-20-2012, 02:09 AM
James James,

Orig from jasper al but in Phoenix for 10 years, had a mowing biz back in 92 but sold it & went west. Thinking of starting up in az with 18 yr old son to get him off on the right foot. Read alot on here, seems like a great group willing to help, looking forward to sharing & learning what I can, where I can...

Habber1
05-20-2012, 07:08 AM
Hi guys, started out in April 2012 have so far have 10 clients
Also have 2 small commercial properties and still growing,
Still learning lots of stuff from experienced people and use to do this
Work years ago so I have some knowledge. Got laid off so this is the
Choice that I went for being your own boss is great.

Habber1
05-20-2012, 08:29 AM
Is this a good investment for my biz
To purchase a Honda Troy built 160cc ohc 3-in 1, 21'
Lawn mower, has auto choke return easy start, advanced triaction
Cutting system, self-propelled, key start.
If this is a good Honda lawn mower please let me know
Thanks guys.

Steve
05-20-2012, 10:25 PM
Do you already have a mower you could use to get started and then scale it up as you go?

Habber1
05-21-2012, 06:26 AM
Yes I have a new Hrx217 Honda self propelled gas 21'
190cc, and a Briggs and Stratton push gas 21' 158cc
Cause getting more customers that's why I was asking
To purchase that other Honda mower.
Thanks.

cleancutlawnservice
06-06-2012, 02:10 PM
Just joined my name is chris my business is clean cut lawn service just got into it i do residential but next year breaking into the commercial industry, i use encore mowers. lol that doesnt matter im sure but an interesting fact:cool:

Steve
06-07-2012, 11:49 AM
Welcome to our forum! It's great to have you here!

tmla89
06-08-2012, 02:51 AM
Hi guys. My name is Timmy Mcquillin Ive been in the mowing business for 4 years on my own. got on the site for the software and seen the forum figured may learn a few things. must say the fustration of reading how some people on here have been out bid for $12 is a lil scary lol I only thought it was bad here anyway here to learn and contribute as much as possible.

bobell
06-15-2012, 10:54 PM
Hi, I'm Bob. This will be my fourth season in the lawn care business. I have a full-time office job, so I don't take on many clients. Honestly, I do it because I love to be outside - and even more than that, I love being paid to exercise. :)

Also, you really can't beat the instant gratification of a freshly-cut lawn.

I'm a one-man operation most of the time. If I encounter a rainy week and need to play catch-up, I will bring on a helper. My equipment is pretty basic - just a couple of non-commercial-grade push mowers, a trimmer, and a blower. It does what I need it to do, and because all of my lawns are residential (and residential lawns here tend to be small and cramped), I can't see myself using a ZTR mower or a deck larger than 22". But maybe that will change someday.

Why am I here? Even small operations like mine need to be managed effectively, right? I'm hoping to maybe learn a few things.

thanks!

Buzz Kutz
06-19-2012, 04:11 PM
Im about half way done with my third year now. Buzz Kutz is a part time lawn business. I started this about three years ago looking for a good retirement job. I justy turned 50 and I have just reached the point I can retire at any point. This is a bit diffrent than what Ive been doing for the past 28 years. (Police) Just joined and the site seems to have a lot of good information. Im now at the point tryingh to make that decision to retire and go deeper into the lawn industry or hang on to my job and keep building my pension. I look forward to learning more!

Buzz the fuzz......

Eastcoast Lawn Care
06-26-2012, 01:36 PM
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?
Hello everyone,
Been thinking about getting into the Lawn Care Business for a couple of years now. Two months ago I finally bought the equipment I needed and shortly afterwards picked up four customers. I love the thought of being my own boss. This has been a side business for now but would like this to turn into a full time job for me. Looking forward to learning a lot from everyone.

Thank you,
Eastcoast Lawn Care

emerson607
07-18-2012, 11:48 AM
Taking a big step and selling my bumper repair business of 14 years. Have a second home in Florida and planning on starting up or purchasing a lawn care business. Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated. I'm in Leesburg Fl.

Caskey Lawns & Landscapes
07-18-2012, 01:44 PM
I finally decided to take an active roll on your forum and possibly share some of my knowledge and ideas with everyone...I have been reading the posts for guite awhile but I haven't posted until yesterday for the first time...

Let me introduce myself, I am Doug and I own and operate Caskey Lawns & Landscapes here in South Central PA... This is my third year in business and by far my best...It was slow going but everything is coming together and the phone is ringing off the hook, or at least it was until the rain stopped...I'm sure everyone is dealing with that also and it is very frustrating waiting for the pennies from heaven..:)

One of the best decisions I have made is to start using the Gopher software program, This is absolutely awesome and it keeps my customers, billing, materials and everything up to date and organized..It is well worth the investment so take a look at it if your not using it, try the free trial first, you won't be sorry..

I look forward to sharing with you all so any questions or comments please do so...Good luck too everyone and pray for rain...

Steve
07-18-2012, 03:11 PM
Welcome to our forum!

Doug, where do you feel most new start up business owners go wrong and what could they do to improve their chances of making it past their first couple of years?

Caskey Lawns & Landscapes
07-18-2012, 05:14 PM
It was hard being patient the first year, I guess we all thought that as soon as we decided we are now in the lawncare business, the phones would start ringing off the hook and the money would be rolling in....It doesn't work that way, I don't care where you are located...Be patient...They will come :) Do a good job for your customers and they will bring you more business, Some customers can and WILL be a pain in the butt I can guarantee it...Be professional,kind and make them feel like they matter and you appreciate them..

Another big mistake alot of guys make is thinking they need to go lay out alot of cash to get started, If you can afford it okay but it's not necassary...I started with a used walkbehind Toro, a used Toro weedeater and acouple hand tools, a small 5 x 8 trailer...As time went on and more work came my way I bought things as I could without going into debt...I now have a 6 x 14 trailer equiped with trimmer racks,blower rack,lift assist on the gate, Exmark Lazer Z 60" Cub Cadet rider, Toro Super Recycler walk behind,2 Echo Trimmers, Echo blower and many other tools that I needed on along the way, I even bought a nice powerwasher this year that has already paid for itself after doing the first three wash jobs..

I guess to sum it up, To anyone just getting started

1) Be aggressive but patient
2) Don't get in over your head with cost
3) Believe in yourself

Steve
07-19-2012, 12:13 PM
That is very interesting!

What kind of steps do you suggest a new lawn care business owner take to attract customers?

Caskey Lawns & Landscapes
07-19-2012, 02:37 PM
Advertising is essential at first, You have to get your name out there, business cards are a great investment and order lots and give them to everyone ! :) Drop some off at local stores, etc...I also ask every new customer for one favor, I ask them for one referral, Word of mouth is the key in our business...Take care of your customers and they will get you more work...

Finn0788
07-19-2012, 06:36 PM
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?

Hey everyone I'm new to the forum. I'm currently in the Marine corps (actually deployed to Afghanistan right now) and found this website. I will soon be getting out of the military and have been doing as much research on owning a lawn care business as I can in my spare time. I'm trying to learn the ins and outs so here soon when I move back home to Michigan I will be able to begin a successful business in lawn care. When I found this website I thought "money" because it is loaded with so much information and tips and an awesome forum. So Steve that's for what you're doing and I look forward to asking many questions here in the near future.

Habber1
07-20-2012, 06:45 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 guys started my lawn care buisness in may 2012
Was really busy for couple of months, but I still
Need to get more customers, sending flyers, handing
Out buisness cards some work some don't
But like I said started late so hopefully
Next year will be better.

Thanks for the great advice on the website
And forum.

willtell
08-27-2012, 07:42 AM
My name is William and I live and work from Wetumpka Al. I am just starting my busines with my son and Daughter. They are 19 and 24 both are hard workers and won't to build a good company. I am putting up the capital and their putting up the labor. I look forward to joining the Lawn care business. and all the good advice that this forum has to offer. As I learn this business I will post what has worked for me.In the meantime i will be reading and asking questions.

thanks
William

J.A.S.LawnService
08-27-2012, 10:58 AM
My name is Paco. I am a full time firefighter in IL. I started a lawn service in May 2012. I own a 36inch walk behind, Stilhl trimmer and blower. I am working on getting my name out. I have business cards, truck magnets and a Craigslist ad. I have six regular customers and a couple as needed. My kids will all be in school next year and I am looking to expand.

I have a lot of questions. Some already answered. I look foward to posting on site.

Thank you.

Paco

Steve
08-27-2012, 02:45 PM
Hi William & Paco,

Welcome to our forum!

What got you all interested in starting your businesses?

J.A.S.LawnService
08-27-2012, 04:14 PM
Steve, I have always been interested in having a lawn service. I enjoy working outside and I get cool toys. I am looking to keep myself busy and make a little money. Being a fireman helps. I work every third day. Then on my days off I mow.

Ty
Paco

jaydamower
08-29-2012, 05:39 PM
Hi,

I plan to start my business next summer, but I am confused about what equipment to start off with. In the beginning I am going to do residential lawn to lock in some accouts. The go for commercial accounts. I was this about getting a self-propelled push mower and a tractor. Then once I make some money get a ZTR. What do y'all. Think? I am of course going to get a couple trimmers and edgers. Plus a walk behind leaf vac.

Kyle.Johnson
08-29-2012, 10:06 PM
i just started my lawn care business with 3 lawns
shark attack lawncare- we take a bite out of ur lawncare needs

Steve
08-30-2012, 11:48 AM
I was this about getting a self-propelled push mower and a tractor.

Do you have a push mower now? Even a crappy one? Could you start with that?

shark attack lawncare- we take a bite out of ur lawncare needs

I LOVE the name! You could create a fantastic logo with that too!

b_lex
09-21-2012, 09:05 AM
Hello Gopherhaul community! My ambition to run my own gardening service lead me to this wonderful site. Glad I stumbled upon this forum while clicking around the net.
A personal thank you to everyone who has contributed to this site in one way or another - the various threads have been plenty useful as I plan my own business start up.

Steve
09-21-2012, 10:01 AM
Welcome to our forum!

I look forwards to hearing your updates as your business grows.

cuttingedgeron
09-21-2012, 01:54 PM
Hey everyone. I just started this past June(yeah I know, a little late in the season). I work by myself and my wife might help out when needed. Shes a real big help though. The equipment I have is a 60" cut Toro Zero Turn, Echo weed eater, kawasaki weed eater, husqvarna backpack blower, 6.5' x 10' trailer with dove tail and also have a Troy bilt self propelled push mower that I just bought yesterday at Lowes for a great bargain. I have had a handful of yards during this season, some mulching jobs and various clean up jobs already. So, imo I did alright starting out. I will post pictures soon of my setup.

Rambler
09-24-2012, 12:33 PM
Hello people,

We are new here. I say "we" because I will be posting along with my fiance. If a dumb question is posted it's from me "A" if it sounds like a reasonable post it will be from my fiance "R." We just started a lawn restoration business about a month and 1/2 ago. We also mow grass, mulch and offer seasonal clean-up. R has been in the lawn care field (lawn tech) at a national company for about 8 years. He has held other jobs in related fields prior to this and has owned his own pest control business many years ago. Thanks for all the informative posts; I've been creeping on you guys for a year now. (A)

Steve
09-25-2012, 04:08 AM
Welcome to the both of you :)

srobert32
09-25-2012, 09:11 AM
My name is Steve and I've been in the lawncare business now for 5 years. The name of my company is Diversified Home Services, out of Frederick, Maryland. I actually got into lawncare by accident but I love it. I was layed off from a home build company after 23 years when the market tanked in 2008. So I took the test to become a contractor, past, and got my lisence, insurance, and started doing home improvements. Unfortunately I couldn't find enough renovating work to keep me busy. Customers started asking me to mulch, the trim hedges, and mow. Now it's full time and I don't have time for renovation work. I'm considering expanding into areation, overseeding, and applying fertilizer and pesticides (legally) which is what has brought me to this site. I'm looking for advice from you who are more experienced.

Thanks

greenleaflawn
09-25-2012, 11:44 AM
Hello Steve and everyone else that might be regulars here. just want to say "hello". my wife and are have recently got out of the horse racing business. i've worked in racetrack management all my life and my wife Sarah and i worked at the track in Ontario, we recently had new management come in and things started to go south for us. Sarah had been the head ************* at the racetrack/casino for a number of years and has finished a two semester course on horticulture at a local university and in the next week will be "Red Seal" certified in the field of horticulture. she received a nice severance from the racetrack (there was some sexual misconduct) and we decided to go into business for ourselves. we bought a Husqvarna self-propelled push lawn-mower, a Husqvarna zero-turn mower, a 14 foot landscape trailer, Stihl weed-wacker, one that has changeable attachments (blower, roto-tiller, hedge trimmer.....great piece of equipment, highly recommended, blower is fantastic) and all of the other stuff that goes with lawn care maintenance. we had a website designed (www.GreenLeaflawn.ca), bought a 2012 Dodge quad-cab 1500 (needed new truck anyway) and then had it wrapped with our logo and services. looks so good, can't tell you how professional our truck looks like now. so hopefully we'll be ready to go full bore next spring (she's working for a professional landscape company this summer/fall.....we are trying to get clients on the side, away from her work).

so, anyway.....just wanted to say hello and i think i'll be seeking advice and help on making our little 2-person company a success. we are very aware how hard we will have to work to become successful. prior to me leaving the racetrack i printed up some nice full color flyers (from a high end printer we had there) and did it the old fashioned way, delivering them door-to-door in a couple of high end estate type sub-divisions in the city (we live in Ottawa), homes that are just wreaking with money. actually got a hit or two on the very first day.

please don't be afraid to say hello back and will look forward to any tips that might help us out along the way.

cheers everyone........

greenleaflawn
09-25-2012, 02:59 PM
Hi,

I plan to start my business next summer, but I am confused about what equipment to start off with. In the beginning I am going to do residential lawn to lock in some accouts. The go for commercial accounts. I was this about getting a self-propelled push mower and a tractor. Then once I make some money get a ZTR. What do y'all. Think? I am of course going to get a couple trimmers and edgers. Plus a walk behind leaf vac.

i bought a Stihl gas powered whipper snipper that can covert to other attachable attachments, i bought the main engine head that came with a whipper snipper and then bought a attachable blower and an attachable roto-tiller. blower works fantastic, very powerful and the other day we used the roto-tiller attachment for a dead grass and overseeding job. one of our best investments, yes, Stihl is somewhat expensive, i believe the original head w/whipper snipper was $320, the blower was around $200 and the roto-tiller was $260......but we now have a very good dependable piece of equipment w/ great attachments. well worth the money.

Steve
09-26-2012, 09:04 AM
Welcome to our forum!

I look forwards to hearing how everything goes as you grow. I am sure you will be jam packed with customers in no time at all.

candrews
10-01-2012, 08:51 PM
Hi, my name is Chad Andrews from SC. I have been in painting and power washing since 2001 and thought i would start a lawn service for 2013, went out and got a 2007 Isuzu truck, two pz6034 couple of string trimmers and so on, now i need to drum up some yards. Any help would be appreciated.

Steve
10-02-2012, 10:53 AM
Hi Chad,

Welcome to our forum!

I bet you must have a lot of previous customers you can market your new services too. Maybe use some direct mail marketing to reach them?

stangbanger2300
10-18-2012, 07:51 PM
Hello All,
My name is Jason and i'm kind of new to the lawn scene. I would love to start doing this full time. I'm currently an auto mechanic that is looking to make some life changes. I for one love the thought of being my own boss instead of someone else getting paid for my hard work and to be honest I'm getting tired of the ever increasing complexity of new cars. Work has also slowed to the point wear the shop I have worked for the past 16 years has started reducing our hours and is practically giving work away just to get customers in the doors.
About 4 years ago I bought A Toro zero turn and an assortment of other yard tools and have been doing work for family and friends ever since. I absolutely love the feel of accomplishment and the compliments that come with. The way the economy is I'm more than a little nervous about starting a new line of work but am going to commit anyway.
I need to do this for me and my family so please wish me luck and any pointers for A newbie would be greatly appreciated.
I love the site and will be on frequently to try to get a little more educated before next March when the next season starts. Also any pre season pointers would be of great help. Thanks to all and thanks for A great website
Jason
Sunny Florida

ckilg008
10-30-2012, 12:27 PM
Hello, My name is Chris, I'm obviously new to the forum. I'm looking to grow my company, which is one reason I joined this forum. This year has been has been an extremely benificial learning season. However, I'm looking to gain as much knowledge as possible. I look forward to interacting with the members of this forum.

Steve
10-31-2012, 10:23 AM
Hi Chris, Welcome to our forum!

epiclee
11-07-2012, 07:30 PM
Epic Lawn Care ..... Calgary based .... 100% privately owned to give customers a personal touch.... With Epic ur not just a number....ur a priority!!!!:D

Steve
11-08-2012, 10:26 AM
Great slogan! Welcome to our forum!

Florida Lawn & Landworks
12-01-2012, 09:29 AM
Hi everyone, I first want to say thanks to everyone in this forum. I started my business last year after being laid off by my employer. Learning that I had my first child on the way, I couldn't afford to live on unemployment while waiting for the next job. Having no previous experience, this forum has helped me out daily! I now have around 30 residentials, 2 big commercials, and over $25,000 we are bidding for the new year. =) I couldn't have done it without Gopherhaul. Thanks again. Kyle - Florida Lawn & Landworks

Steve
12-03-2012, 12:45 PM
That's great news Kyle. Keep us posted on how everything progresses.

Asef77
12-10-2012, 01:50 AM
Hi and hello to this nation of snowplowers landscapers and all the rest that are here, and of course the guests that come and go.

Oh yeah you to Steve!

So anyway I am like brand new to this snowplow game, I haven't even hatched from my egg, but I'm cracking my way out, what makes me soo happy that I found a site like yours, where I'm thinkin I will get everything I need, now and future.

Im getting in to the snow plow business, went crazy looking for a starter truck, and ended up getting 2, good story but maybe weird too, maybe some other time I can share that, but yeah I'm getting busy reading everyone's posts and getting to know the site.

Oh well don't wanna give too much to read, once again hi hello and loads of THANKS!
Asef

DannyP69
12-12-2012, 12:13 AM
Hi Steve, and All. I love this site and am very happy to have found it. It is already answering a lot of the questions I have had.

I started out my business late last summer. Around early August. I only worked for a couple of months because I am also working fulltime somewhere else.

I bought a mower, trimmer, chainsaw, and pressure washer. I also bought a Ford Ranger. Mainly due to wanting to start a Landscape business for the last few years. But also due to renovations to my house. I make a decent amount of money with my fulltime job and that basically pays for the bills, mortgage, etc.. But I started on my own to gradually get out of my fulltime job over the next few years.

Would you say that it's a good idea to kind of phase out my fulltime job while seeing how my business progresses as oposed to quitting outright and going fulltime at Landscaping?

Also, I am still learning a lot of the different aspects of the trade. I did a little bit of it years ago with someone who had their own company and he taught me the basics. But I am trying to pick up a lot more stuff by researching, and doing jobs on my own. Do you have any basic tips on starting out? Should I stay unregistered for a couple more years until things get rolling? Should I register the company right away and start charging taxes? Any other tips would be great.

My plan is to basically work my @zz off between my fulltime job and my business for the next couple of years so I can eventually run my company fulltime. I have also noticed that in the few short months that I did this in between my 9-5 job, it seemed to kind of get in the way. Clients didn't want their lawns mowed on Saturday, they wanted it done today. This was my biggest problem. Any tips?

Thanks again on the great site and many helpful tips on here. Thank You all.

Danny.

Steve
12-12-2012, 12:25 PM
Welcome to our forum.

Would you say that it's a good idea to kind of phase out my fulltime job while seeing how my business progresses as oposed to quitting outright and going fulltime at Landscaping?

I think phasing out the full time job as your business picks up is a great idea.

Should I stay unregistered for a couple more years until things get rolling? Should I register the company right away and start charging taxes? Any other tips would be great.

I'd say it's always better to start off on the right foot than it is to try and fix bad business practices later.

Clients didn't want their lawns mowed on Saturday, they wanted it done today. This was my biggest problem. Any tips?

Can you set them up on weekly mowing schedules and then maybe take a day off of work each week to mow?

mikosiko
12-20-2012, 04:12 PM
Hello all and my situation is exactly like DannyP69... So looking forward to see his progression also. I am excited about starting and my plan is basic, great person and exceptional service. These are the only two things that matter to the customer and thats what I intend to provide. I have experience in lawn treatment about 2 years and mowing from a youngster, so I am definitely registering to go to lawn school... Thanks Steve... Other than that my experience is in my current career of 15 years that involves lots of standing, labor, thought work, working all day every day and never taking a sick day. So now its time to take those things and add to it learning how to operate a business. The market here consists of 305 lawn care companies and very few all in ones (that provide all services in lawn care). Most only do some services but not others, maybe I'll find out why, or maybe I will find what makes me more viable and hire-able than the others. There are about 300,000 single family homes in this city with lawns to be cared for. Plenty of market share in my view and great reason to make my mark to find my niche. Look forward to chatting with all of you. Thanks again Steve for all you do. Happy Holidays to all of you!!

Steve
12-24-2012, 10:11 AM
Happy Holidays to you too and I look forwards to hearing all about your company growth into the new year.

Dkoester
12-24-2012, 10:52 PM
Hi Steve, I came across this site while searching for ways to grow our business. I'm impressed. I could tell right away you care for people to do well. My name is Dewain Koester and I own Extremely Green Inc. We do lawn care and landscape maintenance. I have 2 employees, sometimes 3 during the summer months. 2007 is when we opened for business. Great to be here!

groundworks
12-25-2012, 12:59 PM
My small landscaping company is only one year old, however, I have been doing landscape work for five years as a hobby. My hobby has grown to a point I desided I had better form a company.

I live in a small city in Indiana so have to deal with the winter months, fortunately I have a full time job to support my hobby/company.

I provide almost all aspects of the landscape business except hardscape, don't have the equipment or knowledge.

Steve
12-26-2012, 12:38 PM
Welcome! I look forwards to hear more about the ways you want to improve your business going into the new year.

ToddAnderson
12-27-2012, 01:37 AM
Hey guys my name is Todd, I'm new to the business currently a college student, obtaining my Associates Degree in Business Administration.

I'm glad I found this blog as I have numerous questions, I'm based in Virginia.
My plan is too place lawn care business in maybe about 4 or 5 states and have a couple of
Chopper dealerships as well!

I have a income of 7,500 to start with to start my business, if you guys have any insight on how I can get my business up and running , it will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

tmull27216
12-27-2012, 06:38 AM
Hello
This is who I am
44 year old Carpenter by trade ( 24 years experience) . Landscaper by choice ( 2 years working for someone)

This is how I got started and the direction I would like to go:

A friend had asked me to help him with his business. He lost his drivers license for reason I will not get into. For the last two years Ive been helping him drive , cut lawns and doing spring/ fall clean ups . Ive learned a lot and
also discovered ....I really.... like doing this and decided to purchase some of my own equipment. I figured If I don't go into business myself worst case I can sell the equipment



This is what I have for equipment (mostly used but in excellent condition)

-Scag 48" belt driven
-Scag 61" three wheel trike
-Dual wheel trailer
-Two echo whip trimmers
-Red max 7100 blower
-Sthil Br 600 magnum blower
-1995 F150 4x4 4.9 5spd
-"GohperHaul Extreme Lawn Care Business Tips"
(Christmas Present .... starting reading the book and finished it the same day)


Hopefully this site will help me achieve more ( of my own ) accounts

Any advice would be greatly appreciated .Meanwhile Ill keep reading this site

Tim

Steve
12-27-2012, 12:45 PM
What kinds of things have you been doing to get new customers so far?

jamespierce
12-27-2012, 03:14 PM
The name of my business is Spring Valley Lawn Care. I started the business 3 years ago and in those three years I have had the success that I had hoped. I am a school teacher and run this business on the side. It had been profitable, but I look to increase the business in the coming year. I would like to get into the commercial grounds maintenance business, but unsure how to go about it and how to quote the jobs.:rolleyes: My main goal is to build this business up and then sell it in the next 5 years.
Jimmy Pierce

groundworks
12-28-2012, 05:20 AM
I'm glad to join this group and hope to learn and maybe provide some insight that might help others.

It started out about four years ago as a hobby, like many I have a full time job and do this in the evenings and weekends. My hobby has turned into a great part-time hobby/job, I really love the landscaping business.

Last Jan, 2012 I decided that it had grown to the point that I needed to form a company. It has grown to the point I'm considering going full-time. The problem is of course leaving a full-time salary + benefits job when you live in the midwest and have to deal with snow, I live in Indiana.

I do almost every aspect of the landscaping industry except for hardscape.

tmull27216
12-28-2012, 07:52 AM
What kinds of things have you been doing to get new customers so far?

I was going to leave that as rhetorical question. However feel I need to respond. Just a few things Ive done so far

-Combining some of the very limited real estate experience I have into creative marketing.I sent out flyers to new home owners in the area.My first thoughts are not to infringe on other landscape businesses . Im not looking to cut their prices Im looking for people who want quality work done. Work is needed on my flyer and will be doing more research

- Had business cards made

-Because I have some free time this winter I will be volunteering my time to help others . This will not only eventually get my name out it will make me feel good while doing it.

Steve
12-28-2012, 11:10 AM
Because I have some free time this winter I will be volunteering my time to help others . This will not only eventually get my name out it will make me feel good while doing it.

That is fantastic! Keep us posted on what you do and how it works out for you. Your experiences will inspire others to try this as well.

nice2weedu
01-03-2013, 08:35 AM
Can't wait to pick ur brains!

graybroslawncare
01-04-2013, 02:30 PM
Hello to all,

I am new to this site and I just want to say thanks to everyone out there helping each other out and discussing real issues that we all face in this industry.
Our lawn care company is 11 years old and comprised of three brother and a few of our close friends. I am the oldest brother at 24 years old; I recently took full ownership of our business, due to different career paths chosen by my two younger brothers. I have found this site very helpful and supportive as I take on this business as a full time career. In the off season we provide snow removal services with our parents snow removal company.
Feel free to ask me any questions or to chat. I look forward to interacting more on this forum. What things do people like to know about other lawn care companies?

Steve
01-07-2013, 12:09 PM
Welcome to our forum!

How has it been working with family in the business? Would you have any suggestions to others as how best to make it work and avoid conflicts?

graybroslawncare
01-10-2013, 08:41 AM
That is probably the biggest question I ask my self everyday too. I own our lawn care company and my two younger brothers still work for/with me everyday. I have to be their boss but also their older brother, so distinguishing between those two roles has been a challenge for me.
I have found that one of the best things we do to minimize conflicts is to spend time together away from work. We are all really close in age, so we are able go mountain biking together, ride four-wheelers, shoot guns, golfing, etc. We like keeping the tight bond that we have as brothers, because it is what ultimately got us to where we are now. Our name has grown into our business name, and people in our area love to see us working together and upholding a high reputation. The family aspect of our business has gotten us many accounts and helped us keep them for many years.
My suggestion to others in a family business would be: keep everyone invested and motivated equally, spend time together away from work to further your relationship, and ultimately just have fun and love what you do. Small family businesses are huge reputation builders, and equally reputation destroyers; don't let money and stress come between family.
Thanks again for the great question Steve, and the chance for me to reflect on such a great aspect of my life!

clooney
02-11-2013, 08:28 AM
Heys everyone,

My name is Steve from Delaware. I'm a new member ready to get started this spring with a new landscape division to my company. I own an asphalt sealcoating company looking to expand and offer customers more great service. I have worked in the landscape field during the summer while in college years ago. I did fall clean ups in my area last year and looking for more opportunities this year. Any tips with estimating, purchasing material at discounted rates and start up suggestions would be of interest to me. Thanks in advance for any and all input you guys might have. Look forward to the time here!

Steve
02-11-2013, 12:03 PM
Welcome to our forum!

Figure out how long it takes you to mow your own lawn. Then you should be able to bid a job based on the time per sq/ft. That should be the simplest way for you.

Keep us posted on how it all goes.

elitelawn13
02-19-2013, 08:24 PM
I'm exploring starting a lawn care business and purchasing some existing accounts with equipment and labor to get started. Given my background is in business and marketing (serial entrepreneur) I'm looking at this as more of an investment to grow rather than working directly in the field. I rarely join forums but this one has a lot of good information. Excited to learn more.

Steve
02-20-2013, 11:53 AM
Welcome to our forum!

I'm looking at this as more of an investment to grow rather than working directly in the field.

How will you go about doing this? How do you maintain a certain level of quality and know what your employees are up to?

guardacorte
02-21-2013, 11:45 AM
I'm exploring starting a lawn care business and purchasing some existing accounts with equipment and labor to get started. Given my background is in business and marketing (serial entrepreneur) I'm looking at this as more of an investment to grow rather than working directly in the field. I rarely join forums but this one has a lot of good information. Excited to learn more.

In my experience as both an employee and now my own boss I don't believe you can learn more unless you get out into the field. how can you grow your business on reputation, without knowing the "complete product", how can you ensure your buying the right (expensive) machinery if you haven't been on the ground, Obviously if your loaded you can pay people to do this, but you won't know anything about the process or product, and if you are not directly involved how can you ensure your not just investing in the process of building the reputation of your crew not your company....maybe costing you contracts if they left.

I have employees and I leave them at contracts, whilst ill do others, I always check there work, I have high standards and on more than one occasion I've made them do it again, you must do this on every job until they know the standard expected, I know I sound hard, but my customers refer my name not my crews name to friends etc.

Bottom line, get out in the field if you want to learn how to really care for lawns.

Pat65
02-21-2013, 01:31 PM
Hello my name is Patrick and I am trying to start lawn mowing business this spring in Somerset Kentucky. All I have is a Honda HR 214 push mower an echo weed wacker in a pickup truck like everyone new I wish I had some customers. Any advice or tips for me would certainly help. Thank you everybody

elitelawn13
02-21-2013, 09:28 PM
How will you go about doing this? How do you maintain a certain level of quality and know what your employees are up to?

My intention would be to be on site for the first month, afterwards, check their work on a consistent basis. Additionally, I would be focusing on sales, marketing, billing, purchasing, client relations, etc...

I have been shadowing my friend this week. I've learned that there's a lot to learn and if I did enter this industry I would dive in head first.

Thank you for all of the great feedback. This is exactly why I joined this forum. Ideas need to be challenged. They can save a pretty penny.

guardacorte
02-22-2013, 01:19 PM
Hello my name is Patrick and I am trying to start lawn mowing business this spring in Somerset Kentucky. All I have is a Honda HR 214 push mower an echo weed wacker in a pickup truck like everyone new I wish I had some customers. Any advice or tips for me would certainly help. Thank you everybody

Hi Patrick, I used friends and family to get first contracts, ensuring i was freindly with anyone i saw whilst doing the lawn, chance conversations grow money, i never offer, always let them ask the magic how much will my lawn cost to cut question, always visit job before giving a price and if a hedge needs doing to, tell them, hedge cutting is also lucrative. Never give a price without seeing it. it has grown naturally from doing this on residential to over 100 lawns a week peak season this on word of mouth alone, factor in hedges too and you will be on a winner. I tried a few weeks advertising once and got one customer from it and luckily I still do him, but was an expensive experience for a new start.

Once established and having invested nearly everything back in on equipment etc I started targeting commercial contracts and gardening contracts all have come mainly from online yellow pages, very cheap local advert 100 a year per local area targeted, I invested in a free phone number which points to my mobile and whispers free phone number so I know To answer phone correctly with company name etc, because this is the only advert I run and all my lawns come in on mobile number I know it's very effective, but you need the equipment.

Hope I have helped a little basically get people talking about you.:)

EricG82
03-02-2013, 10:13 AM
My name is eric, i have been mowing part time for 4 years now. Im wanting to go full time with my business this year. Would love any advice on getting more new customers.

DannyP69
03-03-2013, 12:33 AM
Hi eric. Which area are you in? Have you tried advertising on craigslist? Under the lawn and garden section? Or kijiji? You would be surprised how many clients you can get off craigslist.dont do flyers unless your targeting specific neighbourhoods that you want to have a chunk of your work in. Other than that, just do a great job and word of mouth will do the rest for you. Im going into my second year. Last year i started in august. A bit late. Just as a trial run. Bought the basic equipment and kept my fulltime job. This year ill be starting in april with all my equipment already bought. Remember, if you do a great job with peoples properties, and be friendly, than getting customers will be the least of your worries.

Danny.

EricG82
03-04-2013, 08:24 AM
Danny i live in the piedmont triad of north carolina. I have not tried craigslist this year yet, i have in the past and didnt get much response from it. I will try it again. What is kijiji?? Thanks for your help.

Steve
03-04-2013, 02:24 PM
What is kijiji??

Isnt that a canadian version of craigslist?

MachineGrn
03-16-2013, 01:53 PM
Hi All-
I am a new Member from Black Forest, Colorado. I have been Aerating Lawns and smaller Lawn Care for five years. Started part-time, but in the last 2-3 years it has grown to 300-400 aerations every spring and 15 weekly lawn care customers. I would like to grow the weekly lawn care to 20-22 jobs. The aerations are my favorite part. I do not enjoy having employees, so it is just me.

I found the site because I am looking for a new walk behind aerator. I have been using two old blue bird aerators for the last five years. I am at least the third owner, and they were rentals before that. I recently rebuilt the entire smaller aerator because it had tore itself apart over it's long and difficult life. New bearings, tines, took the engine & wheels off and completely re-welded the entire frame, put on a newer engine, and put it back together. All is good, but it is time to put this machine into the backup roll and get a new one.

I am leaning towards Turfco's XT5. I do mostly small lawns with some hills. Some of the backyards can be difficult to get to with an aerator, that is why I re-worked the small bluebird. How do you guys feel about the XT5 for my needs?

Steve
03-18-2013, 11:46 AM
Welcome to our forum!

I'd guess you'd probably have to figure what size property are you using them on and what is your budget?

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/IN0tPlTXixk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

MachineGrn
03-19-2013, 08:53 AM
The lawns are small, usually around 3500 sq. ft.

The main problem is the back yards are difficult to get to, and have pretty steep hills. Theres a lot of zero-scape(rocks) to roll over to get to the back yards. Most of it t.he yards have gates, although they are wide (36inches^)

I need something that get to the yards without draining myself. I have settled on Turfco's XT5. I hope it goes across rocks(small up to 4inch river rock) and can climb hills and gravel in transport mode.

How do owners of the XT5 like it and how does it do with the lawns like I listed above??

Steve
03-19-2013, 09:08 PM
You might want to make a post of that in the equipment section so others can join in on it. Also have you considered a lawn tractor with an aeration attachment?

MachineGrn
03-20-2013, 06:24 AM
Ill make a post over in the other section. There is no way a pull behind would work on a small lawn, that is difficult to get to, has some steps, backyards with gates, and that has hills. I am looking for a walk behind, nothing else works for the lawns I do.

jdambm
03-21-2013, 12:07 PM
Hey Steve and Company
I do this part time since 2003 to help offset the cost of private education, thought I would come on board to see what I could learn if thats OK;)

Steve
03-21-2013, 12:28 PM
Welcome to our forum!

What are your future plans with your business? Do you want to take it full time in the future?

johnrobertmartin
03-21-2013, 06:44 PM
Hi I am getting back into the Lawn Care Industry. I am a Minister at a small Church in Hanoverton Ohio. This will be a supplimental career for me

Steve
03-22-2013, 12:34 PM
Welcome to our forum! What got you out of the business in the past? Were there any lessons you learned from the experience that will make it easier to run your business this time?

johnrobertmartin
03-25-2013, 11:51 AM
I just was not prepared to make a good effort at it.

Steve
03-26-2013, 02:00 AM
Well I hope you really enjoy it this year and get a lot out of it.

right_arm7380
03-29-2013, 02:24 PM
Glad to know this resource is out there. Just started my own lawn and home care business. Found this while I was out surfing. Got my LLC, my business cards, my truck magnets and I'm starting out door-to-door today. Wish me luck!

batdaddy
03-29-2013, 03:23 PM
Hello from Delaware!
I've been in business 23 years-started part time,went full time a few years later. I service mainly residential properties.
I enjoy working outdoors,and love being my own boss!
In my spare time,I'm a volunteer firefighter.

Steve
04-01-2013, 10:45 AM
Got my LLC, my business cards, my truck magnets and I'm starting out door-to-door today. Wish me luck!

Best of luck! Keep us updated on how it all goes!

I've been in business 23 years-started part time,went full time a few years later. I service mainly residential properties.

WOW why after 23 year? Did you ever want to do it full time in the past or was it just the right time when you did it?

vinnyslandscaping
04-01-2013, 01:46 PM
Since 2004, I have worked for a buddy of mine's landscaping company. After a few years, the company fell under. Last year, I accepted a job cutting a neighbors grass to help her out and I fell back into the love of working in the yard.

I launched my "Landscaping Business" with a 21" cheap mower from Home Depot and an electric trimmer and blower. I was able to get a hand-me-down gas trimmer and blower from my father-in-law, a 10ft trailer and a 72" Dixie Chopper that his Property Management Company owns (commercial building management) and began advertising on craigslist.com. Last year, I brought in approx. 20 residential customers, 12 of them being grass only. I offered services ranging from lawn care to tree trimming to mulch and leaf removal to hardscaping. I added, aeration and overseeding at the end of last year. During the winter, I bought my own 36" Scag walk behind to finally get into peoples back yards.

This year, I am serious about expanding my customer base and focusing on specific tasks in the yard to manage. Since I am still unknown, I've created a new name and logo, developed flyers and handouts and focused strictly on grounds maintenance (grass, mulch, planting, leaves). I advertise on craigslist every day and have yet to bring in any new customers.

I am wondering if it is a good idea to go with a new image and what else could I do to help get my name out there.

Thanks

Nick
Vinny's Landscaping (currently)

mfase731
04-01-2013, 03:35 PM
Hey, my name is Mike and for now I just service a couple yards from last year. 2012 was my start-up, just doing a few yards with a new Z-turn Toro 54" Titan with a bagger. Last year was a rough start up not knowing what to charge? I basically started doing yards in neighborhood for $20. Hopefully by getting information on forums like this I can quickly get into more profitable position. Marketing seems to be my biggest hurdle to date. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Thank you, Mike.

mfase731
04-01-2013, 03:48 PM
This will be my 1st full season. Made a lot of mistakes last year in quoting jobs. Hope to gain some knowledge from this and other forums like it. I had 1,000 postcards printed from Vista Print and as of today only 1 call. What a waste of $350.

Mike

Steve
04-02-2013, 11:42 AM
Since 2004, I have worked for a buddy of mine's landscaping company. After a few years, the company fell under.

What is your view on why that happened? Do you feel there were any lessons you learned from it?

I am wondering if it is a good idea to go with a new image and what else could I do to help get my name out there.

Sure why not! Create a new image and promote it with business cards to everyone you know. Then reach out to friends of friends etc.

This will be my 1st full season. Made a lot of mistakes last year in quoting jobs.

What were some of the bidding lessons you learned from last year?

mfase731
04-03-2013, 05:53 PM
What is your view on why that happened? Do you feel there were any lessons you learned from it?



Sure why not! Create a new image and promote it with business cards to everyone you know. Then reach out to friends of friends etc.



What were some of the bidding lessons you learned from last year?

Still trying to figure out on a consistent way to bid a yard based on that my yards are scattered all over, not in same neighborhoods.

Steve
04-04-2013, 11:37 AM
Try and experiment with the online lawn care calculators (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?p=43299#post43299). They should help you get more consistent bids created.

batdaddy
04-07-2013, 10:41 AM
Best of luck! Keep us updated on how it all goes!



WOW why after 23 year? Did you ever want to do it full time in the past or was it just the right time when you did it?

When I started my business, I already had a full-time job ,with a
medical supply company,that was undergoing some corporate changes....
(downsizing).I left the medical company to pursue lawn care ,fulltime,and
have now been full time for about 20 years.It WAS the right time!

NCLS1
04-08-2013, 09:46 PM
Hello everyone,

Getting ready for the season here and they are talking 6+ inches of snow!:)

H-MaC Services
04-15-2013, 04:37 AM
Thanks everyone on the forum for all the great info. I'm Michael and I have learned so much from reading the posts. I have been doing this 2 years now and still am very small but growing daily. Thanks again.

Steve
04-15-2013, 11:17 AM
Welcome to our forum! What are you doing to promote yourself this spring?

jradiamondruff
04-15-2013, 03:03 PM
My friend Ed and I are just starting up; both of us have building and grounds maintaince experience, apartments, hotel/motel and school districts. I was house painting for 15 years, now we want to concentrate on Power Washing.
I found your site while searching for power washing flyers. We are in Saint Petersburg, FL. Any help; pointers or extras would be appreciated.
J. R.

Steve
04-16-2013, 11:00 AM
Hi JR,

Read as much as you can here and on my blog at www.lawnchat.com. There is a lot of information that will help you grow.

crypiter
04-30-2013, 10:08 AM
My name is Chris. I'm 32, from PA, and currently a stay at home dad. When we lost our long time baby sitter for our boys I had to quit work and become a stay at home dad. The cost of daycare for the 2 was 75% of my monthly income. My wife has her "dream job" so her quitting was not an option. I really enjoy getting to spend so much time them.

I recently decided to try and start a lawn care service after a few people asked if I could do some work for them in my spare time. My wife and I got to talking and decided maybe this would be a good way to get some extra income coming in and also a chance for me to get out of the house. I have already got several quotes for general liability insurance. I also have the tools to at least get me started. A truck, riding mower, push mower, and string trimmer. As well as tools such as rakes, shovels, etc.

I am having trouble picking marketing items. I am trying to design a flyer but I am so picky I'm holding things up. I want to hurry up and get started since I am already starting late (it's the end of April). I hope this site can help me get the business started as well as help me be successful. I will be doing a lot of searching on the site to find answers to the many questions I have but if anyone has some words of advice, encouragement, or tips in general feel free to PM me. I am looking forward to my new business venture and hope that I will soon be helping people like me on this site so I can give a little back.

Steve
04-30-2013, 01:27 PM
I am having trouble picking marketing items. I am trying to design a flyer but I am so picky I'm holding things up.

Welcome to our forum!

I'd say just start getting the word out. See if anyone you know, or if anyone they know needs their lawn cared for and if they will hire you. It's a lot easier selling to people you know than those you don't.

jrod14
05-15-2013, 04:20 PM
been away from heavy business nearly 2 years. Have always had my company but took a major downsize in late 2011. I guess i just got in a rut and at one time from gaining nearly 75 customers quickly....I downsized to 5 really good ones! The only bad thing about the business was that it was extremely difficult to find guys that wanted to work. They say they wanna work but then you get a crap load of work and they bail on you. So the great news now is I have partnered up with a close friend of mine who also have a lawn & landscape business for the past 7 years but who also ran into the same problems. We are ready to hit it hard and I am just as excited about our "relaunch" as i was when i started my company in June of 2010. This time we are trying to go the extra mile and have hired graphic designers to do all our business designs. I will keep ya'll posted and will be grazing the threads! Take care gentleman...oh and ladies!

Steve
05-16-2013, 11:22 AM
Jacob,

Welcome back!

This is an amazing experience you went through! What advice do you have for others to help them avoid this issue?

Would there be a top 5 list of do's and don'ts?

AtLastEnterprises
05-26-2013, 08:04 AM
My name is Dale, owner of the Lawn Guy of Suffolk, based in Long Island NY. I never in a million years pictured this happening, but after being out of the business for over 18 years, here I am coming full circle and chopping green again. After selling my landscape business back in 1995 and starting a telephone construction company, I figured I was out of the lawn arena for good... I have since sold my tel biz, and am actually looking forward to getting back to where it all started, and bact to my roots. I will update soon on my progress.... wish me luck!

Dale:D

clodizzle
05-26-2013, 12:53 PM
Hi all.

I'm super excited to have found this community! I just joined but I have been helped so much by everything that you guys have already posted from the past. I figured I may as well jump in and try to get more info from you guys to help me get started on my business.

A little about myself: I am a young man that learned the skills of lawn care and service from my dad as I grew up. My dad had a very successful lawn service and passed it on to my oldest brother that still has a fantastic client base. I grew up and moved away to go to college. Graduated, and now have a family and I am a full time teacher.

I feel the need to make a little extra money so I would like to get about 10 yards to earn a little cash flow. Not trying to become some huge big business, but just a modest residential lawn care service.

I currently have 2 yards and got both of them by simply posting my ad on craigslist. I now have my business cards and I am very excited about whats to come.

I printed some flyers that I found from someone on here that was very helpful and professional. I am wondering if going to walmart and placing them on car windows would be a good idea??????

Please give me some info on the thought. Thanks!

Priceville Lawn Services
05-26-2013, 10:06 PM
We are a small company,starting out with small client base would like to expand client base.any advice is welcomed.We offer fall & spring clean up & leaf removal.
Thank You
Angie

Steve
05-28-2013, 11:52 AM
After selling my landscape business back in 1995 and starting a telephone construction company, I figured I was out of the lawn arena for good... I have since sold my tel biz, and am actually looking forward to getting back to where it all started, and bact to my roots. I will update soon on my progress.... wish me luck!

Welcome to our forum Dale. Why did you sell your business back then? Are you finding it a lot easier to get started again with your previous experience?

I printed some flyers that I found from someone on here that was very helpful and professional. I am wondering if going to walmart and placing them on car windows would be a good idea??????

We don't see that as one of the better marketing methods because how many of those cars you put flyers on, also own homes? A small percentage.

Heidi J.
05-28-2013, 01:07 PM
Hello!

My name is Heidi. I have been in the lawn care business for over 20 years. I work at our family owned company in Michigan. We do fertilizing, weed control, vegetation control, tree spraying and such.. we do not do mowing or landscaping.

I love getting advice on these forums and seeing what everyone else is doing. Thanks for having me :p

Downtownmike
06-09-2013, 09:38 PM
I look forward to learning from each of you.

vittorecruz@gmail.com
06-10-2013, 11:11 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?
Hello everyone , my name Vittore I just recently just moved to the U.S.and the State of Florida. I'm from KyotoJapan were I was raised in to the beautiful Art of Landscapes , I learned this art from my father, relatives, and mandatory schooling . Landscape in Japan is so much different than here in the U.S.. Everything that we do is performed in the old ways with great pride, dedication , and upmost attention to detail. Even something so simple in the U.S.as delivering a newspaper, is art form in it self. A news paper is placed at the door everymorning with Flowers for the home. I'm very happy to have found your site thanx to Squido.com. My favorite gardens to build are any type Asian garden, especially Karasansui gardens , Koi Ponds. I also like buliding Bamboo gates and entrance to gardens with Torei Gates . And no garden is complete with out Rain Chains, hanging from your roofs. I have a A.S.Science Degree in Horticulture and Soil Science. And I'm FCHP- Florida Certified Horticultural Professional. With FNGLA - Florida Nursery Growers Landscape Assosiation. I live for plants, balance of nature, and improving everthing around us all. Being new to here I'm in need of generating a customer base, for lawn care and everything else for landscape installs and design. Once again thank you everone for welcoming me to your home,,,,

Steve
06-10-2013, 12:30 PM
Welcome to our forum! I'd love to see some pictures of the landscapes you have created.

Cbrooks
06-11-2013, 05:26 PM
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?

Hello my name is Chris I recently moved from Minnesota to Montana due to an illness in my wife's family. I have been push mowin lawns since I was 12 years old 4 years ago a friend asked me if I would mow forclosed homes in MN with him that's we're I started in the foreclosure boom in MN. My company is now called CHRIS BROOKS LAWN CARE since I have moved to Montana I have tried to get into mowing for closures here but there are not very many here and every thing is so far away it's hard to make them pay out so I am slowly starting to move toward residential lawns I put my business in a nice add in the big phone book here and I also advertise on Craig's List I'm going to hand out flyers this week so far I've had a decent amount of people but either I now it one time or they think its to expensive the town I live in is approx 70 thousand people as I counted 32 lawn care companies in my area and I really feel like I got 2 late of a start this year as the phone book just came out Memorial Day weekend if anyone had any good advice please help me out

Steve
06-12-2013, 01:52 PM
Welcome to our forum! Are you marketing through your friends and social networks? Those tend to be the easiest to sell to initially.

Gforce
06-13-2013, 11:28 PM
Well, I got to tell you, I'm here but, I really don't know much about lawns, I stared my business because I lost my job, and I got no choice at the beguining of May, now I got a company, OGC yard services, got 13 customer in les than a month(just mowing, I don't know how to do any other job!!!), and I really bolive I can take this to an other level, so I triying to learn and get help from the experts as many of you I bet.
I live in Indiana, and I really interesting in lawn care I hope I can get some help around here.

Thanks and I'll be around here.

pzittere
06-26-2013, 04:33 PM
My name is Pete Zittere, user name of pzittere.
I have just started a lawn business and am looking forward to working with you all.
My condo association needed a lawn company and I told them I would do it.
So I went out and bought the basics and am ready to go.
Already I have reached out to some companies and potentially have more worked lined up.

I stand up paddle board for fun and stay pretty active with running 5k's and doing a lot of crossfit work outs.
I live in Pinellas county, Florida, at the beach.

Steve
06-27-2013, 11:01 AM
Welcome to our forum!

That is a great story on how you got started! Keep us posted on your growth!

Famouslawns
07-09-2013, 11:41 AM
Hey everybody. I have been impressed with all of the information I have found on this site. I operate a small lawn care service in north alabama. Currently have 28 accounts and looking to add 10-15 more this summer. Just bought a new mower that I LOVE... Exmark vantage 48".

Steve
07-09-2013, 01:14 PM
Welcome to our forum!

What kinds of marketing are you doing to attract new customers?

devorick81
07-18-2013, 10:43 AM
Hello everyone my name is Devorick and the name of my company is Ricks Lawn service. I have been doing residential properties off and on for about 2 years. I started by just cutting peoples lawn that I knew, and thats when I decided to start my own business. Due to being full time active duty Army here at fort bragg, I can only conduct business on the weekends. I currently have only a push mower, The black and decker 3 in one kit, 2 electrical hedge trimmers, and one fuel can, and a couple of hand tools. I am working on trying to get a zero turn, and a trailer so I can exspand my business. Any marketing tools, and business organization tools you guys might have would be greatly appreciated..

Steve
07-18-2013, 12:54 PM
Welcome Devorick,

Any marketing tools, and business organization tools you guys might have would be greatly appreciated.

I'd suggest keep reading and asking questions as you go.

g54bruns
07-18-2013, 08:34 PM
Hi all. Stumbled on this forum looking for turf top dressing wisdom and insights.
Any way - I have been around since brass Rainbird 1800 series heads were the best you could get. Spent 28 years in my own business landscape/irrigation. sold out and went commercial. One of the largest COs in the country. Burned out there and now manage a small irrigation staff for small father/sons company. Looking to restart the res end of it on my own with added features like - irrigation re-design and top dressing. I am just totally fed up with everything being the irrigators fault.
I do think the posts here are hilarious and honest.

Steve
07-19-2013, 12:08 PM
Welcome to our forum!

So many of the forum members strive to reach such heights and here you reached them.

Can you share with us some of your insights as to why you sold out when you did? Also, tell us a little about going through that burned out phase and if there is anything you feel you could have done differently to prevent it from happening?

g54bruns
07-19-2013, 03:46 PM
I sold because I really couldn't stand to see another residential complainer. I think the main reason was that I didn't take any time off for myself. The important thing to remember is to relax a little. My season went from April 1st till October 30th. It was pretty much 6 days a week and 14 hours a day. Yes I made an excellent income, but never relaxed during that season. Also as they say - the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I thought commercial would be less contact and less complaining. WRONG! Now I am doing residential irrigation upgrades on the side and loving it. It is pretty easy. I have found that the personal contact with the customer is the most important thing. If you can explain why and what you did face to face you life is pretty easy. You don't get that in a commercial setting. I'll post some thoughts on compressors in a bit.

amazinglandscapes
07-20-2013, 08:11 PM
We are Amazing Landscapes by Manuel based in Tracy, CA.

We started this business for a few reasons, one being that we have small children and we needed some flexibility in scheduling as well as wanted one parent to be close to home (I work also as a nurse 1 1/2 hours away 12 hrs a day 3 days a week). In addition my husband had worked for a large commercial company for many years doing landscape construction and so he already had the knowledge and skill to do the work.

Now that the business is officially up and running we have the daunting task of building cliental. This summer has proven to be helpful with building our client list but we are not nearly close to target goals.

The most frustrating part that we have found is that there are many people out there calling themselves landscapers, who charge dirt cheap and do a horrible job, sometimes even damaging property of others. It is sad the way they take advantage of these clients but also makes it rough as people then think that we are overcharging or distrust that we will do a good job because they had been burned by so many in the past.

On the upside my husband does quality work and anyone who sees his work is impressed, so once given the opportunity to prove that he is worth the money, clients are never disappointed.

Anyways that's the opening chapter of our story. I am looking forward to watching this business grow as I know it has great potential. I also look forward to any ideas on marketing, billing, invoices etc. As I've just been winging that side of the business so far.

pzittere
07-21-2013, 07:49 PM
Steve, I have a question I want to post about edging.
Where can I post question?
Thank You in advance.

Also your site is extremely helpful!

Steve
07-22-2013, 01:48 PM
I sold because I really couldn't stand to see another residential complainer.

Did that feeling change when you no longer owned the business but were working for someone else or was it always a problem to deal with?

Steve, I have a question I want to post about edging.
Where can I post question?
Why not post it here, http://www.gopherforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=27 :D

Amazing Landscapes by Manuel

Welcome! I look forwards to seeing your growth happen :)

D. S. Lawn Care
08-02-2013, 01:23 PM
Hello,

I am the owner of D. S. Lawn Care. Just wanted to stop by and say hello.

ALady'sTouch
08-26-2013, 08:17 PM
Hi there from South Carolina

Stephen73
09-10-2013, 12:54 PM
Great forum Steve. Been in the lawn care biz since 1990. Just enjoy the work.

ALady'sTouch
09-11-2013, 05:14 AM
I have been giving bids on several commercial accounts.management company has total of 60+ properties. In time maybe i could handle work load but just starting out ,thinking its to much for my three person crew.I've prayed things would turn around and he is listening.Thanks to be The.. have a great day and stay cool as best you can drink plenty. Looking to buy another zero and another back pack anyone with any ideas on where to pick it up.

MarkA
09-19-2013, 09:41 AM
New guy on here. I have a partnership lawn care business part-time located in Arkansas and been in business for 6 years. Next year, 2014, we will be going full time. Will be adding a couple of employees, and out sourcing some of our more tedious jobs in our business i.e. accounting, web site. Looking forward to posting on here and adding my own $.02 for what it's worth.

Steve
09-19-2013, 12:46 PM
Welcome to our forum Mark!

How are you enjoying being in a partnership versus being a sole proprietor?

ems.810
09-29-2013, 10:39 PM
Hi everybody been following forum for a lil bit now 1st post..started off on my own mid august.im turning 29 in december figured it was time. Company name is edtservices lawn landscape and construction i know odd combo butt ive masterd construction trade and got journeyman card in rough framing landscaping im very well at design and wrked for a company for 2 years now the lawn stuff new to me i mean ive always cut and whiped since i was a kid (chores )little did i know then i could make money doing it lol starting to get more lawn care oppotunity got about 10 lawn accounts for next year mow and go ..have a bid im sweating a lil about leaf and yard pic up tree trimming and shrub and bush its me and one guy figure id chrge 30 per mh..my arsenel consist of 99chevy half ton wrking on getting plow truck and salter hope to have it soon 7x14 tandem enclosed trailer with barn door style 16' tandem car hauler 5x7 small utility 50" cub cader ztr just bought it $600 with 450hrs cub cudet commercial 36 cc whip freebee runs great barrel and rakes all hand tools spike aerator /lawn roller scotts rider 42"with bagger have a lawn sweeper alsoand a whole bunch of construction tools i mean u bunch here is my web page my sister inlaw did for me next to nothing

curts lawn care
12-22-2013, 04:42 PM
Hello and Merry Christmas to Everyone.
Thanks to Steve for providing this forum; I have been watching your
You Tube videos and they have provided a lot of Very Good information.
I have been cutting a few lawns on the side since I was a young adult. In the last year, I have a small customer base that is approx. 95% reliable. I have decided this year to try and expand and have decided to focus in my neighborhood. It is a large subdivision and has several contractors in it already. I want to focus here and never have to leave therefore cutting down on my overhead dramatically.

Steve
12-23-2013, 01:20 PM
Welcome to our forum!

That sounds like a great plan. I look forwards to hearing what you are doing to achieve those goals!

greatriverlawncare
01-04-2014, 12:54 AM
My partner and i just bought "a client list", 50 to be exact, from good friends of ours who started a lawncare business 3 yrs ago, and are moving to Conn to continue their franchise while we are taking over Ohio's. We will be starting new this spring, along with juggling my fulltime nursing career. I have always enjoyed mowing, as i hvae taken care of 7 properties that belong to my family members...i just get paid for doing it now. We have purchased most equipment:

Toro 54" Z- Master zero turn commerical mower
Toro 30" Timemaster electric start mower
18HP Monster debris loader
6HP billy goat walk behind leaf blower
350 stihl backpack blower
several Stihl handheld products
Truckcraft aluminum dump insert

We are still looking for a truck and a 6x14 enclosed trailer. We are excited to get started, and look forward to this new chapter

Any advice on quoting jobs, mowing, bush trimming, mulching, spring/fall cleanup would be fantastic. I realize there are many things posted already, but if anyone has a simple calculation or frmula you follow....anything advice will help us

Karen and Michelle

Steve
01-06-2014, 12:09 PM
What an adventure! Welcome to our forum!

Have you broken down your property sizes yet and compared them to how much you are charging per property? If you are making enough with the way the properties are currently priced, you could use a similar price structure to the new properties all based on the size of the new property.

xtrimmowingltd
01-06-2014, 04:18 PM
Hi Steve,

Thank you for this very informative and helpful website. I'm literally new in this field of lawn mowing business but I believe I'm going to love it. Looking forward for everyone's help and support to eventually turn me an expert in lawn care business:).
http://i41.tinypic.com/2lntq13.jpg

turfconsultingservice
01-08-2014, 09:54 AM
I am turf consulting services (still working on the name)... I'm just starting out in lakes country in northern Minnesota and am new to the lawn care business. I have been in the golf course industry for 15 years and would like to start branching out and providing services to home owners and cabin owners in the area. Just wanted to say HI

dirtwad
01-13-2014, 10:16 PM
Hello I'm Dirt Wad,

I found this forum recently when researching information in regards to landscaping and the business elements involved during commercial start up. Oddly enough I returned to the site with my new login, and found that my wife has also registered. Seems she already searched your forums before I knew about this place. Her and I are a team whether we know it or not. We have begun our landscaping path just recently, and are excited. We are still in works of creating the company entity itself. Within the oncoming weeks, we'll make steps towards further development.

Tonight I submitted my first bid for a general grounds maintenance service. Tomorrow I will know if we achieved the bid acceptance!
Between then and the actual commencement of the labor, we aim to establish ourselves legally.

Our operations will be occurring in the south central area of Oklahoma.
I have a solid background in information technology ranging for the past 10 years. Prior to that I worked as a hand in a landscaping company that also provided a retail nursery. Those times outside were the most rewarding in terms of labor for me. After a decade of unsatisfied happiness in work, I'm returning to the dirt. As my wife put it one evening, "Let's just do it. You always say how you wish you could do landscaping again." She's right about a lot of things.

Well that's enough rambling. Thank you for you available knowledge base and community. We look forward to contributing and learning from the wisdom and humor of those around us.

Steve
01-14-2014, 11:30 AM
Tonight I submitted my first bid for a general grounds maintenance service. Tomorrow I will know if we achieved the bid acceptance!


Welcome aboard!

Good luck to you on your bid! I look forwards to hearing how it goes!

masterblaster
01-17-2014, 01:02 PM
Hello fellow gopher members!

I am a new start up business, looking to start in the spring. I'm excited to be here and learn as much as I can!

Steve
01-17-2014, 02:29 PM
Welcome to the forum! I look forwards to hearing your updates!

masterblaster
01-17-2014, 04:46 PM
Welcome to the forum! I look forwards to hearing your updates!

thanks! i'll keep you updated on my progress.

Prolawnofchatt
01-21-2014, 09:31 AM
Hey everyone My name is Barry Britton. I'm from the scenic city of Chattanooga TN. I came on this site because I kind of feel like i'm having to start over from square one. I started my company, "Professional Lawnscapes of Chattanooga" 5 years ago and for the most part have done pretty well. I have split my time for the most part between Commercial and Residential accounts. My equipment consists of one John Deere Z925 and One Scag V-Pro 48 inch. I have one other employee besides myself. I'm not too big of an operation.

Last Year I had to opportunity to take on a homeowners association consisting of 98 homes. Basically this account became my full time job. For the first time, I started making what I considered to be real money. The best part was I knew that this winter was going to be the first winter that I was to have a steady paycheck. I was told over and over that in January (This Month)we were going to sign a 2 year contract. There was even a Vote by the homeowners association to keep my company on. But out of the clear blue and COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED I receive an email from the President saying that they received another estimate from another company and will be going with them!!:mad: I have had no complaints or issues. Matter of fact I have heard nothing but praises for our work. This place can be a nightmare to take care of because of how particular the members are. I mean they will gripe if a single blade of grass is on any concrete. But I was vigilant to make the place look awesome all the time. The worst part is most of my good profit was going to be through this winter.

Now, I'm basically jobless with no money coming in! So, like I said before, I am having to kind of start all over. When I took on this account I also took on more debt in order to be able to provide all the services they required. I put all my eggs in this basket.

My main question is; Does anyone have any suggestions of the quickest and most efficient way to try and find some work to hold me over until spring. If I had known this was going to happen I could have planned for it. But being that it caught me so off guard I almost don't even know where to start this time of year. I hate sounding so pathetic, LOL but I know that If I could just hear some fresh suggestions it would really get me motivated!

Thanks Everyone! Sorry to leave such a long post..

Steve
01-21-2014, 03:49 PM
Welcome to our forum!

My main question is; Does anyone have any suggestions of the quickest and most efficient way to try and find some work to hold me over until spring.

Can you talk to the person in charge of that property to see if they know of any other work they can set you up with at other locations or through their contacts? If everything was smooth between the two of you, this person may be able to put in some calls for you and pull a string or two?

metalmadness
02-03-2014, 08:22 PM
I'm starting a new lawn-care business in the suburbs of Denver, CO. My plan is to keep my full-time job and have my two sons run the truck while I market hard for new business. The perfect scenario would be to get enough work and grow it to where I can go full-time with this new venture. But I know I need to be realistic and set realistic goals. I LOVE marketing and love working outdoors. Beats the hell out of sitting in a cubicle all day (I refer to it as my cell block). Any advice or pointers would be much appreciated!

Kingrex
02-07-2014, 11:37 AM
New to the Lawncare/Landscape arena...I want to start my own business so any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

AKDave
02-16-2014, 07:53 PM
By The Yard Lawn Care & Snow Removal

Started in Alaska in 2008. I started cutting grass to pay for college in 1986 and at one time owned the third largest lawn mowing service in Colorado Springs.

We have 3 routes right now, each route has a Deere Z400 Series EZtrak Mower and two Honda HRC216 commercial mowers, plus all the peripheral junk LOL.

We also do snow removal in the winter months, using a pair of 2011 Dodge Ram 3500HD's with western 8 foot blades on them. Each truck also carries a Honda HS928TAS snow blower. In the 2014/15 winter we plan on putting a Boss VBX 8000 sander in the back of one truck.

I accidentally found this web site on YouTube while browsing snow plowing videos. We have no snow here, the US is getting it all this year. So I'm reduced to watching videos instead of working LOL.

cloverleaf
02-17-2014, 10:52 AM
New to the forum, I have been doing lawn care ,tree care and landscape maint. for over 22yrs. I have worked for 5 companies in that time period from the corp. giants to the local family company. Now I have take on a new company starting with about 100 customers and about 9 sports fields, I like to do things the honest way so its great to be back in the small family setting again. I have been lic. in both states I service in turf,ornamental,right of way and aquatics. As well as being a ISA Certified Arborist so I feel I can give the best care in my area for a reasonable price. I am looking for a good get your grub control reminder in a door hanger form if anybody has a template. This will be for current customers and left on the door with either their round 2 or 3 application invoice. Thanks for any help, if I can help with technical issues you have in your lawns or landscapes don't hesitate to me

Steve
02-17-2014, 03:52 PM
Welcome to our forum!

I am looking for a good get your grub control reminder in a door hanger form if anybody has a template.

Check out the lawn care business template (http://www.gopherforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=34) section here. There may be something in there you can use.

Matt1924
02-24-2014, 08:58 AM
New member here! I'm in the process of putting together a small operation to supplement our income, possibly expanding into full-time work in the future. Steve, I've watched several of your youtube videos and do enjoy the pointers and tips! I'm in the market for a nice 36-48 inch walk behind mower, budget of around 2k if anyone has any leads. Thanks!

hansen101
03-06-2014, 07:18 PM
Hey Guys I Have a lawn care company up in the northwest that I have ran for about 7 years now. What I've learned is that it takes money to make money....allot of small companies try to get started but don't expect the amount of time and money it takes to keep things going.
Mike

AKDave
03-07-2014, 04:50 PM
I can tell you how I started, hopefully it will make sense.

I bought a higher end Cub Cadet at Home Depot for about 199.00 (up here in Alaska everything is more LOL). I bought a 45.00, 2 stroke trimmer, and that was it. I worked my butt off all summer and saved every penny I had. The only purchases I made with mowing money were fuel and things like air filters, spark plugs and oil. When I had my first 1,300.00, I bought a brand new Honda HRC216 commercial mower. With my next 450.00, I bought Honda's 4 stroke brush cutter. I did this for 6 years until I'm at where I am now: two Dodge Rams with snow plows, and two lawn trailers fully equipped with a Deere Zero Turn 52" mower and three 21 inch walk behinds. Notice, what's missing in all that?

Debt. Don't do it.

I started my business with money I saved up from a regular job and only upgraded when I had the cash on hand to do so. I don't have any account balances, no bills, nothing. This summer we'll be adding to (or replacing) one of the trucks and putting a sander in the other, plus we'll be retiring the original two 21 inch mowers with new ones, all without credit.

It can be done, the point is, you will have to grow the business slow. If you come out of the gate in a hurry, Murphy will slap you in the *** faster than you can blink and take down everything you've built up. My business growth model is: "go slow, let it grow."

If I can help anyone with this stuff, I can be found on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ByTheYardAlaska, or dave99669@gmail.com

Lorenzo's Landscaping
03-20-2014, 02:49 PM
Hi, My name is Lorenzo. I started Lorenzo's Landscaping in 2007 and have been doing residential lawn care. This season I am trying to get into commercial property maintenance.

ruttinbuck06
03-20-2014, 07:10 PM
Hey my name is Rusty Pipes.:) Not hehe. Its Rusty Shipes. Im from North Carolina. Live in Richard Petty country. I worked for a large outfit 20yrs ago. Ran a 52' john deer walkbehind. And loved it. My oldest brother has been in the lawn care business for 25yrs. And we have a middle brother thats been in it for 15yrs. We serve all mighty God!!! And i'm praying everyone of you do also.He is my life he comes before any and everything. For the past 14 yrs i worked for Energizer. But i would like to make lawn care my trade now. So i can spread The Good News. About Jesus. I have a scag tiger cub with a 40' deck. Have any of you seen one before?

ETG1994
03-22-2014, 01:14 PM
Hello all, my name is ETG1994. My neighbor John is going to give me 15 lawns to do this summer. Just coming on here to read up on anything I should learn how to do.
I go to college for business now and I am thinking about within two years starting my own business. I will be interested in starting mostly with powerwashing and than moving into lawn care as well. If all goes well, i'll start off in the nicer neighborhoods in my area, NE Philadelphia PA, and move into the surrounding suburbs.
Hope to meet and chat with all!

plumb
03-22-2014, 09:06 PM
my names Joe got started when I was 7 (kinda) did it till I graduated high school and went off to school for something I thought I wanted to do. mostly watched my dad then I did the last couple passes and went and collected the money.

once I got couple years older I did more work started with a 21" then to old rear engine john deer that I used from age 10 to 15. when I turned 16 I had saved enough to buy a gravely 48" zero turn walk behind.
been out in the "real world" realized I was making a lot better money and could call my own hours when I was in high school.

this will be my first season back gonna start out part time along with my full time job and hope to make this my only job by the end of the season.

ruttinbuck06
03-22-2014, 11:32 PM
How would i step up from a jr member?

dalejones63
03-23-2014, 09:51 AM
My name is Dale. I live in NC and I am actually restarting a lawn care business. I had a business in Ky for about 3 yrs then decided to get out. I am looking to find out the current price rate here in NC so that I can be competitive with the other lawn care specialist's in my area.

Steve
03-24-2014, 11:57 AM
How would i step up from a jr member?

As you post more, your title changes.

gwhitt
03-30-2014, 10:14 PM
Hi everyone! My name is Gary Whitt and I just started WHITT BROTHERS PROPERTY CARE I rutland vermont. This is my first year out. Any advice on writing contracts and biding jobs is welcome.

kslawn
03-31-2014, 05:37 AM
Hi everyone! My name is Gary Whitt and I just started WHITT BROTHERS PROPERTY CARE I rutland vermont. This is my first year out. Any advice on writing contracts and biding jobs is welcome.

gwhitt, check out some of the contracts in 'Contract and Flyer Templates (http://www.gopherforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=34)' on this site at top of the page. They are very helpful, some put a lot more in their contact than others do,and some are short and others have several pages, but it will give you a good start.

gardeninggirl
04-03-2014, 05:58 PM
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, I'm the Gardening Girl just bought a landscape company and wanted to see if anyone had a list of questions to ask potential applicants. How do you know if you are hiring quality workers?

Steve
04-05-2014, 04:22 PM
Welcome to our forum. That is a good question.

I'd suggest making a question about that in the employee section of the forum.

What are you looking for your employees to do?

mickhix
04-13-2014, 04:01 PM
Just wanted to say hi and introduce myself. My name is Mick and I am getting ready to open Trademark Property Services, LLC at the beginning of May. I have spent the past three months or so forming my LLC and purchasing equipment little by little so I can go into this as prepared as possible. I still have a lot to do before I hit the ground running in May and look forward to hearing from everyone and getting some great advice. So if anyone has any advice for me don't be afraid to hit me up.

Steve
04-14-2014, 11:34 AM
Welcome to our forum!

I still have a lot to do before I hit the ground running in May

What else is on your to do list?

WAEdude
05-01-2014, 08:41 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?

We/I got started in business by starting a handyman business focused on serving the older population in our area that used to be active doing things around their home for themselves. I was working 2nd shift as an aluminum welder at a local HD industrial equipment OEM component manufacturer.

I had also returned from a year in Kuwait with my National Guard unit where in addition to my regular duties I served as our unofficial chaplain since we were a "non-deployable" unit with no support infrastructure - including no motorpool or chaplain. Thus in the desert God renewed my call to the ministry.

Our church offered me a part-time assistant pastor position and I started landscaping and handyman-ing on my time to provide support for my family of 8 (now 9).

Having lived in this small rural community for about 10 years, the first customers that stuck were people I had known in the community and church and a couple from classified ads. Lawn care became part of our business because of how well we did our other work - integrity, dependability and good customer relations (trust). They basically asked, "Do you do lawns too?".

We also became known as willing to do dirty work- nearly impossible estate clean ups on nearly impossible time sensitive deadlines. This got us years of work for clients of our local public administrator and continues today.

A massive ice-storm a year after we started got us into dangerous limb (and some tree) removal - hence our working name Wildbrier ArborEcology and Services, LLC. We are transitioning into simply "The WAE".

In short we have done electrical, plumbing, painting, flooring, restoration, gutters and cleaning, roofing and repair, siding repair, drywall, landscape design, restoration and installation, estate cleanup with document and heirloom recovery, metal recycling and removal, junk haul off, brush clearing and even a little welding. And of course lawn care.

We love working with our hands, being outside and doing multiple tasks for a select number of clients.

We are looking forward to learning all we can from all of you about how to do our lawn care better, more professionally and more profitably.

OldSalt
05-30-2014, 09:41 PM
Hello,
Got into this business about a week ago. I'm retired Navy and after being retired for 4 years I have already had it with Corporate America! Never imagined I'd pick this type of work for my first business, but there is a housing boom in this area and money yet to be made. Working out of the NorthEast Florida area which includes Jacksonville Metro area, St Augustine, Daytona, Clay county, etc.

Have always taken care of my on lawns with great success and figured I'd put my iron in the fire and attempt lawn care on a more permanent basis. Have already picked up 2 regulars as well as took care of a neglected property up for sale - all since Tuesday this week. What a jungle the one up for sale was!

So far it's just me running things - and likely will be for quite some time. Have a self propelled 22" craftsman push mower, battery operated Ryobi Edger and trimmer combo, electric blower, plus hedge clippers, rake, etc to get things done. Hauling everything around in the bed of my F-150 for now. Looking to get me some type of small trailer I can get in and out off the garage daily instead of loading and unloading truck everyday. HOA won't allow me to park any type of trailer in my driveway or out front overnight! Same goes for signs on side of truck (need advice on what kinds to get anyway), please.

Got business cards made (myself) and have posted ads on Craigslist and on a site call Thumbtack.com. Otherwise I'm still working on figuring our how to drum up business.

So, where do I go from here? I want to make this successful - have to in order to get my bills paid.

Anyway, hello everyone. Another Newbie is here. Thanks

AKDave
05-30-2014, 11:44 PM
I did the "go slow, let it grow" game plan, which means no debt. I saved and saved and saved and now we have 4 routes, each with enough clients to keep 12 people busy all week. As we grew, we added equipment and employees (contract employment works great where I am). It was rough though when we started getting credit cards rom Honda Power Equipment, Toro, John Deere, etc etc. But if you let the business grow slowly, you'll have quality over quantity. I don't have any yards under $60 anymore, and almost everything we do is residential. Our commercial contracts start at $175, but commercial has been more of a pain in my area than its been worth.

As far as equipment goes, I am the sole person who does the maintenance, and I spend about four hours a day maintaining mowers. They get cleaned, tuned up, blades sharpened, you name it. You have to keep up on it, when something breaks, your out of business until you save up to replace or repair something. As soon as I could I got back-up mowers, every route as one back-up, which stays in the truck at all times. As soon as you can, get commercial grade equipment. Your going to find out real quick that consumer grade mowers will last MAYBE one season before they become money pits. Not to mention a consumer grade mower can't even hold a candle to the cut you get with professional gear.

One other quick note: do not low-ball your pricing to build clientele, you will get every dirtbag & cheapskate in Florida calling you. Customers want cheap, and cheap doesn't get it paid. When I started I had every service I could find, including the local high schoolers, come out and give me a quote. That gave me an idea of where to set my prices. I don't know about Florida, but up here in Alaska, if you start low-balling prices, you WILL get run out of business by those who are legal businesses. So don't do it, underbid by a couple dollars, but don't bid an acre of grass at $50 when every other service in the city can get $150 for it. Basically, I get $600 a week for ten lawns, one of my cheap competitors has to mow 20 lawns to make the same cash. Your choice, but I like not having to work as much for the same money LOL. Have the local services come out and give you an estimate for a mow & go (mow & trim), find out what the going rates are, and get busy :)

Good luck on the new adventure, if you need anything, my email is bytheyardak@gmail.com and I am always on Facebook: www.facebook.com/bytheyardalaska.

devorick81
05-31-2014, 10:40 PM
I'm back again just letting everyone know that I recently changed my business name. It is now True Acres Landscape & Lawn. Just picked up a new Echo trimmer and a pair of Black and Decker primers. Lately, I have been trying to get into patching lawns and over seeding. I wish I had a aerator so I could profit and market more effectively.....What are you Guy's thoughts? Oh i almost forgot, check out my website at http://www.trueacres.weebly.com :)

Steve
06-02-2014, 09:54 AM
What made you decide to change your business name?

As far as aerators go, why not get a bunch of aeration jobs lined up in one day and rent an aerator? It might be the most cost effective method.

greencarelandscaping
07-06-2014, 06:03 PM
hello gopherhaul community,

im just getting started in the lawn & landscape industry. :)

more treads & posts with questions to follow ! :D

thanks for having me on board.

Jbss861
07-13-2014, 08:58 AM
Hi everyone
New to posting in the forum. Been in business several years but can always learn more. This site has great tips

icon2000
07-15-2014, 05:38 PM
Been in business 3 years part time work 10 yards all residential. Love the work and money not bad yards are priced from 35 - 60 all can be down within hour 5 are in same neighborhood. I use Honda hrc216 Toro personal pace Husqvarna trimmer Sthil blower. Troybilt bronco 42 inch deck 2001 model with 195 hours.

Shady Grady
08-01-2014, 03:34 PM
Hello everyone I'm Shady Grady.. Enjoy being outside except when it's a 100 here in Arkansas :) Have a 52" BadBoy and a push LawnBoy mower which I call me Owl Gore mower lol...

TNTurf
08-01-2014, 11:42 PM
Hello. I just joined! I found this site searching for flyer templates.

Cool site!

kurtwin
08-27-2014, 08:33 PM
Greetings everyone,

We (my sons and I) have been doing maintenance for around 6 years for my father-in-law's rental units. Our mowing venture started from this foundation about three years ago with the rental lawns and a couple other properties. Today, we're still doing the rental lawns (and the rental maintenance), but our clientele has increased quite a bit. We're now up to 27 lawns, some big, some small. Not much for just doing lawn care, but our other work fills in some of the gaps.

My sons both started college classes this year, so I'm learning what it is like to mow solo this fall. We are trying to consider where to go with the business right now, and trying to decide whether to add products this next season such as fertilization, overseeding, aerating, etc. to bring up our profit margin to something more sustainable on the mowing side.

We run a 52" Exmark Turf Tracer, a 42" John Deere Z225, along with Stihl trimmers, blowers and an Echo hedge trimmer.

Looking forward to learning from the forums!

Kurt

Tree geek
10-06-2014, 06:05 PM
Thanks Steve for informative site. I chose this as the first Landscaper chat room to join, and hope to learn from yourself and others who are actively in the trade.

My start up involves a sector of care that regular Landscapers do not offer. Expert training of young trees through selective pruning, excavation of trees Root flairs buried by Mulch and raised soil grades, and trunk injections of insecticide to protect American Ash trees from Emerald Ash borer.
Scott

GetzL&S
10-12-2014, 07:11 PM
Just wanted to say Hello and introduce myself, hope I am doing this right.... Just starting out with our Landscaping and Snowplowing business... registered here to check things out and get some info

NHray
10-15-2014, 06:43 PM
Hello everyone in the forum. My name is Ray and I am determined to start my own business up in the spring. Been working a sales job for the better part of fifteen years now and more than ready to leave it all behind. I hope to find some valuable information here as I start out and also share some of my experiences along the way. :)