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CatchingCold
10-22-2007, 06:42 PM
Hello everyone, and I'm sorry ahead of time for the long post you are about to read. My name is Kyle and I live in the central Florida region. A friend and I are currently on the fence about starting a lawn business in our area. I am currently a business student at a nearby college (so I feel this would be a good beginning) and also work full time at the print shop of the Office Depot here (meaning free flyer's and so forth). I can design a good flyer and logo, I have great people skills from working in retail, and I have the motivation to start this.

My main concern: my overall schedule. I don't really want to quit my job to do this because, in its early stages, this business will just be an extra way to make money as well as business experience. As the business grows, I hope to tack on new employees, abilities, equipments, and more to make my business endless! But at the same time, it appears that currently, the only days I will be able to do this would be Mondays and Wednesdays from 2 to nightfall and Thursday all day. Do I not have enough time in my schedule to start this kind of thing? Will this equal trouble in the long run? I'm worried about what would happen if it rains one week during all of those times, then I am getting backed up with angry customers.

On the flip side, Ive only been thinking about this for about a week and Ive already developed some key things that may set me apart from competitors. I will start with one self-propelled mower, weed-wacker and edger, and blower. I feel that I can make this work by stating that my small mower wont break sprinkler heads like these big riding mowers around here. I already have a great flyer I designed and can easily have inexpensive business cards made. Ive done web and graphic design for a few years so I can easily whip up a nice website as well. How does Southern Central Rain Lawn Service sound as a name? I got it from an REM song and thought it sounded pretty good!

You run a great website and I hope you can help me better understand and piece together my dilemmas and ideas!

Steve
10-22-2007, 07:19 PM
Hi Kyle,

Welcome to our forum!

I think you should start. Why not! Make the best of what you got now. This is something you should always do and then strive to make it better in the future.

Southern Central Rain Lawn Service is a little bit longer of a name than we usually see but hey if you like it, run with it.

Would you be starting this business with our partner?

What are some of your future goals with your business education? How will this business play into those goals?

CatchingCold
10-22-2007, 08:12 PM
I thought the name seemed a bit long as well, so maybe I should think more about that. And yes, my friend will be my business partner and it will be the two of us doing the work, being a two-man show for awhile until we grow enough to gather more employees. My business goals are actually oriented towards music. I dream of opening my own concert venue someday. Being the age I am right now, I feel that this lawn company would be a great start early in my life to help me understand more about the ins and outs of running my own business. What would you do in the instance I described like rain? Florida can see quite a bit of rain sometimes and if it rains off and on for a full week, and Im only doing yards 3 days a week, what would I do for my customers? Thank you for your help and quick response!

Steve
10-22-2007, 08:19 PM
Hi Kyle,

A partner may make things easier for you since you have another job.

Let's look into this a little more and maybe we can work it all in together.

Can you explain to us why music? Are you a musician? What do you play?

CatchingCold
10-23-2007, 12:40 AM
Music has always just been a big part of my life. I mainly play the bass, while my friend (future business partner) plays the guitar. I'm not sure I understand the connection you are making though?

As far as the lawn business goes again, I thought of another question. What kind of legal type of steps will I need to follow through with before starting? Reading through the various posts here on this site, Ive seen members ask if they need workers comp set up if its more than one person? I understand that I will need a special landscaping permit/license to start, which I hear is fairly inexpensive in my area and is also nice because you can put a license number on flyers and so forth to further the validity of the company. But is there anything else?

Thank you again for your help!

Little's
10-23-2007, 01:14 AM
Hi Kyle. I will share a little of my info with you that may help. Others here may run their services a little differently, but I have found that this works well for me and have yet run into any trouble with it. First, there is no shortage of work in this business, so getting customers is fairly easy, especially if you are a "normal" person, well spoken, easy to get along with, etc.
I charge my customers a flat monthly fee year round. i dont lower my prices through the winter. If it rains a little I dont mind, but I wont work if it is downpouring. My customers dont mind paying the same all year, I think it may be for several reasons.
1. they don't want to have to shop for a new lawn care provider after winter is over.
2. Winter isn't really that long (around here anyway)
3. I do a little extra work through the rest of the year, and a little less in the winter so it equals out.
4. They like me.
I don't know the market where you live, but here there is more a shortage of lawn care people. I started out by going door to door with business cards and had 5 weekly customers within the first couple weeks. Within a month I had more than 10.
Hope this all helps. Go for it, you'll do just fine!

Steve
10-23-2007, 04:04 AM
Quote[/b] ]Music has always just been a big part of my life. I mainly play the bass, while my friend (future business partner) plays the guitar. I'm not sure I understand the connection you are making though?

As far as the lawn business goes again, I thought of another question. What kind of legal type of steps will I need to follow through with before starting? Reading through the various posts here on this site, Ive seen members ask if they need workers comp set up if its more than one person? I understand that I will need a special landscaping permit/license to start, which I hear is fairly inexpensive in my area and is also nice because you can put a license number on flyers and so forth to further the validity of the company. But is there anything else?

Hi Kyle,

Here is what I was thinking. Why not mix your music interest with your lawn care. Like for instance, call your business "Rock Star Lawns." Or something like that. Pull all these interests together. It makes for a great story. You can have an about us section that tells a little about your love of music. It would let people relate to you better. Can you imagine how cool of a logo you could come up with too with all this?

If you start up a partnership with your friend I don't think you will need workman's comp. But you may need to check that with a local insurance provider.

Keep us posted on what's going on! This all sounds very exciting!

FourSeasons
10-23-2007, 08:59 AM
Quote[/b] ]What would you do in the instance I described like rain?

Put on rain gear and keep mowing.

Thats what I have to do or I would never be on schedule. I live in Washington and for the last 2 months its been raining 4-5 days a week off and on. I've always had outside jobs here though. So I'm used to the rain.

I just have to be careful if it gets to wet not to tear up my customer's lawn.

CatchingCold
10-23-2007, 01:18 PM
Thank you everyone for your responses! I'm going to think some more about this with my partner about name and all and I will keep you all updated soon!

Steve
10-23-2007, 04:00 PM
Kyle keep us posted and keep thinking of names that will allow your business to stand out.

CatchingCold
10-24-2007, 02:41 PM
Hey everyone! I tried working on another name. Ive come up with "Evermore Landscaping". What do you think? I basically went through all my music looking for titles of songs that I could format into a name for the company. Upon seeing "The Battle of Evermore" by Zeppelin, I came up with this. Also, here is the flyer that I had worked up, including the new name. Please give me as much feedback as possible! Criticism is welcome!

Kyle

http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/6611/evermorelandscapingflyevj6.jpg

Steve
10-24-2007, 04:14 PM
Hi Kyle,

Very creative! I like what you have done! And I love that song http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Um if I were to change anything, maybe I would take out the contract part and put in free estimates and maybe licensed and insured or something like that. But it looks good! Can you tell us how you are planning to distribute this image? In a flyer? On Craigslist? Or what?


Also add a web address?

CatchingCold
10-24-2007, 04:34 PM
I will be printing it as a flyer and while I am walking door to door, I will give one to the person that I speak to. If no one is there, I will roll it up, put a rubber band around it, and leave it at the door. I will also be placing the same image on Craigslist. I will add a license number to it once I get one, as well as a web address. I don't plan on creating a website until a bit later on though. So the name sounds better? Should I say "landscaping" if initially I will just be doing cutting and such? Thank you!

Steve
10-24-2007, 04:39 PM
Kyle I think the name is good name. It's solid.

I don't think it is outrageous but you may not be shooting for that.

From what we have seen here in the past, outrageous tends to attract more attention quicker than conservative.

What's your view on being all this?

CatchingCold
10-24-2007, 06:26 PM
I kind of like the simplicity of the name. Evermore basically means "forever" or "always", so I feel the name fits nicely because I will pitch to my prospects the aspect of always giving them quality work, competitive pricing, and my utmost attention.

Steve
10-24-2007, 06:27 PM
I do like it very much!

Have you thought about any outrageous ways to promote your business? Could you use your music talents in any way? Could you make a jingle for your business?

StartALawnCareBusiness
10-25-2007, 08:57 PM
Hey Kyle. Welcome to the forum.

Oooo....so you're a Zeppelin fan. Hey, you know the lead singer's name is "Plant"....see, there's another tie-in.

You said you don't mind criticism...here's some...with the lady lieing in the grass, it looks like you're advertising "Evermore Funeral Home." :-) I'm actually serious as that's the first thing I thought of when I saw it. It kind of has a hazy, dreamy feel to it. Maybe make the grass more pronounced and have a lady or family sitting or playing on the grass instead of a lady with a "I'm on my way to heaven" smile on her face. Ha Ha.

So, you're studying business in college? Why not throw in an elective in the horticulture section of your catalogue for your next semester? It doesn't have to be a hard core class. Customers will be encouraged and will be willing to give you more responsibilities with the jobs you are allowed to bid. A class will also give you a great step to getting your applicators' license.

You're on the right track.

Good luck and...ramble on.

Keith

Little's
10-25-2007, 11:41 PM
I think the lady in the picture is a little creepy for me. It makes me think of a home for dementia or Alzheimer's patients. Sorry for being so blunt. I like your name a lot though. Good luck with your business.

Steve
10-25-2007, 11:51 PM
Kyle also keep in mind that anything you do to get your name out is a positive thing. Meeting people, shaking hands, giving estimate, handing out flyers are all positive things.

Finding the perfect wording for your advertisements and pictures for your marketing is an ongoing thing you will fine tune to see what works and what doesn't.

Please keep trying and experimenting and find what works for you.

I applaud you.