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View Full Version : Hello All.. New to the Forum


rsmorris
08-19-2008, 10:35 PM
My name is Shawn from Central MS. I am new to the forum but not the business. I have been self employed for 14 years. The first 12 years I owned one of the largest professional tree services in MS. I always wanted to be in the lawn business so I sold my tree business and equipment (bucket truck, dump-trucks, chippers, and stump-grinders/cutters and purchased all the stuff I would need to start in the lawn business and TurfPro Lawn and Landscape of MS was born.

I make less money for the moment than I did in the tree business but, from my years of experience being self-employed, the potential in this industry is virtually unlimited and I fully expect to capitalize on it to the best of my ability.

This site is truly exciting. There is so many tips and tricks to learn from everyone and I am always open to suggestions and other professional advice. Thanks Steve for doing such a wonderful job here! :)

Steve
08-19-2008, 10:39 PM
Hi Shawn,

Thanks for joining us!

You really sound like you have had an exciting ride so far!

What made you want to leave the tree business? Why didn't you try and start offering lawn care service along with tree services? Couldn't you have expanded it that way?

rsmorris
08-19-2008, 10:47 PM
Hi Shawn,

Thanks for joining us!

You really sound like you have had an exciting ride so far!

What made you want to leave the tree business? Why didn't you try and start offering lawn care service along with tree services? Couldn't you have expanded it that way?


I believe it would have been possible to incorporate the lawn service with the tree services but it would have been very difficult. I got out of the tree business because I was interested in obtaining long-term customers. In the tree business you spend the majority of your time bidding jobs and its a never ending process. If you win the bid, you do the job and thats it. If you do good work they will call you again IF they ever need your service again but 90 percent of the jobs are one time deals.

What I like about the lawn care industry is that I dont have to spend a lot of time bidding jobs. If the work is done well and you build raport with your customers, you can keep them for an extended period of time.

Steve
08-20-2008, 06:17 AM
That is a very good point! I bet you really had to focus on your marketing to keep a steady flow of new customers calling.

Do you have any advice as to what you tried that worked and what didn't work?

rsmorris
08-20-2008, 08:14 AM
That is a very good point! I bet you really had to focus on your marketing to keep a steady flow of new customers calling.

Do you have any advice as to what you tried that worked and what didn't work?

Making the transition was definately a challenge. I jumped into this head first and began to market heavily to produce customers. The first thing I did was to tell all friends and family I was in the business. Next, I ran an ad in the local newspaper until I could get a small ad in the phonebook. I designed my business cards and handed them out everywhere I went. I even printed out flyers to pass out in targeted neighborhoods.

Advertising in the Lawn Care business is MUCH cheaper than in the Tree business. I was spending approximately $1,000 monthly in the tree business to advertise which reduced with time but in Lawn Care, its only a fraction of that which is very nice.

A wise man once said, "To be successful in business, drop your business cards like breadcrumbs. Leave them everywhere you go" This is very true.. and it works.

One more bit of advice for anyone looking to obtain customers. I have always found that you can advertise all you want but that enitial face to face conversation with the customer is what sells your service. Go out and hunt for customers. Go up to them and actually talk to them and be polite and professional. This will get more long term customers faster than any advertising that you do. If there is a property you might be interested in, stop and ask someone about it.

Hope this helps.
Shawn

Steve
08-20-2008, 05:06 PM
Have you sent out any mailers to your previous customer list?

When you were running your tree care business did you do any marketing that really helped you stand out or was it tough to stand out in that industry?

jackmcmanus21
09-19-2008, 09:53 AM
Welcome Shawn. That was quite the chance you took in going to the lawncare business, but it looks like it is paying off.