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Steve
10-07-2008, 11:30 PM
What side jobs have you done or asked to do?

Tonight I got this great email from a lawn care business owner who was telling me how he keeps himself busy all year because he is known as mr. fix it in his area. The other day he had an interior paint job. Then he replaced a sink faucet for another neighbor. He installed a section of fence.

He is looking to buy a sewer snake to take care of sewer problems because that is another request which seems to arise more often.

What's your view?

cklandscapingorlando
10-08-2008, 05:55 PM
I think that if you want to be viewed as a professional you should be one.If your friend is running a handyman business then great.If he is looking to be viewed as the mr. landscaper then he should focus on landscaping.

Little's
10-08-2008, 10:49 PM
Hey Steve. When it comes to making money, I will do just about anything legal! I have done side jobs such as tearing down old porches, fixing rotted wood inside a bathroom, reattaching crown molding inside a whole house, painting, drying and selling oak (goes hand in hand with my tree business), burning brush piles during burn season, fix broken down cars, buying and fixing and selling small engine tools, and the list goes on and on.

My dad was a jack of all trades, and owned a construction company my whole life growing up, and I started working for him when I was like 12. So I have lots of experience doing all sorts of things.

Im not too proud to do these sorts of things. When it comes to making money, I will do it all!

Steve
10-08-2008, 11:12 PM
That is really interesting to hear. Can you tell me this because I am sure others are wondering. How do you get the word out that you are able to do all those sorts of services?

Little's
10-09-2008, 12:44 AM
You spend time talking to your customers, and you learn that they have things around their house that need taking care of. Or I will keep my eyes open and point out that I can fix this and that. Usually they just say "go ahead..."

R&B Enterprise
10-09-2008, 01:00 AM
I agree, with the way the economy is, in order to survive you have to diversify, i started doing home maintenance and repairs for the first 2 years of business, this year it slowed to the point i started mowing lawns and snow removal, i am flexible and will still be able to pay the bills, my plan is to hire a crew to strictly do lawn maintenance as i do home maintenance and repairs. just have to hire the right people and have good management skills, and you can be successful.

Rob

Steve
10-09-2008, 04:37 PM
Rob,

For others that are wondering, how did you land those side jobs? Did you market them or did the customers just come up and ask you?

cklandscapingorlando
10-09-2008, 06:05 PM
When I first started out I would do what ever to make a doller.I dont need to do that now.I have a good rep as a very good landscaper and that was the qoal.If you can show me just one landscape company that brings in 5 mill a year thats willing to do just any thing then I might change my mind.They may have subsideraries but tru green dont do sidding.If you can run a maintanance crew and then do what you do thats great.I just like to specialize in my trade not every ones trade.

Steve
10-09-2008, 06:06 PM
When I first started out I would do what ever to make a doller.I dont need to do that now.I have a good rep as a very good landscaper and that was the qoal.If you can show me just one landscape company that brings in 5 mill a year thats willing to do just any thing then I might change my mind.They may have subsideraries but tru green dont do sidding.If you can run a maintanance crew and then do what you do thats great.I just like to specialize in my trade not every ones trade.

Do you have suggestions for what newer lawn care business owners should do when the year slows down? What should they be doing when money is tight?

R&B Enterprise
10-10-2008, 12:44 AM
Rob,

For others that are wondering, how did you land those side jobs? Did you market them or did the customers just come up and ask you?

I did direct marketing to Realtor, some is from word of mouth, also i deal with Service Magic (60% success rate) also partnered up with a friend that owns a paint company then he sells my company to the home owner and i do the same for his company, then if the home owner uses both companies we offer a special pricing.

Steve
10-10-2008, 03:42 PM
also i deal with Service Magic (60% success rate)

Is that for lawn care jobs or side jobs as well?

cklandscapingorlando
10-10-2008, 06:08 PM
Well Im lucky enough to live in florida so I get paid year round.But at first I would build decks,fences,dig up plants,pressure wash,or any thing I could get my hands on.The key is putting your self out there.Let all your clients know what could be better with their property.They probly dont know you can do what you can do.If a client needs landscaping then draw up something and let them know how you can make it look.I dont ask but I enjoy designing so I just do it then give it to them.Make sure that you do this for clients not customers.A client trust you and will use you for any thing they can.A customer is someone your doing work for but they have no problem using someone else.If your clients love your work they'll tell a friend and they have to keep up the friends.

Steve
10-10-2008, 07:55 PM
The key is putting your self out there.Let all your clients know what could be better with their property.They probly dont know you can do what you can do.If a client needs landscaping then draw up something and let them know how you can make it look.I dont ask but I enjoy designing so I just do it then give it to them.

Do you ever find yourself creating a landscape design and presenting to your clients if they don't ask for anything, just if you are inspired to do it? If so, does that ever work? Can you land jobs that way? Or should you first wait for them to ask you to offer them a design idea?

cklandscapingorlando
10-11-2008, 07:06 PM
Thats exactly what I do.Thats why I said they have to be clients not customers.If you do that for a customer you run the risk of them taking bids on your design.But a good client will keep it and if they deside to go forward then its your job.Yes I have landed jobs this way.Even if they dont want it right then they always have that thing in their mind every time they come home or have guest over.They know it looks bad and you can fix it.I would do something basic and then try to up sell them on a better job.You know just the bones at first and the frills when they want to talk.

Steve
10-11-2008, 07:27 PM
I would do something basic and then try to up sell them on a better job.You know just the bones at first and the frills when they want to talk.

That is really neat!

If you happen to have a design you have made from drawing to reality, I'd love to see it.

Also, how much of a difference have you found you can charge a client from a basic design to a more elaborate one?

cklandscapingorlando
10-12-2008, 05:51 PM
We have some pics on our web site. cklandscapingflorida.com.Some are plants we're growing,some maintanance,some installation work.Afte x-mass we'll put up pics of x-mass.We're just starting to take pics of our work for promotional stuff.Well I like to work with what they have in mind for a budgit.But I've started a job at 1200 and ended at 3200.In 2 days and 1200 in material.If you lay out just a single hedge row in #3 then to use a bunch of #1 for an up sell is'nt that hard.The bulk of the money is in the hedges so when they see how much nicer it is fo just a few hundred more they usually go for it.

Steve
10-12-2008, 08:40 PM
.If you lay out just a single hedge row in #3 then to use a bunch of #1 for an up sell is'nt that hard.

What was the #1 and #3 referring too? The pictures on your site?

After x-mass we'll put up pics of x-mass.

Are you offering outdoor holiday decorations? Or what kinds of x-mass pictures are you referring to?

But I've started a job at 1200 and ended at 3200.In 2 days and 1200 in material.

Do you mean the $1200 in materials was on top of the job price or included?

cklandscapingorlando
10-13-2008, 06:46 PM
1 gal. and 3 gal. Yes I do decorations for the holidays.The job took 2 days and 1200 in plants and mulch.I billed them 3200 for the job.1000 a day aint bad.The pics are on my web site.

cklandscapingorlando
10-13-2008, 06:48 PM
The total job was only 1200 at first but by the end it was 3200

Steve
10-13-2008, 08:09 PM
Yes I do decorations for the holidays.

What has been your view of outdoor holiday decorations? What price range do you think lawn care business owners should shoot for when promoting this kind of work?

cklandscapingorlando
10-14-2008, 06:42 PM
I have'nt yet marketed it.I would look at it from an houtly point.It takes alot longer to wrap a palm tree than it would to lay it on a bush so I would do hourly.Remember that you have to put them up,take them down,check them,and pack them evey year.If your storing them you need to charge for that as well.I'm still new to the lights.I do my house and next door with about 25,000 lights so I'm going to ty and use that for promotions this year

Steve
10-14-2008, 07:17 PM
How do you handle not overloading the circuits? How big of a factor is that? I'd love to see some of the pics you have worked on.

Also, how long have you found the average job to take or what is your goal for how long they should take?

cklandscapingorlando
10-15-2008, 06:25 PM
On my house I have to use 4 cercuits but next door only 2.Thats alot of lights.Enough to get us on the news.My house takes about 16 hours up and 5 down.Next door is about 8 up and 3 downThats alot of lights though.To trim a house and go over a few shrubs maybe 3 hours to do.You get faster every year because you know where every thing goes

Steve
10-15-2008, 07:11 PM
Enough to get us on the news

Oh you got talked about on the news? Was it on tv or in a newspaper? What did you think of that experience?

Are you going to put a sign out front this year to promote that you offer this service?

cklandscapingorlando
10-16-2008, 06:04 PM
They did'nt really talk about us they just show some of the best looking houses.I'm thinking of making a big sign out of lights for my roof this year

Steve
10-16-2008, 06:37 PM
I'm thinking of making a big sign out of lights for my roof this year

That would be so awesome! I gotta see that.