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chehalemmower
11-15-2008, 10:17 AM
Hello all, I'm new to this forum. I've got a day job but I moonlight as a, well heck I'll do just about anything to bring in extra money. In the spring and summer I do small engine repair and that keeps me pretty busy. I also do some lawnmowing in my spare time but I don't really advertise hard for this because I've found people want the whole shebang, mowing, tree trimming, edging, weeding, etc. I'm don't really care to do anything more than mowing. I don't have that sense of finesse when I do trimming, weeding, etc. and I wouldn't be comfortable getting paid for it and perhaps disappointing because I did a poor job. I do enjoy getting out and mowing however. I find it very relaxing after a stressful day at work.

Do any of you guys simply do mowing and nothing else? How does it pay and how busy are you?

Thanks!!:cool:

mhoward92
11-15-2008, 05:04 PM
Most people on this forum have businesses that will do any of it. If someone wants just mowing and not edging or weed eating they'll do it. But other then that i would say NO most people on this forum don't JUST mow.

musician/lawnman
11-15-2008, 07:04 PM
Our minimum service is mow, line trim, edge, & blow off.
We will not "just mow it". If that's what a customer whats & that's all they will pay for, they are not a customer we want anyway.

The neighbors of such a customer will never watch you do a half-assed job & think.... wow that looks like crap, must be cheap? Let's hire him.

The place will look like crap & the client is unhappy, your underpaid & thus your unhappy, you'll never get refferals from this customer & neighbors will not approach you while your there. It's just not conducive to building a good business.

If they want "just a mow" for $10-$15 bucks, tell em to go buy a push mower & hire a neighborhood kid to do it.

legendlawn
11-15-2008, 08:19 PM
Very well said...While this guys intentions are all good, It is people like him that are detrimental to our "professional" industry. This is just one of the scenarios going through my head. This guy mows joe blow's yard for 20 bucks his neighbor calls me for an estimate and I tell him our price is 40 for the "real deal." The prospect is flabergasted by "our outrageous prices" because his neighbor gets a $20 half *** mow.

legendlawn
11-15-2008, 08:26 PM
Very well said...While this guys intentions are all good, It is people like him that are detrimental to our "professional" industry. This is just one of the scenarios going through my head. This guy mows joe blow's yard for 20 bucks his neighbor calls me for an estimate and I tell him our price is 40 for the "real deal." The prospect is flabergasted by "our outrageous prices" because his neighbor gets a $20 half *** mow.

chehalemmower
11-16-2008, 01:30 AM
Well from my perspective, I'm that neighborhood kid, with my own mower. I don't go around advertising that I only mow lawns, I do this on the weekends and some evenings in the summer. This is by far not my full time career as most of you are doing. I'm not going for the professional look although I do have some common sense customer service skills. The only place I advertise is on craigslist and I get a few customers from past customers but my customers are not calling me because they want a manicured lawn, they are the ones with all weeds that just want them knocked down once a month or so, some a little more often. They don't have the money nor do they care about their lawn enough to pay high dollar for such a service. Hell they don't even water it because it cost too much. I fill a particular niche in the market that you refuse to service and I make a little pocket change in return for my time. I don't care how you look at it, $25 for a half hour worth of work ain't bad.

I don't think I'm taking anything away from your prospective clients. Your clients have money, mine don't. Mine call me up when they need it done and I tell them I'll be there in the next 7 days or so. Definitely not the clients you want anyways.

I hope this helps clarify who I am. I'm not a target, I'm just a guy like you that is trying to pay the bills, exploring many different trades to find the one that best fits me. I was just asking if any of you do the same thing but its overwhelmingly obvious that you don't.

Huuuum maybe I should create my own forum for guy that only mow lawns.....there's my inner entrepreneur thinking again!!!

mhoward92
11-16-2008, 11:57 AM
theres no need to get offensive about any of the responses. I mean as I said. Most people on here own commercial lawncare businesses. So yeah they are not gonna do a loball job for 15-20 bux. They consider their work professional and expect professional pay and profit. Because you can take the "pocket change" as you called it but when running a professional business you have to make more money then that. otherwise why even take that kind of client. you might end up losing money.

you are not thinking of our perspective on this. I understand you might have not got the answer you were looking for but I guess it goes to show you your answer....No...most people here don't just offer mowing. what kind of professional business would that be? as you said your business is not "professional" and you don't care. So thats totally fine. but as someone stated before. what if someone drove past and you were loading up your trailer with your equiptment after you just mowed. and they saw that you just mowed and the rest looked like crap. is that a good reputation for your business?

Little's
11-16-2008, 01:14 PM
These guys absolutely fill a need in the market. I mean even people with just weeds in their lawns need it mowed every now and then. If the "pros" arent going to do it, then I see them as seeing this as a business opportunity and going after it.

Sure it makes the pros look even more detailed and I dont see how that can be negative to the business. People know what they want and will pay for what they want. I personally do both types of customers. I have a few little old ladies that call me every couple weeks to just mow, and trust me, they have plenty of little old lady friends that they refer.

I aint to proud to mow!

musician/lawnman
11-16-2008, 06:33 PM
1st of all I am not downing anybody here, Everybody's gotta start somewhere, some never decide to make it a legitimate business & for those weekend warriors out there don't really take much a dent from our overall marketshare. But they are usually unlicenced, uninsured & don't pay any taxes. That is aggrivating when you give an estimate for $30 & the client comes back with " I found a guy that will do it on saturdays fo $18 bucks!?"

I tell em "well give him a shot & hope he does a good job, & pray he never gets hurt on your property or throws a rock threw a sliding glass door. If he gets hurt your getting sued, if he damages something you'll never see him again...." "Hold onto my card & call me when you'd like to hire a professional".

I shake their hand & thank them for calling.

It's not that I am too proud to just mow a lawn, I've just found it counterproductive & I'm trying to move up, not down so yeah, I pass on these customers.

Team Gopher
11-17-2008, 07:11 AM
Hi,

Welcome to our forum!

I do small engine repair and that keeps me pretty busy.

How do you like offering small engine repair services? Do you service the mowers at the customers property or do they bring them to you? How do you promote this service?

ritchiem
11-17-2008, 10:36 AM
I have known a lot of people in the industry that started out just the way you are. Then they develop a passion and grow from there. Everyone needs to start somewhere, however, you do need to be careful on a liability standpoint.

Don't get hurt or break anything!!!

If you had enough lawns to mow would you consider making it full time? Would you then perhaps develop a knack for the details? What type of info do you hope to pull away from this thread? What I am trying to say is, if you are showing interest in our industry and are looking to grow within it, we will all help you achieve that goal. But if you just want to know if you can make a couple of bucks on the side by giving non showcase quality work then you might have a problem getting support.

Good luck to you sir.

Cheers,

mhoward92
11-17-2008, 12:41 PM
I have known a lot of people in the industry that started out just the way you are. Then they develop a passion and grow from there. Everyone needs to start somewhere, however, you do need to be careful on a liability standpoint.

Don't get hurt or break anything!!!

If you had enough lawns to mow would you consider making it full time? Would you then perhaps develop a knack for the details? What type of info do you hope to pull away from this thread? What I am trying to say is, if you are showing interest in our industry and are looking to grow within it, we will all help you achieve that goal. But if you just want to know if you can make a couple of bucks on the side by giving non showcase quality work then you might have a problem getting support.

Good luck to you sir.

Cheers,

i second every word of that. very good way to put it.

chehalemmower
11-17-2008, 09:57 PM
Hi,

Welcome to our forum!



How do you like offering small engine repair services? Do you service the mowers at the customers property or do they bring them to you? How do you promote this service?

Small engine repair is my passion but I really enjoy mowing my lawn. I would like to do small engine repair or lawn maintanence full time as long as it provided enough money to support my family. My day job pays pretty good for around here but there is no way I would risk my family by dropping what I currently do to try something. The last thing I want to do is lose my house over an adventure!

As for small engine repair, I advertise solely on craigslist and word of mouth. I work on equipment mostly at my house but I have done a few house calls for an additional fee. I've had many referrals via word of mouth and that feels great to know someone is happy with the kind of work you do. I plan on advertising to some local landscape/lawn maintanence companies for quick service. My prices are quite a bit less than the OPE dealers because I have little overhead at this point. I'm sure they don't like it but if I can do the same service, with the same quality, do it faster and for less money that's the kind of service people are looking for. I'm not going to try to sell them on some other product (because I have none to sell) and I offer unbiased advice about all of the brands of equipment since I don't sell a particular brand. Ironically I send many of my customers to my local OPE dealer to buy equipment I feel is top quality. Not too many people sending customers to the competition.
Now I may not have the parts in stock all of the time but I can get them just as fast as the OPE dealers. Most equipment is serviced within 24hours unless parts are needed and then that may take up to a week to get in. Try that with an OPE dealer that's 3 weeks out. Can you guys really afford to have your equipment down for 3 weeks?
That's my philosophy on business. So if you're in the Portland, OR area and want great service, quickly, and at a fair price, look me up.

Troy:D

SC93
11-24-2008, 04:55 PM
"Well from my perspective, I'm that neighborhood kid, with my own mower. I don't go around advertising that I only mow lawns, I do this on the weekends and some evenings in the summer. This is by far not my full time career as most of you are doing. I'm not going for the professional look although I do have some common sense customer service skills. The only place I advertise is on craigslist and I get a few customers from past customers but my customers are not calling me because they want a manicured lawn, they are the ones with all weeds that just want them knocked down once a month or so, some a little more often. They don't have the money nor do they care about their lawn enough to pay high dollar for such a service. Hell they don't even water it because it cost too much. I fill a particular niche in the market that you refuse to service and I make a little pocket change in return for my time. I don't care how you look at it, $25 for a half hour worth of work ain't bad."


As with almost anyone out there in almost any kind of business looking for GOOD clients CRAIGSLIST is NOT where you look for GOOD clients.

Steve
11-24-2008, 06:53 PM
Small engine repair is my passion but I really enjoy mowing my lawn. I would like to do small engine repair or lawn maintanence full time as long as it provided enough money to support my family. My day job pays pretty good for around here but there is no way I would risk my family by dropping what I currently do to try something. The last thing I want to do is lose my house over an adventure!

As for small engine repair, I advertise solely on craigslist and word of mouth. I work on equipment mostly at my house but I have done a few house calls for an additional fee. I've had many referrals via word of mouth and that feels great to know someone is happy with the kind of work you do. I plan on advertising to some local landscape/lawn maintanence companies for quick service. My prices are quite a bit less than the OPE dealers because I have little overhead at this point. I'm sure they don't like it but if I can do the same service, with the same quality, do it faster and for less money that's the kind of service people are looking for. I'm not going to try to sell them on some other product (because I have none to sell) and I offer unbiased advice about all of the brands of equipment since I don't sell a particular brand. Ironically I send many of my customers to my local OPE dealer to buy equipment I feel is top quality. Not too many people sending customers to the competition.
Now I may not have the parts in stock all of the time but I can get them just as fast as the OPE dealers. Most equipment is serviced within 24hours unless parts are needed and then that may take up to a week to get in. Try that with an OPE dealer that's 3 weeks out. Can you guys really afford to have your equipment down for 3 weeks?
That's my philosophy on business. So if you're in the Portland, OR area and want great service, quickly, and at a fair price, look me up.

Great concept! Have you considered offering a loaner mower as an additional option when you are working on their mower? That might be a way to generate more income.

"Well from my perspective, I'm that neighborhood kid, with my own mower. I don't go around advertising that I only mow lawns, I do this on the weekends and some evenings in the summer. This is by far not my full time career as most of you are doing. I'm not going for the professional look although I do have some common sense customer service skills. The only place I advertise is on craigslist and I get a few customers from past customers but my customers are not calling me because they want a manicured lawn, they are the ones with all weeds that just want them knocked down once a month or so, some a little more often. They don't have the money nor do they care about their lawn enough to pay high dollar for such a service. Hell they don't even water it because it cost too much. I fill a particular niche in the market that you refuse to service and I make a little pocket change in return for my time. I don't care how you look at it, $25 for a half hour worth of work ain't bad."


As with almost anyone out there in almost any kind of business looking for GOOD clients CRAIGSLIST is NOT where you look for GOOD clients.

Do you for see yourself in the future scaling up your operation or are you happy with what it is now?

chehalemmower
11-25-2008, 01:00 AM
yeah I do offer a loaner mower to any customer. Not the best mower but it is self propelled with a bag. My offer has only been used a couple times. Most people bring their mower to me on like a friday and I usually have it done for them to pick up by sat. afternoon. I offer this service to any customer, not just my LCO customers.

I would love to see my operation grow. This winter I'm starting a small marketing campaign to get some LCO accounts. With a minimal advertising budget I can't place an ad in ALL of the local papers but I will try a few for 3 months each and track their results. Thanks for asking!

Steve
11-25-2008, 01:17 AM
I would love to see my operation grow. This winter I'm starting a small marketing campaign to get some LCO accounts. With a minimal advertising budget I can't place an ad in ALL of the local papers but I will try a few for 3 months each and track their results. Thanks for asking!

Who would you say your main customer base is? Home owners or lawn care business owners? Who are you trying to reach mainly with this marketing campaign?

chehalemmower
11-25-2008, 08:04 PM
My main customer base right now is homeowners but I would like to see more commercial customers and get them onto a regular maintanence plan. I'm basically trying to get as many people through my service as I can because I know once they have used my services, they will come back AND they will refer more customers. I prefer referrals because they are better customers as most of you know. If LCO's realized how beneficial a good mechanic can be rather than taking their equipment to a large OPE dealer, I think they would appreciate how quickly they can get their equipment back in service. With the small size of my business, I"m able to drop what I'm doing to help my preferred customers. I always make my LCO's a priority because I know their equipment pays the bills, whereas a homeowner may be experiencing an inconvenience. Either way, I try to have all of my equipment returned within 5 days. Try going to your local OPE dealer and getting that kind of service.

Just my rant. Give me your feedback!!

Steve
11-25-2008, 08:47 PM
One of the things I wonder about is this. As a selling point to lawn care business owners, do they need to have their lawn care equipment serviced by the dealership in order to retain their warranty or can anyone perform the service?

I would think this could be an issue.

Does anyone know?

chehalemmower
12-24-2008, 04:22 PM
A lawn care company does need to be concerned about the warranties that come with their equipment. The repair costs can be quite substantial. The key thing for a LCO to do is become very familiar with what exactly your warranty covers. Warranties vary greatly by brand of equipment. Know what your warranty covers and the duration of the warranty. Make sure you have a local dealer that does warranty work on your brand of equipment. For instance if you live in Oregon like myself and you wanted to purchase a Bad Boy mower, there is nobody within 1000 miles that can do service work on it under warranty.

Most warranties only last for a few years or a limited number of hours. Once your past that time, it's up to you to foot the bill. That is where I fit in. I offer small engine repair and service for folks that have gone past their warranty but still want to keep their equipment. How many LCO's out there have a Honda commercial walk behind that is over 10 years old?? Probably quite a few since honda makes a great product. They still need it serviced like they did before but do they really need to pay dealership prices to have the same work performed?

If I (not factory certified) perform any work on your machine during it's warranty period, your warranty will become void. So if your concerned about your warranty, definitely take it to a dealer for warranty work but think of saving your company some money when your warranty expires!!!