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Spartan
12-21-2008, 08:45 AM
First off, I'm happy to have found this forum. It's very informative. Thank you and Great Job!

At 38 yrs old, I'm finally taking the leap to start my own business, Spartan Lawn & Landscape, LLC. after 10 yrs of sales in the construction industry, here in Atlanta. It's been a passion of mine to do this for some time, but I've always been a bit fearful of the jump. However, I have a very supportive family and they're behind me 100%.

We've just finished getting the essential parts of the business together, ie. licenses, bank accts, home office, Logo (my favorite), business cards, etc. Now we're pushing heavy on marketing & advertising, starting today! HOA Associations, Real Estate Offices and Agents (for residential rental properties), flyers, etc. Hopefully, we'll get some responses/business to begin purchasing the necessary equipment to start. It's a scary feeling, but a very excited feeling, as well. I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Any advise you have would be greatly appreciated. I'm sure that I'll be asking a lot of questions, so bare with me. And once again, this is a excellent site, and I'm thankful for the information everyone provides.

Happy Holidays!

Steve
12-21-2008, 09:12 AM
Hi Spartan,

Welcome to our forum!

What made you want to take the jump to starting your own lawn care business?

Now we're pushing heavy on marketing & advertising, starting today! HOA Associations, Real Estate Offices and Agents (for residential rental properties), flyers, etc. Hopefully, we'll get some responses/business to begin purchasing the necessary equipment to start.

Can you give me some insight as to what your marketing battle plan is?

How many pieces of marketing material are you distributing?

Why did you decide to focus on residential rental properties?

Spartan
12-21-2008, 09:58 AM
I've always had an interest in this industry, and the desire to own my own company. Just the nervousness to proceed, prohibited it. Now with the economy in the state it is in, I've had the time to research and step forward with my vision. I've done very well for other owners, therefore, I want to take my knowledge and accomplishments and set out on my own venture.

My marketing plan will consist of flyer distribution (Post cards in zip locks) approximately 5000 pieces, Advertising in HOA monthly newsletters, Church newsletters, etc. throughout my selected area, etc. I'm having my truck logo'ed on all sides. I want everyone to see our logo, everywhere. Any thoughts, or ideas?

Rental properties: I have a bunch of friends that are realtors that manage rental properties throughout the area. Picking up those properties will help initially, as well as, help begin the company branding within their offices.

I'm very big on the image of being professional. The statement "First impressions" is very true! And that's how I envision my company to be, act, and perform, from start to finish.

Anything I can do to get this off the ground, I'll do. Do you have any advise on all of this?

Steve
12-21-2008, 10:26 AM
Ok let's break this down and talk about it.

My marketing plan will consist of flyer distribution (Post cards in zip locks) approximately 5000 pieces,

How are these going to be distributed?

Rental properties: I have a bunch of friends that are realtors that manage rental properties throughout the area. Picking up those properties will help initially, as well as, help begin the company branding within their offices.

If you have friends in this business that are in direct control of who manages the properties, they should be able to tell you how much the owner is being billed for the property maintenance. Then you should try and bid a little below it to get your foot in the door, if your costs permit.

Have you talked to your realtor friends yet and what kind of responses have they been giving you about this?


after 10 yrs of sales in the construction industry

What kinds of things did you do to make sales when you worked in the construction business?

Spartan
12-21-2008, 11:45 AM
Distribution:

Post cards in zip locks with a rock in them. I'll drive around the selected neighborhoods and toss onto the driveways. It's a common practice here.

Rental Properties:

What you replied with is the route that I'm planning to take. My realtor friends have all advised that they'd be happy to get me involved with the properties and property owners and other realtors. I just want to make sure that what service the property is receiving, I am able to match apples to apples to ensure accuracy and profitablity.

Generating Sales:

The company I worked for sold & installed building supplies here in Atlanta. I sold and managed the top 10 national homebuilders. Pulte Homes, Centex Homes, John Wieland Homes, etc, as well as, smaller local builders.

I generated sales by word of mouth, being professional, knowing my product and providing a great service by our company and myself. Lots of hand shaking, kissing babies, being persistant, and luck! I was always available to the builder, as well as, homeowner.

The main difference here is that I have to research and ensure the "apples to apples" part of the business. At my current company, the research was done and in place, in regards to pricing.

Trying to establish the "Base Service", Mow, Trim, Blow, Edge and then upgrades, is where the novice part of me is exposed. Trial and Error I can only assume. Any thoughts? I have had two companies bid my house just to see the there they ballparked. The quotes were night and day.

Steve
12-21-2008, 12:24 PM
Distribution:

Post cards in zip locks with a rock in them. I'll drive around the selected neighborhoods and toss onto the driveways. It's a common practice here.


Read this article when you get a chance.
http://lawnchat.com/?p=31

I think the best thing to do now is also the most time consuming. It's reaching out to all your friends, family and neighbors with business cards and letting them know you are now in business. Then you should walk your neighborhood and hand out flyers as you meet people.


Rental Properties:

What you replied with is the route that I'm planning to take. My realtor friends have all advised that they'd be happy to get me involved with the properties and property owners and other realtors. I just want to make sure that what service the property is receiving, I am able to match apples to apples to ensure accuracy and profitablity.

Keep me posted on this. I hope everyone follows through with this for you. In the past I have seen that friends tend to be a bit slow on their response to such issues so it will probably be really on you to push the marketing in other ways to get it just started.

Generating Sales:

The company I worked for sold & installed building supplies here in Atlanta. I sold and managed the top 10 national homebuilders. Pulte Homes, Centex Homes, John Wieland Homes, etc, as well as, smaller local builders.

I generated sales by word of mouth, being professional, knowing my product and providing a great service by our company and myself. Lots of hand shaking, kissing babies, being persistant, and luck! I was always available to the builder, as well as, homeowner.
Are any of these people that you sold to within your service range now? Can you contact them again?


The main difference here is that I have to research and ensure the "apples to apples" part of the business. At my current company, the research was done and in place, in regards to pricing.

Trying to establish the "Base Service", Mow, Trim, Blow, Edge and then upgrades, is where the novice part of me is exposed. Trial and Error I can only assume. Any thoughts? I have had two companies bid my house just to see the there they ballparked. The quotes were night and day.

What kind of quotes did they give you? Have you experimented with the lawn care business estimation calculator? This should help you get a footing for your pricing.

http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?p=43299#post43299


Also what services will you be promoting for now? What are you going to be doing now to get cash flowing?