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walkerlawncare09
01-03-2009, 12:14 PM
Hey everyone I'm Eric with Walker Lawn Care. Just starting out this year and hope to get my foot in the door with the lawn care biz so anyone who has some good advice to get me going please let me know. Live in Southern Indiana so got about 7 or 8 months to play around with here maybe more if the weather keeps going crazy the way it has been this past year. Have all my equipment ready and have spoken with some realtors to get my name in there for the upcoming year (hopefully that pulls through w/ them). Also plan on tryin lawn painting mainly focused towards the real estate companies, if you have any opinions on that as well feel free to share. But enough of me, good to be here hope to pick up some good words of wisdom from everyone.

Oh and how to I edit flyers so I can put my company info on there!? :confused:

ritchiem
01-03-2009, 12:21 PM
Welcome to the forums Eric. What made you decide to get into lawn care?

Steve
01-03-2009, 01:45 PM
Hi Eric,

Welcome to our forum!


Oh and how to I edit flyers so I can put my company info on there!?

Some flyers you can edit with a graphics program, some you can edit with a word processor. Let me know if you get stuck any further with them.

have spoken with some realtors to get my name in there for the upcoming year (hopefully that pulls through w/ them).

What kind of co-marketing are you planning on doing with them?

walkerlawncare09
01-03-2009, 07:45 PM
I'm working with realtors to get there properties that are sitting right now to take care of them and potentially be passed on to the new homeowner when the house is sold. Also for realtors I was planning on lawn painting for early spring and the dry summer months we sometimes have around here, do you have any advice or knowledge of this procedrure, it would be a new concept around this area so I was thinking it could possibly give me a bit of a upper hand until others catch on and follow if they choose!?


Got into the lawn care business because I'm tired of working under someone and this is one business that gives me the enjoyment of being outside and doing something that gives you self satisfaction in what you do. I work 12 hr shifts at my current job so that gives me plenty of days off through the week to start this business as well. But all in all this is just the type of job that I see fits me the best. Hope I get some where with it to eventually do it full time (not gonna happen overnite i realize so I'm gonna be patient)

ritchiem
01-03-2009, 07:55 PM
Got into the lawn care business because I'm tired of working under someone and this is one business that gives me the enjoyment of being outside and doing something that gives you self satisfaction in what you do. I work 12 hr shifts at my current job so that gives me plenty of days off through the week to start this business as well. But all in all this is just the type of job that I see fits me the best. Hope I get some where with it to eventually do it full time (not gonna happen overnite i realize so I'm gonna be patient)

Man that sounds very familiar. I can relate with what you are saying. I was in the industry for 11 years before I went out on my own.

Well if you need any help with marketing material, websites and such, give me a shout.

walkerlawncare09
01-03-2009, 08:08 PM
i could use some help with some flyers that would get my name out there and get me going and methods on distributing to see max results. Any type of help with that would be appreciated!

ritchiem
01-03-2009, 08:18 PM
well first have a look at the flyer (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=7200) section here. Steve from Gopher has a great collection and there are always new one added to the bunch.

There are plenty of ways to send out flyers;

- unaddressed admail
- purchase mailing lists
- pound on doors
- leave them in the door

Myself and others have found that pounding the pavement and leaving flyers in doors has the most benefits. You'll save money on the stamps or post office fees and just by leaving them in the door you save yourself time by not talking to anyone (mind you I talk to as many people as I can). That way you can get more flyers out.

And don't just send them out once. Make sure to do a repeat campaign a month or two later. By doing this you'll force them to remember your company. Researchers say that someone needs to see a logo or company identity up to 7 times before they'll make a connection.

And also by leaving a flyer in their door you force them to put it in their hand and walk it to the trash. Most people will read it before tossing it then. Think of how you treat flyers in your mail, and then think of ways you would hold on to them and read them.

Steve
01-04-2009, 11:27 AM
How many of your friends, family and neighbors know you are running a lawn care business now? Are you handing out business cards to everyone you know? Are you involved in any social or community organizations? Are you letting everyone in those groups know you are in business now?

walkerlawncare09
01-04-2009, 07:01 PM
Yea all my family and friends are aware of my business. As well as I have given my g/f business cards to set at her station at a local hair salon.And I pass out business cards as often as the opportunity arises (no hits yet). Not currently in any type of community activities that I could share my business with. I am trying to get with the local water company to do the pump houses and water towers as well as there main office..probably a 3 1/2-4 hr job (cutting,edging,trimming,blowing off driveways and sidewalks, and drive time...any advice on how i should estimate.

Steve
01-05-2009, 11:24 AM
any advice on how i should estimate.

Have you checked out the free estimating software (http://lawnchat.com/?page_id=341) I put online? That could help you develop your pricing.

Also what services are you offering this winter before spring arrives?

walkerlawncare09
01-05-2009, 04:30 PM
i dont currently offer any winter services since i am just now starting out this summer...should I be offering anything before spring hits?

Steve
01-06-2009, 10:47 PM
Absolutely. It's a great way to reach out to people in the winter months and when you are servicing them in the winter, it makes it easier on you to roll them over into mowing customers. Check out the free lawn care flyer (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=7200) section and see if any of them get you thinking. If so, let us know what you come up with.

walkerlawncare09
01-07-2009, 11:59 AM
The only things I could think of doing at this point in the winter months would be snow removal and salting of driveways, etc. At this point I dont have the equipment to do that kind of labor. Any other suggestions that I'm overlooking and could possibly be taking advantage of?

And LLC, who would I need to speak with to set that up? An attorney?

And you mentioned something about community activities the other day and it slipped my mind completely that I am on the VFD and ould possibly be using that in some way to promote any suggestions there either?

Steve
01-07-2009, 02:57 PM
The only things I could think of doing at this point in the winter months would be snow removal and salting of driveways, etc. At this point I dont have the equipment to do that kind of labor. Any other suggestions that I'm overlooking and could possibly be taking advantage of?

Well there are a ton of around the home fix it or repair it services you can offer. There are a few flyers in the free flyer section that deal with this. It's really important to be the go to guy for the homeowners so you can be called upon all year long.

As a fireman, I bet you are very handy with tools and I would use that to your advantage.

Let me know what you come up with.

And LLC, who would I need to speak with to set that up? An attorney?

Or an accountant. You can even do it yourself and save money. There are plenty of books on this topic that can help you out.

Why did you decide on an llc?

And you mentioned something about community activities the other day and it slipped my mind completely that I am on the VFD and ould possibly be using that in some way to promote any suggestions there either?

Absolutely! This is great! Your marketing material can include a picture of you in your fire gear where you make mention that you are a local firefighter. It shows the customer that you are local and you care about your community. It also shows you are a good guy. This is very important. I would totally play this up. I would also include it on my website as well.

Why not consider other ways to tie it in as well. What if you wanted to create a fund raiser for your fire department and promote your lawn care business at the same time. Maybe you create flyers that say, you are a local firefighter and you are trying to raise money for your fire department. On the flyer you could say, please consider making a $25 donation to your local fire dept and you will mow their lawn for free. Hand these flyers out.

This could also get you into the local paper. "Local Landscaper and Vol. Firefighter raises money for his firehouse." Now who knows how many people would sign up for this, but it would be a great way to build goodwill within your community and raise awareness of you. Then from there you could harness that good will to gain more customers.

This type of good will thing will make people love you for a long time.

Maybe we can even come up with even more ideas if you'd like.

Tell me your thoughts on this so far.

walkerlawncare09
01-07-2009, 08:55 PM
I chose LLC because it seems like the best fit for a one man small business starting out.

As far as pushing the fire dept. I live in a small town that I most likey wont be doing much business in. My main focus is outlining towns where its more grown up and better odds of landing jobs. I mean I still could use that as a show of the type of individual I am.

I also am planning on donating 2-3% of profits the the the american cancer societ/breast cancer research. My reason is because I've known family and close friends to either have this or have the scare of possibly having it now and in the future. Is this a good thing to promote or would it look like I was coming at people with this just to get the jobs for this sole purpose and not to actually help out the cause?

Steve
01-07-2009, 10:51 PM
I chose LLC because it seems like the best fit for a one man small business starting out.

A lot of new guys just starting out dont have any idea about the benefits of an llc. Could you share with us which benefits the llc offered you that made it a better fit than say a dba?

I also am planning on donating 2-3% of profits the the the american cancer societ/breast cancer research. My reason is because I've known family and close friends to either have this or have the scare of possibly having it now and in the future. Is this a good thing to promote or would it look like I was coming at people with this just to get the jobs for this sole purpose and not to actually help out the cause?

Absolutely that is a good thing to promote. The more you can come across to your potential customers as a caring person. Someone who gives back to the community, the more you will stand out from competitors who are only in it for a buck. I would share the story of why you do this. Maybe don't use any specific names but maybe describe your relation to that person.

Get this on your website and talk about it a little in your marketing material.

Maybe you could also do some fund raisers for the cancer society. This could help get your name out and get you known. As you get more well known, you will be able to sell your services easier.

Have you thought of ways you could put together a fund raiser? Could you make it something fun that many people could get involved with?

What about a cook off? What about a bowl-a-thon? What about some kind of fair?

walkerlawncare09
01-08-2009, 12:06 AM
well one main reason for the LLC is that I have a home and other personal assets that I would like to keep seperate from my business assets. I've worked hard to have what I have at 22 so I don't want to lose it like that.

Another reason which I dont know how much of a difference it makes since I'm alone, is from what I've read up on taxes work better w/ the LLC.

And lastly its fairly inexpensive to form an LLC, more than a DBA, but given you are seperating your company from personal the difference between the expenses of the two are worth it (if it ever came down to having to use it).