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polarisrider4life
01-17-2009, 10:51 PM
hey everyone! I finally found the time to join after watching many youtube video's and findind the information to sound very interesting! I am 16 and have owned my own lawn and landscaping business for a while and this past season was the close to my 5th year in business. This past year i just finished outfitting my fleet to all commercial equipment including my 60in Dixie Chopper, a little wonder, and so on. I take pride in what i do and love the flexability that the job offers for me compared to friends! I look forward to some good threads!

Steve
01-17-2009, 11:04 PM
Hi,

Welcome to our forum!

What kind of advice do you have for other teens that are trying to market their lawn care business? How should they go about getting customers?

polarisrider4life
01-17-2009, 11:34 PM
I would tell them that to some extent you need people skills. Also, going out and buying the biggest mower out there isnt always the best thing to do. For your first year start out slow with like your parents residential riding mower and weedwacker and what not. As far as customers go, 1 or 2 is a good number to sart with for your first year and it will let you slowly get into the business and learn at a reasonable pace and give you time to think things through and do them right! My first year i went around to some of the neighbors who i knew well and some i hadn't even seen before, just handing out flyers that my parents helped me make. I put on there a short story about me and my goal of having a business and some pictures of all my equipment and 1 picture of myself. To sum it all up i would say most importantly, save most of your money to initially buy little things, make a good flyer and have your parents through an eye over it to see if they can improve it, and don't pre-judge a property or customer! Some of my best customers may not have the nicest looking property, but they are friendly and reliable people.

I just have a question for you Steve or just anyone in general. Probably my biggest problem is knowing what my competitors are charging for the same services i preform? I charged this past season $20 a cut for your average half acre lot with a few trees and a house that takes up about 1/3 of the property. Am i charging to little? thanks! :cool:

Steve
01-18-2009, 03:54 AM
I would tell them that to some extent you need people skills.
When you say people skills, what kinds of things do you mean? What should other new business owners work on as far as that goes?

I put on there a short story about me and my goal of having a business and some pictures of all my equipment and 1 picture of myself.

I think this is genius of you! Can you tell me where you came up with the idea to do that and what kind of response you got?

I just have a question for you Steve or just anyone in general. Probably my biggest problem is knowing what my competitors are charging for the same services i preform? I charged this past season $20 a cut for your average half acre lot with a few trees and a house that takes up about 1/3 of the property. Am i charging to little? thanks!

Try this link out - Compare your lawn care prices (http://www.gopherforum.com/uploaded-files/pages/average-price.php).

polarisrider4life
01-18-2009, 11:11 AM
Quote: When you say people skills, what kinds of things do you mean? What should other new business owners work on as far as that goes?


[INDENT] My reason for saying this is that, you need to be able to talk to people and be comfortable doing it. Sometimes you have to pick and chose words very carefully. Also you want to have these skills so you come off as a very capable operator who will get the job done right and make that customer feel good about it.


Quote:
I put on there a short story about me and my goal of having a business and some pictures of all my equipment and 1 picture of myself.

I think this is genius of you! Can you tell me where you came up with the idea to do that and what kind of response you got?


[INDENT] The idea came from my parents who thought about it for a while haha and also my old neighbor who i was good friends with who owned his own towing business. Both him and my parents said that if you can get people to stop and look at your flyer, it's almost a sure bet. It worked very well once they were all out!! I had to stick with 3 customers my first year with our residential rider and i had to turn a few people down because i didnt have the time for that many. The next year though i took on those that i turned down the year before.

ritchiem
01-18-2009, 11:30 AM
Welcome to the forums...

Steve
01-18-2009, 06:02 PM
That is really fantastic!

What kind of response did you get from your flyer? What % of them responded and did they say anything to you about the design?

polarisrider4life
01-18-2009, 07:53 PM
What kind of response did you get from your flyer? What % of them responded and did they say anything to you about the design?

This was reguarding my 1st year of flyers and i put out 13 if i remeber correct and i recieved 6 calls in the next week or so from people wanting mowing. The first person to respond was the house that i thought i had the least chance of getting and he turned out to be my best customer out of every property i have ever serviced! H had been with me from day one till this past season. When i went to sign on for the job, the first thing he said was, " am i going to be the first person to give you a chance to do something you truely enjoy?". That quote is important because that was the closing line on my little story. The answer to ur question i guess would be that yes it worked. I also had a customer this past season comment on how colorful and grabbing my fall clean up flyer was.

Steve, do you have a lawn business? just wondering?

Steve
01-18-2009, 08:46 PM
This was reguarding my 1st year of flyers and i put out 13 if i remeber correct and i recieved 6 calls in the next week or so from people wanting mowing.

Your response rate to your flyers is OUTSTANDING!


The first person to respond was the house that i thought i had the least chance of getting and he turned out to be my best customer out of every property i have ever serviced!

Why did you think you had the least chance with that customer?

Steve, do you have a lawn business? just wondering?
Nope, I just love talking and learning about business :)

polarisrider4life
01-18-2009, 10:08 PM
Why did you think you had the least chance with that customer?

At the time i guest you could say i wasn't as opened minded and i didnt think with that much reason behind things lol. This customer's home was older, needed painting, he had project trucks and jeeps all over his property and the landscaping was growing out of control. The house just really didnt look that nice compared to the neighbor. Also i never really saw him much and when i did see him he was working on one of his trucks or something and looked mad. After he hired me though, i learned that i just saw him at bad times when the trucks weren't working right and being a pain so thats why he was mad and the property was in bad shape because he was constantly traveling and never had the time. Once he hired me though, that landscaping got a serious haircut and naturally i will say i made it look great :p

Steve
01-18-2009, 10:26 PM
Very interesting!

So what do you see next coming up for your business? What are some of the big plans and goals?

polarisrider4life
01-18-2009, 10:50 PM
So what do you see next coming up for your business? What are some of the big plans and goals?

As far as my dreams and goals go for the furture of my business, i am hoping that i will be able to save enough money over the next year and a half or so to get a truck and plow so that i can expand to around town rather than just my current 4 customers. As for dreams, i am looking at buying a 1997 ford f250 7.3L powerstroke diesel my senior year and putting an older, but good plow on it so that i will have commercial equipment for every season. Right now i am averaging about $1000 a year after all expenses including gas and wear and tear parts on the mowers.

Earlier today you gave me a link where i could compare my mowing rates to others, but is there anything that you know about that is more regional to zero in a little more on where i live and the market that i'm in as far as pricing?

Another HUGE goal of mine is to take a small engine's repair class to save money on repairs because depending on the problem the dealers can strip my profits clean if a piece of equipment needs serious help. Do you know of ANY class that could help me with that goal?! I live in Rochester NY by the way if it helps. thanks for whatever ya know!

Steve
01-19-2009, 05:55 PM
Earlier today you gave me a link where i could compare my mowing rates to others, but is there anything that you know about that is more regional to zero in a little more on where i live and the market that i'm in as far as pricing?

Well I guess others could join in here and share with us their pricing for Rochester, NY area.

Another HUGE goal of mine is to take a small engine's repair class to save money on repairs because depending on the problem the dealers can strip my profits clean if a piece of equipment needs serious help. Do you know of ANY class that could help me with that goal?! I live in Rochester NY by the way if it helps. thanks for whatever ya know!

Do you have a local vo-tech school? I think most areas do and you can take night courses. But with small engine repair you might be able to learn online or buy a training cd from somewhere and learn at your own pace.

polarisrider4life
01-19-2009, 09:38 PM
Okay. I am very interested now and will look into those idea's you just gave me!

Also i'm just wondering, is there such a thing as smart equipment buying i guess you coud say? Is there any place online that apprases lawn care equipment like Kelly Blue Book does for cars?

Steve
01-20-2009, 06:57 PM
Also i'm just wondering, is there such a thing as smart equipment buying i guess you coud say? Is there any place online that apprases lawn care equipment like Kelly Blue Book does for cars?

Ideally what would you like such a site to do?

polarisrider4life
01-21-2009, 05:10 PM
i just want to know how much a used mower should cost with the kind of wear it has on it. Although i LOVE my Dixie Chopper, it has some serious hours on it, but still has MANY left in it. Without it i would be crippled so I am considering getting a newer mower that is used, but i wanna find out what a realistic price is to expect to pay to tell me if i should even bother looking.

Steve
01-21-2009, 09:24 PM
That is an interesting point. The site should allow you to find the appropriate price of the mower after x amount of miles and years of use or something like that?

Have you seen this I was playing around with?

Rate your power equipment. (http://www.gopherforum.com/uploaded-files/pages/rate-power-equipment.php)

http://www.gopherforum.com/uploaded-files/pages/rate-power-equipment.php

polarisrider4life
01-22-2009, 10:30 PM
thanks. just noting. the calculator does not have dixie chopper as a brand to choose from.

Steve
01-22-2009, 10:38 PM
You can ad it!

Try adding the brand and see how that works.