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All American
02-09-2009, 11:26 AM
Hey my name is Chris Hopkins, I am a young entrepreneur trying to ride out the ression and become successful. We just started this company "All American Cleaning & Landscape Maintenance". I started this with a partner Zack Gallinger, and we have a ton of experience between the two of us both in business and in maintenance.

We are located in Portland, Oregon, and we already have accounts lined up and are online ready to go starting in March. We are excited and ready for the season coming up.

website: www.allamericancl.com

Steve
02-09-2009, 11:33 AM
Hi Chris,

Welcome to our forum!

What got you interested in starting a business?

How has the mix of lawn care and cleaning helped so far?

By the way, great site!

All American
02-10-2009, 01:03 AM
Thanks Steve,

Well Zack and I have been around the block these last few years, We are both college students and we are trying to find our nitch. We attempted to start two other companies before this one; one was a biodiesel manufacturing company which needed a large amount of capital to get the thing going, then we started a marketing company which is still operational just not profitable- its just been difficult getting the message across with little capital.

So now here we are with two companies that are not profitable and now we have waited our beer money (a lot of money at least to us) to two ideas that were a flop. But we were not ready to stop, this has been just a learning curve for us. Now Zack and I have been in and around business for a while we are not your typical 24 year olds. Zack ran a successful painting franchise with college pro painters, and I ran a property maintenance nce company with my dad. We both have experience in landscaping and zack more than I with the cleaning aspect. Prior to us starting All American zack cleaned local business on the side earning extra cash and I worked with my father.

I sold a project truck I had for $2850, and we have used this cash to put together this company.
With the cash I purchased:
36" hydrostatic bobcat walkbehind for $900 used of course
Echo Blower $100
Echo Hedge Trimmer $150
Echo String Trimmer $100
Snapper 21" walkbehind $125
7' x 13' x 4' trailer $1200
Business Lic
Started Business Ins
and
Rakes, and buckets, and a tarp

The one advantage I had going for me is that I already own a 2000 dodge diesel pick up.

But I think that this a good start, when I start making some profit I will invest into some better equipment

I'll have some pics up when I can, I ran out of money for signs to place on the trailer and truck but that will come soon.

I already have 2 large accounts on board that I start on March 1st, enough to keep me busy. I want just one more and then I am maxed out with time to invest towards working since I go to school full time.

All American
02-10-2009, 01:42 AM
So now here we are with two companies that are not profitable and now we have waited our beer money (a lot of money at least to us) to two ideas that were a flop.

wasted our beer money**-sorry about that

Steve
02-10-2009, 09:57 AM
That is very interesting! Do you think you have an advantage over others who don't have family members who run their own business?

Has your father been able to give you a lot of advice on what to do and what not to do?

Has any of that advice helped?

All American
02-10-2009, 01:21 PM
Well while working with my fatherís company I helped him hand and hand doing everything. I do believe with out that background I would be a little lost and have trouble landing jobs right away. Since I have been doing similar business practices since 16 years old I have a good start. However I'm definitely not stating that I am the best at everything we just have a head start on some ideas where we want the company to go.

My father is old school, he is good at what he does and he runs his company lean and mean and I think thatís the way to go. Everything is paid for with cash not credit, and do great work one time no shortcuts.

I'm modeling All American similar to this.

I have been at the start with my dad's company with just enough money to just scrape by to a $250,000 Gross Profit company even in this recession.


With the few contract we already have our outlook for gross revenue for 2009 will be a minimum of $40,000 just in the landscaping portion of the company and 19,000 for the cleaning, but we just started.

Steve
02-10-2009, 02:01 PM
That is great!

What advice do you have for newer lawn care business owners just starting out as far as marketing goes? Have you learned a lot from your father on that topic too?

All American
02-10-2009, 07:46 PM
Word of Mouth is the best form of advertisement, Being presentable in a professional manner with your equipment and appearance. Your work is your marketing

Steve
02-10-2009, 07:55 PM
Do you have advice for others looking to start their business with a partnership?

How have you made the situation work?