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IrishGreenLawnCare
03-03-2009, 03:31 PM
Hi, my name is Shawn, and I am a 20 year old college student who started my own lawn care business to help pay for college. I had 45 weekly accounts last year, and am hoping to get 60-70 this year.

I offer a lot of the main services such as mowing, weed whipping, clearing off sidewalk, edging, aerating, dethatching, spring & fall clean-ups, brush removal, trimming hedges, etc. I also sub contract out my weed control and fertilizing as well as my stump grinding and tree trimming.

This year I am hoping to expand the services I provide by also specializing in 'pet waste removal' ie picking up dog poop. I figure I am already there mowing their lawn anyway, so why not pick up their dogs poop right?

The biggest problem I am facing is finding a manager to go mow lawns with my employees, and then it will allow me to spend more time advertising and marketing, and working in the office etc.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!

Steve
03-03-2009, 07:43 PM
Hello and welcome!

What kinds of marketing did you do last year to attract so many customers? Was there anything you liked or anything you thought that just should not be repeated?

IrishGreenLawnCare
03-03-2009, 09:22 PM
Steve,
I ordered a mailing list off of Infousa.com... I also went door to door with door hangers, and I went to the same neighborhoods over and over again. I noticed that I got a lot more calls the 2nd and 3rd time around. I also posted a lot of flyers around grocery stores and coffee shops and gas stations.

EasyPro
03-03-2009, 09:55 PM
Steve,
I ordered a mailing list off of Infousa.com... I also went door to door with door hangers, and I went to the same neighborhoods over and over again. I noticed that I got a lot more calls the 2nd and 3rd time around. I also posted a lot of flyers around grocery stores and coffee shops and gas stations.

Congrats your in the top 10% of business owners. . .

Repetition works!

IrishGreenLawnCare
03-04-2009, 10:32 AM
Hey,
So last year the biggest thing holding me back was that I was doing too many things within my business. Sharpening the blades, changing the oil on my truck and lawn mowers, fixing things when they broke, calling customers back, invoicing, mowing, and going door to door, etc. etc. I need to find a reliable trustworthy manager who can go out with an employee and mow the lawns without me. That way I can spend more time doing the books and staying organized within the business. Does anyone have any advice as to how they found the right people to work for them?

Any advice would be gratly appreciated! Thanks!

-Shawn

Steve
03-04-2009, 06:31 PM
I ordered a mailing list off of Infousa.com... I also went door to door with door hangers, and I went to the same neighborhoods over and over again. I noticed that I got a lot more calls the 2nd and 3rd time around. I also posted a lot of flyers around grocery stores and coffee shops and gas stations.

This is fascinating! Nice work! I haven't seen too many members on here using infousa. How did you like working with them? When working with infousa, what would you suggest a new lawn care business owner purchase? How many names would be a good number to start with?

Also, what do you suggest they send out? Postcards, letters?

So last year the biggest thing holding me back was that I was doing too many things within my business. Sharpening the blades, changing the oil on my truck and lawn mowers, fixing things when they broke, calling customers back, invoicing, mowing, and going door to door, etc. etc. I need to find a reliable trustworthy manager who can go out with an employee and mow the lawns without me. That way I can spend more time doing the books and staying organized within the business. Does anyone have any advice as to how they found the right people to work for them?

Any advice would be gratly appreciated! Thanks!

Are you working with anyone now at all? Do you have any staff that helps you either out in the field or in the office? Do you have any family members that can help out in any way?

IrishGreenLawnCare
03-08-2009, 02:33 PM
well I was going to hire someone to be my bookkeeper and do my books because I am not good at getting invoices out on time and what not... but my dad has offered to help and could probably help me with my books, but other than that I dont have any siblings that could help.... My friend Justin has been working for me in the past years and I was going to hire him again this year, but I just don't know if he has the motivation/is responsible enough to go out and mow the lawns with my other employee without me.... He's not as friendly as I am when it comes to talking with customers, and I don't know how good he is with telling what others should do and leading....

mcarlin
03-08-2009, 07:11 PM
Well I wish you were in the KC area, I would consider working for you.

Steve
03-08-2009, 09:51 PM
I ordered a mailing list off of Infousa.com... I also went door to door with door hangers, and I went to the same neighborhoods over and over again. I noticed that I got a lot more calls the 2nd and 3rd time around. I also posted a lot of flyers around grocery stores and coffee shops and gas stations.
This is fascinating! Nice work! I haven't seen too many members on here using infousa. How did you like working with them? When working with infousa, what would you suggest a new lawn care business owner purchase? How many names would be a good number to start with?

Also, what do you suggest they send out? Postcards, letters?

ChrisGA
03-08-2009, 11:04 PM
I am also interested in the Infousa.com sense im looking to get into direct mailing.

IrishGreenLawnCare
03-09-2009, 07:10 PM
Well, I've used infousa.com 2 years in a row, and I've liked them so far.

The first thing I would suggest that you do is find out who your primary acccounts are. For me it was 60 year old homeowners and older, or single family mothers. So, I bought a list of homeowners that were either 55 or 60 years old or older within a 5 block radius of my house. (THEN MAKE SURE YOU MAKE SOME SORT OF INCENTIVE ON THE FLYER, I PUT A 10% SENIOR DISCOUNT ON MY FLYERS) I think the list totalled 500 names, and then I mailed it out twice. The next year I used infousa.com I bought a list of homeowners that lived on certain streets. (In my neighborhood it was the nicer upper class streets) I mailed the list out to these people twice as well.

My biggest success for people responding has been when you hand write on the envelopes, but that isn't as conventional as printing them.

I've also been much more successful when I make doorhangers... People seem to notice those more. I paid a neighborhood kid to deliver them. I think a good going rate would be $00.10 per flyer. I paid $00.15 per flyer last year and that seeemed high. It depends on how big the houses are or the neighborhood is, because I asked him how long it took him, and after calculating what I paid him it ended up being somewhere $17.00-$25.00 an hour!

So InfoUSA has worked for me, but I think your best bet may be to just make door hangers and distribute them yourself.


Does anyone have any advice on how to find the right manager?

Thanks!

-Shawn

Steve
03-09-2009, 10:41 PM
Does anyone have any advice on how to find the right manager?

Do you have anyone in your family you could ask to help you? When you say manager, do you mean an office manager or do you mean a crew manager?

My biggest success for people responding has been when you hand write on the envelopes, but that isn't as conventional as printing them.

What kind of difference in response rate do you suggest could happen between not hand writing on the envelope and hand writing on the envelope? I think this could help others determine if it is worth the time to do it.

IrishGreenLawnCare
03-18-2009, 01:23 AM
I don't know the difference in the success rate for writing the address or printing it... But I just talked to another lawn care business owner today who's been in the business for 22 years and distributes a million flyers a year, and he said it is the best to put the flyers in the doors.

No one in my family could help. I need a crew manager. Someone to go out and mow with out me being there...

Steve
03-18-2009, 04:57 AM
Well keep us posted on how all this goes! I'd love to hear what kind of response rates you find!