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hamlin76
03-22-2009, 11:49 PM
Hello everyone this is Becky and Joel from S&S Landscape. We are starting a new company due to being laid off from work and now having time to pursue a dream. I hope to gain as much knowledge and information I can from this forum and website. I have found a ton of great stuff so far and yearn for more. We are new to starting a business but not new to landscaping I have worked in this industry for 5yrs starting at 18 and getting out of the business at age 23. I pursued a career in motorcycle mechanics and found myself working in the semiconductor manufacturing industry up until now. I'm looking for ideas and help to get the start up process moving easier. We currently have two trucks and two 25ft trailers with equipment. I'm currently working on our flyer to start generating business to the cash flow going.

Steve and other members, is thier any advice you can give a startup company on ways to generate business We also do Foreclosure Trash outs as a way to create income in our down economy. Thank you for looking at my post hope to talk to new people and pick your brain for great ideas on how to successful.

Joel Shurtleff

Steve
03-23-2009, 12:05 AM
Hi Joel,

Welcome to our forum! You look like you are well on your way! Did you recently purchase all that or have you been doing this for a bit? Also how did you get involved with the foreclosure cleaning services? I think you are doing great!

hamlin76
03-23-2009, 12:15 AM
Steve, we intended to start doing only trashouts but found that business will be going away in a couple of years and we would then need to grow something else. This has lead up to start a Landscape buiness as well so we can grow further as we mature as a company. My partner in crime has a uncle that doesn't use his equipment on a fulltime basis. He has generously given us full axis to any thing we need. So that is why I need to learn how to generate customers so we can invest in our own equipment. I have one other question do you recommend an LLC or sole proprietor. We are leaning towards LLC because of the tax benefits.

hamlin76
03-23-2009, 12:19 AM
I'm looking for a logo is thier anybody using a graphics designer who does not charge an arm and leg. We are new company with limited funds and still trying to get the cash flow generated. Hope someone can help thank you for looking. If thier is a spot in the forum for Ideas please point me in that direction.

Thank you

Joel

Steve
03-23-2009, 09:06 AM
Hi Joel,

So that is why I need to learn how to generate customers so we can invest in our own equipment.

What have you been doing up to this point to market your business? Have you created business cards yet? Have you made any flyers yet? What % of your friends and family know you are in business? What % of your neighbors?

I have one other question do you recommend an LLC or sole proprietor. We are leaning towards LLC because of the tax benefits.
You are going to be doing this with a partner? 50-50? What tax benefits are you thinking of with the LLC?

hamlin76
03-24-2009, 04:58 PM
Steve, we are currently working on business cards and a website. We are making flyers as well with an email flyer. Our main concern is Trashout right now and then working in mantaining lawns and landscape. In the LLC there are three partners, we started in a sole proprietorship until we start making income. Our banker is really a big help with leads and how to do doing business.

Steve
03-24-2009, 05:04 PM
Very fascinating!

How do you break up the responsibilities of each partner?

I think a lot of readers would be fascinated to know how to make this work.

hamlin76
03-24-2009, 08:44 PM
We all have our own duties customer service, Estimator, and cleaner. The one person can not due any manual labor and takes care of all the business needs taking appts setting up jobs and doing the banking. I handle the estimates and work with the cleaner on finishing jobs. The reason we have this many people because the trashout business is going to be really busy. This also give us an advantage when coming up with new ideas on ways to get more customers. I'm not sure how people can do it on there own. We are getting clients with 4plexes that need clean and landscaped so that type of job takes alot of work.

Steve
03-24-2009, 08:46 PM
As you need to add more people, how will you do it? Will you offer them partnerships or take them in as employees?

hamlin76
03-24-2009, 09:10 PM
We have enough people as partners so adding more people they would then be employees. I can't afford anymore people getting in to the cut. I hoping to make enough money to sustain all three of us. I'm sure I can because there are more forclosures in arizona then anywhere in the country besides vegas. Right now we are finilzing the website and getting the email flyer ready for the real estate agents.

Steve
03-24-2009, 09:17 PM
This is very exciting! Have you thought about where you want to take it all? Would you like to do more businesses in the future?

hamlin76
03-25-2009, 04:21 AM
Yes, my end goal is being a Landscape maintenance and designer. I have other people already in line to start a division of designing and installing. That part of the company is no where near funded and needs some TLC. I have ideas but don't have the cash and resources. I also understand that foreclosures will not be around in the long run so that's why we started a landscape company. We can then grow in to other aspects of landscaping.

Steve
03-25-2009, 10:27 AM
That part of the company is no where near funded and needs some TLC.

What things do you feel such a division would need to get off the ground?

hamlin76
03-25-2009, 02:21 PM
Well the first things I would like to do is take a class home depot offers on Landscape installs. This class gives a person everything they need to know to install and design a backyards, front yards, and even streetscapes. The cost is 2500.00 dollars, I think I could find a similar class for cheaper but I have not had time investigate. This class would give me the confidence in bidding jobs and feel comfortable that I providing the possible customer service. One of my recent posts I said people are ready to work that individual has a degree in landscape design. I intend to use his talents when the need arises. This is only one part I also need capital to fund the right equipment. I've always been told you should use the right tools for the job I don't want to get over my head just yet.

Ok so I have told you what I want to do now I want to tell you exactly were I am in the process of starting a company. Today I'm heading down to the Arizona Corporation Commission to process my application for the LLC. This way I can start making my website, business cards, flyers, and email mailer. I need to make sure I can use the name before printing out anything. The cost on flyers, business cards, and the website are not cheap as well now. Being proactive and not spending money stupidly puts more money to use in better places. Once that is done I will then start calling, emailing, and send flyers to my contacts in the real estate business. Like I said the trash out business is busier then maintenance and installs at this time. I will then use the trash out money to grow the other side of the company when business slow down. Steve, thank you for all the help you have given us a ton of information.

Steve
03-25-2009, 03:11 PM
You are welcome. I am excited about hearing all your news!

I didn't know home depot offered such classes and charge $2500! WOW! That's incredible. You could probably start doing some small landscape projects now. Even at your own house or family/friends. Experiment with creating a walkway. Experiment with creating a patio. All the tools you need if you don't have them could be rented as needed and that could help provide you with great experience and confidence to sell the service.

Maybe you could even do a project for free for a local organization and get some media attention from it.

hamlin76
03-26-2009, 02:33 AM
Steve, those are all great ideas and I will take that into great consideration. Here it comes but I'm really working on a shoestring budget. I will have to make considerable amount of money before I can think about doing those projects. I guess that is why starting a business is not easy but possible. I'm currently working with 500 dollars and barrowed equipment to make this venture happen. Please wish us luck and prayer because we are pulling teeth to get this off and running and start making income. Thanks again for such good info.

Joel

Steve
03-26-2009, 11:09 AM
Joel,

Don't sweat it. Realize that most everyone here has or is going through the same thing. The fact of the matter is, you can make it. Just take it step by step and don't give up.