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Jencathen
04-02-2009, 11:46 AM
My name is Jenny and my husband Calvin and I want to start a lawn care business to help supplement our income. He is in the Navy and I'm on disability due to Leukemia.

His parents have an extremely successful lawn care business in MN that they started up as a Mom and Pop operation to help finance a new house. Now they have to hire 3 or more people aside from themselves to do the work. So we thought well if they could do it why couldn't we do it.

I'm kind of nervous because there seems to be a lot of lawn care service people in this area so I don't know how to break in and get some business.

We don't have a riding lawn mower yet, but there are several businesses in town, how would we go about obtaining them. Is there a way to use Cal's military service to our advantage. I wouldn't want to use my cancer because I don't believe in pity parties. Although, I would like to donate a portion of what we make to The Leukemia Society if we started making a nice profit.

Sorry for the long post and if I don't make much sense. lol Chemo does that.

Steve
04-02-2009, 01:41 PM
Hi Jenny,

Welcome to our forum!

You certainly have a lot going on!

Can you tell me a little about how you are planning to make all this happen? I don't know how your husband being in the Navy will effect his ability to work on getting a business started.

What is your plan of attack?

Jencathen
04-02-2009, 06:29 PM
We are still working on getting a name. I never realized it could be so difficult. Our first step is to talk to some of our neighbors who we know are getting their lawn done and see if they will give us a chance. I wanted to make some door hangers and canvas the area around here. Cal is willing to do it for free just to see if they like his work or not.

I know there is tons of information on this site so I hope to really read up on what works and what doesn't.

Steve
04-02-2009, 06:43 PM
I think that is a great next step. Start offering your services to those in your immediate social circle. I am sure he will do a fine job.

You should also get business cards made and hand them out. Also start making posts on craigslist.com to promote your services.

Can you promote your services through your local military contacts?

Jencathen
04-03-2009, 07:58 AM
Hey Steve!

I'll get on the Craig's list thing today. That sounds like a great idea. The military has their own little paper and lots of Navy wives are by themselves because their husbands ship out so that is a great source that I didn't even consider. My husband doesn't have to leave because of my condition and they might feel more comfortable with paying a fellow military member so might give us the extra edge there.

I'm still stuck on the name though. I don't want it to sound cheesy, but I do want to choose something that sticks in your brain and is easy to recall.

Is having a slogan important? My in laws named theirs D& M Lawncare, but they say they regret it now and I'm not sure why though. They are at the point where they don't advertise because they have more than enough business and they only take referrals. It's hard to believe they started with just a push lawnmower hehe.

I'll think of some names and throw them up here later on today and get some feedback. I appreciate your help. I'm so glad I found your site. Aside from all the help, it is keeping me motivated to move forward.

Steve
04-03-2009, 11:54 AM
I think many times new businesses create names with the founders initials. J&M, D&L etc. As you grow, the name does make it seem like a smaller organization which has it's ups and downs.

Ups in that it makes it personable.

Downs in that if you want it to look big and not just a one or two person operation, this name works against you.

A slogan or a U.S.P. unique sales position is very important if you can carve out a niche.

Sort of like fed ex when they used to say 'when it absolutely, positively needs to be there overnight.'

I look forwards to hearing what you come up with.

Jencathen
04-03-2009, 08:44 PM
After looking around the area and seeing no one has taken TLC, we've decided to go with that since it can stand for Total Lawn Care or Tender Loving Care. We want to design a funky TLC. I need to look at some clipart.

Steve
04-03-2009, 10:28 PM
Just off the top of my head, I was thinking maybe you could include a grass element along with a heart. That could really help convey the TLC feel.

Have your inlaws given you much business advice thus far that you feel has really given you a head start?

Jencathen
04-04-2009, 08:39 AM
I like the heart and grass thing. If I can't find something I'll create one.

They said to do things that set you aside from competition, little extra touches that the others don't do. One day they were doing a person's lawn and they had a bag of leaves just sitting behind the garage so they took it away for them without asking. Going the extra mile. You sometimes have to give something to get something, but if you have a loyal customer it is worth it in the end.

Jencathen
04-04-2009, 08:42 AM
Oh I forgot, Not to lowball because if you undervalue your service you'll end up paying money for the privilege of doing someone's yard and that defeats the purpose and also people don't necessarily want the cheapest and a crappy job, but quality and a value at same time. So knowing the market is important.

Steve
04-04-2009, 12:42 PM
That is so very true!

I am looking forwards to seeing how your logo come comes out !

Jencathen
04-04-2009, 05:00 PM
Okay so far... I registered with the IRS and got the EIN number. I need to file DBA's with the county clerk so I have to wait till Monday to do that. I'm not sure if I need a business License, but I assume that the clerk should know that information.

I bought a domain name of www.tlclawn.net I already have web hosting so I just added the domain to it and I'll start making the website in the next day or so.

I was waiting to register with the clerk before I advertised with Craig's List. Plus I wanted to have the website finished too.

I've designed our logo, but coming up with a slogan is hard stuff!

I'm also working on designing the door hangers. I plan on doing some cold calling for real estate agencies and banks on Monday.

Steve
04-04-2009, 05:08 PM
This is awesome! You are a natural at this. It makes me wonder why you didn't do this before!

I see great things coming your way.

As far as a slogan.

Maybe something like "Give your lawn some TLC."

Your lawn needs love too.

We love your lawn and it shows.

Jencathen
04-04-2009, 05:38 PM
For a slogan...

Your lawn deserves our TLC.

Jencathen
04-04-2009, 08:40 PM
I like give your lawn some TLC.

VPS Lawn Care
04-05-2009, 12:08 AM
you could say we love grass but that might be taken wrong...LOL.... How About " We care for your lawn, as if it were our own."
or maybe " We Give every lawn, The TLC it deserves" Or Better yet,

" Every Lawn Gets The Time Love & Care it deserves."
I think this one would work well with your logo.
GL

Jencathen
04-07-2009, 04:08 PM
Here is a business card I designed. Please let me know what you think. Is the font and size okay?

I was thinking of putting a List of Services on the back. Should the color I use on the back be the same as on the front of the card or should I just use black.

The slogan I went with was from VPS. Thanks!

Jencathen
04-07-2009, 04:29 PM
Here it is.

Steve
04-08-2009, 01:54 AM
I think that is great! You are very creative! I would get started printing them and handing them out!