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View Full Version : Trying to teach an old dog new tricks


4Doc2
04-07-2009, 09:05 AM
Hey guys,
I'm a retread ...new to you guys but old to lawn care. I was in the landscape, lawn care, garden center, & material yard business in north-east Ohio for 22 years, where I sold out 11 years ago & thought I retired.

It's a new day and a new dollar to be made. I have moved to NC to be close to my grandkids (and warmer wheather) and am now starting over. Too much time has passed & techniques have changed somewhat, so I thought this would be a good place to learn to start over again. Sure would appreciate any advice which has worked for you that I might apply to this new venture.

I have a tip for you guys with enclosed trailers with black streaks running down the sides. If you get some of the white roof paint that they use on mobile home roof's and paint your roof on your enclosed trailer, you won't have the problem any more!

Anyway, guys keep sharing and I look forward to learning something about this business from you all.

Steve
04-08-2009, 03:01 AM
Welcome to our forum!

What are you looking to do with your new business? How do you want it to be similar or different from what you had operated in the past?

4Doc2
04-09-2009, 09:08 AM
Welcome to our forum!

What are you looking to do with your new business? How do you want it to be similar or different from what you had operated in the past?

Steve,

I am wanting to begin primarly as a mowing business. I have a pickup and a enclosed trialer. I also have a 3 wheeled 61 scag left over from my other business, new blower, edger/trimmer and a desire to succeed. I have never lowballed in my life and want my work to speak for itself. I need help in knowing how to begin in an already busy field in the area. One more thing, I am starting out in a completely different state (NC) verses Ohio.

This could evolve into landscape but am single focused for now.

Cal

Steve
04-09-2009, 12:52 PM
I need help in knowing how to begin in an already busy field in the area.
When you first started out how did you reach out to your community and let them know you were in business?

Were you involved in different community organizations? How did most of your customers find you then?

4Doc2
04-16-2009, 03:38 PM
When you first started out how did you reach out to your community and let them know you were in business?

Were you involved in different community organizations? How did most of your customers find you then?


I have just joined the home builders association and quite litterly stumbled upon a well known real estate broker in the area who asked me to contract with him on all of his property. The thing with the realtor started with a barter - part of his grass at the storage facility every 2 weeks for parking our equipment at his facility & 16 contract sites came out of that conversation.

Steve
04-16-2009, 06:27 PM
Isnt that fantastic! I bet it's getting you pumped now that you can do this! What's next on your to do list ?

4Doc2
04-17-2009, 07:33 AM
You can bet I am talking with other realtors in the area & I need to get more help. I am taking a "Citizen Police Academy" course for 10 weeks with the local police & am also getting many contacts there also.

The man across the street is having about $25 K worth of landscaping done in his yard. I think the guy doing the work bit off more than he could chew & went over to help him out for a little while yesterday. Three people from our neighborhood asked me to come by their homes & give estimates on mowing & some small landscape. Yeah, I need to get more help & teach them how to do the work "my" way.

It's happening. I guess this old dog (61) still has a trick or two up his sleave!

Steve
04-17-2009, 03:08 PM
It is amazing! Step by step we can make this happen. When we want something right away and we don't get it, thats when we get frustrated and we just up and quit.

What kind of project was going on across the street that you were able to help with? What kind of problems was the landscaper having?

treybernhardt
04-17-2009, 10:16 PM
When you first started out how did you reach out to your community and let them know you were in business?

Were you involved in different community organizations? How did most of your customers find you then?

When I travel about town, I stop at #1. places (residential & commercial)that NEED lawn care, #2 at all Real Estate offices where I have never been. . I have matching business cards, caps, small magnets, & a Brouchure to Introduce my self and my company. Public Relations is a great tool to grow companies. Plus I also offer discounts to churches & non-profits. I was always in sales for someone else, but now I must sell myself & my company.
Trey

Steve
04-17-2009, 10:37 PM
When I travel about town, I stop at #1. places (residential & commercial)that NEED lawn care, #2 at all Real Estate offices where I have never been. . I have matching business cards, caps, small magnets, & a Brouchure to Introduce my self and my company. Public Relations is a great tool to grow companies. Plus I also offer discounts to churches & non-profits. I was always in sales for someone else, but now I must sell myself & my company.

What approach do you suggest a lawn care business owner take when meeting these different groups? Do you need to utilize a different approach for each or do you do the same thing?

4Doc2
04-18-2009, 09:22 AM
We are talking about a guy with a pick-up, a shovel, and a wheelbarrow trying to wheel 3 1/2" trees around in the yard. You needed to see this guy trying to put the trees in the wheelbarrow. I couldn't stand to watch him any longer & had to go help. He did excellent work, but was trying to get it all done by himself. If he had another 2 or 3 guys to help him, he could be a real threat to other landscapers in the area.

Last night a friend of mine in a city about 45 minutes away emailed me letting me know that he had a super contact for me there who was willing to book a day for me if I would come to his city. I emailed him back, giving him a job count/size ratio I would need to justify the travel. He emailed me back & told me to plan the day now. This rapid growth has to be God, or my friends just want to see me work!!!!

Steve
04-18-2009, 04:41 PM
This rapid growth has to be God, or my friends just want to see me work!!!!

I'm sure it's both! This is great.

I think this is another great example of why networking is so important. If everyone you know, is aware you are getting back into the business, they are going to want to help you out.

Keep us posted on how the job turns out.