PDA

View Full Version : hello


grasshopper fl
06-09-2009, 11:05 AM
Hello every one,

My name is matt and i just opened up my very own lawn buisness. Im am very fortunate to have opened it when i did, because my first few months i have seen a jump in clientel. I started off by do property maintance for my fathers home building company, including mowing all of his model homes and properties, 25 properties that is for 3 years. As i work for him, together we set up a lawn trailer including a Toro 52" z-turn, john deer 48" walk behind and assorted sticks edgers and trimmers, and back pack blowers. So having all of this equipment in my hands i decided to start my own company and expand it past his properties. At the same time leasing his equipment. This made it very easy to start since i did not have to go out and purchase most of this equipment in one lump sum. I also have the experience of cutting grass, but the buisness side i need to become an expert on to make lots of moeny. And that has brought me to this forum. I have learned a lot just by reading others comments. I think this is a great idea and should benifit many. I have a few ideas and have a lot of motivation to make my company prosperous. And hopefully as an industry we can help each other and all become successful. Thanks again, and any feedback or advice will never be overlooked.

Matt,

Grasshoppers Lawn Spe******ts, LLC.
Daytona Beach, FL

AccountingSPOT
06-09-2009, 11:11 AM
Welcome Matt! (from one newby to another!)

It sounds like you are in a great position to start a company. I like that you aren't letting this opportunity slip by you without making the best of it. Having your Father's property and equipment to get you started is such a wonderful opportunity!

Have a great time!

arthur712
06-09-2009, 11:36 AM
Welcome to the forum!

We have been getting lot of rain here. So that should keep you busy.

Good Luck.

Thanx!
Artie

Steve
06-09-2009, 01:37 PM
Hi Matt,

Welcome to our forum!

I have a few ideas and have a lot of motivation to make my company prosperous.

What kinds of things are you looking to do? I'd love to hear some of your plans.

grasshopper fl
06-09-2009, 04:13 PM
Alot of people have different philosophies about how to run there company and here are just some common interests that i have thought up.


1. My start up-
First thing i did other than put numbers together and get my licensing and insurance was to start spreading the word. I told every person (and still do) about the services i provide (spelled out below). From my parents to the grocery store clerk, i told everyperson i came in contact with. My first month i opened with 3 accounts, now in my 3rd month i have 20. ALL WORD OF MOUTH

I had a buddy of mine meet with me to go over logos and flyers and so forth, low budget marketing items, such as buisness cards. Buisness cards are probably the number 1 item ANY buiseness person should never leave the shop without. I spread the word EVERYWHERE I GO. WORD OF MOUTH IS MY NUMBER 1 MARKETING TECHNIQUE. It goes much further than a piece of paper.

2. Professional Image
This item i think gets over looked because of the common excuse that its a dirty job. Florida is littered with lawn companies and you can't go down the road with out seeing at least 3 rigs. Even though 10 passed me, i remembered 3 because they looked good. But i think its very important to BE and look professional. I liked Steves segment on the pros and cons of cargo trailers, and i learned alot off of the segement alone.
I went to Target and bought these Champion duo dry shirts (one they are cheap, and two in the florida sun they are plesant to work in, and three they look very professional) i got my logo and and phone number put on them, and you would be suprised how a property owner reacts(especially in high end neighborhoods) when they see a professional looking company making there lawn look PROFESSIONALLY done.

3. Foundation
Since i am a one man show(right now) i am using this short time to allow myself to build my foundation. And what i mean by that is my systems, from the first phone call to the last blade of glass getting blow off at the end of the month. I am learning ways to keep the buisness organized. Right now i have put together an estimating form that includes questions of for the property so i have them right there on paper instead of in my head. Questions like, dimensions, objects, what i call supporting events(like do i have to weed eat a ditch? time consuming items). This form is the first thing that goes into the property file. One just incase i got sick or something happened to me that someone else had to run it, they would have ALL the information there to go out and do our daily routes. Right now my foundation is still being built and once established i can start building my buisness.

4. Estimating and Service
I am very flexible right now with my estimating, but i have a bottom line. And i don't go below it, nobody should. Now since i am starting this company i have been very low on my estimates just to get it off the ground, im still making a little bit of money, but not what i should. If some one asks me to go lower, i kindly tell them that i would be basically paying to do there work and i wont do that, that is not why i work. So STICK TO YOUR GUNS. And honestly once i explain that i still get the job.

Ok i have blabed on enough. Tell me what you think. I am open to ideas and suggestions. And to all the Fl lawn services lets get some sun!!

XtreemGreen
06-09-2009, 04:47 PM
Sounds like you have an awesome plan.. Although Ive been around this business since the late 80's, I havent been too successful..Reasons from being seriously ill to very low ballers in my area..
But I do know alot about this industry..
1. Major thing... Low Ballers are destroying it.. The avarage cost around my area is $15 per cut or $60 per month..

|If you have questions, please feel free to ask..

Steve
06-09-2009, 09:32 PM
I told every person (and still do) about the services i provide (spelled out below). From my parents to the grocery store clerk, i told everyperson i came in contact with. My first month i opened with 3 accounts, now in my 3rd month i have 20. ALL WORD OF MOUTH

I think a lot of new business owners dont realize how important this is. Did you hand out business cards to these people? Did you just talk it up? Did you talk to the neighbors of your customers? What advice do you have for others who haven't been able to get into self promoting themselves yet?

grasshopper fl
06-09-2009, 10:46 PM
Yes,
Yes,
and Yes,

I like catching neighbors when they are out side and say to them, "see how nice I keep their lawn. I can do the same for you." with a buisness card in hand.

Steve
06-12-2009, 09:02 PM
How do you feel having a father that is an entrepreneur as well, has helped you create your business. Especially the creation of your business systems, which is not something I hear many new lawn care business owners focus on.

andyjoneslawncare
06-13-2009, 01:12 AM
Awesome plan and great organization! Just stay over on the east coast and don't mosey over to my neck of the woods. I'm sure you looked around this forum already, but you'll be amazed at how many ideas, tips, pitfalls, advice, etc you'll find here. You've just joined and you're already inspiring us. Another thing, nobody judges here. You can throw out any idea, method, or plan you're trying or want to know about and you'll get help, advice, or any concerns from both newbies and vets. Everyone has something to offer, because someone new to mowing may be a marketing genius (you?), property manager, etc and the vets have seen every pitfall and know the equipment very well. Keep in mind, different regions require different approaches to services, pricing, etc and depending how far along you are, you may accept lower paying, more tedious accounts than someone with a maxxed out schedule. Have fun and watch out for that farmer's tan! Have you posted on craigslist or contacted realtors for lists of short sales/ forclosure/ vacant homes for sale? Both free and I'm having luck with both. There, two ideas already! Andy

grasshopper fl
06-16-2009, 10:57 AM
thanks for the feedback everybody.

My father has played a big role in the creation of this company. I have worked with him alot and have inherited his buisness like mind. Such as protection, contracts, not loosing your behind, kind of stuff. And not only did i do property managing for him, i also did all his estimating and project managing. So i have learned systems are really important to any buisness. And it helps the stress level too, keeps it fun. I would not be where i am today with out my father, very fortunate and lucky. He is going to have a good fathers day.
Happy fathers day to all the fathers in the forum as well.

Matt

roclin
08-26-2009, 07:58 PM
Here is my new business cards. I made the company bigger than it is by saying "Maintenance Division" 1456

1457under my sons name. The front is clean and the back sells it...I hope.
I have a new letter head also. Hope the links work. It's the first time I've tried it here.

Steve
08-27-2009, 12:21 PM
That's a very nice card! How many do you feel you hand out per day or week? What other kinds of things have you been doing to market your business?

arthur712
08-27-2009, 01:56 PM
Here is my new business cards. I made the company bigger than it is by saying "Maintenance Division" 1456

1457under my sons name. The front is clean and the back sells it...I hope.
I have a new letter head also. Hope the links work. It's the first time I've tried it here.

Very nice, We need tp get them in some nice outdoor card holders. LOL

Did you design them yourself? Great job!!

roclin
08-28-2009, 10:48 PM
I designed them myself. I just used vistaprint.com to make them. Your card holder idea is not a bad one. I pass out cards a every other day on the average. My letter head is done and I'm mailing them to property management business along with 2 cards. I cannot upload them here, they did not work. Not sure why so here is what they say (below) however it's best to see the whole thing to see how it all comes together.
Everything matches. I really do not want homeowners,been there done that. However if push comes to shove I'll take them and move on later.

It does not copy and paste, email me and I'll send it. bigguyslandscape@att.net

roclin
08-28-2009, 10:55 PM
That's a very nice card! How many do you feel you hand out per day or week? What other kinds of things have you been doing to market your business?

I just started to advertise thru ATT Yellow pages on the Internet. Still working on the ad but had to go for it. Cost $102 a month. Plus like I said before, my focus is on commercial apartments etc. So my letter head that introduces the company is short and to the point. Email me and I'll try to send an attachment.
bigguyslandscape@att.net

Steve
08-29-2009, 05:44 AM
I just started to advertise thru ATT Yellow pages on the Internet. Still working on the ad but had to go for it. Cost $102 a month.

Are you doing anything to track that ad to see if it is working? When new people call do you ask them where they initially heard of you from?

roclin
08-29-2009, 03:18 PM
Are you doing anything to track that ad to see if it is working? When new people call do you ask them where they initially heard of you from?

The ad is not up yet, but I will ask where they heard of me. It will me on the major search engines thru AT&T. It will be in my surrounding area within 75 miles. That way I choose how far to go depending on the job. I'm also considering a co-op, but one step at a time.