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  • Head Start Program

    Here is the profile on Lightning Lawn Service:

    I am 20 years old, i've mowed grass for other companies since I was 16 and just started my own this past june. I now have 31 full time customers that I do on the weekend and I work a full time job during the week to make ends meet. I think I could use all the help I can get to go full time this summer.
    Thanks,
    Mike (Lightning Lawn Service)




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  • #2
    Business plan questions can be found here.

    Business Plan

    Business Description
    - Give a one paragraph description of your business.
    Lightning Lawn Service is a Owner operated business that just started in june 2004. I run a Residential and Commercial lawn business and currently have 30 full time accounts.
    - Where is your business located? Cocoa, FL
    - What services does your business offer? I offer complete lawn and landscape maintenance.
    - What value does it add to the marketplace? Not every lawn service around here does lawn and landscape maintenance so I guess it adds value that I include Landscape maintance.

    Management Abilities
    - What are your qualifications? Iíve done lawn work for 4 years.
    - How will your experience contribute to the success of your business? Very much, you really need to know what your doing in able to keep your customers happy with you.

    Business Strategy
    - What are the key strategic opportunities you have identified in your marketplace? A lot of new residential developments.
    - How will your business take advantage of these strategic opportunities more effectively than your competition? Provide a more professional look to the potential customers.
    - How do you intend to maintain your competitive edge? Keep doing good work.
    - Describe the key challenges you face and how will you overcome them? Adding more customers this summer. ADVERTISING

    Legal Structure
    - Will your business operate as a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation or an LLC? Sole Proprietor
    - How will your legal structure decrease your business's exposure to risk? I donít know.

    Financial
    - How much will you personally invest in your business? So far I have invested about $11,000ÖI know in the future it will be much more.
    - How much money are you seeking from banks? None
    - How much money are you seeking from private investors? None
    - How long until you plan to break even? End of next year
    - How long until you plan on making a profit? After next year.
    - What will your start-up costs be? Be specific, describe each and the cost. It was $11,000
    - What is your sales forcast for each month of the entire year? List each month's goal. Right not I make about 1600.00 each month, This year I would like to increase that number by atleast 500.00 a month when the season hits.
    - What will be your operating expenses? Be specific, describe each and the cost. I figure, about 30.00 a day in gas, 500.00 a year in maintenance to my machines, edger blades, oil, string, etc..
    - What will your fixed costs be? Be specific, describe each and the cost. Not sure what fixed costs are?


    Mission Statement
    - What is your business? Lawn and Landscape Maintenance Company
    - How will your business succeed? With good work.
    - What values are important to your business? Making the customer happy.
    - How does your business improve the lives of your customers' and employees'? My customers get to enjoy a beautiful lawn with no effort.

    Marketing Slogan
    - What is your marketing slogan? Weíll Be There in a Flash!!

    Market Analysis
    - What are the positive NATIONAL trends that will affect your business? Growing economy - What are the negative NATIONAL trends that will affect your business? High gas prices.
    - How will you take advantage of the positive trends and deal with the negative trends? Add more customers in able to make up for the gas prices.

    - What are the positive REGIONAL trends that will affect your business? Not sure.
    - What are the negative REGIONAL trends that will affect your business? Not sure.
    - How will you take advantage of the positive trends and deal with the negative trends? Not Sure.

    - What are the positive LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY trends that will affect your business? Better Equipment every year.
    - What are the negative LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY trends that will affect your business? Low ballers
    - How will you take advantage of the positive trends and deal with the negative trends? Buy the better equipment, do better work than the other guy.

    Customer Analysis
    - Who are your target customers? (age range, education level, occupations, average home value) Most are elderly customers that are unable to do the work, other than that everyone is a target customer to me.
    - What zip codes do they live in? 32926, 32927, 32780 and the surrounding ones
    - What do your customers want? Quality work, at reasonable prices.

    Competition Analysis
    - Who are your competitors? Other lawn services.
    - How many employees do they have? Varies from none to numerous crews
    - What is their estimated sales volume? Any where from what I make to probably close to 1 million.
    - What services do they offer? Lawn and Landscape maintenance, Landscape installation, spraying and fertilizing.
    - What is the quality of their product? Poor to Excellent.
    - What is the price range of their product? From 15 a cut and up or 50 a month and up
    - Who are there customers? All ranges
    - What are their strengths? Good equipment
    - What are their weaknesses? Unreliable help
    - Are they a direct or indirect competitor? Indirect I think, there is so much work to be done around here.

    Labor
    - How many employees will you start with? Full or p/t? none, just myself
    - What will the hourly labor wage paid to employees be? I think Iíll start my first employee out a probably 8.00 an hour and depending on how good he is raise it up accordingly
    - What will your total annual labor hours be? 40-50 hours a week from march to oct. 20 hours a week nov.-feb.

    Equipment
    - What equipment will be needed? A 52 stander, another blower and weed wacker.
    - How much will it cost to obtain this equipment? Probably around 8k
    - Where will you store the equipment? In my garage.
    - How much will it cost to store the equipment? Free

    Advertising / Promotion
    - How will you advertise or promote your business? Flyers, business cards, yellow page ad, newspaper ad, word of mouth.
    - How much will you spend doing each per year? 2k
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    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Lightning Lawn Service,

      Are you going to continue using your current logo or are you wanting to change it? If you are how so?
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      • #4
        Yes, I was thinking about changing it, and making it a little more professional looking. And easier to read, I like the lightning bolt in it but I would also like something that has to do with lawn care. What do you think? Thanks

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi,

          Your information was passed along to me in terms of creating a new logo for you. You can see samples of my logo work at http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v5.../LogoWork1.gif
          I am willing to help you out at no cost, so if you'd like to discuss this further, please email me at ElementDesigner@gmail.com. I'd like to talk to you about what you're looking for in terms of a new identity, what you see as the important details about your business, what you want people to remember you for, if you have any ideas, etc. I look forward to hearing from you.

          Comment


          • #6
            ok thanks

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Team Gopher for teaming me up with element designer, they have some really great ideas for a professional looking logo.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi LightningLawns,

                You are welcome.

                When we are done with all this, your business images is going to look fantastic. I am looking forwards to seeing what element designer comes up with for you.

                From your business plan.

                We asked: What will your fixed costs be? Be specific, describe each and the cost.
                You responded: Not sure what fixed costs are?

                Here is a definition to help you. Fixed Costs - expenses that do not change regardless of production increases or decreases, for example, rent, insurance, interest on loans, etc. If you can, try to answer that question again so we can help figure out your total expenses.
                - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
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                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi LightningLawns,

                  Another thing I would like you to think about.

                  I see that you have 31 full time customers that you service on the weekends.

                  What I would also like to see is this. Three projections:

                  1. A total number of new customers you feel you can easily attract this season.

                  2. A total number of new customers you feel will be moderately difficult to attract this season.

                  3. A total number of new customers you feel will be extremely tough to attract this season.

                  4. What date do you want these total customers by?

                  This will help us set up some goals for the marketing campaign.

                  When we set up your projections in a chart, you can then post weekly how many new customers you were able to get that week. This should help inspire and motivate you to reach your goals.
                  - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
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                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ok my fixed costs I believe are:

                    1 36 stander- $200.00/mth.
                    $2000.00 Loan for:
                    1 weed eater
                    1 blower
                    1 edger
                    1 hedge trimmer
                    Multiple Hand Tools, shovels, rakes, etc.
                    Lawn Trailer
                    Insurance- $100.00/mth.
                    Business Liscense- $35.00/yr.
                    Business Phone- 140.00/mth.
                    Internet- 40.00/mth.
                    My truck is paid for, but its a 1995 dodge dakota that has almost 200,000 miles on it and only has a V6 so I will be getting a new truck when I get about 60 monthly yards total.
                    I will also get another lawn mower when I gain more yards.
                    I do not have business insurance yet, but I will. Not sure of the cost of that.



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      1. A total number of new customers you feel you can easily attract this season.
                      15-20 monthly accounts

                      2. A total number of new customers you feel will be moderately difficult to attract this season.
                      30-40 monthly accounts.

                      3. A total number of new customers you feel will be extremely tough to attract this season.
                      50-60 monthly accounts

                      4. What date do you want these total customers by? End of October, Beggining of November. Thats when we go to our every other week schedule.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi LightningLawns,

                        Here is a chart to show your customer goals for this season.

                        The easy goal is charted to attain the lower level of your easy goal, 15 new customers.

                        The moderately difficult goal is charted to attain the middle of your moderately difficult goal, 35 new customers.

                        The extremely tough goal is charted to attain the high end of your extremely tough goal, 60 new customers.

                        Each month you should report back here and let us know your latest customer count to see where you are at in your goal. You might want to print out this chart and put it somewhere where you will see it each day to inspire you.
                        - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                        Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ok thank you I will definately do that. I have it printed and put in my note book.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi LightningLawns,

                            We will make an expense chart next to help you with your biddings.

                            What is the monthly fee to pay off the equipment $2000.00 loan?

                            How much do you want to make after taxes per hour?


                            How many billable hours do you plan on working each month of this year?

                            Jan total billable hours =
                            Feb =
                            Mar =
                            Apr =
                            May =
                            Jun =
                            Jul =
                            Aug =
                            Sept =
                            Oct =
                            Nov =
                            Dec =

                            Yearly total billable hours =
                            - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                            Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What is the monthly fee to pay off the equipment $2000.00 loan? I just sold a dirtbike, and when I deposit the check I will mail my final payment and it will be paid off this month. It was 120.00/mth.

                              How much do you want to make after taxes per hour?
                              40-60 $/hr.


                              How many billable hours do you plan on working each month of this year? It all depends on how many accounts I gain each month. But I'll make a projection.

                              Jan total billable hours = 32
                              Feb =32
                              Mar = 32
                              Apr = 96
                              May = 96
                              Jun = 128
                              Jul = 128
                              Aug = 160
                              Sept = 160
                              Oct = 160
                              Nov = 80
                              Dec = 80

                              Yearly total billable hours = 1184 (Estimated) Probably going to be more, but thats on the low end.

                              Comment

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