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  • Side jobs?

    What side jobs have you done or asked to do?

    Tonight I got this great email from a lawn care business owner who was telling me how he keeps himself busy all year because he is known as mr. fix it in his area. The other day he had an interior paint job. Then he replaced a sink faucet for another neighbor. He installed a section of fence.

    He is looking to buy a sewer snake to take care of sewer problems because that is another request which seems to arise more often.

    What's your view?
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  • #2
    I think that if you want to be viewed as a professional you should be one.If your friend is running a handyman business then great.If he is looking to be viewed as the mr. landscaper then he should focus on landscaping.

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    • #3
      Hey Steve. When it comes to making money, I will do just about anything legal! I have done side jobs such as tearing down old porches, fixing rotted wood inside a bathroom, reattaching crown molding inside a whole house, painting, drying and selling oak (goes hand in hand with my tree business), burning brush piles during burn season, fix broken down cars, buying and fixing and selling small engine tools, and the list goes on and on.

      My dad was a jack of all trades, and owned a construction company my whole life growing up, and I started working for him when I was like 12. So I have lots of experience doing all sorts of things.

      Im not too proud to do these sorts of things. When it comes to making money, I will do it all!
      Northern California

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      • #4
        That is really interesting to hear. Can you tell me this because I am sure others are wondering. How do you get the word out that you are able to do all those sorts of services?
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        • #5
          You spend time talking to your customers, and you learn that they have things around their house that need taking care of. Or I will keep my eyes open and point out that I can fix this and that. Usually they just say "go ahead..."
          Northern California

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          • #6
            I agree, with the way the economy is, in order to survive you have to diversify, i started doing home maintenance and repairs for the first 2 years of business, this year it slowed to the point i started mowing lawns and snow removal, i am flexible and will still be able to pay the bills, my plan is to hire a crew to strictly do lawn maintenance as i do home maintenance and repairs. just have to hire the right people and have good management skills, and you can be successful.

            Rob

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            • #7
              Rob,

              For others that are wondering, how did you land those side jobs? Did you market them or did the customers just come up and ask you?
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              • #8
                When I first started out I would do what ever to make a doller.I dont need to do that now.I have a good rep as a very good landscaper and that was the qoal.If you can show me just one landscape company that brings in 5 mill a year thats willing to do just any thing then I might change my mind.They may have subsideraries but tru green dont do sidding.If you can run a maintanance crew and then do what you do thats great.I just like to specialize in my trade not every ones trade.

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                • #9
                  When I first started out I would do what ever to make a doller.I dont need to do that now.I have a good rep as a very good landscaper and that was the qoal.If you can show me just one landscape company that brings in 5 mill a year thats willing to do just any thing then I might change my mind.They may have subsideraries but tru green dont do sidding.If you can run a maintanance crew and then do what you do thats great.I just like to specialize in my trade not every ones trade.
                  Do you have suggestions for what newer lawn care business owners should do when the year slows down? What should they be doing when money is tight?
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                  • #10
                    Rob,

                    For others that are wondering, how did you land those side jobs? Did you market them or did the customers just come up and ask you?
                    I did direct marketing to Realtor, some is from word of mouth, also i deal with Service Magic (60% success rate) also partnered up with a friend that owns a paint company then he sells my company to the home owner and i do the same for his company, then if the home owner uses both companies we offer a special pricing.

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                    • #11
                      also i deal with Service Magic (60% success rate)
                      Is that for lawn care jobs or side jobs as well?
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                      • #12
                        Well Im lucky enough to live in florida so I get paid year round.But at first I would build decks,fences,dig up plants,pressure wash,or any thing I could get my hands on.The key is putting your self out there.Let all your clients know what could be better with their property.They probly dont know you can do what you can do.If a client needs landscaping then draw up something and let them know how you can make it look.I dont ask but I enjoy designing so I just do it then give it to them.Make sure that you do this for clients not customers.A client trust you and will use you for any thing they can.A customer is someone your doing work for but they have no problem using someone else.If your clients love your work they'll tell a friend and they have to keep up the friends.

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                        • #13
                          The key is putting your self out there.Let all your clients know what could be better with their property.They probly dont know you can do what you can do.If a client needs landscaping then draw up something and let them know how you can make it look.I dont ask but I enjoy designing so I just do it then give it to them.
                          Do you ever find yourself creating a landscape design and presenting to your clients if they don't ask for anything, just if you are inspired to do it? If so, does that ever work? Can you land jobs that way? Or should you first wait for them to ask you to offer them a design idea?
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                          • #14
                            Thats exactly what I do.Thats why I said they have to be clients not customers.If you do that for a customer you run the risk of them taking bids on your design.But a good client will keep it and if they deside to go forward then its your job.Yes I have landed jobs this way.Even if they dont want it right then they always have that thing in their mind every time they come home or have guest over.They know it looks bad and you can fix it.I would do something basic and then try to up sell them on a better job.You know just the bones at first and the frills when they want to talk.

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                            • #15
                              I would do something basic and then try to up sell them on a better job.You know just the bones at first and the frills when they want to talk.
                              That is really neat!

                              If you happen to have a design you have made from drawing to reality, I'd love to see it.

                              Also, how much of a difference have you found you can charge a client from a basic design to a more elaborate one?
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