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  • Hello, New Member Here, Thanks for Forum

    Thanks for the forum. I'm just getting started in lawncare, etc. again after being a truck driver for many years (sick of that ), and I'm finding this forum very useful, and I'm sure that I'll get a lot of good information from it. I worked lawncare and landscaping in Florida when I was young. Now I'm in Minnesota where there's a serious shortage of palm trees and bikinis. No matter, if you're willing to go outside after october, people up here will pay you to do it as long as you look busy.

  • #2
    Welcome to our forum!

    What kinds of marketing have you been doing so far to get the word out about your new business?
    - 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.

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    • #3
      I put a simple ad into an online classified type resource, and I got so many responses that I got scared and pulled the ad. Kind of caught me off guard because I wasn't offering discounts or free services, or any kind of incentives at all. That was about 3 months ago. Since then it's been word of mouth, and I have had all the work I want.

      I don't want to leave you with too rosy a picture though. If this is a workers paradise then it will soon be a very cold one in a short while, winter changes everything up here, and a lot of the people who call me around here are located in remote areas that require some driving. Also - you need to deal with a limited choice of equipment dealers and mechanics up here. The nearest town of any size is a 110 mile drive away down a twisty 2 lane road, so although the Husky rep here in town can fix my Husq chain saw, my Exmark parts are a long way off. Those things might partially explain any shortage of landscaper type businesses up here.

      A little while back I approached a heavy equipment operator up here who was building a driveway and asked him for a business card and he told me he didn't have one. This was a guy who has been doing that kind of work around here since dinosaurs and he didn't even have a name on his truck. Made me write it and his phone # on a piece of paper. That's not an unusual attitude around here, so you need to be able to get along with all kinds of different people who otherwise won't have time for you. I think the thing that will make you or break you around here is word of mouth.

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      • #4
        And without a business card myself, I've made more money than 98% of the people WITH a business card.

        Funny that you mention a business card because a few years ago I did have a business card made for another one of my businesses and when it arrived in the mail it looked nothing like it did on the computer screen so they went in to the garage until a few months ago and I finally threw them away. And over the weekend Samantha made a joke about them and asked where they went so I told her.

        In business since 1995 without a business card. And even though I have had a name for all my companies, very few of my customers have ever known their names and all but 1 was a huge success. So do you know what that tells me? It's all hype just like 99.9999999999999999% of marketing is. But people continue to spend a lot of money on the myth and most have little in return. By the way.... FREE business cards at Vista Print. That's about all they are worth too.....

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        • #5
          Yeah, I guess everyone's situation is different. I wouldn't hesitate to get a smooth website and some nice graphics for my truck, and maybe some give away pens, and refrigerator magnets if I ever felt the need, but if you have steady work and you don't even feel the need to pass around business cards, maybe you can instead reinvest the money into a more productive resource to improve your business. Not knocking anyone else's approach, whatever works for you is what works.

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          • #6
            But see, Google doesn't rank a 'smooth' website just because it looks 'smooth'. I have one of what I think is the coolest websites I've ever seen.... but it isn't published because it's just cool, it isn't SEO friendly. I actually have 3 like that from about 7 years ago. I don't delete them from my list because every now and then I look at them and wish they were SEO friendly. lol I guess I'm just proud of my work is why I keep them offline. So don't get a 'smooth' website, get one that is very SEO friendly.

            It depends what 'nice graphics' consists of. If you mean the ones that look so cool no one knows what it means or what the company name is or what the phone number is.... I'd stay away from those. But if you mean some nice large plain-Jane letters and numbers and nothing fancy now that could draw in a lot of profit. There is a pickup around here and I am guessing he is a pool cleaner guy but who knows... I see his truck all the time and can't read 1 word because he has it so 'fancy' with water drops and all other types of things. I'm guessing pool cleaner because of the water drops but he could do any number of things.

            I guess if a guy likes to spend money he could have some pens made up. I like to keep my money and let it make me more money personally.

            Refrigerator magnets are almost a good idea. I mean, if you can get the people to put them on their fridge and leave them there.... it could help bring in calls at some point. Too big of a risk for me but the idea looks good on paper.

            All I'm saying is, don't get sucked in by what others are doing and by what marketing people tell you. I haven't had 1 business in 1 town. I've had several different types of businesses in several towns and in several states. So what I say I did, didn't just work in 1 town or 1 area of the US. It works where ever you are.... maybe not Iran or Iraq or Reacharoundstan but here in the US it doesn't matter where you are.

            My advice for you is this. Treat people right. Even if it costs you a little here and there. Communication. Once you get over 500 customers it might be complicated to be personable but right now you can converse through texts all day, every day with your customers. If they call, you should have them programmed in to your phone so you can answer the phone and say, "Hi Cindy, how are you today?". They love that stuff. And when you get over 500 customers you can use something like the texting on Yardbook and text them all at the same time while still keeping it kinda personal. If you have the money, wrap your truck but make it legible. 1 picture of your face and since it's a wrap, maybe a picture of a mower but just realize... the more they look at a fancy picture of that mower, the less they look at your phone number... and before they know it.... you are out of site and they forgot to get your phone number. So be different, instead of making the pictures big and the phone number small, how about making the pictures small and the letters and numbers big? Business cards.... I'm not saying they are bad, I'm just saying they aren't a MUST have.

            But honestly, with as many free places you can get customers nowadays, you should never have to spend 1 penny to get a customer. Look fancy if you want, but when you get older you will say to yourself, "Now I see what that idiot was talking about in 2016. The less fancy I look the more money I have". And if you don't listen to any other thing that I've said, you and everyone in the world should do this.... go to everydollar.com and make a budget and stick with it. Rich or poor, we all need a zero dollar budget.

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            • #7
              Yeah, I especially like your advice to treat people right. You have to make yourself before you make money. People will always sniff out the guys who are just out to make a lot of money. You can fool them for a time, but they will find you out in the long run.

              And communication - absolutely. History has turned on battles and whole wars that have been won or lost because of good or bad communications. Listening to people and effectively exchanging information is not something that everyone does well. It's one of those things that people tend to think that they are better at doing than they actually are.

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