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carlosfleury sent me these some questions he had about getting started. I am hoping by posting them here we can get some input from many of our forum members.
Quote[/b] ]Hi I just have a couple of questions and wish you guys can help me out through this!
I am starting a landscaping business, but I dont know how to start....
My cousing currently own a landscape business so he is helping me learnn the techniques, but now I need to get the customers....for now I will be using his equipments on saturdays for the account I get...As soon as I reach 15 accounts then
I will buy all the equipment necessary...
But my question is how to reach new accounts...???
They all have landscapers already...what should be my target, or i need to offer something or a deal that could make my company a different company....so the home owners can switch...
What do you guys thinkl???
It is very easy to loose the motivation for this in the beginning because its really hard to start....please help me out with some ideas and strategies..thanks!!
My advice is to go door to door offering them lawn maintenance services. *Give them an estimate right then and there. *If they say no, thank them for their time, and tell them that if they ever change their mind to call you up.
But in my opinion the best way to start is by with having business cards. *Nothing to special, you can make them on your computer at home. *Hang them up in hardware stores, groceries store, any place that has a bullentin board. *Give out your card to anybody and everybody. *You have to spread the word about yourself.
I agree the easiest thing to do is the business cards. Hand them out like candy. If you have a computer with Microsoft Word or can get a business card program, that's the cheapest way to start out. You can print you own for pennies apiece.
Get friendly with the local outdoor products dealers and hardware stores. You can be rewarded with tons of free info and referrals in the long run. Post your cards on community bulletin boards.
Real estate offices are a good place to offer your service, just be aware they may all be short term per yard, but its better than nothing.
If your local newspaper has a section featuring local business, not the help wanted page, its money well spent, maybe a bit pricey.
If you have a car or truck you drive around in, look into quality lettering or removable magnetic signs you can slap onto the sides of the doors or truck bed. Just make sure the letters are big enough to be seen clearly, especially the phone numbers.
Be sure and present yourself as a confident professional. Body language is everybody's second language. You need to be cognisent of that and work on it if needed. Practice in the mirror if you have to. I do it.
Have your facts and figures down pat during conversations with potential clients. Be prepared to answer all questions you may anticipate, from prices, to contract language, to scheduling, and more.
Going door to door is also an excellent idea, but can get frustrating. But its also a great time to learn what not to say, just be observant. Don't give up.
You need to make yourself aware of any consumer protection laws concerning door to door sales. In Maine we have transient sales laws which requires licensing to help eliminate fly by night rip off artists. Should I elect to go door to outside of my home town for residential sales, I would need such a license. You can find out if your state has those kinds of laws by stopping by or calling up the local police/sheriff's office.
Hand in hand with our transient license law is a requirement for a written contract with a 3 day window for the customer to cancel for any reason. The 3 days has to be up before you begin any work. Again, check out your state and local laws.
Look into any license requirements for any other work you will be performing. For instance, an aborists license for any tree work. Or even a general business license.
I bring this all up as its an often over looked part of the business that can land you in trouble in a hurry.
All in all, you will have to spend some money, but it doesn't have to be a lot.
Check out all the forum topics, too. Lots of info to be had!
Hope this helps. Good luck and let us know how you do.