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  • Howdie

    Hello boys, girls and other.
    I think I use to be on this site but lost all of my info.
    I own and operate Orbitalawn in Zephyrhills and Wesley Chapel Florida.
    I have about 15 years experience and 5 years of business ownership.
    This has to be the best "job" in the world. Seldom do you hear people say they love their jobs or even their customers.
    I can proudly say both. My customers couldn't get any better they help make my job all that much better.
    And we work very hard on gaining more customers.
    I appreciate the ideas & goals shared on this site and I hope to hear more of them.

    Comment


    • That is very interesting.

      What is your view on what he should have been charging for the lawns he was charging $25 for? How long was he spending on those properties?

      Do you feel that maybe if he had charged more, his transition to fulltime business owner would have been smoother? Or even possible?

      What about the fact he dropped working his job part time. Do you feel he should have just quit and focused fulltime on his business? Maybe they he could have had a chance at success?
      he should of been charging at least $35 that is the rate for the area where we are at, even though there are people charging $20, he use to spend 45 minutes i spend the same amount of time but there are times that some of the places can take up more time since there is extra weeding. Also the 45 minutes do not count the time it takes me to get to the property.

      i think if he had done what i am doing now, giving more services and higher quality services he would of made the transition better since he could of charged what i charge with no problem, so yes i think it would of been possible only if he had raised the price by $10.

      i think he chose not to drop his fulltime job because he was afraid. but i think its possible to make money in this business i am doing it full time btw i got 2 more houses this past week so far its a 30 house route and i can handle it all by myself i think haha.

      Comment


      • Re: New from Augusta, Georgia

        WOW! Fascinating Story!

        You hit on a lot of great points there.

        So often we see newer lawn care businesses having such a rough time trying to find customers and here you all picked up the phone and called every realtor sign you saw. Do you feel that launched your business? If you hadn't of done that, do you feel it might not have taken off? Do you have any other advice for newer start ups when it comes to finding customers?
        ______________________________
        Well, I feel I should make it clear that it was my *WIFE* calling the Realtors in desperation because I hadn't gotten any Home Repair jobs in a month. Most realtors are men and most can't resist a woman's tears. It wasn't a ploy we thought up. She was on her way to church with her Mom when the idea came to her. I went into the place to meet this guy who I thought had just said what my wife wanted to hear to get her off the phone. He gave me a small handyman job and I had to prove myself. Once they felt comfortable with me and liked my work, they started giving me bigger & better assignments. I was always interested in the lawns so I would report that to them on my own. It wasn't my duty to do that. Then when my parents offered to buy me the equipment to launch a landscaping business, I jumped on it and this Realtor really boosted me right on out there with their properties and their connections in this city. My advice for newer startups is to pray, pray, pray. God will open doors you never even thought about!
        ______________________________

        Also you hit on another point that is rarely discussed, (ADD). Attention Deficit Disorder seems to be something that is still relatively unknown and I would venture to guess many people struggle with this and have no idea they have it. How have you found running your own business has helped with your A.D.D.? What kinds of issues do you think you have had to over come as an entrepreneur with A.D.D.?
        ______________________________
        Running my own business gave me back my self-esteem that ADD had taken away. Working for other people requires you focus tremendously on every word spoken to you. Running this business for me requires I focus on my words spoken to the customer & most of those are written. My wife helps so much. She does all the behind-the-scenes stuff and she is the customer service part. I couldn't be doing this without her. I still have some issues to overcome with ADD. Most of it is small. I have to force myself to pay attention to details. For an ADD person, that is a challenge. But it's the details that wins the customer. It's the details that gets them calling you back. Another challenge is staying on task. Wifey keeps my schedule. I have to go by the schedule. Don't deviate from the schedule. Follow the schedule! It's hard. My brain gets scattered and I get distracted. But when I do what's on the schedule, it all gets done by the end of the day and I get paid! Now I don't want to make it sound like it's so rigid there's no flex room. Schedule gets changed all the time. It mostly gets changed to save gas, save time or knock out the bigger, higher paying jobs first. Another challenge to overcome with ADD is wanting to work all the time. It's so easy to get tunnel-vision & focus on the next job & the next paycheck & forget my family. I have a little boy that worships me and a little girl that is Daddy's Princess. Their whole world lights up when I come home. I don't want to miss that. I have to put some jobs off till the next day to be home before the sun goes down & enjoy my family. With ADD, there's a challenge there to disconnect from something and start something new. We've researched this ADD thing extensively and found some great all-natural herbs & vitamins that do a tremendous job in helping take the edge off. I'm 10 feet tall & bullet proof & on top of my game when I take that stuff continually. This has to be the all time best job in the world! I truly feel God gave me the jobs & customers and I love them! We work very hard on gaining more new customers. The advertising blitz with The Daily Deal in the newspaper will hit in a few weeks. That will reach 125,000 people thru email alone. It will also have my business on the front page of the newspaper that day. All that advertisement will be for free!
        I'm meeting with someone today to discuss a deal of a quarter page ad 3 times a week for a month in the newspaper in exchange for $30 back to them for every customer I get from that ad. This is something you guys might look into. This guy travels the country negotiating this kind of deal for small businesses with their local newspapers.
        I really, really appreciate the ideas shared on this site and I hope to hear more of them. God bless all of you!
        The Yard Architect
        Augusta, GA

        Comment


        • Good morning everyone

          My little brand spanking new lawn business is called A.C. Landscape Maintenance and I am located in southern California, where there is are as many landscapers as there are starbucks. I come from corporate aviation industry where the business is 75% customer care and the rest is flying. I have worked as a landscaper before but never for myself, so I got some equpment and a cheap trailer from Craigslist and here I am making flyers at 1:50 a.m. I will be up early to drive around my "geographic target" areas that have the best chance for someone to look at the flyer and actually go to my website, or dial my ph#. I have read some of the posts and its comforting to know that there are so many good people doing this awesome business and I am really happy I found this forum. Thanks and greatest of luck! Amado

          Comment


          • Hi Amado,

            Welcome to our forum!

            How do you feel your previous background in landscaping and aviation will help you with your new business venture? Do you feel it may be a little easier for you to get this rolling than others without such a background?
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            Comment


            • no mo' mow blow & go!

              I've been talking to my neighbors and friends who have a landscaper and the common denominator is that almost all landscapers start to do the job just like they say they would, but as time goes by, the customer sees that this no longer is the case. I also see that many landscapers have the know how to work but business is not what they relate to. So with this in mind and a lot more hard work, It gives me an advantage to have a house-specific check list (just like in the ****pit) just to review until I can have all items memorized then eventually just do a monthly review and compare that to the quarterly customer survey. Since time is money, looking over the yard I just did might not be the best way to spend my time, just look the list once over to make sure I didn't miss anything and keep my customers smiling.

              Cheers! Amado

              Comment


              • Hi Amado,

                That is good stuff!

                So over time, what you hear from friends and neighbors, is that a new landscape company comes in and wants to perform work on the customer's property. Initially they do a good job but then start to slack over time.

                Have you asked in what way they tend to slack? That would be interesting to know because you could not only use that to your advantage in your operations but also in your marketing message!

                Why do you think they slack off? Is it the aren't charging enough to make it worth their while? Or that they get bored of it? What's your view?
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                Comment


                • Hi

                  Hello I am new to this site and have owned a lawn business going on 13 years now and have enjoyed the freedom from conventional jobs of me working directly for someone. I am also in the Navy and just got back from my 3rd tour in Afghanistan so I live in two totally different worlds and love it.

                  Rick

                  Comment


                  • Welcome to our forum Rick!

                    How are you able to keep a lawn care business going when you are serving over seas?
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                    Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

                    Comment


                    • Hello

                      Hi

                      I am the sole proprietor of White Property Detailing. I reside up in Canada It is my lawn care and snow clearing business. I went about establishing it with the same finesse as a bull in a China shop. Like Rick on the forum earlier, I am a soldier of 30 years, I have six tours, two of which were in Afghanistan; sick of dodging 107mm rockets and rusty AK bullets, I am now ensuring I'll have something better to do when I retire than counting nails at Home Depot. I love to cut grass, my problem is that I'm against the 'in and out, good enough' philosophy so prevalent with so many lawn care companies. I am still serving, so I use my free time to teach myself the lessons of this industry. I bought all my equipment outright, and brand new. (mistake #1) New Chevy 3/4Ton, Toro Z-Turn, Cyclone XL Leaf Vac, BCS Tiller, 14' Dump and Go Trl, 2x Lawnboy 21", Stihl MM55 with every attachment, Leaf Blowers, Trimmers, Rollers, Detachers, Aerators, a couple of Hiniker Plows, Snowblowers, Gopher Software, the list goes on and on. I say it was a mistake because I wasn't expecting the inevitable 'post Afghanistan' divorce. I'd prefer to stick to the residential side of the house, I offer a full range of services and by default stripe each lawn like nobody else. I want to keep this 'fun', I don't want employees, and payrolls, and stress. Other lessons that I've learned: (a) Time spent on Recon is seldom wasted ... Visit each site BEFORE committing. 60 degree slopes suck! ... (b) Don't feel obligated to take EVERY job. "No Ma'am, I didn't rake up the cores after I aerated, is there a problem??" ...(c) CYA...the camera on my iPhone4 has been a Godsend. I walk each jobsite, and ensure I get before and after pictures. People are less likely to try and pin that broken lattice on you when you can email them timestamped pictures.

                      So that in a nutshell is a year in my sideline business. It has been fun. It IS rewarding. Next season, I am simply dropping all my 'problem' clients, don't need the stress, don't owe them anything... (except for the divorcee in the west end who hasn't paid me with cash yet!)

                      I think one more year of doing lawns 'part-time' will ensure I'm well established. Being in the Army has gotten me countless jobs from troops that are deploying themselves, from vets, and they do the 'advertising' for me. Some people retire and live at the golf course, I'm going to retire and cut it!!

                      Excellent site BTW


                      JJ
                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • Hi JJ,

                        Welcome to our forum!

                        What have you liked or disliked about the equipment you purchased so far?

                        What is your view on why you went with that style truck?

                        I went about establishing it with the same finesse as a bull in a China shop.
                        When you say this, what do you mean by it? If you could, would you have liked to re do your start in a different manner?
                        - 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


                        • Hi everyone, we are Yard Barbers LLC My brother Jesse and I are co-owners of the business we started on October 1st of this year. Yeah we know strange time to start a lawn care business but, we have several clients and have made a little money. Most people tend to not understand that lawn work is actually a year round job and we try to capitalize on that.

                          Comment


                          • Most people tend to not understand that lawn work is actually a year round job and we try to capitalize on that.
                            Welcome to our forum!

                            What kinds of things do you focus on to offer all year round service?
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                            Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

                            Comment


                            • Hi everyone,
                              My name is Matt and today marks the first day that I started my lawn business. I've been buying equipment, truck, getting website ready, created flyer and all the other small things for the past month. I worked for a large internet company for the past 11 years and put off this dream for a long time. I finally got the courage to put in my resignation and was able to begin. This is GREAT! Today I posted ad on Craigslist -

                              http://austin.craigslist.org/fgs/2097840469.html

                              and I then went and passed out flyers to my whole neighborhood. Tomorrow I will go and pass out another 100 - 200 flyers. Hopefully, I get some calls.

                              Feel free to visit my website at www.allgrowinggreen.com and I would love any feedback.

                              Oh one question I have for everyone. Should I have contracts for the packages I created?

                              Thanks,
                              Matt

                              Comment


                              • Hi Matt,

                                Welcome to our forum!

                                Your site and ad look great!

                                Early on, it seems it is always better to keep things simple. You may later want to use contracts, but in the beginning it's probably better to feel things out first before you lock yourself into your own contract.

                                What have you thought of the experience so far of starting your own business?

                                How has this experience compared with what you previously had done?
                                - 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

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