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Some of my stripes!

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  • #16
    Last year, when I was looking for a couple more accounts, I took a flyer and business cards to a local oil change business. I know the man who owns it, and asked him if I could advertise in his waiting room. He has a bulletin board in there where I posted the flyer, and put my business cards on the table. I got two customers this way within the first 9 days. About a week later, I took my flyer and business cards down because I was to busy and wouldn't be able to take on anymore business. (When I think back on this, I probably should have left the flyer up just to get my name out!) Anyway, I think I will do that again, as well as flyers in some neighborhoods. I contacted all of my weekly lawn clients from last summer about a week ago, and they all want me back, so that really helps. Its kind of hard trying to handle running a lawn business and school at the same time, so I have to make sure I don't take on to much work. Its also frustrating at the same time because when school gets out, I have all the time in the world for more work, but when school starts up again towards the fall, and day light gets shorter, i'm kinda outta luck. So, to make up for extra time in the summer, I advertise for delivering and putting down mulch. VERY VERY VERY EASY!!! (if you have a truck) I started doing this last summer and it's a great way to make extra money, and it's kinda nice to do something other than mow. For advertising, I usually ask my current lawn clients if they want any. Also helps if I say things like, "I noticed you could use some more mulch around your flowers and trees, would you be interested in having that done?" I can fit about 1.5 yards of mulch in my truck, so I like the small jobs, but if I do have a bigger job to do, I can count on my mulch supplier to deliver. I have developed a great relationship with the owner. I mentioned him in one of my previous posts. Also, mulch has a HUGE markup! If you buy bulk, (not bags), you can save a ton, and in return make a higher profit. I charge about $75 per yard of mulch installed. Very easy work for the most part.

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    • #17
      Have you ever thought about sending a press release to the local paper? I bet if they saw some of the lawns you have created, they would love to do a story on a high school student who creates art on lawns.

      That could really help get even more people to be aware of you.
      - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
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      • #18
        I haven't really thought about the newspaper, but yes, that would be great for getting the word out.

        I talked to my counselor on Friday about my class schedule for my senior year at high school (next year). I'm a junior now, and we were registering for classes this whole week. Anyway, I was talking to him about trying to get my schedule adjusted around so that I could get out earlier in the day, as opposed to going in later and getting out later. I think if I can get into school early, and get out early, I would have time to get some work done. When I was talking to him, I found out that he used to do some lawn care as well with a friend of his, so he was very understanding when it came to my schedule. It turns out that I only need to take 4 classes per semester, which is the minimum for any student, and I'll have met all my high school credits, and have the classes that the University looks at me having. I will most likely go to UNO. (University of Nebraska at Omaha) I think I will be a business major. Luckily for me, because I go to the largest high school in Nebraska, they offer a TON of business classes. Right now I'm in Business Law, Law Studies, International Business, and Accounting 1. Next year, I will be in Accounting 2, Business Procedures and Technologies, and Marketing. I feel that the Accounting classes and the Marketing class will be very beneficial to me.

        Its getting to be that time where I'm going to be making flyers. I've been browsing the forum, and have found a lot of good ones. Not sure what I'm going to use. Also, I've been trying to figure out what neighborhoods I want to target. I then I deciding whether or not I want to take a big step and higher help.

        That's an area I'm a little uncomfortable with. Obviously I know that no matter who I higher to help me, they aren't going to care about the business as much as me; just not going to happen. Now I do think that there is good help out there, it's just finding it.

        Also, I have no idea how to do the whole insurance, licensing, and so on. I've heard that if I do decide to get help, I should have the person work for me as an "Independent Contractor", so that I'm personally not reliable. Do you feel that is the best way to go about things, or is there a more professional way to look at it.

        Also, how to I get my business name to be MINE. I'm not quite sure how to do that, but I think I have to go down to the court house to fill out the paper work to do so. Any info on this would be great.

        Also, as far as insurance goes, what is the cheapest way, and what exactly does it cover. I am extremely careful on the job, so I don't feel that I need a million dollar policy. (Although I know accidents do happen)

        Mainly, I just need help getting my business "official". I'm not sure about all that sort of stuff yet, but would really appreciate help from you guys. Also, does my age put a damper on things? I'll be 17 in March. Thanks.

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        • #19
          These are all great questions and concerns.

          Let me start off by saying. Your school comes first. You can't let your business get in the way of school. You have all of your life to work on your business, but remember you do not want to screw up school.

          Also, I've been trying to figure out what neighborhoods I want to target. I then I deciding whether or not I want to take a big step and higher help.
          Why not target the most expensive areas you can service and still do a good job, that are close enough to get too?

          Also, I have no idea how to do the whole insurance, licensing, and so on.
          This is easy, it's just another bill. Call around to some insurance offices, maybe Nationwide? Ask for some quotes. Licensing, I don't know what you will need in your area. When you register your business name, you should be able to find out more through the office that handles this at the county court house.

          Your town may also want you to have a contractor license, you can check with the town hall.

          That's an area I'm a little uncomfortable with. Obviously I know that no matter who I higher to help me, they aren't going to care about the business as much as me; just not going to happen. Now I do think that there is good help out there, it's just finding it.
          This is why you will need to develop your management skills which will come over time and watch over everything. Check it when it's done and make sure it meets your standards.

          I've heard that if I do decide to get help, I should have the person work for me as an "Independent Contractor", so that I'm personally not reliable. Do you feel that is the best way to go about things, or is there a more professional way to look at it.
          We talk about this quite often and I bet 99.9% of the time, the way it is done, is not allowed under I.R.S. rules.

          Read here. Want quick IRS trouble? Give your lawn care employee a 1099 form.

          Ultimately, if you need an employee, just follow the procedures to hire one and learn to do it all the right way.

          Also, how to I get my business name to be MINE. I'm not quite sure how to do that, but I think I have to go down to the court house to fill out the paper work to do so. Any info on this would be great.
          Yea go to the court hows and file to create a sole proprietorship business, or a D.B.A. ( doing business as )

          Keep us posted.
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          Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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          • #20
            Steve-

            Thanks a lot for the help. Gives me a good idea for what I need to do to become "official". I definetly agree with you on just hiring an employee the right way. I will most likely have to do it the right way further up the road, but I might as well start now. I feel that a well rounded way of doing business will end up resulting more succesful then a business that was run by cutting corners all the time. There are sooo many other ways to save money besides cutting corners on the legal stuff.

            Anyway, we are supposed to get about 5 inches of snow here in Omaha tonight, so I'll be getting my snowblowers ready to go. (I'm in school right now! )

            Can't wait to see the sun and the grass again, the snow is getting old. Thanks again for your help.

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            • #21
              Keep us posted on how it all goes.
              - 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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              • #22
                where did you get the piece of rubber?

                I used a think piece of rubber that was about 8 inches tall and 42 inches wide. I bolted it to the backside of my deck, therefore when the deck is at a regular mow height, it will drag along the grass therefore creating the stripes. Cheap way to go, cost about $35-40.

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