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The recap of my first year:

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  • #16
    When I was biding last year I was more then less looking at lot sizes and edging amount. The things I forgot was areas where my rider would not fit or go and would have to either weed wack it or bring out the push mower.

    Location was a hard part starting out because I was not sure where my foot print would be. So I treated every customer as I would have 1 or 2 accounts by them. I didn't end up losing I just came close to breaking even on 1 of them since it was a 30 mile round trip to one of the properties.
    How many quotes did you do last year, that you did not get?

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    • #17
      How many quotes did you do last year, that you did not get?
      I would guess off hand I landed about 75%. I had 3-4 bids were higher than there last contractor. I won them because either there last contractor was unreliable or went out of business. They told me they were getting a good deal but was wilingl to pay more for a reliable contractor. They all turned out to be great customers. I was a bit nervous but it went well and was extremely happy with my service.

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      • #18
        I would guess off hand I landed about 75%. I had 3-4 bids were higher than there last contractor. I won them because either there last contractor was unreliable or went out of business. They told me they were getting a good deal but was wilingl to pay more for a reliable contractor. They all turned out to be great customers. I was a bit nervous but it went well and was extremely happy with my service.
        Which advertising method has worked best for you?

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        • #19
          Which advertising method has worked best for you?
          To start out I advertized by door hanger (about 300), Craigslist, add in our rural paper and tear offs.

          The winner was the news paper then craigslist, tear offs, and last door hangers. As the season went on I received some from my trailer.

          This year I am only advertizing in the paper until the middle of the season due to me trying to cut back on advertizing expenses. I feel like I have accomplished enough jobs to keep me busy until I decided to bring a employee on board. These type of advertisement bring in mainly residential customers and this year I am trying to focus more on commercial customers to have more of a mix.

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          • #20
            Yourscape, you are going through exactly what I went through and are learning the exact same things I learned in that exact order lol.

            Your third year is going to be magical, I promise.

            This year, you will switch to getting pre-paid (excellent); however, there will be some current clients who will be upset about this and not welcome the change.

            You'll also probably let some current clients from last year pay the "old way" and not bother them to pay in advance.... it's a trap, get them to pay in advance too.. Just having 1-5 clients who pay differently will stress you out guaranteed.

            -

            1st year: awesome, exciting, scary... not even sure whether to be mad or glad this early on lol..

            2nd year: angry, anxiety, no respect from clients... Fired 35% of my clients...

            3rd year: Magic. Kept my good clients, got more good clients, all of them paying in advance. (post-dated checks, and contracts!).

            Now, I keep the ball in my side of the court with confidence when dealing with clients.



            Still losing hair though, might wanna skip year 2 and gun for year 3 if I was you.

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            • #21
              Cheese, how many accounts did you lose when you switched to prepay or pay in advance? I'm going to be doing that for this year.


              Last year I did great. But around the end of the year I got a lot of aeration jobs and had to fire my helper. Then some customers were VERY slow at paying....had to send out a few nasty letters. It stressed me the hell out and I kept telling myself I'd have to change some things.

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              • #22
                I am west of Cleveland, in Elyria.
                I was born in Elyria. It's a great place to be from...

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                • #23
                  Yourscape, congrat's on the the first year.It sounds like you have allot invested in your bussiness so far. Do not forget to invest in yourself. Take a hort. class at your local tec school or university extension. Get industry certified.Become profesional. Good luck in your next year.

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                  • #24
                    I was born in Elyria. It's a great place to be from...
                    So far it has been good, the people are a lot different here.

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                    • #25
                      Yourscape, congrat's on the the first year.It sounds like you have allot invested in your bussiness so far. Do not forget to invest in yourself. Take a hort. class at your local tec school or university extension. Get industry certified.Become profesional. Good luck in your next year.
                      I have been reading a lot of books this winter. I am on the bubble on going to get my fertilizer license, just not sure if it will be worth it since according to Ohio there is a lot of extra expenses with insurance that I am not sure i would be able to profit from this.

                      Thanks for the Luck and same to you!!

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                      • #26
                        The 80/20 rule

                        Yourscape**Congrats on year 1. At the begining of EVERY YEAR, dump 20% of your WORST customers. The remaining 80% you keep will make you 100% more efficient. It took me 3 years to learn this.

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                        • #27
                          At the begining of EVERY YEAR, dump 20% of your WORST customers. The remaining 80% you keep will make you 100% more efficient. It took me 3 years to learn this.
                          What was the moment when you decided to go this way? Also, how do you figure which are the worst 20%? And whats the best way to dump them nicely?
                          - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
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                          • #28
                            Yourscape**Congrats on year 1. At the begining of EVERY YEAR, dump 20% of your WORST customers. The remaining 80% you keep will make you 100% more efficient. It took me 3 years to learn this.
                            I totally understand what you mean on this one. I have 2 customers that are dragging me down with the season just right around the corner. I am actually send out a letter tonight to one of them.

                            I have realized that there are 2 types of customers out there. 1's that want the service and appreciate you and don't have a problem paying you what you are worth, and 1's that need the service for one reason or another and want you to feel bad for charging them and if they could suck you dry for every penny your other customers are paying you.

                            Thanks I needed this post!!!!!!!

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                            • #29
                              I have 2 customers that are dragging me down with the season just right around the corner.
                              What do these customers do that make them the worst of your group?
                              - 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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