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Does this business make sense?

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  • Does this business make sense?

    I've cut brush my whole life. As a kid, besides mowing the lawn, the other yard care was cutting brush. We'd remove saplings, briars, invasive plants, nuisance weeds, Sumac, Locust trees Poison Ivy, you name it.

    For the past three years I've been reclaiming a property (right up my alley) for my wife's family. I've been doing it by hand using Stihl brush cutters, Giant Vac brush mowers, chain saws, garden tractors, and sickle bar machines. I've been doing it like that because it's an environmentally sensitive area and the fact that the soil wouldn't support heavy equipment, it's just too wet. (Well, that and have you priced a tracked Bobcat with a 4x4 Flail mower? Hoo-Boy)

    I'm coming to the end of the planned work and I've been looking around the equipment shed. I've got nearly all the gear required to start a brush cutting outfit along with all the protective gear. Driving to work, I've been paying attention to the places I drive by and noticing the invasive brush. I see brush at the end of driveways that blocks the view, I see property boarders that are clearly over grown, I see gardens that could use tilling at the end of the season, there's poison ivy on nearly every property, hedges that need definition and retention ponds that need to be mowed because they're trapping dirt and filling in. In other words I see a great deal of snotty little stuff that obviously homeowners can't /won't take care of. Then there's the storm clean up services.

    I'm thinking-
    No Job Too Small - $1.25/ minute / $35 minim. (There's flex in there too)
    A sliding scale of services - Cut and Drop it price "A" Cut and Drop and Remove price A+B Cut and Drop and Carry Out and Re-Seed price A+B+C That sort of thing with other services available.

    I've also been considering taking the Herbicide courses offered by the state so I could offer those services as well. I'm not a fan of herbicide but spot applications are some times the only way to an end.

    So, does anyone see anything I missed? Landscape guys can and will do the same work, for around the same prices but it's a pain for them as they're set up for grass and don't always have the equipment at hand so the homeowner has a hard time getting the crew to return and do the job. Plus their crews really only want to run the mowers or the trimmers, getting torn up by briars isn't their idea of great work AND it's time consuming especially if you don't do this on a regular basis.
    I'm not against Subbing out so there's a possibility as well.
    I'm thinking my market (to start) would be Residential and Light Commercial - as time goes by and the company grows, I'd begin marketing to larger operations. (No sense in losing my shirt the First Year, I'd like to wait at least 3-4 years before going broke )

    Have I missed anything?
    I really didn't have anywhere else to ask these questions so thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.

  • #2
    Those are some very good ideas.

    Have you considered making a full color postcard that would promote your brush clearing services? Maybe showing before and after pics? Then you could drop them off at properties you see who could use the service.

    You could experiment with putting prices on the card, but I would think it might be better to leave the price off and the hourly rate off. You could promote that you can charge by the hour so that way the customer can see what you can accomplish and end your services at any time.

    Also, you could make a video about this. Maybe showing someone acting as though they were about to clear some brush and show how difficult it would be for the average person.

    Maybe even have a website that is dedicated to this specific service?

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