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Am I doing ANYTHING right?

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  • Am I doing ANYTHING right?

    Hey Guys.

    I have been plowing snow for about 10 years now and have always had customers asking if I did lawn service, I told them no and I usually referred them to a friend. Recently I moved to the other side of the state that I live in, it's about 15-20 min to the local towns. That being said I decided to start my own landscaping company. I want to be legit so I went and did all that LLC stuff, got GL insurance and vehicle insurance, tax id's bla bla bla. I set some money aside from my loan to uncle sam to buy the equipment. Unfortunately i do not have enough money to buy a commercial lawn mower. If I wouldn't have bought a new mower last spring i probably would have. It is a 26hp craftsman with a 54' deck. I know its not perfect but its what i have. I went out and bought a new Husq weed wacker and backpack blower. I also bought a roller, sweeper (had it), aerator (had it) and fertilizer spreader (had it) along with various lawn tools. Rakes shovels etc, and a new push mower
    I know ppl say not to but i took out a loan just to ease the financial burden on my family. I used this money for marketing supplies and insurance.
    I bought
    flyers
    biz cards
    brochures
    hats
    shirts (to wear while mowing)
    and magnets for the side of my truck
    I am in the process of having a logo made and will use that to letter my truck.
    I also have about 3k left from my loan. I REALLY want to put it into the "rainy day fund" as a CYA thing for breakdowns etc. OR should i use it for a used commercial mower.

    Sorry this kind of rambled.... any thoughts and advise would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Joe

  • #2
    It sounds like you are taking a lot of positive steps forwards. What do you feel most stressed out about with all this?
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    • #3
      It sounds like you are taking a lot of positive steps forwards. What do you feel most stressed out about with all this?
      I think I feel the most stressed about not having any accounts yet. I know that it's early, there is still snow on the ground, however I have a lot going out and nothing coming in. I did order 5k door hangers today though.

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      • #4
        What concrete steps are you taking to attract mowing customers now?
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        • #5
          What concrete steps are you taking to attract mowing customers now?
          I've put ads in the local newspapers. I joined the local chamber of commerce, I am having my truck lettered, got a website, and waiting on my logo.

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          • #6
            You will do fine! Especially with 5 thousand door hangers. One thing I have found from doing door hangers is its easier to make a full sheet advertisement. Have them printed off locally and roll them with rubber bands. Then you can put the rubber band around the door handle and know the wind wont blow it off. We always had the wind blowing off our door hangers..especially when the door just had a handle vs a knob.

            On a little side note I just looked up and saw one of my google ad banners being displayed on the site. That's cool!!

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            • #7
              I have been plowing snow for about 10 years now and have always had customers asking if I did lawn service, I told them no and I usually referred them to a friend.
              Have you considered getting into contact with your current and previous customers? I bet they would love to know you are offering lawn care now. In fact, that group might hire you in large volume!
              - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
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              • #8
                Have you considered getting into contact with your current and previous customers? I bet they would love to know you are offering lawn care now. In fact, that group might hire you in large volume!
                One would think but sadly no. I only have one of my plowing customers that is half interested in mowing, and he's been a late payer on the plow side so I don't think id take him anyway. 3/4 of my plow customers are farmers that have big commercial grade zero turns. I spoke with one last week and he said he would hire me but last year he spent 8k on a mower. So an idea popped into my head. I told him I would take care of his lawn for two years in exchange for his mower. He has about a 3 acre yard. He said he'd get back to me.

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                • #9
                  Do you have the mailing addresses of your snow plowing customers? Can you send them all a letter letting them know you now offer lawn care? Maybe include a few business cards and ask them to hand them out to those who made need lawn care?

                  Do this for all your previous customers, not just the ones from the past plowing season.

                  Also, just because a lot of these people have mowers doesn't necessarily mean they want to mow the lawn.

                  Maybe even include some magnetic business cards they can put on their fridge in your mailer too.

                  You might not get a call from some of them immediately, but you may as the grass grows and the weather gets warmer.
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                  • #10
                    I have invoice my customers in the next couple of days and I'll stick my flyers in with them.
                    I did go out and buy a commercial mower yesterday. It's used but it'll work.

                    Also Steve,
                    I bought 2 of your books. Good reads and great info.
                    Thx

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                    • #11
                      I have invoice my customers in the next couple of days and I'll stick my flyers in with them.
                      Good! It's a lot easier selling more to the customers you already have than it is trying to go out and meet new customers. From there, you can reach out to their friends, neighbors, and relatives. Consider asking them where they work and if you can put in a bid there as well.

                      You might want to include a few business cards / magnetic cards with your mailing for customers to hand out.

                      Something we have talked about in the past on here and it is something to consider now, is that you might want to make a separate marketing mailing to these customers and not do it with an invoice. People seem to not be in good moods when they get an invoice, so they may not be in the mood then to help you out by hiring you further or handing out your cards then.
                      - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
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