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  • #16
    ok so i have a little bit more time this morning to do some research on here and marketing. the ground is literally soaked to the bone from the rain we got yesterday. so i dont expect it to be dry or less muddy until 11am ish. so i can get some things done around here. I pondered something on the pruning. are landscaping companies allowed to do tree limb pruning as long as its ground based and not climbing ladders? i have one of them long extended poles with the saw and bypass shears on it with the long rope that i could prune some low lying limbs that people may want trimmed back and now that its colder and the threat of insects and disease is minimal, no sealant will be needed. I am guessing a job like that would be about 35-40 bucks as long as it took no more then 90 min tops. i loved the service to hang and remove people's xmas decorations and lights. great idea.
    Well i never made it out. the streets finally dried by 3pm. the ground is still soaked so i stuck to doing calculations for next year and budgeting proposals. also counted houses with google maps, screen shotting the area. and marking each house with a dot so i know i counted it.so i know how many flyers i need to produce. been doing that since october. i intend to put out between 2500 and 5000 flyers. If i can get 15% to call for estimates(375-750) and sign 5% of those for 2010. that will net me 18-40 new clients. i dont expect to get more. maybe 1-2% less. but if i get more than i anticipate. i dont know what i will do. I know i wont be able to manage more than 75 lawns. i do intend to hire 1-5 people but even still what do i tell those who want to hire me and i am at my capacity. i would hate to turn away business.

    on a higher note. i found on craigslist a used mower for $60 and a used snow blower for $40 that i can use to add to my equipment . the guy with the snow blower offered to sell me his old ford f150 truck thats like 20 years old. he is the original owner and everythign is new on it cep the frame. all for 1,000. i told him i dont have the money now but if u hold it for me til may. i'll have the money then. and he said he didnt see a problem with that. the other perk. he lives 5 min up the road from me. so i'll go inspect the snow blower and mower on thursday to see their conditions and if its feasible to purchase. cause if i can expand to 2 mowers, a trimmer and blower. my fiance can help with some lawns while the little one is in school and we can knock out lawns faster with 2 mowing. but i'll keep yall posted after thursday on how the inspections got for both equipment.

    until next time

    paul

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    • #17
      What about gutter cleaning and simple home repair issues? If the people in your area think of you as a mr. fix it during the winter, they will call upon you for many services that could keep you busy.

      Did you get business cards? Are you handing them out?

      Are you a member of any social organizations in your area? Do all your friends and family members know about your business? Do they all have cards from you to hand out to others?
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      • #18
        What about gutter cleaning and simple home repair issues? If the people in your area think of you as a mr. fix it during the winter, they will call upon you for many services that could keep you busy.

        Did you get business cards? Are you handing them out?

        Are you a member of any social organizations in your area? Do all your friends and family members know about your business? Do they all have cards from you to hand out to others?
        I also do some gutter cleaning of what i can reach from the porch walls. the gutters on the roofs, well i dont have a ladder. more so. i dont have a truck yet to transport the ladder i have. i have a 40 foot ladder at my parent's house i can borrow if needed until i get my own. I also offer fall and spring yard cleanup and now thanks to a suggestion on here. i am offering xmas light/decoration removal. I am adding tree pruning of dead limbs from any ground based operation; shrub/hedge/bush trimming, dead shrub/bush removal, fertilizing i am considering, weed control not just yet until i get the licenses for it, but with all this time i have to do research and what not. i am slowly adding a ton of services to keep me busy all year next year.

        I did once have someone ask me if i could do electrical work but i told them i don't.

        I don't have business cards just yet. I have inquired already to vistaprints.com and also a local printer who would make me 5000 copies of my flyers for 75 bucks. he very reasonable. all my family members do not have my flyers or cards. my parents and my grandmother are 2 of my clients. my sister lives in another state. my brother lives in another county that i do not intend to service until 2012. so no point in giving them my flyers to distribute. I do not belong to any social organizations just yet. once i have more money available for such things. i plan to. its just a slow process. well time to get the little one ready for school. and then i am going grocery shopping with my fiance. and while i am there i intend to post a flyer on the help wanted board.

        Then i intend to go out and try to get some more leaf cleanups. The ground is semi moist and may be dry enough later to do some work. time will tell.

        until next time,

        Paul

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        • #19
          I also do some gutter cleaning of what i can reach from the porch walls. the gutters on the roofs, well i dont have a ladder. more so. i dont have a truck yet to transport the ladder i have. i have a 40 foot ladder at my parent's house i can borrow if needed until i get my own.
          Why let that stop you. You could get a folding ladder. Some of these can reach the gutters on a two story house!

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          • #20
            Wooohooo First Major Snow Storm

            they are calling for 6-18 inches of snow tomorrrow. so i am running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I've already called all my current clients and left them all messages for snow removal services. about to head out and go door to door asking if anyone wants services tomororw. I am hoping to make a killing. I need to pick up more salt at home depot today. go pick up a snow blower i found on craigs list. already spoke with the guy about it and been waiting on a check to clear so i could pay the guy. Wish me luck in getting customers lined up.

            paul

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            • #21
              I wish you all the luck You can make it happen!

              Keep us posted on how all this turns out.
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              • #22
                Well i went out saturday to shovel and plow my driveway and sidewalks only which was about 12-15 inches already. Since it was still blizzard conditions, no one wanted their property shoveled until it stopped snowing. The next day the road wasnt plowed until mid day and on top of things my car was buried in snow from the county trucks. So i spent 2-3 hours digging out my car to be able to do any properties. those i left messages for, none called back. I ended up doing 3 properties. So i made the money back i spent on the snow blower which is a plus and then some. I had to plowe another foot of snow that day on top of it at my place. i would have been happier with just 6 inches but 22 inches and drfting snow is overwhelming. I have plenty of salt to last the rest of the winter which is a good thing. so maybe next time we wont get as much snow. the snow blower works great even though its 24 years old. When i looked up the model number it was manufacturered in june of 1985. not bad for 40 bucks huh. Well i dont expect the snow on the ground to be gone for another week or so. We may be getting more snow the end of this week so i may get another 2-4 more storms before the end of the winter. in the meantime. i'll keep plugging the door to door flyers and hope for the best. until next time.


                paul

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                • #23
                  I heard you got an amazing amount of snow over there. Did you take any pictures of it?
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                  • #24
                    no but i can take a picture of the wanna be igloo i helped make for my daughter in my backyard. its still semi intact. hasnt caved in yet. the temps have been over 35 degrees all week.

                    paul

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                    • #25
                      Let's see it

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                      • #26
                        Sorry for such a huge delay in posting these pics.

                        1. I forgot to download them off the camera until spring.
                        2. by the time spring hit, i was far to busy to post them.

                        Sometime this week I will post all my triumphs and pitfalls i experienced this year.

                        Until next time,

                        Paul
                        Attached Files

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                        • #27
                          Well i got a few minutes before i must start the day.

                          This year i have accomplished quite a few things.

                          I got in a bad car accident in late winter/early spring tragically resulting my car being totaled. But as fate had it. I was able to get a truck as seen in the below post.

                          http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=11234


                          I managed to market 3 neighborhoods with about 300 total flyers distributed. I also marketed the business through my daughter's soccer club she joined.

                          Overall we maintained and serviced 30-35 properties we week. Remember on one of my posts on this thread about a leaf cleanup i got a call for who when i ended up calling her back had someone there already doing the work. Well we got a call in the spring for a hedge trimming and they ended up hiring us for weekly lawn care.

                          Several services we have performed include: bush/hedge/shrub trimming, bush removal (due to snow destroying the plant), gutter cleaning, pressure washing, garden weeding, spring cleanup, bare patch reseeding.

                          New additions this year include the use of my dad's tractor, purchased low end consumer mowers, a new trimmer, a new blower, hedge loppers, pruning shears, a used 1990 3000 lbs gvw utility trailer as shown below. Overall we have 3 mowers in operation but only carry with us 2 at a time either in the trailer or bed of our truck. We have 2 mowers that we mainly use for parts as customers handed them to us to dispose of and we kept to retain them for parts. 1 trimmer, 1 blower and several gas cans to reduce trips to a gas station but once a week if that.
                          Trailer pics located on this post below.
                          http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=12505


                          We did manage to hit a slight issue with the trailer that will require the hitch and main beam assembly being replaced so the trailer is out of service at the moment but will be fixed sometime this week.

                          Fall services being offered are Vinyl Siding Cleaning, roof cleaning, gutter cleaning, leaf cleanup, deck cleaning and pressure washing. The lower temperatures are perfect for such services. Vinyl Siding Cleaning and roof cleaning are new services and thanks to several posts on this site along with literature from several members, i am able to educate myself and perspective customers on the need for cleaning algae and mold/mildew off their homes to extend the life of the exterior of their homes. I have done all this week before for my parent's home in the past before, just never thought of offering it to others. $$$$ is everywhere. As lawns are slowing down on growing. Why not offer other services in need. Roughly 30-40 homes in my parent's neighborhood have lawn care guys who only do mowing/trimming/edging/cleanup type service. When asking around if they do anything else, most tell me that's all they do. I intend to educate them all on the importance of having the algae removed off their roofs and mold off their siding and offer a small discount if they sign a 2010/2011 weekly lawn care contract. Since i am moving this fall to my grandmother's house who recently passed at the ripe age of 97. It makes sense, i store all my equipment anyway at my parent's house in their huge shed. My parents live next door to my grandparents for the past 51 years. I currently store our trailer in my grandmother's driveway. She has a huge 10,000 sq.ft. yard that we can use to dress up and show off our work. 99% of the homes in that area are all homeowners who i can market "other services" to.

                          So as this lawn cutting season slows down, we currently have 25 customers. My fiance and i do all the work and have no intention of hiring anyone until we get over 60 customers. Roughly 45% of our clients are rental properties and the other 55% are home owners who we can or have done other services to. We didnt get the amount of work i hoped for but last year we ended 2009 with 18 customers. This year we increased our work by 39% more customers. Our goal was 50 customers. For most of the spring/summer we maintained a 200% increase in client base. We lost roughly 25 clients due to people moving, or getting their own mowers. None left us for another company and did express would call us back when they can afford the service.

                          I have not gone legit yet unfortunately. I felt why spend the money on a piece of paper for licenses/insurance when i could buy better equipment to get us more work, ie: trailer, additional mowers, etc. All equipment additions were purchased with cash. Hopefully with additional clients next year with our existing client base, the additional funds will net us the ability to get the licenses/insurances.

                          Well enough ramping. time to head out to my shop to pick up the equipment and come back and wake up my fiance lol. I let her sleep in. ( a very rare thing).

                          Until next time,
                          Paul
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by psparaco; 09-20-2010, 09:12 AM.

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                          • #28
                            You have accomplished a lot this past year! What are the goals for 2011? Have you planned that out yet or no?
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