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  • Got my first yard.. now what?

    I got my cart in front of the horse a bit. Ran a ad on craigslist and got my first yard Got some other responses and realized that there is more to this than just cutting,edging and blowing. Is there any general maintenance guidelines that I need to be following? Alot of yards that I am looking at really just look horrid. I know its the beginning of the season but I really don't what to tell these people. I am hoping to find more customers with currently maintained yards that just want continued maintenance but know I really need to become more well rounded. I need advice for planning maintenance schedules and how and when to do overseed etc. I have experience in tree trimming and removals btw and really want to expand out into full landscape. Thanks

  • #2
    Dethatching is what you should offer during the spring.

    Comment


    • #3
      Did you have to keep posing on craigslist? Its not working for us.

      Comment


      • #4
        Did you have to keep posing on craigslist? Its not working for us.
        there is a art to posting on craigslist.. you also need to have low expectations.
        Everyone there is cheap cheap so at least make yourself seem cheap and you will get leads. They probably wont sell when you get there and try to up sale yourself but this is one of my few ways to get customers at the moment so i am dealing with it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Dethatching is what you should offer during the spring.
          I have a pretty low budget. Home depot sells rakes for dethatching. I am trying to get yards around 1/3 acre. Have you or any one dethatched by hand before?

          Comment


          • #6
            See how many dethatching jobs you get. If you get several rent a gas powered dethatcher. Do them all in a day. Divide the cost of rental between them, add labor, and overhead etc....

            Don't kill your self and a machine does a better job.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a pretty low budget. Home depot sells rakes for dethatching. I am trying to get yards around 1/3 acre. Have you or any one dethatched by hand before?
              You might not have a Canadian Tire, but you can shop around for this;
              LINK

              It's electric, but does a damn good job. Extremely light too.

              Pros: Does a fantastic job, it's light, price, wont leave tire marks...
              Cons: Electric...

              Comment


              • #8
                I would suggest you NOT hand rake. I did that once, when I just started out, and it was a PITA!

                I've only done 2 dethatching jobs (3 if you count my brothers that I did for free). The first one (and my brothers) I hand raked with a dethatching rake, and it is just back breaking work. It's wasn't that big...probably around 1,500 sq-ft. Just a large front yard really, and it was just painful, and took hours.

                I stopped offering that service after that, because I didn't know how to use the gas powered one, and was a little intimidated by it.

                I got asked by the neighbor of one of my client last year to aerate, dethatch, overseed, and fertilize. I couldn't pass up that kind of money. So I rented the machines.

                The people at the rental store are very helpful (the one I went to anyways). But I would never to it by hand again. And if you are looking at 1/3 acre? You are already going to be looking at hours of work with a machine one.

                So, aside from that. I would say that if you are just starting out, just start simple and small. Offering basic lawn service. Mow, blow, edge (if you have an edger). That kind of stuff. As you start learning more, and getting more clients, you can expand what you offer. You could (if your area allows) offer to fertilize, overseed, or trim some bushes.

                You are going to find a lot of people who just want their yard cut once. But you will also start meeting people who like the idea of just not dealing with mowing, and hire you full time (at least during the high growth season).

                Some starting suggestions, since you are asking. Get business cards. Even if they just say "John Public's Lawn Service". While you might not get many people asking, those who do would like to see something professional.

                Set up an account at your yard disposal place. At mine, I save $1 from every drop off. Doesn't sound like much, but it adds up. I also get discounts on purchase (of, say, bark).

                There is certainly a lot more advice out there, but these are just a couple of the basics. Hope it helps!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Rent a machine. Get comfortable with it on your own lawn before you go somewhere else with it. Not hard to do, but it is hard work.
                  Evansville Lawn Mowing
                  Newburgh Lawn Care

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would suggest you NOT hand rake. I did that once, when I just started out, and it was a PITA!

                    I've only done 2 dethatching jobs (3 if you count my brothers that I did for free). The first one (and my brothers) I hand raked with a dethatching rake, and it is just back breaking work. It's wasn't that big...probably around 1,500 sq-ft. Just a large front yard really, and it was just painful, and took hours.

                    I stopped offering that service after that, because I didn't know how to use the gas powered one, and was a little intimidated by it.

                    I got asked by the neighbor of one of my client last year to aerate, dethatch, overseed, and fertilize. I couldn't pass up that kind of money. So I rented the machines.

                    The people at the rental store are very helpful (the one I went to anyways). But I would never to it by hand again. And if you are looking at 1/3 acre? You are already going to be looking at hours of work with a machine one.

                    So, aside from that. I would say that if you are just starting out, just start simple and small. Offering basic lawn service. Mow, blow, edge (if you have an edger). That kind of stuff. As you start learning more, and getting more clients, you can expand what you offer. You could (if your area allows) offer to fertilize, overseed, or trim some bushes.

                    You are going to find a lot of people who just want their yard cut once. But you will also start meeting people who like the idea of just not dealing with mowing, and hire you full time (at least during the high growth season).

                    Some starting suggestions, since you are asking. Get business cards. Even if they just say "John Public's Lawn Service". While you might not get many people asking, those who do would like to see something professional.

                    Set up an account at your yard disposal place. At mine, I save $1 from every drop off. Doesn't sound like much, but it adds up. I also get discounts on purchase (of, say, bark).

                    There is certainly a lot more advice out there, but these are just a couple of the basics. Hope it helps!



                    Thanks alot for the good advice. I am very glad i stepped out on limb and started offering lawn care. I already have 9 bi and 3x monthly maintenance customers Even though i have alot more to learn, I never would of learned without in going head first. Its not like I am going to get hired to work on a crew with the amount of illegal labor available in my area (Atlanta) This website and guys like you are helping me alot.

                    Thanks again
                    Thanks again

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      there is a art to posting on craigslist.. you also need to have low expectations.
                      Everyone there is cheap cheap so at least make yourself seem cheap and you will get leads. They probably wont sell when you get there and try to up sale yourself but this is one of my few ways to get customers at the moment so i am dealing with it.
                      So ultimately, offering dethatching would be one of those upsell services? Or can you explain more of the art of posting on craigslist? I'd love to hear more about it.
                      - 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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So ultimately, offering dethatching would be one of those upsell services? Or can you explain more of the art of posting on craigslist? I'd love to hear more about it.
                        Craiglist customers are cheap POS people that want everything for free. Just look cheap, let them call you and try to hold your ground and upsale as much as possible.

                        If you are already established then its a waste of time. For me I consider these kind of guys to be my trial by fire/ on the job training. If i piss off a crappy customer than what was lost? I would would hate to have one of those "learning experiences" with a "good customer"

                        I really make most of my money cutting trees though. I am averaging like $150 + or - a week doing lawns, so i dont know if what works for you me is good for you guys.

                        I am going door to door by the way and that is really successful for me as well. I do alot of leaving the area quickly when I piss someone off so know that d2d is not for the faint of heart.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I do alot of leaving the area quickly when I piss someone off so know that d2d is not for the faint of heart.
                          Any stories that stand out that you could share with us? This sounds interesting.
                          - 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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Any stories that stand out that you could share with us? This sounds interesting.
                            Most just lots of hostility. I have had a woman open her door and yell at me saying "I heard about your scam! What exactly is going on here?! I obviously don't need any tree work!" I very calmly told here that majority of my customers don't "NEED" tree or lawn work but like to have their property to be aesthetically pleasing... then i named all the things that I saw to be done. She just calmly closed the door.

                            Lots of people threatening to call the cops and telling me how a solicitor got arrest recently. All bs. Those guys who got arrested for d2d either had a warrant or no legitimate reason (were actually up to no good)

                            Its amazing that I can be so looked down up for going d2d looking for work when half the country is on welfare, drinking from the governments teet till it dries up.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Its amazing that I can be so looked down up for going d2d looking for work when half the country is on welfare, drinking from the governments teet till it dries up.
                              How true!

                              Do you feel the way you dress effects the response you get from home owners? Have you experimented with that at all?
                              - 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.

                              Comment

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