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-   -   Hi, new member and new business (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=10732)

DeckerLC 01-24-2010 06:46 PM

Hi, new member and new business
 
I am about to launch a lawn care business this spring in Ohio. I have been looking forward to it for a while now. Nice site, I have been browsing it for information for a couple of months, but have not had much to say.
I have most of the legal stuff taken care of, but now I am trying to gather the rest of the equipment that I will need, and start advertising, trying to get some customers for the upcoming mowing season, I know I am behind the curve, but I think that a slow start will be good for me.
Anybody from Ohio? or a nearby state? What month do you begin and end your mowing season. I have been mowing for 20+ years but not as a business, and I don't really remember what week of what month I normally start. I was thinking the first week of April and Ending the last week of October?
I have my website up, not fully developed yet. I need to get my logo put on it, should be ready this week, and put up some pictures of my family, and rethink some of the wording. Essentially redo it, but I like the template.
Any feedback would be appreciated.
http://deckerlc.com

Steve 01-24-2010 07:11 PM

Hi Mike,

Welcome to our forum!

Good start on your website!

What got you to decide to start your lawn care business this year?

DeckerLC 01-24-2010 08:25 PM

Thanks Steve, I am leaving my current job in April and like to work outside. I am really looking forward to it.

Steve 01-24-2010 08:29 PM

What kinds of things have you been doing or do you plan on doing to promote your new business?

legendlawn 01-24-2010 08:37 PM

I am going into my third season.... My first season I was a little late getting everything going and did not start until the third week in March. Last year I sent a letter out mid February letting all my clients know that we would be starting the first Monday in March weather permitting. I found that some of my customers were not ready to start that early, so this year I am going to start them in 2 waves. Some the first week of March, and the others the 3rd. week, sending them letters half way through february and the beginning of March respectively. You might not be able to start this early being further North, but regardless, you should try to get 16 mowings out of your bi weeklys and 32 mowings out of your weeklys each season, so this year my season will end for some clients the first of November, and mid November. The last couple mowings are usually leaf cleanups for alot of my clients, and some select clients also continue to get leaf service all the way up to Christmas

Steve 01-24-2010 08:49 PM

Quote:

Last year I sent a letter out mid February letting all my clients know that we would be starting the first Monday in March weather permitting. I found that some of my customers were not ready to start that early, so this year I am going to start them in 2 waves. Some the first week of March, and the others the 3rd. week, sending them letters half way through february and the beginning of March respectively.
Do you have them on contract or are they simply customers you serviced last year?

Do you wait for them to respond or do you simply show up after you send that letter and start mowing?

DeckerLC 01-24-2010 09:03 PM

My current marketing has been all online. I have been trying to get my name out on, google, yahoo, yellow pages ect.. But I have not had a lot of success with that.
I should be getting my business cards, and flyers soon (ordered). I will start going into communities door to door in February, I'm also planning on setting up a booth at a mall during a home and hearth show in mid Feb, then another show, small business, in late March.
I live between two cities, about 25 miles apart, but I have not found any shows to attend in one of them, so I need to find a way to market that city, other than door hangers.

I just counted the weeks, April to October will give me exactly 32 weeks of mowing.
Do many people offer different mowing schedules? For instance, for me, in the months of May and June I will need to mow my own grass twice a week, but in August I'll cut back to every 10 days or sometimes 2 weeks, depending on the weather.

psparaco 01-24-2010 09:45 PM

I myself just started my business last year around mid april. Now with 20 clients under my belt. Most of them are in a rental community and our landlord inspects our lawns every monday and if your lawn is too high according to their specs. then they send out their crews 2 days later. I bought in on that with lower rates. They are really anal with thigns. if your lawn dont need to be mowed but just trimmed. its a $60 fee. either way its $60 for mow/trim or one or the other. and i have seen the crews. their equipment doesnt fit thru our gates so they literally weedwack the backyards. a really sloppy half butt job. I bought in that and created my business and offer competitive rates which includes trimming, edging, mowing and cleanup for a flat rate. now bear in mind these are all townhomes. i can usually knock out 1 property in 15 min and i am doing this alone. if i have my fiance's help. we knock it out in 5-10 min. anyway back to the question at hand. people around here wont want thier lawns cut until demanded by the landlord, which wont be until around early to mid april. some who actually care what their lawn looks like. will want me to start mid march. i intend to start putting out door flyers(hangers) the same week the landlord passes out the letter about lawn inspections which as they stated to me on the phone would be the end of february into mid march. the community i live in currently has over 1000 residents. imagine if i had all of them omg i'd be rich. wishful thinking but one can dream.

but continuing to market ur company year round is best. like flyers in any store who allows it on their bulletin boards. then so you dont waste ur money putting out flyers too early knowing those who receive wont throw it out cause its too early. try to monitor when homedepot or lowes does their spring advertisment paper. then send out ur flyers then. thats always good too.

Steve 01-24-2010 10:02 PM

Quote:

I'm also planning on setting up a booth at a mall during a home and hearth show in mid Feb, then another show, small business, in late March.
This sounds exciting! I have never seen a home show in a mall. Have you seen it there in the past? How was it?

I bet you could meet a lot of customers there.

DeckerLC 01-25-2010 04:36 AM

I have seen it before, not a real big show, but the people are always there. Though I doubt that many of them go there just for the show.


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