Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum

» Welcome to the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum
GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum

GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum (http://www.gopherforum.com/forum-index.php)
-   Starting a lawn care business. (http://www.gopherforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=32)
-   -   A few questions about starting my business (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=15216)

kymd82 11-30-2011 11:51 AM

A few questions about starting my business
 
Hello,

I have been a landscape laborer for years, and have decided to start my own company. I have been doing "side jobs" for years by word of mouth. I do have a couple of questions, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

1. I'm looking to pass out flyers for the spring season - mowing, trimming, edging, mulching, etc. I live in Indiana. Will I be likely to get any customers at this time of year, or is it a waste of time?

2. In my first year, I will only be servicing residential clients. No commercial jobs. Should I use contracts? I have a contract written out, but am worried that it might "scare" some potential clients off. What is the norm for residential clients?

Thanks for your help!

Ducke 11-30-2011 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kymd82 (Post 97835)

1. I'm looking to pass out flyers for the spring season - mowing, trimming, edging, mulching, etc. I live in Indiana. Will I be likely to get any customers at this time of year, or is it a waste of time?

Spring time is a great time to get customers, But start your ground work now. Get out and meet potential customer in your area. Get your flyers layed out and printed make up a Crag's list ad etc.now is the time to do it come spring hopefully you won't have the time.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kymd82 (Post 97835)
2. In my first year, I will only be servicing residential clients. No commercial jobs. Should I use contracts? I have a contract written out, but am worried that it might "scare" some potential clients off. What is the norm for residential clients?

No a big person on forcing the 85 year old widow down the road to sign a contract. I would say this is a personal call on your part if you can trust the people you work for. 99% of my customers pay when I mow. the rest the monthly payers I keep on a short string till we got a relationship built up.
I am saving the contracts for the commercial jobs.

I hope this helps.
Graham

FaccLndscpng 11-30-2011 07:20 PM

I agree with Ducke, the 90 year old widow isnít the problem but watch out for tenants. I used contracts for a lot of my residential just so everyone was on the same page with service frequency, payment terms (make sure to have a late fee and a returned check fee because that will come up and why should you have to pay your bank for a returned check) and in the event of damages. You canít go wrong with contracts, I havenít scared anyone off with them and if someone was a little questionable with it I just said it was for liability purposes (which for the most part it is). For PA its early, generally people donít care about landscaping until after the holidays, actually the first day it hits 50 degrees everyone goes crazy they all wash their car and call to start mulching so in my experience if you were to send out flyers it might go in a pile of paper work or sit on their desk until Feb. Good luck with everything, and try to hook up with a residential property manager, they usually have multiple properties and in my experiences pay the bill then get reimbursed by the tenant so you donít have to track down someone that moved out of town.

Steve 12-01-2011 08:33 AM

Quote:

I used contracts for a lot of my residential just so everyone was on the same page with service frequency, payment terms (make sure to have a late fee and a returned check fee because that will come up and why should you have to pay your bank for a returned check) and in the event of damages.
Did you start doing this the first year you got started or did you enact this policy later after a year or two? How did you phase it in with current customers?

Quote:

I have been a landscape laborer for years, and have decided to start my own company. I have been doing "side jobs" for years by word of mouth.
Welcome to our forum! From your experience, I bet you have learned a lot of what you want to do and what you don't want to do with your company as compared with the company you work for.

Do any lessons stand out that you feel will help you in the operation of your business?

Did you ever find yourself doing side jobs for the customers of your employer? Or did you see any other problems the other employees caused for the company that you will look to avoid later with yours?

kymd82 12-01-2011 09:30 AM

Steve,

I would say there was a re-acurring theme in the companies that I worked for - trying to grow too much too fast, and putting way too much equipment on credit. This was the downfall of the last company that I worked for. I saw the writing on the wall when I realized they had $150,000 on credit in trucks, $50,000 in mowers, and the list goes on. This for a company of 15-20 people. The biggest client is signing with someone else next year, which leaves them on the brink of bankruptcy. It was a big lesson for me as a start my own business. Everything that I've bought so far for the business is fully paid for.

I never did "side jobs" for customers. At times, I was tempted. The company I was with didn't pay well. Find good employees, and pay them well. They'll respect you more, and be more loyal to the company.

Thanks to everyone for your help regarding contracts and flyers. Great forum!

Steve 12-01-2011 02:55 PM

That is very interesting! You are really going to benefit from all your knowledge.

What is your view on why these companies push for so much growth and leverage themselves so far out?

How can that temptation to do that be kept in check so you or others reading this don't fall into the same trap?

It must be something that once it gets a hold of you, really wraps itself around you and blinds you.

FaccLndscpng 12-01-2011 08:30 PM

Steve,
No this was gradually put into effect, I was too young when I first started to get customers to sign contracts so it took me like 2-3 years before I was able to get everyone to sign minus the family members and the select few that I didnít worry about. First I would just require new customers to sign then the next season I just sent out a letter to my existing customers (the ones that I wanted to sign a contract) basically saying welcome to a new season, this is whatís new, when we will be starting and enclosed please find a contract for services. I said that we have been doing business for a few years now and this way we can all be on the same page. I also raised a lot of their prices so it was like a fresh start, like I said before no one was scared off and the few that had questions were no big deal.

Steve 12-02-2011 06:13 PM

Quote:

I also raised a lot of their prices so it was like a fresh start
This is a great point to consider as well.

What was your view on how you chose which customers to raise their prices and then how did you determine what % you should raise it?

FaccLndscpng 12-06-2011 02:35 PM

Steve,
A lot of my customers have been with me from the beginning so I didnít have the overhead that I do now so I raised them like 20% it wasnít a big deal. For the most part I knew what the norm was for that area so I tried to stay within.

Steve 12-07-2011 07:00 PM

As you look at your growth, do you see certain overhead expenses grow a lot faster than others?

Do the newer lawn care business owners need to keep a heads up about those expenses?


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:58 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
I came across this on a...
rootytalbot
Today 11:04 AM
Today 06:16 PM
by Chilehead
2 50
Help bidding a hedge...
hopolb33
Today 06:09 PM
Today 06:09 PM
by hopolb33
0 21
scag SWZT review!
mattthelawnguy
07-23-2015 02:28 PM
Yesterday 11:27 AM
by mattthelawnguy
10 398
Big mowing job
Bradcook21
07-30-2015 03:57 PM
07-31-2015 01:16 PM
by Bradcook21
6 145
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
07-31-2015 12:29 PM
by Steve
1,227 401,490
Hello Everybody
budspop
07-30-2015 11:42 AM
07-31-2015 12:28 PM
by Steve
1 63
Should I buy this Exmark...
googus
07-03-2015 09:22 AM
07-31-2015 11:34 AM
by googus
9 602
Hello!
brandycarlton
07-29-2015 12:31 PM
07-29-2015 03:54 PM
by Steve
1 138
Assessing the Market
NJDB60
07-27-2015 03:25 PM
07-28-2015 09:24 PM
by Steve
2 254
Whats wrong with this...
GreenWorx
07-28-2015 07:56 PM
07-28-2015 09:09 PM
by Steve
2 236
Funny craigslist post
GreenWorx
07-28-2015 07:17 PM
07-28-2015 09:02 PM
by Steve
2 243
Watch out for this -...
rootytalbot
07-22-2015 02:13 PM
07-28-2015 09:00 PM
by Steve
7 398
NewVenture
NJDB60
07-27-2015 03:38 PM
07-28-2015 08:58 PM
by Steve
1 230
Pricing issue
Mr. Mow
07-07-2015 06:15 AM
07-27-2015 06:40 PM
by GreenWorx
17 792
how to make customers...
Bradcook21
05-27-2015 05:04 PM
07-27-2015 06:08 PM
by GreenWorx
15 2,970
Need your help, Gopher...
Chilehead
07-23-2015 07:02 PM
07-27-2015 11:28 AM
by Steve
11 386
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 10:41 AM
07-27-2015 11:22 AM
by Steve
94 10,472
Dogs
Mr. Mow
06-29-2015 02:37 PM
07-25-2015 07:50 AM
by Chilehead
12 2,434
Just about mid year, how...
GreenWorx
06-24-2015 07:05 PM
07-22-2015 07:31 PM
by Chilehead
14 2,506
Learning as I grow -...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
07-18-2015 07:46 AM
07-21-2015 10:53 AM
by Steve
3 327
Large dirt mound removal
purdue1973
07-09-2015 07:45 PM
07-20-2015 12:55 PM
by Steve
6 466
Hey everyone
Fantasy landscaping
07-09-2015 06:53 AM
07-09-2015 11:47 AM
by Steve
1 340
Quickbooks Online
jscarolina
07-08-2015 07:54 AM
07-08-2015 12:55 PM
by Nate10928
1 363
I dont know what to do...
Bradcook21
06-21-2015 08:49 AM
07-07-2015 09:48 PM
by SGL1
16 2,763
Start LIKING FACEBOOK...
rlclawncare123
02-26-2015 12:06 AM
07-07-2015 02:54 PM
by GreenWorx
13 3,701
Is it too late to do...
markty
06-16-2015 05:28 PM
07-07-2015 01:00 PM
by problem solver
9 2,509
Hi everyone
Mattw
07-06-2015 05:59 PM
07-07-2015 10:18 AM
by Steve
1 363
4th of July parade...
Steve
07-06-2015 10:35 AM
07-06-2015 10:35 AM
by Steve
0 312
Unemployment rates drop,...
Steve
07-02-2015 12:40 PM
07-06-2015 10:30 AM
by Steve
4 487
Read more about these lawn care business marketing categories.
General Business:
GopherHaul, Podcast
How to Estimate - Services To Offer:
Aeration, Apartment / Condo, bed edging, Color Change Plantings, Dethatching, Edging, Fall Leaf Cleanups, Foreclosed Homes, Gutter Cleaning, Hardscaping, Hedge Trimming, Home Safety Inspection, Irrigation, Landscape Project, Lawn Mower Repair, Mowing, Mulch Jobs, Outdoor decoration, Parking Lot Cleanups, Pet Waste Removal, Pressure Washing, Property Management, Snow plowing, Stump Grinding, Tree Removal
How to Estimate Jobs:
Lawn Care Business:
Barter, Bikini Lawn Care, Business Failure, Business loan, Business Plan, Debt, Debt Collection, Estimate or Proposal Form, Franchise, Fuel surcharge, How to sell, Insurance, Job Tracking, Lawn Care Contract, Lawn Care Customer Survey, Lawn Care Uniform, Lawn Care Videos, Operational Costs, Overhead Costs, Prepay, Pricing, Start up, Tiger Time Lawn Care,
Lawn Care Business Books:
Lawn Care Customers:
Buying customers, Commercial Customers, Customer Retention, How to get, Residential Customers
Lawn Care Employees:
1 Man Lawn Crew, Bonus Pay, training, Your First Employee
lawn care equipment:
bed edger, Lawn Care Truck, Leaf Sweeper, Mower, New Arrival, Trailer, UltraVac
Lawn Care Marketing:
Billboard, Brochure, Business Card, Community Projects To Promote Your Business, Coupons, Cross Promotion / Synergy, Direct Mail, Door hanger, door to door, Free Giveaway Contest, Free Lawn Care Flyer Template, Gift or Discount Cards, home show, Internet, Lawn Care Business Sales Letter, Lawn Care Logo, Lawn Care Marketing, Lawn Care Truck & Trailer Signs, Lawn Care Website, Lawn Signs, Magazine Ad, Magnets, Mailing list, Marketing on Craigslist.com, Newspaper Ads, Parade, Postcards, publicity stunt, Referrals, Review My Lawn Care Marketing Material, t-shirt, Welcoming Kit, Word Of Mouth
Seasonal Promotion Ideas:
4th of July, Armed Forces Day, Christmas, Election Day, Fall, Halloween, Memorial Day, Spring, Summer, Valentine's Day, Veteran's Day, Winter:
Software:
Estimation Software, Landscaper Software, Landscaping Business Software, Landscaping Estimate Software, Landscaping Software, Lawn Care Business Software, Lawn Care Estimating Software, Lawn Care Software, Mowing Software
Uncategorized:
Video:
Website:
Search Engine Optimization
» Lawn Care Business Discussion Categories
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:58 PM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:58 PM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy