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 11:23 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Pressure Washing Like a...
TNTurf
08-01-2014 11:47 PM
Today 11:12 PM
by TNTurf
7 641
Hello, from TEXAS
sanchez5
10-17-2014 09:56 PM
Today 10:44 PM
by sanchez5
5 287
Dealing With Gas Can...
Mr. Mow
Today 01:41 PM
Today 08:23 PM
by Sprinkler Buddy
2 72
Leaf Box & Loader Set...
ringahding1
Today 06:20 AM
Today 07:22 PM
by ringahding1
2 85
Organic Lawn Care...
NHray
10-17-2014 06:05 PM
Today 05:47 PM
by NHray
2 273
Hi Steve From West...
Mr. Mow
Today 01:59 PM
Today 01:59 PM
by Mr. Mow
0 49
Cheapskate Landlord...
Mr. Mow
Yesterday 06:33 AM
Today 01:50 PM
by Mr. Mow
8 208
What parts do you carry...
Just for Cuts
10-17-2014 09:08 AM
Today 01:36 PM
by Mr. Mow
16 567
Jungle to Beautiful
stevef1201
10-17-2014 09:54 AM
Today 01:26 PM
by stevef1201
11 404
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
Today 01:19 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
158 11,234
Sunny Beach Tennis...
SGL1
10-19-2014 11:24 PM
Today 01:04 PM
by SGL1
4 177
Have you ever had to...
SouthernRootsLawnCare
07-26-2014 02:41 PM
Yesterday 08:34 PM
by biglee
10 1,718
Look out Bob Villa -...
Mr Dave
09-30-2014 10:06 AM
Yesterday 05:42 PM
by SGL1
7 1,235
how to fi d commercial...
mchampion319
10-19-2014 09:50 PM
Yesterday 04:41 PM
by Steve
1 146
Hello From Tennessee
mrmann901
10-17-2014 10:02 PM
Yesterday 04:24 PM
by Steve
1 224
questions on order to...
jack2048
10-13-2014 11:15 AM
Yesterday 03:27 PM
by Mr. Mow
15 655
This sucks...
Matther777
09-18-2014 04:56 PM
Yesterday 02:14 PM
by Steve
14 2,101
Cement mixer
KevinsLawns
10-15-2014 08:03 PM
Yesterday 02:11 PM
by Steve
7 398
Hello ! New guy Rob here
RWorthley1
10-17-2014 04:05 PM
Yesterday 02:09 PM
by Steve
1 236
first year update
cmdlawncare
08-12-2014 05:41 PM
Yesterday 02:07 PM
by Steve
3 1,224
Pda
stevef1201
10-18-2014 02:05 PM
10-19-2014 11:27 PM
by SGL1
2 217
Snow Blowing
gwilson98
10-12-2014 02:21 PM
10-17-2014 02:51 PM
by Steve
6 579
Spreading Weeds?
WesleySnips
07-27-2014 09:46 PM
10-17-2014 07:49 AM
by SGL1
6 882
Grasswhoopins.com Anyone...
GRASS WHOOPINS
06-21-2011 11:38 PM
10-16-2014 01:30 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
42 9,238
I Want to buy old...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-10-2014 10:04 PM
10-15-2014 09:12 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
6 619
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
10-15-2014 06:43 PM
by NHray
1,190 339,954
Workmans compensation...
CDLAWNCARE
10-15-2014 08:05 AM
10-15-2014 02:57 PM
by Steve
2 365
Do you find weed eating...
chuck2s
10-15-2014 02:10 PM
10-15-2014 02:10 PM
by chuck2s
0 336
Incorporating &...
WesleySnips
10-01-2014 09:39 PM
10-15-2014 01:37 PM
by kslawn
20 1,423
Falling into business
stellarmowing
09-28-2014 04:35 PM
10-15-2014 05:57 AM
by ringahding1
8 1,446
Apartment Complex and...
lxarth
06-22-2011 01:10 PM
10-14-2014 06:25 PM
by jrs.landscaping
42 9,529
I LOVE hedge trimming
stevef1201
10-13-2014 09:05 AM
10-14-2014 01:06 PM
by Steve
5 465
Help with seeder...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-09-2014 07:39 AM
10-13-2014 08:09 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
5 631
The Market watch
WesleySnips
10-12-2014 08:47 PM
10-13-2014 05:40 PM
by SGL1
3 469
Help pricing a large...
Bradcook21
10-07-2014 06:49 AM
10-13-2014 02:00 PM
by Steve
7 817
leaf removal
Double J LLC
10-03-2014 04:24 PM
10-13-2014 06:46 AM
by Billy Goat
19 1,449
Acerage Rake
acrajchel
04-23-2014 07:23 PM
10-12-2014 10:53 PM
by SGL1
2 782
John Deere z235 Deck
WesleySnips
09-29-2014 06:02 PM
10-12-2014 06:20 PM
by kslawn
25 1,588
Credit card contract
SGL1
10-06-2014 05:31 PM
10-12-2014 03:40 PM
by SGL1
18 1,004
Truck craft dump bed...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-04-2014 08:41 PM
10-10-2014 11:35 AM
by Steve
7 907
First Time River Rock...
berryjam
10-09-2014 06:09 PM
10-10-2014 11:08 AM
by Steve
2 560
West cost lawn prices
SGlawncare
10-09-2014 09:51 PM
10-10-2014 11:03 AM
by Steve
1 548
Question?what should I...
dalvan0
09-24-2014 11:10 PM
10-09-2014 05:58 PM
by kslawn
28 2,080
Mowing the hills
EyeCatchersNow
07-08-2014 12:22 PM
10-09-2014 04:19 PM
by Just for Cuts
25 2,945
snowplowing
jshak40
09-01-2014 07:20 AM
10-09-2014 02:21 PM
by Steve
25 3,591
Changing Scag Freedom Z...
maggiedavidson
10-06-2014 12:24 PM
10-08-2014 06:34 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
7 795
The most dangerous part...
Steve
10-06-2014 02:45 PM
10-07-2014 04:18 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
3 774
Good Mower
jack2048
10-04-2014 05:34 PM
10-07-2014 01:05 PM
by Steve
7 858
Mulching fad killing...
Tree geek
10-06-2014 08:37 PM
10-06-2014 08:37 PM
by Tree geek
0 680
Help a brother...
tbtigers03
09-28-2014 11:41 AM
10-06-2014 02:53 PM
by Steve
11 1,402
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 11:23 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:23 PM.

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