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GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum

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-   -   I'm new to forum and to the business! (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=6117)

Markolc 02-20-2008 07:19 PM

Howdy! I'm Mark, owner of 4-Seasons Lawncare of New Britain, CT. I worked for a couple summers for a landscaping company during my college years and got paid decent money, and once I got out of school and decided my degree wasn't making me happy, I thought back to how much fun I had landscaping and what type of potential there is to owning my own business (the work seemed easy enough).

While I know how to use all the equipment properly and how to make a lawn come out looking great, I'd love to learn more about how to actually pick up and get started. So far I've bought a '98 C2500 truck with a plow and tow package. I'm looking for all the rest of the equipment right now (trimmer, bp blower, 48" mower, push mower) and possibly a trailer.

I'd love to know what you guys did to get your new businesses up and running from scratch? How did you recruit customers, etc.? Where did you learn the business. I'd love to tap this knowledge! Any advice for a http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/...ons/newbie.gif?

I'll be seeing you guys around, I'm full of questions!

Steve 02-20-2008 07:26 PM

Hi Mark,

Welcome to our forum! Nice to have you here.

Are you just getting your business started this year? This will be your first season?

What did your previous employer do to attract new customers?

justin_time 02-20-2008 07:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Markolc @ Feb. 20 2008,8:19)]Howdy! I'm Mark, owner of 4-Seasons Lawncare of New Britain, CT. *I worked for a couple summers for a landscaping company during my college years and got paid decent money, and once I got out of school and decided my degree wasn't making me happy, I thought back to how much fun I had landscaping and what type of potential there is to owning my own business (the work seemed easy enough).

While I know how to use all the equipment properly and how to make a lawn come out looking great, I'd love to learn more about how to actually pick up and get started. *So far I've bought a '98 C2500 truck with a plow and tow package. *I'm looking for all the rest of the equipment right now (trimmer, bp blower, 48" mower, push mower) and possibly a trailer. *

I'd love to know what you guys did to get your new businesses up and running from scratch? *How did you recruit customers, etc.? *Where did you learn the business. *I'd love to tap this knowledge! *Any advice for a http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/...ons/newbie.gif?

I'll be seeing you guys around, I'm full of questions!

Hi Mark..

Welcome to the forum..

All I have to say about purchasing equipment.. don't be cheap.. GO BIG OR GO HOME.. i learned that the wrong way...
I bought a cheap trailer..and had a few problems with that.. had to get it fixed a few times.. still needs to get fixed.. not strong enough for a 800 pounds machine so yeah..

Same goes for lawn equipment.... don't get a cheap tractor and say it's gonna be good enough.. WRONG... if your in the commercial industry... i really suggest a zero turn... to anybody in the lawn industry.. even if it's a walk behind...

My tractor i purchased.. is made for residential... i got oil leaks on mine at about 150 hrs.. and i couldn't use it for 2 weeks since i had to wait for parts... Got to use a zero turn and I didn't want my tractor back that's how good the zero turns are...

Hope I inspired you to start...

Markolc 02-21-2008 12:45 PM

I've had experiences in lawncare using only Scag zero-turn mowers. 48-54" walk behinds, and a turf Tiger. I will still need a cheap push mower for at least the small fenced in yards. Interesting on the trailer though, I will keep a look-out for quality trailers, but I'm not going to be towing anything heavier then a Turf-tiger for the short term future.

My last boss's business was decently established where all he did was gain business through referrals. Often when I'd be mowing a customers lawn, other neighbors would walk right up to me and ask to do their lawn, and that's how they became regulars. One summer I gained 15 residential accounts for him this way. (He had about 70 already in 3-4 towns when I started with him).

This will be my first season on my own. I've yet to do much beyond buying a truck, but I'm working hard at planning out all that I need to do (so all feedback and advice is welcome!) I purchased the book "Start and Run a Landscaping business" by Joel LaRusic, and that has been my starting point so far!

Steve 02-21-2008 12:51 PM

Hi Mark,

That is a very good book! I think something that is very important especially when you are just getting started is to constantly be marketing yourself and your business in some way. Keep doing things to get your name out there. Make yourself the go to person in your town for lawn care and property maintenance questions.

Are you using craigslist.com to market your business? It's free.

Do you have a website? Do you have flyers created to hand out?

Markolc 02-21-2008 05:23 PM

I am having a logo designed for me at the moment. Once I get that in my possession, I am going to have business cards and flyers made up, as well as set up a decent website. It's all in the works and my head's spinning, I want to get started ASAP! ( I am growing tired of my FT job and am looking to liberate myself from it, hehe!)

Steve 02-21-2008 05:42 PM

I look forwards to seeing what you get created!

KimKriel 02-21-2008 07:57 PM

Another thing that you will want to do is get you truck lettered asap. It is a great form of moving advertisement. It has really paid for its self.

Markolc 02-22-2008 01:38 PM

Great advice. I was a little bit hesitant to letter the truck right away, but I think I will just go ahead and get it done ASAP. Thanks!

Steve 02-22-2008 01:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ] I was a little bit hesitant to letter the truck right away, but I think I will just go ahead and get it done ASAP. Thanks!

I think one of the great effects this has beyond the business value, is the psychological value. It makes the business seem real. It makes you feel good that yes you are indeed doing this and it exists. It's not just a truck. It's your business truck. AND yes you do own a business. It's something that can inspire you and make you feel proud. It helps you push forwards.


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