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Old 02-25-2005, 12:55 PM
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Business plan questions can be found here.

Business Plan

Business Description
"My Business" is located in Half Moon Bay, California, will provide basic mow and blow service to the residents and businesses of the peninsula. In a market swamped with illegitimate companies with poor to non existent customer support, "My business" will stand as a role model of convenience and customer satisfaction.

Management Abilities
I've worked in customer service related fields. I think the service skills I've developed over the years will be THE skill that makes my business a success. Acquiring customers and keeping them will be my biggest strength. When an issue arises with a homeowner, my competitors view it as a problem. I view it as an opportunity. I know if i can resolve the issue and satisfy the homeowners concern, then I've just created an account that is MORE loyal to me then my standard accounts.

Business Strategy
My biggest opportunity is the lack of organized and legitimate competitors. All of these gardeners work purely from word of mouth, that means they have zero advertising exposure. The customer service is also non existent. We had a gardener serving my mothers house and i remember i had to speak to his 12 year old son and have him repeat it to the father. Tell me there isn't a need in my market that i can fill.

We plan on taking advantage of this by hitting street. I will be knocking on doors and hanging door hangers. A mailing will also be in our near future. Being the only advertiser of gardening service should give us a quick base.
Maintaining our competitive edge will come with time. Once we are established and have our cost to a minimum, it will be difficulty for a competitor to come in a take a piece of our market share.

Our biggest strength is also our biggest challenge. Our competitors cost are a fraction of ours. They don't pay insurance, taxes, zero advertising cost, and they hire illegal immigrants. They will offer to mow a homeowners lawn for $15 a month, that less then we charge a mow. The answer to this is to educate the homeowner on the risks and to create a value for our clients. They have to see enough value in our service to warrant the cost.

Legal Structure
The business will start as a sole proprietor. I am planning on moving to an llc or corp but im still going over the pros and cons. I hear its much more complicated to sell an LLC then a corp.
Until I change from a sole proprietor, my insurance will have to cover my business exposure.

Mission Statement
"MY business" is a lawn maintenance company that services the Half Moon Bay area of California. We aim to provide lawn care that is convenient to the customer. Provides quality work and service at the lowest possible cost.

Marketing Slogan
None as of yet, Will be something serviced based.

Market Analysis
I have not followed any local or national treads in the market.

Customer Analysis
-My target customers are.....This is hard for me to say, I'm tempted to say "everyone is a potential customer." This will take some time for me to figure out. Once I'm out working and talking to potential customers, I'll learn who it is i should target and who it is I should avoid.
- My customers will be located in the 94018-94019 area code. We will expand to the 94044 area code once established.
- My customers want convenience. They dont want to have to think about lawn care. They want it taken care of with minimal thought investment. This is why we will only bill by credit card. It saves our customers the hassle of receiving a bill, writing a check, and mailing out the payment.

Competition Analysis
- My competition consist mostly of illegitimate businesses. Very few english speaking. Only offering the most basic services. There are a few others that do speak english but can only be found by word of mouth.
- Most run crews of 1 to 4 people.
- Their estimated sales volume is hard to figure. Most work lawn care part time. Most average between $10k and $20k a year.
- They all offer basic mow, trim, and blow service. Maybe some pruning, but nothing more.
- They produce average quality work,
- They price themselves between $15 and $30 a cut.
- Right now everyone is their customer because they have no alternative.
- Their strengths are the low overhead cost. No payroll, no insurance, ect.
- Their weaknesses include a lack of customer service, language barriers, rough and unprofessional appearances, lack of any service above basic mow and blow.
- I see them as an indirect competitors. Customers are going to want more then the bare minimum will come to me.

- I will personally invest $3000 in cash into the business
- I will look to the bank to finance the truck $5000.
- I'm looking for zero dollars from private investors.
- I should brake even around month 5 and after that i will make profit.

- Start up cost.
*Equipment=$6940 (see below in the equipment section).
*Liability Insurance $1200-$1800 a year.
*Commercial truck insurance $1200 a year.
*Business cards $75.
*Door hanger printing $300.
*Door hanger design =$100.
*Business license $160.

- Operating expenses.
*Gasoline $100/month.
*Monthly Cell phone and business phone will run about $75/month.
*Grass dumping charge $40/month

-Sales forecast. 5 new accounts a week, which equals 1 new account per day, Monday through Friday. Once i reach 100 account(should be around month 4) I will no longer mow myself but sell and run the business.

- I will start by myself, pick up a part time guys when im around 20 accounts. 100 accounts I will have 2 part time guys doing all the work. I figure it will take them 67.2 hour a month to complete.
- 2 part time employees will make between $7-$8 an hour. = $1008 hours work per month. Add taxes and workmans comp bring the total to $1287. (this figure doesn't include non-billable time.)

*21' walk behind mower$1100
*Line trimmer $300
*Hand Held blower $275
*Truck $5000
*Trailer $250 (i have no idea, small trailer to only fit 2 21' mowers)
*flat head shovel $15

-All equipment will be stored in my garage for free.

Advertising / Promotion
- Our business will be promoted through Door hanger, and Direct mailings.
- We will spend roughly $3-$4k on advertising.

I am still working on a name, maybe team gopher can help me with a few suggestions. I hope i covered everything that needs to be covered.
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