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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

How do I grow my lawn/landscaping business???


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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  #1  
Old 01-08-2013, 10:36 PM
Cbforrester2 Cbforrester2 is offline
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Default How do I grow my lawn/landscaping business???

I started this business last Febuary (2012). I had about 18 solid accounts. I'm sure I will get some of those back this year, atleast I hope. The spring and summer was pretty good, and I was able to upgrade from a lawn mower tractor to a z-turn, had a 5x8 trailer and upgraded to a 6x12.

The winter completely stopped for two months straight. I thought it would be slow in the winter, but I didn't know it was going to completely stop. Like I said that was my first time experiencing it. My question is how do I get this business to make more money, more accounts, and etc...

I did talk to a guy and he told me "you have to have the look" I believe I am getting to that "look", but of course I see other competitors striving in thier lawn care business. Any help would be amazing!
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2013, 09:52 AM
RyansLawn RyansLawn is offline
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I don't know where you are located but you should try snow plowing in the winter. There is great money to be made but you need to important variables... 1. Accounts (should get at least half of your lawn customers). 2. Snow storms.

There are a couple other ways I make money in the winter. I do tree cutting and removal. Just because it's cold doesn't mean you cant use your saw. Just finished a tree job last week where I brought down two pines for a client and made $1600 (roughly 1400 profit). Also, I don't advertise on my marketing materials but I let my customers know I do small painting jobs. Painting is a PITA but easy. I usually charge roughly $350/room depending on size of course.

Lastly, I noticed that you mentioned with your current accounts you're "sure to get some of those back this year, at least I hope." You should get ALL of those back this year. Maintaining clients should be easy to do as long as you're doing a good job and establishing good relationships. I would recommend handing out a comment/suggestion card at the end of the year to ALL of your customers. One of the questions on it should be "do you plan on using X Landscaping in Spring 2013?" This way you have a great idea as to who's on board and plan for the upcoming year.

You want more accounts? Advertise, sell yourself, door to door, meet people, and grow your business.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:44 PM
Cbforrester2 Cbforrester2 is offline
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Thanks for the advise! The only thing about snow plowing is that it never snows here, unfortunately(Wilmington,nc). I have tried running ads on different Internet sites to promote myself throughout the winter and I never did recieve one call.

I'm pretty sure I will get most, if not all my customers back because I did a good job, and they seemed to like me. I never did a contract last year, but I am debating on having them this year.

So, when it's time to start up again, do I just call them or what?
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
I did talk to a guy and he told me "you have to have the look" I believe I am getting to that "look",
Can you tell us more of what you feel that look is? What does that consist of and how does that help?

Quote:
I have tried running ads on different Internet sites to promote myself throughout the winter and I never did recieve one call.
What services were you promoting?

Quote:
So, when it's time to start up again, do I just call them or what?
Your start time will differ from others. When do you start mowing your lawn each year?
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:07 PM
Cbforrester2 Cbforrester2 is offline
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Can you tell us more of what you feel that look is? What does that consist of and how does that help?
I would assume the look is having the proper equipment. For example, for a mower, I would believe that if someone calls for an estimate, and you show up with a riding lawn mower vs a zero turn or a walk behind, some customers think that you are some small time guy, and it's easier for the customers to assume that they can talk you down and take advantage of you. I started with just a regular riding lawn mower and got turned down because I didn't look the part.

Quote:
What services were you promoting?
I promoted; fall clean ups, landscaping, pruning, shrub trimming, pressure washing, gutter clean outs, and small tree removal.

Quote:
Your start time will differ from others. When do you start mowing your lawn each year?
I usually start mowing my lawn late Febuary or early March. Last year we didn't have much of a winter, so I did recieve my first call around Febuary 15th.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:24 PM
Cbforrester2 Cbforrester2 is offline
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Let me say more about looking the part. I think it's about having all the proper equipment with you at all times. I know I started with a 5x8 trailer and when I would do a yard clean up, and have my mower with me I couldn't fit all the debris on the truck without haveing to come back to the job once I unloaded the mower to get the rest of the debris, which made me lose some money.

I also think that some, not all, want you to be there, get the job done, and not have to come back for another trip. That's the bigger trailer idea. Now, I'm not saying looking the part is having a really nice Chevy 3500, I just think that customers see a lot of landscaping companies, and notice what they have the professional equipment they have and the logos for thier vehicle/trailer.

I also believe in uniforms too. I started out wearing just shorts and a t-shirt and I noticed other competitors wearing professional uniforms, so I made that change. I bought some company t-shirts, and khaki pants with comfortable boots, and it just looks more professional.

What do yall think about my answer?
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:37 PM
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Not having snow is a drawback. Other then that the only other service is tree cutting. I would look into selling firewood.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:47 PM
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What do yall think about my answer?
I think it's great to look professional and be presentable. I do wonder about the equipment part. Do customers care about the type of equipment you use? I don't know. I don't know if they can tell the difference between consumer and commercial grade.

I would figure they would prefer to see clean equipment, trailers, and trucks that were well kept. That is easy to see. But even with that, I don't know how important that is compared to you being professional and presentable.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:02 PM
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You need to be up front, at the top of the list as it be. Advertize, Network, Get your truck labeled and keep it clean and drive it everywhere Web Site, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Branchout etc.
As the old saying goes "Walk the Walk Talk the Talk". Read, study books on lawn care and landscaping know your product better then the rest,
Write a Blog or a news letter for your customers, Do a mail out to all the property management companies in your area to let them know who you are. Join local clubs and Lawn/landscaping associations.
Your best advertizing is WORD of MOUTH get people talking about you in a positive way that will bring the customers to you.
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