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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.

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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.
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  #11  
Old 11-17-2008, 10:36 AM
ritchiem
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I have known a lot of people in the industry that started out just the way you are. Then they develop a passion and grow from there. Everyone needs to start somewhere, however, you do need to be careful on a liability standpoint.

Don't get hurt or break anything!!!

If you had enough lawns to mow would you consider making it full time? Would you then perhaps develop a knack for the details? What type of info do you hope to pull away from this thread? What I am trying to say is, if you are showing interest in our industry and are looking to grow within it, we will all help you achieve that goal. But if you just want to know if you can make a couple of bucks on the side by giving non showcase quality work then you might have a problem getting support.

Good luck to you sir.

Cheers,
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  #12  
Old 11-17-2008, 12:41 PM
mhoward92 mhoward92 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ritchiem View Post
I have known a lot of people in the industry that started out just the way you are. Then they develop a passion and grow from there. Everyone needs to start somewhere, however, you do need to be careful on a liability standpoint.

Don't get hurt or break anything!!!

If you had enough lawns to mow would you consider making it full time? Would you then perhaps develop a knack for the details? What type of info do you hope to pull away from this thread? What I am trying to say is, if you are showing interest in our industry and are looking to grow within it, we will all help you achieve that goal. But if you just want to know if you can make a couple of bucks on the side by giving non showcase quality work then you might have a problem getting support.

Good luck to you sir.

Cheers,
i second every word of that. very good way to put it.
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  #13  
Old 11-17-2008, 09:57 PM
chehalemmower chehalemmower is offline
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Originally Posted by Team Gopher View Post
Hi,

Welcome to our forum!



How do you like offering small engine repair services? Do you service the mowers at the customers property or do they bring them to you? How do you promote this service?
Small engine repair is my passion but I really enjoy mowing my lawn. I would like to do small engine repair or lawn maintanence full time as long as it provided enough money to support my family. My day job pays pretty good for around here but there is no way I would risk my family by dropping what I currently do to try something. The last thing I want to do is lose my house over an adventure!

As for small engine repair, I advertise solely on craigslist and word of mouth. I work on equipment mostly at my house but I have done a few house calls for an additional fee. I've had many referrals via word of mouth and that feels great to know someone is happy with the kind of work you do. I plan on advertising to some local landscape/lawn maintanence companies for quick service. My prices are quite a bit less than the OPE dealers because I have little overhead at this point. I'm sure they don't like it but if I can do the same service, with the same quality, do it faster and for less money that's the kind of service people are looking for. I'm not going to try to sell them on some other product (because I have none to sell) and I offer unbiased advice about all of the brands of equipment since I don't sell a particular brand. Ironically I send many of my customers to my local OPE dealer to buy equipment I feel is top quality. Not too many people sending customers to the competition.
Now I may not have the parts in stock all of the time but I can get them just as fast as the OPE dealers. Most equipment is serviced within 24hours unless parts are needed and then that may take up to a week to get in. Try that with an OPE dealer that's 3 weeks out. Can you guys really afford to have your equipment down for 3 weeks?
That's my philosophy on business. So if you're in the Portland, OR area and want great service, quickly, and at a fair price, look me up.

Troy
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  #14  
Old 11-24-2008, 04:55 PM
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"Well from my perspective, I'm that neighborhood kid, with my own mower. I don't go around advertising that I only mow lawns, I do this on the weekends and some evenings in the summer. This is by far not my full time career as most of you are doing. I'm not going for the professional look although I do have some common sense customer service skills. The only place I advertise is on craigslist and I get a few customers from past customers but my customers are not calling me because they want a manicured lawn, they are the ones with all weeds that just want them knocked down once a month or so, some a little more often. They don't have the money nor do they care about their lawn enough to pay high dollar for such a service. Hell they don't even water it because it cost too much. I fill a particular niche in the market that you refuse to service and I make a little pocket change in return for my time. I don't care how you look at it, $25 for a half hour worth of work ain't bad."


As with almost anyone out there in almost any kind of business looking for GOOD clients CRAIGSLIST is NOT where you look for GOOD clients.
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  #15  
Old 11-24-2008, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Small engine repair is my passion but I really enjoy mowing my lawn. I would like to do small engine repair or lawn maintanence full time as long as it provided enough money to support my family. My day job pays pretty good for around here but there is no way I would risk my family by dropping what I currently do to try something. The last thing I want to do is lose my house over an adventure!

As for small engine repair, I advertise solely on craigslist and word of mouth. I work on equipment mostly at my house but I have done a few house calls for an additional fee. I've had many referrals via word of mouth and that feels great to know someone is happy with the kind of work you do. I plan on advertising to some local landscape/lawn maintanence companies for quick service. My prices are quite a bit less than the OPE dealers because I have little overhead at this point. I'm sure they don't like it but if I can do the same service, with the same quality, do it faster and for less money that's the kind of service people are looking for. I'm not going to try to sell them on some other product (because I have none to sell) and I offer unbiased advice about all of the brands of equipment since I don't sell a particular brand. Ironically I send many of my customers to my local OPE dealer to buy equipment I feel is top quality. Not too many people sending customers to the competition.
Now I may not have the parts in stock all of the time but I can get them just as fast as the OPE dealers. Most equipment is serviced within 24hours unless parts are needed and then that may take up to a week to get in. Try that with an OPE dealer that's 3 weeks out. Can you guys really afford to have your equipment down for 3 weeks?
That's my philosophy on business. So if you're in the Portland, OR area and want great service, quickly, and at a fair price, look me up.
Great concept! Have you considered offering a loaner mower as an additional option when you are working on their mower? That might be a way to generate more income.
Quote:
"Well from my perspective, I'm that neighborhood kid, with my own mower. I don't go around advertising that I only mow lawns, I do this on the weekends and some evenings in the summer. This is by far not my full time career as most of you are doing. I'm not going for the professional look although I do have some common sense customer service skills. The only place I advertise is on craigslist and I get a few customers from past customers but my customers are not calling me because they want a manicured lawn, they are the ones with all weeds that just want them knocked down once a month or so, some a little more often. They don't have the money nor do they care about their lawn enough to pay high dollar for such a service. Hell they don't even water it because it cost too much. I fill a particular niche in the market that you refuse to service and I make a little pocket change in return for my time. I don't care how you look at it, $25 for a half hour worth of work ain't bad."


As with almost anyone out there in almost any kind of business looking for GOOD clients CRAIGSLIST is NOT where you look for GOOD clients.
Do you for see yourself in the future scaling up your operation or are you happy with what it is now?
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  #16  
Old 11-25-2008, 01:00 AM
chehalemmower chehalemmower is offline
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yeah I do offer a loaner mower to any customer. Not the best mower but it is self propelled with a bag. My offer has only been used a couple times. Most people bring their mower to me on like a friday and I usually have it done for them to pick up by sat. afternoon. I offer this service to any customer, not just my LCO customers.

I would love to see my operation grow. This winter I'm starting a small marketing campaign to get some LCO accounts. With a minimal advertising budget I can't place an ad in ALL of the local papers but I will try a few for 3 months each and track their results. Thanks for asking!
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  #17  
Old 11-25-2008, 01:17 AM
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I would love to see my operation grow. This winter I'm starting a small marketing campaign to get some LCO accounts. With a minimal advertising budget I can't place an ad in ALL of the local papers but I will try a few for 3 months each and track their results. Thanks for asking!
Who would you say your main customer base is? Home owners or lawn care business owners? Who are you trying to reach mainly with this marketing campaign?
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  #18  
Old 11-25-2008, 08:04 PM
chehalemmower chehalemmower is offline
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My main customer base right now is homeowners but I would like to see more commercial customers and get them onto a regular maintanence plan. I'm basically trying to get as many people through my service as I can because I know once they have used my services, they will come back AND they will refer more customers. I prefer referrals because they are better customers as most of you know. If LCO's realized how beneficial a good mechanic can be rather than taking their equipment to a large OPE dealer, I think they would appreciate how quickly they can get their equipment back in service. With the small size of my business, I"m able to drop what I'm doing to help my preferred customers. I always make my LCO's a priority because I know their equipment pays the bills, whereas a homeowner may be experiencing an inconvenience. Either way, I try to have all of my equipment returned within 5 days. Try going to your local OPE dealer and getting that kind of service.

Just my rant. Give me your feedback!!
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:47 PM
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One of the things I wonder about is this. As a selling point to lawn care business owners, do they need to have their lawn care equipment serviced by the dealership in order to retain their warranty or can anyone perform the service?

I would think this could be an issue.

Does anyone know?
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Old 12-24-2008, 04:22 PM
chehalemmower chehalemmower is offline
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A lawn care company does need to be concerned about the warranties that come with their equipment. The repair costs can be quite substantial. The key thing for a LCO to do is become very familiar with what exactly your warranty covers. Warranties vary greatly by brand of equipment. Know what your warranty covers and the duration of the warranty. Make sure you have a local dealer that does warranty work on your brand of equipment. For instance if you live in Oregon like myself and you wanted to purchase a Bad Boy mower, there is nobody within 1000 miles that can do service work on it under warranty.

Most warranties only last for a few years or a limited number of hours. Once your past that time, it's up to you to foot the bill. That is where I fit in. I offer small engine repair and service for folks that have gone past their warranty but still want to keep their equipment. How many LCO's out there have a Honda commercial walk behind that is over 10 years old?? Probably quite a few since honda makes a great product. They still need it serviced like they did before but do they really need to pay dealership prices to have the same work performed?

If I (not factory certified) perform any work on your machine during it's warranty period, your warranty will become void. So if your concerned about your warranty, definitely take it to a dealer for warranty work but think of saving your company some money when your warranty expires!!!
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