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 > Just starting your lawn care or landscaping business? > Introduce Yourself

Introduce Yourself Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!

Hello from Southwest Florida


Introduce Yourself

Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #11  
Old 11-21-2009, 06:05 PM
dhawk dhawk is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Southwest Florida
Posts: 25
Rep Power: 6
dhawk is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Sometimes knowing what NOT to do can be more important than knowing what to do.

Can you share with us a few of your thoughts that new business owners should not do?

Dont's - that could be a whole thread in itself, it it isn't already..
Some of this is Lawn Related, some of it goes for any type business

1. Don't ever give up. There will be times that you will want to.

2. Don't spread yourself too thin. One person can only do so much. This was a hard one for me to learn. I tried to run a business and mantain a full time job - that was a disaster in the second year when the biz really started cranking and I did not have the infrastructure in place to support it. I ended up in the hospital from the stress and lack of sleep.

3. Don't scalp a lawn - EVER

4. Don't be afraid to price it where it is worth doing the job. I have a tendancy to underestimat the time to do a job.

5. If you are new, find a commrade to help you with areas that you are not strong in.

My wife is an accountant, so I am lucky in that regard. I am ok at sales, web design, and search engine optomization, so I do that. I have a biz relationship with a pest control person who helps me diagnose whats wrong with a lawn. My whole mission is to have healthy, happy lawns. It is not as easy as I originally thought.

6. Don't be afraid to venture out into areas that are outside your comfort realm.

7. Don't ever forget how important your customers are - golden rule in my book

8. Don't start without proper licensing.

9. Don't work for free. Profit is not a bad word.

10. Don't forget to check if the lawn is wet.

11. Don't wait too long if you suspect something is wrong with a lawn.

12. Don't let overhead get out of control. The more it cost to run the biz, the less profit. You have to find the balance - you still have to have good equipment and proper maintenance

13. Don't expect someone elses methods to work for you. You need to develop your own style, communication, scheduling, customer interaction, estimating, everything.
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #12  
Old 11-22-2009, 12:57 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,495
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
You hit on a lot of great points here. I especially thought this one stood out.

Quote:
2. Don't spread yourself too thin. One person can only do so much. This was a hard one for me to learn. I tried to run a business and mantain a full time job - that was a disaster in the second year when the biz really started cranking and I did not have the infrastructure in place to support it. I ended up in the hospital from the stress and lack of sleep.
I think a lot of forum readers find themselves in this situation.

What advice would you suggest to remedy this if another finds themselves in the same spot?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-22-2009, 04:55 AM
dhawk dhawk is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Southwest Florida
Posts: 25
Rep Power: 6
dhawk is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
You hit on a lot of great points here. I especially thought this one stood out.



I think a lot of forum readers find themselves in this situation.

What advice would you suggest to remedy this if another finds themselves in the same spot?
Well - my remedy was getting laid off. It is amazing how you will step out and go for it when there is no other option and your family depends on you.

Not my suggestion for anyone else.

When I got the pink slip from my comfy six digit white collar job, I knew what I was going to do. It was the first time I was ever able to devote myself 100% to one of my businesses. Gads, what a difference it makes.

The economy here in Southwest Florida is really bad, and I did not even waste one day looking for a job. I had already been looking at existing businesses (less then 15 customers) for sale, so I made the jump, bought it, and ran with it.

Being able to devote all of my time to it is key. In three months time (and going into dry season) I have managed to doubled the revenue.

I'm really not worried any more about IF the biz is viable - I just have to survive this first dry season. By next rainy season, I will be fine - I just have to come up with an expansion plan to handle the business I am going to have by then.

I had to spread out and do a lot of different things to keep it growing during the slow time - I started doing home watch and foreclosure clean ups. I am looking into offering pool services. The more of a one stop shop I am, the more my customers seem to like it.

I guess if I had to make one suggestion, it would be to save as much money as you can before you jump ship on your day job. But you MUST jump ship eventually, or you will kill yourself trying to keep up with both.

At a minimum, 6 months or a years worth of salary set back to get you by as you grow the biz (of course, the amount of money you will need depends on a lot of variables).

But - it can be done the hard way (no cushion set back), but it is really, really scary. I still worry about making the bills each month. ( I am also so much happier now, it is amazing)

If you are personable and half way decent at sales, you will be amazed at how quickly it will grow when you don't have a "real job" getting in the way.

My other suggestion - make sure that you are cut out to run your own biz, or have support in your weak areas.

If you are not comfortable pitching your service to anyone and everyone you bump into, you are going to have problems. I pitch everywhere I go - stores, restaraunts, you name it.

Network - there are many opportunities to network and get referrals in the process.

Be smart about your networking. I pick tree trimmers, pest control companies, and pool services. They have customers that might not be happy with their current lawn service. If someone is scalping lawns and not letting the customer know about a grub infestation, I will eventually get that account.

I wonder if everyone turns into advisors to their customers like I do.......

Last edited by dhawk; 11-22-2009 at 04:58 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-22-2009, 11:36 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,495
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Very fascinating!

Quote:
The economy here in Southwest Florida is really bad, and I did not even waste one day looking for a job. I had already been looking at existing businesses (less then 15 customers) for sale, so I made the jump, bought it, and ran with it.
How important do you feel it was to purchase an existing business versus start one from scratch? Do you feel this should be done to at least get the momentum going quickly? Or do you wish you had just started from scratch?

Also, do you have any advice or things to look out for when purchasing an existing lawn care business?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-22-2009, 05:26 PM
dhawk dhawk is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Southwest Florida
Posts: 25
Rep Power: 6
dhawk is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Very fascinating!

How important do you feel it was to purchase an existing business versus start one from scratch? Do you feel this should be done to at least get the momentum going quickly? Or do you wish you had just started from scratch?

Also, do you have any advice or things to look out for when purchasing an existing lawn care business?
I'm glad I bought with a few accounts.
It quickened the learning curve and gave me exposure.

When buying an existing:
1) Make sure most of the accounts will transfer.
2)Expect some clients to not transfer to you.
3)Try to meet some of the clients, and check the yards out that you will be doing. It will also clue you in if there was something wrong with the service prior to you purchasing it.
4)There might be some unhappy customers that you will have to win over
5)Of course, make sure the equipment is good. Under warranty is even better.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-22-2009, 05:56 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,495
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
1) Make sure most of the accounts will transfer.
How does one go about doing this?

Also, did you ever ask the previous owner why they were selling? Was that important for you to know?

Did you have some kind of non-compete contract so the owner couldn't restart a new business and take back the customers?

Did you take over any employees?

How did the customers who were sold, take to you?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-23-2009, 03:59 AM
dhawk dhawk is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Southwest Florida
Posts: 25
Rep Power: 6
dhawk is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
How does one go about doing this?

Also, did you ever ask the previous owner why they were selling? Was that important for you to know?

Did you have some kind of non-compete contract so the owner couldn't restart a new business and take back the customers?

Did you take over any employees?

How did the customers who were sold, take to you?
I met with as many customers as I could before the sale.
I also ran the business for a month before we sent out letters announcing the sale.

The previous owner had some medical problems that forced the sale.
I did not do a no compete - actually he still refers customers to me. If it had been any other scenario, I probably would have done a no compete.

Did I take any employees - no. He only used a couple people part time. I wanted to run it by myself, along with my wife, starting out, just to make sure that my customers were happy.

How did the customers take to me? I only lost one customer, who was about to cancel their service anyways. The rest of them have been fine with the change.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hello from Florida Santorican Introduce Yourself 5 06-18-2009 01:19 AM
Hello From Florida vhurd Introduce Yourself 1 05-25-2009 10:34 AM
New in Florida Schwarzman85 Introduce Yourself 13 03-03-2009 08:25 AM
HELLO FROM FLORIDA biggtw71 Introduce Yourself 10 03-19-2008 08:00 AM
Hi, I'm new in Florida floridaman Introduce Yourself 4 08-07-2007 08:46 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Watch out for this -...
rootytalbot
07-22-2015 02:13 PM
Today 12:40 PM
by rootytalbot
6 177
Pricing issue
Mr. Mow
07-07-2015 06:15 AM
Yesterday 06:40 PM
by GreenWorx
17 571
scag SWZT review!
mattthelawnguy
07-23-2015 02:28 PM
Yesterday 06:38 PM
by mattthelawnguy
5 136
how to make customers...
Bradcook21
05-27-2015 05:04 PM
Yesterday 06:08 PM
by GreenWorx
15 2,740
Assessing the Market
NJDB60
Yesterday 03:25 PM
Yesterday 06:00 PM
by GreenWorx
1 56
NewVenture
NJDB60
Yesterday 03:38 PM
Yesterday 03:38 PM
by NJDB60
0 43
Need your help, Gopher...
Chilehead
07-23-2015 07:02 PM
Yesterday 11:28 AM
by Steve
11 206
Should I buy this Exmark...
googus
07-03-2015 09:22 AM
Yesterday 11:27 AM
by googus
8 405
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 10:41 AM
Yesterday 11:22 AM
by Steve
94 10,214
Dogs
Mr. Mow
06-29-2015 02:37 PM
07-25-2015 07:50 AM
by Chilehead
12 2,233
Just about mid year, how...
GreenWorx
06-24-2015 07:05 PM
07-22-2015 07:31 PM
by Chilehead
14 2,297
Learning as I grow -...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
07-18-2015 07:46 AM
07-21-2015 10:53 AM
by Steve
3 153
Large dirt mound removal
purdue1973
07-09-2015 07:45 PM
07-20-2015 12:55 PM
by Steve
6 254
Hey everyone
Fantasy landscaping
07-09-2015 06:53 AM
07-09-2015 11:47 AM
by Steve
1 172
Quickbooks Online
jscarolina
07-08-2015 07:54 AM
07-08-2015 12:55 PM
by Nate10928
1 181
I dont know what to do...
Bradcook21
06-21-2015 08:49 AM
07-07-2015 09:48 PM
by SGL1
16 2,565
Start LIKING FACEBOOK...
rlclawncare123
02-26-2015 12:06 AM
07-07-2015 02:54 PM
by GreenWorx
13 3,507
Is it too late to do...
markty
06-16-2015 05:28 PM
07-07-2015 01:00 PM
by problem solver
9 2,312
Hi everyone
Mattw
07-06-2015 05:59 PM
07-07-2015 10:18 AM
by Steve
1 200
4th of July parade...
Steve
07-06-2015 10:35 AM
07-06-2015 10:35 AM
by Steve
0 144
Unemployment rates drop,...
Steve
07-02-2015 12:40 PM
07-06-2015 10:30 AM
by Steve
4 312
another newish job for me
holymoly
06-07-2015 08:34 AM
07-03-2015 02:06 PM
by American L&T
9 2,319
Before & After tree...
COREtreeservice
07-01-2015 09:20 PM
07-01-2015 09:20 PM
by COREtreeservice
0 241
Ready to learn and get...
Koley Lawn & Landscape
06-28-2015 05:16 AM
07-01-2015 11:26 AM
by Steve
8 2,085
Three Stripe Land Care...
hammr04
06-30-2015 07:19 PM
07-01-2015 11:24 AM
by Steve
1 212
Country Life Lawn Care
darleneh
06-29-2015 11:24 AM
06-30-2015 01:25 PM
by Steve
3 1,920
Rubber mulch...
avetslawncare
06-24-2015 09:28 PM
06-29-2015 09:23 PM
by Chilehead
6 2,089
» Popular Tags
accounting ad landscaping advertising aerocore apartment bid apartment lawn care estimate applying billy goat brushcutter blowout bob villa bush contract help curb appeal services deliquentaccounts demonstration design edging equipment dealer financials flyers foreman free advertising google growing a lawn care business hardscapes hiring how to husqvarna hydro increase customers invoicing jobs landscape landscape services landscaping landscaping training lawn aeration lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn mowing marketing marketing secrets more customers business mulch new business ordinance past due patio install per hour charge per hour service pricing profit on employee quickbooks quickbooks online scag sell the vision seo shell shreaded snow plowing solo square foot swzt tree pics up sell employee web design website website design wood www.greenturion.co.za
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:08 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:08 PM.

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