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? > Starting a lawn care 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.

Starting New in FL


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.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 08-06-2010, 09:22 AM
mmcuttrim mmcuttrim is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 18
Rep Power: 0
mmcuttrim is on a distinguished road
Default Starting New in FL

Greetings All,

I'm starting off very new here in Central Florida. I mean new, currently cutting with a push mower and using my own lawn equipment. I am concerned about buying all the equipment and not being able to maintain a customer base to at a minimum pay for said equipment. I am reading alot on this forum so it is helping. I'm really only interested in residential lawns and only need about 12 lawns a week to make a bit of money. This is a side job for me but would like to see it blossom. Just a few questions.

1- I see alot of people driving around with their equipment but no adverts on the truck at all. No name, number, nothing. I suppose they have a customer base built up but, I would think it would make sense to at least have a name and number listed?

2- Marketing - I have put door hangers out. They are black and whit generics. out of about 300 I have garnered about 5 leads with three being landed. I have lost one of those. So I'm not sure how better to market. I have magnets on my vehicle with name, number, and email, very specific that it is a lawn service via the graphics. Posted some flyers in the local stores that would allow with pull off tabs of name and number. I would like to create a influx of calls just not sure how to make that happen.

3- Pricing - I would like to stay competative but obviously being the only person working within my business I cannot buzz through a lawn in 15-20 minutes. So it seems I am 10-15 dollars higher than most services in my neighborhood. I can adjust this price a bit if I were to get enough lawns to support buying better equipment which would allow me to work faster.

I have read and listened to the post / podcast here and they are helping. I'm also realistic about the economy so that could be a hinderance for new customers. I 'm not looking to scoop up a huge market share but am understanding when new you have to market hard. Any ideas were I could improve? Would it be smart to take the plunge and buyt the equipment and have it "on show" when I'm working? Thanks for any input.
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


  #2  
Old 08-06-2010, 12:04 PM
LawnMoore's Avatar
LawnMoore LawnMoore is offline
Mr. Moore
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Suwannee River Florida
Age: 28
Posts: 288
Rep Power: 4
LawnMoore is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Guy, im not going to lie to ya, the better equipment is nice, but you dont want to ruin your credit, or have been payed 1k dollars on a machine to lose it all when you cant afford to pay anymore..

My best suggestions would be to SAVE every penny you can, work extra hours here and there, work extra yards anytime you can, and get you a few extra yards, save save save, and hope you can run across a deal on a decent mower, for around 500-1000, i have seen some nice riders (not zero turns) go for about 200-300 in my area (but you ahve to be out there asking around for mowers), if you would just get you something like that, your mowing would speed up. Faster lawn cuts you say will help you price better, then you might be able to build up a good clientel.

I would recomend you save some cash and buy with cash! that way your not paying payments incase you lose a little work in the winter.

Or save up through this winter, raking yards, offering some other services mentioned on the forum, then next spring, spring into action with a mower you bought during winter ( sometimes during winter the mowers are cheaper )

or you could go out and get payments, and have a brand new rider! But make sure you have some money saved back for any loss of work.
__________________
(352)682-3094 Suwannee River, Florida 32680

Visit my site, http://www.lawnmoore.com, Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-06-2010, 01:30 PM
mmcuttrim mmcuttrim is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 18
Rep Power: 0
mmcuttrim is on a distinguished road
Default

The advice is well taken LM, as the wife slowed me down a bit at first. I figured it would look crazy pulling up with a push mower and equipment in the back of an SUV vs. small truck, trailer, and typical equipment. She said don't put us in debit doing it. So as much as I must swallow the pride, (...ahem...she was right), about a month and a half into it and only two paying customers. It is really hard in our heat to take on too many yards with a push only, plus keeping up my yard. I would be happy at the break even point of 8 yards a week to allow me to buy the equipment. Then suffer through the winter, which as you may know will still allow me some work, and then hopefully build some accounts during that time into the early part of next year. I was thinking along the lines of some discounts for landscaping labor during the cooler months at the begining of next year, that is if they sign on for lawn mowing month to month. I've thought about the small lawn tractor idea which will shave about $1000.00 off the deal of buying new equipment. I can still use the weeder / edger/ blower I have for now and replace with better lighter equipment when they are dead.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-06-2010, 01:37 PM
MAKLawnCutter MAKLawnCutter is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Central FL
Age: 29
Posts: 249
Rep Power: 5
MAKLawnCutter is on a distinguished road
Default

Welcome to the BIZZZZ, and nice to know of another company in FL.

Well, using your own equipment is awesome. But, sooner or later you might want to be quicker at it, get more done in less time. As you go along you will find things easier (FL heat sucks). I charge a BASE price of 25$ per lawn, and it goes up from there. I had lawns that i started at doing them in 2hours, now i can crank them out in 45min due to higher stamina and used to the heat.

CRAIGSLIST.COM is the bomb, i went from 4 to 32 due to the Craigslist, and those 28 reffered me to 16more . Best way to sell yourself.

Matt
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-06-2010, 01:44 PM
mmcuttrim mmcuttrim is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 18
Rep Power: 0
mmcuttrim is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MAKLawnCutter View Post
Welcome to the BIZZZZ, and nice to know of another company in FL.

Well, using your own equipment is awesome. But, sooner or later you might want to be quicker at it, get more done in less time. As you go along you will find things easier (FL heat sucks). I charge a BASE price of 25$ per lawn, and it goes up from there. I had lawns that i started at doing them in 2hours, now i can crank them out in 45min due to higher stamina and used to the heat.

CRAIGSLIST.COM is the bomb, i went from 4 to 32 due to the Craigslist, and those 28 reffered me to 16more . Best way to sell yourself.

Matt
Wow, I didn't even think of Craigslist. I've been a huge ebay'er and craigslist never crossed my mind. That may be huge. My base for up to 5000sq is $20 which is the standard mulch cut, edge, trim, and blow back on lawn. I was going on a few neighbors that I trust to tell me what they are paying. one was $70 a month the other was $65. I just cannot make that happen right now. maybe if I can churn out more lawns (if I can get them). But hey thanks so much for the great idea. Still open to other forms of marketing within reason of course.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-06-2010, 09:39 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 35,779
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Still open to other forms of marketing within reason of course.
The biggest and best thing you can do is talk to people. Let them know you are in the business now. Give them cards. Ask them for referrals.

Talk to all your family and all your friends and have them hand out cards too.

Quote:
1- I see alot of people driving around with their equipment but no adverts on the truck at all. No name, number, nothing. I suppose they have a customer base built up but, I would think it would make sense to at least have a name and number listed?
Many newer businesses don't do this because they dont want signs on their personal vehicles or they are not 100% sure they want to go through with this. I think it's very important to create that awareness though and get the signs on your vehicle.

Quote:
Would it be smart to take the plunge and buyt the equipment and have it "on show" when I'm working?
What is your view on this? As a consumer, how important would it be for you to see that?
__________________
- 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
  #7  
Old 08-07-2010, 04:44 PM
mmcuttrim mmcuttrim is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 18
Rep Power: 0
mmcuttrim is on a distinguished road
Default

Steve,

The thought of having the equipment "on show" seems to strikes me well. Even though I have the advert on the vehicle while working I don't think it catches the eye as much as having the trailer attached with equipment on it. Let's say you are driving down a road in a subdivision and you see someone mowing with a push mower. You do not see anything else to identify that person as labor for hire except (maybe) being able to see their shirt with info on it or (maybe) you notice the vehicle parked across the street that has door magnets on it. I can say that I have not had any calls or refferals due to the door magnets. All work has come from door hanging. So I'm not sure if the visual market would help. As I said before obviously I notice more trailers going down the road since I am looking. Before I started in the biz I did notice the equipment being towed around or parked on the roadways. Did anyone else start out my way (push mower, using personal lawn equipment) then purchase other equipment. If so was there a difference in volume due to that? @MAK I'm on craigslist now. Logged into my email today and found a bunch of spam and one request for moving help. In that same token I did check out Service Magic (after reading the post on here I just wanted to see what leads it could possibly generate). It looks like in a 15 mile radius there are between 12 - 75 request for mowing including single time service over a 9 month period. However, the cost is certainly not condusive to partner with them.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-08-2010, 03:33 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 35,779
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
I can say that I have not had any calls or refferals due to the door magnets.
When you are out there working on lawns, do you use the clover leaf marketing technique?

This could help you land more accounts right nearby.

Quote:
Did anyone else start out my way (push mower, using personal lawn equipment) then purchase other equipment. If so was there a difference in volume due to that?
I would venture to guess 90% of the forum members on here started this way.

I think the difference in volume comes is due to a small network. The more people you know and the more people that know you are running a lawn care business, the better your chances are of gaining more business.

Take our one friend on here Andy. He drives around with premade postcards for different services he offers. If he sees a home that needs such a service, he takes a postcard and goes over to talk to the homeowner.

That is just one step you can do. There are many many proactive steps you can do to attract more customers.

I think it's important to not focus on having all this equipment to show off to those driving by. It would be better to see yourself as running for mayor now. You want everyone you can meet to know you are in business and things will pick up.

What other things are you considering doing to get the word out more now?
__________________
- 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
  #9  
Old 08-09-2010, 06:42 AM
mmcuttrim mmcuttrim is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 18
Rep Power: 0
mmcuttrim is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
When you are out there working on lawns, do you use the clover leaf marketing technique?


What other things are you considering doing to get the word out more now?
Steve,

Usually what happens is that I have blanket covered the subdivision with door hangers. All being the same offering the lawn service, a starting price point, and the phone number for a free estimate. I like the idea of maybe swithing it up a bit and hitting the houses closest with a postcard hanger being more specific to their neighbors lawn (cloverleafing). I think maybe adding to that I could incorporate the homeowner who's lawn I service by asking them to recommend me to their neighbor. If the neighbor signs up for a month to month the original customer gets a free cut the month that the new customer signs up or a smaller discount say $5 off if the neighbor atleast gives me a try.

I also tend to wear a clean work shirt when I need to run some errands around town. I read the post or maybe it was a podcast, where one person wanted to increase their customer base for the up comming year. I believe this was the post / cast http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=12026

I may have a potential to get some adverts out by partnering with local businesses. We do have local advertising magazines that go out each month or bi-monthly and that is another avenue I could look towards. Thanks for the heads up on cloverleafing I'll give it a shot.

Miles
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-09-2010, 11:37 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 35,779
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Keep us updated on how things go!
__________________
- 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
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
Just Starting xulcuz Starting a lawn care business. 7 03-31-2009 11:11 AM
Starting In 09' walkerlawncare09 Introduce Yourself 16 01-07-2009 11:06 PM
Just Starting! Need some help! dieselsmallengine Introduce Yourself 2 01-06-2009 09:37 PM
Just Starting out...... firedawwg Starting a lawn care business. 13 06-16-2008 12:10 AM
starting out jbrewer Starting a lawn care business. 2 01-07-2008 03:05 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
New customers keep...
stevef1201
Today 05:34 PM
Today 09:54 PM
by BelleCityLawn1
3 70
Pushy customers
christopherhicks82
04-22-2014 08:22 PM
Today 07:41 PM
by t-10yrs2retire
10 226
New Trailer
bobwill2009
Yesterday 12:46 PM
Today 01:34 PM
by B&B Lawn Services
4 108
Back for this year
xandrew245x
02-21-2014 04:30 PM
Today 12:46 PM
by xandrew245x
20 1,044
Truck, Trailer,...
hawthornelawncare
12-23-2011 12:01 AM
Today 12:39 PM
by Steve
80 25,401
Pond...
xandrew245x
04-22-2014 03:29 PM
Today 12:23 PM
by Steve
5 126
Mangwi Landscaping
bondservojc13
Yesterday 09:56 PM
Today 12:22 PM
by Steve
2 84
Acerage Rake
acrajchel
Yesterday 07:23 PM
Today 12:17 PM
by Steve
1 55
2.5 acre mowing
xandrew245x
04-18-2014 06:55 AM
Today 12:05 PM
by Steve
16 380
Advertising On...
JacobsLawnMowing
03-17-2014 03:21 PM
Today 11:58 AM
by Steve
14 913
In a bit situation need...
googus
04-22-2014 08:01 AM
Yesterday 10:03 PM
by googus
9 188
Any greenhouse operators...
GoGreenerKS
04-15-2014 11:21 AM
Yesterday 12:37 PM
by Steve
7 228
The $20 Mow Job
Dan Tanner
04-21-2014 07:24 PM
Yesterday 12:06 PM
by Steve
5 208
quickbooks users
CDLAWNCARE
04-20-2014 09:03 AM
Yesterday 06:48 AM
by CDLAWNCARE
4 185
Looking for advice on a...
Tekeda1
04-13-2014 09:53 AM
04-22-2014 07:55 PM
by Just for Cuts
23 593
About D@## Time!
TamMik
04-02-2014 08:10 AM
04-22-2014 05:14 PM
by BelleCityLawn1
19 886
What Was Your Setup When...
superrman77
02-11-2014 10:53 AM
04-22-2014 12:29 AM
by Tony317
22 1,737
Sulky and Turf Tracer
acrajchel
04-07-2014 01:44 PM
04-22-2014 12:07 AM
by Tony317
9 451
danny 2
danny2
04-19-2014 10:19 PM
04-21-2014 12:25 PM
by Steve
3 141
this mower is driving me...
boog
04-17-2014 12:07 PM
04-21-2014 12:10 PM
by kslawn
13 378
What Fertilizer to Use?
acrajchel
04-07-2014 01:56 PM
04-21-2014 12:02 PM
by kslawn
20 624
I Got Taken...,
Dan Tanner
04-19-2014 06:26 AM
04-21-2014 11:49 AM
by Steve
4 235
new to this forum!
mower13126
04-18-2014 07:37 PM
04-21-2014 11:39 AM
by Steve
4 157
REO calling
Dan Tanner
04-16-2014 05:03 PM
04-21-2014 11:33 AM
by Steve
12 361
employee pay
4 seasons maintenance
04-10-2011 09:34 PM
04-20-2014 04:40 PM
by Dan Tanner
20 6,902
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
04-20-2014 11:13 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
32 1,229
Lawn Renovation
stevef1201
04-11-2014 12:00 PM
04-20-2014 11:11 AM
by kslawn
10 381
Customers droping like...
goodtimez
04-18-2014 09:53 AM
04-19-2014 08:09 AM
by CDLAWNCARE
7 240
Best Bulk Mulch delivery...
Steven Virgadamo
04-18-2014 09:52 AM
04-18-2014 05:34 PM
by Steve
2 107
Steve Virgadamo,...
Steven Virgadamo
04-18-2014 09:49 AM
04-18-2014 05:08 PM
by Steve
2 94
Instagram
Gerardo_Landscape
04-16-2014 11:28 AM
04-18-2014 04:51 PM
by Steve
3 201
Help with weed liability!
Prolawnofchatt
04-15-2014 09:10 AM
04-18-2014 04:47 PM
by Steve
5 262
Nationwide lawn care...
Billy Goat
04-15-2014 05:21 PM
04-18-2014 04:39 PM
by Steve
9 274
Truck Signage
Dan Tanner
04-16-2014 11:00 PM
04-18-2014 04:04 PM
by stevef1201
10 301
leaf removal
tlf59263
04-15-2014 10:00 PM
04-18-2014 03:59 PM
by stevef1201
6 250
Pay per click advertising
roostertail
02-12-2014 07:26 PM
04-17-2014 07:11 PM
by yardrate
10 648
Accepting credit cards,...
Darksteel
03-17-2014 08:01 PM
04-16-2014 01:02 PM
by jymie
15 818
Trimec
acrajchel
04-15-2014 08:24 PM
04-16-2014 11:10 AM
by Steve
3 154
Gopher Forum Discount!
BlackRain75
04-12-2014 10:44 PM
04-16-2014 10:50 AM
by Steve
9 355
hello
NFrailey
04-15-2014 01:39 PM
04-16-2014 10:48 AM
by Steve
1 145
Pricing a Mulch Job
dmcalpi
04-07-2014 02:16 PM
04-16-2014 09:40 AM
by jymie
21 801
google earth
CDLAWNCARE
04-12-2014 03:24 PM
04-16-2014 09:36 AM
by jymie
8 302
There has to be an...
CDLAWNCARE
04-14-2014 12:59 PM
04-15-2014 04:06 PM
by Dan Tanner
6 241
First Day Back!
BelleCityLawn1
04-09-2014 09:13 PM
04-15-2014 11:16 AM
by Steve
11 374
Mow America
stevegredler
04-13-2014 01:02 PM
04-14-2014 09:53 PM
by kslawn
5 283
Power Broom
acrajchel
04-14-2014 07:46 AM
04-14-2014 12:47 PM
by CDLAWNCARE
2 156
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
04-14-2014 11:34 AM
by Steve
1,176 287,189
Equipment reviews
Greg'slawnandlandscape
04-09-2014 07:17 AM
04-14-2014 11:27 AM
by Greg'slawnandlandscape
13 539
Aerating Prices?
Dan Tanner
04-08-2014 03:16 PM
04-14-2014 10:31 AM
by Steve
13 549
Estimating help
acrajchel
04-11-2014 06:06 PM
04-14-2014 10:20 AM
by Steve
3 249
» Popular Tags
34'' advertisement bid birdscaping buy charge christmas client collections subcontractor credit card processing customers ecosymbiosis escrow exmark ferris first truck flower bed for sale georgia gopherhaul grass clarksville gravely holiday holiday decorating honda how much to charge how to bid installation invoice kawasaki late lawn care lawn care business podcast lawn care business show lawn service leaf cleanup leaf removal lesco lighting brass outdoor lights marketing mowing mulch mulch estimate native plants new buisness new business online classifieds organize payday podcast redmax rotating savannah scag season seo social media sprayer starting a business start up lawn care business stihl taxes theft of services tips truck unreasonable walker winter winter services zero turn
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:56 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:56 PM.

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