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.

Lawn care OPERATIONS


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
  #11  
Old 07-14-2011, 05:16 PM
CHEESE2009's Avatar
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
Dr. Scott - Ruler of the Underworld
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Switzerland, Grindelwald
Age: 73
Posts: 4,475
Rep Power: 10
CHEESE2009 is on a distinguished road
Default

If you rush, you will only make mistakes.

When starting out, don't expect to have a solid route for awhile.


I noticed that you are wondering how some lawn companies seem to know who to advertise to, etc. Basically, those are re-occurring clients from earlier seasons. We all start small, and usually keep the same clients for years.

When I first started out, it was hard enough to fill at least one day up with work. Eventually it will come, it will feel slow but as soon as you get those calls things become hectic and so fast paced you'll be turning your phone off!

The best idea is to fish other clients out of your current clients. Ask if they have family/friends and give them a little incentive for helping you grow.

I have one client who's given me 5 clients, it's amazing!

**************-

As for where you stand today, compared to others;

Find out what your competition is charging, charge the same or a tad lower to gain interest from homeowners. Low-balling isn't always a bad thing, it's one of the best ways to build your business from the starting line, the time you have minimal expenses. Sure it can piss people off, but that is their problem - not yours!

A mix between low-balling and fishing for clients out of current clients should start you off nicely.

Eventually as you grow, you can up your price and it wont matter if you lose the clients who didn't want to pay the new price - However, this should be a slow process. Don't up your price for every single client.

********

Once you've done the above, you'll be the one upset at the new guy who's low-balling, haha! Fortunately, if you are good at your job your clients will be with you forever.

********


The basic package a client should receive;
Mowing, trimming, & blowing of debris.

You can offer just mowing, but your lawns will never look as good as those that have been trimmed.

You can mow and trim a property, but if you don't have a blower to tidy the place up before you leave - the client will think you are too messy compared to others, as the cleanup is crucial!

********

You don't know anything. If a client asks you to do something, you may feel obliged to tell them you can do it, but you will be getting yourself into hours of trouble. What you know is "Maintaining Lawns"! Let the client hire someone else to do the extras.

I may sound crazy, but the truth is: STICK TO ONE SERVICE, and only advertise other services when you have someone else on your team.

I get calls to do everything, which interferes with my basic lawn service, and my clients become upset when my answer to help them is "No". Basically, don't set yourself up to be a person who can't do what he advertises, even when starting and having all the time in the world.

You may feel that any job is good at the time, but when the clients flood in - you will have NO time to spare, and that is not good! When you are small, you CAN do everything, but the problem is your clients will soon realize how less "able" you've become. Again, only do other jobs until you have someone to rely on by your side a.k.a an assistant.

************-

I also find that with the time you spend doing odd jobs, means the less grass you are doing. Grass is your gravy $$$. You might make $800 trimming a hedge one time, which would be more than you make cutting a lawn for a year - but the point is to have stability and consistency with what you are doing. Money isn't worth stress <**- best advice ever.


Note: You can still do odd jobs, just don't flood yourself with them. Tell the client up front that you may not be able to do this "additional job" all the time so that they don't expect so much from you, especially once you get bigger and have no time.

************-


Your attitude always needs to be in check.

My problem is that I take every matter personally, because I run a very personable business. It was my mistake to give a damn about my clients.

Go in without depending on any single client. If they feel that your business depends on them, they will wreck you. Keep chit chat to a minimum, and never turn off your equipment if they have something to say - this way they know to quiet themselves so you can get back to work and not waste gas. (this does backfire a lot). Always wear headphones, it supports this method.


Another problem I have, is that I have gotten too friendly with clients, that they feel "special" and deserve the best treatment. This means, mowing before their scheduled date or "can you just remove that bush, it takes 2 seconds" <** requests like that will always happen and don't expect any $$$.

If you say "No, sorry I'll have to charge you" they will take offence. They feel as if "I thought we were cool, but you wont do this for me?" - you want to avoid that!

No client is your friend, or should be spoken to on such a level. Every single one of my clients chit chats with me. My smallest lawn takes the most time out of my day, because the client doesn't leave me alone. Because I was friendly from the start, changing my attitude at this time would be noticed and my client would be offended. I am stuck with this problem until the client dies, or if I ignore her calls next year when the season is starting. **- I will have to lose a client because I had gotten too friendly, if I was colder - this client would be valuable!


ALSO, you are not your clients friends - because if there is every a payment issue - you have to play two roles which don't work well together.
1. I am your friend
2. I am the guy who wants his damn money

^ You will feel too guilty to ask for your own money if you have a good bond with a client. The key is to never make this bond! Then you realize how your client is taking advantage of you, which means you will soon turn into a cold business machine, which is what you need to become.


I have gotten into shouting matches with clients because of similar situations. You go out of your way to show them respect and interest, then you have to put up with their negligence which is a very difficult situation. This business puts food on your plate, and helps your family. When they don't play by the rules, they are starving you - you don't need that crap!

Last edited by CHEESE2009; 07-14-2011 at 05:21 PM.
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 07-15-2011, 09:26 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,603
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Quote:
You don't know anything. If a client asks you to do something, you may feel obliged to tell them you can do it, but you will be getting yourself into hours of trouble. What you know is "Maintaining Lawns"! Let the client hire someone else to do the extras.
Did you ever find yourself getting into trouble taking on extra jobs you didn't know how to do but figured you would learn on site?
__________________
- 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 07-17-2011, 02:46 AM
CHEESE2009's Avatar
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
Dr. Scott - Ruler of the Underworld
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Switzerland, Grindelwald
Age: 73
Posts: 4,475
Rep Power: 10
CHEESE2009 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Did you ever find yourself getting into trouble taking on extra jobs you didn't know how to do but figured you would learn on site?

Anything to do with digging, you will screw yourself over - typically if it's not something you plan on doing all the time and is a job you thought was simple from the start.

When you dig, it's not just dirt. You might get a job 75% completed, then come across a large stone that you have no way of moving. The entire job would become a waste of time. Renting equipment to move the rock would cost you more than what you charged the client. <- Worst case scenario.




The problem is, when your clients always think you have spare time to help around. Once that gets in their heads (earlier stage of business) - they will never get it OUT of their heads. So when you become really busy, they will be very dissatisfied with you by not giving them the same level of treatment as previously.

Example: You used to be on their property for 5 hours, next year you'll only be able to be on their property for 20 minutes.

The customer will see this as a lack of quality, even if it's not. They've seen the best, and now they see less. Make sense?


////////


If every time you called a contractor to do a job, and he says yes I'm available - wouldn't you be happy?

How would you feel if you called him a year later and his answer was, "I don't have the time at the moment"

it's negative
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
Pricing lawn care and yard cleanups - GopherHaul 65 Start a lawn care business show. Steve GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show, Video, Book & Podcast Discussions. 0 01-07-2011 06:04 PM
2 simple lawn care business success tips. - GopherHaul 54 Lawn Care Marketing Show Steve Lawn Care Business Marketing - GopherHaul Forum News 0 02-10-2010 06:24 AM
Napkin dispenser lawn care marketing idea. GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show. Steve Lawn Care Business Marketing - GopherHaul Forum News 0 07-23-2009 04:04 PM
Lawn care customer sales funnel - GopherHaul 39 Lawn Care Business Marketing Show Steve GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show, Video, Book & Podcast Discussions. 0 06-23-2009 05:38 PM
From Chapter 5 Operations Steve Starting a lawn care business. 1 05-25-2007 10:23 AM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
How much do you up sell...
Essex Groundskeeping
Yesterday 07:13 PM
Today 01:41 PM
by jrs.landscaping
5 91
Hello from Kentucky
TRV
09-30-2014 06:42 PM
Today 08:37 AM
by acrajchel
7 1,286
leaf removal
Double J LLC
10-03-2014 05:24 PM
Yesterday 07:46 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
21 2,388
New website
Chilehead
11-20-2014 04:39 PM
Yesterday 07:40 PM
by Just for Cuts
12 256
This sucks...
Matther777
09-18-2014 05:56 PM
Yesterday 11:56 AM
by achri12
15 3,134
My site is on fronts page
tbtigers03
11-14-2014 05:58 PM
11-22-2014 10:49 PM
by Just for Cuts
16 504
Pics for website
tbtigers03
11-21-2014 05:40 PM
11-22-2014 10:01 PM
by Just for Cuts
3 135
Peco Bagger
AGPS
11-18-2014 02:20 PM
11-22-2014 05:56 PM
by AGPS
9 306
Beginner Mistakes:...
Steve
01-31-2007 12:45 PM
11-22-2014 02:42 PM
by stevef1201
22 6,148
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 10:12 AM
11-21-2014 09:48 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
174 14,027
Contract or no contract?
TRV
11-20-2014 09:18 PM
11-21-2014 09:33 PM
by TRV
3 162
Hi to you NOTHERNERS
stevef1201
11-11-2014 05:56 PM
11-21-2014 08:02 PM
by stevef1201
4 325
Billboards for marketing
ExtremeLawncareServices
11-16-2014 08:39 PM
11-21-2014 07:05 PM
by acrajchel
13 385
Belt dealer problem
googus
11-21-2014 08:45 AM
11-21-2014 06:36 PM
by Steve
2 117
Good help is hard to find
Hanks Lawn Care Services
11-19-2014 03:27 PM
11-21-2014 06:32 PM
by Steve
7 225
How to: Use Thumbtack...
acrajchel
11-17-2014 06:39 PM
11-21-2014 06:07 PM
by acrajchel
15 488
What is going on with...
biglee
11-14-2014 03:04 PM
11-20-2014 02:50 PM
by biglee
40 961
My advice for new guys
avetslawncare
11-15-2014 09:32 AM
11-19-2014 01:47 PM
by biglee
10 494
Lawn Care business...
crieg122
10-23-2014 02:23 PM
11-19-2014 12:39 PM
by acrajchel
28 1,856
raking leaves ?
robert8509
10-22-2014 10:19 PM
11-18-2014 04:24 PM
by acrajchel
14 1,451
Leaf removal
madmedic8575
10-24-2014 05:14 PM
11-17-2014 07:34 PM
by acrajchel
6 1,200
sod job
SGlawncare
10-30-2014 09:21 PM
11-17-2014 07:10 PM
by acrajchel
7 776
Customer wants me to...
Mr. Mow
11-09-2014 07:13 AM
11-17-2014 06:48 PM
by acrajchel
10 536
Hello!
Brian3137
11-11-2014 07:15 PM
11-17-2014 06:46 PM
by acrajchel
14 475
small biz in Phoenix,AZ
anthonyramos1
11-08-2014 09:35 PM
11-17-2014 05:59 PM
by acrajchel
2 328
Client won't pay...
WesleySnips
10-30-2014 03:53 PM
11-17-2014 05:37 PM
by acrajchel
22 1,379
Government contracts
avetslawncare
11-15-2014 08:50 AM
11-17-2014 12:59 PM
by Steve
2 259
Need help on deciding a...
Brian3137
11-10-2014 06:32 PM
11-17-2014 12:44 PM
by Steve
12 524
West cost lawn prices
SGlawncare
10-09-2014 10:51 PM
11-16-2014 07:54 AM
by stevef1201
8 1,603
So how do you guys...
Mr. Mow
10-26-2014 08:55 AM
11-15-2014 08:44 AM
by avetslawncare
14 1,719
Truck, Trailer,...
hawthornelawncare
12-23-2011 01:01 AM
11-13-2014 08:35 AM
by jrs.landscaping
81 31,842
The most dangerous part...
Steve
10-06-2014 03:45 PM
11-12-2014 05:05 PM
by stevef1201
14 1,691
A little hang up in snow...
stevef1201
11-08-2014 07:05 AM
11-12-2014 12:51 PM
by Steve
4 433
Bi-weekly winter...
lxarth
11-04-2014 08:37 PM
11-12-2014 10:06 AM
by WesleySnips
9 629
taking first steps...
sizemorelawncare
11-10-2014 08:24 PM
11-11-2014 01:21 PM
by Steve
1 333
Back Pack Blower
Ian Lovejoy
11-09-2014 08:41 AM
11-11-2014 08:12 AM
by Just for Cuts
4 387
Business Cards
crieg122
10-25-2014 01:03 PM
11-11-2014 07:56 AM
by Just for Cuts
12 1,338
How the unregister?
alive101
11-04-2014 07:39 AM
11-10-2014 01:48 PM
by Steve
4 618
Belt adjustment question
googus
11-05-2014 06:43 AM
11-10-2014 01:38 PM
by Steve
5 519
New parking area
ExtremeLawncareServices
11-07-2014 09:47 PM
11-10-2014 01:25 PM
by Steve
2 356
Podcast
Shark1611
11-07-2014 05:42 PM
11-10-2014 11:41 AM
by Steve
1 318
hi, from Minnesota
rjklohn
11-07-2014 02:21 AM
11-07-2014 01:44 PM
by Steve
1 336
New to snow plowing
SS.Lawncare
11-05-2014 04:00 PM
11-07-2014 01:21 PM
by Steve
6 572
New Member
tonyap
11-05-2014 10:35 PM
11-07-2014 01:15 PM
by Steve
1 375
New to the business
jcurr33
11-05-2014 03:21 PM
11-07-2014 01:11 PM
by Steve
1 431
Lines
Matther777
11-04-2014 02:19 PM
11-07-2014 12:54 PM
by Steve
1 465
hello, new to this site
tonyorwig
10-31-2014 10:49 PM
11-04-2014 02:24 PM
by tonyorwig
3 655
Aloha from Hawaii.
Gary R
11-02-2014 12:44 AM
11-03-2014 03:02 PM
by Steve
1 566
Pavers
crieg122
10-28-2014 03:49 PM
10-31-2014 01:49 PM
by Steve
6 865
Hi Steve From West...
Mr. Mow
10-21-2014 02:59 PM
10-31-2014 12:56 PM
by Steve
5 1,203
» Popular Tags
4x4 apartment bid apartment lawn care estimate applying article marketing auger bid blades bob villa bush care charge commercial decorating deliquentaccounts demonstration ditches employee problems estimate exmark ferris four wheel drive gopherhaul gravely growing a lawn care business hiring how much to charge how to how to bid installation introduction john deere quik trac landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn care business lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care website mechanic mulch new buisness new mower patio install per hour charge podcast profit on employee pto reo running a business scag search engine optimization seo shell snow snow plowing sprayer starting a business steep lawns steve stihl toro toro grand stand trailer mate pro tree turfgrass consulting walker
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:26 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:26 PM.

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