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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.

I have a few questions


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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Old 10-03-2011, 03:43 PM
timothy2406 timothy2406 is offline
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Smile I have a few questions

I'm starting a lawn care business in VA. But I only have a push mower, weedeater, handheld blower and a few hand tools. what customers should I target? Should I only get customers with small yards to start out? or should I target everone? Can I shovel snow in driveways until I can afford a plow? What would be a fair price to offer? Should I offer a discount to get my first customers?
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:24 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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Well, you can't make any money if it takes you half a day to mow one lawn, so yes, start with the smaller lawns.

Shovel all you want. Eventually, you'll get tired of that and buy a snowblower.
I shovel some, and use a snowblower on others - depends on the amount/size of drive.

Pricing is a tough one. It's like some sort of ultra-secret info that nobody is willing to share. It also varies by location - even within my own service area I have pricing variations, since there are different income levels, etc within a few miles of each other. After you shortchange yourself a few times you'll start to figure out what is "right" for you.

I did offer a discount for a first cut once or twice when I started. It helped me "hook" the client and gave me a chance to get a feel for how long it would actually take to mow the lawn in order to give an accurate quote.
Don't do this in mid-spring though, for people who have let their lawn get too high before calling someone. THOSE people get charged MORE! LOL
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:44 PM
bruces bruces is offline
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timothy ,the best customer to target,is the one willing to give you his money
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Old 10-04-2011, 01:22 AM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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Just avoid corner lots, they tend to always be the biggest.

It's not the size of the lawn, it's how you use it.. (sorry had to). No, it's strategy. Any lawn is good as long as it has a minimal amount of obstacles for you to maneuver around - everything in return will be dandy!

You have all you need to be a successful operation. I would only advertise lawn maintenance, keep your minimum price average/high. Reason being, is because if you want to sell your service for cheap just to get yourself started, it becomes very difficult to raise your prices later (hearts get broken)!

If you plan on selling yourself for less than the competition, only offer those prices to simple lawns, nothing more - ever!



As for snow, I'm not sure how the weather is where you are. After one driveway from down where I am, you'd need a few shots of Jack, and a power nap (100 hours) before you even think of doing another one with a shovel OR even a decent snow blower.

Snow removal is hell, and there isn't much profit to make for the limited amount of time/energy you will have to spare. Stick to walkways if you have a lot of snow.


****


pictured above: How I see myself telling the story below.


When I first did driveways, being a business owner I really pushed myself for any stupid reason. I'd break my back and do 10 or so driveways with snow up to my waist, with just a shovel. PAIN PAIN PAIN. My commercial snow blower couldn't even make the snow flinch because it gets so solid.

Nothing sucks more than being wet, frozen, exhausted, and being rushed to satisfy the demand. Those with tractors will have you beat, there is no way to compete with them, no way!


BOOOOOO!!!
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:06 PM
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Tim,

Has this advice effected your business planning at all?
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:22 PM
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I have been noticing a trend towards not plowing,
Most of the people I signed up this winter did not want a plow as it was to hard on their driveways.and also left a big pile of snow that killed their lawns.
I think there is a large market out there for snow thrower work.
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