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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.

Marketing Question, Sorry if this is the wrong place


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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  #1  
Old 09-26-2009, 12:45 AM
jessewaynejames jessewaynejames is offline
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Default Marketing Question, Sorry if this is the wrong place

Ok, So here is the question. I am currently working part time at a church and have been told when the new budget goes into affect in March I am going to be eliminated. So for the last two months I have been frantically looking for a job with no luck and being unable to collect unemployment due to working for a "nonprofit". So I have decided to go back into the lawncare business. I have already bought most equiptment. I picked up a 48" Ferris Hydro Walk Behind and a 52 inch BobCat ZTR. Also in the process of getting a custom trailer built and in search of a new truck. I am curious as to if anyone has ever used e-mail marketing. I have access to email address out of the ying yang. I currently work for a church with over 4000 members 90 percent of which have e-mail addresses in our data base. I also work with an online food delivery service that has 1054 customers within 30 miles of my home (residentual and commercial) with e-mail addresses that he is willing to share. How effective would this be and would it be worth the many many hours of work that it would take to build the potential customer database that would be required.
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  #2  
Old 09-26-2009, 01:06 AM
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It sounds like you are walking , or running into this with way more than the normal guy would.

Why wouldn't you use those list's to your advantage?

If you have permission to use those e-mail list's, USE THEM. Basicly free advertising, come up with a standard page and mass e-mail it, and see what happens.

If i mayask, what is your job now?
Does it relate to this industry in any way?
and Why did you chose this industry to get into?
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Old 09-26-2009, 01:44 AM
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If i may ask, what is your job now?
Does it relate to this industry in any way?
and Why did you chose this industry to get into?


My job now has no title aha. I am a sound and network engineer with keys to the entire facility which entitles me to wake up at 4 am on sunday mornings when my super has been out too late drinking to come in and open the building. My main job functions there currently is running a 78 channel sound board that has about 1400 buttons and controls, and video routers and projection systems. Also over the entire computer network when they want something done but don't want to pay their contracted person the 180 dollars an hour they call me at 11.00 an hour. Also work as I guess a custodial assistant (locking and unlocking doors which takes about an hour) and also over and outside events over the facilities and over the two commercial kitchens. My main problem with this job is my boss knows me personally and has since I was 11 and knows that I am very intelligent in many areas and tries to save the church a ton of money by utilizing me. The main industry that I have been employed in in the past is restaurant consulting and management and I have always wanted to own my own restaurant but do not have the capital to get it going.

I worked for a lawn crew a few years ago in which after 4 weeks I was promoted to crew supervisor and enjoyed doing it for that summer. I have been doing other yards since I was 13 and it was getting to the point of more than i can handle with the equipment I had. (15 hours a week on a 17 hp residential troy-built mower, Not a ZTR) Before this year I had been spending about 4 hours a week and now some of my previous customers that I have been doing for years neighbors are getting up in age and would rather pay me to do their yard as well instead of doing them themselves. So I already basically have a business with 9 customers but no business name.

Another reason that i figured that this would be a good idea for me is the area that I live in. I live in an area that within a thirty mile radius I am within country, 4 different larger cities. two lake's with multi million dollar properties including 13 different nascar drivers and their families, Large banking professionals from the banking center of the world (charlotte NC), and tons of doctors and nurses. I still talk to my previous employer as we are still fishing and hunting buddies and during the summer I still ride my crotch rocket by him on the rear wheel while he is putting around on his Harley. He is trying to get his work load down next year and has already offered me about 25k in business that he is going to transfer to me. Along with that I am allowed to use his equipment when necessary if he is not using it at the time (dump trucks, bob cat, aerators, tractor, Hay blower, seeders). I will also be able to do chemical spraying under his license as he has never taken me off of his licensee for pesticides and herbicides. Another thing that I think will help benefit me is my knowledge of pools and I hold commercial pool chemical licensure and a certified pool operator license. This will add a ton of business to do weekly routine pool maintenance as i come out and mow. I think I am in an ideal market to do what I think will be beneficial to me and my future financially if I can just get all of the ground work completed to get it all up and going.
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Old 09-26-2009, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessewaynejames View Post
If i may ask, what is your job now?
Does it relate to this industry in any way?
and Why did you chose this industry to get into?


My job now has no title aha. I am a sound and network engineer with keys to the entire facility which entitles me to wake up at 4 am on sunday mornings when my super has been out too late drinking to come in and open the building. My main job functions there currently is running a 78 channel sound board that has about 1400 buttons and controls, and video routers and projection systems. Also over the entire computer network when they want something done but don't want to pay their contracted person the 180 dollars an hour they call me at 11.00 an hour. Also work as I guess a custodial assistant (locking and unlocking doors which takes about an hour) and also over and outside events over the facilities and over the two commercial kitchens. My main problem with this job is my boss knows me personally and has since I was 11 and knows that I am very intelligent in many areas and tries to save the church a ton of money by utilizing me. The main industry that I have been employed in in the past is restaurant consulting and management and I have always wanted to own my own restaurant but do not have the capital to get it going.

I worked for a lawn crew a few years ago in which after 4 weeks I was promoted to crew supervisor and enjoyed doing it for that summer. I have been doing other yards since I was 13 and it was getting to the point of more than i can handle with the equipment I had. (15 hours a week on a 17 hp residential troy-built mower, Not a ZTR) Before this year I had been spending about 4 hours a week and now some of my previous customers that I have been doing for years neighbors are getting up in age and would rather pay me to do their yard as well instead of doing them themselves. So I already basically have a business with 9 customers but no business name.

Another reason that i figured that this would be a good idea for me is the area that I live in. I live in an area that within a thirty mile radius I am within country, 4 different larger cities. two lake's with multi million dollar properties including 13 different nascar drivers and their families, Large banking professionals from the banking center of the world (charlotte NC), and tons of doctors and nurses. I still talk to my previous employer as we are still fishing and hunting buddies and during the summer I still ride my crotch rocket by him on the rear wheel while he is putting around on his Harley. He is trying to get his work load down next year and has already offered me about 25k in business that he is going to transfer to me. Along with that I am allowed to use his equipment when necessary if he is not using it at the time (dump trucks, bob cat, aerators, tractor, Hay blower, seeders). I will also be able to do chemical spraying under his license as he has never taken me off of his licensee for pesticides and herbicides. Another thing that I think will help benefit me is my knowledge of pools and I hold commercial pool chemical licensure and a certified pool operator license. This will add a ton of business to do weekly routine pool maintenance as i come out and mow. I think I am in an ideal market to do what I think will be beneficial to me and my future financially if I can just get all of the ground work completed to get it all up and going.
So now i ask the question, what the hell do you need are input for?

You are starting off with 100 times more than 3/4 of the business owners on this forum.

You should be giving us advice on how to get the contacts that you have!

Asking if you should use mass e-mail lists seems a little trivial.

Rock out with the free equipment, get as much work as you can possibly handle, and make millions. Thats mine and hopefully everyone else on this forum's dream.

Keep us up to date and great luck.
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Old 09-26-2009, 02:40 PM
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Hi Jesse,

Welcome to our forum!

Quote:
I am curious as to if anyone has ever used e-mail marketing. I have access to email address out of the ying yang. I currently work for a church with over 4000 members 90 percent of which have e-mail addresses in our data base. I also work with an online food delivery service that has 1054 customers within 30 miles of my home (residentual and commercial) with e-mail addresses that he is willing to share. How effective would this be and would it be worth the many many hours of work that it would take to build the potential customer database that would be required.
You never know what will or what won't work until you try it.

I would say go for it.

Maybe you could experiment with some kind of limited time offer for a service that will be needed now or very soon.

Have you thought about what message you want to send out?

Quote:
The main industry that I have been employed in in the past is restaurant consulting and management and I have always wanted to own my own restaurant but do not have the capital to get it going.
What kinds of things did you consult them on?

What kind of restaurant would you want to start? Give us the lowdown of the dream
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  #6  
Old 09-29-2009, 05:37 AM
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This may just be my pet peave but I refuse to give business to or any affiliated business that spams me. I am quite sure there are also legalities in using such a list. I have no doubt you are allowed to use them at work but if you take them to use for your business you are essentially steeling the addresses for your own gain which again is just bad business if you ask me. I would be honest and ask if you can use them at the least. If they say no then there is your answer.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:58 PM
jessewaynejames jessewaynejames is offline
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No I wouldn't use any without permission. I actually spoke with the church administrator today and she told me that she could allow me to use the entire database for any business endeavors that I would like to try but she would want to review anything going to the members and eliminate a few of the members from the list before anything went out. Even more amazing is they have offered starting in December to allow me to place a 4" wide by 2" tall ad in the weekly newsletter as well as a half page flier that could be put out with other news on Wednesday nights during the Church Family Night Supper. Not only would I be allowed to do these things but have also got permission to use their copiers and such to print and cut the fliers for usage. I am glad I am such a loved person LOL. Kinda sucks I just spent 600 dollars on a new color laser printer LOL.

As far as the spam part of this. I would include an opt out link within the e-mails so that anyone that would not want to be a part of the list could unsubscribe immediately. To pull more potential customers in I am thinking of offering 25 dollars off the first monthly statement for anyone that signs a 1 year contract. 15 dollars off for a non contract. Or maybe a free gutter cleaning or something of that nature. I am not going to be sending out e-mails daily or even weekly. I am thinking possibly once monthly to try to attract business until I get to my 40 - 45 yard goal.

From what I understand I would not be considered to be sending spam if it is a legitimate offer from a legitimate company. What will get you in trouble for "spamming" is trying to deceive or tricking the person recieving the email. You must not filter out your isp. You cant use subject lines like Hey remember me. or I cant believe you forgot my birthday or anything like that that could be misleading to any one. Two instead of just a name as it being sent by send it from your company name at your company's website domain. Three leave a real address and phone number that potential clients can truly contact you at that reassures most people that it is a legitimate offer and is not a spam. Never ask for any billing information to be sent by e-mail. Put in the e-mail that if you would like to receive a quote to contact the number listed.

Most of the people that I would be e-mailing would know me personally. From either being a person that has worked with a company that they do business with or from the church. I am not buying a unknown list of email addresses of people that are way out of my area or would not be tangible.

If you do not think this is feasible what would be? Post cards? I am a reseller for a print company (vista print) my cost on getting 5000 post cards printed up is right at 300 dollars. Doesnt sound bad right? Then figure out 28 cent each to mail them that is about 1400 dollars. there you are at 1700 dollars not counting time it takes to attach mailing labels, Creating the labels the cost of printing the labels. To send a standard 6 x 4.25 post card you are looking at around $1850? Then take the average amount of 1 percent responding. and then ten percent of the ones that responded actually signing a contract. You would end up with 50 people responding, maybe 5 starting a contract. You would end up taking out $11.57 out of each mowing (considering 32 mowings per year) out of those 5 customers to pay for the advertising. To me it seems better to send out 5000 e-mails which will cost me about 300 dollars (paying g/f to create database) and get about the same return.


Newspaper. My local newspaper has a circulation of about 60,000 between the three papers that they print. For me to do a 4" x 4" block add would cost me about 600 dollars for it to print one time on a Sunday.

IMO the e-mail marketing would be the best route and the cheapest and possibly the most effective. At least I do know the people it is hitting are real people with money to spend. The one list I have acquired already from the food delivery service has 1054 e-mail addresses within 25 miles of my home. If they are spending 15.00 a pop for a delivery fee to get outback steakhouse delivered to their door plus a fuel surcharge and a tip after adding a 30% markup to the price of food I think these are the people that I need to be talking to about doing their lawn care.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:26 PM
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No matter what you do, someone will always get worked up about it. They will get mad, you emailed them. Or they will get mad you put a door hanger on their door or that you mailed them a postcard. You can't make everyone happy.

So I'd say try this out and see what type of results you get.

There will be people that will say stop emailing me, and you can take them off your list.

I look forwards to hearing what happens with all of this.
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