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Mow only vs. a Full Service


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  #21  
Old 05-28-2006, 10:56 PM
kc2006 kc2006 is offline
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I've said it before Howard, I wish I could get the response you do with advertising! I remember talking to you last spring and you had just landed a bunch of accounts, every time I read something from you it's a big moral booster.

I'm considering actually being more of a mow and go company, but not as much as you guys in Texas. Around here the accounts are alittle bit bigger so it's hard to get 20 accounts a day done, most we ever pulled off was 16/17 with 2 48" walkbehinds no sulkies though. I've thought it over many times and the key for effiecency for me would be a flatbed on a full size truck with a 60" or 52" w/b and a 36" w/b, basicly a larger version of what you do.

I just bought a 56" exmark and I'm having a ton of troubles with it, and I'm actually seeing that it's slower then my 48" w/b was on residentials. The only place it's fast is on the few commercials I have, it cuts time in half there. If I can get the company to "buy it back" I'm thinking of going with just a 60" hydro w/b and a good sulkie, this would bump productivity back up for me and still be gentle on me (belt drives are a bear).

This week I'm going to be going wild with flyers again, I still have about 3000 left. I'm going to be getting more made have to do with the heat and convincing people it's easier for them just to sign up a professional company that's reliable. I hope I can get the results (or even 50%) like you do!
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  #22  
Old 05-28-2006, 11:28 PM
Howard Roark
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Hi KC,

My response to my advertising is very good, and I'm grateful. I do live in an area with tremendous growth and opportunity. However, do you know I came across a landscaper last week at a gas station who told me he was jealous of my rig and he only had 25 customers, but thought that was pretty good. He then asked me how many I had, and when I told him he nearly flipped! Now what is the difference between this guy and me? He had been in the business 4 years, and it's only my 2nd year. We also charged the same rates, in the same great area of major expansion and jobs.

So what are the successful guys in your area doing that you're not? Or what are they not doing that you could that would work?

If they key to efficiency would be a flat bed truck, and you've done the research to determine this, then do it! Just go for it.
If you realize that a 48" is more profitable than the bigger mower I say drop it down, or go higher!. Running the numbers over and over again always has seemed to work for me. I'm a calculator nut, in fact a friend of mine from my last real job told me I get as much pleasure from a calculator as a kid does from a video game. *

How are you getting your postcards out on properties that large? Direct mail? *I'm considering a direct mail route next year, but I do like the door to door as they at least have to hold it in their hand for 20 seconds on the way to the trash.

As for printing of new cards I did see a good deal at overnightprints.com with a sale they're having on postcards. I don't know anyone who has used them yet, but I may try them.

Keep me posted!
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  #23  
Old 05-28-2006, 11:52 PM
kc2006 kc2006 is offline
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In town the properties aren't really that big, my property is 4000sq ft of turf only. And almost all neighborhoods that I service have mail boxes at the street and I have talked with the post master and was told inserting flyers in the paperbox part is legal. So that's how I've been getting them out.

As far as what the competition is doing and what I'm not or what they're not, I'm more professional and they aren't. I don't know if I project too much of a professional image and it scares people or what, but I see all these guys in beat up trucks, with junk mowers doing a horrible job but they have work. Today for example, it was 90 degree's here (hot for me in Ohio! Probably nothing for you though) I thought about going with a sleeveless grey shirt that looks just like my company t-shirts just no sleeves, and I decided against it, I paid for it in the heat. There's no other companies around here that are small or still have mowing crews that use uniforms like me, or wash equipment once a week to keep a clean image. The only guys that do are the big companies or high dollar landscape companies.

It's like I laughed on here before, a friend mows part time because he's retired, all he had was a stenciled sign in the back of his truck for a month last year, after that word of mouth took over and he has a 7 day route now! I've put tons of money into advertising and looking professional and I still have 2 days of mowing only. I've tried everything from cheap flyers to moderately nice 2 color flyers. Gopher made me really nice full color doorhangers and I haven't got all of them out yet but they will all be out this week so we'll see if the really nice flyers get it.
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  #24  
Old 05-30-2006, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]3) Strive for automation. I've had almost 80% of new customers sign up online without ever talking to them. There's nothing better than coming home to 15 e-mails of people signing up for service with their credit card ready to go.
Hi Howard,

Thanks for joining is there any chance we could see your website? I'd love to check it out.
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