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When starting out. Should I get a business license?


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  #11  
Old 12-13-2009, 11:02 PM
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How did you go about dropping these flyers off? Did you stick them in doors? Mail boxes? Knock on doors? How many did you drop off?
I drove around surveying any properties clearly in need of leaf cleanup. I knocked and all of them weren't home cause it was during the day, so i dropped the folded flyer in their mailbox and moved onto the next one that looked like it needed it. I believe i dropped off about 10 flyers. out of the 10, i recieved 1 call back for a leaf cleanup. it just so happened that a neighbor needed a cleanup in his back yard that i didnt drop a flyer off at and his neighbor referred me to him. and i miss counted. i did 4 leaf cleanups. 3 of them are current customers from 2009 lawn care season. 1 will most likely be a new client for 2010 lawn care.

On a lighter note... I posted a link on my facebook of my flyer i published to my comcast account and received 1 inquiry for service. He signed with me to finish up lawn care for 2009 season. i think i mowed his property twice and have him for all of next year.

I also posted an ad on craigslist and recieved 2 emails for leaf cleanups. 1 i visited the property to generate an estimate. called the owner back and when they finally got back to me 5 days later. their current lawn care guy had come by and cleaned the leaves up. she never mentioned she had someone and it was a total waste of my time. the 2nd person emailed me and also emailed another company. the other company beat me to the property cause i had to take my daughter to school that day and when i returned home. and called her back the other company had showed up and was in the process of cleaning up the leaves as i was on the phone with her. she said she may call me back the end of november to cleanup the rest of the leaves but she never called. and i never followed back up with her. I didnt have a good vibe with the conversion. she mentioned she has a lawn tractor and does her own yard and only needed leaf cleanup.

I did however have a good long conversation with a friend of mine from grade school. He is in the process of being laid off and mentioned he'd work with me. and said if i considered a partnership, he would be able to purchase a trailer and used truck if we needed. since i intend to do this full time next year i would be able to service my area, his area in another county which has alot of richer neighborhoods who would pay double what i charge now. but with me doing it full time i already ran the calculations and it would work out for him and i and if we hired 1-2 helpers for part or full time help. we still would make alot. his concern was being a part time helper would not provide him with a decent income to support his family and i told him i'd consider the partnership. when i did this when i was 14-19. i had a partner for my first 2 years. then he got lazy and ended up quittign the business with me and i kept going. so a partnership isnt that bad of an idea. with 2 people. we can do double the work and make more money to get better equipment faster. so if i decide to do this solo. my goal for 2010 is 50 properties. if i decide to go with a partner. my goal will be 100 customers. i'll let yall know more when i know more. i am still talking it out with my buddy matt to see whats feasible.

until next time,

paul
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  #12  
Old 12-14-2009, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
i'll let yall know more when i know more. i am still talking it out with my buddy matt to see whats feasible.
Is there some service he could offer that would compliment yours and yours his? Maybe he could open a business where he could help you with some things and then you could refer him jobs and him you?

Or maybe he could just open another lawn care business in another area and you two could help each other out?

Quote:
I drove around surveying any properties clearly in need of leaf cleanup. I knocked and all of them weren't home cause it was during the day, so i dropped the folded flyer in their mailbox and moved onto the next one that looked like it needed it. I believe i dropped off about 10 flyers. out of the 10, i recieved 1 call back for a leaf cleanup.
That's a 10% response rate which is really good! One of our forum members, Andy, keeps different post cards in his vehicle for different services. When he sees a home that could use the service, he can jump on offering the opportunity because he has a postcard on that specific topic with him.

Do you find you are constantly looking out for properties you could offer different services too? Or did you stop at those 10 homes and haven't done anything else like that since?
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  #13  
Old 12-14-2009, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Is there some service he could offer that would compliment yours and yours his? Maybe he could open a business where he could help you with some things and then you could refer him jobs and him you?

Or maybe he could just open another lawn care business in another area and you two could help each other out?

thats a great idea about him starting his own lawn care business and helping each other out to get more properties done. saves me from the hassles of dealing with partnerships i was reading on.



That's a 10% response rate which is really good! One of our forum members, Andy, keeps different post cards in his vehicle for different services. When he sees a home that could use the service, he can jump on offering the opportunity because he has a postcard on that specific topic with him.

Do you find you are constantly looking out for properties you could offer different services too? Or did you stop at those 10 homes and haven't done anything else like that since?
I stopped on the 10 only cause i had somewhere to be with my family and i havent resumed due to it being rainy here and/or snow. might i add it snowed and never layed. i was upset. i was hoping for some snow removal jobs lol.
I did however stock up on blizzard wizard in case it does snow, so i can offer salt application too.

i intend today after dropping my daughter off at school at 8:30am to load up the car with my equipment. print out several flyers and go door to door passing out flyers as well as targeting leaf cleanups still in need. Since i am slow with doing lawns. its the best time to get out there and advertise. i also thought about putting a flyer in the help wanted section in the local supermarkets. someone also told me to put a flyer in doctor offices, dentists any store who allows it in their window. the bottom of my flyer has tear aways with just my name and number on it. so its a flyer that doubles its use. i do know the weather for the next 7 days are suposed to be rain free which mean perspectives chances to make some more money and sign 2010 lawn care contracts. Well i gotta get off and wake up the little one and get her ready for kindergarden. cant wait til they do everything on their own. lol. i'll hit yal up later. thanks everyone for great advice.
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  #14  
Old 12-14-2009, 08:14 AM
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PSParaco, you're on the right track and doing what you need to do to get things started. The key is, "Don't Give Up". It takes a lot of "no's" before you get a "Yes". I was in sales for 25 years before we started the lawn care side of our business. The way I see it, most guys give up after working a couple of weeks to try to drum up business and things are running really slow. There is a process to building your business and it takes a while to get there. Just keep hitting the doors, passing out the flyers, add other services such as Christmas light Hanging and once Christmas is over, you can even do uninstalls for Christmas deco and Christmas cleanup. Just keep pushing your business!!!
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  #15  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:13 AM
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ok so i have a little bit more time this morning to do some research on here and marketing. the ground is literally soaked to the bone from the rain we got yesterday. so i dont expect it to be dry or less muddy until 11am ish. so i can get some things done around here. I pondered something on the pruning. are landscaping companies allowed to do tree limb pruning as long as its ground based and not climbing ladders? i have one of them long extended poles with the saw and bypass shears on it with the long rope that i could prune some low lying limbs that people may want trimmed back and now that its colder and the threat of insects and disease is minimal, no sealant will be needed. I am guessing a job like that would be about 35-40 bucks as long as it took no more then 90 min tops. i loved the service to hang and remove people's xmas decorations and lights. great idea.
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  #16  
Old 12-14-2009, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by psparaco View Post
ok so i have a little bit more time this morning to do some research on here and marketing. the ground is literally soaked to the bone from the rain we got yesterday. so i dont expect it to be dry or less muddy until 11am ish. so i can get some things done around here. I pondered something on the pruning. are landscaping companies allowed to do tree limb pruning as long as its ground based and not climbing ladders? i have one of them long extended poles with the saw and bypass shears on it with the long rope that i could prune some low lying limbs that people may want trimmed back and now that its colder and the threat of insects and disease is minimal, no sealant will be needed. I am guessing a job like that would be about 35-40 bucks as long as it took no more then 90 min tops. i loved the service to hang and remove people's xmas decorations and lights. great idea.
Well i never made it out. the streets finally dried by 3pm. the ground is still soaked so i stuck to doing calculations for next year and budgeting proposals. also counted houses with google maps, screen shotting the area. and marking each house with a dot so i know i counted it.so i know how many flyers i need to produce. been doing that since october. i intend to put out between 2500 and 5000 flyers. If i can get 15% to call for estimates(375-750) and sign 5% of those for 2010. that will net me 18-40 new clients. i dont expect to get more. maybe 1-2% less. but if i get more than i anticipate. i dont know what i will do. I know i wont be able to manage more than 75 lawns. i do intend to hire 1-5 people but even still what do i tell those who want to hire me and i am at my capacity. i would hate to turn away business.

on a higher note. i found on craigslist a used mower for $60 and a used snow blower for $40 that i can use to add to my equipment . the guy with the snow blower offered to sell me his old ford f150 truck thats like 20 years old. he is the original owner and everythign is new on it cep the frame. all for 1,000. i told him i dont have the money now but if u hold it for me til may. i'll have the money then. and he said he didnt see a problem with that. the other perk. he lives 5 min up the road from me. so i'll go inspect the snow blower and mower on thursday to see their conditions and if its feasible to purchase. cause if i can expand to 2 mowers, a trimmer and blower. my fiance can help with some lawns while the little one is in school and we can knock out lawns faster with 2 mowing. but i'll keep yall posted after thursday on how the inspections got for both equipment.

until next time

paul
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  #17  
Old 12-15-2009, 03:10 AM
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What about gutter cleaning and simple home repair issues? If the people in your area think of you as a mr. fix it during the winter, they will call upon you for many services that could keep you busy.

Did you get business cards? Are you handing them out?

Are you a member of any social organizations in your area? Do all your friends and family members know about your business? Do they all have cards from you to hand out to others?
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  #18  
Old 12-15-2009, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
What about gutter cleaning and simple home repair issues? If the people in your area think of you as a mr. fix it during the winter, they will call upon you for many services that could keep you busy.

Did you get business cards? Are you handing them out?

Are you a member of any social organizations in your area? Do all your friends and family members know about your business? Do they all have cards from you to hand out to others?
I also do some gutter cleaning of what i can reach from the porch walls. the gutters on the roofs, well i dont have a ladder. more so. i dont have a truck yet to transport the ladder i have. i have a 40 foot ladder at my parent's house i can borrow if needed until i get my own. I also offer fall and spring yard cleanup and now thanks to a suggestion on here. i am offering xmas light/decoration removal. I am adding tree pruning of dead limbs from any ground based operation; shrub/hedge/bush trimming, dead shrub/bush removal, fertilizing i am considering, weed control not just yet until i get the licenses for it, but with all this time i have to do research and what not. i am slowly adding a ton of services to keep me busy all year next year.

I did once have someone ask me if i could do electrical work but i told them i don't.

I don't have business cards just yet. I have inquired already to vistaprints.com and also a local printer who would make me 5000 copies of my flyers for 75 bucks. he very reasonable. all my family members do not have my flyers or cards. my parents and my grandmother are 2 of my clients. my sister lives in another state. my brother lives in another county that i do not intend to service until 2012. so no point in giving them my flyers to distribute. I do not belong to any social organizations just yet. once i have more money available for such things. i plan to. its just a slow process. well time to get the little one ready for school. and then i am going grocery shopping with my fiance. and while i am there i intend to post a flyer on the help wanted board.

Then i intend to go out and try to get some more leaf cleanups. The ground is semi moist and may be dry enough later to do some work. time will tell.

until next time,

Paul
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:17 AM
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I also do some gutter cleaning of what i can reach from the porch walls. the gutters on the roofs, well i dont have a ladder. more so. i dont have a truck yet to transport the ladder i have. i have a 40 foot ladder at my parent's house i can borrow if needed until i get my own.
Why let that stop you. You could get a folding ladder. Some of these can reach the gutters on a two story house!

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  #20  
Old 12-18-2009, 11:21 AM
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Default Wooohooo First Major Snow Storm

they are calling for 6-18 inches of snow tomorrrow. so i am running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I've already called all my current clients and left them all messages for snow removal services. about to head out and go door to door asking if anyone wants services tomororw. I am hoping to make a killing. I need to pick up more salt at home depot today. go pick up a snow blower i found on craigs list. already spoke with the guy about it and been waiting on a check to clear so i could pay the guy. Wish me luck in getting customers lined up.

paul
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