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  #1  
Old 12-25-2009, 05:48 AM
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I have been staying up for days thinking about spring, I'm seriously anxious!

I have lawns all over the city, but I have built up a nice street all to myself.

The problem is, I want the clients other companies have that are literally RIGHT beside me.

There are about 12 lawns I want to grab, all of them small/average.

I know their customers are paying $32.00 more than my service per month.

I need a strategy, I really want these clients! I can gain from so many upsells.

I'm going to give them my business card in March/April with my estimate already written on the back. Then I will personally visit them the week after.

Maybe I can attach a note to the card mentioning the perks my service offers?

Perks, hmmm.

I'm a neighbor to all of them, they will recieve top priorite. These customers will be my baby.
If they pay $75.oo+ they will recieve free garden weeding once per month.

Maybe I'll even throw in a free mowing...

HMMMM. I need these customers.

If I get them I will have 20 customers no more than half a mile away from home!

I NEED THEM TO SWITCH... MUAHAHAHA!!!
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  #2  
Old 12-25-2009, 06:56 AM
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It is a good plan and proceed with it and see what happens.

When it comes to lawn mowing, trimming, weeding what I have found "Better the devil you know than the one you don't" can be the attitude of a prospect, they have been with a company for X years, are satisfied with the service, it can be almost impossible to get them to switch.

The one way I found that can get your foot in the door is to offer a service that will benefit the client that the current provider does not, in my case it is Organic spraying with a now proven track record, it took time to build the references but now that I have them 2010 should be even more amazing.

To cut time spraying, I doubt we will use the backpack sprayers very often if at all, I added tow or 3 pt hitch sprayers to every piece of equipment we own, we can now get into some really, really tight spots without ever getting off a tractor and if we have to we have a 26 foot want that can be used, should be a lot easier on the staff, back pack spraying on larger lawns is brutal and spraying in the rain which we generally have to do, you want in and out pretty quick.
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Old 12-25-2009, 07:39 AM
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I need to take baby steps as I get into spraying.

What is a good back pack sprayer?

What am I offering? Fertilizer, aeration? etc

Quantity & Mix...

Can the lawn become accidentally damaged?

I am unsure about how to price it, but I guess I'll just double how much the product cost and throw in a few bucks for my time.

I really want to get into spraying. This sounds not only profitable, but makes a company really stand out from the crowd!
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Old 12-25-2009, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BREEZE2009 View Post
I need to take baby steps as I get into spraying.

What is a good back pack sprayer?

What am I offering? Fertilizer, aeration? etc

Quantity & Mix...

Can the lawn become accidentally damaged?

I am unsure about how to price it, but I guess I'll just double how much the product cost and throw in a few bucks for my time.

I really want to get into spraying. This sounds not only profitable, but makes a company really stand out from the crowd!
Gilmore makes the best back pack sprayer going, it's hard work compared to a tow unit but it will get you going.

You need to research and gain a knowledge of all these products, what they will do, spraying does not always yeild overnight results thus we sell a program of 4 to 6 sprays per season, really depends on the lawn.

Use these two, I have tried dozens and these are the two companies who's product performed for us and our clients.

http://www.natureslawn.com/index.html

http://www.environmentalfactor.com/

Mixing depends on the product, keep in mind they can all be mixed together also so that you spray once per location.

A lawn can NOT be damaged with any of these products, I have tried to on my own lawn, all that happened was the grass had to be mowed far too often.

Pricing depends on how much you buy, we buy by the skid, general rule of thumb is cost times 4 to 6, meaning if it cost me $100.00 to spray your lawn, I will charge you $400.00 and we have won every bid on spraying.

IMHO to make it, you HAVE to stand out from the crowd, it's what this is all about, raise the bar, don't go head on as you will probably loose.

Good luck

Andy
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  #5  
Old 12-25-2009, 06:37 PM
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I will pick up the gilmore sprayer, & will purchase some of natures lawn products & see how it goes.

The price for the stuff is pretty damn good.

I'm at my mothers & there are 15 other family members in the dining room. Man I am tired now lol. Drank an entire bottle of red wine, we're playing a ton of fun Christmas themed games. We're about to do an auction again (just like last year) spent $50.00 and won a pregnancy test thinger... LOL

Wonder what I'll waste my money on this time.

My sister is a teacher & buys things and has our family buy in the auction (they are wrapped, so it's a big gamble... we spend more on items with fancy wrapping haha) then & the money goes towards some charity.

Anyway, I have no idea what I'm typing, too much booze.

LOL.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!
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  #6  
Old 12-25-2009, 08:38 PM
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Before you sink a lot of coin into this venture, test the waters first and advertise the service, you can get the product within a few days and a sprayer the same day......keep your overhead low to ensure there is demand.

There is where I live as it's the law, no herbicides or pesticides, you can get a special permit to spray but it's not necessary, doesn't matter what the issue is with a lawn, there are other ways to fix it.
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  #7  
Old 12-26-2009, 12:54 PM
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Consider watching for a used pull behind sprayer. If I would have wanted it I could have bought a sprayer without the trailer part for $75. I choose to not buy it since I really want to get a new one. I have already checked and here locally I can get a 25 pull behind for $270+ tax. I think that is a reasonable cost. I need it to spray my own yard even if I decide to not get into the spraying business.

Andy would a person potentially be able to pay for a pull behind in saved labor within several jobs if a person found the spraying business to take off?

Interestingly enough, yesterday my dad, brother, and I got to talking about spraying, soil quality, etc. When I was a kid we lived in Pennsylvania and we had a large "truck farm" where we literally had acres and acres of different produce. Something that dad said he would do is add some type of molasses to the ground (I forgot to ask how this was done) and this would add to the nutritious content of the produce. He said one of the places we sold to would test for this content and would pay more if the values were high enough. He is a wealth of knowledge in this matter and I can see me sitting down with him and talking to him a lot about soil and everything. He knew exactly what I was talking about when it came to loosening soil up and the soil benefits of getting more oxygen into the soil. Matter of fact, he beat me to that statement! And to top it off, I think my brother is seriously considering spraying as a side business (he already owns his own remodeling Biz and has 2 sons to help him).
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Old 12-26-2009, 01:38 PM
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There is really big $$$ in spraying, I found it to be a fairly easy sell, it works and works well, not a lot of start up cost etc.

The issue with backpack sprayers is most of our clients are outside of the city proper so the lots are large, anywhere from a min of 1/2 acre to 4 acres, simply put it takes too friggin long to spray by hand, it's really hard on the person operating the sprayer and we spray just before and during the rain.

Let's say it takes two staff 2 hours to spray a one acres property, I can do it with a pull sprayer in 20 min tops, we have around 169 clients we spray so basically it pays for itself in no time. I just ordered a 3 pt hitch sprayer for the X749, reason being tow sprayers can be tough to get into certain spots granted you have a 20 foot wand so you are still good to go but I have quite a few where the 3pt will do the job without getting off the tractor.

It's funny you mention molasses, it's in our organic fertilizers, I did some research and it's amazing the nutrients in molasses that will benefit your lawn.

I suggest everyone simply educate themselves on the various products so you can talk the lingo then advertise/tell clients about it and what the various sprays will do for them and see what happens, start small and then let it take off, it's what I did and we now have 6 sprayers not including the 3pt hitch one which will hold 60 gallons.
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Before you sink a lot of coin into this venture, test the waters first and advertise the service, you can get the product within a few days and a sprayer the same day......keep your overhead low to ensure there is demand.
Andy what would you suggest he run in his ad and what kind of ad should he run to test this out? Also when do you think he should experiment with his ad?

This is a really good idea. Most people would never even think of doing this without having all the equipment lined up to offer the service first. Why bother buying all that equipment until you know at least a few customers are interested.
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:43 AM
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Andy what would you suggest he run in his ad and what kind of ad should he run to test this out? Also when do you think he should experiment with his ad?

This is a really good idea. Most people would never even think of doing this without having all the equipment lined up to offer the service first. Why bother buying all that equipment until you know at least a few customers are interested.
Actually, maybe Steve will repost his ad as it's the best I have seen. My advertisements are somewhat short and sweet and direct the customer or prospect to the website, would simply be too expensive to have all the information printed.

Highlight-

Certified Organic Lawn Care Products - All food grade being children and pet safe

We can cure - Brown Patch, any insect or bug, Clay or Compacted soils, if you want a golf course looking lawn you need to check us out, 0ver 170 references available.

As for equipment, what I think the customer demand is and what it actually is can be very different, starting in mid May of this year it struck me, advertise the services and see if the demand is there.

Some shocked me at the demand, Post Holes (we now have two for excavators and two on tractors), Tilling (ended up buying two commercial PTO driven units), wood chipping (we now have four commercial chippers just to keep up with demand. Those aside from spraying are the ones that come to mind that took off far beyond what I expected.
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