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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.

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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.
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  #1  
Old 12-28-2009, 08:30 AM
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Default Business question?

I'm not meaning to offend anyone here but I had a question that makes sense to me. There are just over 40 thousand members here. Is that 40 thousand failures or struggling business ventures? I am hard pressed to thing of a success story around here? Has anyone really made it in this industry? Care to share some numbers and or info on how you did it?
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  #2  
Old 12-29-2009, 09:16 AM
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I think we have seen many business owners grow overtime on here.

I don't know what the percentages are but I bet there are many who were never able to get their business off the ground and then just stopped posting on the forum.

It's a shame but most of the time, when you give up on your business, you don't really feel like talking about why you gave up on it. Or talking about what went wrong. Many times, we can learn so much more from hearing what went wrong than what went right.

Quote:
Care to share some numbers and or info on how you did it?
This question made me think of the story on McDonalds. As Ray Kroc was building the company, he was made aware there were corporate spies that were within his company and they had gotten hold of his operations manual.

When he was told this, his response was something to the effect of, he didn't care. They could read his entire operations manual from cover to cover but that wouldn't allow them to recreate his business. That wouldn't help them create the energy, will or drive to succeed. It wouldn't recreate the culture the company had cultivated.

I think it holds true in this industry as well as ever other industry. The success of a business is going to always go back to it's leader.

We can talk about all these methods to attract new customers or how to optimize your business website or any other topic, but the thread that weaves it all together is the entrepreneur. And entrepreneurs are as unique as snow flakes. Each and every one of them differs greatly.

So when I think about the original question, I think the important stuff is not the figures or the general info how they did it but more of what behavior or personality traits do they have and utilize that another business owner doesn't? How are they better at reading people? How do they differ in their ability to sell themselves? How do they differ with the energy and drive level?

I also think about Donald Trump. Here is a guy that can write books until the end of time on success and yet never create a Donald Trump clone. There seems to be no way to convey the level of drive and focus he has and capture it in a book. I think it's within those qualities where the X factor lies. What I mean by that is, the factor that pushes one forwards regardless of everything else. The drive that makes one put in just that little bit more energy than another. The thing that makes one stand out over another.

My point on all of this is, it is hard to convey that X factor.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
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Old 12-29-2009, 11:36 AM
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Its no secret that I have been down for months now. No calls no work no nothing. I have never failed at a business venture which makes me feel like this industry is a wast of time. I did finally get a call yesterday after months of waiting, it was right here in town. My ambitions were high again. I was very happy. Because of the bad economy and the house was right down the road I explained my charge is $40 per cut but because of the location I will give him half off. Old guy on a fixed income barely making it so $20 per cut it is. He about through me out of his house. He said he would not pay more than $20 per month and wants it done 4 times per month. He said he would rather give a neighbor kid $500 to get in business than pay $20 per cut. I never thought it would but this really hurt my feelings. I left there lower than I was before he even called. I have had people say no before, I have given quotes and never got a call back, but this one for some reason took the cake. I now sit here and think screw it. Time to get out of this and get into something that is going to draw real money. I have been doing this more than 6 months now, never have I done anything and still been in the red for this long. normally after the first month or 2 money is rolling in, with this money is just rolling out. I think about all this and it reminds me of how lawn care people look around here. They look and act like unemployable drug addict losers. Maybe its because they just cant make enough to get out of there slump, I wander if anyone here makes enough? Dose anyone make enough? I don't mean just enough to get by but I mean enough to make it worth while? I have tried to change the image around here. Everyone ells looks like they don't shave ever and there trucks are 6 different colors and falling apart. My truck is nice, when I go to give a quote I have a brand new luxury car that I take with me and make sure I am dressed nice. I almost worry people will see me pull up and automatically think I will cost them to much. $40 per cut and edge isn't to much is it?
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:47 PM
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Steve, that was an amazing post & so very true.

There are some employees out there who know how to run a business more than their own boss, but it doesn't exactly mean they can. It's very strange & hard to figure out.

Two people may have the same knowledge on how to run a lawn maintenance company, though one person may be a pushover while the other may be aggressive.

Your customer can be a customer, or they can be your boss.


As for Jason,

I have no idea if $40.00 is too much per cut, depends on the size of the lawn. Either way, there is always someone out there able to do something for a lower price & you do not have to sacrifice anything.

If he wants to hire a kid for $500.00, why did he waste your time? There is always one a-hole of a customer out there. I've had my share & have been seriously frustrated, it haunts you forever.

The good news is, your not in the wrong, the customer is. He was upset because he didn't feel like paying that much, though that was your price!


As for wondering if anyone has able to make it worthwhile in this business. It's hard to say, it depends on the person & what they want to achieve.

Personally, I'm only looking out for myself & the family I will have in the future. I am not looking to hire 10 people, purchase 10 tractors, or trucks.

I just want to cover my expenses & make a little extra. Whatever it takes to receive more than minimum wage is decent by me.

Figure this, in lawn maintenance we have 5 days of work a week if we leave out weekends. It's up to you to decide how much work you are able to take on, & how much stress your willing to go through.

It's a difficult thing to pick up more customers, but they do exist. Ask yourself a question & think of every possible way to answer it.

"how can I receive more business"

Add something to your list of services, maybe a customer will only decide to hire you for grass if he sees you do a good job trimming a hedge for him.

You can also try advertising in different cities, maybe the one your in is over saturated with other lawn maintenance companies?

Maybe you are able to do a lawn job for less than another company you see around town? What's to stop you from advertising to people who are already with a company? At least you KNOW they hire for grass, instead of advertising to people that probably do it themselves. You have a better chance advertising to the interested market, than a random market. You don't really have to lower your price, just offer a better variety of services.



Personally, I'm not satisfied with my business yet. I do know what I need to do, the problem is how will I follow through with my plan. I know I will fight for business & most likely lose some to get some.

I don't care if I waste $100.00 on gas trying to reach new customers in different towns, because even if I don't get any, I will have at least tried.

I feel like a hunter, & occasionally I will be the prey. It's just the way it works.

The joke is, "what would you do if you were sentenced to life in prison"

Obviously the wise thing to do would kill the first person you see!
The bigger prisoners will think you are crazy & hopefully leave you alone.

My point I guess is, take what you can while you can, because someone else is ready to do the same thing back to you.

I guess you can imagine your customers as food, if you don't get it, someone else will. And if the food is already being eaten by another company, you can decide then if your hungry enough to take it from them.

My company is skinny & starving, & I'm ready to take food from the fatter companies.



Alright, I'm done with analogies, HAHA!

Wow I just go on and on and on....
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
No calls no work no nothing. I have never failed at a business venture which makes me feel like this industry is a wast of time. I did finally get a call yesterday after months of waiting, it was right here in town.
When you reflect on previous businesses you have owned, do you feel you went about them in a different way? Was there anything different you did with them than you are doing with this one?

When you look at what you wrote 'after months of waiting' it seems that could possibly be a sign. Is it possible you are feeling burnt out with this right now?

I would think to get customer you would have to be more proactive?

Do you think that is factoring into this at all?
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
When you reflect on previous businesses you have owned, do you feel you went about them in a different way? Was there anything different you did with them than you are doing with this one?

When you look at what you wrote 'after months of waiting' it seems that could possibly be a sign. Is it possible you are feeling burnt out with this right now?

I would think to get customer you would have to be more proactive?

Do you think that is factoring into this at all?
I think months and month and months is a huge sign, a sign that this is a worthless venture. I have done nothing now that I have or have not done before, I don't get it. I have taken part in every bit of advertising possible. Local paper, handing out and posting cards and fliers, door to door, everything and have nothing to show for it. Right now I am bringing in $90 per month on this and that just will not fly. Not sure what the deal is but I have had enough. I have a couple other things going right now that are looking very good. I think its time to focus on them and not on this anymore. On a lighter note at least I have all this new equipment for my own yard, Sigh....... What a wast of time and money. I feel I have been had.
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:28 PM
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As you reflect on this so far, do you feel it has anything to do with heavy competition in your area? The down economy? Lot's of out of work folks? Or is there something else?
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:33 PM
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I just wanted to say that I really think that some of us can make it in this business. I have just started up and am still in the process of looking for more clients. We started in October 2008 and it was tough for the first few months but when spring time came around we started getting customers. We gave out cards door to door, and let our friends know that we just started. The best advertisement is mouth to mouth. Some of our customers told some new customers about us. I started with me and two of my brothers. I kept my full time job and let them handle the yards. We now have about 40 different size yards, residential and business. You just have to give it as much as you can. I am in the process of going full time and quitting my full time job. I just wanted to make sure I could make it before quitting. We just signed a big contract and will start on it in February. At present it looks like we will make it. We do our best to make all of our customers happy and so far havent had any major complaints or problems that werent fixable. The best thing to do is to give the best customer service you possibly can and the rest will take care of itself. So my best wishes to anyone who is trying to make it. May God bless you.
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:59 AM
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I worked for a guy named Larry a few years back. He ran a nice sized comp. The last I heard from him, his profit was 15mill for a year. Trugreen , brickman, valley crest, these are billion dollar comps. I'm not even close to these guy's. But theres money to be had. Are you a landscaper or a lawn boy? Do you know what your doing? Any yahoo can run a mower. Any 12 year old can cut grass. You need to be a pro, convey that your a pro, and do pro work.

How much money have you put into door hangers or fliers? How many have you put out? How much hussle have you really applied.

Really man, to say I'm not making money after only 6 months, sounds really....

There are only 3 things that make a business profit. 1) Time. 2) Luck. 3) money. I've seen guy's get rich and not know a thing, that luck. Right person right time. I've seen others not market at all but their good so over time they build a solid business, Thats time. I've seen other go buy a mower and put out 75,000 fliers off top, thats money.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
I worked for a guy named Larry a few years back. He ran a nice sized comp. The last I heard from him, his profit was 15mill for a year.
What did you know of his story? How did he break out to those higher profit ranges? How did he stand out from his competitors and what made him better?

What do you feel you learned from him?
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