Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Just starting your lawn care or landscaping business? > Introduce Yourself

Introduce Yourself Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!

Northern Colorado


Introduce Yourself

Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 03-19-2010, 11:03 AM
iadams iadams is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Northern Colorado
Posts: 6
Rep Power: 0
iadams is on a distinguished road
Default Northern Colorado

Hey Everyone,
I just joined the site and have already found it very helpful. I am in my second year of lawn care, after having bought an existing company. I run a two man team, and use Walker mowers. I love the business, and am always looking to expand. I look forward to getting/sharing new ideas here. Thanks Steve for having a great site.
Ian
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 03-19-2010, 06:54 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,948
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Hi Ian,

Welcome to our forum!

What is your reflections on purchasing an already functioning lawn care business? Why did you choose that route and how do you feel it helped? Looking back so far, would you have done anything differently handling all that?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-26-2010, 09:39 AM
iadams iadams is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Northern Colorado
Posts: 6
Rep Power: 0
iadams is on a distinguished road
Default

Actually, the biggest advantage to having purchased an existing business, was the contracts. Instead of having a few years of struggling to acquire customers, they were already there. My challenge was to take over mid season, and take care of them so that they would return. I lowered the labor rate immediately and up-sold services within the existing customers. Looking back, I don't think I would have changed anything. It worked out pretty well.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-26-2010, 08:05 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,948
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

For those looking to do something similar that you have, should they lower their labor rates when they take over a contract?

What is the up and down side to doing that?

Also what kinds of things should they be looking into upselling?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-27-2010, 09:05 AM
iadams iadams is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Northern Colorado
Posts: 6
Rep Power: 0
iadams is on a distinguished road
Default

Well, when I took over, the labor rate was very high. Mostly I think because the former owner was burnt out. I also found that because of that, current customers were having other people do other work ( aeration, power raking, clean-ups), because they were cheaper. So I had to cut the labor rate in order to be competitive, and then try to get them to have me do the work again. There were also some that just didn't bother doing some of the extra services, because of the huge amount of money the former owner had quoted them. I think someone who is thinking about doing something similar, should really look at what the former owner was charging, and decide if that is fair market pricing for your area. Maybe adjust it if you think you can do it, but don't starve yourself out either. The down side could be that if you go too low and can't cover your costs, the customer will expect that price. Then it will be hard to turn around so quickly and raise it back up. They like price cuts, not increases. For me it's building a relationship with the customers, and thinking about the long term sales with them, not gouging them for one big sale. You have to find a profitable balance.

As far as up-selling goes... I decided to offer extra services at a cheaper rate for contracted customers. Something like aeration is $15.00 cheaper for contracted customers, if I'm already going there I save on an extra trip, so why not pass that on, and almost guarantee extra repeat services from them (maybe that's a standard thing, I don't know). So far this has worked really well, and yielded new clients. I have not had to do any advertising yet, it's all been word of mouth. As long as you do good work, at a fair price, and take care of your customers, you will retain them (and get some new referrals).
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-27-2010, 05:49 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,948
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Those are very good points. It seems a lot of times, newer lawn care business owners have a difficult time finding an the local average price for lawn care. How did you go about find what the average is? Since investigating that do you feel you found an even better way to get the local average price?

How should other new lawn care business owners do this?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-28-2010, 12:39 AM
iadams iadams is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Northern Colorado
Posts: 6
Rep Power: 0
iadams is on a distinguished road
Default

Well Steve, I have found the best thing you can do is talk with, and more importantly LISTEN to your customers. Often times they have done the work for you. The consumer most times is the most educated about what the average price is because, 1. They obviously don't want to do it themselves, 2. They don't want to pay more than they have to, and 3. They want to be able to trust you with their property as often times they wont be there. Trust functions both ways. I am of the opinion that if I am completely honest with them, they will be honest with me. That works for the most part. You will always have the exception to the rule, but that goes for anything in any business. That is the risk. I get calls like " My guy isn't doing it this year, and I want to see about what you would charge". Well, I go and have an estimate in mind of what I would like to do it for and one of what I can do it for (not starving). I usually ask what the last person did it for, and I explain that I don't want to shock them with an increase they can't handle. The fact is that, right now our business is the "fat" that gets cut quickly because of the economy, so you really have to weigh, "what can you really do the work for" and still make it through. I then try to match that price as closely as possible. You have to keep in mind that some of these people are on a fixed income, and they may have to say no, even if they are sold on you. Sometimes they tell me a price that's higher than I was thinking, so over all, I think it evens out.

I would love to hear some of your (and other members) opinions about what I'm doing. Keep in mind, I will have owned this business for only a year in July. I could also use suggestions. The person that is not open to suggestion is doomed to fail.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-28-2010, 09:34 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,948
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
I then try to match that price as closely as possible. You have to keep in mind that some of these people are on a fixed income, and they may have to say no, even if they are sold on you.
Do you feel this would include things like offering to cut the lawn every two weeks instead of every week? Can the price be made to match like that ?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-28-2010, 09:49 AM
iadams iadams is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Northern Colorado
Posts: 6
Rep Power: 0
iadams is on a distinguished road
Default

No, I prefer to offer only weekly mowings. Every two weeks is hard on the schedule, harder on equipment, and doesn't look as good. So I try to match a weekly mowing as closely as possible, but sometimes you may not be able to come to an agreement.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-28-2010, 07:49 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,948
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

There is a balance that has to be reached if the job is to be accepted by both parties.

It does make you wonder, can you forgo certain services, to lower a price and yet still have the yard look good enough for you and your standards. For instance, can you not include edging or trimming or blowing if you are trying to hit a customer's target price.

Or at a certain point if the quality suffers, you just don't want to do it because the job will reflect poorly on you?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hello From Southwest Colorado jscaper79 Introduce Yourself 1 03-15-2010 03:15 PM
Won Northern Ontario bowling tournament !!! justin_time General Talk 22 02-21-2010 09:42 AM
Hello from Northern Illinois kjcili Introduce Yourself 2 10-03-2009 05:31 PM
ANYONE FROM COLORADO? ABurlison General Talk 2 02-01-2008 04:05 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
To mow weekly or Biweekly
WarriorLandscapingCAN
05-11-2016 04:09 PM
Yesterday 04:45 PM
by lawngawd7
9 297
Help a Brother Out -...
Hedgemaster
01-23-2012 04:19 PM
Yesterday 04:34 PM
by Crossett73
91 33,676
Hello from Alabama
pruzilla
05-25-2016 01:20 PM
Yesterday 08:14 AM
by pruzilla
2 46
Hello from Centreville!
Daveylawns
05-23-2016 09:04 AM
05-24-2016 04:08 PM
by Steve
1 66
Laying new grass, Sod...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
05-23-2016 10:07 AM
05-23-2016 08:41 PM
by Steve
1 53
I need some aeration...
rootytalbot
08-14-2015 12:32 PM
05-23-2016 09:06 AM
by Daveylawns
10 3,767
Prolin
rmccutchan
05-21-2016 04:53 PM
05-21-2016 06:36 PM
by rmccutchan
2 72
Upgraded to a new mower
Stevenor92
05-17-2016 08:17 PM
05-20-2016 07:08 PM
by Stevenor92
8 198
Intro
LaraRahmani
05-18-2016 02:54 PM
05-19-2016 02:43 PM
by Steve
2 107
Best Push Mower You Have...
markty
05-14-2016 03:46 PM
05-18-2016 07:34 PM
by Stevenor92
4 178
New mower!!!!
Stevenor92
05-18-2016 03:46 AM
05-18-2016 06:39 PM
by Stevenor92
2 112
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
05-18-2016 02:59 PM
by LaraRahmani
1,249 434,752
Stupid idea?
hopolb33
05-13-2016 11:25 AM
05-16-2016 11:22 AM
by Steve
1 152
Planting SKYBOUND CEDARS
FrankieeLawnz
05-13-2016 03:59 PM
05-16-2016 11:21 AM
by Steve
1 137
Edging Fad...
Tree geek
05-10-2016 11:29 PM
05-15-2016 11:12 PM
by Tree geek
2 182
Business Overload
Chilehead
05-06-2016 09:27 PM
05-13-2016 11:15 AM
by Steve
11 381
Hello from great state...
Cel1980
05-11-2016 09:00 AM
05-13-2016 11:07 AM
by Steve
2 154
Did this job free to...
JJand M Lawncare
05-02-2016 02:33 PM
05-11-2016 03:54 PM
by JJand M Lawncare
10 420
How to tell Cust. to...
GeeGood
04-09-2008 09:55 PM
05-09-2016 07:08 PM
by JJand M Lawncare
16 5,512
Echo SRM 230 trouble.
Jack Rabbit
05-08-2016 06:16 PM
05-08-2016 11:22 PM
by Just for Cuts
1 149
Toro ZTR Issues
rsanchez1203
05-06-2016 09:27 PM
05-07-2016 10:26 AM
by Steve
2 170
Correct way to quote a...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
05-02-2016 11:52 AM
05-03-2016 10:59 AM
by Steve
1 286
Having an issue with...
Mr. Mow
04-27-2016 03:58 PM
04-28-2016 05:04 AM
by Sprinkler Buddy
2 292
Hello From Virginia
JJand M Lawncare
04-25-2016 01:02 PM
04-27-2016 05:20 PM
by Steve
5 330
» Popular Tags
advertising become an entrepreneur best mower be your own boss break business education business help business management contractor hacks deck lift dethatcher edging entrepreneur entrepreneur education estimates free lawn care fuel problems fuel pump half moon blade hydro increase customers jjandm lawncare landscape landscape design landscaping landscaping design company landscaping richmond va landscping lawncare lawn mowing lawnservice lowering grade marketing mulch new business planting plowing raising grade residential lawn care richmond va richmond virginia lawn care roundup safety scag snowblower snow plowing snow shovel solo solo backpack sprayer start a business start a lawn care business start business start up swzt toro timecutter tree tree pics tree service video walk behind what to charge work from home
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:42 AM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:42 AM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy