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? > Starting a lawn care business.

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.

A bunch of questions


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.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 04-08-2010, 09:17 PM
stew6371
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default A bunch of questions

Hey all, I have a bunch of questions and would appreciate any responses I get. These are probably stupid questions as I tend to overthink things, but I'm just trying to make educated decisions. Well here goes:
1)How many of you started out or are still doing just mow & go.

2)Trailers- enclosed or open and why.

3)Have any of you bought any of these "how to" programs off the internet?
If so, which ones were helpful.

4)How far from your base do you usually limit your travel for jobs?

5)How receptive are customers to prepaying a month at a time. I'm thinking of offering a 10% discount to prepay and a 10% discount for the first month of a new season for signing up for the next season early.

6) How bout this. I read where a guy makes up postcards and puts them in a ziplock sandwich baggie with a couple rocks. He then drives around and throws them onto potential customers driveways much like a paperboy. It is much faster than doorhangers.
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 04-08-2010, 09:36 PM
CHEESE2009's Avatar
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
Dr. Scott - Ruler of the Underworld
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Switzerland, Grindelwald
Age: 73
Posts: 4,475
Rep Power: 10
CHEESE2009 is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Hey now! Your questions are perfect!!!


1)How many of you started out or are still doing just mow & go.

I am not, it's more profitable to have customers scheduled for the complete season. This avoids customers letting their grass grow a few feet, & wearing down your equipment.


2)Trailers- enclosed or open and why.

Closed, It takes a little more time to grab your equipment, but only by a second. Other than that, the advertising space on a closed trailer is superior. You don't have to unload this trailer at the end of the day either, & no one will steal your equipment. It is safer, & better for business for a higher cost.

3)Have any of you bought any of these "how to" programs off the internet?
If so, which ones were helpful.

No idea what you mean, though how to videos off of youtube are nice little reminders. This site beats any how to-anything.

4)How far from your base do you usually limit your travel for jobs?
I don't like to travel more than 30-40 minutes away, especially if I'm not strong in a certain area. No point in driving for an hour only for a few bucks.

5)How receptive are customers to prepaying a month at a time. I'm thinking of offering a 10% discount to prepay and a 10% discount for the first month of a new season for signing up for the next season early.

Many customers prefer this, because your not grabbing all of their money right away. Payments are THAT much easier than paying in full. You also get to greet your customers (most of the time) & catch up on what he/she is feeling about your services. Though if a customer has a problem with it, they usually tell you right off the bat that they want to just pay you in full right away. Other than that, I wouldn't lower it. Do not say, "payment is due every week/two weeks" that would get annoying. You also don't want to charge your customers every 2 months either, because them letting go such a big wad of money at one time will really turn them into your companies biggest critic!

6) How bout this. I read where a guy makes up postcards and puts them in a ziplock sandwich baggie with a couple rocks. He then drives around and throws them onto potential customers driveways much like a paperboy. It is much faster than doorhangers.

DON'T do that, lol. As someone else said, it's just preparing the ad for the garbage bin. Ziploc bags aren't that cheap either, hahaha!

I would be pretty angry with whoever had me walk onto my lawn to pick up their mess/ad. Unfortunately I would consider them very LAZY rather than clever. I'd say, "why couldn't they just put their ad in my damn mail box? Right to the garbage without a peek, that's it.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-08-2010, 09:40 PM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 9
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

1) Mow and go as you put it was the business plan in March of last year, I changed it in April and again in May to offer a host of other services, had I not changed we would be out of business. We now have a lawn care side that supports 6 f/t employees but it took some time to get it there.

2) Trailers - we use both and they both have advantages over the other, I like cargo as you can keep the gear locked up but Cargo will not haul a lot of our gear.

3) No, I have run to many companies, have my MBA and a host of other credentials so buying a program offered nothing to me.

4) Our limit is 25 kilometers, about 15 miles

5) Never asked a customer to do this, generally a sign of poor cash flow by the company offering the service, how many people pay for cable, telephone etc a month in advance. On Landscaping/excavation a 50% deposit is required, everything else as soon as we are finished.

6) Tacky, for our target market this type of approach would be shooting yourself in the foot, I am not afraid of cold calling and it has taken my company from two employees in April of last year to 22 employees in May of this year.
__________________
Andy
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-08-2010, 10:35 PM
mark123's Avatar
mark123 mark123 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 1,402
Rep Power: 7
mark123 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by stew6371 View Post
1)How many of you started out or are still doing just mow & go.
Mowing is just to make some cash until I can fill up a fert and squirt route.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stew6371 View Post
2)Trailers- enclosed or open and why.
Neither. I prefer to not use a trailer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stew6371 View Post
3)Have any of you bought any of these "how to" programs off the internet?
If so, which ones were helpful.
I don't know what this means.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stew6371 View Post
4)How far from your base do you usually limit your travel for jobs?
Local calling area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stew6371 View Post
5)How receptive are customers to prepaying a month at a time. I'm thinking of offering a 10% discount to prepay and a 10% discount for the first month of a new season for signing up for the next season early.
Some like paying up front. Some refuse. If I were to ask for prepay and offer a steep discount like that I'd want more than one month in advance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stew6371 View Post
6) How bout this. I read where a guy makes up postcards and puts them in a ziplock sandwich baggie with a couple rocks. He then drives around and throws them onto potential customers driveways much like a paperboy. It is much faster than doorhangers.
No. You'd get in big trouble around these parts. Imagine the $300 fine for littering times how many postcards you make. It's really tacky. I wouldn't hire anyone that would market like that or by putting anything in my windscreen wiper.

Don't throw crap in my driveway. I'll make you miserable.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-08-2010, 10:39 PM
stew6371
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Thanks for the quit replies. When I said mow and go I was meaning just mow,trim and blow. No additional services. This may be the way I have to start out. So do your customers pay when service is done or do you bill them? Also, I was talking to my local dealer about equipment and he basically told me to stick with a 21" commercial mower since my target market right now is residential. I was looking at a 36" walk behind, but it didnt have a mulching deck and some people dont want the grass clippings thrown on there lawn. Plus I wasnt sure if it would fit through most gates. Once again thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-08-2010, 11:00 PM
mark123's Avatar
mark123 mark123 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 1,402
Rep Power: 7
mark123 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by stew6371 View Post
... Also, I was talking to my local dealer about equipment and he basically told me to stick with a 21" commercial mower since my target market right now is residential. I was looking at a 36" walk behind, but it didnt have a mulching deck and some people dont want the grass clippings thrown on there lawn. Plus I wasnt sure if it would fit through most gates. Once again thanks.
Your local dealer probably has a 21" mower that he's paying interest on and he has to move. (Yeah, I'm suspicious of everyone). My 36" will fit through most gates but not usually through a chain-link fence gate. Actually, you'll eventually want both. The 36" will make you more money than the 21".

Another point about making stuff to throw in people's driveways. If you look around you'll notice that the only people that encourage this sort of marketing are the people that offer printing services for such things as items to throw into driveways. Seriously!

Last edited by mark123; 04-08-2010 at 11:03 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-08-2010, 11:27 PM
stew6371
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark123 View Post
Your local dealer probably has a 21" mower that he's paying interest on and he has to move. (Yeah, I'm suspicious of everyone). My 36" will fit through most gates but not usually through a chain-link fence gate. Actually, you'll eventually want both. The 36" will make you more money than the 21".

Another point about making stuff to throw in people's driveways. If you look around you'll notice that the only people that encourage this sort of marketing are the people that offer printing services for such things as items to throw into driveways. Seriously!
I'm pretty suspicious myself, but he didnt try to sell me any one particular mower, but who knows. Do you have the mulching deck on your 36"?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-08-2010, 11:38 PM
mark123's Avatar
mark123 mark123 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 1,402
Rep Power: 7
mark123 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by stew6371 View Post
I'm pretty suspicious myself, but he didnt try to sell me any one particular mower, but who knows.
I'm just used to dealing with my local goofballs. Every time I go in and ask for something they always say "this is the one you really want".

"Yeah, but that's a snow blower and I asked for a mower."


Quote:
Originally Posted by stew6371 View Post
Do you have the mulching deck on your 36"?
No, I side discharge. I'd never make it through the fertilized lawns in the spring with a mulching deck. If I don't get 8" of growth per week on some lawns I'd be surprised.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-09-2010, 12:40 AM
stew6371
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark123 View Post
I'm just used to dealing with my local goofballs. Every time I go in and ask for something they always say "this is the one you really want".

"Yeah, but that's a snow blower and I asked for a mower."
lol.



No, I side discharge. I'd never make it through the fertilized lawns in the spring with a mulching deck. If I don't get 8" of growth per week on some lawns I'd be surprised.
Wow. The clippings dont leave a big mess? Also, what do you wear jeans, shorts, or some other type of uniform?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-10-2010, 12:06 AM
stew6371
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Ok, this is my plan as of now. Please give me all the feedback you can from your own experiences on why this will/will not work and so forth.

I plan to start with a new stihl trimmer and edger(I'm not good enough to edge with a trimmer yet), a stihl blower and my 21" personal push mower. I plan on doing this part time until I have enough accounts to do it fulltime. At that time I will upgrade to a 34" ZTR, probably either exmark or toro. Most of the yards here will be fenced so I need the smaller deck and this will be alot more efficient than the 21". I think hedge trimming and gutter cleanouts will be my first add-on services. I would like to make up a flyer and send it out in the newspaper, but I only want to target certain areas and I haven't checked to see if this is possible and the cost of doing so. I will get business cards and signs for my truck. I also plan on getting yard signs and place them at certain intersections. I'm still trying to figuere out how to price my work. I will stop there for now and take in your feedback. Thanks for all the help.
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
Questions We Have devuono311 Starting a lawn care business. 5 04-03-2010 08:59 AM
Fun Questions! CHEESE2009 General Talk 1 08-03-2009 04:59 PM
Few questions doug1980 Starting a lawn care business. 6 05-27-2009 06:44 PM
Questions swstout Community Assistance 5 04-20-2009 05:02 AM
Two Questions tiedeman Gopher Software Support Archived Question & Answers - Read Only 3 08-14-2005 06:04 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Hello from Kentucky
TRV
09-30-2014 06:42 PM
Yesterday 05:57 PM
by TRV
12 1,450
leaf removal
Double J LLC
10-03-2014 05:24 PM
Yesterday 04:35 PM
by achri12
26 2,664
Thanksgiving cards
Steve
11-10-2008 11:57 AM
Yesterday 04:29 PM
by achri12
3 8,630
Hi to you NOTHERNERS
stevef1201
11-11-2014 05:56 PM
Yesterday 10:27 AM
by kslawn
6 445
Happy Thanksgiving!
Steve
Yesterday 09:48 AM
Yesterday 09:48 AM
by Steve
0 34
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 12:18 PM
11-26-2014 10:30 PM
by Just Cuts
1,194 349,233
Contract or no contract?
TRV
11-20-2014 09:18 PM
11-26-2014 09:23 PM
by stevef1201
5 311
Good help is hard to find
Hanks Lawn Care Services
11-19-2014 03:27 PM
11-26-2014 09:16 PM
by stevef1201
9 369
New parking area
ExtremeLawncareServices
11-07-2014 09:47 PM
11-26-2014 07:32 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
4 467
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 10:12 AM
11-26-2014 07:22 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
178 14,353
Pics for website
tbtigers03
11-21-2014 05:40 PM
11-26-2014 12:12 PM
by Just for Cuts
5 268
Hi from IL
steveinil
11-25-2014 02:07 PM
11-26-2014 11:21 AM
by Steve
1 93
WNY saying Hi.
Sargewesser
11-25-2014 07:27 AM
11-26-2014 11:20 AM
by Steve
1 98
How to: Use Thumbtack...
acrajchel
11-17-2014 06:39 PM
11-26-2014 11:19 AM
by Steve
18 684
Peco Bagger
AGPS
11-18-2014 02:20 PM
11-26-2014 10:58 AM
by Steve
10 430
Beginner Mistakes:...
Steve
01-31-2007 12:45 PM
11-26-2014 10:57 AM
by Steve
22 6,325
Billboards for marketing
ExtremeLawncareServices
11-16-2014 08:39 PM
11-26-2014 10:40 AM
by Steve
14 488
How much do you up sell...
Essex Groundskeeping
11-23-2014 07:13 PM
11-24-2014 06:29 PM
by stevef1201
8 253
This sucks...
Matther777
09-18-2014 05:56 PM
11-24-2014 05:49 PM
by biglee
16 3,294
Pressure Washing...
WesleySnips
07-31-2014 07:13 PM
11-24-2014 04:32 PM
by acrajchel
4 718
New website
Chilehead
11-20-2014 04:39 PM
11-23-2014 07:40 PM
by Just for Cuts
12 383
My site is on fronts page
tbtigers03
11-14-2014 05:58 PM
11-22-2014 10:49 PM
by Just for Cuts
16 612
Belt dealer problem
googus
11-21-2014 08:45 AM
11-21-2014 06:36 PM
by Steve
2 211
What is going on with...
biglee
11-14-2014 03:04 PM
11-20-2014 02:50 PM
by biglee
40 1,069
My advice for new guys
avetslawncare
11-15-2014 09:32 AM
11-19-2014 01:47 PM
by biglee
10 617
Lawn Care business...
crieg122
10-23-2014 02:23 PM
11-19-2014 12:39 PM
by acrajchel
28 1,987
raking leaves ?
robert8509
10-22-2014 10:19 PM
11-18-2014 04:24 PM
by acrajchel
14 1,555
Leaf removal
madmedic8575
10-24-2014 05:14 PM
11-17-2014 07:34 PM
by acrajchel
6 1,287
sod job
SGlawncare
10-30-2014 09:21 PM
11-17-2014 07:10 PM
by acrajchel
7 874
Customer wants me to...
Mr. Mow
11-09-2014 07:13 AM
11-17-2014 06:48 PM
by acrajchel
10 649
Hello!
Brian3137
11-11-2014 07:15 PM
11-17-2014 06:46 PM
by acrajchel
14 573
small biz in Phoenix,AZ
anthonyramos1
11-08-2014 09:35 PM
11-17-2014 05:59 PM
by acrajchel
2 401
Client won't pay...
WesleySnips
10-30-2014 03:53 PM
11-17-2014 05:37 PM
by acrajchel
22 1,494
Government contracts
avetslawncare
11-15-2014 08:50 AM
11-17-2014 12:59 PM
by Steve
2 353
Need help on deciding a...
Brian3137
11-10-2014 06:32 PM
11-17-2014 12:44 PM
by Steve
12 623
West cost lawn prices
SGlawncare
10-09-2014 10:51 PM
11-16-2014 07:54 AM
by stevef1201
8 1,705
So how do you guys...
Mr. Mow
10-26-2014 08:55 AM
11-15-2014 08:44 AM
by avetslawncare
14 1,829
Truck, Trailer,...
hawthornelawncare
12-23-2011 01:01 AM
11-13-2014 08:35 AM
by jrs.landscaping
81 32,028
The most dangerous part...
Steve
10-06-2014 03:45 PM
11-12-2014 05:05 PM
by stevef1201
14 1,793
A little hang up in snow...
stevef1201
11-08-2014 07:05 AM
11-12-2014 12:51 PM
by Steve
4 533
Bi-weekly winter...
lxarth
11-04-2014 08:37 PM
11-12-2014 10:06 AM
by WesleySnips
9 743
taking first steps...
sizemorelawncare
11-10-2014 08:24 PM
11-11-2014 01:21 PM
by Steve
1 422
Back Pack Blower
Ian Lovejoy
11-09-2014 08:41 AM
11-11-2014 08:12 AM
by Just for Cuts
4 493
Business Cards
crieg122
10-25-2014 01:03 PM
11-11-2014 07:56 AM
by Just for Cuts
12 1,450
How the unregister?
alive101
11-04-2014 07:39 AM
11-10-2014 01:48 PM
by Steve
4 700
Belt adjustment question
googus
11-05-2014 06:43 AM
11-10-2014 01:38 PM
by Steve
5 602
Podcast
Shark1611
11-07-2014 05:42 PM
11-10-2014 11:41 AM
by Steve
1 397
hi, from Minnesota
rjklohn
11-07-2014 02:21 AM
11-07-2014 01:44 PM
by Steve
1 411
New to snow plowing
SS.Lawncare
11-05-2014 04:00 PM
11-07-2014 01:21 PM
by Steve
6 682
New Member
tonyap
11-05-2014 10:35 PM
11-07-2014 01:15 PM
by Steve
1 456
» Popular Tags
2wd 4x4 apartment complex bark bob villa care charge christmas collections edging employee problems equipment rental exmark ferris four wheel drive gopherhaul grass gravely hardscapes hills holiday how much to charge how to bid husqvarna hydraulic jobs kawasaki labor cost landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care business podcast lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care website lighting lighting brass outdoor lights managing a lawn care business mowing mr dave mulch mulch estimate new buisness past due per hour service podcast push versus ride redmax savannah scag v-ride scripts search engine optimization seo shell small engine repair sprayer starting a business starting a lawn care business sulky theft toro tractor auger trailer trimmer rack up sell employee walker wood wright stander rh
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:49 AM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:49 AM.

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