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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.

Starting New in FL


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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  #11  
Old 08-11-2010, 12:05 PM
mmcuttrim mmcuttrim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Keep us updated on how things go!
Will do! MAKLAWN has been helping out behind the scenes and I am going to put your idea into play about the cloverleafing. I will probably pick up some of your books for downtime reading too. I have one oppertunity that has presented itself but not sure how it will work out. I'll report on it when I know more.
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  #12  
Old 08-12-2010, 04:39 AM
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I have one oppertunity that has presented itself but not sure how it will work out. I'll report on it when I know more.
I look forwards to hearing the updates.
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  #13  
Old 09-26-2010, 04:42 PM
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I look forwards to hearing the updates.
Greetings again all,

I just thought I would update everyone with what has been going on. I now have a total of 5 accounts. 2 that have corner lots. Yep I push cut those a couple of times this year and it took about two hours each to complete all work, plus I was spent afterwards. The others are about 5,000-6,000 sq.ft and I can finish those in about an hour and fifteen pushing. Well I got a word of mouth account that has about 10,500 sq.ft so that would be the equivelant of three corner lots. So this week I bit the bullet and bought a zero turn and trailer. I cut out some personal expense to help pay for the equipment in lean times. I will trade out cars with the wife on cutting days and tow it with her SUV. I cut my two true corner lots with it the other day. 23 minutes per yard to cut. I was done in less than an hour with with each yard and I felt much better than pushing them so I know I could have done a few more yards. OK I know you are say "What did he get?" I know there are some that will want to flame me but I got a 34 zt Gravely. There is a reason. The new 10k sq.ft lot has a 41" gate. I am quite aware of the pro's and con's to this type of mower. Plus the cost in an acceptable price range. One of the lawns I cut the other day has some challenges and I had cut it once with a borrowed troy-bilt lawn tractor, which scapled some areas around a few ruts in the yard. The zt did not, which made me happy. So I am pleased so far. Now to inform you on oppertunity I spoke about on my last post. I posted on Craigslist as suggested by another user. I was new to the whole craigslist thing and thought I was pretty smart to scams. I was contacted by a "company"..."looking for handymen", offering to give me bank owned property work. I had to of course pay for a background check $99.00. You guessed it, no work so far after saying they were backed-up by 7 months. So I am currently disputing that with the card company. There you have it. Still working to get some more accounts.
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  #14  
Old 09-27-2010, 09:18 AM
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I was contacted by a "company"..."looking for handymen", offering to give me bank owned property work. I had to of course pay for a background check $99.00. You guessed it, no work so far after saying they were backed-up by 7 months. So I am currently disputing that with the card company. There you have it. Still working to get some more accounts.
I am sorry about that happening.

Have you done any investigation on this company? Have others had the same problem? Are they profiting on the $99 or is it going to another company? Did you have to show proof of insurance? Do you feel it definitely is a scam or is it possible they simply don't have jobs local there?

Could you show us the initial email they sent to you and take out any specific contact information so others know not to fall for this?
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I am sorry about that happening.

Have you done any investigation on this company? Have others had the same problem? Are they profiting on the $99 or is it going to another company? Did you have to show proof of insurance? Do you feel it definitely is a scam or is it possible they simply don't have jobs local there?

Could you show us the initial email they sent to you and take out any specific contact information so others know not to fall for this?
Steve and All,

I did some quick research before calling, but could not find anything good or bad about the company so I called. Afterwards, I found the same company using a slightly different name via complaintsboard.com and there were similar issues like mine and of course there are a few that reply that they are great. The company claims the $99.00 is to pay for a background check that is "required" to work on the properties. They did not request License or Insurance proof. I say they are not legit because when I called they claimed a "7 month" backlog "in my area". After a month not even one email or phone call for work. Phone calls to the support number go directly to a voicemail and emails get a auto response to check the website faq's as to the reason the contractor may not be getting work orders, of which none apply to me. Here is the original email I received with limited retraction:

Hi,

Responding to your ad on Craigslist.

looking for skilled handymen and tradesmen

that would be able to work on bank owned and residential properties.

Please have transportation and tools to where you can do minor repairs on homes.

$200-$600 per work order

"work order" = 2-5 hours worth of work.

Regards,
Jac
1-888-8**-8917

immediate consideration

Last edited by mmcuttrim; 09-28-2010 at 12:37 PM.
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  #16  
Old 09-28-2010, 09:26 PM
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Has anyone else run into anything similar to this situation? What's the best way to avoid falling into such a pitfall? I would guess there must be a few companies out there that are able to pull in work.
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  #17  
Old 11-02-2010, 11:29 AM
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Just another update. Total of 7 accounts all but one want twice a month which is ok right now due to lack of rain / growth. Getting much better with the zero turn, really got the hang of it around the 5 hour mark. And just yesterday had someone stop while I was cutting asking about service. so the "just being out there" seems to have some effect. I have about 400 door hangers ready to go but not sure if I want to tackle it right now. Sure, about 5-7 more accounts would be very nice but due to the decline in growth and cooler temps I'm not sure how many people would bite. Anyone else down in the Central FL area see much growth in accounts during this time? Thanks for any input.
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  #18  
Old 11-02-2010, 07:12 PM
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yesterday had someone stop while I was cutting asking about service. so the "just being out there" seems to have some effect.
Do you have signs on your truck and trailer? Is that how they knew you were a business or did they just come up to you without that?
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  #19  
Old 11-05-2010, 02:53 PM
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Steve,

Yep I have door magnets on the SUV. I also wear a logo t-shirt and hat. I just figure it shows that I am open to new business. I have not hear anything from the prospects as of yet but the persons lawn I was cutting at the time did not call me for almost two months from the time I did a door hang, so I wait.
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:32 PM
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When I first got into deck staining I charged according to what I found to be the market not how long it took me to do something. Why?

1. My equipment was inferior. I knew I would get faster after I could get the right equipment purchased.

2. My skills were inferior. My first deck took me 5 hours to clean and prep. WAAAY too long. But now that deck would take me less than an hour.

I tell you this because you said in an earlier post that you were 10-15 higher than the competition. If it were me I would look at a yard and say it should take me this long to cut based on having the proper equipment. You will get more customers and then upgrade your equipment and the cuts will go faster.

Charging more because you have inferior equipment will not help you grow and obtain customers. There is no physical cost because it is only your time. Yes your time is valuable but can you survive on 2 customers? I figured it as my time was cheap to me.

So with my thinking for example.....

2 clients @ $40 = $80 ..... A year before you can upgrade.

10 Clients @ $30 = $300 ..... A few months at this level and you can now buy a good used machine and a trailer. Now you are moving faster and can add more clients and do it all over again. Only faster this time.

You are only out your time and you are charging what the current market is.

I guess what I am trying to say is that charging more because you have residential instead of commercial equipment just because it takes you longer is not the way to go. Charge what your current market is.

You see after 1 week you can get a used rider.... Cutting gets faster then a few months down the road you can get a commercial machine etc.... It just keeps building.

Make a plan and then work the plan.
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