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Biggest business problem you are dealing with?


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  #11  
Old 12-18-2010, 05:44 PM
wellbiz wellbiz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
What different options do you feel you have ahead of you that you could choose from?
Steve, I really have a few things that I could do. When I started I thought I would just stay a solo operator and only do lawns with the occassional landscaping job. However I found the landscaping pays better and there is a lot of competition in the area for guys who just mow and go. In addition I ended up doing a lot of these small landscaping jobs that really helped my bottom line.

So some options I am considering are:

1, Stay solo and increase my lawn count by @ 10 to a total of @40 and cut 3-4 days a week and fill the other couple days with small landscaping work.

2, Try to increase my lawn count to 60-70+ and hire a helper getting away from alot of landscaping and concentrating my marketing to just lawn clients. Past clients and referrals will keep me busy with small landscaping, weeding, and mulch jobs one to two days a week.

3, Increase the lawn count to @40, hire a helper and increase marketing for my landscaping doing more and bigger jobs.

I am leaning towards #3. I would like to add more complicated landscaping jobs, maybe some water features and outdoor lighting. I really would like to find a niche and try to specialize. With the high unemployment in Michigan there are alot of low-ballers driving the price down on lawn cutting ($10-15 any size lawns is common in the paper and on craigslist). I can still compete, but it is a harder sell when my price is a minimum of $25 per cut and that is for a very small lawn. You can only sell the benefits of professionalism, being licensed and insured, etc so much. Of course that is a topic for another thread.

However the competition for landscaping and other services like hedge trimming, sodding, etc is not anywhere as bad. Seems most of the low-ballers either wont or dont know how to do alot of these tasks. To be honest I like the landscaping more. The lawn you cut only stays nice for a day or two, but I can drive by landscaping projects I did in the spring and they only look better as they mature.
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  #12  
Old 12-18-2010, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MrLank View Post
Biggest problem I'm having is receiving payment for snow removal. I mean it's not like mowing where customers can just set payment out before I come on their day. So I'm either having to make another trip to pick up payment or wait for them to send it. Them sending it would be alright, but it seems like it slips their mind rather easy.
If you had a wordpress site (I am looking into Joomla also) I can make it so that you can invoice online and they can either spit it out their printer because it emails a PDF or they follow the link in the email to view and then pay the invoice via paypal.
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  #13  
Old 12-18-2010, 11:54 PM
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My biggest problem I'm dealing with is the guilty feeling I get when I have to turn away new clients. We have gotten a fair amount of snow lately and the phone has been ringing like crazy with potential new clients asking for monthly snow service. I feel bad having to turn them away as I have too many clients to handle already. Many have asked if I know of any reliable snow removal guys cause the one they already have doesn't show up. Sadly I can't even help them out with that either ... What a strange situation to be in!

Lloyd
Blue's YardFX
Camrose, Alberta
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  #14  
Old 12-19-2010, 12:23 PM
MrLank MrLank is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jymie View Post
Can you set them up on autopay with thier credit cards? That way the day you do the driveway, you can process the payment and not have to chase them down to get paid. OR have them pay for the season up front. Of course you take a chance on getting way to much snow and not getting as much but at least you have the money up front. The plus of that would be if you dont get as much snow you make out if the payment is up front.
Jymie I currently have 11 customers that did a seasonal contract and pay a monthly charge. The problem is my other 17 that are per clearing. I currently have someone working on my website(wish he was moving faster) and I want to setup a payment option on it. Most of my customers found me from craigslist, so I know they have internet. So we'll see when that day comes how much stress it will actually take off.
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  #15  
Old 12-19-2010, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLank View Post
Jymie I currently have 11 customers that did a seasonal contract and pay a monthly charge. The problem is my other 17 that are per clearing. I currently have someone working on my website(wish he was moving faster) and I want to setup a payment option on it. Most of my customers found me from craigslist, so I know they have internet. So we'll see when that day comes how much stress it will actually take off.
I have a paypal button on my website. I get more use by sending invoices through paypal. All you need is the customers email address and a paypal account. The customer does not have to have a paypal account to pay the invoice. This spring I plan to get an android phone and accept credit cards through the android phone. I think I will be going with these guys...

http://www.merchantanywhere.com/
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  #16  
Old 12-19-2010, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jymie View Post
I have a paypal button on my website. I get more use by sending invoices through paypal. All you need is the customers email address and a paypal account. The customer does not have to have a paypal account to pay the invoice. This spring I plan to get an android phone and accept credit cards through the android phone. I think I will be going with these guys...

http://www.merchantanywhere.com/
I use paypal invoices as well. Looks like a cool system and automatically keeps up with whether customer has paid it or not.

Matt
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  #17  
Old 12-20-2010, 01:25 AM
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Right now my biggest problem is rebuilding my entire company almost from scratch and deciding what to change this year..i have a new name and new logo so no one will probably know who i am. i have a car this year. and i will be more dedicated as well as having previous knowledge from the past few years.

This year i will be focusing more on long term prices instead of monthly earnings.

I will also have an employee working for me on a low budget.

With school in the way i dont have a whole lot of time to mow..and weekends arent always free.. so the most i think i would be able to handle is 20-25 but for a teenager i think thats plenty..i have no virtual overhead besides equipment costs , car insurance, and gas.

Right now im focusing on how im going to be marketing myself
i plan on buying 2 sets of advertisements (most likely post cards with double sided tape on the back) and i will be handing one out in february for fertilization aeration lawn maintenance etc.

and then another set in march for lawn maintenance
i will buy 1000 for february and depending on how many sign up i will buy another 500 to 2500 postcards.
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  #18  
Old 12-20-2010, 08:48 PM
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jk, I would include on all your upcoming advertising your last company name in some way like this:

JustKut Formerly known as .........
New name , same quality etc, in business since 2008 or what ever. That way they know your not a startup and you have some experience.

That way, if they know your last name, they will know the new one and link the two together.
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  #19  
Old 01-06-2011, 02:16 PM
jgontarek jgontarek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fieroboi View Post
My biggest problem I'm dealing with is the guilty feeling I get when I have to turn away new clients. We have gotten a fair amount of snow lately and the phone has been ringing like crazy with potential new clients asking for monthly snow service. I feel bad having to turn them away as I have too many clients to handle already. Many have asked if I know of any reliable snow removal guys cause the one they already have doesn't show up. Sadly I can't even help them out with that either ... What a strange situation to be in!

Lloyd
Blue's YardFX
Camrose, Alberta
Im right there with you, I recently started building a groundup,and totally maxed myself with good long term contract clients and clients that pay on time and I hate turning away work, I thought about buying more trucks, but then you run the risk of them never calling again, it's a catch 22 and even worse that not many people are dependable,honest and hard working!
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  #20  
Old 01-06-2011, 03:27 PM
chrisw23 chrisw23 is offline
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Hi im chris im 18 and own a landscaping business in new jersey. I am very very dedicated to my business and it can be very stressful to me at times. i just purchased a detatcher and looking to get an aerator to try and do a seeding program this year but still have a few questions. Alot of my lawns are lawns that the owners dont take the greatest care of them. Some may have some weeds and mixtures of grasses etc. Well i feel like to put seed down i need to be putting it down on like plain dirt to come up the nicest. I feel even if i thatch areate and seed a lawn before seeding theres still going to be weeds and such that affect it. Also a few of my customers have souza grass but are interested in seeding still. Do i have to buy the type of grass seed that each one of my customers have? i just feel like if i put a normal seed down that my guy would recommend it wouldnt do anything to that out of control growing souza. Im very worried about seeding and not having the best outcome because alot of my customers have been using me for years and i know this is going to be alittle more expensive then most of the work i do. Also i mow with a brand new 36 inch wright stander. i tend to compare my work to the other companys in the area. It seem that alot of my lawns you can see the tire marks from my mower almost like the ground sunk on the spots that i normally mow. Im only 140 pounds soaking wet so its not like im some big guy putting alot of addition weight on my machine. Its looks like i was mowing wet lawns or something. Ive seen other companys that use the same mowers or even bigger and never have this problem. Im starting to think i may have too much air in my back tires. It the little things like this that drive me crazy. Thanks for any help in advance. CHRIS

To sum it all up alittle better is there an important step i need to do before aerating and seeding? and is there certain seed to use on certain types of grass? And what are some of the tricks for getting the best groomed lawn? i know sharp blades are very important and i do stay up on that its just those ruts on the ground that drive me crazy. Is it really because i may just be running with too much air in those tires?

Last edited by chrisw23; 01-06-2011 at 03:36 PM. Reason: forgot text
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