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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!

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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!
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  #1  
Old 02-18-2011, 10:05 PM
Steve Rhine Steve Rhine is offline
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Unhappy still trying to get started

This will be my third season in the busness and I enjoy it . Even if it is my side job. My full time job is a Fire Fighter in central Missouri, I am still haveing problems of not making any money. I think I can Handle 20 to 25 yards but I only have 11. Last year I passed out close to 600 door hangers with only 1 response, and I had to theaten to take them to small claims court what a disaster. I dont know if I am priceing to low or if just need to relax and let it happen. I also did a little over 100 cubic yards of mulch last year. Still wondering where it all went. any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2011, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rhine View Post
This will be my third season in the busness and I enjoy it . Even if it is my side job. My full time job is a Fire Fighter in central Missouri, I am still haveing problems of not making any money. I think I can Handle 20 to 25 yards but I only have 11. Last year I passed out close to 600 door hangers with only 1 response, and I had to theaten to take them to small claims court what a disaster. I dont know if I am priceing to low or if just need to relax and let it happen. I also did a little over 100 cubic yards of mulch last year. Still wondering where it all went. any suggestions?
well typical return on flyers is around 1-3% so 600 would likely have gotten about 6 calls, post a pic of your flyer maybe a simple change could help

Don't give up if you enjoy it as things will happen, also handing business cards to everyone you talk to and having friends/family do the same as word of mouth is my biggest ad campaign
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2011, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
This will be my third season in the busness and I enjoy it . Even if it is my side job. My full time job is a Fire Fighter in central Missouri, I am still haveing problems of not making any money. I think I can Handle 20 to 25 yards but I only have 11.
Do you feel this is an issue of not making any money or not making enough profit? Are there any issues that stick out from the past couple of years you are going to try to avoid this new year? I am just trying to figure out what is going on.

Quote:
Last year I passed out close to 600 door hangers with only 1 response, and I had to theaten to take them to small claims court what a disaster.
What happened with this? What is the background story?

Quote:
I dont know if I am priceing to low or if just need to relax and let it happen.
What size are your average lawns? How long are they taking you? What are you charging per average lawn?
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  #4  
Old 02-20-2011, 04:12 PM
kdvandco kdvandco is offline
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Default My brother is a Fireman

and he tried going into mowing yards, he soon found out that he could mow a lot some of his days off but when he worked one over time shift, he made a hell of a lot more than that, So he sold his equipment and just picked up extra shifts here and there.. I mean your shifts are 24 hours right. so that be 24 hours overtime pay IM assuming. of washing trucks and waiting for the bell!

anyways. yeah thats what he ended up doing after.. wait for it. 2 seasons.
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:41 PM
950thomas 950thomas is offline
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I know a fireman that makes more in landscape than as a fireman he keeps the gov job for benefits and pension but he has a partner who runs it when he works
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:02 PM
Woody wacker Woody wacker is offline
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I am a fireman in KY and this will be my first season im pretty excited waiting for my pamphlets to get done and then it is time to hit the streets. If I make 25 bucks a week its five packs of smokes Im content with that LOL. Headed to the subdivisions with a lot of yuppies and elderly. I just like being outside.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:07 AM
cruzgardening cruzgardening is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rhine View Post
This will be my third season in the busness and I enjoy it . Even if it is my side job. My full time job is a Fire Fighter in central Missouri, I am still haveing problems of not making any money. I think I can Handle 20 to 25 yards but I only have 11. Last year I passed out close to 600 door hangers with only 1 response, and I had to theaten to take them to small claims court what a disaster. I dont know if I am priceing to low or if just need to relax and let it happen. I also did a little over 100 cubic yards of mulch last year. Still wondering where it all went. any suggestions?
hi how are you?

first of Don't give up remember this is your new business and all new business do fail with in the first 5 years but it is not because the business is unsuccesfull but rather because people give up way to fast. With that said here is my opinion.

Learn to sell yourself- i learned this by running a small business for my Dad if you do not know how to sell yourself you will never be able to sell your service, you need to learn how to be a good sales person so u can land good accounts.

Advertise correctly- I learned this one by working for a landscaping company for a couple of years. You need to pass out more than 600 door hangers, the company i use to work for use to pass out 10,000 flyers a week they had 2 full time employees only for this purpose. The company did not have doorhangers because tehy knew they were to expensive and they had the same effect as a regular flyer, their system was simple pass out the most flyers as possible in the targeted area once your flyer has been in circulation in the same location for at least 5-6 times the potential client will learn to recognize you as local Gardener/Lawn care provider so consistency is key.

Give the Client what they want- This is a biggie, this is the one that most people forget we are payed and supported by our client and because of this we need to give them what they want once you have a new account make sure you write an agreement so they can follow through and you need to do what you promise you would, so if you said you will not see any weeds growing anywhere near your sidewalk keep your word ect ect.

the last thing i have to say is DO NOT GIVE UP times will get hard but an optimistic person tends to get more work than a pessimistic one so always look at the good things and avoid getting stuck on the one client that you ahd problems with and think about the new clients taht you will get soon.


I bought an existing route from a friend he had really bad accounts i got rid of many of the accounts he had, he was charging 15-25 per service, and i started advertising on my own i created 3 crappy websites where i can send people to see what i offer i posted lots of ads on the internet for free and i learned how to get targeted, so when i started the route was a 25 home route about 7 months ago right now i have 35 accounts i lost about 5 of the old clients but it did not hurt me because they were underpaying me so since 7 months ago to now i ahve been able to get 15 accounts, it was a lot of work during the winter months but it has payed of right now every day i get at least 3 clients calling me a day out of this clients i only get the best ones, i am charging most of my clients a minimun of $35+ per service i only get about 1 client for every 20 i talk to but that is a lot better than most people.

if you like i can show u some of the things i do just pm me.
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  #8  
Old 02-25-2011, 02:45 PM
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Hey Steve,

Its so easy to get discouraged in any business in the beginnings. Either nobody knows of you or if they do...they didn't know you were also in that line of business. Then most of your first bunch of customers turn out to be pain in the asses because you were so eager to get work...you overlooked the obvious that there had to be a reason why the other landscapers in the area weren't already doing their work.

Chalk it up to a learning lesson and don't look back except to keep you from repeating them over again. People don't always go with the lowest price. Price it right so that the homeowner or business gets great value for their investment. If your just starting out...say so and that you are willing to give a little price break if its on to use them as a reference. Honesty in the end usually wins out. There are tons of people that can blow smoke up your a**, but it sure is refreshing to hear someone that is down to earth looking to just make a living by doing what they said they would do.

So to reduce the costs there are a couple of things you can do yourself that won't cost you much and will require a little of your time.

a. Create an ad and place it on craigslist...costs you nothing but your time and will appear locally where you want to get the work

b. Buy a domain and build a site to direct people too. With a minimal cost to you, you can put all the information on the site that you feel you need for your customer to make an informed decision. Be careful not to go overboard with too much information and too many choices for your customer to choose from. Use the KISS principal...Keep It Simple Stupid

c. Print some business cards with your email and web address on it so that people at their convenience can contact you to ask more questions.

d. Pin up business cards at places people go...grocery stores, Department stores and local convenience stores. Most have a posting board for the public to use pin tacks on

e. give back to the community and become involved in functions....some of the best networking goes on there. Not so sure of how populated an area your from...but when doing free work, look for the ones that need it the most and can't afford it like some of our elderly population or maybe a local church. Use your best judgment.

Most of all...think positive!
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Advertise correctly- I learned this one by working for a landscaping company for a couple of years. You need to pass out more than 600 door hangers, the company i use to work for use to pass out 10,000 flyers a week they had 2 full time employees only for this purpose. The company did not have doorhangers because tehy knew they were to expensive and they had the same effect as a regular flyer
Did these people try to talk with the potential customers or was their job only to leave flyers on the door? What were they to do if a customer caught them and had questions to ask?

Also did they use different flyers or the same one over and over again?
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:13 AM
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Did these people try to talk with the potential customers or was their job only to leave flyers on the door? What were they to do if a customer caught them and had questions to ask?

Also did they use different flyers or the same one over and over again?
this was a tricky one for the company since no one in my side of town wanted to do this job, which pays minimum wage so the company hired workers whom most of the time did not know how to speak English. This caused many problems at the begging but the owner tells me he gave them a cellphone and every time a client caught them with a question they would call the owner or a supervisor and the client would talk to the potential client.

the color scheme was a tricky one and they had developed a system which worked for them over 20 years. What they did was they would start at one end of their service area and would finish at the other end once they where finished they would get a diff color flyer and would place it on the same area and they would repeat this process over and over with about 6-7 different color flyers and it brought this company loads of work.

i learned a lot from them and i hope to share all i learned with you guys.
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