The advice that my dad and uncle told me will very much help those that are also just starting out.
First my Uncle told me to get the job. Meaning that I should make a bid that isnt cheap and isnt expensive but reasonable and affordable. He told me to get the contract signed then after six months to a year raise the prices. The customer will be completely understanding. (Get the job then raise prices)
Here is an example of one of my raising prices letter:
RE: Price Increase
Dear Frank Falaniko,
At The Grounds Crew we have always worked hard to keep costs down and provide our clients with the highest quality yard services available.
I am sure as you know, everything (not only gas) has gone up in price over the past few years.
The Grounds Crew has worked hard and have been able to keep our prices the same.
We've held back as long as possible but we are left with no choice but to raise our prices slightly to remain competitive.
Starting on January 1, 2012 we will have to go up to $112.00 per visit for your yard care services.
We hope that you’ll agree that even with the new price, The Grounds Crew remains the top service provider in this area.
If you have any questions about this matter or anything else, do not hesitate to contact me any time.
The Grounds Crew
Secondly my dad told me promote door to door. When going door to door you are able to up front with a potential customer and tell them how your services can be used to benefit their yards. Point out what exactly can be improved in the yard. He also said to come to the door with a portfolio of flyers, business cards, pictures, and other additional information.
I hope this helps. Now like my facebook page at The Grounds Crew and follow me on twitter @_TheGroundsCrew.
my website is www.thegroundscrewllc.com