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 few questions about starting my 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.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 11-30-2011, 11:51 AM
kymd82 kymd82 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 9
Rep Power: 4
kymd82 is on a distinguished road
Default A few questions about starting my business

Hello,

I have been a landscape laborer for years, and have decided to start my own company. I have been doing "side jobs" for years by word of mouth. I do have a couple of questions, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

1. I'm looking to pass out flyers for the spring season - mowing, trimming, edging, mulching, etc. I live in Indiana. Will I be likely to get any customers at this time of year, or is it a waste of time?

2. In my first year, I will only be servicing residential clients. No commercial jobs. Should I use contracts? I have a contract written out, but am worried that it might "scare" some potential clients off. What is the norm for residential clients?

Thanks for your help!
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 11-30-2011, 05:55 PM
Ducke's Avatar
Ducke Ducke is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Duck Pond
Posts: 844
Rep Power: 0
Ducke is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Quote:
Originally Posted by kymd82 View Post

1. I'm looking to pass out flyers for the spring season - mowing, trimming, edging, mulching, etc. I live in Indiana. Will I be likely to get any customers at this time of year, or is it a waste of time?
Spring time is a great time to get customers, But start your ground work now. Get out and meet potential customer in your area. Get your flyers layed out and printed make up a Crag's list ad etc.now is the time to do it come spring hopefully you won't have the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kymd82 View Post
2. In my first year, I will only be servicing residential clients. No commercial jobs. Should I use contracts? I have a contract written out, but am worried that it might "scare" some potential clients off. What is the norm for residential clients?
No a big person on forcing the 85 year old widow down the road to sign a contract. I would say this is a personal call on your part if you can trust the people you work for. 99% of my customers pay when I mow. the rest the monthly payers I keep on a short string till we got a relationship built up.
I am saving the contracts for the commercial jobs.

I hope this helps.
Graham
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-30-2011, 07:20 PM
FaccLndscpng FaccLndscpng is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Phila PA
Posts: 118
Rep Power: 7
FaccLndscpng is on a distinguished road
Default

I agree with Ducke, the 90 year old widow isnít the problem but watch out for tenants. I used contracts for a lot of my residential just so everyone was on the same page with service frequency, payment terms (make sure to have a late fee and a returned check fee because that will come up and why should you have to pay your bank for a returned check) and in the event of damages. You canít go wrong with contracts, I havenít scared anyone off with them and if someone was a little questionable with it I just said it was for liability purposes (which for the most part it is). For PA its early, generally people donít care about landscaping until after the holidays, actually the first day it hits 50 degrees everyone goes crazy they all wash their car and call to start mulching so in my experience if you were to send out flyers it might go in a pile of paper work or sit on their desk until Feb. Good luck with everything, and try to hook up with a residential property manager, they usually have multiple properties and in my experiences pay the bill then get reimbursed by the tenant so you donít have to track down someone that moved out of town.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-01-2011, 08:33 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,502
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
I used contracts for a lot of my residential just so everyone was on the same page with service frequency, payment terms (make sure to have a late fee and a returned check fee because that will come up and why should you have to pay your bank for a returned check) and in the event of damages.
Did you start doing this the first year you got started or did you enact this policy later after a year or two? How did you phase it in with current customers?

Quote:
I have been a landscape laborer for years, and have decided to start my own company. I have been doing "side jobs" for years by word of mouth.
Welcome to our forum! From your experience, I bet you have learned a lot of what you want to do and what you don't want to do with your company as compared with the company you work for.

Do any lessons stand out that you feel will help you in the operation of your business?

Did you ever find yourself doing side jobs for the customers of your employer? Or did you see any other problems the other employees caused for the company that you will look to avoid later with yours?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-01-2011, 09:30 AM
kymd82 kymd82 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 9
Rep Power: 4
kymd82 is on a distinguished road
Default

Steve,

I would say there was a re-acurring theme in the companies that I worked for - trying to grow too much too fast, and putting way too much equipment on credit. This was the downfall of the last company that I worked for. I saw the writing on the wall when I realized they had $150,000 on credit in trucks, $50,000 in mowers, and the list goes on. This for a company of 15-20 people. The biggest client is signing with someone else next year, which leaves them on the brink of bankruptcy. It was a big lesson for me as a start my own business. Everything that I've bought so far for the business is fully paid for.

I never did "side jobs" for customers. At times, I was tempted. The company I was with didn't pay well. Find good employees, and pay them well. They'll respect you more, and be more loyal to the company.

Thanks to everyone for your help regarding contracts and flyers. Great forum!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-01-2011, 02:55 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,502
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

That is very interesting! You are really going to benefit from all your knowledge.

What is your view on why these companies push for so much growth and leverage themselves so far out?

How can that temptation to do that be kept in check so you or others reading this don't fall into the same trap?

It must be something that once it gets a hold of you, really wraps itself around you and blinds you.
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-01-2011, 08:30 PM
FaccLndscpng FaccLndscpng is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Phila PA
Posts: 118
Rep Power: 7
FaccLndscpng is on a distinguished road
Default

Steve,
No this was gradually put into effect, I was too young when I first started to get customers to sign contracts so it took me like 2-3 years before I was able to get everyone to sign minus the family members and the select few that I didnít worry about. First I would just require new customers to sign then the next season I just sent out a letter to my existing customers (the ones that I wanted to sign a contract) basically saying welcome to a new season, this is whatís new, when we will be starting and enclosed please find a contract for services. I said that we have been doing business for a few years now and this way we can all be on the same page. I also raised a lot of their prices so it was like a fresh start, like I said before no one was scared off and the few that had questions were no big deal.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-02-2011, 06:13 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,502
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
I also raised a lot of their prices so it was like a fresh start
This is a great point to consider as well.

What was your view on how you chose which customers to raise their prices and then how did you determine what % you should raise it?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-06-2011, 02:35 PM
FaccLndscpng FaccLndscpng is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Phila PA
Posts: 118
Rep Power: 7
FaccLndscpng is on a distinguished road
Default

Steve,
A lot of my customers have been with me from the beginning so I didnít have the overhead that I do now so I raised them like 20% it wasnít a big deal. For the most part I knew what the norm was for that area so I tried to stay within.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-07-2011, 07:00 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,502
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

As you look at your growth, do you see certain overhead expenses grow a lot faster than others?

Do the newer lawn care business owners need to keep a heads up about those expenses?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
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 about starting up flinters17 Starting a lawn care business. 8 06-30-2011 12:20 PM
still not in business got some questions???? curtiss Introduce Yourself 7 03-05-2011 05:37 PM
Starting up and had a few questions??? scheiderer1 Starting a lawn care business. 1 09-12-2010 12:50 PM
Starting out questions jay31 Starting a lawn care business. 6 08-18-2010 08:11 AM
New business has questions Steve General Business Discussions 2 07-06-2005 04:55 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
scag SWZT review!
mattthelawnguy
07-23-2015 02:28 PM
Today 06:12 PM
by rootytalbot
7 254
Hello!
brandycarlton
Today 12:31 PM
Today 03:54 PM
by Steve
1 43
Assessing the Market
NJDB60
07-27-2015 03:25 PM
Yesterday 09:24 PM
by Steve
2 170
Whats wrong with this...
GreenWorx
Yesterday 07:56 PM
Yesterday 09:09 PM
by Steve
2 148
Funny craigslist post
GreenWorx
Yesterday 07:17 PM
Yesterday 09:02 PM
by Steve
2 153
Watch out for this -...
rootytalbot
07-22-2015 02:13 PM
Yesterday 09:00 PM
by Steve
7 299
NewVenture
NJDB60
07-27-2015 03:38 PM
Yesterday 08:58 PM
by Steve
1 149
Pricing issue
Mr. Mow
07-07-2015 06:15 AM
07-27-2015 06:40 PM
by GreenWorx
17 675
how to make customers...
Bradcook21
05-27-2015 05:04 PM
07-27-2015 06:08 PM
by GreenWorx
15 2,852
Need your help, Gopher...
Chilehead
07-23-2015 07:02 PM
07-27-2015 11:28 AM
by Steve
11 304
Should I buy this Exmark...
googus
07-03-2015 09:22 AM
07-27-2015 11:27 AM
by googus
8 495
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 10:41 AM
07-27-2015 11:22 AM
by Steve
94 10,329
Dogs
Mr. Mow
06-29-2015 02:37 PM
07-25-2015 07:50 AM
by Chilehead
12 2,330
Just about mid year, how...
GreenWorx
06-24-2015 07:05 PM
07-22-2015 07:31 PM
by Chilehead
14 2,394
Learning as I grow -...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
07-18-2015 07:46 AM
07-21-2015 10:53 AM
by Steve
3 244
Large dirt mound removal
purdue1973
07-09-2015 07:45 PM
07-20-2015 12:55 PM
by Steve
6 358
Hey everyone
Fantasy landscaping
07-09-2015 06:53 AM
07-09-2015 11:47 AM
by Steve
1 265
Quickbooks Online
jscarolina
07-08-2015 07:54 AM
07-08-2015 12:55 PM
by Nate10928
1 279
I dont know what to do...
Bradcook21
06-21-2015 08:49 AM
07-07-2015 09:48 PM
by SGL1
16 2,659
Start LIKING FACEBOOK...
rlclawncare123
02-26-2015 12:06 AM
07-07-2015 02:54 PM
by GreenWorx
13 3,608
Is it too late to do...
markty
06-16-2015 05:28 PM
07-07-2015 01:00 PM
by problem solver
9 2,411
Hi everyone
Mattw
07-06-2015 05:59 PM
07-07-2015 10:18 AM
by Steve
1 292
4th of July parade...
Steve
07-06-2015 10:35 AM
07-06-2015 10:35 AM
by Steve
0 237
Unemployment rates drop,...
Steve
07-02-2015 12:40 PM
07-06-2015 10:30 AM
by Steve
4 408
another newish job for me
holymoly
06-07-2015 08:34 AM
07-03-2015 02:06 PM
by American L&T
9 2,411
Before & After tree...
COREtreeservice
07-01-2015 09:20 PM
07-01-2015 09:20 PM
by COREtreeservice
0 338
Ready to learn and get...
Koley Lawn & Landscape
06-28-2015 05:16 AM
07-01-2015 11:26 AM
by Steve
8 2,175
Three Stripe Land Care...
hammr04
06-30-2015 07:19 PM
07-01-2015 11:24 AM
by Steve
1 305
Country Life Lawn Care
darleneh
06-29-2015 11:24 AM
06-30-2015 01:25 PM
by Steve
3 2,016
» Popular Tags
accounting ad landscaping advertising aerocore apartment complex bark billy goat brushcutter bob villa collections contract help demonstration design door hangers edging employee problems equipment dealer equipment rental facebook financials foreman free lawn care google hardscapes how to husqvarna increase customers invoicing jobs landscape landscape services landscaping training lawn aeration lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn mowing marketing marketing secrets more customers business mr dave mulch new business ordinance past due patio install per hour service plowing pricing profit on employee quickbooks quickbooks online roundup scag secrets to landscaping sell the vision seo shell shreaded small engine repair solo solo backpack sprayer sq ft square foot swzt tree up sell employee walk behind web design website winterization wood
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:26 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:26 PM.

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