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? > Introduce Yourself

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!

Hey There


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!
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 03-18-2012, 10:38 PM
52BeltDrive's Avatar
52BeltDrive 52BeltDrive is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 20
Rep Power: 3
52BeltDrive is on a distinguished road
Default Hey There

Made a few posts and thought I should introduce myself. I've been in the nursery/landscape/lawncare business most of my adult life. Mostly on my own since 1990, it's been a long, hard road. If I had a great success story to share I'd probably be enjoying some exotic drink on an exotic island surrounded by equally exotic ladies...

As is I'm sitting at my computer not so much looking at starting from scratch but figuring out the best methods to re-sell myself and services I best provide. I'm no expert or guru but I do have some experience that might be worth sharing. Just the same, sometimes folks from a different line of work or little experience at anything at all have a tidbit of brilliance to share. I'm an old dog but not too old to learn a new trick. I've stepped in a big ol' pile o' poo or two along the way hoping perhaps that once in awhile I might steer a pup from stepping in too many.

This forum has more potential for a think tank than others I've seen from the posts I've read. My goofy avatar? Well, you should never have your discharge chute buried in someone's hostas. (the mower was new, first cut, freshly hosed off)

Right now I'm going into my first season ever without a truck and the mild winter has brought work early. So that's my biggest concern now. I have every tool I need (not every tool I want) so a few small upgrades here recently that I can pit against their still functional counterparts for a fair review.

Without starting a pic thread, here's what my driveway often looks like through the summer (usually many, many more potted plants, divisions, seedlings etc.)



So cheers ladies and gents, here's to 2012
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 03-19-2012, 02:40 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,181
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Quote:
I've been in the nursery/landscape/lawncare business most of my adult life. Mostly on my own since 1990, it's been a long, hard road.
Welcome to our forum!

What's your thoughts on some of the lessons you have learned being in the industry that long?

Any top 5 do's and don'ts for the new business owners you can share?
__________________
- 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
  #3  
Old 03-19-2012, 06:33 PM
52BeltDrive's Avatar
52BeltDrive 52BeltDrive is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 20
Rep Power: 3
52BeltDrive is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Welcome to our forum!

What's your thoughts on some of the lessons you have learned being in the industry that long?

Any top 5 do's and don'ts for the new business owners you can share?
Whew, that's a loaded question. I'll work on this a little bit at a time. I'll get back to ya here in a little bit.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-20-2012, 12:48 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,181
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

I am looking forwards to 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
  #5  
Old 03-26-2012, 11:02 PM
52BeltDrive's Avatar
52BeltDrive 52BeltDrive is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 20
Rep Power: 3
52BeltDrive is on a distinguished road
Default Been a little busy...

...and of course that's a good thing. Just now getting to recent email activity.

Do's and Don'ts. Whew, uhhhh. Hmmm?

1. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Better yet, don't bite what you don't want to do.

Please allow me to digress...

I started on the bottom as many of us do. A better start than some in concern to the equipment I could afford and a good market that could afford me. I knew alot about general landscape maintenance, more experience in some areas than others but enough working knowledge to compete in the market. Mowing was an option and once offered/advertised I gained some clients rather quickly. A few were word of mouth but the primary sales came from small local weekly papers and hand-delivered fliers.

Two situations you're bound to encounter. First being clients that nobody can keep (or want to keep). Second, dirtbags always on the prowl for the inexperienced businessperson that only hire at the lowest bid (i.e. who they believe to be the "easiest mark"). Clients on both of these lists are to be avoided at all costs. A complete waste of time, effort and associated frustration. No cashflow is better than bad business. This is about YOU, not the client. Sure, the client has something to gain from your service but you don't OWE anyone anything more than services provided as offered for PAY. Some folks will try to convince you that working for them (on the cheap) will give you prestige, bet that they are full of themselves (if not something else, dig?). Most perspective clients don't s*ck but there are many out there who do (regularly).

You're playing the "new guy" for real. They've played it out a hundred times and they get better every season. They have more experience! If you can smell it there's a good reason, because they stink! RUN. Don't bother with a high bid, they are going to be thorns in your a** sooner than later, just run. Politely inform them that you believe you're too busy "right now". They will continue their hunt elsewhere. Sadly, they will find their sucker (just be happy it isn't you). Oh, you'll watch their property asking "what if" but it won't be long before you see that they don't keep the folks they hire. I still experience this every year, sometimes I can "smell" it over the phone. word of mouth and neighbors who actually experience the work you do are the best sales.

More later. I'll gather my thoughts and continue...
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-27-2012, 02:52 AM
52BeltDrive's Avatar
52BeltDrive 52BeltDrive is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 20
Rep Power: 3
52BeltDrive is on a distinguished road
Default RE: This

"1. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Better yet, don't bite what you don't want to do."

My intention was to provide basic landscape maintenance services at what I (unknowingly) believed to be a competitive rate. I was $10 under competitive in 1990. You get alot of bad business being cheap. Other than my pre-existing truck I had over $1200 invested in a Honda commercial grade mower, McCulloch trimmer and Echo handheld blower (and yes, McCulloch did make some quality tools 30 years ago my SX85 trimmer was nearly $200 back then, came with a handlebar and saw blade...)

Mowing grass for a living was never my goal. Mowing grass quickly became easy money. I was cheap. Worse than that I did a better job for clients than I would have done for myself.

Even now, to this day, I do not treat my "yard" the way I treated client's "lawns". At my house I mow it, blow it and fire up the grill (and a beer or two). In the beginning it's so darn easy to really kick it out for a paying customer whether they appreciate it or not. As time goes on, clients add up and weather factors in it just gets more and more difficult. Mowing "on the side" or in addition to other services becomes a ruling factor.

If lawn mowing isn't your goal, DON'T do it. Single largest mistake I ever made. I do it now only for particular people who understand my limited schedule. I quit outright for three or four years but I missed the torture and abuse of a big walk-behind. There is money to be made and personal satisfaction that ranks right up there with customer satisfaction. I know myself that I can lay out a better end product than the average ZTR mow-n-blow newbies. They have to schedule a week to pay the bills, I schedule 2 days. I don't hate mowing, I'm pretty darn good at it. A faster machine would only take me back to where I don't want to be.

That said, I don't like to mow. I can do a superb job at something I don't enjoy as long as it's money. Money I know. My Dad worked in the airline industry, they actually oversell flights to insure the plane is loaded (and you wonder why you're sitting in an airport for hours). Same thing with every straight-up mowing operation. To cover costs and turn a buck it's all about that freaking mowing, you can only do so much. Weather rules, screw the equipment issues, the weather owns you. Mowing is profitable if you charge a premium and pay a minimum. You'll always have to sell because people that don't like crappy service will dump you faster than you can sell new accounts. And then there's the equipment. Every JoeBlow thinks they can start and run a a lawn service/landscape outfit, truth is a college education might be a cheaper (or better) investment.

Sell yourself, what you're capable of and comfortable with. Time flies and if you're not planning on getting rich life is too short for 60 hour workweeks. Think about it.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-27-2012, 01:02 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,181
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Great insights and great advice. Often we see newer lawn care business owners on here struggling with their customer base.

From your experience, it seems if your customer base is giving you too many problems, these are the wrong customers for you.

I bet though, as the new forum members are reading this, they are wondering, 'but who are the good customers and how do I find them?'

Do you have any advice on that?
__________________
- 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

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
need professional advice...
Fiddlers_green
07-20-2014 07:21 PM
Today 12:42 PM
by Steve
3 115
new to me box truck
jrayb39667
03-06-2014 10:20 PM
Today 12:40 PM
by Steve
15 1,292
Need help determining...
Jbss861
07-20-2014 02:33 PM
Today 12:35 PM
by Steve
10 207
Customer letters
kslawn
Today 06:17 AM
Today 12:33 PM
by Steve
1 20
My First Apartment...
SSLCtn
05-26-2014 10:17 PM
Today 12:14 PM
by Steve
14 803
Should I ?
googus
Yesterday 04:06 PM
Today 12:02 PM
by Steve
2 78
Got my first lawn job...
SGL1
06-11-2014 09:19 PM
Today 11:55 AM
by Steve
26 1,095
Scag new "Eliminator"......
ExtremeLawncareServices
07-20-2014 10:45 AM
Today 11:50 AM
by Steve
8 180
Lawn Service back in...
LawnCareMan280
07-18-2014 09:00 PM
Today 11:48 AM
by Steve
4 165
Overspray?
stevef1201
07-21-2014 04:20 PM
Today 11:39 AM
by Steve
3 80
Hello Everyone! Newbie...
SLKlawn
07-17-2014 06:22 PM
Yesterday 01:53 PM
by Steve
6 203
Proper height for lawn
rob lederhilger
05-26-2014 08:01 AM
07-21-2014 02:53 PM
by LawnDoctor
9 602
Blade sharpener
Just for Cuts
07-04-2014 12:31 PM
07-21-2014 01:48 PM
by Steve
9 437
What's my business worth?
Chaz
07-16-2014 01:35 PM
07-21-2014 01:45 PM
by Steve
4 215
Single tree, mow customer
WesleySnips
06-27-2014 10:12 AM
07-21-2014 01:04 PM
by Steve
12 492
1.5 Acre Jungle
WesleySnips
07-15-2014 05:57 PM
07-20-2014 11:31 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
21 508
Selling lawns like...
eastsidelandcare
07-17-2014 03:51 PM
07-20-2014 08:03 AM
by kslawn
1 146
Crop Rotation Techniques...
eastsidelandcare
07-17-2014 03:47 PM
07-19-2014 05:40 PM
by kslawn
1 109
Gopher schedule software
Ray
07-18-2014 04:13 PM
07-18-2014 04:13 PM
by Ray
0 110
2006 Chevy fuel pump...
KevinsLawns
07-17-2014 08:39 PM
07-18-2014 11:51 AM
by Steve
1 113
Halfway point of year!
Steve
07-01-2014 12:08 PM
07-18-2014 11:38 AM
by Steve
14 653
I got told to leave and...
gwilson98
06-16-2014 02:07 PM
07-17-2014 11:43 AM
by Steve
16 963
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
07-16-2014 08:38 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
73 4,228
Hey guys this is the...
prmenter@gmail.com
07-07-2014 08:23 PM
07-16-2014 08:10 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
28 700
Mowing the hills
prmenter@gmail.com
07-08-2014 12:22 PM
07-16-2014 05:00 PM
by Just for Cuts
18 635
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
07-15-2014 05:38 PM
by icon2000
1,184 318,412
need some help geting...
dalvan0
07-13-2014 09:28 PM
07-15-2014 11:56 AM
by Steve
5 215
new trailer help
mattthelawnguy
07-11-2014 08:21 PM
07-15-2014 11:42 AM
by Steve
9 316
Classified Ad Template...
bcfb
06-05-2013 02:40 AM
07-15-2014 11:16 AM
by Steve
15 3,653
Husqvarna pz 60
CDLAWNCARE
07-06-2014 06:50 PM
07-15-2014 08:53 AM
by kslawn
10 390
Lowballers
Chaz
07-11-2014 03:55 PM
07-14-2014 12:27 PM
by Steve
5 322
My new side job
Sprinkler Buddy
05-10-2014 05:23 AM
07-14-2014 12:15 PM
by Steve
10 785
Illegal spraying
GoGreenerKS
07-04-2014 09:11 AM
07-13-2014 10:36 PM
by GoGreenerKS
10 501
New Mower and Trailer
Chaz
06-25-2014 12:04 PM
07-13-2014 06:25 PM
by SGL1
7 503
What Fertilizer to Use?
acrajchel
04-07-2014 01:56 PM
07-12-2014 07:36 PM
by SGL1
21 1,822
Fuel and fuel additives
SGL1
07-06-2014 10:23 AM
07-11-2014 07:53 PM
by SGL1
15 494
Questions for a patchy...
jumcgee
07-09-2014 08:42 AM
07-11-2014 12:34 PM
by Steve
1 175
toro proline blades wont...
boog
06-25-2014 06:26 PM
07-11-2014 05:28 AM
by kslawn
18 605
Contents of Marketing to...
prmenter@gmail.com
07-09-2014 05:25 PM
07-10-2014 03:23 PM
by Steve
3 259
Shindaiwa
CLB454
05-13-2014 09:04 PM
07-10-2014 03:04 PM
by Steve
14 739
Starting New in FL
mmcuttrim
08-06-2010 09:22 AM
07-10-2014 02:44 PM
by Steve
48 11,190
Bid help 45 on acre...
Priggan
06-26-2014 12:56 PM
07-09-2014 08:38 AM
by kslawn
7 480
need help bidding fence...
veteranslawncaresystems
07-03-2014 10:33 AM
07-08-2014 12:00 PM
by Steve
5 343
Trimmer or Knife?
gwilson98
07-04-2014 09:56 PM
07-07-2014 02:41 PM
by Steve
6 311
Started a New Solar Lawn...
Solar Lawn Care
06-08-2013 01:40 AM
07-07-2014 01:55 PM
by Steve
37 7,369
New Canadian Member
coppervalley
07-04-2014 02:15 PM
07-07-2014 01:12 PM
by Steve
1 211
Happy Independance...
stevef1201
07-04-2014 07:05 AM
07-07-2014 01:01 PM
by Steve
2 211
Echo PE 266 edger
stevef1201
07-01-2014 01:28 PM
07-07-2014 12:47 PM
by Steve
4 290
30 Inch Push Mowers Pros...
Billy Goat
06-27-2013 08:07 PM
07-06-2014 01:50 PM
by SGL1
21 5,178
Poulan Pro trimmers
SGL1
06-30-2014 11:16 PM
07-05-2014 09:32 PM
by SGL1
20 488
» Popular Tags
34'' ads blades butterfly gardens charge christmas christmas light hanging credit card customers ditches employee problems exmark fall ferris financing first truck franchise georgia gopherhaul grass gravely growing a lawn care business health holiday how much to charge installation invoice kansas city lawn lawn care business podcast lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care seo lawn care website lawn care website seo lighting brass outdoor lights marketing mechanic monthly mow mowing mulch price new and restored landscapes new buisness new business organize podcast promotion pto riding mower running a business savannah scag schedule seo social media starting a business start up lawn care business steep lawns stihl sulky top dresser toro toro grand stand tree care trimmer rack walker winter services
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:48 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:48 PM.

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