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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.

The recap of my first year:


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.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:46 PM
yourscape yourscape is offline
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Also, what is your view on why you want to go in this direction?
It will give me more flexibility with scheduling conflicts. Beside doing lawn care I also manage a couple of rental properties so flexibility is a nice thing to have. I caught myself throwing out partial days last year. If I were to have more commercial accounts I would be able to fill more of those days with hedge trimming and other misc duties that would be part of there package.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:36 AM
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That is very interesting!

As you go into the new season, do you feel you will focus your marketing on one method over others or will you use multiple marketing methods?
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:12 PM
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That is very interesting!

As you go into the new season, do you feel you will focus your marketing on one method over others or will you use multiple marketing methods?
As far a marketing goes I am going to start off with the same approach as I did last year. But as of now I want to cut back on paid advertizing early mid season.

I feel my approach will be a lot stronger stronger this year than last. I did gain a lot of experience with dealing with the customers I won and didn't win last year. Along with that I understand my equipment a whole lot better so bidding will be a little more accurate.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:23 PM
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I did gain a lot of experience with dealing with the customers I won and didn't win last year.
For the newer startups that may not understand this, can you tell us a little about how that experience helps improve placing and winning bids?
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:06 PM
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For the newer startups that may not understand this, can you tell us a little about how that experience helps improve placing and winning bids?
When I was biding last year I was more then less looking at lot sizes and edging amount. The things I forgot was areas where my rider would not fit or go and would have to either weed wack it or bring out the push mower.

Location was a hard part starting out because I was not sure where my foot print would be. So I treated every customer as I would have 1 or 2 accounts by them. I didn't end up losing I just came close to breaking even on 1 of them since it was a 30 mile round trip to one of the properties.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:40 AM
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When I was biding last year I was more then less looking at lot sizes and edging amount. The things I forgot was areas where my rider would not fit or go and would have to either weed wack it or bring out the push mower.

Location was a hard part starting out because I was not sure where my foot print would be. So I treated every customer as I would have 1 or 2 accounts by them. I didn't end up losing I just came close to breaking even on 1 of them since it was a 30 mile round trip to one of the properties.
How many quotes did you do last year, that you did not get?
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:50 AM
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How many quotes did you do last year, that you did not get?
I would guess off hand I landed about 75%. I had 3-4 bids were higher than there last contractor. I won them because either there last contractor was unreliable or went out of business. They told me they were getting a good deal but was wilingl to pay more for a reliable contractor. They all turned out to be great customers. I was a bit nervous but it went well and was extremely happy with my service.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:33 AM
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I would guess off hand I landed about 75%. I had 3-4 bids were higher than there last contractor. I won them because either there last contractor was unreliable or went out of business. They told me they were getting a good deal but was wilingl to pay more for a reliable contractor. They all turned out to be great customers. I was a bit nervous but it went well and was extremely happy with my service.
Which advertising method has worked best for you?
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:10 AM
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Which advertising method has worked best for you?
To start out I advertized by door hanger (about 300), Craigslist, add in our rural paper and tear offs.

The winner was the news paper then craigslist, tear offs, and last door hangers. As the season went on I received some from my trailer.

This year I am only advertizing in the paper until the middle of the season due to me trying to cut back on advertizing expenses. I feel like I have accomplished enough jobs to keep me busy until I decided to bring a employee on board. These type of advertisement bring in mainly residential customers and this year I am trying to focus more on commercial customers to have more of a mix.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:14 AM
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Yourscape, you are going through exactly what I went through and are learning the exact same things I learned in that exact order lol.

Your third year is going to be magical, I promise.

This year, you will switch to getting pre-paid (excellent); however, there will be some current clients who will be upset about this and not welcome the change.

You'll also probably let some current clients from last year pay the "old way" and not bother them to pay in advance.... it's a trap, get them to pay in advance too.. Just having 1-5 clients who pay differently will stress you out guaranteed.

-

1st year: awesome, exciting, scary... not even sure whether to be mad or glad this early on lol..

2nd year: angry, anxiety, no respect from clients... Fired 35% of my clients...

3rd year: Magic. Kept my good clients, got more good clients, all of them paying in advance. (post-dated checks, and contracts!).

Now, I keep the ball in my side of the court with confidence when dealing with clients.



Still losing hair though, might wanna skip year 2 and gun for year 3 if I was you.
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