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General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
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  #1  
Old 03-18-2005, 12:05 PM
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Business Description
- Give a one paragraph description of your business.
Our business is a lawn/home maintenance service.
- Where is your business located? – Orillia, Ontario
- What services does your business offer? – Mowing, Blowing, FCU, SCU, Mulch Installs, Dethatching, Edging etc Also small repairs and landscape maintenance
- What value does it add to the marketplace? – Local, young company, identifiable by most in the area. Flexibility on services and time.

Management Abilities
- What are your qualifications? – Our qualifications are a combined 25+ years of landscaping and maintenance experience. We are all active and physically fit people. I myself hold a degree in Sports Management, and a minor in Communications. At some point, we have all worked in the field, in both the residential and commercial segments. We all have experience in customer service, as a professional athlete, in the gaming industry, and retail sales.

- How will your experience contribute to the success of your business? Between the three of us, we can take care of management facets, such as marketing/sales, labour/onsite, and financial.

Business Strategy
- What is your business strategy? Creating residential and commercial volume through a model of low cost strategy. (My overhead is very inexpensive.)
- What are the strengths of your business strategy? The area is full of overpriced franchise types, that care little about the end product or the customer.
- What are the weaknesses of your business strategy? I really do not see any if we stick to the business model, although we may lose potential that will stick with the status quo
- What are the key strategic opportunities you have identified in your marketplace? We have a close tie in to the real estate market in the area, and as it is a growing area, it provides a tremendous foot in the door. There are many new residential and commercial developments in the area.
- How will your business take advantage of these strategic opportunities more effectively than your competition? Well, simply put, we seem much more connected to those in the area then the larger businesses.
- How do you intend to maintain your competitive edge? Keep networking, community efforts, signage, publicity etc.
- Describe the key challenges you face and how will you overcome them? We are a startup business with very little reputation for the industry we are in for this area.

Legal Structure
- Will your business operate as a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation or an LLC?
Partnership evolving into a LLC
- How will your legal structure decrease your business's exposure to risk?
It won’t until we file our papers.

Financial – NEED MORE TIME TO FIGURE SOME PARTS OUT STILL
- How much will you personally invest in your business? 4000
- How much money are you seeking from banks? None
- How much money are you seeking from private investors? None
- How long until you plan to break even? About two months or so
- How long until you plan on making a profit? 4months
- What will your start-up costs be? Be specific, describe each and the cost. Still trying to figure that out. It seems that at minimum it will be 4,000.
- What is your sales forcast for each month of the entire year? List each month's goal.
- What will be your monthly operating expenses? Be specific, describe each and the cost.
- What will your monthly fixed costs be? Be specific, describe each and the cost. – Insurance, license, gas & fuel, promotion, web fees (e-mail, hosting), to name a few.


Mission Statement
- What is your business? Lawn and Landscape Maintenance
- How will your business succeed? Hardwork, proper management and being fiscally responsible.
- What values are important to your business? Dependability, Integrity, Quality are key for us.
- How does your business improve the lives of your customers' and employees'? We provide employment opportunities for local youth, which have proven to give back to the community in other areas. We also give people a chance to not worry so much about the yard, and upkeep and concentrate on other areas of life.

Marketing Slogan
- What is your marketing slogan? – Haven’t come up with one I truly like

Market Analysis
- What are the positive NATIONAL trends that will affect your business? – Disposable income of the baby boomer generation, and the push to enjoy more “quality” time.
- What are the negative NATIONAL trends that will affect your business? Gas and fuel prices are sky high, We are taxed beyond belief
- How will you take advantage of the positive trends and deal with the negative trends? Sell our services and business to all those boomers by volume.

- What are the positive REGIONAL trends that will affect your business? We live in an area with with retirees
- What are the negative REGIONAL trends that will affect your business? SNOW, small population, and oh yeah did I mention snow?
- How will you take advantage of the positive trends and deal with the negative trends? Most retirees want to feel appreciated and known. Our personalities in will carry us. As for the snow? Pray?

- What are the positive LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY trends that will affect your business?
- What are the negative LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY trends that will affect your business?
- How will you take advantage of the positive trends and deal with the negative trends?

Customer Analysis
- What is your current customer base? – about 5 accounts
- Who are your target customers? (age range, education level, occupations, average home value) Baby boomers, and cottagers, there is a wide range for ages, levels of education etc.
- What zip codes do they live in? I don’t know how this applies, and yes I do know what a zip code is
- What do your customers want? Service that is reliable, and quality

Competition Analysis
- Who are your competitors? – Everyone, even the big guys (lawn maintenance anyway)
- How many employees do they have? Varies from solo operators to crews
- What is their estimated sales volume? More than me..I really haven’t been able to find that info
- What services do they offer? – Varies, some are licensed to use pesticides
- What is the quality of their product? Ranges from horrible to ok
- What is the price range of their product? $15 and up
- Who are there customers? Same as the ones I am targeting
- What are their strengths? They are franchised for the most part, strong backbone to rely on
- What are their weaknesses? – They are cold to their customers.
- Are they a direct or indirect competitor? Direct

Equipment
- What equipment will be needed? We have it all already
- How much will it cost to obtain this equipment? nothing
- Where will you store the equipment? In the garage
- How much will it cost to store the equipment? nothing

Advertising / Promotion
- How will you advertise or promote your business? Word of mouth, local media, website, brochures, networking
- How much will you spend doing each per year? TBD



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  #2  
Old 03-21-2005, 02:57 PM
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Hi Brad,

Great work! Let us create a marketing plan and set some goals. Your current client base is 5?

I would also like to see. Three projections:

1. A total number of new customers you feel you can easily attract this season.

2. A total number of new customers you feel will be moderately difficult to attract this season.

3. A total number of new customers you feel will be extremely tough to attract this season.

4. What date do you want these total customers by?

When we set up your projections in a chart, you can then post weekly how many new customers you were able to get that week. This should help inspire and motivate you to reach your goals.
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  #3  
Old 03-21-2005, 04:36 PM
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We have 5 peviously, small, but they are ours.

I think we can attract at least 15 more easily.

25 moderately

45 extreme

I would like these total customers by May 1, 2005
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  #4  
Old 03-22-2005, 09:53 AM
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How many billable hours do you plan on working each month of this year?

Jan total billable hours = 0
Feb = 0
Mar = 0
Apr = 240
May = 240
Jun = 240
Jul = 240
Aug = 240
Sept = 240
Oct = 240
Nov = 160
Dec = 0

Yearly total billable hours = 1840

I am using these figures as a minimum. I am looking more toward 3000 hours as a high depending on how my sales go.

As far as how much I would like to bill for these hours, I really do not know how to answer that question. How much I want to make, is going to really depend on my fixed costs, and what service(s) I am billing for.



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  #5  
Old 03-22-2005, 09:15 PM
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Hi Brad,

Here is our customer goal chart for this year ending in August to help motivate you. Now that we have these goals, we will be able to chart your progress throughout the season.

Each month you should report back here and let us know your latest customer count to see where you are at in your goal. You might want to print out this chart and put it somewhere where you will see it each day to inspire you.

Let us know if anything needs to be changed.
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  #6  
Old 03-22-2005, 09:18 PM
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Hi Brad,

I know you are still trying to figure out your costs but maybe these from Sharry Landscaping could help you.

The monthly operating expenses are are as follows:

Gas: 200.00
Maintenance of equipment 50.00
Regular Advertising: 100.00
Office Supplies: 50

The monthly fixed costs are:

Truck: 570.00
Insurance: 218.00
Bus. Insurance: 96.00
Plow: 120.00
Phone, Internet: 90.00
Cell: 70.00
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  #7  
Old 03-23-2005, 09:59 AM
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Ok...I made some adjustments to some of the costs:
I am assuming his costs were in USD, not CDN.

Gas: 300.00
Maintenance of equipment 75.00
Regular Advertising: 100.00
Office Supplies: 50

The monthly fixed costs are:

Truck: 0
Insurance: 340
Bus. Insurance: 62.00
Plow: 0
Phone, Internet: 75.00
Cell: 120.00
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  #8  
Old 03-23-2005, 01:33 PM
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What is the next step?
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  #9  
Old 03-23-2005, 02:17 PM
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Hi Brad,

Look through the flyers and see if we can edit a couple of them for you. Tell us which ones you like and what you need changed.
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  #10  
Old 03-24-2005, 11:10 AM
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I like Flyer #1, I think it can be cost effective.
I like Flyer #2, as well. Adds some colour and life.

I don't have a logo yet. I've seen some concepts, but nothing I truly like.
I am fully insured or will be by the time, these go out as I am crunching #'s for my budget from carriers.

I offer free estimates as well, so that can stay.

Under Services:

Spring/Fall Clean Up
Gutter Cleaning
Mulch
Bed Cleanup

Lawn Maintenance (Seasonal Packages, and per visit options available)
Commercial and Residential Service
Mowing
Trimming
Edging

General Outdoor Maintenance

Also need a logo and a sponsor ad somewhere. Who can I e-mail the logo to?
TEXT has to be PROUD SUPPORTER OF RAMA KINGS JR. "A" LACROSSE

Is it possible to see a preview of this, prior to finalizing it? I have some offers/coupon ideas that I am working on, but need some more thought before I move forward.
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