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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!

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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!
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  #541  
Old 10-09-2009, 09:56 AM
AJPM AJPM is offline
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Default Thank's Everyone

Hi, Everyone

This Is One Of The Best Forums Out There,i Think Anyone Getting Involved In Property Maintenance Should Join This Forum.i Am Just Starting Out This Will Be The First Time Biding On Residential-commercial Property For Next Years Season,i Hope I Do Something Right.i Dont Want To Over Bid Or Under Bid.yesturday I Asked How To Aproach Commercial Property And Steve Your Blogs Were Great.thank You.i Am Sure I Will Be Asking Alot Of Questions So Guy's Be Prepared!

Thanks,mike Aj&m Property Maintenance
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  #542  
Old 10-09-2009, 05:48 PM
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Hi Mike,

Welcome to our forum!

I am glad all the information was helpful. I try my best to organize it.

What go you to start your lawn care business?
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  #543  
Old 10-10-2009, 02:29 PM
GophersLimited
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Default Hello from Gophers Limited in Felton California

Dear Forum,
This is such a great forum and I have been lurking for a while but I may as well introduce myself and company. I am Thomas Wittman and started my non toxic animal control business about ten years ago after being an organic farmer and working at the University of California, Santa Cruz at the organic teaching farm there. Started out with the gopher business and gradually started working on all pest animals. My niche is that I never use poisons. I use humane lethal traps for gophers and moles and live trap everything else. I work for a lot of landscaping businesses, property management businesses and municipal areas as well a a lot of private clients. I also consult and lecture throughout the Western US. I offer a lot of information on my site including videos on how to trap and my lecture notes. Let me know if I can help - my goal is to provide alternatives to poison use and at the same time make a living.
Thomas
gopherslimited.com
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  #544  
Old 10-10-2009, 07:58 PM
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Hi Thomas,

Welcome to our forum! I just checked out your site, you got a ton of information on there!

You should make a new post and tell us about your business. I saw on a link at your site you were on HGTV. I'd love to hear how that all came about and what you thought of that experience. I will have a ton of questions for you!
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  #545  
Old 10-15-2009, 09:03 AM
VSeefeld
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Default New and need help with introductory letter

Folks,

My husband, Fred, and I started Nelson's Lawn Care in May 2009. My husband works full time as an auto tech and I'm at home since a lay off in January 2009. He mows while I'm handling the books and learning to market. Currently, we have 6 regular lawn care customers. We also have several that call every couple of months when they're too busy to do it themselves. Fred is now mowing all jobs on Saturdays as the days are becoming shorter and daylight savings is right around the corner. We're bringing in enough to cover expenses, make the payment on the equipment loans (Lexmark 32" walk behind mower and 7 x 14' enclosed trailer), and put a couple hundred in the bank each month. Having a large yard, we already had a self-propelled push mower, edger, weed eater, blower and hand tools. Thanks to Fred's regular job, we haven't had to "pay" ourselves from the business yet.

Our goal is for Fred to go full-time in the Spring but we understand it may not be feasible until the following year. It will be tough as we grow balancing growth vs. manpower.

Fred has also picked up some side jobs installing water pumps for irrigation, fence repairs, tree/shrub trimming, mulch application, and fertilizing. We list other services on our flyers (printed on neon colored 24# paper) and are open to most general maintenance and make-ready jobs. Most of our business has come from friends and acquaintances. Some have come from flyers (door to door) in nearby residential areas. I've designed a website but can't figure out the step by step process of publishing it.

My current challenge is composing an introductory letter to property managers. I plan on targeting residential management companies as well as small commercial properties. Being near Galveston Texas, we have quite a few rental properties in the area. We'd like to get into this market for now but what we really want is small commercial properties. I'm talking about churches, small businesses, and residential sub-division community properties (parks, utility easements). After that, it's on to bigger jobs.

I'd love any advice, templates or examples anyone's willing to share.
Thanks!

V
Attached Files
File Type: docx Nelsons Lawn Care flyer.docx (21.9 KB, 12 views)
File Type: pdf Ad newsletter 10.13.09.pdf (164.8 KB, 18 views)
File Type: pdf Advertisement 10.14.pdf (118.1 KB, 25 views)
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  #546  
Old 10-15-2009, 10:39 AM
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Welcome to our forum!

I couldn't open your flyer because it was a docx format. If you save it as a doc format, I should be able to view it.

As far as letter templates go, did you look in the free letter template section here?

http://www.gopherforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=34

I think there are a bunch of introductory letter templates that will help you.

What other things have you been thinking about doing to promote your business further? Are you a member of any local groups or social organizations that you can hand out business cards too?
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  #547  
Old 10-16-2009, 08:49 AM
VSeefeld
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Steve-

Thanks for the redirect! Found just what I was looking for.

Sorry about the flyer, am attaching a pdf version.

Fred and I pass out business cards whenever the opportunity arises. This week we are sponsoring our neighborhood association newsletter (86 homes). Currently, we take care of 2 customers plus our own yard in the sub-division. Having customers in our neighborhood is definitely a plus. About 40% of our neighbors hire lawn care services. Hopefully, with word of mouth, the signs on our equipment (truck and trailer), examples of our work and the newsletter will help us take work away from the other guys.

A realtor in our neighborhood has just requested business cards to pass along. This could have a huge impact since she's with one of the largest real estate companies in the area.

As a one man show, how do we hire an experienced guy to help with jobs and still make money? We want someone that is knowledgeable and will take care of our equipment. What do we pay him? We charge from $25/$30 for our small/medium yards and $45 for the largest. The jobs take from 30-40 minutes and almost 2 hours (1 yard with many beds and grassy areas to deal with). With loading/unloading and travel time it will eat any profits. Thankfully most of our jobs are situated 2 houses within a block of each other. Fred is going to be worn out with no profits to show. Is this what to expect when taking that next step in growth?

Thanks!

V
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File Type: pdf Nelsons Lawn Care flyer.pdf (107.4 KB, 32 views)
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  #548  
Old 10-16-2009, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
This week we are sponsoring our neighborhood association newsletter (86 homes).
What does it mean to sponsor your neighborhood association newsletter? Do you put an ad in it or do you pay for the printing? How did all that work out?

Quote:
As a one man show, how do we hire an experienced guy to help with jobs and still make money? We want someone that is knowledgeable and will take care of our equipment. What do we pay him? We charge from $25/$30 for our small/medium yards and $45 for the largest. The jobs take from 30-40 minutes and almost 2 hours (1 yard with many beds and grassy areas to deal with). With loading/unloading and travel time it will eat any profits. Thankfully most of our jobs are situated 2 houses within a block of each other. Fred is going to be worn out with no profits to show. Is this what to expect when taking that next step in growth?
No doubt this is a dilemma many lawn care businesses find themselves in. Profits from strictly lawn care can be very slight that it is hard to take on employees and still be able to charge enough to maintain a competitive edge.

This is why we have seen some members branch off into other work that offers higher profit potential like landscape services, light excavation and others. You could make a post on this specific topic alone and be reading responses for days!
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  #549  
Old 10-17-2009, 10:37 AM
VSeefeld
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Steve,

Sponsoring the newsletter runs about $35 for printing cost. Our ad (attached) is printed on the bottom front page. If we get one job out of it the ad has paid for itself.

I see what you mean about branching out into other services. We have had some success from word of mouth and with current customers. Our flyers list a range of services including tree trimming, plantings, maintenance, pressure washing, mulching, weed control, make ready, cleanups, and ant bed treatments. In addition, we're open to many other services .... as you say, it's all about being in the right place at the right time

V
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  #550  
Old 10-17-2009, 10:39 PM
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How many homes does this reach out too? Might it be worth printing it for the year? Maybe you could put in seasonal articles as well? How is it distributed? Is it mailed or hand delivered?
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