Are you a believer of the theory 'fake it till you make it?'
Do you have any stories of how you faked it until you made it?
Tom Snyder had done this interview with KISS. In the interview they talked about how they used to have fake guitar amps on stage, with no speakers in them. They would stack these speakers up to make their band look bigger and more successful! Who knows, maybe that was part of why they became so successful!
The band of the 60's and 70's named "The Monkees" did not know how to play their instuments when they were first formed for the television show and learned various ones throughout their years together as a band. They definately faked it till they leared.
I think this really depends on the situation and what is involved. I am a newer business and I personally have never landscaped someones property for money before. Everything I did before starting my business was for friends and family and I was never paid for it. That does not make me not able to perform a job requiring me to do various landscaping jobs but in this situation I guess yes, techniquely I would be faking because of never doing it for profit before. Its like "the little white lie" that doesn't hurt anyone. But I have actually turned down landscaping jobs because I don't have professional landscaping work I can show any of my clients right now and everything up to this point has wanted to see that in order for them to even consider me for the job. Sucks but what can I do about it?
There are great resources available for you to learn, too.
Visit your book store and buy the best book you can find on landscape design with lots of pictures and instruction.
Visit Home Depot or Lowe's. On Saturday mornings, these two stores often offer free seminars on various home projects including the occasional landscape seminar.
Drive through neighborhoods with finely landscaped yards to get an idea of design and plant selection.
Start small. There's nothing wrong with doing a $100 flowerbed around a customer's mailbox to get your feet wet.
I have a couple other suggestions for you. Develop your own style. You don't want all your landscape projects to look the same but you want to have a particular style about your work.
Materials selection is important. Unless you are doing a brand new installation of an entire area, your project must fit in well with the existing house materials and existing landscaping. Borders must not clash with mulch. Shrubs must not grow to obscure windows, etc.
Start a profitable lawn care business.
All wonderful ideas. I think everyone who is successful has faked it a little bit at some point in time.
When I first started in the web design business, I ran it from my dining room. My clients didn't know that, though... I always went to them (the personal touch), my wife recorded all my messages (appearance of size and staff), and when I was unsure what to charge someone, I would always defer to "my partner" (the internet) and return a call to the client with any answers they needed.
For those of us in the lawn care industry, one thing to "put on a good show" is good marketing. If you can find a printing company to make thousands of copies for you for free while you mow their lawn in exchange, then there you have TONS of "free" marketing, before and after pics, and a testimonial. You pass out the flyers, business cards, etc that you had printed (for free) and you should be getting a few calls. Also, an attractive website will give you the appearance of professionalism, too. "I'll tell you what, you think about it, and you can call me, or send me an email through my website 'mylawncarecompany.com' when you're ready for me to provide your lawn maintenance." (I can help with the website.)
How you pea**** your appearance is ALWAYS the first impression on clients or potential clients.
OH... another marketing scheme... if you can get that same printing company to print up some good, cheap, weather resistant signs... you tell your clients that you'll knock a percentage of the cost off their maintenance if they let you put up one of your signs (they can say something like "Another quality lawn service done by MyLawnCare Company").
Actually, it's my second business (I was doing web design for almost 3 years before starting this)... but like I said in another post, I was in the retail management field for over 10 years, so I have TONS of ideas... =-)
Outrageous? I think it's very important if you want to be noticed above the rest. I mean, anybody can put an ad in the paper... anyone can even take out a full page ad in a magazine... but with creative marketing - those things "outside the box" so to speak, you'll definately get noticed. My partner and I were talking today... we have a friend who is a make-up artist... she's going to do those "Living Faces" applications on our faces for Halloween morning and every job we do will be in costume. Talk about getting noticed, eh?