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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.

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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.
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  #1  
Old 09-28-2007, 12:32 PM
flipflops01
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So I just started my business a few weeks ago and the only thing I need now are CUSTOMERS!! I've got two friends so far, but I definitely need more. My question is how do you get new clients? What worked best for you when you started and what is working best now? Thanks a lot.

Ryan
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  #2  
Old 09-28-2007, 04:30 PM
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Hey FlipFlops:

BTW, I hope you're not wearing flipflops to mow in. Did you see this recent report? Flip Flop Foot

Tell us a bit more about your business. What type of lawn care customers are you going after? What is your 'comparative advantage' over your competitors?

Think about this: The mowing season is beginning to wind down over much of the country. Now's the time to think about EOS (End-Of-Season) strategies. What sells this time of year? One is Leaf Raking...there are MANY more. Let's just say that leaf raking is your specialty for the next couple of months.

Get out there and start advertising. (HINT: Ask Gopher to design you a flyer, he's a master)

Maybe something like this:

"Did you have a "FALL"ing out with your lawn care company?
I won't LEAF you high and dry.
Let me beautify you lawn today."

Okay, I know that's kinda silly but you would be surprised how many guys have now gone back to school and decided they don't want to service their customers anymore. This is your prime opportunity to pick up tons of customers. Also, DON'T just sell them the leaf job. Sell them other jobs...overseeding, aerating, let them know that you will do a great job on their grass next year. Halloween is coming up and maybe they need help hanging those ghosts from their eaves and in their trees. Possibilities are endless this time of year.

I think that NOW is a PRIME time for anyone wanting to get started with their lawn care business. I've always said this time of year is an excellent time to get started. Strengthen your business and build your customer list for the rest of this year and you will be miles ahead of your competition come spring time.

Tell us more about your business and let us know how it goes.

Keith
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  #3  
Old 09-29-2007, 10:07 AM
flipflops01
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Thanks Keith. I'll make sure to only wear my sturdy pair of flip flops from now on.

I live in south Louisiana so it's going to be pretty warm here until late December but I do like your idea about raking leaves and helping people with decorations for both Halloween and Christmas.

My competitive advantage? Hmm... let me think. Other than the fact that I want my customers to be happy with the work I do and I'll be there on time and when I say I will be, I'm not sure what my competitive advantage is. I'm brand new. I'm using a push mower and an electric blower to start my business. I do have a decent weed eater though... haha. So, I don't have the best equipment out there but hopefully after I have 15 - 20 clients I will be able to afford a new mower.

Another thing is, I'm not sure how I would charge leaf raking. Compared to mowing I would assume that it would actually take me longer to do, and I would think most people don't want to pay more money for there yard to be raked than for it to be mowed.

How do I set myself apart from my competition and make a lot of money in the process? I know guys who knock out yards in 20 min because of the mower they have. I feel like I'll be losing money if I eventually get one of those mowers but I'm spending all my time raking leaves and making less money doing it.

So, I know that's a lot, but you guys are all pros, right?? Help me out!

Thanks,
Ryan
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  #4  
Old 09-29-2007, 01:14 PM
quickcleanlawn
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hey flip flops
I'm in southeast Louisiana too
When I started , I marketed areas like uptown and areas closer to the city because there yards are smaller and didn't take long.
Try marketing the areas around Loyola and Tulane university.
Also I have lots of calls from those areas, i can recommend to you.
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Old 09-29-2007, 02:22 PM
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Hi Ryan:

Comparative advantage is an old business school concept where you compare yourself on the basis of intangibles like quality and dependability instead of trying to compete on price or width of mower deck. You've identified a few of these comparisons already. Dependability and customer satisfaction are great selling features.

You are wrong that people won't pay more for their lawn to be raked than for it to be mowed. They will pay much more. The multiplier depends on quantity of leaves and difficulty of the job. A great backpack blower is essential for leaf jobs. Your electric blower will be more a hindrance than a help.

If you're worried about the size of your equipment, go after jobs other guys won't touch. Are there trailer parks or rows of duplexes close by? Large equipment won't work for those small yards. A push mower is ideal though. Do you think residents of trailer parks will not pay big bucks for lawn care? You are right, they won't. But, they will pay $10 to $15 each and you can knock out bunches of them in a day. This is just one example.

Keith
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Old 09-29-2007, 03:44 PM
flipflops01
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Thanks QuickClean. However, I live in Lafayette, LA so Tulane and Loyola are a little far from me.

So Keith, how would you go about charging for raking and bagging leaves? Also, tell me about aeration. I've heard of it, but I'm not sure what it is or if I'm capable to do it.

Also, I'm looking to purchase a ZTR mower within the next couple of months. I'd like to stay in the three thousand dollar range. I've heard good things about hustler but they're about six grand. Any recommendations?
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:36 PM
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Save yourself some money and knock on doors. It works wonders.
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Old 09-30-2007, 01:24 PM
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Hi flipflops01,

What ever you have to work with, that's what you should always make out to be your competitive advantage. If you have to hand rake leaves because you don't have a gas powered leaf blower, then right there you got a competitive advantage.

You say each lawn is hand raked. You market that you are meticulous. You are not like the big mow, blow and go companies. Each lawn gets your individual attention. Also if the home owner ever has a problem, when they call you they talk to you the owner. Not an assistant. Also, you are environmentally friendly. Gas blowers exhaust damaging gases into the atmosphere!

See now you got all that going for you!
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  #9  
Old 10-02-2007, 05:20 PM
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hey flipflops, have your tried craigslist to advertise ?
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  #10  
Old 10-26-2007, 01:31 PM
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I have only used craigslist. i charge by the hour for raking and bagging i charge them for the bags they use plus hourly rate.
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