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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.

too late to get contracts


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 05-03-2008, 06:26 AM
Ericsmulchingandyardwork Ericsmulchingandyardwork is offline
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Hi im Eric,
Im just getting my bussness started but its already may so everyone seems to have a company all ready so what should i do for this season? I have two estamties for spring clean up but im really looking for lawn care contracts?
Also im most likely getting a new mower soon so does anyone have any suggestions weather to get a zero turn or riding tractor?
Thank you
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  #2  
Old 05-03-2008, 06:58 AM
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Eric,

I don't know where you are located but I started my business in mid june.... Well I started advertising, then did a bunch of estimates & when I started to get work scheduled I went out & bought equipment. I was literally going "yes I can trim you hedges Sir" Note to self: buy a hedge trimmer. My first invoice wasn't til like june 20th! Not an ideal time to start but it can be done.

As far as equipment... depending on the size & type of properties you intend to service, if you can afford a zero turn I would highly recommend that. They are much faster & more efficient.

If you have a little more information about where you are & what type of work you plan to pursue we can give you some advise on mower size & type.
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  #3  
Old 05-03-2008, 09:46 AM
StealthDumpTrucks
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It's never too late to get contracts. In fact, as the weather gets hotter, you'll find more and more customers looking to hire out that weekly task. If you want to work, go around and pick out businesses or homes you'd like to maintain. Look over the property and submit an unsolicited proposal with all the services costs and payment options. It's not OK to trespass on the property, just look at it from the street. Mail the proposal printed on high quality paper & envelope. Use spell check, and proper format.

In my area, I have the ability to use the online county tax record to discover the owners name by the street address. Even though I've never met the owners, I can personalize the quote. Make notes of what problems you could see, and provide your solutions and costs.

Don't expect a high percentage of replies after the first mailing. Your initial effort to record the names & addresses should be entered into a database so you can send out consistant and recurring letters. If you start to perform work for a neighbor, mention that name and location. The people on the fence can drive by and check your work. Or you could photograph that property and send it around. Complement & thank your paying customers publicly and in person. Don't just take the money and run.
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]I was literally going "yes I can trim you hedges Sir" Note to self: buy a hedge trimmer.
That's hilarious. *I love stories like that.

I remember my very first large commercial property a few months after I started my business. *It was about 2 acres and I still only had my starter 22" push lawn mower. *Luckily, I already had a trailer.

I made the lawn cutting agreement Tuesday afternoon. *By Wednesday morning I had found and bought my first Snapper commercial walkbehind mower (used). *I was on the job by 10:00AM Wednesday. *I barely even knew how to operate it at that point.

Eric, it is never too early or too late to get jobs. *Starting out, you can't be too picky on the types of jobs you will be hired to do. *How are those two spring cleanup estimates coming along...did you get the jobs? *If you do great work they will very likely turn into more than one time jobs. *Remind each person you work for that you are looking to add customers.

Today is Saturday and it's not even noon yet. *If you hustle, work your butt off, and each of your estimates recommends you to two other customers, you can have 4 steady customers by day's end.

YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!

Keith



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  #5  
Old 05-03-2008, 02:57 PM
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I also started in June. I bought some business cards online, then went knocking on doors. I left my cards at the doors where no one was home. The next day, my second call was from a man who ran a property management company who found my card when he got home from work. I told him I had been in business for a while (like maybe 2 days). He asked me if I had insurance...of course (just like above, note to self..buy insurance). By the end of the week, he had me on 6 accounts, 2 were commercial. They continue to send me work all the time because they like my work ethic.

Its never too late to start, maybe just a little to HOT!



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Old 05-03-2008, 03:10 PM
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Hi Eric,

Welcome to our forum. What got you interested in starting your own business?

I have soooo many friends who are constantly complaining to me how the person they hired to take care of their lawn doesn't show up regularly.

If the complaints I hear are going on all over the place, you will be able to pick up many new clients by being prompt and servicing the property when you say you will.

Check out our free flyer section because there is a great one in there that promotes switching lawn care service providers.
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  #7  
Old 05-03-2008, 11:09 PM
Fernando's CleanCut! Fernando's CleanCut! is offline
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LOL! same story here:
I started on April 1st last year and I have a base of 12 accounts.
**Can you install SOD? **"SURE!", that day I stayed up like around 2am learning how to install SOD, hehehe, it was a small project, this is pretty bad and risky at the same time, but isn't this what a "Rebel/Outlaw/Entrepreneur" does?

Keep on fighting!
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  #8  
Old 05-04-2008, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (musician/lawnman @ May 03 2008,7:58)]Well I started advertising, then did a bunch of estimates & when I started to get work scheduled I went out & bought equipment. *I was literally going "yes I can trim you hedges Sir" Note to self: buy a hedge trimmer. *My first invoice wasn't til like june 20th! *Not an ideal time to start but it can be done. *
I SO did the same thing on a few. Yeah I can trim your 120 feet of hedges no problem. Note to self. 17" 5 year old hedge trimmers are not gonna cut it.

Oh, yeah I can take care of those second floor gutters. Um.. 6 foot ladder.. problem. Need a ladder. Check!

I ended up picking up one at Sam's club. its a 19 foot articulated ladder. Really cool but I realized it is not going to work for 2 story houses with a crawlspace. Just not tall enough. Well, turns out my 4th client has a 19 foot ladder and 28 foot extension ladder he does not need anymore. Offered to sell to me $25 each. He even told me I can just come by and borrow them whenever I need to until I have a place to put them. So, I took back the one from Sam's club and will be using his ladders until I get into a truck with a ladder rack that I can lock them up on. It wouldnt make much sense to strap them to my 95 ford aerostar for an extended period of time.
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Old 05-04-2008, 09:27 AM
Ericsmulchingandyardwork Ericsmulchingandyardwork is offline
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Thank you for all your help i really thought it was too late but i guess i was wrong! Ive been watching a good firend of mine who owns better yard and gradens for my entire life mow and and do all the landscaping then this year i asked him for a job but he siad he couldnt give me one till i was 18 so i was like screw this ill go out and open my own landscapign company and here i am!
well i have an acre at my house with a few obsticals and im looking for jobs im my naghborhood where most of the lawns are around an acre but the one problem is that my fence opening is only 49 inchs so im looking at 48 inch cut zero turns. Dose any one have any adivce on what company to buy im looking to spend around 3000
I used some of the templates for flyers on this site and sent them out to a couple streets and i havent got a resposne back yet.
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  #10  
Old 05-04-2008, 10:39 AM
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Well one thing is a 48" cut mower doesn't mean it will fit throught a 49" gate, It's the cut width. May be as much as about 2" wider. So check the machines before you buy.

At about $3000 you probably looking at a decent used commercial machine or a new homeowner grade Zt.

Homeowner models don't last as long & will have more maintenence issues once you get busy & are using it alot however.... your young, probably still in school & won't be at it full time all year long. So a new mower that is a lower grade may work for you. It may onl last 2-3 years but by then you'll know if your going to keep at it for the long term & you'll have money coming in to buy a commercial machine ($6000-10,000 bucks)

If you go used for that money you should be able to get one in prety good shape. (no rust holes in deck & fairly low hours)
But you may be getting a machine with issues even if the current owner doesn't know about them yet.....
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