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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 11-27-2008, 06:20 PM
Phil R Phil R is offline
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Default Blending services

Hi gang, Phil R here w/my first post. Been lurking, reading, watching etc and dig the forum. TY to the mods and guys who spend to $ for the bandwidth and take the time to groom and run this site. Kudos.

I have a spicy background from the entertainment world. Retired from that gig in 01 right after the attack.

got into window cleaning and developed a decent route. Residual income is crucial for me.

sold off a portion of my WC'ing route and got on a friends truck mowing grass. How did I miss this gig for all this time!? I caught a lawn buzz....or a motor head spin..something. whatever it is, I love this work.

so, I got this idea runnin' 'round my head...mixing mack-daddy window cleaning with mack daddy lawn care. Two-man crew; one guy (me) does the exterior glass while the other guy chows the yard.

Seems like the right blend to throw the competition off and open the eyes of the potential client W-I-T-H-O-U-T having to under-cut the others guys.

But, it is MY idea so naturally I am gonna like it. so, I thought I'd toss it out for some feedback from you guys.
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2008, 06:41 PM
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Welcome Phil!

Quote:
I have a spicy background from the entertainment world. Retired from that gig in 01 right after the attack.
Very neat! What kind of things did you do in the entertainment world?

Quote:
so, I got this idea runnin' 'round my head...mixing mack-daddy window cleaning with mack daddy lawn care. Two-man crew; one guy (me) does the exterior glass while the other guy chows the yard.

Seems like the right blend to throw the competition off and open the eyes of the potential client W-I-T-H-O-U-T having to under-cut the others guys.

But, it is MY idea so naturally I am gonna like it. so, I thought I'd toss it out for some feedback from you guys.
Very interesting idea! I guess my first question would be, what kind of market do you think there is for home window cleaning? If you cut the lawns weekly, can you also weekly clean the windows?

Have you also considered mixing in other services? Since you are offering window cleaning, what about home cleaning, like maid services? Or maybe even power washing the exteriors?
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2008, 06:48 PM
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I was a comic. Got tired of being funny. I know, I know....yes...I am being honest.

Well, the idea about the blend IS for residential but for commercial too.

residential: Using my WC'ing, I think it might be easier to kick em into contracts. Exterior windows cleaned twice a year.

commercial: many stores nad other commercial properties pay for weekly or bi-weekly WC'ing. ALL of em pay for lawns. Once a property has the windows cleaned professionally, they tend to wanna stick w/it.

so, my thought is to give em a free show. Point out how they only have ONE invoice for both services.

The bigger idea does involve ALL service-related business' the typical home owner will desire.

Home-Spa.

But for our purpose here, I am in hopes of just giving the basic concept a try.

whaddaya think?
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:01 PM
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I like where you are going with this. I want to break it down a bit for discussion.

Quote:
residential: Using my WC'ing, I think it might be easier to kick em into contracts. Exterior windows cleaned twice a year.
How would you use the window cleaning to get them to sign a contract? Would you use it as a freebie enticer? Or what are you thinking?

Quote:
commercial: many stores nad other commercial properties pay for weekly or bi-weekly WC'ing. ALL of em pay for lawns. Once a property has the windows cleaned professionally, they tend to wanna stick w/it.

so, my thought is to give em a free show. Point out how they only have ONE invoice for both services.
When you say your thought is to give them a free show, what do you mean?


Quote:
The bigger idea does involve ALL service-related business' the typical home owner will desire.

Home-Spa.

But for our purpose here, I am in hopes of just giving the basic concept a try.

whaddaya think?
What would the Home-Spa treatment include? What kinds of services are you thinking about offering?
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  #5  
Old 11-28-2008, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I like where you are going with this. I want to break it down a bit for discussion.
How would you use the window cleaning to get them to sign a contract? Would you use it as a freebie enticer? Or what are you thinking?
Yep.

I have a few plans of approach:
1) currently, my friend does not have them on contracts. Cut/pay. As a result, his revenue drops during the Nov/March season. His current clients are rather budget minded, retired seniors. However, even THEY do have the disposable income set aside for lawns. Many of which would love to have clean windows! Just maybe they can't afford both. These folks would get their windows done 2X (exterior) FREE just for converting to contracts.

2) For the A-type clients, the ones who want good work done, raise the rates slightly, say $5 a cut or $15 a month +/- and do exterior/interior windows.

3)I must assume that many clients drop a lawn guy for a 'better price' or their brothers sons girlfriends father got into the biz. Can HE do windows?

There are a ton of ways i can use the window thing to entice or 'bump' or up-sell.


Quote:
When you say your thought is to give them a free show, what do you mean?
Here I mean commercial. Example: 7-11's have windows and 'yards'. It is not often they have a budget for WC'ing. BUT they do have one for yards. I have spent hours talking to managers who have issues with the yard guys blowing 'dust' all over the windows.

I went to one local and asked the guy "If you pull the soda bottles away from the inside windows, I'll wash em and wash the outsides so YOU can see what a professionally cleaned windows looks like." We did just that. Now, his AM wants to see em and she stops by later next week. Since then, I do the exteriors weekly at NO charge. Takes me 10 minutes. I will OWN that route by years end.


Quote:
What would the Home-Spa treatment include? What kinds of services are you thinking about offering?
I currently do:
1) Carpet/Floor cleaning
2) Window Cleaning
3) Yards
4) Power Washing
5) Blind Cleaning

There is much much more to this story and I am afraid to reveal everything here as I have guys in MY market who will read this and see the value.

BUT, I simply want to know the groups thoughts on the concept.

Steve, can YOU see the value in this blending of services?
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  #6  
Old 11-28-2008, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Steve, can YOU see the value in this blending of services?
After reading this, I'd say it is a great plan. My next question is this are you going to be creating a new name for this business that will include some kind of (lawn/window/home cleaning) feel to it? Or will you have a business slogan that will convey this?

You will stand out with the services you offer but how will you leverage it in your marketing? How will you position all of this to create your very own Unique Sales Position?

Quote:
1) currently, my friend does not have them on contracts. Cut/pay. As a result, his revenue drops during the Nov/March season. His current clients are rather budget minded, retired seniors. However, even THEY do have the disposable income set aside for lawns. Many of which would love to have clean windows! Just maybe they can't afford both. These folks would get their windows done 2X (exterior) FREE just for converting to contracts.
When using this as an enticement, have you thought about how long each of these window cleaning jobs would take you? With a two story home, how much time per job or how much would you have to charge to do this job normally? Would you comfortably be able to absorb that enticement?
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2008, 12:08 PM
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Awesome reply. Yes, the USP has been the very foundation of this idea.

Although I do have a 'plan' it is still conceptual and in need of tweaking.

I first need to investigate a few other topics. In fact, maybe you help?

I'd like to read more about the difference between riders and walk-behinds.
I'd like to learn how to mow without leaving tires marks. How low/high to cut what grass and when.


I want to know what do to to deliver a 'better cut' than the other guys who mow and go.

I do have a name and am working on a slogan to insure the message is not blurred in anyway.

I want them to know from the get-go who we are, what we do, why we do it and how to contact us. I want that because once we dial this in, they ARE going to want to contact me.
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
I'd like to read more about the difference between riders and walk-behinds.
I'd like to learn how to mow without leaving tires marks. How low/high to cut what grass and when.
Do you know what the average size yard you will be servicing is? Also do they have gates and if they do, what is the minimum width of these gates?
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:25 PM
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I do not know. We have no real cookie cutter templates here until one gets into this or that area.

right now, Luke (his name) has a hodge podge collection of accounts rather than a route. He never did 'marketing' proper. Rather, his phone rang and he said 'OK'.

He is...the kind of guy who owns a job...not runs a business. I have my work cut out for me.

They have a 48" Toro Z turn, 60" Gravely, line trimmers, blowers and some drunks doing the deal.

Many yards are acres while others are not. some are farms, some are yards, some have grass...they mow some dirt. You get the idea.

His daughter is a good freind and he taught her what he knows. Good or bad.

She LOVES my idea and wants in. she brings the gear and some accounts, I bring MY gear and some accounts. We mix it up and she is to sell and I am to 'work' until we get it all figured out.

BUT I am not afraid to drop some change for the right gear. I live in Central Florida close to the beach. Hills, flats, roots, trees...

Bahaya Grass (sp) and St Augustine and what they tell me are the two main grass here.

although I know WC'ing and Carpet cleaning...I am still ignorant on the lawn side. But I got me two good eyes 9with glasses of course) and love to study and learn. so, trust me when i say i will dig in deep into whatever I need to to become a pro. I know how to route (windows) and know how to build.

You have my full attention.

There are some gates yes. But I have no problem putting in a big gate or buying a push mower.

I want the right gear from the start.
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:39 PM
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Well, if your partner is already up and running with the lawn care, I would just roll with that for now. I wouldn't spend a dime on more equipment. Instead I would take the money and focus on my marketing. Even if he can do the lawns decent. That is good enough for now.

You don't have to go in with a bang, just get started and start feeling out the situation. If I were doing this with a partner, I would focus on what he wasn't good at. Let him focus on lawn care. You are the outgoing personable one. You are an entertainer. You have been on stage and told jokes. You can make people laugh. With all that, you can also make people buy! When they get to meet you, they will want you over offering these services.

When a homeowner invites someone into their home to clean it, they want someone they like and they can trust. They will like and trust you.

In fact, you could take this concept even further. Why not play off your background of stand up. Why not call your business Stand Up Home Cleaning. Or Stand Up Home & Yard Care. Then on your website, you could have an 'about us' section and show a picture of you doing stand up comedy. This is so interesting and unique, it could really open doors for you. In fact, are you still doing stand up now? If not, why not? It's a great angle! In your shows you could make a joke about how you 'do, do windows.'

You could get on the news with this new business concept. They could film you doing stand up comedy at night and then cleaning windows during the day. You could work jokes into your daily routine. Your customers could look to you to brighten their day. Maybe your slogan could be 'clean windows and clean jokes.'

Your business cards could have jokes on them with the punchline on the back.

You could take this and run with this so far!
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