Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Just starting your lawn care or landscaping business? > Introduce Yourself

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!

New guy in California


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!
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 12-21-2008, 01:55 AM
khazelet khazelet is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Lodi, CA
Posts: 6
Rep Power: 7
khazelet is on a distinguished road
Smile New guy in California

I did Residential lawn care from 1982 to 1995 then did strictly commercial till 2004 when I sold my business. I have been doing real estate for the last 4 years and I'm finally fed up with that! I plan on starting a new commercial maintenance business in January (yes we mow lawns in january here in calif. but only every OTHER week). Just went down and filed for a corporation last week and will have to get my pesticide applicators lic re done.

My targeted areas are Sacramento suburbs of Rancho Cordova and Orangevalle as well as the towns of Lodi and Stockton. Anyone working nearby, say Hi, and if you have any jobs you want to dump - I'll take them!

Ken Hazelet
ken@kenhazelet.com
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 12-21-2008, 04:46 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,697
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Hi Ken,

Welcome to our forum!

What made you make the jump from residential to commercial and which did you prefer? What were the up sides and down sides to each?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-21-2008, 05:12 PM
khazelet khazelet is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Lodi, CA
Posts: 6
Rep Power: 7
khazelet is on a distinguished road
Cool residential vs commercial

I started out by myself with a mower and a blower in the back of my stationwagon and built my business up to where I had 2 guys helping me. I did a mixture of res and com but mostly com at that time. I was always trying to build up to the point of not having to do the daily mowing myself but have my crew do it. The problem was the res customers wanted to see me there and not the crew. I would listen to their problems/ requests and take care of them right away. the customers knew I cared and would go the extra mile to make their yard look special. Hired crew just isn't the same as the owner when dealing with res customers. So some of my res customers quit and I picked up more com jobs so after a wile I gave the rest of the res customers to a guy just startiing out and focused on com. With com customers I spend most of my time on the phone with a manager or property mgr or owner. they are not at the site usually so phone communications work. The crew has very little interaction with the customer or the customer's tenant.

So my advice is if you want to work it yourself and maybe hire a helper or two someday, do residential. If your goal is to build up to a point where you mostly work out of the office and have a crew or two then do commercial.

residential is more satisfying if you like to do gardening and take pride in your work and do not want too much stress.

commercial is much more business like and much more stressful with the business operations, payroll, taxes, rent, etc. but you can make more money.

hope that helps the new guys and gals......ken
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-22-2008, 01:48 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,697
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Thanks Ken.

When you sold your business, were you feeling any burnout at all from running for those many years or what was your view on that? Do you think you are going into it now with a lot of knowledge that will help get you going a lot faster?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-23-2008, 01:57 AM
khazelet khazelet is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Lodi, CA
Posts: 6
Rep Power: 7
khazelet is on a distinguished road
Cool sidetracked

I had it made, my son in law was running the day to day business with the crew and I was doing the office work, making 3,000 to 4,000 a month after paying everything. I basically got side tracked. I got my real estate licence and was making more money doing real estate. so as time went on the income from landscaping went down but the income, and demand for my time, from real estate went way up. I really didnt sell it I gave the business to my son in law and I did real estate full time. that was great until 2 years ago when the market came to a stop (and so did my income). Son in law who is a great guy, quit and went to work for the County. Steady check and benifits!

So I am confident that even in this slow economy I can pick up some commercial acounts and be doing good in 6 months or so. I'll start out doing all the work myself and hire as needed but I think i'm going to stay at one crew with me running it. Much less stress that way. at least thats my goal for now.

Right now I'm working on makeing a brochure of my services that I will start mailing out in January or february to comm prop owners and property managers. also need to line up some insurance, etc.

Besides the mowing, what I offer commercial properties is building maintenance like graffitti removal, steam cleaning, roof cleaning (flat roofs need the drains cleaned and inspected during winter, one plastic bag can cause a drain to plug and water to build up), curb painting, and inspections.

I use Gopher for all my billing and scheduling issues, it worked great.

I like your website and forum - nice job!

Ken

Last edited by khazelet; 12-23-2008 at 02:05 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-23-2008, 03:55 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,697
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Ken,

You have a lot of great insights!
Quote:
I basically got side tracked. I got my real estate licence and was making more money doing real estate. so as time went on the income from landscaping went down but the income, and demand for my time, from real estate went way up. I really didnt sell it I gave the business to my son in law and I did real estate full time. that was great until 2 years ago when the market came to a stop (and so did my income). Son in law who is a great guy, quit and went to work for the County. Steady check and benifits!

So I am confident that even in this slow economy I can pick up some commercial acounts and be doing good in 6 months or so. I'll start out doing all the work myself and hire as needed but I think i'm going to stay at one crew with me running it. Much less stress that way. at least thats my goal for now.
Do you have any reflections on this? What skill set do you think you have that would allow you to get a business up and going again when it seemed to slow down under your son-in-laws management? The reason I ask is because there are plenty of new start up lawn care business owners out here who read this and they wonder what you know that he didn't Or what you know that they don't. I am certain you can get your business up and running again because you have the skill set to do it. Are there any business or life lessons you could share with all of us on how this time you are starting up will be different from when you initially had started up in the beginning?

Quote:
Right now I'm working on makeing a brochure of my services that I will start mailing out in January or february to comm prop owners and property managers. also need to line up some insurance, etc.

Besides the mowing, what I offer commercial properties is building maintenance like graffitti removal, steam cleaning, roof cleaning (flat roofs need the drains cleaned and inspected during winter, one plastic bag can cause a drain to plug and water to build up), curb painting, and inspections.
What is your view on why you will be going with brochures? Do you find that is the best way to reach out to commercial properties? Do you have any advice as to how to get in contact with the building managers, find out who they are and reach out to them?

Also you mentioned steam cleaning, what kinds of things would you steam clean?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-24-2008, 12:19 AM
khazelet khazelet is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Lodi, CA
Posts: 6
Rep Power: 7
khazelet is on a distinguished road
Default

Steve,

I could spend a couple of hours explaining what I learned, but I'll tyr to sumerize,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post

Do you have any reflections on this? What skill set do you think you have that would allow you to get a business up and going again when it seemed to slow down under your son-in-laws management? The reason I ask is because there are plenty of new start up lawn care business owners out here who read this and they wonder what you know that he didn't Or what you know that they don't. I am certain you can get your business up and running again because you have the skill set to do it. Are there any business or life lessons you could share with all of us on how this time you are starting up will be different from when you initially had started up in the beginning?

Last edited by khazelet; 12-24-2008 at 12:23 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-24-2008, 01:04 AM
khazelet khazelet is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Lodi, CA
Posts: 6
Rep Power: 7
khazelet is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by khazelet View Post
Steve,

I could spend a couple of hours explaining what I learned, but I'll tyr to sumerize,
The business slowed down because I stopped working it. I stopped trying to get new jobs, stopped calling existing cust just to see if they needed someting, stopped driving by the job to check the work, etc. I guess I was burned out! once I got on the idea of gettitng my real estate licence I put the landscaping on the back burner and focused my attention on the new carrer of real estate. lesson here is you can do whatever you want to in life, just be sure what your leaving isnt better than what your switching to! (In my defence, back in 2004 the real estate market was HOT and I made some serious $$$ - too bad the last 2 years caused me to loose ALL of it, lets just say I'm a little bitter on the real estate business right now)

Back to the core of your question, why did I make it and son in law didn't. First of all I did residential lawn service by my self for about 10 years before I started seriously doing commercial. So I had experience, which gives confidence when your talking to an owner or store manager (can't get that out of a book) and back in 1982 when I started, I became a Certified Master Gardner thru the University of Calif coopertive extension. this was a good base education. then I took several landscaping courses thru the community collage and I took a marketing class thru SCORE (service corps of retired executives) This class had the most impact on my sucsess. I guess you could say I had that entrepreneurial spirit. My son in law did not have the entrepreneur drive that I did. He was a real good worker but didn't have a clue on running a business and client management.

For you new guys out there: start small and grow as you learn. When I first started out, I could not have walked up to a Walmart regional manager and convinced him to let me bid and ultametly get the bid accepted to maintain the site.

Hope that helps ....Ken
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-24-2008, 01:57 AM
khazelet khazelet is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Lodi, CA
Posts: 6
Rep Power: 7
khazelet is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
What is your view on why you will be going with brochures? Do you find that is the best way to reach out to commercial properties? Do you have any advice as to how to get in contact with the building managers, find out who they are and reach out to them?

Also you mentioned steam cleaning, what kinds of things would you steam clean?
The best way to get commercial is to call the owner of the property, the property manager, or the store or office itself. you have to cold call these people. Find out who the managment company is. If there is a vacancy in the building there may be a for lease sign, call them, ask them who you should talk to in regards to the landscape maintenance. Look for a real estate sign, they will know the owner. If you have a friend that is a realtor, they can look up the owner in the tax record, then you have to track down a phone number. You have to be able to call these people and speak confidently about the maintenance of their property. It would help to have some "item of interest" to talk about. What I mean is something about the property that you notice and can suggest the solution to. Example: I noticed that on the west side of the building there is a long grass strip between the building and the street. The front section of that lawn is always soggy, in fact the lawn is thinning and moss is growing indicating that it is getting too much water. I thought maybe you had a broken sprinkler that your landscaper missed, but when I drove by early one day the sprinklers were on and there was no broken heads. The remainder of the lawn strip is not soggy and I believe that the shading from the building in that area is the cause. This can be rectified by changing the spray head nozzels to a lower GPM head that will spray less water in that area while the remainder of the lawn still recieves its normal amount. "I have those nozzels in my truck, I could change them out for you next time I'm out there if you want- No charge" if they say anything about the cost say "no problem, the nozzels I put on are the same price as the ones I'll be removing, All I ask is that you consider my co next time you bid out the Landscape maintenance"

You have to get their attention with some "item of interest". No one thing works on all properties. you have to go to the site, check it out and look for something the owner or manager is having a problem with and offer a solution. Never do it in a way to put down the current landscaper - that will go against you.

That is why I have the steam cleaner. Noticed a shopping center that had poor maintenance and also noticed that the sidewalks were very dirty. I cold called the owner (out of state) and told him I was interested in doing the landscape maint on his center. in the conversation I mentioned that when I was out there I noticed the sidewalks were very dirty, was he interested in getting them cleaned as I offer this service for my regular clients but could do a one time clean up for him to help him out if he could not find anyone right away. I cleaned the sidewalks and soon after got the landscaping contract. Rented the steam cleaner for a while then bought one. it helps get jobs!

See any graffitti? tell the owner then offer to paint over it for a fee. I usually say someting like "I specialize in commercial landscape maintenance in this area and i am constantly out checking out the properties I maintain and I noticed your building got tagged with graffitti about 3 weeks ago and then got tagged again last night." Thell ask where did it get tagged etc (you can offer to take digital pics and email them if they would like- no chg. then say Do you have someone checking your building for graffitti on a regular basis? This is something I offer all my comm clients no charge. When we see graffitti we take a pic then paint over it right away for a small fee.

You want to make the point that you take personal pride in your work and also in the property itself.

After making phone contact I will ask for the mailing address to send my card and info on my co for future use when they are interested in bidding the job. Then I send the professional brochure. even if your just starting, a brochure can make you look like your professional.

Ken

Last edited by khazelet; 12-24-2008 at 02:00 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Moving to California need info looksgoodlawncare General Business Discussions 2 05-15-2008 01:23 AM
Moving to California  HELP !!!! looksgoodlawncare General Business Discussions 5 04-24-2008 01:38 AM
California Fire Steve General Talk 0 10-23-2007 08:37 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Landscape maintenance...
Steve
Today 08:47 PM
Today 08:47 PM
by Steve
0 22
Facebook
element009
03-23-2011 09:36 AM
Today 08:38 PM
by Steve
39 9,957
Ideas on a large bid
Knaubone
Yesterday 11:57 AM
Today 08:35 PM
by Steve
1 77
I'm BACK!
SuperiorPower
12-16-2014 11:08 PM
Today 08:28 PM
by Steve
8 298
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 10:12 AM
Today 08:23 PM
by Steve
190 16,855
Georgia Boys!
Chilehead
12-18-2014 10:23 PM
Today 08:21 PM
by Steve
3 154
Employee job training...
brookline
12-15-2014 08:15 PM
Today 08:19 PM
by Steve
10 414
Hello from Md
homey
12-17-2014 06:55 PM
Today 07:56 PM
by Steve
6 243
Has Obamacare helped or...
Steve
12-18-2014 04:37 PM
Today 07:53 PM
by Steve
4 182
Stander Vs. Zt
totalscape
12-20-2014 07:57 PM
Today 06:50 PM
by Chilehead
7 179
Repair or replace the...
lxarth
12-17-2014 05:07 PM
Today 12:02 PM
by SuperiorPower
11 359
what do you "love" to...
calebmoss
07-06-2011 10:05 PM
Yesterday 12:52 AM
by rmccutchan
31 9,104
What Fertilizer to Use?
acrajchel
04-07-2014 02:56 PM
12-17-2014 01:11 PM
by Steve
23 3,054
Grass hopper mower
ExtremeLawncareServices
12-05-2013 09:51 AM
12-17-2014 09:40 AM
by SuperiorPower
34 6,207
Peco Bagger
AGPS
11-18-2014 02:20 PM
12-17-2014 09:13 AM
by SuperiorPower
15 1,414
New to Gopher Haul-from...
323k13l
12-12-2014 10:34 PM
12-15-2014 02:58 PM
by Steve
3 357
hi
creteland
12-12-2014 09:06 AM
12-15-2014 01:45 PM
by Steve
5 348
New addition to my small...
googus
12-12-2014 07:36 PM
12-15-2014 07:47 AM
by googus
4 426
Ferris IS700Z
rmccutchan
12-14-2014 01:10 AM
12-14-2014 11:41 PM
by rmccutchan
4 322
Charge what the market...
Billy Goat
12-09-2014 12:39 PM
12-14-2014 06:39 PM
by biglee
20 878
Hi from IL
steveinil
11-25-2014 02:07 PM
12-12-2014 07:18 AM
by steveinil
4 869
Utility Company Right of...
eastsidelandcare
12-11-2014 04:54 PM
12-11-2014 04:54 PM
by eastsidelandcare
0 337
leaf removal
Double J LLC
10-03-2014 05:24 PM
12-11-2014 04:50 PM
by eastsidelandcare
33 4,179
suggestions on full lawn...
Brian3137
12-10-2014 07:18 PM
12-11-2014 03:41 PM
by Steve
6 452
new to me box truck
jrayb39667
03-06-2014 11:20 PM
12-11-2014 09:43 AM
by Sprinkler Buddy
18 3,462
Hello from SW FL!!
5StarLawnscaping
12-05-2014 02:35 PM
12-10-2014 02:45 PM
by WesleySnips
7 693
Echo pb200 blower fuel...
googus
12-06-2014 09:03 PM
12-09-2014 06:35 PM
by Steve
3 553
Are you prepared for the...
Steve
12-02-2014 04:13 PM
12-09-2014 06:22 PM
by Steve
7 965
Email Address Name
Just Cuts
12-07-2014 09:49 PM
12-08-2014 03:15 PM
by Steve
3 494
Inspection form
stevef1201
12-07-2014 10:38 AM
12-08-2014 03:10 PM
by Steve
1 487
Truck, Trailer,...
hawthornelawncare
12-23-2011 01:01 AM
12-08-2014 12:37 PM
by jrs.landscaping
108 34,341
Back Pack Blower
Ian Lovejoy
11-09-2014 08:41 AM
12-07-2014 06:35 PM
by stevef1201
24 1,811
Innovation by mandate
bayoubandit
11-29-2014 01:33 PM
12-06-2014 03:27 PM
by SGL1
12 1,044
Trying something new,...
ExtremeLawncareServices
09-21-2014 10:07 PM
12-05-2014 11:06 AM
by Steve
9 2,333
Good help is hard to find
Hanks Lawn Care Services
11-19-2014 03:27 PM
12-04-2014 01:32 PM
by stevef1201
15 1,518
How many hours is too...
Just Cuts
12-04-2014 09:00 AM
12-04-2014 01:02 PM
by Just for Cuts
6 681
Does this sound like a...
googus
12-03-2014 07:47 AM
12-04-2014 12:37 PM
by Steve
5 757
New website
Chilehead
11-20-2014 04:39 PM
12-04-2014 12:27 PM
by Steve
14 1,298
New website
SGL1
12-02-2014 10:55 PM
12-03-2014 11:17 PM
by BLC7
19 927
Websites, how long...
Dan Tanner
03-09-2014 08:29 AM
12-03-2014 11:12 PM
by SGL1
21 3,319
I Want to buy old...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-10-2014 11:04 PM
12-03-2014 10:36 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
8 1,932
GPS trackers for...
Billy Goat
12-02-2014 06:09 PM
12-03-2014 07:17 PM
by Steve
8 780
My site is on fronts page
tbtigers03
11-14-2014 05:58 PM
12-03-2014 06:31 PM
by SGL1
17 1,526
Hiring Subs over Temps
Billy Goat
12-02-2014 06:26 AM
12-03-2014 01:24 PM
by Steve
3 694
Thanksgiving cards
Steve
11-10-2008 11:57 AM
12-02-2014 11:11 PM
by SGL1
11 9,584
New parking area
ExtremeLawncareServices
11-07-2014 09:47 PM
12-02-2014 02:17 PM
by jrs.landscaping
12 1,556
Pressure Washing...
WesleySnips
07-31-2014 07:13 PM
12-02-2014 08:47 AM
by SGL1
6 1,567
old contracts
bayoubandit
11-29-2014 11:10 AM
12-01-2014 11:20 AM
by Steve
3 761
Hi to you NOTHERNERS
stevef1201
11-11-2014 05:56 PM
12-01-2014 10:54 AM
by Steve
9 1,340
Lawn care truck
Steve
10-10-2009 03:40 AM
12-01-2014 10:45 AM
by Steve
32 15,258
» Popular Tags
2wd aerocore apartment bid apartment complex applying auger billy goat brushcutter blades bush charge christmas deliquentaccounts ditches employee problems equipment rental first truck foreman georgia gopherhaul grass gravely growing a lawn care business holiday husqvarna jobs john deere quik trac labor cost landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care business podcast lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care website lighting lighting brass outdoor lights marketing mowing mr dave mulch mulch estimate mulch price new buisness new business new mower ordinance per hour charge podcast profit on employee pto push versus ride running a business savannah search engine optimization seo shreaded small engine repair starting a business starting a lawn care business start up lawn care business steep lawns sulky theft toro grand stand trailer trimmer rack walk behind wood
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:53 PM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:53 PM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy