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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!

Oakridge Yard Care


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!
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  #1  
Old 01-11-2009, 05:48 AM
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Default Oakridge Yard Care

Good Day!

I have been visiting the forum for a few weeks reading and gathering information/experiences, great forum.

Landscaping/mowing/mini excavation/snow plowing has been a hobby business for me for quite a few years, I mainly do the jobs requested as requested in the past however I have decided to move on from the day job and go at this part time this year and full time next year. I have acquired most of the equipment for landscapingm have all the equipment for mowing.

I will suplement my income in the fall/winter/spring with my woodworking business which has been going strong for the past 15 years however I want to work outside the shop in the spring.summer/fall, thus Oakridge Yard Care.

Company is registered, website was completed yesterday www.oakridgeyardcare.ca I still have some work to do on it but it's almost there, brochures are being printed I will use Canada Post mail drop to target very specific areas, ordered fridge magnets and business cards last night, will order uniforms today or tomorrow. The woodworking business has hundreds of customers in my area so I will target many of them first, my area is still in a residential construction boom, the down turn in the market has had little effect so far, unemployment as of Friday was still less than 5%.

I have to buy a bigger, tandum, trailer for the loader, due to weight I need electric brakes, I am thinking of a 7 or 8 foot X 16 foot cargo trailer for a number of reasons, I would be able to leave the gear in it and it would protect it from the weather.

Anyhow enough rambling, big snow storm coming again today so I know what I will be doing later and into the night My woodworking business is at www.picframer.ca we (wife and I) do custom picture framing using woods from all over the world, thus my handle Picframer.

Thanks for reading, comments on the Yard Care Website appreciated, I have thick skin so let her roll.

Have a great day!

Andy
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2009, 10:33 AM
ritchiem
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Welcome to the forums Andy,

First off your wood working talents are amazing...keep up the great work.

Your landscaping website is well on its way. Here are a couple of suggestions;

1. Name your site...as of right now your site name is the IP address.
2. Optimize your images...your images file sizes are too large. Cut down the size to create faster download times.

I really like the personal approach in your editorial for your site.

Again welcome and if you need any help with website or graphic design give me a shout.

Cheers,
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  #3  
Old 01-11-2009, 11:21 AM
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[quote=ritchiem;44259]Welcome to the forums Andy,

Thanks Richard,

It will take about 72 hours for the DNS and Domain Name to get through the system, I only registered the URL on Friday and built the site yesterday.

I'm curious about the graphics, are you high speed or dial up? 98% of Halifax and area is High Speed, min of 3 meg up and down, I used a 1 meg up and down to calculate load time and received scores in the 2 to 5 second range which I thought should be ok.

Appreciate your comments and feedback. Woodworking has been a great love in my life, I am a tech resource on exotics to WOOD Magazine (another hobby), it's a lot of fun, we work with 76 species from around the world, as with a lot of things find a niche and go after it which is what my son and I did, by the age of 15 he had made enough from turning burls on a wood lathe to pay for his University education which is where he is now.

Our plan is to build the Yard Care then start a wood pellet manufacturing company, I have the business plan pretty much completed and by the time he graduates we will be ready to roll with it.

This Lawn Care idea started last summer when he took one of the tractors with a backhoe and did work for neighbours so we talked about it for a few months, threw out some feelers which all came back positive. Having spent 15 years as a RVP in banking I gained a lot of contacts in the corporate world, I sent out a few emails yesterday to lawyer friends, accountants etc. (target market) and already have 6 yard care clients and two construction projects so I guess the demand is there, my only issue will be finding time and getting the right staff which is desperate hard to do here at the moment.

Have a great day bud!

Andy
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  #4  
Old 01-11-2009, 11:39 AM
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Richard, I just ran a complete website speed test again using a couple of packages available on the web, here is what I received:

Speed
Average Speed Data Volume Size with HTML
0.62 seconds

Estimated Load Time
Modem UMTS DSL T1 T3
0.25 s 1.71 s 0.12 s

Will have to drop a few images for T1 users
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2009, 12:17 PM
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Hi Andy,

Welcome!

I love the sites! Here is my thought. I noticed you had your picture on your wood working site.



Why not have that on your front page of your lawn care site? That would be fantastic. It would give the customer a chance to meet you just by visiting your lawn care site.

I would also let everyone know about your wood working site and the projects you have worked on.

Another thing is that I would try and combine the two interests. We were just talking about this in a previous post, but why not create wood products you can sell to your lawn care customers? Window boxes for flowers? Or something similar?

That would be amazing as well. Maybe you can come up with other wood working ideas that would create synergy with your lawn care business.
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  #6  
Old 01-11-2009, 12:44 PM
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Oh I just found this picture

I see you do make flower boxes! Yea this is great, get these on your website for sale! How much do you charge for them? I think this is really inspiring!
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  #7  
Old 01-11-2009, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Oh I just found this picture

I see you do make flower boxes! Yea this is great, get these on your website for sale! How much do you charge for them? I think this is really inspiring!
Thanks Steve,

What sets the woodworking aside from the comtepition is I build things you can't buy locally using woods most woodworkers will not touch, by doing this I can commend and get a very good price, the result has been a backlog of orders. You are probably wondering why I would bother with lawncare/landscaping if the woodworking does so well, it's manily because because I want to work outside in the spring, summer and fall.

The issue I found many years ago with planters is people will quite often compare your prices with the big box stores, granted the quality of work doesn't compare but they do not see that until a year or two later when the product they purchased falls apart.

If however someone were to ask, I will throw a price out that is based on what I charge to build items from the shop and leave it for them to decide.

Appreciate your comments and feedback!

Andy
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
The issue I found many years ago with planters is people will quite often compare your prices with the big box stores, granted the quality of work doesn't compare but they do not see that until a year or two later when the product they purchased falls apart.
You know what you could do. Buy a big box store planter and take a picture of it. Leave it out for a year and take a picture of it then. Compare and contrast your product then with theirs.

Also, what about custom birdhouses? Or custom wood signs. 'Welcome to the Jones Home.' Stuff like that?

Oh and I saw these benches on your site

are they for outdoors? Those would be fantastic to sell to people who want to enjoy some time outside!
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  #9  
Old 01-11-2009, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
You know what you could do. Buy a big box store planter and take a picture of it. Leave it out for a year and take a picture of it then. Compare and contrast your product then with theirs.

Also, what about custom birdhouses? Or custom wood signs. 'Welcome to the Jones Home.' Stuff like that?

Oh and I saw these benches on your site

are they for outdoors? Those would be fantastic to sell to people who want to enjoy some time outside!
I agree, I think letting customers know about planters and if you make birdhouses and welcome signs would be a great service to offer as well. I know my mom loves stuff like that. I checked out your wood working website and you have a lot of nice work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by picframer View Post
Richard, I just ran a complete website speed test again using a couple of packages available on the web, here is what I received:

Speed
Average Speed Data Volume Size with HTML
0.62 seconds

Estimated Load Time
Modem UMTS DSL T1 T3
0.25 s 1.71 s 0.12 s

Will have to drop a few images for T1 users
I dont think you have to drop any images, you should just resize them using photo editing software and save them at different qualities. I have actually done that to a few images on your front page and cut the file size by huge amounts, especially on your .bmp image. It was over 2mb, by saving it and resizing it as a .jpg it's now less then 40kb. I have attached the images incase you want to swap them. I can also edit the other ones on your "pictures of our work" page if you would like.

Also if you are interested, I'm running a promotion where I will be doing a complete makeover of a lawn care business website. You can sign up for a chance to win over in this thread: http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?p=44255

If you don't win, Ritchiem does great work!
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg tractor1.jpg (41.9 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg Yard20Project.jpg (7.2 KB, 0 views)
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  #10  
Old 01-11-2009, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Also, what about custom birdhouses? Or custom wood signs. 'Welcome to the Jones Home.' Stuff like that?

Oh and I saw these benches on your site
are they for outdoors? Those would be fantastic to sell to people who want to enjoy some time outside!
That one isn't however (it's Ash) I make outdoor benches in Teak, Ipe, Cypress, Tigerwood, African Mahagony, Jatoba and Cedar. I have built quite a few award winning Pergola's, as soon as the snow leaves I will add one I built for my home last year, while in Mexico last February I bought a few hammocks from the Mayan's, they are world renowned for their work, anyhow I didn't have anywhere to put them so I built a Pergola unit, then added an in gound firepit which turned out to be the talk of the neighbourhood after my son had 165 kids over for his high school safe graduation. This was what started all this, we had so many parents calling wanting to have a look then asking if we could build something similar. Due to the day job I passed up a ton of work but that has settled down and I now have the time to persue other business ideas.

I have a buddy that builds birds houses that are stunning, I tend to stick to high end crafts or items other woodworkers don't want to tackle, not that I am special in my work, I like doing things others pass up, could be that the wood in question is too difficult to work with, the project is over complicated, maybe they do not have the equipment for the joint or even the wood (all of my saw blades for example are diamond tipped) in question etc., that way I can get my $65.00++ an hour in the shop which is located here on my property. The exception is decks and storage sheds, I really enjoy designing and building them, 8 years ago I did it full time, had three crews and then sold the company.
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