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? > Starting a lawn care business.

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.

My area is FULL of residential!


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.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 08-07-2009, 06:05 AM
Travor
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default My area is FULL of residential!

I live in NW Houston and my immediate area is FULL of residentials. Seriously, My subdivision is almost 1000 homes and there are a ton of neighborhoods all around me!

My question is, how far should travel? I can go 1 mile to the north, east, west, or south and be inside residential nearly the entire time! Seems like since my area is so dense that I can really keep it tight.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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 08-07-2009, 06:33 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,816
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Hi Travor,

Welcome to our forum!

Quote:
My question is, how far should travel? I can go 1 mile to the north, east, west, or south and be inside residential nearly the entire time! Seems like since my area is so dense that I can really keep it tight.
That is fantastic! It seems like you are going to be all set. With that many homes in your area and not having to travel more than a few miles in any direction, you got a great place to get started.

What are you doing to promote your lawn care business?
__________________
- 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 08-07-2009, 06:40 AM
Travor
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Hi Travor,

Welcome to our forum!



That is fantastic! It seems like you are going to be all set. With that many homes in your area and not having to travel more than a few miles in any direction, you got a great place to get started.

What are you doing to promote your lawn care business?
Thanks for the warm welcome, Steve.

I'm just about done with my 4x8 trailer, just needs the sides put on and license plates. Then I'll go to Hobby Lobby and buy a couple of those 1/4" thick poster boards and get some vinyl lettering made up at my local printer. Those boards will be attached to the trailer sides.

About 3 years ago I was doing some lawn care residential work with a Ford Focus towing a tiny trailer! I had about 7 (or so) clients, all through advertising on Craigslist.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-07-2009, 07:07 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,816
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
About 3 years ago I was doing some lawn care residential work with a Ford Focus towing a tiny trailer! I had about 7 (or so) clients, all through advertising on Craigslist.
Did you take any pictures of that? I'd love to see it!

Also, take some pictures of your new setup.

Why did you previously shut down your operation? Are you glad you got it going again? Did you learn any lessons from previously doing it that will help you get started faster this time around?
__________________
- 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 08-07-2009, 08:08 AM
Travor
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Did you take any pictures of that? I'd love to see it!

Also, take some pictures of your new setup.

Why did you previously shut down your operation? Are you glad you got it going again? Did you learn any lessons from previously doing it that will help you get started faster this time around?
I'm kicking myself now for not taking any pictures. It was a pretty funny sight to see: my 33" Sutech would just barely fit on the trailer!

I stopped service at the end of summer, mostly because it was my 1st time doing it and I did it all wrong. Even though I only had a handful of clients, they were spread out all over. 2 of them ended up not paying for a couple of services and it really got me down. Frustrated, I started doing the math and found I could earn more working at a fast food restaurant rather than bust my tail in the heat (and not get paid by a couple of deadbeats).

I got rid of my 33" w/b and all I have is a 21" push. I kept my Echo trimmer and Echo edger; plus I have a Husqvarna blower. All that to say that my equipment is paid for. It may take longer to get clients in a close group but I totally think it's worth it. I also learned that I can't say "yes" to someone out of the way just so I can make an extra buck. Sure, if I flyer the area that 1 client can turn into 2, then 3, and so on.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-07-2009, 08:41 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,816
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

If you could offer some advice to others just getting started, what would you tell them to watch out for and what advice would you suggest to overcome those issues?
__________________
- 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 08-07-2009, 02:45 PM
jasonw's Avatar
jasonw jasonw is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,008
Rep Power: 7
jasonw is on a distinguished road
Default

The farthest I have traveled from home is a little over an hour. Sometimes you have to go far for work.
__________________
White Company
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-07-2009, 05:14 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,816
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
The farthest I have traveled from home is a little over an hour. Sometimes you have to go far for work.
What do you feel is the average distance of a customer for you?
__________________
- 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
  #9  
Old 08-08-2009, 01:02 AM
Travor
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
If you could offer some advice to others just getting started, what would you tell them to watch out for and what advice would you suggest to overcome those issues?
What to "watch out for" ... hmmm...

If a customer "skips" a payment, trust your gut feeling. If they don't pay you for a $30 lawn service job and you keep servicing the lawn weekly, the chances of collecting $90 or $120 will be tough.

When you're starting out, you'll take just about any lawn to get some money rolling in. Think hard about how far you're willing to travel for that 1 lawn. You might get 2 more lawns in the neighborhood but there is no guarantee on that. After a month of driving xx miles to that 1 lawn (and burning a lot of gas) you will eventually start to find a way to drop them. The customer doesn't care if you're driving 1 mile or 20; they know the market price for their lawn so adding a fuel surcharge is almost out of the question.

If you have 2 (or more) lawns in the same neighborhood, try to service them on the same day. I had 2 houses, 1 across the street from the other, and they were both bi-weekly. As you can guess, 1 lawn was on the 1st week and the other lawn was on the 2nd week. I was wasting a lot of time and gas going to their neighborhood every week to do 1 lawn instead of every 2 weeks and doing 2 lawns.

Equipment/supplies: you might think that you have enough gas and don't need to fill up the cans. Or, you have your 50:1 mix but don't have any more oil. Trust me, you better fill up your gas cans and get another bottle of oil mix! Also, if you think you just loaded your string trimmer with line and you're "good to go" for another week, think again! Take more line! Take a small toolkit, gloves, ear plugs, etc.

Keep a good eye on your equipment! When you go in the backyard and you can't see your stuff you better have it locked down. Gas cans and rakes are cheap enough and easy to replace. My Echo trimmer and Echo edger cost me a lot of money (and the thieves know this). There are actually guys out there that drive around all day long acquiring commercial lawn equipment!

The customer is your boss. I always addressed my clients as Ms. [last name] and Mr. [last name] in my conversations and emails. If they say you left a part of the driveway with clippings, apologize and give them $5 off the next service (or whatever you decide is fair). At the worst, they'll drop you if they think you messed up again but at least you made $$$ (minus the small discount). Best case, you're building trust and rapport and you'll be banking more $$$ as a result of that little discount.

Don't say "yes" to everything. I took 1 guy that was WAY out of my normal area and he kept asking me if I would pull weeds, trim bushes, etc. I thought I was going over there for a cut, trim, edge, blow and to make a long story short I ended up being 2 hours late to my regular full-time job because this guy kept me doing "stuff." It's my fault for not taking control but it's hard to say "no" since you're already there and you'll earn $$$. I can't even imagine what would have happened if I had 4 more lawns to do that day!

If you're a solo operator (like I was), you're not going to finish a lawn in the same amount of time as 3 guys working a lawn. That was 1 thing that really got me down too. Let's say you can get a small lawn for $35/week. It takes you 20 minutes to get there (start the stopwatch when you grab your keys). 30 to 45 minutes to do the lawn and back home inside the house is another 20 minutes (stop the stopwatch when everything is put away and you sit down). That's 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes for $35, or about $23/hour. You'll be surprised how much time you actually spend doing someone's lawn if you use a stopwatch. Even easier, how long does it take you to run down to the hardware store to pick something up? Even though you may think you're only gone 15 mins it's more like 30. Now imagine hooking up a trailer, making sure you have everything, blah blah blah...

That's all I can remember right now and it's not in any particular order. These are my own experiences and, as they say, the best lesson learned is the one learned the hard way!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-08-2009, 02:59 AM
jasonw's Avatar
jasonw jasonw is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,008
Rep Power: 7
jasonw is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
What do you feel is the average distance of a customer for you?
Steve. For me at least a half hour is the average. I do live in a very rural area though. Our closest Walmart is 2 cities over so its not uncommon for service operators to drive 30-45 minutes to a call.
__________________
White Company
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
Full time job to full time lawn care. Making the jump. Steve General Business Discussions 6 01-18-2012 10:11 AM
Commercial vs. Residential musician/lawnman General Business Discussions 40 07-04-2008 08:54 AM
Another landscaper gets shut down in a residential Steve General Business Discussions 5 07-02-2008 10:29 PM
Residential Mower question Steve Truck, Trailer, and Outdoor Power Equipment Discussion, Repairs. 4 07-07-2007 08:11 PM
Residential Professional of Omaha Steve General Business Discussions 3 11-04-2004 08:55 AM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
second year advise
cmdlawncare
01-23-2015 06:22 PM
Yesterday 11:42 PM
by jrs.landscaping
3 88
Lawn care truck
Steve
10-10-2009 03:40 AM
Yesterday 10:54 PM
by Chilehead
39 15,746
What happened to Better...
Steve
01-27-2014 04:07 PM
Yesterday 01:13 PM
by WesleySnips
16 2,964
need advise
rawssrob
02-23-2010 02:45 PM
01-23-2015 06:40 PM
by cmdlawncare
7 2,491
please Help with none...
Lawnboyman1170
01-09-2015 09:46 AM
01-23-2015 03:39 PM
by burnell76
7 430
does this sound good or...
Bradcook21
01-22-2015 09:24 AM
01-23-2015 02:02 PM
by Steve
8 204
New to forum
ROB N
01-23-2015 08:35 AM
01-23-2015 01:53 PM
by Steve
1 71
Looking for advice on...
berryjam
01-21-2015 07:37 PM
01-23-2015 01:50 PM
by Steve
9 228
Extending the life of...
rmccutchan
01-17-2015 12:37 AM
01-23-2015 01:43 PM
by Steve
8 290
osceola lawn service
jasa@wildblue.net
01-22-2015 03:23 PM
01-23-2015 01:38 PM
by Steve
1 84
How many contracts...
5StarLawnscaping
01-12-2015 03:51 PM
01-23-2015 08:46 AM
by jrs.landscaping
8 412
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 11:41 AM
01-22-2015 05:58 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
8 439
Tax Question
Wolf4dk
01-20-2015 01:11 AM
01-22-2015 02:28 PM
by Steve
4 199
Billy Goat Vac
Mr. Mow
01-19-2015 07:42 AM
01-22-2015 02:18 PM
by Steve
6 205
"Part Timers", "Low...
doug1980
06-10-2009 12:55 PM
01-22-2015 02:09 PM
by biglee
39 10,085
Property Pricing
GVL
01-19-2015 02:46 PM
01-21-2015 02:18 PM
by Steve
5 241
Landscapers Source For...
breadcrumb
01-16-2015 02:44 PM
01-21-2015 05:55 AM
by breadcrumb
14 397
Hoa advice
Bradcook21
01-16-2015 09:36 PM
01-20-2015 04:30 PM
by Steve
4 244
My Invention
biglee
01-11-2015 07:51 PM
01-20-2015 10:16 AM
by biglee
16 579
How to beat the pre pay...
stansg1fresh
01-13-2015 04:33 PM
01-19-2015 03:38 PM
by ringahding1
3 312
Hello from Md
homey
12-17-2014 06:55 PM
01-19-2015 01:37 PM
by Steve
12 1,090
Hi from Illinois
burtle
01-02-2015 09:46 PM
01-19-2015 01:22 PM
by Steve
3 474
Hello from SW FL!!
5StarLawnscaping
12-05-2014 02:35 PM
01-19-2015 01:20 PM
by Steve
14 1,401
Lost my @#$ blower
stevef1201
01-11-2015 08:31 AM
01-17-2015 02:21 PM
by lxarth
2 342
Another Illinoisan.....
barhopper
01-11-2015 05:38 PM
01-16-2015 04:29 PM
by Steve
10 391
marketing with pizza...
apmAkron
01-15-2015 09:57 AM
01-15-2015 06:29 PM
by Steve
4 230
CRM and Quickbooks?
5StarLawnscaping
01-15-2015 08:06 AM
01-15-2015 08:06 AM
by 5StarLawnscaping
0 167
New Member, Indiana Iraq...
Timbo
07-14-2011 09:44 AM
01-14-2015 06:14 PM
by Steve
10 3,761
check this box truck out!
BLAZIER-1991
01-07-2015 07:40 PM
01-13-2015 03:06 PM
by biglee
8 597
My community only ad...
googus
01-12-2015 09:55 AM
01-13-2015 02:44 PM
by Steve
5 295
12 Years in Business!
Chilehead
10-23-2014 09:07 AM
01-13-2015 09:37 AM
by Chilehead
18 1,762
use a small business...
BLAZIER-1991
12-25-2014 12:21 AM
01-12-2015 06:32 PM
by BLAZIER-1991
30 1,512
tips on creating a...
BLAZIER-1991
01-08-2015 07:22 PM
01-12-2015 06:19 PM
by BLAZIER-1991
4 440
During Your Down Time
achri12
12-24-2014 03:03 PM
01-12-2015 03:54 PM
by Steve
10 1,046
Leaf cleanup
Bradcook21
01-09-2015 02:21 PM
01-12-2015 12:22 PM
by Jamesw86
4 405
Has Anyone Used Plowz ?
dpld
01-08-2014 12:14 PM
01-11-2015 02:17 PM
by burtle
20 3,305
What to pay help
Bradcook21
01-07-2015 01:32 PM
01-08-2015 07:01 PM
by Steve
1 439
Need a trailer
googus
01-07-2015 09:40 AM
01-08-2015 10:24 AM
by Upscale2
7 541
Do you guys charge buy...
burtle
01-02-2015 09:58 PM
01-07-2015 08:37 PM
by Shark1611
14 895
Organic Lawn Care...
NHray
10-17-2014 07:05 PM
01-07-2015 07:05 PM
by greyhound
18 2,135
Need advice please
CHenricks
01-06-2015 01:17 AM
01-07-2015 03:34 PM
by Steve
4 512
Mowing 2 acres
Bradcook21
01-05-2015 03:13 PM
01-07-2015 03:32 PM
by Steve
9 646
Ideas on a large bid
Knaubone
12-21-2014 11:57 AM
01-06-2015 03:55 PM
by Steve
5 965
Trailer with 4ft sides...
mayala030292
01-02-2015 09:01 PM
01-06-2015 03:33 PM
by Steve
5 595
A tip to get good...
biglee
01-04-2015 12:07 AM
01-06-2015 03:30 PM
by Steve
4 578
Work Shoes!
rsanchez1203
02-19-2013 12:07 PM
01-05-2015 09:18 PM
by Havanese2
13 7,427
EDDM post cards
hemiman
02-13-2014 06:36 PM
01-05-2015 04:22 PM
by Steve
14 2,384
Cleaning your Mower and...
MNK
01-03-2015 01:22 AM
01-05-2015 09:17 AM
by rmccutchan
10 734
where to find more...
BLAZIER-1991
01-02-2015 12:17 AM
01-04-2015 12:51 PM
by BLAZIER-1991
6 617
Peco Bagger
AGPS
11-18-2014 02:20 PM
01-03-2015 04:21 PM
by stevef1201
17 2,288
» Popular Tags
4wd aerocore apartment bid apartment lawn care estimate applying auger billy goat brushcutter blades bush deliquentaccounts ditches door hangers employee problems equipment rental ferris first truck foreman georgia google gopherhaul grass growing a lawn care business how to husqvarna introduction jobs john deere quik trac landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn care business podcast lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care seo lawn care website lighting brass outdoor lights managing a lawn care business marketing mulch new buisness per hour service podcast pricing pto reo savannah search engine optimization seo shell snow plowing sq ft square foot starting a business starting a lawn care business steep lawns sulky theft toro toro grand stand tractor auger trailer trailer mate pro tree up sell employee walk behind wood wright stander rh
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:46 AM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:46 AM.

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