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Kent Lawn Care
04-16-2001, 07:17 PM
Im currently into the Lawn Maintanence portion of the industry. Im looking forward to the landscaping end of it. i need some advise where to start. i have taken college classes for it but they didnt help any. ive tryed to install a couple trees and do some sod jobs (lost money on most of them). If anyone could help me out by telling me what the next step i should take, PLEASE tell me! Thank you VERY much


Phil

kountryscape
04-16-2001, 10:24 PM
I started in the greenhouse business.

then added landscaping

then a fence and deck company

now i picked up a few lawn overseeding jobs and mowing

My point is do what you do best and get big. I have the problem of finding money for all my branches and wish i would have stuck to the greenhouse and nursery biz. I'd have a back and you only need greenhouses and not six different types equipment etc.

just do it. the lawn care thing i mean add new services to that like aerating,overseeding , etc.


just my two cents

j. morgan

joshua
04-17-2001, 12:50 PM
start out small, try and set prices for what you do, you should never lose money on any job, if anything you should lose the bid if you can't do a job for the price they want. their is so much work out there its sick and not enough qualified people to do. you took the classes so you must know more than the average joe, tell your customers this, and try and get the ammoount of money you want to make a living. good luck to you.

Clinton D. Wagner
04-17-2001, 08:10 PM
Hi Phil,
What Type of work are you going after? residential? or commercial<BR>
such as industrial parks, shopping centers, appartments, etc, most<BR>
start out with residential. <BR>
Having a business plan and "working the plan"<BR>
First select what you are going to target, residential or commercial. Then,<BR>
decide what you will offer them as part of the landscape service. <BR>
Will you offer:<BR>
Plan work, Sod, Hydroseeding, planting, grading, irrigation, waterfalls, conc. work, rockwalls, wood fencing, maintenance, etc.?.<BR>
The most important thing in selecting what you will offer in your service will be of great importants to your market that you are going after and the more you can offer, the sooner the public will know you as a full service, it would be great to be able to say in your ad's that you are a full landscape service. <BR>
With some effort, all of the above can be handled and installed by your company and it should be profitably, and if you can establishe yours as a one-stop service for all there landscape needs, this will develop the greatest profit for your business. <BR>
The landscape business truly requires you to have a marketing plan. In fact, it goes without saying "show me a business without a marketing plan, and I'll show you a sign of No business", One of the secrets of a successful landscape business is offering full service to your clints. <BR>
If you are going after the residential market:<BR>
Focus On Your Customer, "NOT On Your Company".....<BR>
It is all too easy to focus all your advertising on you and not on your customer. We all do it, just look at any ad and ask yourself what the ad is really saying. Is it talking about the customers needs or about the company? You must focus ALL your marketing communications on the customer, period.<BR>
To overcome this common belief is the single most important step to selling more of your landscapes or maintenance services. Remember the customer is interested in one thing and one thing only, "can you provide what they are looking for"<BR>
Forget about how great your company is, save that for later, always begin with your focus on the customer and their needs and wants.<BR>
Look at your flyers or marketing materials, what is the first thing you see? Is it your fancy company logo, your address, something about how good you think you are? Chances are that is exactly what you will see. The problem is that the customer doesn't care about how your logo looks, or how good a company you think you are, all they care about is what you can offer them and if your price is within there budget. <BR>
Begin any marketing piece with a strong statement that will capture the attention of the home owner immediately. The first thing your prospect must see in order to gain their attention is a statement of the service they may be looking for followed by the solution you have, solving the problem immediately.<BR>
Once you have the attention of your customer, then you can take the time to explain your Service in greater detail. Gain attention first, spell out details later.<BR>
Pricing your services is one of the most difficult problems confronting the small landscaper. Determining prices and pricing policy. Too often the owner-manager looks at his or her competitors and charges a fraction more or fraction less than they do. This haphazard approach to pricing has been the ruin of many landscape business operations. A well-written mission statement, a unique market niche and a detailed budget will help guide you through the pricing jungle. An effective pricing policy can be determined only after you the owner has decided specifically what the business is, how it differs from the competition and what the cash flow needs are. Pricing should be determined through history and mission, not by accident. A close look at pricing policies can often move a business from red ink to black, but this is a time-consuming activity area for the owner-manager-estimator.<BR>
Know who is the competition? What is competitive? On the surface this sounds easy, but few owner-manager-estimators know who they were competing against.<BR>
For example, a small landscape company is not competing with the large landscape companys, but with other small landscape companys that offer the same services. <BR>
So if you stay small and offer the same things you will find the market hard, but if you can find a niche, you will stand out from the others, So offer all you can, but be sure<BR>
you can get it installed, even if you got sub the work out....<BR>
After you have work out your marketing plan and know what your overhead has got to be and the prices you need to charge you will want to have all the charts and forms ready to go for your customers and for whoever is going to do your estimating, So one of the next things you will want to do is find or make all the forms and charts you will need to make sure your mission and procedures are followed...<BR>
<BR>
Good Luck!
Just my 2 mins<BR>

swing blade
04-17-2001, 10:31 PM
LITEN TO WHAT THE MAN SAYS, HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT

kountryscape
04-18-2001, 08:57 AM
Now that's some great advise,I think you hit the nail on the head.

What i was trying to relay was what you were saying can you do the work . Right now i have 15 jobs and about 20 to bid for one guy this is nuts. Starting the landscape side plus lawn care is kinda like putting rocks in your pockets if you get the pocket too full some rocks are going to fall out. meaning every customer(the rocks) are'nt going to be happy.

thanks clinton for a great post

j. morgan

Kent Lawn Care
04-18-2001, 01:01 PM
Thanks to everyone who so far sent a reply, i know all of this is going to help me!

Clinton D. Wagner
04-20-2001, 05:56 PM
First I want to say thanks to you that had some good words
about my above post, I greatly appreciate that!
<BR>I would like to add some forms that may be of help to the new guys that may read this post. They are not intended to replace any you may be using right now. But only to help you with your judgement in setting up your own. The first one is for overhead.
<table border BORDERCOLOR="#0033FF">
<tr>
<td><center><B>Your Basic Planning Guide to Overhead</B></center></td><td><B>BUDGET LAST YEAR</B></td><td><B>BUDGET THIS YEAR</B></td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Salaries-Office </td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Salaries-Shop</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Salaries-Officers</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Salaries-Formens</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Office Rent</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Utilites</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Telephones</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Radio Systems</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Vehicles</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Small Tools and Supplies</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Advertising</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Donations</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Taxes on Property</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Yard Expense</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Gas,Oil, and Repairs</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Licenses, Bonds, Etc.</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Office Expenses</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Miscellaneous</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Dues and Subscriptions</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Entertainment</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Insurance</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Interest</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Bank Charges</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td>Professional Fees</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>TOTAL OVERHEAD FOR YEAR</B></td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td></tr>


</table>
Good Luck

Clinton D. Wagner
04-22-2001, 07:15 PM
<table>
Now that you have your overhead for the year you will want to break-it-down by the
Month, by the Week, by the Day, by the Hour.
<table border BORDERCOLOR="#0033FF">
<TD WIDTH=288 VALIGN=TOP><center><B>Your Basic Planning Guide to Overhead #2</B></center></td><TD WIDTH=80 VALIGN=TOP><center><B>*Amount*</B></center></td></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>Per year it is</B></td><td><B>***</B></td></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>Per month it is</B></td><td><B>***</B></td></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>Per week it is</B></td><td><B>***</B></td></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>Per day it is</B></td><td><B>***</B></td></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>Per hour it is</B></td><td><B>***</B></td></tr>
</table>
<table>
Now that you know what your overhead is for the year you will need to understand what you will need to turn in the next year if you set your overhead at one of the following percentage rates.
<BR>Just remember that most of the landscape companys need 22% to 35% of there gross income to handle there over head.
<BR>
<B>EXAMPLE:</B>
<table border BORDERCOLOR="#FF6347">
<tr>
<TD WIDTH=512 VALIGN=TOP><center><B>Your Basic Planning Guide to Overhead #3</B></center></td></tr></table>
<tr>
<table border BORDERCOLOR="#FF6347">
<tr>
<TD WIDTH=167 VALIGN=TOP><B>Income per year needed to cover overhead cost</B></td><TD WIDTH=167 VALIGN=TOP><B>Overhead budget per year IS</B></td><TD WIDTH=167 VALIGN=TOP><B>Overhead Percentage of gross IS</B></td></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>$250,000.00</B></td><td><B>$125,000.00</B></td><td><center><B>50%</B></center></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>$310,000.00</B></td><td><B>$125,000.00</B></td><td><center><B>40%</B></center></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>$350,000.00</B></td><td><B>$125,000.00</B></td><td><center><B>35%</B></center></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>$410,000.00</B></td><td><B>$125,000.00</B></td><td><center><B>30%</B></center></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>$440,000.00</B></td><td><B>$125,000.00</B></td><td><center><B>28%</B></center></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>$500,000.00</B></td><td><B>$125,000.00</B></td><td><center><B>25%</B></center></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>$550,000.00</B></td><td><B>$125,000.00</B></td><td><center><B>22%</B></center></tr>
</table>
<B>Now here is a form you can use for your Info. set-up.</B>
<table border BORDERCOLOR="#FF6347">
<tr>
<TD WIDTH=512 VALIGN=TOP><center><B>Your Basic Planning Guide to Overhead #4</B></center></td></tr></table>
<tr>
<table border BORDERCOLOR="#FF6347">
<tr>
<TD WIDTH=167 VALIGN=TOP><B>Income per year needed to cover overhead cost</B></td><TD WIDTH=167 VALIGN=TOP><B>Overhead budget per year IS</B></td><TD WIDTH=167 VALIGN=TOP><B>Overhead Percentage of gross IS</B></td></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>****</B></td><td><B>****</B></td><td><center><B>***</B></center></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>****</B></td><td><B>****</B></td><td><center><B>***</B></center></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>****</B></td><td><B>****</B></td><td><center><B>***</B></center></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>****</B></td><td><B>****</B></td><td><center><B>***</B></center></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>****</B></td><td><B>****</B></td><td><center><B>***</B></center></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>****</B></td><td><B>****</B></td><td><center><B>***</B></center></tr>
<tr>
<td><B>****</B></td><td><B>****</B></td><td><center><B>****</B></center></td></tr>
</table>