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View Full Version : Please, please, please answer this!


lloydwacket
04-11-2006, 09:44 AM
Graduated w bachelors in Dec and cant find a job. Have a wife and a 7 month old kid- we have no medical insurance. I feel like crap man, i have to provide better for my fam. I got a sweet trailer and a decent truck with a tank. I need to buy an edger, leaf blower, brooms, etc. so i have a lot of work to do.

1. My main question is this: How do I advertise? My father is a pastor and I know a lot of people from my church and its daycare have already said they want theirs done. As of now I only have a sign stapled on the twine that blocks off at the end of each driveway I'm doing. I got business cards and a website up. Do I advertise in the local paper? What about putting political type signs in town (illegal or just stupid)? By the way- i live in SE Michigan.

2. Is their any advise on health insurance (self owner insurance of sorts)? My friend had the $100 a month kind and he got a kidney stone and it covered nothing, he told me you get what you pay for with it- theres no easy way out. I hope i don't have to spend $500 a month for me and my wife.

3. Please see my other posts and give a little answer, it'll just take 30 seconds. And if theres anything else you would stress to an ignorant sealcoater say it. I'm doing my fathers church parking lot, but after that I'll have no experience before my first customer. thanks in advance for your reply.

lloydwacket
04-11-2006, 10:01 AM
another question. My bro in law is helping me and wants me to try to get Cash or my name on the check. I'm not sure. I'm small potatos and the IRS probably wouldn't have me at the top of their list, but geezz. What if one of the customers gets a little mad and calls someone? Is this highly risky?

sheshovel
04-11-2006, 02:55 PM
All I can suggest to you is you get out there and pound the pavement to look for a job with benefits,they are out there..What is your degree in?

sheshovel
04-11-2006, 03:08 PM
Hey there is a thread in here a guy is looking for help a lawn and landscape position in your state

sheshovel
04-11-2006, 03:09 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: MICH
Posts: 4

Lawn / Landscape position

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Looking for motivated, hard working individual who is avail for the 2006 season. Must be 18, with valid drivers lic. Exp not necessary.
We perform lawn maint. and landscape installs in SE Michigan.

info@alternativeland.com

sheshovel
04-11-2006, 03:10 PM
E-mail him like now!If he's close enough

lloydwacket
04-11-2006, 07:07 PM
I have a 4 year degree in business administration and i don't want to be making what 18 year olds make. If I can't find a job with $15 hour with benefits then I'll be "my own man" and start a business. I'm 29 and I need proper finances for my fam. If I can possibly gain the knowledge it takes to be successfully self employed (I know I will) and I could easily make $10 hour w benefits at a crappy job (that i'll hate, but not as much as working on lawns making another guy money). No, i think the best route is to hate life working in the heat, but as my own man. Not saying there won't be bumps and bruises, but the knowledge I'll gain is invaluble.

Brendan Smith
04-12-2006, 05:48 PM
I have a 4 year degree in business administration and i don't want to be making what 18 year olds make. If I can't find a job with $15 hour with benefits then I'll be "my own man" and start a business. I'm 29 and I need proper finances for my fam. If I can possibly gain the knowledge it takes to be successfully self employed (I know I will) and I could easily make $10 hour w benefits at a crappy job (that i'll hate, but not as much as working on lawns making another guy money). No, i think the best route is to hate life working in the heat, but as my own man. Not saying there won't be bumps and bruises, but the knowledge I'll gain is invaluble.
i understand what you're getting at, but maybe consider taking the crappy job with benefits as a stopgap measure until you can build the business. that way you are at least bringing home x number of dollars guaranteed. then when business is good, leave. i would bet that at least 50% of my accounts have been generated by telling people at my day job what i do on the side. whatever you decide, good luck.

lloydwacket
04-12-2006, 06:57 PM
Yeah, yer right. I presently am workin for my dad and probably will through the summer. Benefits though i don't have. I appreciate the advice- i do, but i need to push this thing full throttle. i have a lot of jobs set up through my church and its daycare so I'm on my way. Anyone want to answer my questions?

Brendan Smith
04-13-2006, 10:14 AM
fliers have always worked for me. response rate can vary from < 1% to as high as 3% depending on the location in which they are distrubuted. i have found that small towns in my area do not have as much competition, hence my fliers have a signifigantly higher response rate in those areas. the wealthy subdivisions may get several fliers a week, whereas middle income areas do not receive nearly as many. also target areas with a high percentage of elderly people. again, good luck.

jandjsales
06-26-2006, 04:43 PM
my advice on insurance, drive a school bus: i have an equipment sells and service shop and a pressure washing business. i drive a school bus from 6:30 am till 8:00 am and from 2:30 till 4:00 pm, pays my insurance, i get a small check each month and i'm paid through holidays and summer. it bites to be in the middle of something and have to stop and do the afternoon route, but its better than the high rates for bad insurance.

ChicagoSeal
07-03-2006, 11:55 PM
For your situation I would recommend to get a part time job with benefits, even if it is low hourly wage and sealcoat on the side for now.

It sounds like you have an opportunity to make some money on the side with sealcoating, and if it turns into something that you can make a living out of, do it.

But until you know for sure it's what will put the food on the table, I'd get a benfits job and do this on your off days or after/before work.

That being said,

1) You can apply for a business name (assumed name) through your local county courthouse. It might cost you about 60 bucks and take 3 weeks, but with that you can open a free business account (I.E. cash checks in business name). Until then just ask the customer if they can pay cash or personal check because your business account won't be open for a few weeks.

2) Get a 36 and/or 48 inch squeegie. It's a lot easier for a single person to apply the sealcoat with a squeegie than a brush, it doesn't leave "heavy" or "thick" spots of sealer like a brush, so it makes it look better, does the job quicker, and saves some money.

3) You can order plastic doorknob sleeves online in about 1,000 Bulk for 25 bucks including the shipping. Just copy regular sheets of paper at a xerox store with your ads with a phone number and brief listing of your services, and stick em in doorknob flyers (think of what the newspaper comes in). Pass em out for a few days (you can probably do a few hundred alone pretty easy in one half day) and save the rest for a rainy day.

4) Draft about 50 letters to local business owners, you don't need their names, just the name of the resturaunt, church, bank, store, ect. Tell them who you are, where you operate from (if it's at your house just list the town) and that you do quality work. If you even get one call from these letters it will more than pay for them.

5) If you really need the money, drive around and talk to anybody outside about a sealcoat. Why you can do it better than the competition, or why you are cheaper (I have no overhead, I work constantly, so I make money in volume, ect.).

6) This sometimes works too, when you're passing out flyers, do a quick estimate on how much you would charge the customer for their driveway, write it down real quick "Estimate: $120" something like that. Then put the flyer on the doorknob (putting em in the mailbox is illegal everywhere I believe). You may get more than 3% calling you this way, a lot of people change their minds and get a sealcoat done when they know the price without having to call compared to just seeing a flyer and figuring it might cost them an absurd amount of money.


And remember, don't get frustrated, just learn. I learn something new about every time I sealcoat, whether it's something as small as "I should store this in this part of my truck for easy access" or something like "There's not enough sand mixed into my sealer, I should add another half pound."

It's a business where if you work hard and save your money you can be moderately successful even without great business skills. Add in business skills and you can make great money.

Anyways, hope that helped, but if you get that other job with benefits and the sealing doesn't quite work out, you have something to fall back on while you're working out what to do next.