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alyssa
04-30-2006, 12:03 AM
Hi, I'm new here! My Husband and I just moved into a new home in Melbourne, FL. He has wanted to have his own business for a few years now and he wants to start a lawn business.

My biggest concern is being in FL there are many lawn services and being new to the area most people probably already have someone they have been using for years. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out how we can make our business different in some way so we can take it one step further.

Any suggestions are appreciated, thank you for your time!

topsites
04-30-2006, 12:18 AM
Yes, ma'am, glad to be of help.

I am in my 5th year and depositing 1,435 dollars on Monday for this week by myself working. This unfortunately has to cover a lot of costs and taxes and bills and bs, I will not have much left over but I have no other income and this is how I earn a living. I have not drawn a paycheck from someone else in all this time, thou the first year was brutal and my family helped some, keep this in mind as well heh.

I am in Richmond VA and there are at least 200 other companies in town, ranging from homemade trailers behind minivans with pushmowers all the way to 20-truck outfits and the like... As for me, I do notice it some but for the most part it no longer bothers me.

To make yourself unique, the best I can recommend is be yourself. Because you are an individual, by being yourself you will stand out in your uniqueness and this in itself is enough to make your service a step apart from anyone else's guaranteed, and with no extra effort on your part, you just do what you would normally do and now you don't outsmart yourself. Take the gift that has been given to you as human, we are each slightly different from each other, and use this to your advantage without further thought.

The only other thing I recommend is work for someone else until you have at least 5 thousand dollars spare cash (10 is better and 20 is recommended but 5 is barely enough, it's what I started with). By spare cash I mean exactly that, please do yourself a favor and do not invent this cash by dissolving life savings or taking out a loan, but do it the hard way by working away like a biotch and save, save, save: You will need the skill of saving later on in the business, an individual who lacks this skill will not survive droughts that can last 6-12 months, sometimes longer (not to scare you, but it is very important you have to be able to save!).
Furthermore, money that has been earned and then saved the hard way tends to be respected more by the business owner than money that was loaned (people find it easier to blow loans) - Do it the hard way and you're helping yourself get a step ahead from the git-go.

So then that is all for now, best of luck!

topsites
04-30-2006, 12:33 AM
As far as folks who already have someone, over half of all new businesses go out of business in the first 2 years, while less than 90 percent survive the first 5: Every year they come and go, every year customers are left without service.

That is only the beginning, one of the hardest parts of running a business is the self-discipline and the drive and the motivation to drag your tail out of bed in the mornings to go do what must be done, at least until it becomes routine. If your husband doesn't show, nobody will fire him. If he does a poor job, he doesn't get written up, there is no boss or manager or supervisor to guide or yell, and so on... So for the first couple of years it takes a want of success roughly comparable to it had to be the thing I wanted the most in my life, or it may not work -> Even then I had a real time somedays but nowadays I get days like that, too... It's not entirely unusual but it can be a challenge at first, and it daunts a few right out of business as well. With you there, it might not be so bad heh

For the most part, advertise a LOT then give estimates, then go do the work and keep doing that...

The only thing is, it takes time. At least one full year of roughing it, the second year it gets better and hopefully from there on as well.

As for lawnsite, in the last year since I've discovered this, I would say I have doubled the experience I gained in 4 years of working by myself just by being an active, fairly daily visitor here - lawnsite rocks, lawnsite rules - stick to this place and you'll save yourself a few headaches and gain some bonus, too.

alyssa
04-30-2006, 12:42 AM
Thank you very, very much for all of your honest, good advice Topsites! I truly appreciate it and you make perfect sense.

I have been working for myself from home full time but I don't deal with people one on one face to face which is good at times lol. I will definitely consider everything you have said and pass it along to my husband. I will be the one marketing the business for him since that is more my area of experience. I look forward to talking with you more!