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jsprouse
06-21-2007, 02:50 PM
I have been doing a bit of research here lately on the lawn care business trying to decide how to go about getting started in the business.

I currently have a full-time job, but would love to own and grow my own business.

I have no equipment currently. What do you guys suggest I do to get started. What equipment do I start with, license and insurance requirements, marketing suggestions, etc.

Any advice would be helpful for me at this point.

Thanks!

toac
06-21-2007, 03:04 PM
I started with my homeowner equipment - 21" Toro, Weedeater trimmer and blower. Just threw it in the back of my truck and off I go. (I still use the Weedeater trimmer - she runs great) Gradually I started upgrading my equipment. I would suggest you start with anything you have now, even if it's homeowner stuff. Don't spend thousands on commercial stuff just to find out you may not be cut out to be an LCO.

BLKSS
06-21-2007, 03:10 PM
thats how i started 21" craftsman mower, craftsman convertible weed trimmer/edger, stihl blower. all together about $500. I have got all accounts by flyers. now im looking into getting a 32-36 inch walkbehind.
good luck.

jsprouse
06-21-2007, 03:23 PM
BLKSS you said you got accounts by distributing flyers. How did you go about distributing them?

BLKSS
06-21-2007, 03:26 PM
just hit my area really hard with flyers any house, in walking distance. Then on Saturdays i would have my fieance drive me in the car looking for overgrown lawns, hop out leave flyer and head to the next one.

toac
06-21-2007, 03:39 PM
check out iprint.com. have some 4x6 post it notes made up. they are so much easier to pass out than flyers. just pull off from the pad and stick it on the door. you can easily pass out up to 100 per hour (1/4-1/2 acre lots). i think i got 2000 for about $75.00. of course the more you buy the more you save.

jsprouse
06-21-2007, 03:47 PM
Post it notes sounds like a good idea. Do you think people would mind to much if I just walk up and stick something to their door? That is legal to do, right? I know I can't stuff their mailboxes.

toac
06-21-2007, 04:06 PM
I've passed out several thousand with no complaints. It's not illegal. I do not leave any if the have "No Soliciting" on the door. Also, in some areas i think you need a permit to do it (rarely), so just check with local government first. Other than that you are good to go.

jsprouse
06-21-2007, 04:09 PM
How much response can I expect from passing out flyers/post-its in my local neighborhoods? 10% 20%?

toac
06-21-2007, 04:14 PM
it's usually anywhere from 1%-4%. remember, those are responses, not actual customers. you should only be getting about 1/2 of your bids. otherwise you are too cheap or too expensive.

jsprouse
06-21-2007, 04:17 PM
Starting out I was just going to do mowing, trimming, edging & blowing. I don't think I want to jump into any lawn fertilization or weed control or landscaping just yet. Is that a good idea? Will I still be able to compete with competitors in my area?

toac
06-21-2007, 04:22 PM
Absolutely. You just need to get your name out there. some people won't be happy with their current service. some will just not want to work outside in the heat. You just have to catch the right people. Take a weekend and try to pass out a couple thousand flyers. You'll start getting some calls. Why not offer mulching. It's fairly easy. What about bush trimming? do you have a truck?

toac
06-21-2007, 04:26 PM
free advertising is great. Post an ad to craigslist.com. This year alone I have picked up about 5 good accounts.

jsprouse
06-21-2007, 04:27 PM
Never done mulching or bush trimming, but I'm sure I could do it if I wanted to. I do have a truck I can use. I had thought about some tree trimming as well. Any tips on these services? How to's etc? What to watch out for?

WJW Lawn
06-21-2007, 04:50 PM
Whatever ya do...price accordingly...and dont go in debt! Get your feet wet by purchasing out of pocket...this way it won't backfire on you. As far as tree trimming...blaaahhh...I sub out all the tree crap---let those boys climb those things. Keep it simple--you'd be surprised how many people just want the lawn mowed. Use the mowing as the horizontal ---then as you go on--add some upsells, like mulch, hedge trimming, fertilizer (get licensed for that) and so on. But mowing gets your foot in the door. You may have a couple people drop you because you dont do full service stuff with landscaping and have 15 illegals running around their yard with blowers---but whatever. There is a niche for you. So go for it!