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View Full Version : Starting Lawn Care Spring '08


ScottsLandscaping
12-24-2007, 02:19 PM
Hi Guys my name is Scott, I decided to start a lawn care company in the fall of '07. I started to think about how I could make sure I would have about 15 clients in the spring, so I decided to offer snow removal this winter. This winter everything has gone pretty well so far, i distributed about 200 flyers and I have 4 seasonal contracts for snow removal. I am really trying to portray a professional image which I have been successful with thus far. I'm hoping that in doing this I can carry these people over into the lawn care portion. Ok, so on to lawn care. I live in a city where everyone has their lawn cut by someone else, so I have decided that this would be the best place to start. I hope to distribute around 3,000 flyers here and other cities too. I really am hoping for around 15 clients. Now, I will be putting these flyers out by hand not mailing so, I would like to do it once. I know putting them out several times is more effective but I don't know if that will be possible this season. When will be a good time to start passing these flyers out if I am doing it once? I already have a 21" commercial mower, a Redmax 7001 backpack, a trimmer, and a 5x10 trailer. I have plans to purchase a 36" mower before the season starts. Guys, any advice will be appreciated just don't be too harsh :). Merry Christmas!
-Scott

ScottsLandscaping
12-26-2007, 10:56 AM
Anybody? Input is appreciated. Thanks

Sweet Tater
12-26-2007, 02:02 PM
I am sending out all my ads in January and again in March to a more target area. With all those mowers You'll soon want a bigger trailer, I'd go no less than a 6x12.
yoou mentioned 15 lawns, At 3 a day every day every week, in an 8 month mowing season thats only about 16,800 gross. Then you hav to subtract your expences. Thats not much. I'd aim for 25 weekly customers. That should gross you about 28k in 8 months (before expences) Thats only 5 a day figured at $35 per lawn. It will differ of course for higher priced lawns.

DaughtryLC
12-26-2007, 02:16 PM
I would say its never to late to advertise. If Im handing out a card, flier or taking about LC I never think about what the season is! When the weather brakes they will run across your ad.

MJS
12-26-2007, 03:11 PM
A good time to pass out brouchures or flyers is right before the grass begins to grow. Here, it is about March most years. . . I usually do it in two waves, though.

ScottsLandscaping
12-26-2007, 04:40 PM
Ok, I'll aim for 25 customers but I am going to be a full time college student next year. I can handle it though without a problem, i don't know if i stand a chance at getting 25 customers out of 2 to 3,000 flyers though. I'll just have to distribute them and see. I think I'll pass them out first week of March.

echeandia
12-26-2007, 05:30 PM
You should consider other forms of advertising as well.

greenerman
12-26-2007, 09:03 PM
I found out years ago to get my flyers out ASAP, while the other LCO's are snoozin. I got some calls right away and had a lot of calls in the spring from folks that said that they had hung on to my flyer since the winter. The more the merrier.:canadaflag:

ScottsLandscaping
12-27-2007, 12:36 AM
Haha, Ok maybe ill put them outt late February then. I'm offering 20% off the first month of mowing for seasonal contracts if they call before March 15. I think that should be a good incentive to call. Thanks for all the help, anymore will be appreciated as well as other forms of advertisement.

MJK
12-27-2007, 07:41 PM
Were are you abouts in MI?

P.Services
12-27-2007, 08:24 PM
i have two scag mowers for sale if you want to put down some decent stripes

hackitdown
12-28-2007, 08:36 AM
. When will be a good time to start passing these flyers out if I am doing it once?

I start advertising in April, the lawns start growing in May here. I get 90% of my calls after the lawns start to grow. Some call earlier, but most call when they can't get the mower started, (or they are new to town, or the husband moved out or travels for work, or they are too old to mow) and now the lawn is 6 inches high.

ScottsLandscaping
12-28-2007, 12:07 PM
Picasso, PM me with the details on those mowers. Thanks!

P.Services
12-28-2007, 05:35 PM
Picasso, PM me with the details on those mowers. Thanks!

i cant yet you dont have enough post's

61'' scag turf tiger, 22hp Kawasaki with 1250hrs, runs great all the time. it could use a little more power when you get on a steep steep hill or in super long wet grass, but for normal mowing the 22hp is great plus its pretty good on the fuel. nice paint, lots of tread on tires, brand new high back seat i haven't put on yet, needs nothing but sharp blades. $4300

52'' scag walk behind, 14hp kohler,hydro drive, no hour meter, runs great, starts kinda hard in the winter (to be expected) but starts 1 or 2 pull in the summer. nice tread and paint. has new belts on deck. they both have there fair share of scrapes and what not. $1500

i am gona trade them in when spring comes for 2 new ones if i dont sell them so i will give you a deal if you want both the mowers. both could use a wash and wax but i will get pics anyways. you can see one i think in my equipment photos. 810-577-2621 if you want to call me.

ScottsLandscaping
12-29-2007, 01:23 AM
Ok well if you could email me pics of the walk behind to Scottslandscaping@gmail.com . I'm interested in that one, i'd love to have the ZTR but it might be a little too much to start with, thanks.
-Scott

ScottsLandscaping
12-30-2007, 06:16 PM
I know it would be ideal to get a ZTR or a large walk behind but is there anything horribly wrong with a tractor for larger lawns until I earn the money to purchase something else?

Big C
12-31-2007, 01:21 AM
If I remember right you will be in school while doing 25 lawns? using a lawn tractor may be fine but think about how much time a ztr could save you mowing between classes.

ScottsLandscaping
12-31-2007, 06:54 PM
How much faster or is it faster to use a walk behind with a sulke?

T.L.C.MICH.
01-01-2008, 12:50 PM
A walk behind with a sulke can be a very versatile piece of equipment. I also am up here in MI. I do a lot of waterfront properties, much safer. Good Luck with the new business.

SomervilleLawncare
01-01-2008, 06:15 PM
Where at in Michigan scott?

ScottsLandscaping
01-01-2008, 10:49 PM
Southeastern, About 20 Minutes North of Downtown Detroit

ScottsLandscaping
01-03-2008, 02:19 AM
Hey guys I was just looking for some input, right now theres alot of snow here and I can see all the plow sticks up and the plow piles at all the residentials. I was wondering if you guys think its a good idea to target these houses now because I know they aren't doing their own service. Should i write down some addresses to target later on or is now a good time to start advertising for lawn care and spring cleanups? The reason I thought of this is, for now I am doing the advertising by hand, and I don't really want to distribute the flyers several times so I wanted to target houses I know have services currently. I don't know if I'll get criticized for this, but I'm not going to lowball as I know it will just come back to haunt me. Thanks again guys for being extremely helpful with my efforts! Happy New Year to all!

RedCastle
01-03-2008, 11:47 PM
Simple..plan on going out a couple of times and handing out flyers...it has been mentioned before that it can't hurt to start early. So don't go giving out 2,000 flyers now scale it down to 1,000. then when the season starts do the same 1,00 and add the other 2,000 flyers

ScottsLandscaping
01-04-2008, 12:57 AM
Ok so work on getting 1,000 handed out in the next few weeks and then the ones i already did plus more right before the season starts?

proscapesvirginia
01-04-2008, 01:17 AM
Late Fab is probably a good time. I like the discount as long as it's reflected in your advertising. Giving them something to act on always seems to generate some additional calls around that specific service. I give a discount for the first month of a signed annual contract. Some of my best customers have come from door hangers because they said it set us apart from the 50 pieces of junk mail they get every day.

ScottsLandscaping
01-06-2008, 01:09 PM
Ya all my advertising information has the program in it, i think i'll pass out 1,000 in the beginning of February and the rest in the end. I hope I can gain a good number of clients from this. I might also contact a real estate agent, how successful has this been for you guys?

mattfromNY
01-06-2008, 01:26 PM
My first year (2006), I handed out about 1500 doorhangers (knocked on the door, introduced myself, explained what I was doing, handed them a doorhanger. Or if nobody home, just left the doorhanger on the door).
I started late, mowing around me started first week of May, I started end of May. By July 1, I had 40 regular accounts.
My accounts didn't all come from the doorhangers, I would mention what I was doing to all of my friends/ family/ anyone I ran into on the street that I knew.
I didn't offer any discounts or incentives, just a gentlemans promise to do a good job at a fair price. Knowing what I know now, I was a little cheap on the larger properties, and right on target on the smaller ones. This year I adjusted the prices on the larger props., didn't have any complaints, to bring them up to par.
The one thing you have going for you now, you have the TIME to do it, spend the time wisely, dress nice, knock on doors and introduce yourself. Even if potential customers dont sign right up, they will have a positive impression of you and may hold onto your phone number for when they need it this spring.
Hope it helps, good luck, keep looking forward.
Matt.

freshprince94
01-06-2008, 04:47 PM
I know it would be ideal to get a ZTR or a large walk behind but is there anything horribly wrong with a tractor for larger lawns until I earn the money to purchase something else?

lawn tractors are ok, but don't turn very well. it is much easier to use a w/b or ztr.

freshprince94
01-06-2008, 04:50 PM
How much faster or is it faster to use a walk behind with a sulke?

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=210301&highlight=sulky

2 clowns mowing
01-06-2008, 05:12 PM
i have a 2007 toro 36" walk behind with sulky. around 20 hours on it will let go for $2250 let me know

ScottsLandscaping
01-08-2008, 12:12 AM
I've decided that I'm going to start with my 21" push, this way I am not buying anything that I don't already own. If all goes as planned I will be looking for a mower in the late spring/early summer. Thanks for all the input guys! Good luck to you guys in the spring season as well!

Ravenwood Landscaping
01-14-2008, 08:06 PM
I've decided that I'm going to start with my 21" push, this way I am not buying anything that I don't already own. If all goes as planned I will be looking for a mower in the late spring/early summer. Thanks for all the input guys! Good luck to you guys in the spring season as well!

Check places like Craigslist for good deals. In my area, I've been able to get a lot of equipment for rediculous prices. I got 48" 2 wb's (Exmark hydro with 200 hours and Scag with 150 hours for $2500). I have no doubt you could find a small mower for a couple hundred bucks and it would be so much better than a 21"

nix15
01-15-2008, 09:07 AM
Scott, take a few minutes in the morning and put an ad on craigslist.com. I picked up 3 or 4 very good accounts this way. I also give cards and flyers to all the real estate agents i know as well as a mechanic I use. He puts a flyer in every car he sends out. Good luck in the business.