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jwcr218
03-27-2008, 01:36 PM
My friend and I are both attending the University of Kansas and we were thinking of starting a lawn service business in the area. Our plan was to have minimal start up costs and buy 2 push mowers, a trimmer, and a blower which we don't feel should be a problem because the vast majority of lawns in the area are small. Our plan was to go door to door and ask if anyone would like for us to mow that day and then give them a list of our other services and talk to them about possibly contracting with us. We also considered drafting contracts for landlords in the area, many of whom we know do lawn work themselves currently, and there are an abundance of them in our college town. Are we missing any huge flaw in our plan, and can a business this small really compete? Any questions about our plan are welcome if it helps with your understanding of our idea and allows you to provide feedback, thanks a lot for your help.

IN2MOWN
03-27-2008, 01:46 PM
I had some buddies do that in Manhattan when they went to K-State (boo). It worked. They made a couple extra hundred bucks a week.

I dont know if you are looking for money to live off of or to go The Hawk for cheap draws but either way you can make some extra cash off all the old folks living there.

I would not do a contract though. In my experience people do not want to sign contracts just to have their grass cut.

jwcr218
03-27-2008, 02:43 PM
I appreciate the feedback. In response, I was thinking of contracts as a way of job security, but I can see where many wouldn't want to be tied down. Any other suggestions or comments are welcome from anyone, I appreciate the help

CrimsonLawnCare
03-27-2008, 03:08 PM
dont waste your time going door to door, this is our second year doing lawn care and we thought that would be a good idea, but was a total waste, make up a nice flyer.. put some roller blades on and stick them on the "outside" of the mail boxes.. and also put a ad in your local craigslist :) it really helps and just sit back and wait.. it may take a little time but you should have 10-30 customers by the end of the season if you work hard enough at it :) And for the contract thing, creat a quote sheet take it to kinkos and run off some carbon copies. put a place at the bottom of the quote sheet for you to sign and the client, just tell them this is a non-binding contract, all this is saying is that we our your landscaper. Hopefully that helps, good luck

Phil's Lawn Care
03-27-2008, 04:01 PM
Too bad you don't live in Pennsylvania. I am going to Penn State next year and will not be able to take care of my accounts because our cutting season is from april to november and I am in school most of that time. But I guess this would be a good time to get some experience from a professional landscaper. Good luck and spend a few bucks to print out say 500 or 1000 flyers. Also, I have already gotten three accounts from craigslist this year. Have fun and don't lowball just to get the account.

Dirt Digger2
03-27-2008, 04:13 PM
Phil bring your truck up here and go home on weekends...i do it every now and then. Lancaster isn't that far...i make the drive home to West Chester when i need to work

little trick for having a car up here, tell them you have a business at home that requires you to drive a lot and you can get a parking permit right outside your dorm building

Roger
03-27-2008, 05:00 PM
I don't know about your season, but a major flaw might be unable to finish the season. In these parts, the college students abandon their customers in mid-August to return to college. How do you plan to offer a season-long service?

I usually get calls, or have somebody stop where I'm working -- early to mid-September, "... those guys just stopped coming, I don't know what happened to them, ... can you help with cutting my grass?" I think the customer base around here has learned not to deal with college students because they know the service will stop long before the end of the season.

daveintoledo
03-27-2008, 05:12 PM
get a job in your field of study at school....... and putting flyeres on, in or around the mailbox is illegal,

be careful who you listen to arond here, most have no clue as to what they are talking about

MOWEMJEFF
03-27-2008, 08:14 PM
ya don't do the mailbox thing. I was gonna do it for fall cleanups last year and I mentioned to my mother whos a supervisor at the post office, she nearly called the cops on me herself!!!!!!well not quite but she did confirm that it is illegal.

Anyways....your plan sounds fine if you just want a couple hundred dollars for the weekend. find a couple used mowers on craigslist for cheap get a decent handheld blower an srm210 from home cheapo and you'll only need 5 accounts for a month and you'll break even. Lowball senior citizens they'll love you along with everyone else who won't have to deal with their headaches.:hammerhead:

LunarLandscape
03-27-2008, 08:23 PM
just be sure that when you do decide to step foot on to a clients property, be sure you have insurance and are licenced to be doing commercial work... these type of outfits, where they show up do a half ass job and stop the season short, leaves a bad taste in the customers mouth, not to mention they lowball the hell out of the job just to make a few extra bucks, If you are going to start do it once and do it right.

THRIFTY
03-27-2008, 08:37 PM
I attend Johnson County Community College now, but am transphering up to KU next fall. I plan on keeping my lawn service here in Shawnee while living and going to school in Lawrence, but If you guys land a decent # of accounts I'd be down to help you out as far as equipment and experience goes next year, let me know man! Go KU!!!

Exact Rototilling
03-27-2008, 08:45 PM
just be sure that when you do decide to step foot on to a clients property, be sure you have insurance and are licenced to be doing commercial work... these type of outfits, where they show up do a half ass job and stop the season short, leaves a bad taste in the customers mouth, not to mention they lowball the hell out of the job just to make a few extra bucks, If you are going to start do it once and do it right.
Once you find out how much commercial liability insurance really is, commercial vehicle insurance [yeah if you wreck your truck with private insurance and they find out you're doing work for hire - you loose], how much it cost to be licensed and all the hoops you need to jump through to be on the up and up you may think twice about it.

Not trying to be negative about this but this is the reality.

I fully admit for 2007 I wasn't insured but for 2008 I am.

Phil's Lawn Care
03-27-2008, 08:52 PM
little trick for having a car up here, tell them you have a business at home that requires you to drive a lot and you can get a parking permit right outside your dorm building

Nice Idea I'll have to try that one.


and putting flyeres on, in or around the mailbox is illegal

I never said on the mailbox, under the doormat or between the storm door works best.