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JWLandscaping
07-29-2008, 11:04 PM
Hello everyone,

I am new to this site so I'll give a lil history about myself, I'm 20 years old and I am the owner of a small Landscaping company in Maryland. My first question of many is how to generate new business specificaly commercial.

Back2Back
07-29-2008, 11:29 PM
Just call and ask if they are taking bids. But make sure you are talking to the right person.

sundevilz
07-29-2008, 11:32 PM
Hey man Im 20 as well and seem to be doing really well. Heres a couple ways I got started and im already pretty packed. Just so you know I live in a huge metro city (phoenix) with I think 4 million people. Property Management companies. Straight up your best way right there. Go to a online yellow pages and put in your address. Then put in commercial or residential properties as your search. this way your getting all the companies in distance to your home. Have you card and be ready to hit the roads. I have barely touched this strategy and like I said very pleased with business. Also you can search for any companies for example car dealerships, walgreens etc.... you will find little nitches where people are more favoring of what you have to offer. Run with them!!!! Try that and im sure you will be happy. Let me know and ill give you some more tips.

JWLandscaping
07-29-2008, 11:33 PM
Thanks Back2Back should i call places that dont look like they are keeping up with their property or have very nice upkeep

Back2Back
07-29-2008, 11:36 PM
Well since its late in the year and most businesses have contracts. You can call any business that you would like to mow. Because if they say no they are not taking bids. Well then you can ask well when will you be taking bids. And they might say Nov or Feb? And then you can call back whenever they say they will be taking bids.

MowHouston
07-29-2008, 11:38 PM
Hey man Im 20 as well and seem to be doing really well. Heres a couple ways I got started and im already pretty packed. Just so you know I live in a huge metro city (phoenix) with I think 4 million people. Property Management companies. Straight up your best way right there. Go to a online yellow pages and put in your address. Then put in commercial or residential properties as your search. this way your getting all the companies in distance to your home. Have you card and be ready to hit the roads. I have barely touched this strategy and like I said very pleased with business. Also you can search for any companies for example car dealerships, walgreens etc.... you will find little nitches where people are more favoring of what you have to offer. Run with them!!!! Try that and im sure you will be happy. Let me know and ill give you some more tips.

REO companies might not be the best way for someone to start out. They pay monthly, and usually a month or two behind. So you need a little bit of startup money to live on until you start getting paid.

Secondly, depending on our the REO company works, usually the bank tells the management company how much of a budget they have to work on that lawn. I've had one guy that was in REO that took my bids, but the others I have worked for were like... this one is gonna be $30. I get there and its a $40+ lawn.

You're gonna run into overgrown lawns. And I mean OVERGROWN. These properties that they manage are mostly coming out of a forclosure. You will need to rent a brush hog from time to time to cut 3-4ft tall grass down. Make sure you charge for that as well. Will cost about $60 for the day.

As well, you may have to work around cleanup crews and all the crap/trash they leave behind.

I've given this a try three times and I'm done with it. Had another one call me two weeks ago and once I found out it was REO I told them, Sorry, I dont work with REO companies.

I'm not telling you that you cant do it. Just throwing up some information about what can happen.

JWLandscaping
07-29-2008, 11:39 PM
Great suggestions ya'll thanks so much

sundevilz
07-30-2008, 12:35 AM
Im talking about more along the lines of commercial prop. They pay real well and its guaranteed work. If you dont understand commercial property management let me break it down. Those grocery/ shopping strip malls pretty much all over town. Or the ones with even smaller bizs all need to be mowed. yes alot of them already have contracts but alot can get out with 30 days notice. You can target smaller properties to start out.

MowHouston
07-30-2008, 12:47 AM
Im talking about more along the lines of commercial prop. They pay real well and its guaranteed work. If you dont understand commercial property management let me break it down. Those grocery/ shopping strip malls pretty much all over town. Or the ones with even smaller bizs all need to be mowed. yes alot of them already have contracts but alot can get out with 30 days notice. You can target smaller properties to start out.

Ah yeah. Thats different than REO property management. Give that a try then :D

AboveTheCut
07-30-2008, 01:11 AM
i read a bunch of post that were warning folks about property managers but i thought "this won't happen to me". HA! i started working with one this season and it seemed to be working out until he started trying to dictate my schedule. he would say, "don't cut this week, mulch my beds instead" and sent me on a few estimates that he said would be worth my time and then told me i was too high. i don't mind skipping a week when its hot and the grass is not growing but thats my decision not this guys. long story longer, he got upset with me because i didnt take care of a task as fast as he wanted and is "re-evaluating" his needs. i sent him a final invoice and told him that when he decided i would negotiate a new contract but the old terms may not apply. now, i hope i get my money owed to me. they are slooooow payers and now i understand why everyone said these guys were bad. they all are looking for something for nothing. sorry so long.

ALC-GregH
07-30-2008, 10:40 AM
A friend of mine wants to start a mowing business him self. We talked about opening one up in a partnership deal. That didn't fly when he said he wasn't in a hurry to get things started. So, I decided right then that I'm better off opening my OWN business. Now that I have done so, he kinda is mad that I didn't let him open and run the business. Now he's trying to do it him self while working full time. To the point, he talked to a REO that he knows. She told him, yes, I have 6 properties I need mowed. He thought he had hit the jackpot. LOL I asked what he bid on them. He goes on to tell me that they are all flat rate properties and pay a fixed amount to mow and he said it like I was dumb for not knowing. I asked him how long it took to mow them,he said he finished the last one on the second day. His grand total for 2 days work, $230 for the 6 properties. LOL He then tells me 4 days later that the lady needs to approve the work before she can pay him. Over the last few months, he's asked about getting your money from the customers. I told him it's not that hard to deal with and ALL of my customers pay weekly and none have missed payment. So after hearing about his first mowing job and how he hasn't got paid, I couldn't help but laugh at him. Kicker, the properties are scattered across 40 miles. One being over 60 miles from his home! He used his beat up gas hog van to pull his homemade dual axle trailer. I doubt he made ANY money. It's funny, when he started talking about it before we got in deep on the subject, I told him I won't touch a REO property because they never want to pay anything. Then he tells me about not getting paid yet. LOL

ALC-GregH
07-30-2008, 10:50 AM
Also, he's a compulsive spender and likes to buy stuff in quantity. If he needs 10 bolts and nuts for a project, he'll buy 100! He owns 3 WB's and 3 ztr's, 4 push mowers, 4 walk behind edgers a cheap back pack blower that doesn't work worth a $hit and a Walmart Poulan trimmer. All are used worn equipment.

sundevilz
07-30-2008, 11:29 AM
Im not sure if I was specific of if maybe no one read my following post. No doubt Residential Property management companies are cheap as can be. But Commercials keep my company busy to the point im adding crews constantly. If im bidding on the home depot shopping center and im charging them 1300 a month for service, I know have a contract for a year for worth $15,600. Throw 10 in there and you see where im going. And the best thing about, I know if I provide honest, quality work I will be getting them to resign. Just my two cents.

JWLandscaping
08-04-2008, 10:09 PM
so mr sundevilz whats the best way for me to go about trying to get a contract like this

cpel2004
08-04-2008, 10:16 PM
Hey JW welcome to the boards. Just to give you a extra tip use your search feature. There are some really great older threads that will definitely help you.

JWLandscaping
08-04-2008, 10:20 PM
Will do I am just getting use to the site now thank you

mjealey
08-05-2008, 09:45 PM
My best friend has a very large business with a lot of commercial contracts and these are two things that he says really worked for him:

1. Chamber of Commerce. He as been active in the chamber of commerce for about 3 years. He tries to go to their networking lunches that they have about once a month. He has aslo sponsored a few gatherings at his business. These are specifically for networking, meeting people, and exchanging business cards. Every month there are about 30 new members each month. He gets the list of the new members and tries to have lunch or come to their office to introduce himself. They both tell each other about their business and what they do and try to help each other out. Works really well for him. Picked up a good number of clients from it.

2. Business Networking Groups. He has also been a member of business networking groups for about 3 years also. They meet once a week or every other week usually early in the morning. He has several customers in his group. Contracts for a local bank with 4 offices, car dealership, insurance office, and a CPA. He also has his taxes done by the CPA, gets insurance through the insurance company, and banks with the local bank. Been under contract with him for 2 years now. He says that you have to put your time in for people to get used to you and comnfortable with you, took him about 6 months before he got anything out of it. These people are now comnfortable with him and refered him to some of the people they know etc., etc. A lot of these groups are sort of like if you scratch my back, I will scratch yours.

This might be something to look into if you are looking to get in with the big boys. This is a relationship business and a lot of times, the more people you know, the more successful you can be.

Anybody have experience with Chamber or busines networking groups?