View Full Version : Need Advise
01-05-2000, 05:23 PM
I'm sure glad I found this forum. This is very interesting with very creative ideas. I was recently at a trade show trying to get information on the lawncare industry. I have a horticultural background but no experience in this field of work. I was told that with a city of 80,000 population, little growth, approximately 12-15 landscape business that it is not a wise decision to try to start up a lawncare/landscape business. The chemical specialist said that I would be trying to compete for existing contracts with few new contracts being established. Does anyone have any suggestions or insight into this situation. <br>
01-05-2000, 05:36 PM
Dkechnie, Homer mentioned a town of 20,000 with 40 licensed companies in it. Every year, a lot of guys get sick, injured or have heart attacks and can't mow their lawns and have to hire it done. I would think there is plenty of room in a town that size for one more lawn business. :)<p>----------<br>Eric@ELM<br>http://pages.prodigy.net/eric.erickson/index.html
01-05-2000, 06:30 PM
I live in a small town and only had one neighbor that would take a chance on me when I started.I started out by doing some traveling.After a couple years local people saw my lawn and equipement and knew that I was serious and started calling.I now have 8 customers with in 2 miles of my house and 3 of those are 3 hr mows.I have shrunk my route to 8 miles and concintrate on that area.You may find it hard getting started but be pacient and you will suceede.
01-05-2000, 06:33 PM
DKECHNIE, LETS ASSUME OUT OF THOSE 80,000 THAT 50,000 ARE HOMEOWNERS. ASSUME THAT 10% OF THESE HOMEOWNERS CONTRACT THEIR LAWN MAINTENANCE. IF THERE ARE 10 - 15 COMMERCIAL CITTING CREWS OUT THERE THEY WOULD HAVE TO BE ABLE TO KEEP UP WITH 333.33 ACCOUNTS PER COMPANY. I AIN'T SEEN NOBODY AROUND HERE DO THAT! OUT OF THOSE 10 - 15 THE MAJORITY ARE PROBABLY RUNNING WITH SMALL CREWS, MAYBE 5 OF THEM HAVE MULTIPLE TRUCKS WITH 150 ACCOUNTS. I'D SAY THERE IS PROBABLY A LOT OF ROOM FOR A NEW GUY, AND YOU WON'T NEED TO TAKE ON 200 ACCOUNTS TO MAKE A LIVING ANYWAY. HOW MANY LAWYERS ARE GOING IN TO PRACTICE EVERYDAY? THE POINT IS THERE WILL ALWAYS BE THOSE THAT SAY "YOU'RE MAKIN A BIG MISTAKE", BUT I SAY THE BIG MISTAKE IS NEVER TRYING. LIVE LIFE WITH NO REGRETS, NOTHING VENTURED, NOTHING GAINED, GET IT! START SMALL AND THINK BIG. NEXT TIME YOU GO TO WALMART...............WELL YOU CAN FIGURE THAT OUT.
01-06-2000, 04:42 PM
Good points Homer - just a little LOUD. In the New Haven, CT area where I operate, there are constantly upstarts and dropouts. There are a couple of hundred of companies or individuals doing landscape work around here. The town I live in has about 50,000 people with 14,000 homes - mostly less than 1/2 acre. There are at least 40 guys who I know of doing work in this one town. If I had to guess, one town over is about 1/2 the population size, with mostly 1 acre lots. Probably another 40 companies service that area, not including the aforementioned 40. <p>Give it a try!! Don't worry about the chemical specialist, and don't try to become a specialist right away yourself if you don't know what you like or are good at. I still try all kinds of things, and some types jobs we don't touch any more. If you find a niche, you will become a specialist with experience, and the work will find you.<p>Good Luck.<p><br>----------<br>Phil Grande - Soundview Landscape Supply - http://members.aol.com/slsnursery<br>Ivy League Landscaping - http://members.aol.com/scagrider<br>
01-06-2000, 04:50 PM
The $ of the 80,000 have would make a difference. I would guess, since there's little growth, it's probably not an overly wealthy community. <p>There's probably 200 well-off landscapers per 80,000 people in Silicon Valley.<p>(you get the point)
01-07-2000, 03:03 AM
My territory is similar to SLS (New Britain CT, pop 74000, 30,000 housing units) most lots 1/3 acre or less, Id bet there are at least 200 lawn services and theres plenty of the pie left for others on all levels.<p>A side note, be sure you have all permits that you are required to have, CT Dept of Revenue Services agents have cornered me in backyards six times in the past two years asking to see my tax cert. I keep a copy in my wallet, here its required to have one at the job which means a copy with each truck Im told. The agents were pleasant, if you didnt have it they gave 10 days to produce one but second time they warn your equp is subject to impoundment so be aware.<p>Bill
08-16-2008, 03:22 PM
I agree w/ Gene (idk what the full name was)
But I think that for someone trying to get in there are a few things you NEED to do to succeed...
1) Figure out how much time you have available...(keep in mind you are limited by the spring...you can only take on as much work as you can keep up with in the main growing months...
2) Use the least/cheapest equipment possible to get the job done...I'm refering to the mower size...Don't go cheap on trimmer/blower...
3) SMALL BOUNDARIES...(To give an idea i have 120 lawns w/in 6sq mi, Almost entirely spawned from 7 original lawns)
4) Charge less than everyone else...it's the only way anyone will take a chance on you if you're new.
5) Do your research...make sure you have an answer for any question that comes your way.
6) As you get better raise you're prices...you're quality of work will be what allows you to do this...not the price of gas...
7) Be patient and let the neighbors come to you...it may take awhile, but everyone reaches the point where they can't/don't want to mow their own anymore. And when that time does come, if you've been reliable in the neighborhood, low in price, and high in quality you will be the one they turn to you.
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