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lmaoo8
03-13-2009, 01:20 PM
Hey guys, I am a new member, it's nice to see there's an actual website dedicated towards this business.
so I was thinking about this lawn care business for a long time now, but I am actually doing something about it now. My target is to eventually open a company and hire workers to help me out, so here's the part I've never seen anyone mentioned. How do i request my payment as? because i won't be on site to collect cash or checks, do I tell them to directly transfer the money into my business account? Also, if you guys have any suggestions for my situation at all please feel free to post. thanks!

Toy2
03-13-2009, 01:22 PM
Hit the search button on this site, and have plenty of time to read.......it should answer all your questions...

shane mapes
03-13-2009, 01:27 PM
what type of experience do you have? do you do any yards now? to start off saying you want to hire people to help you, one of two things are going on. 1. you have a lot of $$$ to throw @ this or 2. you have no clue what is involved. most guys start out solo. good luck keep us updated

grasschopperofchicago
03-13-2009, 02:16 PM
Well it doesn't appear you got an answer there, so I will try to assist, as a Solo at one time I would get my payment in a variety of ways, which hasn't changed much with a crew. I either got paid onsite after the completion of jobs, but still sent a monthly invoice with no balance. I have contracted accounts, so I bill with a net 20 on them, meaning they get a bill for a 30 day cycle and I expect payment within 20 days (self addressed envelope included in statement) I have people that stop by my shop to drop off in a drop box or give to my cute little secretary! I have two friends that own Automobile Dealerships that pay me in advance for their 8 lots and Commercial that does that same when bid is accepted, payment for specified service during the season, 1 check done and over!--My favorites!...I have never given anyone my bank account number to deposit it themselves however, no way to tell who put it in unless you have customer provide you with deposit slip or account number, which they may as well use that time to hand you payment. (not to mention the issues of passing out banking info)
Hope that helps, if you are just starting out, and aren't contracting people, you can set up collecting onsite, returning to collect when they are available after leaving a bill at the home, or mail them an invoice (most professional)

lmaoo8
03-13-2009, 02:51 PM
thanks grasschopper of Chicago, I was just wondering what the payment collections are like but after looking at other post and your suggestions it really widen my options.
Also, as a beginner should I get a license to start out so it would look more professional?
I've been doing a couple of things the past 2 weeks. 1) advertising online and distributing flyers. 2) trying to get a partner (friend) to start with me but most people have too much pride to even think about this business, so I am still looking. 3) thinking of how everything will turn out in the future without any guidance, until I found this site.
I'm just wondering if people actually go through the cycle I went through, because its discouraging having to take advise from friends (they all think its not going to work). But at the end of the day, I still have faith in this business because I've always wanted to do this.
Thanks for the comments so far, I am willing to take in any advise so please post!

Hoots
03-13-2009, 05:45 PM
I don't really want to let the air out of your sail, but you need to know something about grass before you start this idea. This is where too many people get in over their head. You must know the right practices that come with this business. It is way more than just "cutting grass" and collecting a fat check.

The licensing you ask about is only dealing with the chemical application side of this business. You need training to know what you are doing with it.

Your friends that think this profession is below them, talking about their pride, probably live in homes with well manicured lawns. Their parents have money and pay well, or should, for the nice lawn they have. These people look down on us "grass cutters" when it is actually a respectable profession. Yes I say profession because it is pretty close to the same as a golf course superintendent that keeps golf courses plush for these same people.

If you are not sure how to collect the money, you still have a long way to go. Search this site and read as many posts as possible. Next year try to get out there with the knowledge you have gleaned from this site and use it.

lmaoo8
03-13-2009, 06:20 PM
thanks hoots but I refuse to wait another year, I will start doing the basics right now as far as lawn service goes (mowing, edging, cleanup). My only concern is that since I go to school everyday except weekends, when customer calls or leave a message and I can't get to them ASAP ,they seemed to move on pretty quickly....

Hoots
03-13-2009, 06:30 PM
Do what you wish, but remember you asked for advice.

Would you rather rush into this and have a higher risk of failing or wait one year and know what and how to do everything?

I will put it to you this way, imagine you wanted to get from Houston to Dallas. Your thought process is jump in the car and drive really fast while asking directions along the way, even if you start out driving to Mexico. If you step back, ask directions, and then go you will be at your destination much easier.

By the way, you say go to school everyday, is this high school or college?

mowerbrad
03-13-2009, 07:18 PM
You really shouldn't be worried about customers moving on if you don't call them back right away. All you have to do is call them back when you get home from school. They can stand to wait a few hours, they won't move on in that short period of time. Also, if I were you I would not partner up with anyone to start out this business, usually partnerships don't end well. As far as payments go, you can either collect every time your there, have them drop it off to you, or bill them and have them send you a check in the mail. Certain states do require that you have a license of some sort to mow and others don't. You will definately want to have liability insurance as well as commercial auto on your vehicle. I understand that you really want to get going with this business but I would suggest that you go to work for another company over the summer to ge the hang of this. You will be having customers asking you quesitons that they will expect you to have the answer. Then once you have the experience I would start your own company.

lmaoo8
03-13-2009, 08:03 PM
even lawn mowing itself, I think it's just not enough mowing my own lawn, which I've been doing ever since i came to the U.S (8 years ago) and also had some experience mowing for others with a friend of mine a few times. By offering basic lawn care and carefully learning something along the way hands on, getting used to handling different landscape. isn't that a better way of learning? either that or I could find a job with related companies and learn from them, but I've also started advertising 2 weeks ago (online and flyers) and I am getting calls everyday, so might as well learn a few tricks online and apply it on site?

I am currently on my 3rd year in college, going for an environmental science degree. One and a half year left if everything goes smoothly......

lmaoo8
03-13-2009, 08:14 PM
thanks for the comment mowebrad, but since there are time conflicting with my school and study schedule (that's why I quit my last job), I prefer learning this on my free time. School is still my priority, as much as I would like to learn it from getting employed by a company, they probably wouldn't offer me the flexibility I need to at the end of the day that suites my crazy schedule... but maybe in the summer I could make some time for a steady job.
I know there are people out there that had started this as a hobby and had some success, that would be the type of advice I need.
thanks!

Kennedy Landscaping
03-13-2009, 08:17 PM
thanks hoots but I refuse to wait another year, I will start doing the basics right now as far as lawn service goes (mowing, edging, cleanup). My only concern is that since I go to school everyday except weekends, when customer calls or leave a message and I can't get to them ASAP ,they seemed to move on pretty quickly....

That's when you have to go to the bathroom ;) Thats the way I do it and no one has ever caught on. Good luck and keep us posted

grasschopperofchicago
03-13-2009, 09:26 PM
LMAO08
I wouldn't wait the year, JUMP in with both feet, but would I would suggest is start out by yourself, and not take on a partner, because now you have to work double to make the same. I would set realistic goals and work strictly on residential, middle class neighborhoods until you learn the techniques and such that would be beneficial for higher end lawns. I started when I was 15 and it was trial and error. I would start with one walk behind and a basic backpack blower and trimmer and edger, get a truck and go!!---I would wait a year and study on Fert Application however!--last thing you want to do is burn a lawn or do something incorrectly that you are replacing a lawn!!---Basic cuts don't require much training. I say go for it!-but start small, start with 10-15 accounts and do them a couple weeks and then start with a couple others, and try to double or triple by end of season!...then work for next year!

lmaoo8
03-13-2009, 11:50 PM
thanks grasschopperofchicago, for the suggestions and encouragement! I get calls almost on a daily basis but I do not know how to keep most of them...... Does any beginners go through similar problems that I am going through? I usually ask them for their addresses, email, and sometimes past service charge and I just send them an estimate and arrival time.... 80% of my call fails to go through all the way.. so what am i doing wrong? any suggestions!?

topsites
03-14-2009, 12:06 AM
As a beginner should I get a license to start out so it would look more professional?

No, it's because not doing so is a crime but you also have to be 18 years old
before applying for a business license... So I believe what you're referring to
is mowing lawns for spending money as you'll likely be using the customer's
equipment so in technical ways you shouldn't need a license.

grasschopperofchicago
03-14-2009, 02:52 AM
thanks grasschopperofchicago, for the suggestions and encouragement! I get calls almost on a daily basis but I do not know how to keep most of them...... Does any beginners go through similar problems that I am going through? I usually ask them for their addresses, email, and sometimes past service charge and I just send them an estimate and arrival time.... 80% of my call fails to go through all the way.. so what am i doing wrong? any suggestions!?

Are you stating that 80% of your calls aren't getting closed for a customer that wants your service?
If that is the case it depends on if you are calling them soliciting or they are calling you inquiring, if it is soliciting, then you are above average at 20%...if it is them calling on an advertisement then you are handling the close incorrectly, and not sounding professional or unable to answer their concerns. If I get a call about business from a residential, I don't get into price, services, I strictly set up a meeting time to discuss their "Needs"...and I do it usually the following day, not the same day, unless I am in the neighborhood (honestly in the neighborhood)...and I then sell myself and the company, the work I do and what experience I have, and address their concerns with scheduling, payment, what will be done, what won't be done, how payments are made and what they can expect, small discussion regarding dry spells, my policies and procedures, pretty basic stuff, but I go to all accounts assuming they want my service and usually close em (if they have contacted me initially)...I provide them very simple yet professional contract to look over and it also informs them of the service they are signing up for based on conversation!---this isn't just a matter of "Hey you want your grass cut?"

Hoots
03-14-2009, 08:49 AM
LMAO08
I wouldn't wait the year, JUMP in with both feet,

I think this is bad advice.

Lmao08, you stated that you have 1 more year +/- to graduate. Focus on that and do not spread yourself too thin between work and school. Look at it this way, what will you gain of you fail a class, the few yards you work on have paid to retake a class and you are again later to graduation.

Wait until you graduate to start, learn what you can about the lawn industry after you study for your classes. You must crawl before you run, you appear to be running with no direction so far.

lmaoo8
03-14-2009, 02:24 PM
As soon as a customer sends me a message, I always try to answer their question, scheduling, and cost in one shot. I've always thought they have other stuff to do so wouldn't want to be bother much by me, but i guess that's the wrong way to do it. I will try your way from now on and see where that takes me. thanks!
how much do you guys charge for a 14000 sq ft house? I offered 45$ to do the job is that too little?

lmaoo8
03-14-2009, 02:36 PM
well.. hoots, I can handle 12 hours of school and still left with some free time. The only thing is I need to choose my free time on my will, and the last job I had they wouldn't let me off for 2 days even after I had informed them of my 2 coming up tests date... so with the free time I have, I'd rather do what I'm interested in and gain something out of this rather than working at a restaurant aimlessly....
I'm pretty much crawling right now, since I've only started this 2 weeks ago and the prior experience I had was pretty much mowing my own lawn. I've gotten calls and email from about 10 customer and I've only landed 2 so far.... I've also put out flyers all around the neighborhood and it seems like online advertising is more effective than flyers. Maybe I am not targeting my lawns? Do you guys target the crappy lawns or distribute to every house you come across?

Hoots
03-15-2009, 10:04 AM
With your experience, what makes you so sure you know what you are doing? How much do you know about grass? What is the proper mowing height, fertilizer requirements, props chemicals to control weeds etc.?

What made you wake up two weeks ago and say "I want to start mowing lawns"? There is so much more to a lawn care business than just cutting grass.

You need to have more experience than mowing your own yard. When your question is how to collect the money (that should be the easy part) you clearly need to do more research on this industry.

Only reason I tell you these things is to prevent you from running into this and smacking your face on the glass door on the way out.

lmaoo8
03-15-2009, 02:54 PM
I asked about the money part out of curiosity, I know its going to take a while for me to even start thinking about this and I didn't wake up in 2 weeks telling myself that dude..
I've been asking all these question to see how this industry is like because this is not the only idea I have in my mind... it is just one of many and I've been wanting to do this a long time ago, so might as well start now.
I've started on a few lawns and learn from them as well lately, made a couple of mistakes here and there but I took note of that.
so... so far I've had ....customer turning me down before I even get to provide them the service , me making little mistakes on site and screwing up accounts, friends telling me that this is a stupid idea, partners quitting on me due to "pride" issue etc......
The only thing that's keeping my heads up now are the advertisement I've made and new customer calling everyday or emailing me, so yes, I know how hard this business is but if I don't do it now when will I ever?

Hoots
03-15-2009, 09:01 PM
I asked about the money part out of curiosity, I know its going to take a while for me to even start thinking about this and I didn't wake up in 2 weeks telling myself that dude..
I've been asking all these question to see how this industry is like because this is not the only idea I have in my mind... it is just one of many and I've been wanting to do this a long time ago, so might as well start now.
I've started on a few lawns and learn from them as well lately, made a couple of mistakes here and there but I took note of that.
so... so far I've had ....customer turning me down before I even get to provide them the service , me making little mistakes on site and screwing up accounts, friends telling me that this is a stupid idea, partners quitting on me due to "pride" issue etc......
The only thing that's keeping my heads up now are the advertisement I've made and new customer calling everyday or emailing me, so yes, I know how hard this business is but if I don't do it now when will I ever?

If you have been turned down before you do the work then the potential customer can probably see that you are inexperienced. If they ask some general questions and you do not have an answer then they will not use you. When I talk to a customer I explain the practices we use for their type of grass and explain the differences in hybrid grasses etc.

I am only trying to give you this advice to wait it out because it all seems like an afterthought that this is what you want to do and "learning on the fly". If you have only been advertising for two weeks then you are way behind the curve already. This is why I asked if you woke up 2 weeks ago and wanted to do this. You are further south than I am but my advertisement push started in the middle of January. You must be the first one to the customer. By March the first, many people are already set up with service providers.