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pdenney11
11-23-2009, 11:35 AM
This is the end of my second year doing lawn care. My first year I got a good start with 25 accts. I was living with my parents still so I wasn't hurting for money. Now I'm out on my own and have a few more bills every month. This year was hard to get new accts. I ended up with 28 accts this year which wasn't getting the bills paid so I took on a ful time groundskeeper job and starting mowing for my business from 3 till dark. I worked alot of hours all summer and it really beat me down. I hate my hourly job and want to go full time with my business again because that's what I enjoy. I'm just having a hard time making the transition. I would like to have atleast 40 mowing accts before I move to full time and it seems almost impossible for me to be able to get 15-20 new accts this upcoming spring in my area. How have you previous part timers made the transition without getting behind on the bills and going broke will trying to get new clients?
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lawns Etc
11-23-2009, 01:02 PM
My best way to get new clients is the 2 local papers I put 2 sided full color flyers in the papers in late Feb or Early March costs about $1000 for the whole package including all printing and results were great so thats my best advice as its local advertizing only hitting the area that you want.

pdenney11
11-23-2009, 04:30 PM
Thanks for the info. The local newspaper in my area has taken such a huge hit this year. They have raised their prices and lost a lot of customers from it. If the price is right with them then I would consider that as a option but I won't spend 1000.00 on newspaper advertising right now. I will just have to check on a price from them and see what they are willing to do for me.
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highlander316
11-23-2009, 05:03 PM
how about direct mailing? You can target who you want to send to, and prices aren't that bad, especially if you do the stamping and labeling yourself.

pdenney11
11-23-2009, 05:42 PM
how about direct mailing? You can target who you want to send to, and prices aren't that bad, especially if you do the stamping and labeling yourself.

What kind of return are you getting on direct mail? Seems that would be a lot more personal then door hangers. Last time I did the door hangers I would see people come to the door, not look at them at all, pull them off the door and wad them up. I use VISTA PRINT for my business cards. Has anyone used them for postcards for direct mail?

highlander316
11-23-2009, 06:24 PM
i had over 5% return on the direct mailing I've done which is more than I expected, but I don't expect it to normally to be that high. I used 48hourprint to print them up and used infoUSA (I think off the top of my head) for the addresses. I only sent out about 750 (wasn't looking to add a lot of work at the time, just fill out routes), but had about 10 calls and most landed jobs (I don't know the percentages off hand either). I'm gonna do it again this coming spring, but probably do two, maybe even three rounds, with about 1500 cards each (probably to the same addresses each time).

I agree on the door hangers too (most toss them immediately). I've done them, but not to much response (about 3%).

pdenney11
11-24-2009, 09:30 AM
I wouldn't mind driving around writing down addresses, stamping and labeling them myself so this seems like a good idea if I'm only paying for the postage and printing.
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johnnybravo8802
11-24-2009, 09:45 AM
I went full time last spring-quit my job at the hospital. The funny thing is that we didn't even notice the money difference!!!:confused:I guess I got busier and landed a couple of new accounts and we didn't miss a beat. I have a wife who stays at home raising my two girls-3 and 7. The largest hit seemed to be the insurance-that hurt! We have a very high deductible and are basically paying out of pocket all year. WE also don't have vision or dental and no 401K. My father used to stress to me the importance of having a job with benefits and I never listened. He would say that good benefits is like another paycheck in itself. He's gone now and I see what he was talking about. I wouldn't want to work for someone else again but the great insurance was nice. However, things aren't like they used to be, with great benefits. I think if my wife gets a job in the next couple of years with benefits, that will be the idea situation.

ALC-GregH
11-24-2009, 10:03 AM
I went full time last spring-quit my job at the hospital. The funny thing is that we didn't even notice the money difference!!!:confused:I guess I got busier and landed a couple of new accounts and we didn't miss a beat. I have a wife who stays at home raising my two girls-3 and 7. The largest hit seemed to be the insurance-that hurt! We have a very high deductible and are basically paying out of pocket all year. WE also don't have vision or dental and no 401K. My father used to stress to me the importance of having a job with benefits and I never listened. He would say that good benefits is like another paycheck in itself. He's gone now and I see what he was talking about. I wouldn't want to work for someone else again but the great insurance was nice. However, things aren't like they used to be, with great benefits. I think if my wife gets a job in the next couple of years with benefits, that will be the idea situation.
That's where we're at now. My old lady brings home the benefits and I bring home the Benjamins. :D

johnnybravo8802
11-24-2009, 10:29 AM
That's where we're at now. My old lady brings home the benefits and I bring home the Benjamins. :D
That's the perfect situation. I keep telling my wife that her hourly income isn't as much of a concern as the benefits. The problem is that she is a graphic artist with a degree and she thinks she needs to do that profession and make a certain income-I'm trying to convince her otherwise.:dizzy:I've got the earning potential with my job and, with my overhead, I need to be rolling to pay for it.

topsites
11-24-2009, 10:42 AM
First off this almost belongs in the Starting a Business section, but to answer your
question there really exists no easy way to perform the magic trick you speak of.

The only thing I can tell you, what you speak of generally involves being able to live well below your means.
So if you are having problems envisioning making ends meet, there is no way
anything you can do to facilitate the process, but perhaps start saving your money.

The thing about saving money, the trick to that is you need to develop a standard of living where,
at the end of the month you have some kind of cash left over, so that you spend less than what
you're bringing home, hence the term "living below one's means."

You'll want enough put aside to survive that first, and perhaps second year.
Not sure how much you need, maybe 5, 10 grand for starters, depends on your cost of living,
the higher that cost the more you'll need, so here again learning to live below one's means comes in handy.

But start saving money, because making that leap won't be the first time as a full time owner that you'll need
banked funds to get through some tough times, and I'm not trying to scare you but that's the reality of things.

Good luck

pdenney11
11-24-2009, 09:44 PM
Topsites
I agree. I have been saving money. That's basically why I got the second job. I wasn't completely broke before, just living week to week on mowing money and I was tired of living that way. This full time job is allowing me to save and pay things off. I should be able to keep my savings till next spring. I just wrote a check for my last mower payment which was 250.00 a month so that will free up some extra saving for over winter. Now I just have a school loan that won't go away for a while, and a truck loan that I will have for another 1.5 yrs.
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South Florida Lawns
11-24-2009, 11:22 PM
I just bought out another company 60 accounts and that really got me in the game. Find a company thats trimming some accts or wants out and buy them up and sell the equipment.