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FreshStart
01-16-2010, 11:58 PM
First off I would like to introduce myself. My name is Travis and I am from the greater Philadelphia area. This summer, my friend and I are looking to get into the landscaping business. We are looking to do everything legally. We will be filing for LLC within the next couple of weeks and then getting insured shortly there after. My question to all of you who have done this before is how exactly do you go about getting customers? I currently have fliers in the works and will be printed up soon. How else would I go about getting people to hire us? Is putting fliers under the wipers of cars legal or worth the effort? When is a good time to start advertising? We don't want to start to early and be forgotten, but we don't want to start to late and not get any work. Any suggestions from those who have recently went through the same situation? Thanks in advance for all the help.

WGLandscapeMaintenance
01-17-2010, 12:41 AM
Do yourself a favor and get rid of your buddy, it will not work out as a partnership. Whoever has the equip should be the sole owner and hire the other guy for an hourly rate if you need him. I'd also suggest being solo first.

As for the windshield wipers, don't do it, everyone will do the same thing I do and that is throw them on the ground, start up the truck and take off
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FreshStart
01-17-2010, 07:55 PM
I know there are thousands of reasons why you would say a partnership wont work but I was wondering what your particular reason is.

I should have mentioned that I am a full time college student and he is a full time carpenter which puts a restriction on both of our availability. Also in tough times like these, it is nice to have someone to split the costs with. I would be open to it if I knew I had enough customers to make this venture worth my investment but I just cant be sure of that yet. That is just how im looking at it. I am completely open to what you have to say though, you definitely have more experience than me.

WGLandscapeMaintenance
01-17-2010, 08:30 PM
Let's put down 1 situation. You guys agree to have one guy in the field and one in the office, well the guy in the field will get sick of being in the heat, so he says either we switch up our duties or I'm leaving. The guy in the office says hell no, boom, partnership done. Ask anyone on here what they think of partnerships and they will say the same. This business is not meant for partnerships, other fields of work allow for it, such as accounting firms, ie. Larson Allen, Eide Bailey, etc.

rcslawncare
01-17-2010, 09:02 PM
If one has the equipment, don't go in it 50:50, as I have found out, cant work, plus you equipment gets split. Not really a good idea. And best friends seem to be the ones that have the worst endings! Iv bee there first hand!

FreshStart
01-17-2010, 09:25 PM
We both have two pickup trucks. Everything other than hand tools and the smaller things will have to be bought.

What have you guys found to be successful in the advertising department?

rcslawncare
01-17-2010, 09:30 PM
Since on my own, I haver used the good ol flyer method. Seems to work, but last year, I just went to businesses and just asked if I could place a bid for lawn care. Most were more than eager to get a fresh bid and I picked up a couple of small restaurants and a gas station like that! I haven't messed with yellow book or any other ways like that. Take you time and get the properties that you want to mow or every week will be a drag.

WGLandscapeMaintenance
01-17-2010, 09:36 PM
You do what you want but you will soon realize what we are saying.

FreshStart
01-17-2010, 10:43 PM
You do what you want but you will soon realize what we are saying.

I realize what you are saying and I definitely appreciate the advice. I understand that partnerships are not always the best idea when going into business. For right now though with other commitments we are gonna give it a try. The worst that happens is either one or both sell out.

rcslawncare- How did you go about handing out fliers? Door to door?

rcslawncare
01-17-2010, 11:00 PM
I did to door to door y my self, haven't really explored having others hand the flyers out. Its worked, but you sure do need to pass out a lot to get the 1 or 2 lawns that you want!!

FreshStart
01-17-2010, 11:32 PM
Thanks so much for the info. We are gonna try door to door for now. As for the timing, how does early March sound? I don't want too hand them out to early or too late.

SangerLawn
01-17-2010, 11:47 PM
Not sure where you live but normally, here in southern Indiana, we start mowing a few lawns around the first part of march….we will not be wide open until half way threw march but you need to be passing flyers out before then. I would recommend getting started around February 15

Bob_n_weave
01-19-2010, 01:41 AM
[QUOTE

I should have mentioned that I am a full time college student and he is a full time carpenter which puts a restriction on both of our availability.



Just when do you plan on cutting grass ? On weekends only ? What happens when it rains two weekends straight ?

Keep us posted, this is going to be good.

FreshStart
01-19-2010, 09:37 AM
Well I have the summers off, and it works out that I am done the first week of April. I should Not miss many cuts or any. School starts in September so if I must I will work after school is over. Its just a thought, im sure its not impossible and that others have done it before.

WGLandscapeMaintenance
01-19-2010, 09:45 AM
College from sept to april eh? Must be nice, I go full time and live on campus and we go from late aug through mid may. Something about your school seems out of whack, that is way too short.
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FreshStart
01-19-2010, 09:58 AM
My bad its May. Still Not too bad. I can do what I need to to get by for a couple of weeks.

Grass Shark
01-19-2010, 09:18 PM
These guys told me a couple years ago not to partner with one of my BEST friends. I did not listen and it cost me $8,000 and a BEST friend who would never screw me.... yeah okay! Don't do a partnership, he is still making money with my cash purchased equipment. Now, I call the shots, I make all the money and I enjoy myself! It was hard to start up alone but worth it, you'll get there.

Talk to people around and see how many sucessful landscape companies are partnerships.

rcslawncare
01-19-2010, 11:04 PM
These guys told me a couple years ago not to partner with one of my BEST friends. I did not listen and it cost me $8,000 and a BEST friend who would never screw me.... yeah okay! Don't do a partnership, he is still making money with my cash purchased equipment. Now, I call the shots, I make all the money and I enjoy myself! It was hard to start up alone but worth it, you'll get there.

Talk to people around and see how many sucessful landscape companies are partnerships.

See, this is good advice. Take it or not, but people will hate when a thread pops up about what to do cause my friend and i got into it and he wants half. Its just no good!

bmlawncare
01-20-2010, 01:05 AM
yeah I have to agree with everyone about partnerships. I work for a sand and gravel company and now its out of business because of the partnershi. the one owner owned all the loaders crushing spread. so now all the other guy is left with is a couple draglines and an older loader. so im telling you like everyone NO PARTNERSHIP!!!!!!!!!!!! Bad idea

stagger
01-21-2010, 08:59 PM
I say if you plan to go small and only want a handful of customer to just make some extra cash, it can work, but if u plan on going big I see a lot of problems already. U mention your partner is a full time carpenter. So this leaves him out during the day, and what happens if he's working on an outside job, and has to work on Sat and or sun to make up missed days to finish a job? You will be doing all the work, and then what have to give him half the money??? I just dont see how your schedules are going to sync up.

If your serious, I think the best advise is to start out small, and dont invest a ton of money to get started. Buy used equipment, drum up a few customers, and keep it simple and see how it goes, you can always get more customers. As of now it just seems like you already have too many issues that could put a real damper on this.

I live in Southern NJ so you not too far from me, and Usually our first cut is around end of March, or early april, so for fliers, I think start passing them out a month ahead of time be good.