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dyerlawnservice
01-19-2010, 06:23 PM
hello guys heres the situation at hand. I've been in and around the mowing and landscape maintenance business for 4 yrs. but my main problems have been I started with all new equipment and always had payments on all my stuff. At the end of last yr i sold EVERYTHING that i had that had payments and gave all 8 of my accounts (lol) to my cousin who also mows. Now heres where I'm asking for advice. This coming yr i'm starting back up with equipment that I've bought over winter that has no payments or anything...from what i've read on here thats how all advize to start. All advice on getting new accounts is very helpful and advice on advertising and all aspects of the business are wanted as well. Please give me all opinions good or bad i'm open minded and looking to make money and grow as the business allows.

clean_cut
01-20-2010, 10:49 AM
I would try some flyers or postcards, even though word of mouth is one of the best advertisements. If you use the search feature, you'll come up with LOADS of information about all subjects. Don't be afraid to sell your other services to your customers, whenever you see them, you could say "your bushes out front a looking a little shabby recently, would you like me to trim them next week when I come?".

Hopefully someone will chime in soon who can give some more advice. :)

dyerlawnservice
01-20-2010, 11:54 AM
thanks, I also work 40 hrs. a week for my grandfather who owns a printing company so as far as the fliers, Postcards, etc....thats right up my alley and very accessable to me. I'm 23 yrs old been married for 6 yrs. and have a 4 month old little boy. My wife is a stay at home mom so thats why I want all the advice I can get so I can maximize profit and dont make the same mistakes I've made before thinking I have to have $10k mowers to mow with. I've learned alot about business managment through my grandfather so basically what i'm asking for is.....what services to offer, advertising opinions, specials to offer, etc....thanks again for any advice or opinions

xclusive
01-20-2010, 12:25 PM
what services to offer, advertising opinions, specials to offer, etc....thanks again for any advice or opinions

Offer services that you feel comfortable with and have experience with. The last thing you want to do is offer a service that you have little knowledge/experience with and not do a good job. I would suggest to start off by offering weekly maintenance, shrub trimmimg, mulching, topsoil, spring/fall cleanups

dyerlawnservice
01-20-2010, 12:52 PM
this all may sound like i've never done any of this before and thats fine because this time i'm starting fresh out of the gate and forgeting all my past bad habits. On the weekly maintanence and the shrub trimming and the small stuff as such should I allow for that in the mowing price or should all these little to-do's be priced seperate and if so how would you go about charging someone to week and clean up a flower bed?

xclusive
01-20-2010, 01:11 PM
Definitely charge separately for those additional services. I usually charge a flat rate cause if trimming only takes you an hour with one person you are certainly not going to charge just an hour of labor. everyone has their own way to figure out pricing. Most LCO's include man hours, materials, disposal fees, equipment, insurance, etc all into their prices cause if you cant make enough money to pay for that stuff then you will go out of business.

clean_cut
01-20-2010, 01:37 PM
Figure your overhead, then how much you feel comfortable earning per hour and charge overhead + hourly, you can use this to bid jobs, or you can just charge by the hour (which will still include overhead and hourly).

Maybe this will help, I didn't make it so don't give me the credit :).

BearWise Landscapers
01-20-2010, 01:46 PM
everyone has their own way to figure out pricing. Most LCO's include man hours, materials, disposal fees, equipment, insurance, etc all into their prices cause if you cant make enough money to pay for that stuff then you will go out of business.

I agree with this quote that your pricing must include all of your costs.

For insurance, I recommend that your bare minimum is to purchase enough (http://www.bearwiselandscapers.com/articles/2009/purpose-of-purchasing-insurance-policies/) that will at least cover potential lawsuits (http://www.bearwiselandscapers.com/articles/2009/liability-loss-exposures-for-landscapers/) that could come your way (general liability and commercial auto). You may consider comp and collision coverages for your vehicle on the commercial auto policy and equipment floater insurance (http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?p=3348541) depending on the values of those items and your cash flow.

Here is an article about insurance for new landscapers (http://www.bearwiselandscapers.com/articles/2008/new-landscaper/).

I also recommend that you get the free membership to ALMA (American Lawn Maintenance Association) (http://www.ALMAnow.com) and check out their instructional videos.

Let me know if you have any insurance related questions for me.

clean_cut
01-20-2010, 01:52 PM
Sorry, I can't post a document in excel format :(

Try This
http://www.evergreenlawns.com/2009/09/lawn-care-business-overhead-cost-estimating/

dyerlawnservice
01-20-2010, 02:56 PM
I've never seen it broke down that way but thats very effective and it seems like it would make it much easier on figuring and pricing because you'll know exactly what you have in it yourself....thanks thats a great example sheet and I'll most definately be using that method to figure my cost.

lawnkingforever
01-20-2010, 03:06 PM
thanks, I also work 40 hrs. a week for my grandfather who owns a printing company so as far as the fliers, Postcards, etc....thats right up my alley and very accessable to me. I'm 23 yrs old been married for 6 yrs. and have a 4 month old little boy. My wife is a stay at home mom so thats why I want all the advice I can get so I can maximize profit and dont make the same mistakes I've made before thinking I have to have $10k mowers to mow with. I've learned alot about business managment through my grandfather so basically what i'm asking for is.....what services to offer, advertising opinions, specials to offer, etc....thanks again for any advice or opinions

Going into debt and buying expensive equipment to start a small LCO is a recipe for disaster, as you know first hand. Try to keep your costs down and don't lower your price just to get a job. Good luck.

dyerlawnservice
01-20-2010, 03:32 PM
thanks and i appreciate all the advice and opinions keep them coming.

xclusive
01-20-2010, 04:40 PM
Sorry, I can't post a document in excel format :(

Try This
http://www.evergreenlawns.com/2009/09/lawn-care-business-overhead-cost-estimating/

Wow that is a nice tool!!!