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FS Lawn
08-09-2002, 07:19 PM
I trying to think of a business name and have decided to use my name and lawn servise. What is your openion of using you name as the business name and what do you use the first only or the first and last name ?

Runner
08-09-2002, 07:36 PM
It is certainly particular and personable to use your name, but I must say, and please don't take this the wrong way, because it is not meant in any bad way, but Frank Smith Lawn Service sounds a little bland. If it is a more general term, like say for instance, Frank Smith Construction, or Frank Smith Contracting, I can see it. Now, you MAY want to try Frank Smith Lanscape Maintenance, Grounds Maintenance, or Landscape Management, but the lawn service thing, like I say, just sounds a little too generic. It kind of reminds me "Joe's Lawn Care" or something. Do you see what I mean?

Bob Minney
08-09-2002, 07:49 PM
I use first and last name

BigJim
08-09-2002, 08:28 PM
It kind of reminds me "Joe's Lawn Care" or something. The biggest lawncare franchise in the Southern Hemisphere is "Jims Mowing".Thats pretty generic,but works real well.I reckon the best test of a name is how easy it for someone to remember while they write your check out.If they got to keep coming out asking you how to spell maintenance or writing Joes Lawns intead of Joes Landscape Management you need to revise your business name.I like real short and memorable,whats wrong with Franks Lawns?.

ProMo
08-09-2002, 08:44 PM
I have mine figured out right now its PROMO when i get a little older i will change it to SLOMO then when I die it will be called NOMO

FS Lawn
08-09-2002, 08:45 PM
Runner , I agree with you the name " Frank Smith" is about as blan as you can get but that's me . I like the other things you mentioned (landscape management ect ) I do mostly grass cutting trimming ect and do not handle "landscaping , install ect " so would these titles apply to what I do ?

Runner
08-09-2002, 08:57 PM
Sure, the landscape end of it fits into the program. Our old name was Joseph Landscaping & Grounds Maintenance, but let's face it, that was a whole mouthful to say, and even more to have to write on a check. Keeping it short and sweet has always worked well for any business. One nice thing about my original name, is that people always knew who I was, and they knew what to call me. Everyone in the area knows me by my first name of Joe. The Ground Control was a bit more catchier, I felt, and is a bit more simple to write on checks.:) One nice thing about using your name in the biz, is that if you want that particular check to just be cashed, to you, well, you are able to.;)

Promo, what you said is hilarious!!:D

FS Lawn
08-09-2002, 09:05 PM
Runner
Thanks for the advise ! I am still in a delima about what to put on the end of my name ( grounds maint , landscape maint ) I think the name is the most important thing of all , i just don't want to give the wrong impression that i do landscaping.

SLS
08-09-2002, 09:27 PM
Hey cousin Frank!

Don't be thinking about stealing my business name! ;)

http://bigrifle2.home.att.net/slsmag.jpg

I guess it's rather obvious what "SLS" stands for, huh?


Simple names work good. Good luck deciding, cousin...and come see us sometime. We'll take in the Grand Ol' Opry or something. :D

ProMo
08-09-2002, 09:36 PM
.

FS Lawn
08-09-2002, 09:38 PM
SLS
I guess ther are smith's everywhere. I see your not having the identity crisis I am. Your signs look great. Do you provide any other services or just like me just grass....

TFL
08-09-2002, 09:53 PM
We use our last name's first letter. I have a co owner. the name is "TFL" . It stands for Thomas Farrell Landscapes. TFL looks and sounds more profesional on letter head and trucks though.

SLS
08-09-2002, 10:11 PM
Cousin Frank,

I am a solo operator...so my viewpoint is slanted towards that perspective....

The nice thing about "Lawn Service" is that it does not limit you in scope of available services. I also trim and prune, aerate, install mulch...even chop down a tree or two. I do not do applications as I do not have the licences...yet. Will be hitting the books over the fall/winter in preparation for the big test. Until then, I will continue to sub out herbicide/pesticide apps.

This is why I chose "Lawn Service"...it allows for expansion as you are ready and it keeps the door open for people to ask about your services. A lot of guys around my area "just mow" so I have people asking me to trim their shrubs and hedges all the time. I do quite a bit of mulch slinging too. People even stop and ask me about installing "landscaping" but I usually leave anything large or complex for the "landscapers"....although I will plant some smaller stuff on my 'open days'...which are rare. Who's got time to install a fish pond and build a rock wall around it when they have a boatload of lawns to cut??? I would definately leave "landscaping" off of my name/signs...unless you would rather be shoveling, digging, planting, ect....instead of mowing.

"Identity Crises"??? Heck no! The easier to remember...the better. Heck, I have 4 customers named "Smith". :laugh:

Thank's for the compliment on my truck magnets. They work VERY well. :D

And Frank, Welcome to Lawnsite!

TFL
08-09-2002, 10:16 PM
Landscape is definatly staying my name. My goal is to become in my area the only full service. Installation, Maintiance Irrigation Pesticide and so on well on my way. Got the contract for a holiday Inn express installation today. :D

SLS
08-09-2002, 10:22 PM
TFL,

Congratulations on that new account! If "landscaping" is your chosen path then it sounds like things are going your way. Good luck with that new contract! :)

TFL
08-09-2002, 10:30 PM
Now that i think about ity that sounded kind of rude .

Samr to you SLS on the service aspect if that is what your chosen niche is.

SLS
08-10-2002, 04:56 AM
TFL,

I tend to look at "landscaping" and "lawn care" as two seperate entities. Here in my area it seems that a vast majority of LCO-types lean towards one or the other.

I refer most of the lanscaping requests to a local company that specializes in the things you mentioned (installations, irrigation, applications). The have the bobcats, trenchers, dump trucks, nursury stock, and the knowledge that goes with doing landscaping. Plus they tend to have the manpower to get things done quickly.

On the flip side of the coin, they refer mowing and trimming type things to me as I have the Exmarks and the desire to do regularly scheduled visits (re: weekly mowing). It works out good for both parties.

Besides, I'm not so hot with a bulldozier or pop-up sprinkler head. :)

I used to do house painting and became burned out on going from one gig to the next...I was always looking to that next contract. I think that is probably why I enjoy the mowing service. It is consistant.

Once I start adding employees and certifications to my resume I'll expand into some of the other stuff but for now I'm just too durn busy. ;)

I hope you didn't think that I was being rude (I didn't catch it, or mean anything in a rude way). Frank said that he was primarly into mowing and I get asked by a lot of people to do landscaping work...even though I do not advertise my business as "landscaping". Last week a lady(not a reguler client) asked me if I would build her a stone retaining wall...the size of Hoover Dam. :dizzy: That's the reason I did not opt to put 'landscaping' on my signs. It would be hell trying to maintain mowing and such on 37 weekly accounts while trying to do big landscaping jobs at the same time...all by my lonesome.

Navig8r
08-10-2002, 10:16 AM
Frank,

I too am just starting out and trying to decide on a name.

I have had the suggestion from a friend of mine (long-time, self-employed contractor) to perhaps use ...."associates", or ....."enterprises" as part of a "legal" business name.... thus allowing the name to not be too specific about services.

For example, I feel that if I use something like T.J.'s Lawn Service, people may not think of me when looking for someone to prune their hedges, or remove a tree (I'll do the small ones)

I'd rather a customer call me and I have to tell them I can't do what they are asking (or refer them) than not have them call at all.

I'm still working this out myself..... too many choices and all the creative ones are taken!:confused:


Good Luck

-----T.J.

HLC
08-10-2002, 10:33 AM
Navig8r,
You know the old saying "Opinions and @holes, everyone has one." Well my opinion on "associates/enterprises" is that it sounds like someone who doesn't really have a REAL job. I guess I once knew too many people in the AMWAY biz. They all called themselves some kind of associate or enterprise. Once again....just my opinion.

I too am struggling to find a name for my biz. Right now I am just using my name but would like to come up with something a little more original for next year.

Navig8r
08-10-2002, 10:39 AM
HLC,

I guess I thought the same thing, that's why I'm still looking for a name.:D

Just wanted to pass on one of the suggestions I was given.

I feel that "Lawn Service" limits your/my opportunity for expansion w/o changing names.
I will probably go w/ something with "property maintenance", or the like in the name.

Alan Bechard
08-10-2002, 12:24 PM
Although it probably will not apply to most folks here, we changed our name several times to hit the right one.

We capitalized on the fact that my wife was the one doing the work and went we went from the Ad in the newspaper that said, Bechard's Lawncare to A Woman's Touch Lawncare the phone rang off the hook. I would say that 20% of our calls come becuase the folks feel more comfortable with ladies walking around and mowing their house. Especially older people.

If you go to our website you will see also that we capitilize on the fact that my wife is German. Many people in our area have spent time in Europe through the military and appreciate and want to remember and bring home a taste of Europe.

As to the lawncare and landscaping thing, people will call and ask. If you are doing residentials I do not feel that average folks make that much of a distinction. We list them all though as when you deal commercially you will see a difference.

We are slowly developing the water features aspect of our buisness and this also affects the name. I doubt we will change anything but it is a consideration for us.

I would offer you the same advice I gave myself when we changed our name.

What makes you stand out from the others in the newspaper or yellow pages or whatever medium that you are advertising in.

Why should people call you instead of the other 20 people in the coulumn that say, joes, jays, franks and smith lawncare?

I would also check with such a common name that you are not stepping on somebody's toes and using a name that is already in play. About once a year we have to write a nice letter and ask somebody to quit capitalizing on our business name in the local area.

My 2c for what it is worth. Although obviously you cannot make the exact same play that we did, the thought process and why we got there is the same.

Al B