View Full Version : I have had a change of attitude about lawn care!! Im not going out like this!
03-17-2004, 01:21 AM
Hello, this is a followup of my thread about Im getting out had enough. Let me tell my story of how I came into lawn care. When I was about 8 years old I enjoyed mowing yards so much that I had 9 yards I did during summer vacation for 3 to 5 dollars a yard. dont laugh, this was in 1967. I dont this till graduation when I went to school in Americus to major in business machine maint. When I got out went to work as a tech for the school systems and also was a sub-contractor for all the local repair places. My speciality was the IBM selectrics and several other kinds. I got good at it and I HATED it with a passion! I would come home after work eat super then go back work 16 hous a day. The stress was awful. Well thabks to wal-mart and k-mart for selling calculators for 25 bucks and typewriters for 99 bucks found myself suddenly un-employed in 97. 2 months after my twins were born. Here I am 39 and starting over again. I could not find one single job and got really depressed. I went for a job interview for a janitorial/yard work job for a large church and got turned down. That day was the lowest point of my life. I remember taking my tie off and throwing it in the trash and saying to myself as God as my witness I will never hit this point again! The next day I went and talked to my then pastor who was over the salvation army about who was doing there 3 yards, store,church,and home. I knew he had someone doing them but did not know he was having a problem with him not coming. That day I had 3 yards. Now my equipment you should have seen. A rusty old 85 murray riding mower, a friend give me a old wore out boat trailor that I took scrap lumber and made a 6 by 4 UGLY trailor, and I mean ugly. Had a smoking 88 ply mini-van. and the pastor loaned me a blower and weedeater. Man was I a poor looking LCO. The murray alrady was on its last leg but it made it thru the summer with some bungy straps and j-b weld and lots of talking nice to it. The beginning of the second season I had about a dozen yards and bot a JD Sabte, what a POS. I then sold it and bought me a JD 133 for 1500 (dealer ckearance) which I still have, been great. Also that year bought some weedeatrs and a decent blower plus some echo hedge clippers! I was on my way or so I thought! The 3rd and 4th year got up to 24 yards and leveled off. Most of my yards were 35 to 50 dollar yards from 1 to 1.5 hours. Ok was not getting rich but doing ok. In April I bought ny first 6500 ZTR and I loved it! Then In July bad luck started. I lost several yards due to job transfers and scrubs and it went down from there, down to 8 now. Have never lost a yard though because of poor work Im proud to say. So today I go job searching and checking job listings, heres examples, one job required 2 years college and only paid 7 an hour and many more that had a huge amount of requirements. It really really made me MAd, by gosh Im not going back to a deadend job for some SOB to chew on me all day for 40-50 dollars a day NO WAY I woke my wife up (yeah that is brave) and told her what I was going to do and I get you need a real job and I told her I had a real da$%%$mn job and either support me or get off my A##. She remineded me that she is paying most of the bills and I reminded her I paid for them the 5 years she went to college. Aslo she is a 18 year teacher and hates her job so bad that she is taking anti-depresssants to get thru the day. Do I want a job like this ^&^^& NO I dont. Woman are like children you have to put a belt on them once in awhle. Man that felt good to stand up!!! I know I am in a slump right now and tommorow I might have zero yards but I will go out with a vegeance before I go down like this! I had 24 now Im down to 8 and I want 40 more and will try everything to get them. I think that job search today done me more good than any motivational speech, ,man I dont want no deadend 8-5 job. I might have to get a night part time but would not mind that for a short time.I might come back in 6 months and say I failed but dang it I want go down easy or quitely.
Im baaacckkk with a vengence
Danny and my 8 yards and an attitude to make it big or fail big
03-17-2004, 08:39 AM
Now THAT'S the attitude to have! Good luck to you!
Sounds like a great attitude to me. The attitude of a winner. Good luck and be happy its SPRING, there is work a-foot. Go get it.
03-17-2004, 01:52 PM
Glad to hear you are going to give it another try! Good luck with it! A side note on your marriage, sometimes you have to step back and realize you guys are a team, and should try to work together. Sometimes, most of the time, it may be hard, but you have to realize you married that person for a reason, and usually, they can help you go a lot farther in life than you can alone. So you may find with working with her, and vice versa, you guys will start to notice things pick up, and turn around for you both!
Good luck, and go get 'em!
03-17-2004, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by hardworking-poorman
Woman are like children you have to put a belt on them once in awhle. Man that felt good to stand up!!!
Im baaacckkk with a vengence
Danny and my 8 yards and an attitude to make it big or fail big [/B]
This is PRICELESS!!!!! You are going to make it now!!!!!
Oh i agree, they are like children:D
03-18-2004, 05:57 PM
Good luck man...and please respect the wifey!
03-18-2004, 11:59 PM
hello and thanks everyone. been away a day. I got up wensday morning with a whole different attitude than I had tuesday even though only had one yard to do. Got to it about 7 AM and started weedeating and whistling to myself knowing I was not punching a clock. When I got thru with the yard I backed up and looked at it and said to myself, :now Danny this is the kind of work your capable of doing: In last few months I dont feel like I have done the very best I can do, never done a bad job but did not feel good about myself. The customer then walked out to pay me and said excellent, excellet job, looks great, and give me a 5 dollar tip. I then went to a neighbor who was working in his yard, looked about 80 plus years old. and told hime would be glad to help him if I could, told me was going to try and keep doing it himself but took my card. Then went to another neighbor across the street whose yard was in dire need of work. Canme out and started pointing to each srub how she wanted it done, one like Bambi, another like frosty, and .... you get the point. A widowed wife of a lawyer, would not have even went If I had known this. She then told me what SHE would pay and I declined and thanked her and left. NEVER let the customer tell you what they will pay. This makes me get in my truck fast and go! OK so I did not pick up one but Im trying. Had 2 today an 85 dollar one and a 45 dollar one. Got to the first one at 7:50 and left the second one at 11:00 with a 10 dollar tip. 140 bucks for a little over 3 hours I know is not much to you big time lCO but where I live if you make a 100 bucks a day you are crappn* in high cotton. But on the down side the engine on my 133 stared knocking badly after I had just bragged on it yesterday. It did not upset me one bit. not going to let it spoil my attitude to succeed. Dont have any to do tommorow am getting ready for my twins BD party saturday. I cant belive Ive survived 7 years LOL! Eleven more years I can move them outta here!
03-19-2004, 06:29 AM
Good Luck Danny:waving:
03-19-2004, 10:45 AM
Thanks John, Im either going to make it big or fail big, either way I can say I gave it my best. BTW glad you enjoyed my male chavenistic comments, for some reason my wife does not like them. Im really harmless, I could see me puting a belt on wife even though they need it some times! LOL
03-19-2004, 11:04 AM
Ummmm, So how about a loan so I can pay my rent,Lol:D
03-21-2004, 03:23 AM
Go for it Danny! Pick a neighborhood you want to work in. Go door to door on Saturday morning no earlier than 9:00, but no later than 11:00. (People like to sleep in on Sat. but then get out and run errands and you can't catch them at home.) Smile and tell them if they need a real good lawn man, you would be glad to have the job.
I get more work that way than any ad I ever ran.
03-21-2004, 05:22 AM
1. ditto what mbricker said above...it works
2. you CAN make your biz work if you want it bad enough...been there done that
Big M LawnnSnow
03-21-2004, 05:28 AM
Good Luck and Go get them.
03-21-2004, 03:31 PM
Keep the Faith, Danny- There are plenty of people who would lie down and quit in your situation- your fortitude and strength of will will get you through this- Impress your clients and you will be turning away work!
Success is getting back up one more time than you get knocked down. Glad to see you're getting back up.
04-05-2004, 11:48 AM
check your Private Messages
Mikes Lawn Landscape
05-01-2004, 10:53 AM
Glad to hear you had a change of heart I hope this advise will help after all you said "an attitude to make it big or fail big"
You said it took 2 hours to do a prop and you made $35.00 thats not good. I'm going to assume you can do larger props since you have a Z
The kind of props you should target are 1 acre props built in the last 10 years average size home 2500 and up.
An acre you should be able to get $60 to $75 for easy
1. Get out of Blackshear Georgia
2. Look at your map and find a city within 1 hour drive.
3. Target the outlying suburbs where growth is moving out from the city
4. Get a local cell phone number for that area
5. Advertise in every small newspaper you can find in that area.
6. Inundate the area with flyers and post cards
7. Hire a helper and pay him well (You mentioned health problems a helper will double your capacity and make the work easier)
8. A typical 1 acre prop will take 45 to 60 minutes with a helper
$75 - $12.00 for a helper your Gross is $63.00 for that prop.
9. Take a critical look at yourself and your equipment if it ain't professional do something about it.
10. Give yourself until September if you cant make by Sept then maybe look at something else
11. Get out of Blackshear Georgia (There has got to be a major city within at least an hour)
12. Yes you'll have a 2 hour Drive most days but I personally would drive 2 hours for $60.00 an hour vs $17.50 with no drive
Be willing to do any type property in the area and any day for Example every body wants Fridays do fridays until its full and work back.
Thats my nickels worth
Good Luck to You.
05-01-2004, 05:16 PM
Hey Mike. thanks, I just got home and lost 2 more accounts today. Lady thoght that 60 dollars I quoted for her 1 acre lot and one 175 foot ditch weedeating was to much, other new one when I got there changed her mine when I dropped the tailgate, could not afford it, GRRRRR
Mikes Lawn Landscape
05-02-2004, 10:08 AM
Did a little research for ya
Pierce Couty Population is 15,636
Blackshear pop is 3236
Man you are going to have a tough time making a living at those numbers
Waycross has a population of 15,000 or so
Ware county probably has double that or 30,000
You can't make a living in blackshear you gotta expand into more populated areas.
PM me if you want any more suggestions
Good Luck man
05-02-2004, 01:12 PM
Actually Mike, most of my accounts are in Ware/ Waycross. We have so many people in lawn business I have lost several 35 dollar yards to lco who will do them for 10 and 15. Im thinking about expecting to St. Simans and Brunswick (about 60 miles away) lots of retired upper scale folks. its a a island resort. I talked to one VERY rude arrogant lco who lives here and says he does postage stamp size yards for 50. I have a policy I will not undercut another lco but this guy was a jerk. I would undercut him in a minute if it meant surviving then he can call me a scrub. I really dont like to do that though.
Mikes Lawn Landscape
05-02-2004, 07:24 PM
Originally posted by hardworking-poorman
Im thinking about expecting to St. Simans and Brunswick (about 60 miles away) lots of retired upper scale folks. its a a island resort.
Thats your perfect demographic.
Waycross/Ware demographics dont fit an LCO's profile I suspect the problem in Ware/Waycross is a low per capita income.
If that guy is getting $50 for postage stamp lots you could make a good living at $45.00.
Remember high end retired are gonna want pro outfits. If you dont look pro get that way. I just wear khaki shorts red T's and a ball cap with my company name, my employee wears the same thing.
Go get em man.
05-09-2004, 04:26 PM
hi HP i run and own a tree care buisiness..and like you i have high and low days ..but like youve said you need to keep on going ..work overhere in the uk is slow at the moment and everyone bar me is under bidding on jobs.. working for yourself is a struggle but its a lot better than being stuck in some dead end office job
05-24-2004, 06:01 PM
Today myself and my nephew went and did door hanger's with my business card stapled to them, we stayed around or with with in 15 miles of my house in Apopka Florida.
I drove the truck and he would jump out of the truck and recon the house, yea he just finished, Marine R.O.T.C. at school he did very well at it made it to the rank of full col.
We put out 20 door hangers today, we will see when we get calls from them, I use to cold call a lot when i would sell copier's door to door during the day, So tomorrow iam taking him cold calling in a business park, this is the area that i do well at.
kEEP UP THE PACE,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, AND DO NOT STOP, WE NEED RAIN DOWN HERE IN APOPKA...............................:alien:
05-24-2004, 10:23 PM
Hey thanks for replys. I have picked up 3 new accounts in past week so Im slooowwlyy coming back.LOL Scag Power we are in the worst drought here since the early 1990s. My 2 acre yard is completely dead except for the bahha grass that could survice a nuclear blast. I live in the country and only have shallow well and their is a 3 month waiting period for a deep well. Dont you envy those folks up north who are complaining about all the rain!
Quality Lawn Care
Mikes Lawn Landscape
05-28-2004, 07:49 AM
What are the accounts like where did you pick em up? Did you get your price for em
05-28-2004, 10:15 AM
Hey Mike, I picked up to good residentual and one commercial. One res. is a $51 1.1 hour yard, one is a $35 25 minute yard and one apt. duplex is 2 hour $90. Im not getting the dollar a minute that most of the folks here get but where I live that is a fantasy.BTW I picked up a medium res. yard also that I overpriced on and I get $70 and it takes less than an houe to do. Offered to give lady discount but she said she was happy with $70. Jst moved here from Texax and I guess things were more expensive there. Dont you live these kind of customers! Oh yeah she likes to follow me arond yard in short nghtgown and talk a lot. LOL
Mikes Lawn Landscape
05-28-2004, 09:12 PM
Good for you man don't worry about the $60 an hour you can make a good living at $45 an hour keep up the good work.
06-02-2004, 07:18 AM
You may want to do clean up's. I did one the other day and got a very fair price for it . Then the home owner wanted to once a month so i gave him a good price for it and he said ok.
I have thought about calling on churches, but from the old copier days I, remember that most churches may have some in there membership list that does this, pluse i don't want to get into debate as to where i go.
Any thoughts on this , help is always welcome.:alien:
06-02-2004, 10:06 PM
Ditto on the clean up's man I did one at the end of last week, It netted me $460 and my wife did $ 800 worth of planting and bed maint. Never give up.
06-02-2004, 10:45 PM
I did not get one call this year for a cleanup (first time ever) nor could I solicit any either. Thats why I have a cyclone rake for sale now because the work I expected did not happen, Scag Power, the only church that I have is mine. Every church in my area has thier own members doing them or at least a dozen lco in thier comgergation. I would like to have some myself because they do pay good and usually dont complain. Thanks again for replys, Im still hanging in there!
06-02-2004, 10:52 PM
BTW Scag Power, did you use to be a copier yech? I was a office equipment tech for 22 years did everthing but copiers, I hated those things! I dont know how anyone can make a living anymore in the office machine business anymore with Sams selling cash registers for 100 bucks, typewriters for about the same and calculators for 30 and you can get new computer now for around 389. Glad Im out of it.
06-03-2004, 12:07 PM
Do you know any one that is a contractor in a different line of work, I have picked up some jobs from some friends of mine that are to busy to do their own lawn work.
Yesterday i did cold calling on business, to see if i could get any work,still waiting for some responce??
Renewed my add in the small er papers around here, they bring in at least one/two new customers a week, and they don't cost that much.
Keep plugging, thats what all my buddies say that it will hit at once , well iam ready for it too hit NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW:alien:
06-03-2004, 12:10 PM
No out side sales for copiers, all cold calling no leads at all, just banging doors all day.................................
I would rather push my JohnDeere than cold call for copiers ever again, by the way i went back to every one i use to know that is still doing this and if there is grass out front they got a flyer,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,:alien:
06-03-2004, 04:54 PM
Man I hated that cold calling. One of my best customers today I got from a service call on and IBM 6 years ago. The company I worked for though I do not want any of them for customers but thats another story. I run into other lcos that have more than they can handle and I ask/beg them nicely to send me any they dont want. NEVER got one referal from them. Im about ready to pull a chevyman1 and start cutting prices, and man do I hate to do that, will make me real unpopular real fast, but desperate actions call for desperate measures. Last year I had all I can handle and now the phone aint ringing. So many $10 yard mowers here its getting bad. I hate to go agaist the big time LCOs who are charging top prices but looks like Im going to have to be called a scrub or lowballer or whaterver, but they aint nobody helped me any, this being nice is getting meno where. Sorry for the rambling.
06-03-2004, 07:59 PM
Well, today after taking down one of my smaller yards, I went cold calling once again.Check out the Funeral Homes.
With no rain down here we have been calling on just about any type of commercial account. Picking out the biggest ones i can find especialy if they do it in house.
Once inside this type try to explain to them the difference in cost versa price. Hourly employee with bennfits and over time versa contractor rate.
Check out some sales books , like value added selling, there is one called spin selling.
In my neighborhood i started doing door hangers on the houses that i slect, hidden message........................................:gunsfirin
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