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BMFD92
10-18-2004, 07:31 PM
I wanted to know what you guys have planned for next season, How many accounts to add on? Advertising? New Equipment? that stuff.

I myself plan to start advertising late February and March with every possible way. I am on my towns website and I plan on putting plenty of flyers out. Prob around 1,000 around my area. Its a lot but im itching for some accounts. With all that I hope I get at least 10. I already have 5 scheduled for next season. I also am placing out my snow removal flyers out. Hopefully the winter customers will want the lawn done to. As far as equipment, I will be financing either a Scag 48" Hydro w/ 18 honda or walker GHS 48" 26 EFI. Also will get 7x14 trailer. I will get my business insurance under my name and not my dads. A lot planned and I hope you all have the same excitement for next season. Good Luck

parkwest
10-18-2004, 08:36 PM
What a breathe of fresh air. A teenager who is actually making plans. This is great! Keep up the good work.

Envy Lawn Service
10-18-2004, 09:09 PM
What a breathe of fresh air. A teenager who is actually making plans. This is great! Keep up the good work.
Yes Sir!!! Ditto!!!

As for me personally, I have a few ideas in the storage bin that I'll drag out, mix with my '04 numbers, business goals and personal life. I'll get them all mixed up good and start kicking them around at the beginning of my off season.

Ability
10-18-2004, 09:14 PM
I am going to concentrate on residentials and I am going to try to increase my equipment.

jpmako
10-18-2004, 09:27 PM
I have just about all the equipment that I could need.
Am going to concentrate on signing up my existing customers for next year over the next month or so, and then see what I have. I would like to add on like another 30- 40 residential clients by the spring.

HighGrass
10-18-2004, 09:32 PM
Our season starts in the last week of April for mowing so here's the plan.

2nd week of March- Door to door with brochures, hang tags and incentives. (Sign-up discounts, etc.)
3rd Week of March- Flyer gets stuck in the local papers. 2500 8.5X11 with a discount coupon.
3rd Week of March- Newspaper Ad starts and will run to the end of the season.
4th Week of March- Hang "Tear Off" ads in every store or place that has a bulletin board.
1st of April- More Door to Door
2nd week of April-Check "new houses sold" list at all local Realtors. Also cruise a few of the new mulit house building projects.
3rd week of April- Spent doing last minute prep for mowers and equipment
Last week of April- Ahhh the smell of fresh cut grass in the spring!

Flex-Deck
10-18-2004, 09:49 PM
I am more into commercial, but these dates you are talking about as far as starting your ad campaines and late IMO.

Our county takes bids in November. And most of the larger commercial properties are wanting bids in Nov. thru Jan. Some may be later, but you never know.

Why are you not hanging the door hangers for next year in the next month.

Some kid without insurance and a 21" craftsman is going to beat you to the punch, and all I am going to hear next year is that there are a bunch of uninsured kids out there wrecking the market for the professional LCO.

Thanks Brad

HighGrass
10-18-2004, 09:54 PM
I am more into commercial, but these dates you are talking about as far as starting your ad campaines and late IMO.

Our county takes bids in November. And most of the larger commercial properties are wanting bids in Nov. thru Jan. Some may be later, but you never know.

Why are you not hanging the door hangers for next year in the next month.

Some kid without insurance and a 21" craftsman is going to beat you to the punch, and all I am going to hear next year is that there are a bunch of uninsured kids out there wrecking the market for the professional LCO.

Thanks Brad

Door tags now for mowing in 2005? Around here it would be a waste of money. There would seven or LCO's bangin on their door between now and then. You want to get there and be fresh on their mind when they are just starting to think about the season. This far in advance might be okay of you can sign them, but if not, it's a waste.

BrianK10
10-18-2004, 09:56 PM
I'm starting my advertising the 2rd week of February. Had a local company around here start their flyers out the 2nd Saturday of the month, and got so many customers out of it. Thing is, I picked 70% of them up a month into the season due to their poor work. payup Hopefully I'll snag more early birds that are already thinking of lawncare come February. We'll see what happens.

Brian

Ryan Lightning
10-18-2004, 09:56 PM
The plan is to doiuble my gross income one more year, then a steady growth after that. I dont want to get to big to fast. Also Id like to increase my net by alot next year, I spent way to much this year.

Flex-Deck
10-18-2004, 09:58 PM
Door tags now for mowing in 2005? Around here it would be a waste of money. There would seven or LCO's bangin on their door between now and then. You want to get there and be fresh on their mind when they are just starting to think about the season. This far in advance might be okay of you can sign them, but if not, it's a waste.

If you can't sign them - You ain't going to get-em. If you can't sign em now, what makes you think April is going to do for you?

walker-talker
10-19-2004, 09:31 AM
Currently have about 25 mowing accounts and 6 chem app clients and do this part-time.

Next year I want to double mowing accounts and triple chem app acocunts and go full-time. By this I will have a heavy marketing campaign. Double all this in 2006 and have a crew mowing full-time while I do all the estimates and extra services.

1000 postcards
1000 new business cards
5000 doorhangers
10,000 flyers
500 brochures
50 chloroplast yard signs
finish and upload website
paint truck white and have graphics wraped on
signs for trailer

I am going to have most all media with the same look or theme.....all matching.
I have most all equipment that I need now.

Did I leave out anything?

Kelly's Landscaping
10-19-2004, 09:47 AM
New truck 2 more trailers 3 more ZTRs 2 more hydro wbs and 3 times this years advertising we plan on adding 150-180 new lawn accounts that is the rough plan if I go into real detail I will be typing a 5000 word post.

Up North
10-19-2004, 10:55 AM
If you can't sign them - You ain't going to get-em. If you can't sign em now, what makes you think April is going to do for you?


Flex, I think the kid could be right. It depends on the area. I know if I started marketing now for mowing in 2005 most people would just throw the flyer in the trash, which is not a bad thing as at least they've seen your name. In northern MN people want to concentrate on getting through the winter first, once we get to about March they'll maybe start thinking about the lawns and maybe start signing some people. Heck, I'm just now sending out my snowplowing flyers, I'm a little late with them but I don't know of anyone else in this area that markets their plowing so I should be okay.

Anyway, IMO I think it depends on the area as to when you'll be able to sign up most of your customers...I would keep marketing right through the winter however. The more people see your name the more comfortable they become with your company and probably more apt to call someone they've seen around for awhile then someone they aren't familiar with.

Buck

Liberty Lawncare
10-19-2004, 11:16 AM
Flex deck IMO the spring (late march april) is best for atracting new mowing and spring cleanup customers. I will be using flyers and the local paper in march and april.
I am sending out contracts for 2005 to my current customers at the end of the month.
When advertiseing snow and leaf work I make shure to put mowing as a service avalible.
I will get another lesco 48 but this will be a hydro and bagger. Another trimmer.
and hopefully a kit to make my truck into a dump truck. I am getting real sick of hand unloading :realmad:
Looking for cheep insurance. That darn insurance is expencive :cry:

parkwest
10-19-2004, 11:31 AM
We have 20,000 flyers going out in the next two months for the holiday season emphasizing our landscaping. Starting in Feb. through May we will have another 40,000 flyers delivered.

I don't think it is ever to early or too late to advertise. We have had customers call that said they have had a flyer from us that they have hung onto from 3 years earlier. I can tell by the price on the flyer. lol

chefdrp
10-19-2004, 01:02 PM
right now i have 20 accounts. I am planning to double that. for next season. I will start right around easter doing spring cleanups and handing out flyers and going door to door. I am solo and am going full time. I dont need to get any new equiptment for next year as i spent a ton this year. So i plan on netting more $$$$$$$. I will have to buy something next year so Uncle Sam doesnt take it.LOL

HighGrass
10-19-2004, 08:36 PM
If you can't sign them - You ain't going to get-em. If you can't sign em now, what makes you think April is going to do for you?
Stop thinking like an LCO for a moment and start thinking more like someone who has a long New England winter ahead of them. You think for minute they care a lick about cutting their grass 7 months from now? It's the last thing on the thier minds. Maybe it's different in your area, but this is what works here.

gene gls
10-19-2004, 09:12 PM
I'm looking to sell out and retire, then work part time for some one else.

Gene

Jusmowin
10-19-2004, 09:15 PM
As of right now my plans for advertising next year is advertising in yellow book and really picking and choosing my areas in mind with very tight routes(3 or 4 lawns in a row). I also would not mind having a couple of small commercial accounts for next year, as in a church, gas station, common arears or even a small townhouse community. I also am planning on putting out a couple thousand flyers in the area that I live in.
As for equipment, I only need a few things such a bagging system for my Lazer, aerator, and maybe a larger trailer(16 ft). I also need 1or 2 full time helpers,as I think the helpers will be hardest to get or at least the quality Im looking for!

SpudsM15
10-19-2004, 10:09 PM
Well this year I'm just about 100% up from last year in gross sales, 100% raise.
I've done very good at not taking to much money I pay myself the same 52 weeks a year.
As for 05' I will double my salary no excuses, I will double my gross again! I will do what ever it takes to double! I want a new truck so I will do what ever it takes to get it. How do i plan on doing that 3 months ago I put a ad in this local classified paper works great I mean i doubled my client base since I put in the ad. Next year I will be in the phone book, Lawn signs finnally, and I'm going to follow up every estimate very persitantly! I'm going to try and sell every customer every and any type of service and give them a discount to sign up for the next season to secure income. I will do what ever it takes to dobule my gross income next year! Just got my first commercial prop today its a sh!t hole but hey $ is $

Runner
10-20-2004, 12:11 AM
I can certainly admire the ambition that alot of you (especially the young ones) have for going into and expanding in this service.
Myself, I need to take two steps back and re-evaluate some values and priorities. I am at a crossroads right now and can't even think straight to keep a constant flow of business going. I find myself slowing down and know that I have lost a great deal of momentum over this last season. I don't evn know what next year will bring. I want to continue and I have a plan, but I can't seem to put 2 and 2 together and get things in motion. As I say, I am sort of at a stalemate. I want to expand on the fert. and chem., but I also love the mowing. I am just getting burned out, I think. Not taking a vacation break in nearly two years doesn't help. Having a weekend off is nice, but does no good when I stay here in this town. I really need to do some soul searching after just losing my father this August. It's just been a hard time for me recently, and it's like I can't wait for this season to be over, in a way - even though I know I will miss the work. My girlfriend is gone now as well, which doesn't really help matters in this sort of time of crisis. With the holidays coming up, I am going to bite the bullet and make the best of it. Maybe by spring, I'll be back to my old self, and be a bit sharper at my game.
I'm tired of being a lawncare guy who is in business. I want to be a businessman who is into lawncare, once again.

impactlandscaping
10-20-2004, 12:50 AM
I am going to add another 2 man crew for mowing only, buy 1 more Stander, new 500 gal hydroseeder, Ventrac 4200VXD, with a few other goodies. I also plan on putting more $$ in my Roth funds.I'd like to increase bottom line by 35-40%, and will cut out a few print ads that don't generate enough return, and put that $$ back into other media forms.My biggest plan is to be more diligent on paperwork and record filing..I get out of the habit of doing it daily and let it slide for up to a week or more, then cram two weeks worth into one night.

Up North
10-20-2004, 09:42 AM
I can certainly admire the ambition that alot of you (especially the young ones) have for going into and expanding in this service.
Myself, I need to take two steps back and re-evaluate some values and priorities. I am at a crossroads right now and can't even think straight to keep a constant flow of business going. I find myself slowing down and know that I have lost a great deal of momentum over this last season. I don't evn know what next year will bring. I want to continue and I have a plan, but I can't seem to put 2 and 2 together and get things in motion. As I say, I am sort of at a stalemate. I want to expand on the fert. and chem., but I also love the mowing. I am just getting burned out, I think. Not taking a vacation break in nearly two years doesn't help. Having a weekend off is nice, but does no good when I stay here in this town. I really need to do some soul searching after just losing my father this August. It's just been a hard time for me recently, and it's like I can't wait for this season to be over, in a way - even though I know I will miss the work. My girlfriend is gone now as well, which doesn't really help matters in this sort of time of crisis. With the holidays coming up, I am going to bite the bullet and make the best of it. Maybe by spring, I'll be back to my old self, and be a bit sharper at my game.
I'm tired of being a lawncare guy who is in business. I want to be a businessman who is into lawncare, once again.

Hey Runner,
Hang in there buddy. What you are going through is normal. I lost my father unexpectedly in 1996. It took a long time before I could function somewhat normally, and until that happened I found myself just going through the motions of everyday life, sometimes not even realizing what I'd done that day as the mind was so preoccupied by the loss of someone close. It just takes time, a lot of time. You never get over it, you just learn how to deal with it (at least in my case). Maybe once you get done with the fall clean ups take some time away for yourself. Get away and give yourself some time to reflect, think, and try to relax. Then come back and plan the direction you want to go with the business. When my father passed, I didn't have a company to run so I can only imagine the complexities you have endured through the loss of your father & trying to keep the business operatiing.

Keep your chin up, you have a successful business and from what I've witnessed in several of your posts, a wealth of knowlege within this industry as well as a deep respect from many of the members of this site including myself. Also keep this in mind, eventhough you may not be able to reach out and touch your father, you will always be able to see and feel him in your heart & mind. Memories will be there forever, nobody can take those away.

Buck

Runner
10-20-2004, 09:50 PM
Buck,
I just wanted to say thank you for these kind words and consideration. It really does mean alot. I probably should've have just PM'd you, but I hope these people don't mind. This place really does play a role in my life, and I love being here - espaecially if and when I can be of help to someone (on those rare occasions). Thank you again, and I'll keep looking to the sky and praying in my heart.