Hi everyone! I'll start off by introducing myself, it's my first post on these forums! My name is Jake, I am a college student from Connecticut. I am starting up my own Lawn Care business this summer and I'm looking for all the advise and tips I can get!
To be completely honest, I have little knowledge of how to go about starting up and running business, but it is something that I am determined to learn despite however much work it will take. I have customer service experience having working in a restaurant for 5 years, and I have experience mowing lawns in the past but I'm sure its nothing compared to most of the people here on this forum lol. I want to learn all that I can from you guys, and hopefully I can return the favor.
I'm most concerned about how I should go about the start up of it and how to maintain and manage the business, while still trying to make it grow. I will start off by giving a brief outline of my plan, and then what I am planning on doing (as of now) to make it happen. ANY advise on what I should/shouldn't do, alternative ways to do things, feedback on my idea's (positive or negative), ect. will be greatly appreciated! Here it goes!
-I want to make money, but at the same time provide a great service to people. I take pride in my work and do not like screwing people over, for lack of a better term. There's more to life than solely money simply put.
-I will be trying to get as much business as possible. Right now it is a one-man operation, but hopefully I can get enough clients to want/need to hire people.
-I don't have an exact number, but I will have somewhere between $700-$2,000 for business start up (possibly more but doubtful)
-I am pretty much starting from scratch and have no equipment or clients
-As of now, I plan on advertising basic lawn care services (mowing, weedwacking, weeding, hedge trimming, ect). I am open to learn all I can and am willing to do side-jobs related to this stuff, but don't want to advertise too many special services that I am not experienced in yet.
-I will be doing mostly residential business.
-Depending on how much business I get, I plan on running it as a cash-based
kinda business. I am not planning on purchasing liability insurance or anything like that, just my automobile insurance. Also, as far as taxes/legal stuff goes I would rather just do it under the table for now. If I get a lot of business, this stuff may change, especially if I need to start hiring people.
-I would like to get customers throughout not only my town, but a couple neighboring towns as well. I want as much business as I can get.
-Currently I drive a 2001 Hyundai Tiburon. Ideally I would like to have own a truck for the business, but that is going to have to wait due a couple of reasons (mostly financial). I plan on purchasing a utility trailer to haul everything around with and attaching it to my car for now.
-My dad is going to give me a used push mower of his for free. I do not know any of the details on the make or model, but I will post it later for opinions. I would like to purchase a new one, but I need to figure out my money situation for startup.
-I was thinking about a riding mower, but I honestly will have nowhere near enough money to purchase one until next year.
-I plan on purchasing a weed-wacker, gas cans, an edger(?), mower blades and sharpener, gloves, oil for the mower (im really not sure what I will need... suggestions?)
(I am looking for help here especially!):
-I plan on purchasing fliers and business cards and dropping them off at houses and other places like grocery stores. I need to design these still and am looking for some tips on how to do so please!
-I would like to do at least some door-to-door style promotion to try to get clients. In my experience, dealing with someone in person has many benefits as well as a personal touch that will help me win over some customers.
-I am thinking about purchasing a couple of campaign-style lawn signs for my house and friends lawns for advertisement (possibly in customers lawns in exchange for some type of discount incentive. Thoughts?)
-I would like to purchase either a magnet-decal or some type of car topper for my car for advertisement/professionalism.
-I am thinking about putting some ads in local newspapers, as well as on the internet.
-What are the "basic/standard" lawn care services?
As of now I have mowing, weedwacking, weeding, edging?, and hedge trimming. Looking for more things that I can realistically advertise (tree removal for example, is something I am interested in learning and am willing to take do as a side job type of thing but I'm not experienced enough to want to specifically advertise it yet).
-When should I begin my advertising/promotional period and when should I end it? Also, when should I begin mowing the lawns?
-How/what should I charge per lawn? Should I simply eye-out the lawn when I meet the customer?
-Business name? Im thinking about keeping it simple with "Jake's Lawn Care"... thoughts?
-Any other information/advise that can be offered will be GREATLY appreciated!
I apologize for the long read, but I didn't know of any other way to ask all those questions! Haha, anyway thanks for any and all input, positive or negative! Hopefully I can answer some of your guy's questions and offer my advise on anything you'd like to know!
Thanks again, cheers!