I'm going through the same questions, other than I am starting in the biz. Currently I have passed all the certification tests and still getting my state license. I have been in business before (not overly successful). I am going to home, garden, and flower patio consumer trade shows. Dress the part to impress, the booth folks to give you their full spiel and info. I have said that we are closing on a house, with a few pics on the phone to talk about. Most guys at shows are glad to hand out literature. This will allow you to pick and choose. I am also traveling 150 miles away to a show, where I plan to ask pricing and personal biz insites. When you are not seen as a competitor but as a newbie peer, the info over a few beers can be really cheap, sometimes good and sometimes worthless... It is important to be out of your service area so your not seen as undercutting their pricing.
Perception in the marketplace is set NOW at the start. Late model shiny hubcaps in today's environment carry over to identifying trendsetters, better yards and continual improvement in appearance and attitude. All for the healthier bottom line, if the added overhead doesn't kill you first. The biggest turnoff is leaving ANY vehicle leak on the driveway, no matter the biz approach.
I wish the both of us, the best of dedication, diligence, and door knocking to success.
Twenty years ago I started a mobile hot water pressure washing service,when no one knew what they could do... Anyway a 1/2 sheet card stock handwritten flyer I wrote and mailed out once. It was amazing how that flier would pop up years later, getting stuffed in a kitchen catch-all. The card stock weight paper was good for long term presence.
Somewhere on the web for $300-400 dollars a group of young starving graphic artists will compete to design a trademarkable business name/graphic. You may get 6-10 to choose from! I need to find that web address .
I have to start a soft roll out in 3 weeks, I have a small local Master Gardener Gardenfest spring show booth( booth rent $75) where I will hand out something... extolling the wonders of chemical lawn, Emerald Ash Borer injections, and NATURAL lawn control options which I plan to fully develop to differentiate my lawn care biz. I don't plan on cutting grass, but get the lawn cutters to refer me.