-Do what you say you're going to do when you say you're going to do it!
-If you make a mistake, tell your customer. don't try to hide it or cover it up. Honesty really works.
-Give your customer the same quality work as if you were paying someone to work for you!
-Do not low ball your competition! There's enough lawns for everyone to get their share, you can't mow them all!!! Plus you're setting yourself up for higher scrutiny. You make one mistake and "I should have known this guy sucked because he was so cheap" and next thing you know your short one less customer on your route and their telling all their neighbors!
-If a customer wants bi-weekly service, figure your weekly rate, double it and add 10-20%.(Depending on size)
-Sign up for every free lawn care, landscaping, nursery, plant and design magazine you can get your hands on.
***READ THIS FORUM***: I have gotten so many useful tips on here from business to equipment to just a place for comic relief to remind me I do love owning my own business even though some days I wonder why.
-Last one and in my opinion the most important: Know why you want to go into this business! If its money, it takes time. It sounds easy, buy a mower, cut grass, make money. Something as simple as bidding a yard can get complicated quick: how bigs the yard? Easy enough. Okay, are there areas of the yard that are severely sloped that you will have to push or weed eat? Does it have a fence? That's going to add extra time for weed eating. Will your rider/walk behind fit in the gate to the back yard? (Typically largest part of job)How many trees are in their yard(more weed eating)and almost as important, their neighbors 'cause come fall that neighbors leaves inevitably seem to end up in your customers yard and your going to be sucking "em up. How many flower beds? Unless you're just a "mow,blow and glow" you're gonna be weeding them. How many hedges and how tall? You're going to be trimming them. Will need a ladder? Slow process even with extended trimmers. Do they want aeration and over seeding done? What kind of grass, how many sq. ft? Do they want mulch in the flower beds? How many cubic yards will it take?
Yes, eventually you will be able to look at a yard and figure that out in less than 10 minutes but I cringe when I think about how much time and money I lost my first year for not thinking of simple questions like those above.
Didn't mean to put up a novel, but hope this helps.
Good luck, be safe and God bless