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  #1  
Old 01-06-2000, 11:31 AM
mattingly mattingly is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 136
I kinda told about myself a while back but never actually jumped in on the Who, What, Where posts of earlier. I wanted to give you all this info. so you can better help to answer my questions and see where I am coming from. I am a 23 year old male living in Lexington, KY. The town is primarily suburban sprawl with 250,000 people roughly. I am looking to start out this spring offering a full line of services. I have a degree in biology from a liberal arts college here in town. Very respectable college. I have one semester under my belt at the Univ. of KY College of Agriculture. My degree will be in Plant and Soil Sciences: area of emphasis Horticultural Enterprise Management with a subspecialty in landscape design. The classes are cool and I love what I am doing&lt;---this is the most important. I have three semesters to go before I will be finished. Don't worry I can handle the full time load and work also. I got a 4.0 last semester and I was also working. I have about six months of Landscape Maintenance experience working for a contractor of one of the biggest hospitals up here. This was my first experience of how uneducated this field really is. I immediately became the one relied upon for any important projects. I was in charge of design for the spring bulbs and I am kinda excited to see how that goes. I've also done a number of other little things that have added a lot of beauty to the hospital. Additionally, I worked all summer mowing for some rich people. I used their Grasshopper 60&quot; ZTR mower to mow 10.6 acres. Started out taking 8-9 hours to mow, trim, and blow, now only 5-6. Amazing how quickly we learn things and become better in order to reduce time. Bad thing was I was getting paid by the hour--$10. I have already had classes in both plant pathology(disease) and entomology(insects). I know this stuff pretty darn good too. Though I feel I still have a lot to learn, I also feel more than confident that I can do a job equal to or greater than 90% of the people out there. (Sidebar: I grew up on a farm raising 60-70 acres of tobacco. I know what work ethic is) I have an extensive network of fraternity brothers from my first school that I am going to try to get accounts through--just to start. I figure this year I will start out small and build my name while in school, then next year when I am finishing up school and have a year under my belt, I'll be ready to build the heck outta this company. Speaking of building a name I am still having trouble with that part. Some potential names I have come up with are:<br>Seasonal Solutions<br>+'s no one has a name like this in my area<br> it encompasses all season's work<br>-'s doesn't really sound like a landscape <br> company<br>Earth & Turf<br>+'s i like the name, seems to imply that i<br> work in both grass and landscaping<br>-'s someone in my area already has Earth<br> Sculptures and Earthfirst. Too <br> similar<br>Earthworks Unlimited<br> See above<br>Integrated Grounds Management(IGM)<br>+'s to me it appears to be a really high end<br> name, implies all facets of the <br> industry can be covered here.<br> no one has a name like this, even close<br>-'s too professional if that is possible<br> make people think that it would be too<br> costly to use services<br>Tag line used with all of these will be something like this:<br> &quot;Combining knowledge, quality, & reliability for your landscape needs&quot;<p>What do you all think of these? (any other names) Don't want to use Bob's lawn and landscape. Too played in my area.<p>Currently I am working on a business plan to get a loan. I have a 5x8 single axle with gate(want to get a 6x16 and keep the above), Lexmark 48&quot; walk behind w/ velke(used), want to get a 60&quot; Exmark Lazer Z ZTR, will sell my car and get a truck(want 88'-91' 3/4 ton chevy), i have an old trimmer but i want to get either a stihl trimmer or echo interchangeable part trimmer, will get a stihl bp blower, i have a murray 5.0 hp self propelled 21&quot;. I will also be getting collared polo shirts because I want to convey the most professional image possible. Colors will be red shirt(I don't believe many, if any, co.'s have red as their color and use black or green lettering(probably black). <br> I plan on getting together my marketing scheme soon. Fliers I guess. We have several uppity neighborhoods around here. With what I have said, how should I market myself? What features of mine would the consumer like more than Joe Shmoe? I'd like to start contacting commercial sites around here and bidding their sites. Who do I get in touch with? Would it be acceptable to send first, a letter of interest, then follow up a few days later with a call and visit?<br>Feel free to jump in anywhere. This site has been a monumental help and confidence booster. Especially for the up and comer. Hopefully someday I will be the one answering these questions. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2000, 11:38 AM
Stephen Stephen is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Sullivan County, NY
Posts: 81
that's a lot to digest in one shot, best advice is to listen and learn from these guys who have been in it awhile - i have been in this three years, doubled my gross income and still don't know all the answers, i get alot of answers from others in business, not just the lawn business, and i try to take each step with a plan behind it for enlarging my business<p>----------<br>Stephen<br>
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2000, 11:55 AM
Lazer Lazer is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 1,446
I've been in the business for 17 years now and I'm learning everyday.<p>1.) I like the IGM name.<br>2.) Polo shirts okay, but what really matters in doing what you say you're going to do and pro-active communication.<br>3.) Forget the letters, show your face in commercial sites (with your polo shirt) and tell them your qualifications, tell them to give you a shot.
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  #4  
Old 01-06-2000, 12:13 PM
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geogunn geogunn is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: TN
Posts: 3,049
matt--with all your education we need to talk about crabgrass!<p>why not name your company...seasonal landscape solutions? for the tie to landscaping. you got a lot of great ideas. I'm sure you'll do well. just stay out of TENNESSEE--THANKS!<p>GEO!
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2000, 12:52 PM
NateinAtl NateinAtl is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 121
Hey Mattingly,<p>Are you going to the seminar and trade show in Lexington next week? If so, maybe we can get together anfd trade ideas. Go Cats!!
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  #6  
Old 01-06-2000, 04:47 PM
CLM1 CLM1 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Charlotte N.C.
Posts: 90
Mattingly, WAY TO GO! Sounds as if you know what you want and how you're going to get there. Just from what little you've said here it sounds like we all could learn from you! The best of luck to you!
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  #7  
Old 01-07-2000, 11:43 AM
pogo pogo is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: san antonio
Posts: 37
My little reminder to myself when venturing into something new is : &quot;Keep It Simple&quot;. You have a ton a good questions. The main thing is to just get out there and do it and some of your questions will be answered in your field and office work. I have always leaned by asking questions, but more importantly, by just getting totally invovled and learning a long the way. Im still learning about estimates and commercial bids. absorb as much as you can, but make sure youre in the thick of things when starting out.<br>And dont forget to take a few days off evry now and then.
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  #8  
Old 01-08-2000, 09:38 PM
southside southside is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 790
I've been a slashing/mowing contractor for<br>4 years now and I found the most important <br>thing to remember is to give a quality finish,give &quot;bang for their buck&quot; and most<br>importantly BE RELIABLE nothing upsets<br>clients more than not showing up.If you can <br>do all of this for a sane price then you're<br>laughing.Good luck.
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  #9  
Old 01-09-2000, 05:23 AM
Eric ELM Eric ELM is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 4,831
Welcome aboard Southside. I noticed your from down under and was wondering, what is Slashing? I agree that dependability is a major concern with customers. We had a customer call us because he was unhappy with his present service. He said he didn't know when the guy would show up or if he would show up. We have been told by our customers that they could almost set their watches by when we show up. Weather permiting, we leave the house at the same time every day.<p>----------<br>Eric@ELM<br>http://pages.prodigy.net/eric.erickson/index.html
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