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  #11  
Old 02-23-2008, 12:47 AM
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A1Lawns A1Lawns is offline
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Location: Connecticut
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James,

this is GREAT to hear! Also very inspiring.

What you explained is pretty much why I have gotten into the lawn care business. (Plus naturally I love producing great looking lawns and the customer satisfaction that comes along with it)

I wanted to ask you 1) Why don't you do more lawn aerations? Or just make it a part of your program? I include at least one lawn aeration a year because of the obvious benefits of it. Or do you sub the rest of them out?

Also, would you mind giving a basic outline of the marketing you have done to come to such a level of success??

Thank you!
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  #12  
Old 02-23-2008, 01:13 PM
stinkfoot stinkfoot is offline
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why put a pre-emerge on if you are going to bust it up with a aeration gypsum will looseen up soil same as aeration just takes longer
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  #13  
Old 02-23-2008, 02:40 PM
Blink74 Blink74 is offline
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Location: Columbus, OH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Cormier View Post
Another 1 man show here. Been fertin & Squirtin since 1985, on my own since 1995.

Currently have 350 customers 90% residential. 5 app program with the usual Fert,Crab,Weed,Lime & grub control. I also offer a mosquito program and do about 30-50 Aer & seeds a year and maybe 20 slice seeds. I did some good marketing in tight areas, I have 140 customers in the town I live in. I give myself 42 days between rounds.

Sounds like I work alot, but I really dont. The most important thing for me is seeing my kids every morning before they get on the bus, attending every game, concert and parent meeting they have. Then being home every night to enjoy dinner with every one of them. I have 4 girls 16 to 6. I also put about 20k miles a year on my motorcycle and spend as much time relaxing by the pool once the temps hit 90!

For the last 5 years Ive been averaging just a hair under 6 figures for my salary. My wife works behind the desk 2 days a week and she makes much more than I do Per hr that is...

I couldn't be happier!
Being a one man show, aren't you afraid of getting hurt while riding and the effects it would have on your business? I too ride. Up until last year I had a business partner. If something happened to one of us the other would keep things afloat. When I bought him out, I sold my R1 and gave up track days in fear of getting injured. I could never give up riding completely. I still have an r1200gs that I ride on the street, but I miss letting it all hang out on the track.
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  #14  
Old 02-23-2008, 03:01 PM
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James Cormier James Cormier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A1Lawns View Post
James,

this is GREAT to hear! Also very inspiring.

What you explained is pretty much why I have gotten into the lawn care business. (Plus naturally I love producing great looking lawns and the customer satisfaction that comes along with it)

I wanted to ask you 1) Why don't you do more lawn aerations? Or just make it a part of your program? I include at least one lawn aeration a year because of the obvious benefits of it. Or do you sub the rest of them out?

Also, would you mind giving a basic outline of the marketing you have done to come to such a level of success??

Thank you!
The main reason I started my own business was I figured I could work half the time for the same money as working for a big company. At the time I had two kids (4&2) and I really wanted to be apart of their life.

First few years were tough, but in time things worked out okay!

Usually I dont finish the aeration I sell, just because of time ( you saw that I ride my motorcycle 20,000 miles a year, right? ) And fall is a great time to ride up here in New England!

Last winter I sent a letter to every estimate & past customer offering free fall core aeration if they signed up. Well I spent 3 days this fall doing free aeration's! All those customers are signed up and prepaid for this year so it was worth it.

My marketing secert, well it was simple. Telemarketing, Back before the no call list that was the cheapest & fastest way to build a company. My second season (1995, I really started in the fall of 94) I spent every night calling until 8:30 and spent every day for 1.5 months dong free estimates. I would generate 30 estimates every night, then measure them the next day. Remember measuring lawns?

My 2nd & 3rd year I got into mowing & Landscaping, somehow I lost a little focus on what I knew (turf treatments) and spent way too much time running a fairly large landscaping business. I was still doing treatments, I stayed at the 180-200 customer range for many years. But my time and energy was spent dealing with equipment, employees, weather and all the other crap that goes along with mowing.

In 2002 I sold it off and its been the biggest blessing, I make more money, have far less head aches and far more free time!

I had a big push in 02 to get the the 350 range of customers. I did mostly new paper ads, some direct mail and yellow page advertising. My newspaper ads were what they call inserts. I would pick a certain date and have 8.5x11 color ads inserted in the paper. I could choose the towns I wanted so I was able to be specific on where I wanted to grow. These worked very well for me and are pretty cheap.

Now I just replace what I loose and dont do much advertising.
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  #15  
Old 02-23-2008, 03:12 PM
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James Cormier James Cormier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blink74 View Post
Being a one man show, aren't you afraid of getting hurt while riding and the effects it would have on your business? I too ride. Up until last year I had a business partner. If something happened to one of us the other would keep things afloat. When I bought him out, I sold my R1 and gave up track days in fear of getting injured. I could never give up riding completely. I still have an r1200gs that I ride on the street, but I miss letting it all hang out on the track.

Yes very much so.


But riding has been in my blood since I was very young. It a huge part of my life as well as my wife's, we ride together alot. Even the kids are starting to get into it, we got a JR50 and a few 4 wheelers right now. My oldest is taking the MSF safety course and plans on riding my duck to school before she drives the car

Oh, and the GS is on my short list of my next bike (currently my duck is # 17) I had planned on the new 800gs but seeing thats not coming out until sept I might just wait to see how the new Stelvio looks when it comes out! Im putting too many miles on the duck and I will never sell this one so I need another ride ( just sold my concours )






My long range goals is to retire by the end of 2009...







From doing daily production that is Its time to get off the PG and sit behind the desk!

Anyone looking for a job?
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  #16  
Old 02-24-2008, 12:28 AM
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A1Lawns A1Lawns is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stinkfoot View Post
why put a pre-emerge on if you are going to bust it up with a aeration gypsum will looseen up soil same as aeration just takes longer
If you're going to aerate in the Spring, it's pretty standard that you would of course aerate first, then put the pre-m down.
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