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Old 04-26-2008, 12:59 AM
hickslawns hickslawns is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Lima, OH
Posts: 131
New retail location ideas?

We are in year number 11 in business. We offer lawn, landscape, fert, snow, and parking lot sweeping. Pretty well rounded with a good group of guys (this is always subject to change in our line of work you just never know). We have recently taken over a mulch bin on a busy retail location. The previous owner had some health issues and is no longer in business. My initial steps have included removing his rotten boards and unappealing mulch bin. Replaced with precast concrete blocks. One mulch bin is done. Working on getting more blocks to offer a second variety of mulch, small bin with river rock, and eventually top soil. We also had a dozer in to excavate a nicer parking area to look more professional and simply offer more parking for our trucks. We have a nice pile of topsoil now, just need to get in worked and ready to sell as pulverized top soil instead of clumpy dirt. lol I have been adding more trees and plants as I go to the Monrovia nursery to get stock for jobs. Basically, when I pickup plant materials for jobs each time I bring another $400-500 worth for inventory. So far everything has been done cash, and I want to keep it that way with no major investment from borrowed funds adding interest to our cost of materials. I am currently satisfied with the direction and speed of growth. Eventually (maybe by next year) I would like to add a small greenhouse.

Now that you have tons of background info, I would like thought and input on what my future ideas are. In order to get customers in more than just in the spring for mulch I have considered growing pumpkins and getting some mums and such for fall customer attractions. Anyone have success with this? Christmas trees have been sold there the last 10-15 years by the previous owner. The last few years they haven't sold well. All he did was mulch and trees with a little mowing. Should I consider selling Christmas trees for year one just to see how it goes? Different name (heck he didn't even have a sign like we have installed) different look to the site might bring customers back for Christmas trees? Anyone try annuals for just a few weekends out of the year? I don't plan on keeping the place manned all week long for just a few sales. Mulch sales and deliver by appointment for starters and manning the post on the weekends for mulch sales is how we are starting out. Later on this might change. Does anyone have any thoughts on ideas I might not be considering? I am willing to grow slow and see what sells and what the interest and demand for our area is. I have always thought a small business locally owned that you watch slowly grow and add a little bit every year is a great thing to watch blossom and builds confidence in potential customers driving by.

I am open to suggestions and opinions good or bad. Not going to hurt my feelings as this is new to me. Slow steady growth is fine by me as well. I am already cash flowing several different service businesses, so this might just be the next one I am developing. Bring on the opinions and suggestions!
__________________
Hicks Lawn Services, LLC
Lawn/landscape maintenance
Lawn/landscape installation
Parking lot sweeping
Snow plowing, removal, salting, liquid de-icing
www.hickslawnservicesllc.com
Proudly servicing Lima and surrounding areas since 1997

Phillip Hicks, President
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