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  #11  
Old 01-14-2012, 03:51 PM
Florida's Suncoast Lawn Care's Avatar
Florida's Suncoast Lawn Care Florida's Suncoast Lawn Care is offline
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Location: Port Charlotte, Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondlandscaping View Post
Wow, I wouldnt have passed that up either. Just a thought-the customers that are yearly prob already have a service right now. I'm sure in spring you can get customers from services who aren't doing a good job. The per cut cheapos let LCOs go for the winter.
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Ya I'm hoping I can pick up at least 10-20 monthly accounts in the spring/summer. I would love to have about 50 accounts again. We don't have anymore house payments and my wife has a job at $8 an hour at Penney's. So we will be ok eventually I hope. Glad we are getting a $6k tax refund in two weeks or we would be screwed.

We bought a 4 bed 4 bath home for $41k on Oct 7. I talked them down from $59k. I can't believe it still. Someone added two bedrooms and two more baths to this home back in the mid 60s right after it was built. And a sun room on the front with sky lights. And a big enclosed lanai on the back. We painted the house pink. (my wifes idea). So I just say I'm tickled pink. I love Florida. I sold our home in Indianapolis. Came down here and bought a house in 1 week. Went back to Indy and loaded a 26' Uhaul. Came back down and closed on the house the next week driving straight through to meet the title company that morning. All in 14 days. We had to be out of the sold home in 14 days LOL. Perfect.

Last edited by Florida's Suncoast Lawn Care; 01-14-2012 at 03:58 PM.
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  #12  
Old 01-14-2012, 03:54 PM
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Keith Keith is offline
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Originally Posted by MegaViper View Post
I offer $65 a month for straight lots, and $75 for corner lots and I'm not getting anything. How do you guys stay in business with $4 a gallon of gas?

Honestly, existing customers. Ones I have had for many years pay the bills. I don't even actively advertise at this point because I know how cut-throat it is out there right now. I see people quoting the same monthly prices, or even lower than I was charging in 1986. I let the decent ones come to me via word of mouth. If they got my number it's a fairly reasonable assumption that they got it from one of my existing customers. Therefore they kind of know what to expect.

More power to you, but I can't imagine starting from scratch right now. It seems that the worse the area was impacted by the housing bubble and foreclosures, the farther the prices of lawn care have been driven down. The worst part, people will be so used to getting those kind of prices they will not recover for many years. These people move too. When they do they contaminate other areas with the idea the guy doing the work should pay them for the privilege of working for them. Around here, so far, prices are down. But the real low prices seem to be isolated to certain subdivisions. The ones hardest hit by foreclosure. I won't even go near them.
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  #13  
Old 01-14-2012, 04:00 PM
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Florida's Suncoast Lawn Care Florida's Suncoast Lawn Care is offline
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Originally Posted by diamondlandscaping View Post
I am getting $80-$90 for little backyards with 500-1k sq. Ft of turf with some plants and $120+/mo for lots with 3-5k sq ft. I only do full maintenance. I guess prices are way lower in other areas or im just getting good numbers??
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Probably both.
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  #14  
Old 01-14-2012, 04:30 PM
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Sorry, Poor Charlotte is just that, POOR or a Broke area.

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Originally Posted by MegaViper View Post
Hello,

I just started a new lawn service in Port Charlotte Florida. I plan to cover Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, North Port, & the Deep Creek area. I used to have a lawn service here 2003-2005 until we moved back up north because my wife hit a downed power line in hurricane Charley and didn't want to stay another season. She was in the hospital for 3 days and has heart valve damage from it. She is in good shape though.

Well we finally moved back and bought a house with cash from the equity of our home up north that we sold. I have purchased about $7000 in lawn equipment that is fairly new with a 48" Zero turn Bad boy and all. So I know how the lawn service business works. But I'm not getting any calls. I'm all over Google at Florida's Suncoast Lawn Care Service. And twisted the name about 5 different ways to show up in Google. I'm in the local papers at $140 a month and even the business service directory color big ad twice a week. But I have gotten only 3 calls in 3 months. And none of them want monthly service. They want it cut for $15-$20 a cut and you know how that goes. You can drive out there once a month in winter wasting fuel and the grass can be 6 inches high and they want to wait until next week. But when it's by the month they want it cut every week. I want monthly accounts but I can't seem to even get that. I offer $65 a month for straight lots, and $75 for corner lots and I'm not getting anything. How do you guys stay in business with $4 a gallon of gas? What are the going rates in SW Florida? I used to charge $60 and $70 in 2003 and people paid. You would think it has went up by now since fuel prices are way up... I see people offering to mow lawns for $12 in Craigslist here. WTF


Viper

You should of done your "Do Diligence." You missed the boat by moving to the wrong area of Florida. You went just a tad too far South and should have stopped in Northern Sarasota County instead of Charlotte. Do a Simple Demographic comparison and your mistake should be very apparent. Sarasota has the second highest disposable income per capita in Florida only after Collier county. However cost of living in Sarasota is lower than Collier so Sarasota County is the best area for Income to cost of living ratio. Charlotte County has the LOWEST income per capita of the Coastal Counties. Poor Charlotte is just that POOR or a Broke area. Just look at the number of house you can buy for $ 30 & $ 40 K. Anywhere else they are 150 K or more.


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  #15  
Old 01-14-2012, 04:31 PM
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Florida's Suncoast Lawn Care Florida's Suncoast Lawn Care is offline
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Thank for the information guys. I appreciate it. It doesn't sound too great. But I'm here. I already paid for the county license and fictitious name. Plus have all the equipment. So I will keep up some hope for summer time. It sounds fair to partly cloudy with a chance for sunshine.
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  #16  
Old 01-14-2012, 05:06 PM
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Patriot Services Patriot Services is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondlandscaping View Post
I am getting $80-$90 for little backyards with 500-1k sq. Ft of turf with some plants and $120+/mo for lots with 3-5k sq ft. I only do full maintenance. I guess prices are way lower in other areas or im just getting good numbers??
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This is what I am getting in the Tampa metro area. You are going to have to wait a bit. Picking up accounts in winter is tough.Typically I get a huge rush in spring when it seems like things explode overnight. Then another surge in July when the new guys can't hang with the heat. Keep your name out there. If you can swing it start with doorhangers in Feb, repeat again in March and April. If it's not above you there is money in leaves and gutters right know since were in Florida fall mode.
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  #17  
Old 01-15-2012, 01:57 AM
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Florida's Suncoast Lawn Care Florida's Suncoast Lawn Care is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ric View Post
Viper

You should of done your "Do Diligence." You missed the boat by moving to the wrong area of Florida. You went just a tad too far South and should have stopped in Northern Sarasota County instead of Charlotte. Do a Simple Demographic comparison and your mistake should be very apparent. Sarasota has the second highest disposable income per capita in Florida only after Collier county. However cost of living in Sarasota is lower than Collier so Sarasota County is the best area for Income to cost of living ratio. Charlotte County has the LOWEST income per capita of the Coastal Counties. Poor Charlotte is just that POOR or a Broke area. Just look at the number of house you can buy for $ 30 & $ 40 K. Anywhere else they are 150 K or more.


.
Ya but we bought a nice 4 bed 4 bath for $41k. No more house payments and it's a nice area. My wife has a job at the mall and I will eventually pick up 20-30 monthly accounts or more. It will be ok. Maybe this area will bounce back 5-10 years. I'm just thrilled to be away from Indianapolis. We sold our house there for $110k and I can't believe it. I'm so happy to be out of the home loan and used the equity to buy this house and lawn equipment. It's just a matter of time. I might get into real estate in a couple of years when it starts turning around. I've always been around it with my mothers rental homes and such working on them over the years and maintaining the lawns. We sold them off for the estate after she passed away.
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  #18  
Old 01-15-2012, 09:05 AM
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jvanvliet jvanvliet is offline
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MegaV;

Don't quit, persistence pays. Use your time to make the homes you do have premier properties.

It's very difficult to start from scratch, it's taken me 10 years to get from solo operator to where we are now, 2 crews, trucks, trailers and a boatload of gear. All of our business is from referral and, I've eaten plenty of canned beans.

A lot of guys down here have bought a route. That may be a good option for you. Check the business section here to see how to go about it. Be careful how to structure the deal, check back here with questions and ignore the "nay" sayer's, surround yourself with a positive support group & make sure your wife is in the loop and on-board.

You can make it! Don't quit before the miracle!
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  #19  
Old 01-15-2012, 09:37 AM
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Florida Gardener Florida Gardener is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvanvliet View Post
MegaV;

Don't quit, persistence pays. Use your time to make the homes you do have premier properties.

It's very difficult to start from scratch, it's taken me 10 years to get from solo operator to where we are now, 2 crews, trucks, trailers and a boatload of gear. All of our business is from referral and, I've eaten plenty of canned beans.

A lot of guys down here have bought a route. That may be a good option for you. Check the business section here to see how to go about it. Be careful how to structure the deal, check back here with questions and ignore the "nay" sayer's, surround yourself with a positive support group & make sure your wife is in the loop and on-board.

You can make it! Don't quit before the miracle!
Good advice. I have been in biz for almost 3.5 years and I am just recently starting to see strides. I am nowhere where I want to be, but am on the way. If you want to be successful in this biz, you are going to have to be in it for a long time. Any of the guys I know that are doing great have been doing this for at least 10 years, most closer to 20.
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  #20  
Old 01-15-2012, 11:41 AM
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TheBetterDoorhanger TheBetterDoorhanger is offline
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Hi there. I wanted to say congrats on your new business and I am sorry you are having trouble finding clients who don't want to pay for monthly service. I'm not sure what kind of advertising you are doing right now, but are wondering if you are using door hangers? Door Hangers are the least expensive yet one of the most effective way of getting new clients. You can also target the nicer looking neighborhoods and perhaps avoid the issue of customers not wanting to pay for monthly. I work for Adeas Printing and we have a wonderful special right now. For only $99.00 you can get 1,000 door hangers with Band-It on them (it keeps them securely on the door). We also offer postcards and fliers for really good prices. http://www.adeasprinting.com/Door-Hangers We also offer door hangers with Stick-It for a really reasonable price too (only 20.00 more) Take a look at our website or call us. We ship all over the country. We do a lot of work for lawn care business owners and we can help you decide what to make your door hanger look like. Don't give up on your business quite yet, you may need to just try some different advertising techniques! -Robin :-)

Last edited by TheBetterDoorhanger; 01-15-2012 at 11:47 AM.
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