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  #1  
Old 01-27-2012, 04:36 PM
John From Florida John From Florida is offline
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Location: Tallahassee, Florida
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Doing lawncare in college?

All,

I'm a 22 year old college student living in north Florida. I'm seriously considering advertising lawncare (although I'm limited to only mowing since I have no other equipment besides a mower), mainly on Craigslist, but am slightly intimidated and unsure of if I'll get lawns to mow, mostly because I'm limited to only grass cutting at the moment.

I'm interested in lawncare for a couple reasons, one being that it's an outdoor job, the other being that I would have the ability to work around my school schedule, which is a big deal to me.

I'd only be looking to cut maybe 10 lawns per week at most, but that's just an estimation. (I don't need to make too much money with this job. A simple weekly income and job is what I want.)

I'd be using a 22", self-propelled, home-owner type push Snapper, and would transport it to and from houses in the back of my '03 Mazda Protege.

With the details being provided, what I'm wondering is, is this a lofty idea for a college student like me, seeing as how I'd have no more than a mower to start with? Would I be wasting my time advertising only mowing and being unlicensed? Have you seen or heard of situations like mine turn out successfully?

Thank you in advance for your time, especially with someone like me with zero experience!

John.
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2012, 05:36 PM
John From Florida John From Florida is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
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One hour later and only eleven views and no replies, I must be doing something wrong!
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2012, 05:45 PM
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Landscape Poet Landscape Poet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John From Florida View Post
One hour later and only eleven views and no replies, I must be doing something wrong!
John,

I can assure you that there is a market for that service. The question is are you willing to accept the type of customers that come from mowing only accounts. Since you state you have only a mower I am assuming you do not have a edger or weedeater and blower?
If you had those items you might be able to create a premium small customer base willing to pay not have the large commercial mowers on their lawns. This way you could make a affordable wage per hour. Without being able to do the basic things like edging and weedeating you will find yourself getting accounts that want to pay very little and not on a consistent basis.

If you can gain access to those tools you should be able to gain 10 accounts easily at a min of $80 a month for a monthly total of $800. If not you will be doing work for cheap accounts whenever they call, which maybe every two weeks or every three weeks - which of course is going to require more work on your part but they will not want to pay for your extra efforts.

Michael
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  #4  
Old 01-28-2012, 01:52 PM
John From Florida John From Florida is offline
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Thanks Michael.

You are correct about me not owning an edger, weedeater, or blower, although I do realize the importance of having these basic items, so I'd probably look to purchase them early on.

Another thing I'd be worried about is the image that would come with showing up to accounts with a mower sticking out of the back of my car. It seems like many homeowners look down on these sorts of laborers, people with no signs, shirts, or phone numbers to be seen anywhere on their person or truck (car in my case).

What's your opinion on that? Will I be scoffed at or belittled at first glance when the homeowner sees me drive up?
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  #5  
Old 01-28-2012, 01:54 PM
John From Florida John From Florida is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Geist Yard Works View Post
John,

I can assure you that there is a market for that service. The question is are you willing to accept the type of customers that come from mowing only accounts. Since you state you have only a mower I am assuming you do not have a edger or weedeater and blower?
If you had those items you might be able to create a premium small customer base willing to pay not have the large commercial mowers on their lawns. This way you could make a affordable wage per hour. Without being able to do the basic things like edging and weedeating you will find yourself getting accounts that want to pay very little and not on a consistent basis.

If you can gain access to those tools you should be able to gain 10 accounts easily at a min of $80 a month for a monthly total of $800. If not you will be doing work for cheap accounts whenever they call, which maybe every two weeks or every three weeks - which of course is going to require more work on your part but they will not want to pay for your extra efforts.

Michael
Thanks Michael.

You are correct about me not owning an edger, weedeater, or blower, although I do realize the importance of having these basic items, so I'd probably look to purchase them early on.

Another thing I'd be worried about is the image that would come with showing up to accounts with a mower sticking out of the back of my car. It seems like many homeowners look down on these sorts of laborers, people with no signs, shirts, or phone numbers to be seen anywhere on their person or truck (car in my case).

What's your opinion on that? Will I be scoffed at or belittled at first glance when the homeowner sees me drive up?
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  #6  
Old 01-28-2012, 06:29 PM
DVF Lawn Care DVF Lawn Care is offline
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I am 20 years old and also in college. I started last summer with the 2 push mowers, trimmer and blower I already had. At first I had 3 lawns and just cut them myself but those people told others and they told others and so on. By August I had grown to 12 lawns and had been regularly paying a friend to help me since June. I charged roughly $25 per lawn and made pretty good money by the end of the season after gas, pay for the worker and repairs. Of course I also have a truck so its easier, but my dad did it when he was younger out of a station wagon.
I would look into a trimmer, maybe a cheap $80 Craftsman or something because having one of those will make your job look that much better. Same thing with a blower, just find a cheap one or just use a broom if you don't care about time. Too bad your down in Florida because I have like 5 trimmers I don't use.
Anyways, to get these lawns I made an appealing flier of the services I offered (I also played the poor neighborhood college student card) and I walked door to door in a 3 block radius. Doing that got me only 3 customers but that got my foot in the door and I moved forward from there.
Sorry for the extremely long post but I figured I could help because we were roughly in the same situation. Good luck!
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  #7  
Old 01-28-2012, 06:31 PM
DVF Lawn Care DVF Lawn Care is offline
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Location: Chicago, Illinois
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Oh and about your image, I wouldn't worry about it. Most people on this site were in your position at some point, you've gotta start somewhere! Maybe if you get a few accounts on your block you wouldn't even need the car.
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2012, 02:57 PM
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TheBetterDoorhanger TheBetterDoorhanger is offline
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A lot of successful companies start out really small & with not very much equipment. Don't let that detour you from your goals! I wanted to let you know about a really inexpensive way for new lawn care businesses to advertise. Door Hangers can be very effective way to get your name out there and start building your customer contacts. Our Door Hangers are really unique because we offer both our revolutionary Band-It and Stick-It products with them. Take a look at our video to learn more & call us with any questions you might have. We have a lot of hot specials right now & one we offer that might help you get started is 1,000 Door Hangers with Band-It for only 99.00! Keep our chin up and remember that many profitable businesses start out small! http://www.adeasprinting.com/Door-Hangers

Robin Christopherson
A'DEAS Printing
Home of Band-It & Stick-It® Products
www.AdeasPrinting.com
robin@adeasprinting.com
(316) 269-2494 ext. 200
(866) 251-3181 fax
719 S. St. Francis
Wichita, KS 67211

Last edited by TheBetterDoorhanger; 01-29-2012 at 03:01 PM.
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2012, 03:12 PM
John From Florida John From Florida is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVF Lawn Care View Post
I am 20 years old and also in college. I started last summer with the 2 push mowers, trimmer and blower I already had. At first I had 3 lawns and just cut them myself but those people told others and they told others and so on. By August I had grown to 12 lawns and had been regularly paying a friend to help me since June. I charged roughly $25 per lawn and made pretty good money by the end of the season after gas, pay for the worker and repairs. Of course I also have a truck so its easier, but my dad did it when he was younger out of a station wagon.
I would look into a trimmer, maybe a cheap $80 Craftsman or something because having one of those will make your job look that much better. Same thing with a blower, just find a cheap one or just use a broom if you don't care about time. Too bad your down in Florida because I have like 5 trimmers I don't use.
Anyways, to get these lawns I made an appealing flier of the services I offered (I also played the poor neighborhood college student card) and I walked door to door in a 3 block radius. Doing that got me only 3 customers but that got my foot in the door and I moved forward from there.
Sorry for the extremely long post but I figured I could help because we were roughly in the same situation. Good luck!
Thanks DVF, and thanks for even mentioning having extra trimmers! I'm finding there are some incredibly nice people on this site.

Seeing all the responses and hearing stories of how others who got started were in my same position makes it seem doable.

My only concern now is doing what you did, only here in Florida. I've been hearing time and time again how cheap the market is here, people are offering services for as cheap as $10. That destroys the market.
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2012, 03:14 PM
John From Florida John From Florida is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Posts: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBetterDoorhanger View Post
A lot of successful companies start out really small & with not very much equipment. Don't let that detour you from your goals! I wanted to let you know about a really inexpensive way for new lawn care businesses to advertise. Door Hangers can be very effective way to get your name out there and start building your customer contacts. Our Door Hangers are really unique because we offer both our revolutionary Band-It and Stick-It products with them. Take a look at our video to learn more & call us with any questions you might have. We have a lot of hot specials right now & one we offer that might help you get started is 1,000 Door Hangers with Band-It for only 99.00! Keep our chin up and remember that many profitable businesses start out small! http://www.adeasprinting.com/Door-Hangers

Robin Christopherson
A'DEAS Printing
Home of Band-It & Stick-It® Products
www.AdeasPrinting.com
robin@adeasprinting.com
(316) 269-2494 ext. 200
(866) 251-3181 fax
719 S. St. Francis
Wichita, KS 67211
I'd probably do a mix of door hangers, Craigslist ads, newspaper ads, and general Google ads.
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