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  #2611  
Old 11-17-2012, 08:02 AM
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etwman etwman is offline
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Once the ground freezes we will stop. We won't push just to get it done and sacrifice quality.

We have spent about three months working on our new website. It is not live yet, but I will tell you it will be beyond incredible. It should go live in the next four weeks. About every three to four years we overhaul it. You get what you pay for with website design. Do a "hairy homeowner" one and it shows. Spend $4-7-even $10k on one and it really shows. Keep that in mind. We are in a day and age of Internet craze, don't cut a corner on this. I haven't opened a phone book to look at an ad in 5 years.
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"Earth, Turf, & Wood, Inc. is a high-end residential landscape & hardscape company that offers superior employment experiences for employees, exceptional opportunities for our architects, a premium service to our customers and value to the community through service and stewardship. We attempt to honor God in all we do by encouraging teamwork, pursuing excellence passionately, serving those who lead, and demonstrating stewardship of resources."
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  #2612  
Old 11-17-2012, 12:13 PM
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TriCityLawnCareLLC TriCityLawnCareLLC is offline
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ETW,
I think this is my favorite, most education thread that i read on Lawn-site. I've read through the entire thing (once) and I may have missed it, when did you first start? Was it just mowing? Also, how much $$ did you have when you started?
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  #2613  
Old 11-17-2012, 03:28 PM
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etwman etwman is offline
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I started the company in the fall of 1999. We started out primarily maintenace with very small design build projects. We were never really strong in mowing, mainly commercial sites and a few residential. I knew early on that I did not want to aggressively pursue mowing and we redirected the company about 5 years ago to where we are today. We will stay in that direction. Read The Pumpkin Plan by Michael Michalowitz. Good book that talks about all this.

$0 to start it out. I went to a bank with my wife for a small loan for our first truck. The loan officer questioned my business plan simply because this industry has such high turnover and there's so much competition out there. I cautiously responded that doesn't bother me. From the start I did not want to ever borrow any funds from family or friends. I've very adimant about that. If it were to fail or succeed it was on me. I wanted to be able to sit accross from my good friends / family at a dinner table and know that there are no strings attached. You could argue this both ways, but that was a decision that I made from day one.

The irony in this? We still deal with that banking institution today, and the vice president will stop by often just to say hi, thank you, and remind me that "we have money if you ever need it, its companies like you we want, and trust me were not saying this to too many businesses right now."

Look no one is perfect with finances in this industry, its a beast to manage, but you have to be disciplined with it. You have to have budgets, know your expenses, and know when to take wise risks, or you're done. Its a simple as that.
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  #2614  
Old 11-17-2012, 04:06 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etwman View Post
I started the company in the fall of 1999. We started out primarily maintenace with very small design build projects. We were never really strong in mowing, mainly commercial sites and a few residential..
What maintenance aspects were you stong in if not mowing? Was it pest and fert? Clean ups? Etc.....? Just curious what you mean by maintenance.

Will put that book on the "to read" list.
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  #2615  
Old 11-17-2012, 04:15 PM
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etwman etwman is offline
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Landscape maintenance. We did mow a few commercial sites and did lawn apps, but that was it.
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"Earth, Turf, & Wood, Inc. is a high-end residential landscape & hardscape company that offers superior employment experiences for employees, exceptional opportunities for our architects, a premium service to our customers and value to the community through service and stewardship. We attempt to honor God in all we do by encouraging teamwork, pursuing excellence passionately, serving those who lead, and demonstrating stewardship of resources."
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  #2616  
Old 11-17-2012, 04:42 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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So you're talking edging, trimming, mulching type jobs? Sorry not trying to be a PITA just want to be on the same page. If this was the case did you have trouble securing these types of jobs without mowing? Personally I'd like to acquire landscape maintenance (non mowing) jobs along with small scale installations and sod work. Some will say it's hard to acquire that type of work without mowing. Your thoughts or experiences??
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  #2617  
Old 11-17-2012, 04:48 PM
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etwman etwman is offline
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Go after them and sub your mowing work to a reliable, small operation. Manage the whole thing. That's what I would do if I really wanted to focus on that.
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"Earth, Turf, & Wood, Inc. is a high-end residential landscape & hardscape company that offers superior employment experiences for employees, exceptional opportunities for our architects, a premium service to our customers and value to the community through service and stewardship. We attempt to honor God in all we do by encouraging teamwork, pursuing excellence passionately, serving those who lead, and demonstrating stewardship of resources."
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  #2618  
Old 11-17-2012, 04:53 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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Interesting. Not a bad idea. Thanks.
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  #2619  
Old 11-17-2012, 04:56 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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I guess the only headache could be the small operation taking business away on the landscape side. Have to find the right company.
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  #2620  
Old 11-19-2012, 12:38 AM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Still a great thread, again and again. If you have time can you put together a booklist. I took my time and read through "....a catagory of of one" twice, awesome book, and always pick up something new everytime I pick it up.

Thanks again
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