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  #31  
Old 05-11-2014, 10:41 PM
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TPendagast TPendagast is online now
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Wasilla, AK
Posts: 3,316
Op, can't you still deliver pizzas until work picks up?

Dont suit your day job until you need to.
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  #32  
Old 05-12-2014, 04:43 PM
pazzaneselawncare pazzaneselawncare is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blasko's Lawncare View Post
I'm just going to get started by giving a little background on me and what I've been doing. Throughout high school I worked for a landscaping/snow removal company. Now from since I was just a kid I had a dream about owning a law care business. so I figured working (part time)through high school for a company id gain the general experience/knowledge to get my own business going. So since the day I graduated high school which is 2 years ago now,I worked full time for a farm down by my house, learned a lot more then I expected about well everything while being able to stock pile the cash to start my business. So this year I wanted to take the plunge and get into this as my primary job. I bought the mower last January because I got a steal on it and had some family members asking for me to do there mowing. Last year I worked full time and did work them on the side. Ive got a part time job delivering pizzas( I hate it) and was hoping to be able to acquire enough yards this year to drop it. Then comes the advertising, I was weighing out options on what to do and what would get the most attention. I went with post cards and did the EDDM. expensive but if I got one customer it was all paid off in the year. I sent out 2500 of them to a localized area and got 5 calls back. 3 for mowing estimates, one for lawn installs(don't do that) and one for mulching. Didn't land any of them, but I was able to get a fairly decent sized commercial property. So now here I am with 4 weekly mowing accounts and one mulch job lined up and its hard to not feel discouraged right now by this first year. In general i'm just asking for some opinions on what I can do to acquire more customers and get my name out there. also just your guys input on the situation would be much appreciated. I just have this feeling that this first year is already a failure. Thanks in advance
Youre doing fine for just starting! More clients will come in time alot by word of mouth. The four lawns that you do are like permanent ads. people see you doing good work and give you a call which makes more ads. It goes on and on. Trust me, I bet within the next three years you will have fifty accounts. It takes a little to build up the business, but once it gets bigger you will see.
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  #33  
Old 05-12-2014, 05:41 PM
GroundControlGA GroundControlGA is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Sharpsburg, GA
Posts: 1
I have a full-time job as a restaurant manager and like you, I wanted independence.

This is my first year, I started 3 weeks ago and this is what I did to make it successful:

I came up with a name that was professional and could grow with my company. I also made sure that I could secure the web domain for it.
Next,I got my LLC, business license, and insurance policies.
Then I got a Vanity number xxx-xxx-LAWN that forwards to my cellphone(or any other phone that I want)
Then I got a friend that is good with graphic design to develop a logo for me.
Next, I secured my web domain and built a proffesional looking website that displays my number on EVERY page and has a contact form link on EVERY page.

Keep in mind, All of that is just for image. Image is marketing.

Next I financed equipment at 0% down for 48 months.(that's like free money)

So then I was ready to start working right? How was I going to advertise?

I used ONE form of advertising. Craigslist. I used two email addresses and rotated them to post my adds every Monday morning and Thursday morning. I posted 3 identical adds every time. 1 in home service, 1 in farm/garden services...but the on that got me the most hits? The one I posted in For Sale.

I got 6 calls my first week. The same or more every week since. I have 10 regular accounts already and hardly have the time to take on more. Keep in mind this is a side-job, but Craigslist has been a asset. I have gotten no bad yards. No bad customers. When they see your ad and you've made it look professional. And they go to your website and it looks professional. And they can call that vanity number that looks professional...that's what makes them want to call.

I may still be small, but the only thing keeping me small if my choice to be that way. When I've built it big enough, slowly and deliberately...that's when I can quit my full time job and go all-in.

Like these guys said...it's image and advertising. You have to market yourself...but my cost for advertising is nothing. I spend $20 a month on a website and $24 a month on a vanity phone #. Craigslist is free...but it just gets me seen. The rest was on me. Look bigger than you are. Look more professional than you are. Look like you have more experience than you do. Then just make sure you do a good job. The rest will work out.
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  #34  
Old 05-12-2014, 06:35 PM
bfleming98 bfleming98 is offline
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Rome, MI
Posts: 15
Did you list your biz on all the local listing sites? That is free and send you customers. Try Using the web it is cheaper and easier.
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  #35  
Old 05-13-2014, 02:31 PM
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GearMonkey GearMonkey is offline
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Spring Hill, TN
Posts: 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundControlGA View Post
I have a full-time job as a restaurant manager and like you, I wanted independence.

This is my first year, I started 3 weeks ago and this is what I did to make it successful:

I came up with a name that was professional and could grow with my company. I also made sure that I could secure the web domain for it.
Next,I got my LLC, business license, and insurance policies.
Then I got a Vanity number xxx-xxx-LAWN that forwards to my cellphone(or any other phone that I want)
Then I got a friend that is good with graphic design to develop a logo for me.
Next, I secured my web domain and built a proffesional looking website that displays my number on EVERY page and has a contact form link on EVERY page.

Keep in mind, All of that is just for image. Image is marketing.

Next I financed equipment at 0% down for 48 months.(that's like free money)

So then I was ready to start working right? How was I going to advertise?

I used ONE form of advertising. Craigslist. I used two email addresses and rotated them to post my adds every Monday morning and Thursday morning. I posted 3 identical adds every time. 1 in home service, 1 in farm/garden services...but the on that got me the most hits? The one I posted in For Sale.

I got 6 calls my first week. The same or more every week since. I have 10 regular accounts already and hardly have the time to take on more. Keep in mind this is a side-job, but Craigslist has been a asset. I have gotten no bad yards. No bad customers. When they see your ad and you've made it look professional. And they go to your website and it looks professional. And they can call that vanity number that looks professional...that's what makes them want to call.

I may still be small, but the only thing keeping me small if my choice to be that way. When I've built it big enough, slowly and deliberately...that's when I can quit my full time job and go all-in.

Like these guys said...it's image and advertising. You have to market yourself...but my cost for advertising is nothing. I spend $20 a month on a website and $24 a month on a vanity phone #. Craigslist is free...but it just gets me seen. The rest was on me. Look bigger than you are. Look more professional than you are. Look like you have more experience than you do. Then just make sure you do a good job. The rest will work out.
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This is really good advice. Also look into AngiesList and Groupon.com.

In addition to what the poster already mentioned, be sure to secure a Facebook and Twitter account with your brand name. If you want more exposure, look into Facebook advertising. There's a way you can target an exact audience. You can narrow it down exactly to the person. It's an amazing, amazing tool to have at your disposal. Don't put money into the Facebook advertising until you get a list narrowed down or you'll throw away money.

Good luck!
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Happy Lawn Mowing Services - Spring Hill, TN

Proud To Be American Owned and Operated
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  #36  
Old 05-13-2014, 10:18 PM
Armsden&Son Armsden&Son is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: adirondacks, NY
Posts: 1,816
I'm sorry but I just looked at your link and quite frankly, you are not qualified to be giving anybody advice here.

AngiesList and Groupon.com are for real companies.

You are not a company.

"Either way, you will save a ton of money from hiring actual lawn care companies."

Hey, to each his own. I am not going to get on your case about strapping on your boots and making some extra money..... All power to you.

I won't get on your case about charging people 5 bucks to mow a yard either.... Although you do realize you are paying for your fuel to get there, fuel in the mower, mower depreciation, and finally, YOUR TIME RIGHT?

However, I will get on your case for trying to give out advice here....

Most folks that come here are trying to build a profitable business.

If you want to mow a couple lawns for beer money then like I said, that's perfectly fine with me, but please don't pretend that you are doing anything more than that....
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  #37  
Old 05-13-2014, 10:21 PM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is online now
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Chesapeake beach
Posts: 5,126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armsden&Son View Post
I'm sorry but I just looked at your link and quite frankly, you are not qualified to be giving anybody advice here.

AngiesList and Groupon.com are for real companies.

You are not a company.

"Either way, you will save a ton of money from hiring actual lawn care companies."

Hey, to each his own. I am not going to get on your case about strapping on your boots and making some extra money..... All power to you.

I won't get on your case about charging people 5 bucks to mow a yard either.... Although you do realize you are paying for your fuel to get there, fuel in the mower, mower depreciation, and finally, YOUR TIME RIGHT?

However, I will get on your case for trying to give out advice here....

Most folks that come here are trying to build a profitable business.

If you want to mow a couple lawns for beer money then like I said, that's perfectly fine with me, but please don't pretend that you are doing anything more than that....
But ... But.... He upsells! He'll fix your brakes and change your oil too!
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  #38  
Old 05-13-2014, 10:44 PM
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OakNut OakNut is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 2,334
I guess it depends on location. My first season (2009/10) I had almost 50 clients. (half were biweekly)
It was all through Craigslist and I had really good luck with getting great clients.
I may not have gotten the most money out of them at the time, but that was because I was a noob and didn't know any better.

If you're in a major metropolitan area, I can't see a way to fail. There are ALWAYS people looking to have lawns mowed.

In time, referrals started to come, and then I started getting reviewed on Angie's List by clients I didn't even know were members. The reviews kept coming and I started getting more calls from Angie's List members. I took on more of those people, and THEY posted reviews. (All "AAAA" by the way)

At this point I haven't advertised at all in two years and the phone keeps ringing. Most are Angie's List members, but some found my website on their own.
I pretty much have no love for Angie's List itself because ALL they do is bug you to advertise with them, but I AM getting work due to all the awesome people who have posted great reviews.

Things change - they did for me.
Hopefully the OP will find the same to be true.
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  #39  
Old 05-13-2014, 10:57 PM
TheLugNutZ TheLugNutZ is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Howell, NJ
Posts: 348
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armsden&Son View Post
I'm sorry but I just looked at your link and quite frankly, you are not qualified to be giving anybody advice here.

AngiesList and Groupon.com are for real companies.

You are not a company.

"Either way, you will save a ton of money from hiring actual lawn care companies."

Hey, to each his own. I am not going to get on your case about strapping on your boots and making some extra money..... All power to you.

I won't get on your case about charging people 5 bucks to mow a yard either.... Although you do realize you are paying for your fuel to get there, fuel in the mower, mower depreciation, and finally, YOUR TIME RIGHT?

However, I will get on your case for trying to give out advice here....

Most folks that come here are trying to build a profitable business.

If you want to mow a couple lawns for beer money then like I said, that's perfectly fine with me, but please don't pretend that you are doing anything more than that....
Sorry I didn't read all the pages, who is this directed towards?
Posted via Mobile Device
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  #40  
Old 05-13-2014, 11:04 PM
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OakNut OakNut is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 2,334
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLugNutZ View Post
Sorry I didn't read all the pages, who is this directed towards?
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The five buck monkey above his post.
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