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  #31  
Old 01-17-2011, 12:12 PM
coolluv coolluv is offline
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Yeah, sorry guys. Ive spent a lot of money on this business and it seems like it never ends. I just got my fert license late last year and I hope to get some more income from that. But then again I had to spend more on more insurance and tools etc. It never ends. I'll either go broke or one day make some money.

Good luck to you and every legit business out there.

Dave...
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  #32  
Old 01-17-2011, 12:20 PM
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Florida Gardener Florida Gardener is offline
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Dave

I knew this was a joke after your 2nd post....

Just to give you some words of encouragement.

I recently picked up an account that I bid on last April or so. The guy who was doing it had deteriorated some areas of the lawn and weeds took over. He also over-pruned shrubs/palms,etc. Long story short, I recently picked this lady up because she finally understood you get what you pay for. I also picked up an account that I priced 30% higher and got. Same thing, the other company was cutting too short, didn't do any trimming,etc. After people have to replace sod time and time again, their palms die from being over-pruned, etc, they get tired of it and look for a professional. Just keep doing a great job and things will turn around. Someone posted on here that the fuel prices are going to wipe out the scrubs and I think that is going to happen too.
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  #33  
Old 01-17-2011, 12:50 PM
coolluv coolluv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondlandscaping View Post
Dave

I knew this was a joke after your 2nd post....

Just to give you some words of encouragement.

I recently picked up an account that I bid on last April or so. The guy who was doing it had deteriorated some areas of the lawn and weeds took over. He also over-pruned shrubs/palms,etc. Long story short, I recently picked this lady up because she finally understood you get what you pay for. I also picked up an account that I priced 30% higher and got. Same thing, the other company was cutting too short, didn't do any trimming,etc. After people have to replace sod time and time again, their palms die from being over-pruned, etc, they get tired of it and look for a professional. Just keep doing a great job and things will turn around. Someone posted on here that the fuel prices are going to wipe out the scrubs and I think that is going to happen too.
I figured most would know the loud mouth (me) and I would be busted real quick. That's great to hear. Ive learned a lot over the last few years and I know I have a lot more to learn. Its hard not having someone to bounce ideas off of and to talk about business, my wife is great but she just doesn't understand. This site is good for basic stuff but you reach a point where you need more. I read a lot and research a lot of stuff on the internet but it just doesn't take the place of real world experience.

You can talk to others in your area, I have a couple guys I talk to but its a lot of generalities and no specifics, not that I want to know every ones business or how to be successful or what to charge etc. I would like to hire a business coach but money is tight right now and maybe that can come in the future. Like I said I have yet to make money at this. I may check out SCORE or something in the future. Seems like my area just keeps producing more and more guys in this business, I don't mind the legit companies its the rest I have a problem with. I just don't know how many more guys this area can support, its crazy how many rigs you see around. Oh one more thing, no more bi weekly and no more cheap customers and no more advertising to them.

I always do a quality job and I get a lot of compliments from customers so we will see.

Sorry for the rant.

Dave...
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  #34  
Old 01-17-2011, 12:57 PM
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Florida Gardener Florida Gardener is offline
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Trust me, we have tons in my area too. A lot of latino owned companies, hacks, legit lowballers, and guys actually running a good business. If there's one thing I have learned, there is enough for everyone. Figuring out who you want as a customer is very important. I want people that care about quality, who spend extra on their yard, and who don't mind paying extra for quality work. I really want high-end resi, and I will get there.

The people who hire the latinos pretty much want there yard maintained. Yes, these guys do it, but they have no knowledge on horticulture, turf, etc. That customer is fine with that. Then there are the people who want to pay peanuts and the legit lowballers take them on. They go for high volume, have tons of employees, etc. I don't want those customers.

I talk to a few companies in my area and they have done very well for themselves. They have been in the biz for a long time though. Everything takes time and like you always say, a good customer base takes a while. I know this year is going to be huge for my business. I can feel it. Just keep up the hard work as it ALWAYS pays off in the end.
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  #35  
Old 01-17-2011, 01:02 PM
coolluv coolluv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondlandscaping View Post
Trust me, we have tons in my area too. A lot of latino owned companies, hacks, legit lowballers, and guys actually running a good business. If there's one thing I have learned, there is enough for everyone. Figuring out who you want as a customer is very important. I want people that care about quality, who spend extra on their yard, and who don't mind paying extra for quality work. I really want high-end resi, and I will get there.

The people who hire the latinos pretty much want there yard maintained. Yes, these guys do it, but they have no knowledge on horticulture, turf, etc. That customer is fine with that. Then there are the people who want to pay peanuts and the legit lowballers take them on. They go for high volume, have tons of employees, etc. I don't want those customers.

I talk to a few companies in my area and they have done very well for themselves. They have been in the biz for a long time though. Everything takes time and like you always say, a good customer base takes a while. I know this year is going to be huge for my business. I can feel it. Just keep up the hard work as it ALWAYS pays off in the end.

Your right and I like your attitude, I'm not a quitter and never have been. I'm not after those types of customers either, Ive learned my lesson with them. Ive redone my whole business model and advertising this year, spent months working on things and I'm still not finished, I'm hoping for a much better year.

PM me if you ever want to talk privately.

Dave...
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  #36  
Old 01-17-2011, 02:23 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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I was about to post in this thread earlier and I even searched for threads started by you (coolluv) and realized this was probably a joke. I do this part time and luckily still have a regular job. It sucks not being able to profit from hard work. I dont really give myself a "paycheck" being part time but my 3rd & 4th year I made money. This year (5th) will finally be one with substantial gains, unless i need major repairs on any of the equipment. I worked for a friend for many years and he did well (5 years ago) but now is doing really, really well, and still part time. He always says to me "You've gotta be in this for the long haul to make money". He also only took on customers willing to pay his price. So now he has built a good wealthy customer base that just gives him good referral after referral. I'm sick of dealing with all the "garbage" that comes with this business but like you and others have said it's separating yourself from the garbage in order to be successful.
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  #37  
Old 01-17-2011, 03:31 PM
coolluv coolluv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDLawn View Post
I was about to post in this thread earlier and I even searched for threads started by you (coolluv) and realized this was probably a joke. I do this part time and luckily still have a regular job. It sucks not being able to profit from hard work. I dont really give myself a "paycheck" being part time but my 3rd & 4th year I made money. This year (5th) will finally be one with substantial gains, unless i need major repairs on any of the equipment. I worked for a friend for many years and he did well (5 years ago) but now is doing really, really well, and still part time. He always says to me "You've gotta be in this for the long haul to make money". He also only took on customers willing to pay his price. So now he has built a good wealthy customer base that just gives him good referral after referral. I'm sick of dealing with all the "garbage" that comes with this business but like you and others have said it's separating yourself from the garbage in order to be successful.
That's the key stick to your guns and don't go down on price and your right you have to be in this for the long run. The guys that think this is a get rich quick scheme are in for a rude awaking. There is a lot of bad advice giving on here and I just bite my tongue. I made a lot of mistakes and listened to the wrong advice sometimes,but you live and learn. Like I said earlier I hope to finally be in the black this year.

I finally paid off most of my equipment but I should be able to pay the rest off this year. It seems like your always needing something else. Another thing I'm doing this year is not taking on cheap customers. Guys will say you have to take anything and everything when first starting out and to some point that is true, but what you soon find out is that those customers don't last. Some will last a few weeks and some a few months but they either find someone cheaper or they can't afford the service and drop you for that.

Its a roller coaster that way, up down up down. Just when you think your getting a full schedule the phone rings and they cancel. When you've been around for a while you can spot them immediately. If they want every other week service then they can find someone else. I know that is going to limit me and slow my growth but I figure in the long run it will pay off. There is just no money in those kinds of clients.

I don't know how the mow and blow guys make money at this, too much turnover with clients and no extra's. One of the guys I talk to locally said run your business the way you need to and don't let the customers run you or you will go broke. I asked him how he gets around working for the every other week crowd and he said he doesn't give them a choice, he tells them what is done, when its done and if they don't like it well then they can find someone else. He's been around a while and runs a nice business so I know it works.

Another interesting little fact I came upon while looking at different local websites. I'm in the process of getting one built so I was looking at what I liked and didn't like about other companies websites. Well one thing that was consistent with the larger firms was that they don't offer bi weekly mowing or once a month mowing or call me when its a foot tall mowing. One website, and I wish I would have bookmarked it had on their maintenance page, something to the effect of " most of our maintenance packages run X amount per month, are you committed to spending that on your landscape?

In other words they were saying in a round about way, before filling out the contact page and requesting an estimate, unless you have the money, don't waste our time. They are a local company and they only deal in yearly maintenance packages.

Good motto to build a business by I think. There used to be a lot of good guys that posted here that are not around anymore and they all said that they dropped the bi weeklys and the non contract customers years ago and it was the best thing they ever did, and I used to think that you would never get any work because around here that is what everyone wants. But those guys were not only right they were smart.


When they call me they are getting screened from the get go and if they don't fit the profile I'm not wasting my time.

Dave...
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  #38  
Old 01-17-2011, 04:05 PM
coolluv coolluv is offline
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Check this link out. Click on residential weekly maintenance and click submit. http://www.gibbslandscape.com/request-quote-form

Dave...
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  #39  
Old 01-17-2011, 04:20 PM
gasracer gasracer is offline
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I don't mind doing bi-weekly as long as the grass grows at a equal rate to the time.
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  #40  
Old 01-17-2011, 04:26 PM
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Florida Gardener Florida Gardener is offline
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Right away you can tell that company has years and are professionals. Bi-weeklies are a means to an end, they generate income and help you as you grow and get better quality accounts. I had some that paid good and I needed at the time. I won't take them anymore but they served their purpose. A great thing is also getting an account on a high traffic area and make it shine. Even if you have one account on the street make sure it looks better than all the rest.
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