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  #11  
Old 10-12-2011, 01:35 AM
slamjamrockinman slamjamrockinman is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Minnesota
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Sounds like you got some good ideas. Just have a few comments to add, not trying to be the lawn business know it all, just want to share what has worked for me. On the referral deal, the letter seams like a good idea, but there needs to be a verbal part to it as well IMO. Think, the last time your bank sent you an envelope with a phrase on the outside saying you could save 5% on your next credit card bill, did you tear it open in jaw dropping suspense? Just talk to your customers the next time you see them and tell them how they could save them money next year if they get Mrs. Jones to sign up with you, so on and so forth. Some neighbors are more social than others so don't get discouraged if it doesn't take right away. Maybe you could give them a little sheet explaining it, but I think it just helps so much to catch them in person. Went and gave a bid on snow yesterday, sat and Bs'd with the lady for 45 minutes, told her about my business, learned about her small business, yada yada. I am going to drop off her bid this week and drop 3 more bids off to her neighbors who she convinced that they should get a bid from me as well. She was referred to me from another customer on the next block. See how the cycle works now? Just try it in the next few weeks, let me know your success with it.
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  #12  
Old 10-12-2011, 09:33 AM
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stickleylawncare stickleylawncare is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl
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Every few months when we mail out the invoices, we include a small colored coupon thing with a "Refer-a-Neighbor" discount letting them know if they get a neighbor or friend to sign up with us, they will get a a discount the following month. Its always nice to pick up accounts right next to current accounts.
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  #13  
Old 10-12-2011, 12:01 PM
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JContracting JContracting is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Champlin, MN
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I know ill be giving a call to at least one of my customers as soon as the 15th rolls around because I still haven't received last months payment. But ill be talking to all my customers Sunday as were doing blowouts and ill have to have access to their controller and shut off valve so it'll work perfect. But today after class will be a slow day so ill have some time to draft up a letter and also revamp my website because I'm changing web hosting sites.
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  #14  
Old 10-13-2011, 08:11 PM
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thu cutting edge thu cutting edge is offline
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Location: Baltimore
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congrats on the Hort degree. I just graduated also with a Hort degree. also i just became a CLT (certified landscape technician). its like my doctorate here in Maryland. now the biggest thing is time and do quality work and marketing with people. (real estate property managers, banks, etc). also try working for a larger company. they will be paying you and you will be getting great experience.
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  #15  
Old 10-13-2011, 11:49 PM
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JContracting JContracting is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Champlin, MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thu cutting edge View Post
congrats on the Hort degree. I just graduated also with a Hort degree. also i just became a CLT (certified landscape technician). its like my doctorate here in Maryland. now the biggest thing is time and do quality work and marketing with people. (real estate property managers, banks, etc). also try working for a larger company. they will be paying you and you will be getting great experience.
I don't have the degree yet lol. But with the Bachelor's I know for sure it will separate me from the competition greatly, whether a lot of hort knowledge is needed or not (ie. mowing vs designing a full landscape). But I take my time but still hustle, I make sure my stripes are perfect and hustle with trimming because over the years I've gotten pretty good at it I sent in a thing to be a sub for Brickman, just wanted to see what would come of it and I got about 3 phone calls right as I was walking into my 8am class and told them to call around 4pm when my day was slowing down and got nothing. But I know a few bigger install only guys around here as well as a home developer and an exterior contractor that I talk to as much as I can.
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'01 Chevy 2500 HD ECLB w/ 8.1 - 06 Tow Mirrors, 285s, 17" MB Chaos Wheels, Torsions Cranked, Airlift Airbags
2014 Diamond Cargo 8.5' x 20' Enclosed Trailer - Fully Loaded Interior
Exmark Lazer Z X-Series 52" w/ Ultravac
Exmark TTHP 36"
225 Gal MN Wanner Skid Sprayer
8' Boss RT3 Straight Blade

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  #16  
Old 10-19-2011, 12:54 AM
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JContracting JContracting is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Champlin, MN
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I have some more pics but am literally falling asleep as I'm exhausted. But does anyone have a Pak Man Grass Catcher? Bought one for my Exmark and the instructions are worthless, I need some insight on this asap!
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  #17  
Old 10-20-2011, 12:34 AM
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JContracting JContracting is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Champlin, MN
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Figured I'd through an update out.


Did a good number of aerations this week, although its a labor intensive process, slow going, and somewhat expensive to rent, it's well worth it if you have customers willing to pay!!



Sidewalk installed in my hardscape class. Minn River pavers & Chilton Natural Stone for the circle. Still not entirely finished as you can see.


Called Pak Man Grass Catchers today and once they knew what mower I had, they were able to tell me exactly which brackets to use and where to mount them and it mounted to the mower and worked great! I'm very happy with it and got a great deal on it! Much better than shelling out $400+ for an Accelerator from the local dealer. My only complaint is the bagger kinda drags on the grass and lifts the grass from the previous laid stripe and doesn't make them as deep...


__________________
'01 Chevy 2500 HD ECLB w/ 8.1 - 06 Tow Mirrors, 285s, 17" MB Chaos Wheels, Torsions Cranked, Airlift Airbags
2014 Diamond Cargo 8.5' x 20' Enclosed Trailer - Fully Loaded Interior
Exmark Lazer Z X-Series 52" w/ Ultravac
Exmark TTHP 36"
225 Gal MN Wanner Skid Sprayer
8' Boss RT3 Straight Blade

Licensed Applicator

Graduate - Anoka Technical College w/ Associate's in Hort/Landscape - May 2013
In business since Feb 2011
23 Years Old

When you have systems, you have control.
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  #18  
Old 10-20-2011, 06:29 PM
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bobcat48 bobcat48 is offline
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Location: Lansing IL
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Lookin good,nice mower!
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2011 Ford f450 Dump
Haulmark enclosed 16'
2 Wright stander 48" x
Wright 36" RH 07"
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Stihl fs90
Redmax hb28
Redmax eb7500 backpack blower
Rubbermaid cans 32gal
Solo backpack sprayer
A few more things..
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  #19  
Old 10-20-2011, 07:38 PM
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MMADDUX MMADDUX is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lexington KY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JContracting View Post
Called Pak Man Grass Catchers today and once they knew what mower I had, they were able to tell me exactly which brackets to use and where to mount them and it mounted to the mower and worked great! I'm very happy with it and got a great deal on it! Much better than shelling out $400+ for an Accelerator from the local dealer. My only complaint is the bagger kinda drags on the grass and lifts the grass from the previous laid stripe and doesn't make them as deep...
Nice start. Good to see you getting a Hort. degree. Yeah, I use the same bagger. They fill up to fast and they get thown off occasionally. Good Luck!
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  #20  
Old 10-20-2011, 07:48 PM
sealcutter sealcutter is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: PA.
Posts: 256
Man I started out the same way you did about 19 years ago with almost the same set up as you, I won at an auction and had that machine for 6 years. And sold the small trailer the next year.

Good luck...
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