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Old 03-17-2014, 03:57 PM
Dalen Hawkins's Avatar
Dalen Hawkins Dalen Hawkins is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 35
Sure Services Inc

Hey everyone! I'm Dalen in Oklahoma City. I started mowing lawns with my "business partner" (aka my best friend whose dad let us borrow his push mower lol) when we were in elementary school back in the late 90s. In 2008 I worked at the University of Oklahoma in the landscape department and learned a lot about the green industry. In 2011 I decided to start mowing on my own but then I lost my daughter and I went into major depression. My girlfriend broke up with me shortly after. I was using her truck as a work vehicle and I was also living with her so after we split I was sleeping outside on the ground in industrial parks and stealing food.

In 2012 I started to come out of depression and started to get my sh!t together and was successful in a couple other businesses. Now in 2014 I plan to go hard in the lawn business and even bigger next year when I learn what works best. Here's a little of what I've been working on lately....



What the office looked like at first.






After drywall and texture.








My Sparco racing seat office chair! lol






The vehicle traffic is intense and I'm on one of the busiest streets in Oklahoma City.






New wood flooring.






Pretty cool accent lighting going up.






Coming along nicely.






Almost done!






Getting the desk set up.






To take full advantage of the traffic, here's my lovely sign waver that I'll put in front of the office during the lunch rush. Advertising to 1000s of cars each hour!






Here's the sign I ordered for the building. It should be done by the end of the week. The "SURE" logo is 14 feet wide and the services are 26 feet wide and everything is 2" thick. Should stand out pretty well!






Enclosed 6x10 about to get vinyl wrapped.






First wave of door hangers for my target areas. I wanted the design simple and easy to read.






Here's one of my really fun marketing tools! lol I'm gonna park this in front of the office every once in a while to bring more attention to the building.

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Old 03-17-2014, 04:02 PM
Dalen Hawkins's Avatar
Dalen Hawkins Dalen Hawkins is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 35
The main office is about 800 sq ft and I have about 5000 sq ft more of space in the back and on the 2nd story for equipment storage and everything else. This is just the beginning of something I believe will be truly great. I'll try to update as much as I can!
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:03 PM
BandBLawncare BandBLawncare is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Ohio
Posts: 329
Looking great keep sharing photos best of luck!!
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:08 PM
PA GrassChoppers PA GrassChoppers is offline
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: PA
Posts: 129
Sweet, welcome to lawnsite
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:46 PM
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JgLawn JgLawn is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 73
Real sorry about your loss. I went thru a real shitty 2013. My wife was hospitalized most of the year while my grandfather died in December. I couldn't go out of state so it was pretty hard on me trying to manage work, seeing my daughter and my wife. Id go days without seeing either and it would be pretty rough. I wish you all my best and seems you have everything planned right good luck this year!
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:26 PM
Dalen Hawkins's Avatar
Dalen Hawkins Dalen Hawkins is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 35
Sorry to hear. Yea, it gets hard. Instead of being mad at what happened I use it as motivation to make however much time we have here be awesome!
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:43 PM
agrostis agrostis is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Winston-Salem NC
Posts: 1,740
Look's good. That snap-trac flooring sure brighten's thing's up quick, i love that stuff. Good luck.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:52 PM
APLUS LAWN CARE's Avatar
APLUS LAWN CARE APLUS LAWN CARE is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: North Missouri
Posts: 576
Everything looks awesome. I have been in business almost 3 years and still don't have an office as nice as your starting out with.

What other businesses did you have before landscaping that you was successful in? It looks like you have quite a bit of marketing experience.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:34 PM
Dalen Hawkins's Avatar
Dalen Hawkins Dalen Hawkins is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by APLUS LAWN CARE View Post
Everything looks awesome. I have been in business almost 3 years and still don't have an office as nice as your starting out with.

What other businesses did you have before landscaping that you was successful in? It looks like you have quite a bit of marketing experience.
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I started seeking investors using library computers while I was homeless by searching for business owners in the area who I thought looked like they had money. I got in with a few and one of them happened to own an apartment complex in my favorite part of the city. I approached him with my business plan to open multiple snow cone/coffee stands (about 80% ROI) in exchange for an apartment and sharing profits. He loved my enthusiasm so we hit it off. I finally wasn't sleeping on the streets and we would both be making money!

Moving on, I realized he had tons of rental houses and owned lots of commercial buildings and land. I then learned everything I could about investing and property management from him and started making money doing that.

I always had big dreams but it wasn't until I had direction that I was able to put those dreams into action.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:38 PM
APLUS LAWN CARE's Avatar
APLUS LAWN CARE APLUS LAWN CARE is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: North Missouri
Posts: 576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalen Hawkins View Post
I started seeking investors using library computers while I was homeless by searching for business owners in the area who I thought looked like they had money. I got in with a few and one of them happened to own an apartment complex in my favorite part of the city. I approached him with my business plan to open multiple snow cone/coffee stands (about 80% ROI) in exchange for an apartment and sharing profits. He loved my enthusiasm so we hit it off. I finally wasn't sleeping on the streets and we would both be making money!

Moving on, I realized he had tons of rental houses and owned lots of commercial buildings and land. I then learned everything I could about investing and property management from him and started making money doing that.

I always had big dreams but it wasn't until I had direction that I was able to put those dreams into action.
Very inspiring story. I really look forward to watching you grow. I can't believe the amount of enthusiasm you have. It is very inspiring to me. I have battled with bouts of depression before but I have never had it as rough as you have. I admire your ability to make the best of things. Best of luck and I will definitely be following your progress!
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