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Old 05-14-2004, 11:36 AM
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TRex TRex is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: DFW ,TX
Posts: 487
I am hungry

Everyone I talk to in the service industry has told me its a dog eat dog world and well I am starting to feel hungry. I have always been a nice guy and am afraid to step on someones toes to have it come back and bite me.

The point I am trying to get to is that I need to start growing instead of getting stale and I need some advice that has been quantified on how to go about rising above and beyond the compition in my area.

I have watched a few of the other crews around me it seems they do not pay a lot of attention to productivity. I have started working being the most productive I can be from the very begining and I take less time and do better work than crews with three guys and larger equipment.

Another thought I have had is to buy out a guy that I know pretty well and is starting to pass me a few customers because he is getting close to retiring.

I need to start bitting and I am not sure how without it coming back and bitting me.
knowledge is power
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Old 05-14-2004, 11:52 AM
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kc2006 kc2006 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Northeast Ohio
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so start putting flyers out, advertising, going to businesses and talk to the manager and see if they're happy with their current service, start growing. Your right about dog eat dog world, don't go under bidding people because thats just dumb but check if people are happy with their current service and convince them that you are better because theres alot of dips*##s out there that don't do good jobs, they want to be productive so they do a crap job instead of investing in better equipment or doing stuff in a procedure so it takes less time each time. Get as much as you can do, no use not being busy all the time, i mean whats it going to do besides get you more money? Oh and wear you out more
I might retire today
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Old 05-14-2004, 02:10 PM
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studentlawn studentlawn is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 117
Your right, its definitly a dog eat dog business, but it's not other lco's you need to be attacking, but customers.
It sounds like you have been "waiting around" for customers. Mention to your customers that you will give referal discounts, always do your best work. My belief is that you should take the time to do your best work if you want more. People do notice and your name will get passed on quickly. Once you have the customers and don't alot of time to spend on each account, then began to worry about productivity.
Start driving around, knocking on doors of people who have longer lawns that need to be mowed. We have been leaving business cards behind with notes saying "Noticed you may need some help with lawn care this season give me a call and we can get you all squared away this summer"
Just keep attacking customers and you will get them.
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Old 05-14-2004, 04:20 PM
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TRex TRex is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: DFW ,TX
Posts: 487
I am not wanting to attack lco's, but rather be able to offer something they don't or can't. I have done the flyers then moved up to direct mailing and the results were worthless. I am however going to have my rig lettered instead of magnets that everyone like else in town has.

No offense to kc2006 and studentlawn, but I would love to here from a few veterans and learn how they have grown.

By the way I have not lived in this town for too many years and do not know a lot of people. I know this is a big factor in the initial growth and my inlaws could care less about helping me grow a business because they would like me to have a secure job helping build someone elses business.
knowledge is power
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Old 05-14-2004, 07:04 PM
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Team Gopher Team Gopher is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: -
Posts: 4,043
Hi Trex,

Another thought I have had is to buy out a guy that I know pretty well and is starting to pass me a few customers because he is getting close to retiring.
A lot of larger firms find it easier to buy out existing accounts than to find new ones. This is a great idea.
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Old 05-14-2004, 07:10 PM
Trevors Lawn Care Trevors Lawn Care is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: SE Michigan - Midwest
Posts: 1,181
About the refferal discount. Every invoice i attach a copy of my "Refferal Bonus" Flyer. It will help get them off their butts and go keep it fresh in their memory to tell of you.

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Old 05-15-2004, 12:21 AM
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MacLawnCo MacLawnCo is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,847
whatever you do, dont solicit business from customers who already have a landscaper doing good work. That is stepping on toes and will come back to haunt you.
Instead, look for properties that are looking poorly done, and then sell yourself/company and how you can improve their place. I did that last year with a few homeowners who had rings around all their trees. I took care of it, and now they are clients for life.
Also, make friends with other landscapers, it pays off.
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Old 05-15-2004, 12:34 AM
specialtylc specialtylc is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Washington state, eastsider
Posts: 1,656
Put a big as$ ad in the Yellow pages. It will get you work. You may or may not be able to afford the monthly cost.
Get out there in the fall thru winter and start knocking on doors at those small commercial businesses. Thats how I grew my business. And no I dont have a phonebook ad. I went from 50k to 300k in 2 years.
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Old 05-16-2004, 12:17 PM
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LawnsRUsInc. LawnsRUsInc. is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: midwest
Posts: 917
specialtylc and maclawn both have great ideas i have used them both and they have worked great. I kind of wonder how some of you small companys can handle or get 100 customers in one year more less get than many. We sign up a new maint. customer every day since spring. Are they stamp lots? becasue we have less than one hundred per crew. With lots from postcard lots to 15 acres. Having a yp ad you cant help everyone thier is just way to many calls. I have come to the conclusion that you have to have other lco friends it helps but you cant be nice to everyone other wise they will pass you by. Some lco's have scr%wed me over so i just play rough.
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Old 05-16-2004, 05:00 PM
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TRex TRex is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: DFW ,TX
Posts: 487
I hear and agree with the last three posts.

Like I said in my first post, I am ready to bite but do not want to bite the wrong dog.

The YP ad is out of the question for me because I would not be able to stand the nonsense phone calls waisting my time and I need a better way to attract customers to want me. I want to be wanted and in my market it seems that the only ones wanted are the cheap SOB's.

MacLawnCo, I surely do not want to step on toes and have tried to keep my comp as close as I can. I would only go after the ones that I can clearly see I am better than. Mainly in my neighborhood because working close to home is as good as it gets. For instance the LCO that cuts across the street from me made the first pass with the craftsman push mower about 1" to low with the homeowner standing right behind him. He raised it up after that because it kept stalling out from cutting to much at one time ( no excessive growth either). The homeowner has and does watch everytime they are there and does not say anything just stands there to watch. What would you do?

I did have an ad in the local paper (and got some great profit from it) until some decided to name there company after mine and have not heard one single good thing about the work he does. He does not do lawn care does home repair and has the same name as me and puts his name in the paper. The company I bought my work truck from called him to let me know that they found my owners manual. He was nice enough to call and leave a message about it, but that is the only time he has called. If you get my point.

Thanks, and please keep the help up. I know this subject could help 20% of LawnSite.
knowledge is power
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