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Background experience

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JKLC, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. JKLC

    JKLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    How many of you got into this industry with little or no working experice and are still successful today...

    Tell me some success stories

  2. THill3

    THill3 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    When I decided to start this business I had never done lawn care for anyone except at my house. One weekend a friend and I were talking I think we were a little drunk and on saturday decided we were going to start this business. Monday went down to the dealer and bought two new Exmark walk behinds. Had them delivered the next day got a trailer printed some fliers and I still have all the clients from my first year today 6 years later. The only change is my friend left like one month into the season and I took home about thirty thousand my first year solo. Still going strong today.
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    12 years ago I was the Director of Training for Hertz Equipment Rental Corp. I had throat cancer and basically was forced to leave my job after being there about 13 years. Mowing and landscaping had always interested me, so I thought I would give it a try. 11 years later I am at it still full time and will have around 8 or so guys working for me again this year very soon.
  4. JKLC

    JKLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17


    what do you suggest for someone with about the same experice as you...(I cut my own grass as well as grandmothers grass. but have a burning desire to be indipendant) to do to begin to build your business? what kind of marketting do you feel is the best bang for the buck? Any other advice would be greatly appreciated...
  5. TScapes

    TScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    I started when I was 14 working for my uncle, who was a caretaker for an exclusive gated community. I did everything; fed the horses, cleaned stalls, weedeated ditches, dug ditches, etc. Twenty years later, I have worked for the largest and the smallest landscapers in the industry. I am now a manager for another national company. Every boss I have ever worked for in this industry has started their own company sometime in their 30's. Those guys are still in it today. Some have multi-million dollar outfits, while others are like everyone else in here, small or mid-size independants. I have people tell me everyday that I should go on my own...... I tell them that I am just not ready. I admire everyone in here that takes on that challenge of going solo. It can be a very rewarding yet demanding task. However, if someone is dedicated and driven, they can and will be successful. But.... don't take offense to this... I see people everyday that think that anyone can "cut grass and plant plants". Most everyone with some form of common sense and experience will tell you that it is not that easy. So, my advice to you would be to absorb as much information as you can. This industry is constantly changing and a hands-on knowledge and a drive to learn and get better will definately separate you from your competition!
  6. MacPhersonlawn

    MacPhersonlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    3 years ago my company was going through some "reductions" after a merger.Although I was able to keep my job (Director of National Marketing Accounts) they were offering a very good deal for those who left. I had almost 30 years there and the future did not look all that good so I told them that if I could get a full pension (starting now) plus sererance I would go quietly. Their firm reply was "don't let the door hit you on the way out". They did say I would have to stay on the payroll until labor day and then retire (it was May). So... I went home and came back on Labor day and did my retirement "things" and left. Seems nobody missed me when I did not show up for the whole summer! So much for appreciating 30 years of work, but that is another story.

    Took an entrupernuer course paid for by the state of Massachusetts and was planning to open aTanning Salon.
    With the high purchase price I could not get my business plan to show much profit (thank god) and gave that up. Met a friend one day who, with a partner, had a part time LCO (after work). He was getting out so I asked if he and his partner wanted to sell it. The partner wanted to keep it but it got me interested. I knew absolutly nothing about the business. Did a lot of research and with my marketing background I was able to get enough customers to start 3 months later. Had enough money to but some good equipment. I am now starting my 3rd year.
  7. THill3

    THill3 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    As most people on this site will tell you word of mouth is where alot of business comes from. For someone without any experiance like my self you have to be sure to do a fantastic job everytime. I cannot remember what equipment you said you had but if it is professional make sure you spend alot of time on your own lawn to make sure you get to know your machines before you step foot on another property. As far as getting new clients everywhere you go talk to all people and bring up what you do. Like my first client I went to a futon store just to look around. I was talking to the sales men and told what I did gave him some cards and the next day went back to buy a futon and the owner was there. She asked me to look at a property and bid it. I did and next thing I knew I had 12 from this one person. She then turned around and told all her friends and banks and before I could blink twice I was mowing 5 full days a week and loved it. Always do fliers. They may not have a huge return rate but atleast there will be a return. Good Luck

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