In another post I mentioned getting another 200 customers from another landscape company. Here's the story. They had been referring us a few years ago, then they got another tech on hand and did it in house. No permanent tech this year so managers and supervisors were leaving the crews and jobsites to do repairs and service. they found this to be very unproductive and contacted me about sending service work to us again this spring. Last week I got a call from a new customer and they said they received a letter from this company saying they are getting out of the service end and to contact my company for such work. Then another one called. So I followed up Monday with the company, called and left a message for them to call me. Then checked the PO Box and there was a nice envelope with the customer list, contact and address info, phone numbers, and info as to where backflows, valves, controllers, etc are. Once they called they basically said take 'em and do what you can. With all their new installs they give a 2 year warranty and will service those and anything outside of that will be sent to us. I've been very fortunate over the years to get in with some good companies. The company that I learned from moved their focus to landscaping and water features years ago, and now sends all repairs/service/winterizing to us. One company subs to us for about 75% of service work and all winterizing. Bought a decent customer list years ago and have retained a nice percentage. And I have many other companies that refer to us, including more irrigation companies, landscapers, suppliers, real estate agents. I have had to do MINIMAL advertising. Even from Lawnsite I've done work with both SprinklerGuy and Groundmaster. I've been able to send work to SprinklerGuy as well. Even employees have been great for the most past. I have one buddy that had $700 worth of fuel and a vehicle stolen by an employee. I've burned a couple bridges over the years, but for the most part have been pretty good at networking with other companies in the industry, helping them if I can, and not bashing competitors. This seems to have worked well for me to grow my business. One person I am writing this for is Rotar. if you are serious about going on your own, learn all you can from everyone, including us. Don't burn a bridge with your boss because he could help you grow your biz later in life. Keep the ego in check and make friends with others in the industry.