Separate names with a comma.
Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .
Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by buckeyes04, Oct 27, 2004.
Is there still business out there for us newer guys? I see lco's everywhere.
There is always business, the real question is what can you offer? How do you create value? Why should a customer decide to select your service over a competitor? That is the real challenge.
Sure there are Lco's everywhere, but don't be afraid to compete.
There's none, so giving up seems to be your only option.
I could be wrong, but don't you have a similar thread you started in another forum? Instead of this pity thing you're working, pull yourself up by the proverbial bootstraps and get out there and sell or deliver flyers instead of posting the "woe is me - how do I get business?" posts. At this point, it seems you may be better off working for somebody for a year or two in order to get a handle on things and have steady income.
Now, with regard to developing your business, how about figuring out an angle of attack for generating leads? For starters, what city are you in?
he's right.... there is not enough business for all the LCO's out there.... but if you still want to put out flyers.... put my name and # on them...$5.00hr/cash
Thanks Systemexpert for your input. I appreciate it.
as i'm typing this, i see no actual responsive dialog, other than "thanks for the input", which you also do in your other similar thread. how is that helping you? i guess you'll respond to someone that says "buck up, it'll be alright", but if someone questions you, the posts are ignored?
i've already typed the below, so what the hell...
at some point i plan on starting a thread on this, but here's the gist of it (a quote from a high-end residential construction trade i receive):
"Extraordinary companies transcend commodity by offering more than just a product. They defy comparison by doing what their competitor's can't or won't do."
All you have to do is read this site for more than an hour and you'll see what the "can't" in that statement might refer to. Exploit other's weaknesses for your own gain. I do it in every facet of my businesses and always have used this as a guiding principal. It just means doing a bit of legwork to figure it out.
Well, all I wanted was some encouragement as to whether or not there was business out there. Your response to my first thread started off say, "Theres none, so giving up is your only option". What kind of an answer is that? Either your just being sarcastic or you are responding in an a manner that makes you sound bitter. So, I only thanked the guy who had some positive things to say. It's irrelevant as to what city I live in. And as far as why I am not out in the business yet, because I plan on starting next season. I am in the process of gaithering information for my business plan. I want to be fair and professional. I'm not about to go out there without any kind of knowledge. So what not ask all of these questions. I can learn from your mistakes. And what are you on here giving me negative feedback when you should be out there working on your business.
well, you are seeking the same encouragement in another forum, so i would assume you would be interested in a constructive dialogue and not just "you can do it! atta boy! go get 'em tiger!". what good does that do you?
and yes, "give up" was sarcasm. you asked and absurd question. of course the only answer is "get out there and try. give 'em hell!".
as for city relevance, it is absolutely not irrelevant:
a.) city size can be broken down to market size
b.) workable days for lawns can help you forecast revenue. think cleveland has the same mowable days as cincy?
c.) if you want possible leads, you might try networking. great way to get additional work. especially if you are in cincy, cleveland, or columbus as i do no business there, but have loads of people that could be potential customers. thus the question of what city.
and you are rather presumptive to think that i am not currently working on any of my businesses. two run themselves, and the lawncare is ramping up right now (32 ads in various papers running this week, as well as 2 with inserts), with fall clean-ups in process and snow removal contracts being the marketing du jour. i also have the pleasure of researching this site while sitting on conference calls. so before taking that shot at me, you might realize that you are in the start-up phase and we are not. you are typical of a few on here who only want the lollipops and butterflies without going through the legwork. easier to whine about your trepidation than trying to grab what you want. but since you clearly have the start-up and marketing experience to guide you, atta boy. good luck....
Buckeye.. If I had to guess, you and I share the same locality.. could be wrong.. could be right. I also am aware of the tremendous number of lawn care and landscape groups that are out there (even more in Cleveland). In this environment, it takes a true entrepreneur to be successful. Here is the Webster's definition
en·tre·pre·neur: one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise
It is possible to be come very successful in this environment even with the level of competition that is out there. A perfect example of this is 5Seasons Landscape who was featured in Lawn and Landscape Magazine a few years back.. If you travel east on Rt70 (just past the Pickerington Exit)you can see the buildings they are building. I met them about 2 years ago and at that time they had 1/3 of what they have today. It can be done, by taking risks..
Tony brings out some great point..in a very direct way.. but great points. Tony's quote "Extraordinary companies transcend commodity by offering more than just a product. They defy comparison by doing what their competitor's can't or won't do." is one that will stay with me for sometime. I define a commodity (as does Webster) as an unspecialized product. In a commodity service market, you have to differentiate. Customer Service, Price, amenity, inclusion of services that other do not, value added, niche markets (organic fertilization), etc are all examples of a ways to take advantage of the market.
Your opening statement did seem odd to me to come from an entrepreneur. Although I did not see it as borne with trepidation, it did have a negative tone. I have not met too many entrepreneur's that have a negative slant at the on-set of any venture. Most entrepreneur's I know would say "Here is my plan, convince me why I should not move forward!".. I read your statement as "Convince me I should begin planning." I could be completely wrong and it could be this forum that gives that opinion.
If you are risk averse, a commodity business is not a business that is good to try a start. I do not know you or your history. You could started many businesses that are very successful. I think that Tony picked up on, as did I, a negative first impression of the industry. I would not recommend a commodity market to anyone as a start up if you have a negative first impression of a market. I also get an impression that you may be slightly risk averse. That also does not bode well for startups in a commodity market.
Tony also brings up a good point that you may have looked past given his direct approach. Tony mentioned working for an LCO for a year or two to get a handle on your areas of concern.. I think this is a great idea with a slight twist.. work for yourself on the side for a year or two.. you can pick up a small trailer, 36" walkbehind, and trimmer, blower, etc. pretty reasonably around here. Grab 5-6 accounts and practice. It will be tough weekend work but you will get a good taste of what is involved. You will have little overhead and you will most likely come close to break even (with insurance, taxes, normal expenses, etc but without a salary) but you will gain valuable experience.. (if you say you cant, I am here to say you can because I have done it.)
Again, directly put but accurate is Tony's statement about the relevance of the city that you work in. His subpoints on a,b,c were only the top of the list that I had that were market specific.
Lawnsite will give you things to think about but not a business plan to success. Take what you can absorb and see how it applies to your market.
This is all my personal opinion. I am very small.. learning things every time I load up. Someday... it will reap rewards.. big rewards.