First Full Month In Biz

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Turf Terror, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. Turf Terror

    Turf Terror LawnSite Member
    Posts: 113

    Things have gone pretty well so far.
    22 accounts--4 commercial
    Minimum charge for mow, edge, blow and go--$35
    $60/hr for any additional work
    Targeted customer base--mid to upscale neighborhoods $50-75
    Law office, 2 banks, small 5 store strip mall--$100-150
    Spent $1780 out of advertising budget for newspaper ad, Yellow Pages ad, flyers, direct mail to real estate--property maintenance companies, signs, etc.

    Equipment:
    16ft open trailer(my build) 4ft rear ramp and 5ft side ramp
    Trimmer Trap accessories
    2 Echo trimmers
    Echo powerhead with brush blade, pruning, edging attachments
    Echo hedge trimmer
    Shindaiwa backpack blower
    Poulan handheld blower
    Scag Wildcat 52in, 26HP liquid-cooled Kawasaki, w/light kit
    Snapper 36in hydro walk-behind
    SnapperPro 21in 3-speed, cast aluminum deck
    Honda pressure washer
    21in surface washer
    1998 Ford F-450 Powerstroke diesel

    Currently building an 18ft enclosed trailer...
    Hired a part time helper...
    We're mowing all properties weekly...
     
  2. BUCKEYE MOWING

    BUCKEYE MOWING LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,169

    Heck of a start ! Good Luck
     
  3. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    DAMN...thats one HELL of a start.
     
  4. Turf Terror

    Turf Terror LawnSite Member
    Posts: 113

    Heh...like my Dad always said, "Go large, or go home."
    I figured that if I was gonna go....I better "go large" and generate a business. While not everyone has the luxury of starting out this way, I figured I'd hit the market hard and fast. I gave a business card to everyone I met and told them what I was doing for work. Advertising is the key, and I set up a $3500 budget to get my name out there. This was the single best move I made....and like I mentioned in my previous comment, I've barely used 2 grand of that.
    My thought is, "why spend $8-9000 on a mower if you're only going to spend $50 to advertise yourself?" If I didn't have a good nest egg to invest in my startup, I'd have bought a cheaper mower and put the money into the advertising. What good is it to sit there polishing a fancy ZTR while waiting and hoping for customers to call?
    Also the equipment...
    I didn't want to be out there playing with used stuff, and after doing much research here at Lawnsite.com, I went with what I felt was first class solid machinery. I retired from my previous business--owning amusement rides, and I am a certified welder doing refabrications on amusement rides here at my place in South Florida. I know machinery...so I didn't enter into the Exmark/Scag debates. Both brands are top of the line. Almost bought the Exmark, because the dealer was giving me a good price. But I went with the Scag because it's built like a Mack truck....same with the tried and true Snapper stuff. Echo or Stihl? A flip of the coin. Both are great brands, but what sold me on Echo was that the Scag dealer sells it and he's is one mile away from me.
    Copy (2) of Business Card.jpg

    Copy (2) of Business Card.jpg
     
  5. Down2EarthLawns

    Down2EarthLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 191

    Congrats on the healthy start-up. Good advertising is priceless.
     
  6. N&CLandscaping

    N&CLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 360

    Awsome Job man keep it up and at that rate.... Much more money down the road!!! GOOOOOD JOBBB!!! :)
     
  7. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Excellent start for you! Congratulations.

    I agree with you, that initially, advertising is the most important thing you can do. A business in its infancy has little word-of-mouth advertising and not much name recognition. Hitting the advertising hard seems to help that. I'll admit I have not done nearly as much as I should have this season. With winter approaching, I plan to hit it HARD and really work on getting myself recognized. Hopefully it will pay off for me like it has been doing for you!

    Again, congrats. Always good to hear of a successful startup.
     

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