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First year flop

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by BLC14, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Posts: 7,525

    Op, can't you still deliver pizzas until work picks up?

    Dont suit your day job until you need to.
     
  2. pazzaneselawncare

    pazzaneselawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    Youre doing fine for just starting! More clients will come in time alot by word of mouth. The four lawns that you do are like permanent ads. people see you doing good work and give you a call which makes more ads. It goes on and on. Trust me, I bet within the next three years you will have fifty accounts. It takes a little to build up the business, but once it gets bigger you will see.;)
     
  3. GroundControlGA

    GroundControlGA LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    I have a full-time job as a restaurant manager and like you, I wanted independence.

    This is my first year, I started 3 weeks ago and this is what I did to make it successful:

    I came up with a name that was professional and could grow with my company. I also made sure that I could secure the web domain for it.
    Next,I got my LLC, business license, and insurance policies.
    Then I got a Vanity number xxx-xxx-LAWN that forwards to my cellphone(or any other phone that I want)
    Then I got a friend that is good with graphic design to develop a logo for me.
    Next, I secured my web domain and built a proffesional looking website that displays my number on EVERY page and has a contact form link on EVERY page.

    Keep in mind, All of that is just for image. Image is marketing.

    Next I financed equipment at 0% down for 48 months.(that's like free money)

    So then I was ready to start working right? How was I going to advertise?

    I used ONE form of advertising. Craigslist. I used two email addresses and rotated them to post my adds every Monday morning and Thursday morning. I posted 3 identical adds every time. 1 in home service, 1 in farm/garden services...but the on that got me the most hits? The one I posted in For Sale.

    I got 6 calls my first week. The same or more every week since. I have 10 regular accounts already and hardly have the time to take on more. Keep in mind this is a side-job, but Craigslist has been a asset. I have gotten no bad yards. No bad customers. When they see your ad and you've made it look professional. And they go to your website and it looks professional. And they can call that vanity number that looks professional...that's what makes them want to call.

    I may still be small, but the only thing keeping me small if my choice to be that way. When I've built it big enough, slowly and deliberately...that's when I can quit my full time job and go all-in.

    Like these guys said...it's image and advertising. You have to market yourself...but my cost for advertising is nothing. I spend $20 a month on a website and $24 a month on a vanity phone #. Craigslist is free...but it just gets me seen. The rest was on me. Look bigger than you are. Look more professional than you are. Look like you have more experience than you do. Then just make sure you do a good job. The rest will work out.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  4. bfleming98

    bfleming98 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Did you list your biz on all the local listing sites? That is free and send you customers. Try Using the web it is cheaper and easier.
     
  5. Tn Turf

    Tn Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 285

    This is really good advice. Also look into AngiesList and Groupon.com.

    In addition to what the poster already mentioned, be sure to secure a Facebook and Twitter account with your brand name. If you want more exposure, look into Facebook advertising. There's a way you can target an exact audience. You can narrow it down exactly to the person. It's an amazing, amazing tool to have at your disposal. Don't put money into the Facebook advertising until you get a list narrowed down or you'll throw away money.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,357

    I'm sorry but I just looked at your link and quite frankly, you are not qualified to be giving anybody advice here.

    AngiesList and Groupon.com are for real companies.

    You are not a company.

    "Either way, you will save a ton of money from hiring actual lawn care companies."

    Hey, to each his own. I am not going to get on your case about strapping on your boots and making some extra money..... All power to you.

    I won't get on your case about charging people 5 bucks to mow a yard either.... Although you do realize you are paying for your fuel to get there, fuel in the mower, mower depreciation, and finally, YOUR TIME RIGHT?

    However, I will get on your case for trying to give out advice here....

    Most folks that come here are trying to build a profitable business.

    If you want to mow a couple lawns for beer money then like I said, that's perfectly fine with me, but please don't pretend that you are doing anything more than that....
     
  7. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,087

    But ... But.... He upsells! He'll fix your brakes and change your oil too!
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,051

    I guess it depends on location. My first season (2009/10) I had almost 50 clients. (half were biweekly)
    It was all through Craigslist and I had really good luck with getting great clients.
    I may not have gotten the most money out of them at the time, but that was because I was a noob and didn't know any better.

    If you're in a major metropolitan area, I can't see a way to fail. There are ALWAYS people looking to have lawns mowed.

    In time, referrals started to come, and then I started getting reviewed on Angie's List by clients I didn't even know were members. The reviews kept coming and I started getting more calls from Angie's List members. I took on more of those people, and THEY posted reviews. (All "AAAA" by the way)

    At this point I haven't advertised at all in two years and the phone keeps ringing. Most are Angie's List members, but some found my website on their own.
    I pretty much have no love for Angie's List itself because ALL they do is bug you to advertise with them, but I AM getting work due to all the awesome people who have posted great reviews.

    Things change - they did for me.
    Hopefully the OP will find the same to be true.
     
  9. TheLugNutZ

    TheLugNutZ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 410

    Sorry I didn't read all the pages, who is this directed towards?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,051

    The five buck monkey above his post.
     

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