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First year going FULL TIME!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JShe8918, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. JShe8918

    JShe8918 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 944

    I am very excited but also scared about going full time this year... I have been working solo doing it as a hobby as i go to college. Well i have taken the spring and summer semester off and am ready to really hit it this year. BUT I am scared because this is going to be both my mom's and my income... We have to make enough to make everything go round... Yes my mom is now out of the horse business and has sold the stable due to the unstable economy people are trying to cut back... I am located in a small town only about 6000 people. If that many. Most people don't seem to care a whole lot about their yard here.. I want to change that as this is going to be my life for the next 7 months. i have a total of 30 regular customers give or take a few... That isn't going to cut it. I would like to get to around the 100 mark. Most people will not let you maintain there yard on a weekly basis here it is every two weeks. sigh.... Not good for the grass or myself. Then again i have 4 very dedicated customers who do pre and post M, 3 ferts a year and we service them head to toe almost year around. WELL now that i have briefed you on my current business are there any pointers or selling points that you could share with me... I know the basics like how to do everything the proper way just not good at selling myself. Thanks for
    any and all help.

    P.S. I would like to change my business name to something more personal and that stands out but is that wise with everyone in town knowing of my and my work by Jonathan's Lawn Kare... I want something more flashy. Ton's of hunters and farmers in the area. If you have any suggestions i would appreciate them... My friend said something about using "drop tine landscaping" or something like that... But i could have sworn i had already seen that somewhere.

    God Bless,
    Jonathan Sheehan
  2. billslawn89

    billslawn89 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,364

    if you are already known in your town with that name, i would not change it. start advertising in the local paper to gain more accounts, start upselling to your clients that you have now, as in shrub trimming, mulching, weed pulling in the landscape beds, or spraying if your licensed, same with the fert....are you gonna be able to handle 100 accounts by yourself? what are you gonna do when you go back to college with the accounts? good luck and hope things work out for ya!
  3. JShe8918

    JShe8918 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 944

    Why thank you.. The plans i have now are that myself, my mother, and possibly another worker will try and take it on if i can reach the goal. As far as going back to college i am going to turn it over to my mom to run and manage the whole thing. I will be back and forth on the weekends making sure all of the work is done to my specs and what not. I am hoping to have generated enough profits my november to purchase a second duramax (used probably), another enclosed trailer, and probably another walker but in a 52ghs 26hp configuration. I just feel like another Joe Blow with the name. I should have added in this. lol.. Everyone knows the business as Pam Sheehan's son or Mike's boy. People still ask me who do i make this out to. There is another business here that is called Alley's Way Landscaping. See that is so much more interesting and will stick in people's minds. The main thing that is holding me back is the worry and that i already have my trailer lettered and my cards too.
  4. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 7,053

    Sounds like your working to get more equipment.
  5. billslawn89

    billslawn89 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,364

    if you already got your stuff lettered and cards, just leave the name as is and go out and bust butt, pass out your cards and get the clients. take pride in your work and don't worry about the other stuff....like nike' shoes slogan is..." just do it"...so go get it done!
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    I would certainly do away with the "lawn KARE" thing, for sure. I mean..what the heck is that? if you EVER want to be taken serious, you need to come up with a real title...the name is ok,...but not the title.
  7. JShe8918

    JShe8918 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 944

    Lol i know... i purchased my first Commercial zero turn mower when i was 15. I myself couldn't come up with a name so the lady at the Place that prints my cards created a few and it was the best she had. I am gonna try and get opinions from around the town and see if it would throw them off if i changed the name or if they think i should keep it. Thanks guys keep them coming. Any one care to share the proper way of up selling with out being overly pushy? I don't want to come across that away.
  8. billslawn89

    billslawn89 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,364

    make some nice and colorful fliers of the extra things that you can do at their property and give it to the client, or mail it with the invoices, thats what i do.
  9. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,072

    Customers will always ask, "who do I make this out to". I have customers who have been asking me that for eight years now, and I never get tired of it, it is like music to my ears.

    Do not change your name, not now anyway. Next winter work up a new image, and change the name then if you want to. I do not like the Kare thing, maybe just change that, or not?

    It's March and you have what you need, and other things to do, don't worry that people know you as your parents boy, That works for you, the day will come when you are the dad and you will see it is not so bad.

    So what is it about sales that you have issue with?

    When it comes to sales, just tell them what you can do for them and give them a price. Keep things moving and close the deal. Say things like, "so the total for the clean up and maintenance is $400.00, I can get it done next week, so if you want to go ahead with it, just write me a check for fifty percent, $200.00!

    The sales mistake that I have made the most is to oversell or let the deal get complicated. When you are talking with your customers you might talk about a lot of stuff so you have to bring it all back to focus and ask them what they want to get done first.

    It seems the important thing is spending enough time with them that they become comfortable with you, but not too much that they have had enough of you before you close the sale. Look for the signs that they are ready to wrap it up, then put it on paper, shake hands and move on.

    One thing to keep in mind is that you are not so much selling yourself, as you are selling what you can do. Guarantee satisfaction, deliver it, and your services will sell itself.

    Oh, and it helps to focus on the wealthiest sector of the population.

    Good luck with the full time thing.
  10. tiggazee

    tiggazee LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    Go up and down your customers streets and knock on peoples door and ask them if they are interested in your lawn care services. Or put door hangers or flyers on your doors. Be a man and distribute 200 flyers per customer you already have.

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