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First Year In Business

Discussion in 'Original Pictures Forum' started by osmann_lawn, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. mowing4rlife

    mowing4rlife LawnSite Member
    Posts: 240

    This is my ad below:

    Great looking ads! Here is an ad i have used on craigslist and it has helped me get more phone calls off of there. I haven't tried services magic, because i think they charge you some type of set up fee? Let me know if you do use that form of advertisment? You can put photo and text together on "photobucket.com". That how i made this ad.

  2. JContracting

    JContracting LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,878

    ^Yikes, if I saw that as an advertisement I'd think lowballer and low quality. I'd never associate a push mower in the advertising of my company, push mowers can not produce quality cuts, period. I'd also not have "weedeating" in a piece of advertising, 1. It should always be included in the weekly mowing service and 2. nothing eats weeds except goats and cows. Same with blowing, should be included in the mowing service. I'd also get rid of the "maybe more" and just have it state "starting at $xx"
  3. mowing4rlife

    mowing4rlife LawnSite Member
    Posts: 240

    Thank you for the feed back, but i have been very successful with this ad where i work. Why do i need to pull out a huge 52" ztr to mow a small lawn that i can push mow in 10min? Also, alot of companys in my area just want to mow for that prices and that is why i tell people what i will do for them for my price( its not extra or lowballing).
  4. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,355

    I started my business 3 years ago at 18. I had ONE yard, my grandpa's!

    I had a PUSH mower, 21" Craftsmen. I was signing on here for advice, and it was more discouraging than anything. People on here seem to think there is only one way to start a business. Let me tell you, dont listen to them. Instead, Finish school, and on your own, do a little studying of the industry. Some old fat man who dropped out of school, got loans and bought all new equipment and started a lawn business because it was their last resort-- lets just say i personally would rather YOU cut my lawn than him.

    I started my business because I love business, and I love lawn care!

    I hate to read, but forced myself. Check out EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey. I'm doing what I am born to do, run a business. I did not attack by mail. too costly. I printed flyers 100 at a time. I hung them in gas stations, and drove around placing them at houses with grass that looked out of control. I also went to school full time and mowed for a bigger lawn business in a nearby but non competing area. I mowed for him about 30 hours a week.

    I saved every dime i could. I paid rent but kept my equipment at my moms. Drove all the way down to her house every time i had to mow. I also saved money by only eating at my moms house... I bought a Kubota zero turn. an '09. Then i saved for a week and bought a trailer. (i was borrowing my step dads before that) I got up to 27 accounts.

    They were EVERY WEEK
    15 of them were $50/week
    7 of them were $65 / week
    3 of them were 55 / week
    2 of them were 20/ week.. (my grandpa and my moms great friend who isnt very well off)

    what you give is returned.

    Then my wife (newly wed) got a job offer in Brentwood, TN. So, I moved. I gave my accounts to my step dad for all he did for me when I got started... (i didnt even have a hitch on my truck)!!!

    Now I am back at step one, Getting new clients. I am not really nervous about getting lawns. I have 8 now as well. none are under $44. once you get better equipment, raise prices. Just market yourself. Talk to people. Do the door hangers. hang flyers at every gas station and hair salon! But dont waste your money at this point with postage. go door to door, man.

    Get out there. Do not worry so much about the money right now, work another job if you have to. Treat this as a HOBBY that you really enjoy. Work some place else, DO NOT BORROW ANY MORE MONEY!!! Dont do anything else as a hobby, work another job, hang out on the weekends, and make this your hobby. Mow in the evenings.

  5. osmann_lawn

    osmann_lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 268

    205mx - Thanks for the feedback! What did you go to school for? As of right now i am working a full time job in a warehouse that i HATE (only a temp job, done in march)! i also work part time at The Home Depot witch is not bad, its a decent job compared to manufacturing. Flyers is how you got all your accounts? wow that's awesome! I hope to get this going and make it my career. I really enjoy seeing the before & after of any landscaping project. you get that good feeling of accomplishment.
  6. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,355

    Business administration and marketing.

    I agree with the other guys that you should get a Walk behind or some other used comercial equipment as soon as you can. ( I will probably be selling mine at the the end of this mowing season ).

    Anyway, the point is to go fast, but not too fast. Reach as far as you can though. You can give yourself a raise every week if you want. Try to meet and shake hands with 1 person a week. I do 3 a week. I meet someone, tell them what i do, and shake hands + a business card. 3/week. not too difficult.
  7. kylecal91

    kylecal91 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 188

    Glad to see there are some ambitious people out there around my age! This is my third year in business and I learn more and more about it all the time. I started my business at 17 using my moms truck and equipment I saved up to buy. Figured I could give you my 2 cents on a few things that would have helped me had I learned them from the get go. I will probably get a few bad comments about this, but I think it is better to buy used commercial grade equipment then to buy brand new cheap or even expensive equipment when you are first starting out. I found you don't need the latest and greatest to get a job done. If you need a piece of equipment that you really can't afford but need for a job then rent it until you have the money or the demand to buy it. Also, I read that you work at Home Depot, I think its great you have two jobs, keep it that way until you get to the point where you would be losing money in your business by working at Home Depot. Another thing that was helpful to me was, as you expand and grow, don't hire people until you are about to kill yourself with the work load. There is nothing out there that will drain your bank account faster then paying a guy you really don't need! One more thing that is vitally important is being on top of your finances. As soon as you can, get yourself a good computer, printer, and quickbooks. I have found out the hard way that an accountant is way too expensive to pay when you're on a limited budget. Hope some of these are helpful to you, they were for me, and good luck! O and about advertising, flyers are the cheapest easiest way I found to get business (aside from word of mouth). Print them out and go door to door.
  8. Kennedy Landscaping

    Kennedy Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,599

    Just kinda skimmed through the thread a little, didn't read all the comments. But what about some current rig pics and some work pics?
  9. osmann_lawn

    osmann_lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 268

    Thanks guys for all the feedback! I really appreciate it all. I only have a few camera phone photos. I'll upload them tomorrow. I still have the cub cadet garden tractor. I will be upgrading as soon as i have enough accounts to do so. I am always looking on craigslist for deals. I still have to make time to come see swampy s (from lawnsite) equipment he has for sale. I just really feel that i need to have the accounts before i buy another lawn mower. have to do what i can afford at the moment.
  10. osmann_lawn

    osmann_lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 268

    Yep i will keep The Home Depot job. Its only part time 20-38 hours a week. I work night freight time ranges between 6pm-1am. Its a good job to keep so that i have some extra money. Plus i'm throwing a lot of money into the business. Have not really made any yet. I didn't advertise much last year because i started to late.

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