The 2nd year is the best! I've been in the business a while but always working for someone else, and that's hard when you're making $10 an hour, watching your boss sitting in the truck listening to the radio, making a few hundred a day. BUT I couldn't thank him enough for the experience. Without it, I wouldn't nearly be able to provide as good of a service. I started in March of 2005, hammered the area with fliers, sent some post cards, posted some ads and got an OK response, I had like 10 year round contracts and 10 seasonals, plus I got some decent landscape jobs during the summer. So back in January I knew I had to come up with a better idea because I couldn't keep running the business with only 10 contracts, after taxes, there wasn't much left! So I totally changed my advertising strategy, and hits the trails again in March. I now have 45 contracts (which is all I accept, if I accepted everyone that called me, I'd easily have 80-100) for weekly service and do some side jobs on the weekend when I have time. I'm thinking about hiring a "crew" to do the 45 jobs a week, then getting another 25 for myself which I could easily do in 2-3 days then having the rest of the week for landscape jobs and getting a helped for like Wed-Sat landscape jobs. Anyway, enough rambling on.. Just wanted to say, never get discouraged, provide quality work and your people will stick with you. I know it's easy to slack off and maybe not edge as well as you should or weedeat around that last tree, but your customers WILL notice! Oh and I don't know how you guys have such good luck with doorhangers! I had some really nice color ones printed up, I paid a couple neighborhood kids to go to 2,000 houses EACH and got a really crappy response.. Good luck this season everyone and it's NEVER too late to pick up new clients!