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Help a college kid with questions please

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by LPS1987, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. LPS1987

    LPS1987 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Hey guys,

    I am in college and for one of my business classes I am required to do some research on an industry and find out about it as well as the daily frustrations and lingo in the industry, then design a marketing plan for it.

    I was assigned the landscaping industry and I was wondering if you guys could please answer me a few questions about your business, I would greatly appreciate it.

    1-What are your top 5 frustrations with your business and day to day business life?

    2-What is the way you guys get new customers (direct mail, internet, newspapers, etc.?)

    3-What sort of lingo do you use? Would you all call yourselves landscapers, or would you call yourself green industry guys, I am confused since I just learned that landscape design and build is different than lawncare as most laymen simply use the term "gardner" or "landscaper".

    I was also wondering if LCO (lawncare operator) is a term you use, and if you do, is there a subsequent acronym for a company that does design/build?

    4-What sort of services does a landscaper or lawn care operator provide besides "mow and blow"?

    5-What sort of licenses do you guys need to operate your business?

    I know this can be alot to ask but please take a few minutes to respond as I really need this for school. I greatly appreciate it and thanks for reading and responding!


  2. LPS1987

    LPS1987 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Bump, please help me guys
  3. StihlMechanic

    StihlMechanic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,133

    Personally, I like to be called yard boy.

    Not a lot of respect in this industry. Honestly I prefer Landscape Contractor.
  4. j-ville native

    j-ville native LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 349

    I'm a college student as well and this seems like the type of project where you can just bullsnot everything, but I'll go ahead and give you some answers...

    1. getting rained out, customers that ask me cut it shorter (I don't want to butcher it), customers expecting me to show up on a moment's notice (can you come cut my grass right now?), cheap customers, taking the time to meet with the customer and give an estimate and then I never hear from them again.

    2. word of mouth/referals, people see my lawn trailer and come up to me, my website, flyers

    3. I'm an LCO

    4. mow, edge, trim, blow, shrub/tree trimming, fertilizer, mulching, weed pulling, pressure washing (only in the winter offseason)

    5. My county actually doesn't even offer a licsense. I went to the townhall and that's what they told me. If I used pesticides or even round-up weed killer I would need a licsense, but I don't do pesticides.

    Let me know if u have other questions
  5. FDJ

    FDJ LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    4-What sort of services does a landscaper or lawn care operator provide besides "mow and blow"?

    5-What sort of licenses do you guys need to operate your business?

    1-Other people/businesses that do the work for "free" and drag the industry down, Ignorant customers, paper work, rain, cheap people.

    2-Door-to-door flier delivery, pack mailer, internet.

    3-I like to call myself landscaper, since that is how everyone has ever called my profession around here.

    4-I think that lawn care would only include lawn mowing and fertilizing and that sort of thing.
    Landscaping could encamp all of above plus any other yard related service.
    mulching, weeding, designing, installation, removal, snow shoveling, leaf removal, gutter cleaning.

    5-It will depend on the county/municipality/state. Here you'll only need a license if you are applying chemicals such as fertilizers. Other than that you only need a "business license" and a "Home Occupation Permit" if you are running it from home.
  6. elitelawnteam1

    elitelawnteam1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 410

    1- Late payers, dogs and dog ****, mowing in the rain, dealing with equipment breakdowns at the worst possible time, dealing with nitpicky customers

    2- Google, doorhangers, flyers, word of mouth, door to door soliciting

    3- I am part of the Green Industry, I go back and forth between LCO and Lawn Maintenance Contractor

    4- At this moment in time, I am only involved with maintenance (mowing, leaf removal, snow plowing, bush trimming, ect) but other LCOs can do patios, retaining walls, install full landscapes, and water features. Some also do fertilizing

    5- That depends on what services you're providing, and where you live in the country. I don't need a business license where I live, but If I was to do fertilizing, I would need a commercial applicator's license, for brickwork UNILOK for example, you need to be certified to install. That's all I know.

    Generally, If you're in the maintenance portion like I am, the most crucial aspect I think would be having general liability insurance. You don't need a license to drive a mower, but you want to be protected in case you screw up.

    Hope this helps,

    good luck on your project
  7. wiselandscaping

    wiselandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 128


    Thought I'd fill this out and give you some answers that hopefully help you with your project. Hope I'm not too late.

    1- Employee issues (finding/retaining good employees, employee absence, etc).
    2- Equipment breakdowns (can alway be minimized but never eliminated).
    3- Late payments.
    4- Customers who don't let the professionals do what is best for their landscape.
    5- Fighting the weather!

    2) We use our website and active sales. We are doing our first direct mailing this spring, but are only selling lawn fertilization/weed control with this.

    3) Our company name is "Wise Landscaping" and I think that term fits us best. We aren't a single-man operation, and we provide landscape services from install/build to maintenance. We are Green Industry Professionals, which is important because it is our job to do everything we can to bring increased professionalism to the industry.

    4) Services include landscape installation, maintenance, fertilization, weed & turf insect control, and snow and ice management. This is very broad, but instead of focusing on one very small aspect of "landscaping", we provide commercial customers with all of the services they will need under one roof. This allows us to provide the best value to the commercial customer and keeps them from dealing with multiple contractors. If we as a company do not have the skilled labor to perform certain tasks (large hardscape installations for example), we sub out the work to other, more specialized contractors. I guess you could say a service we provide is efficiency and quality, worry-free work to our customers too.

    5) There are no licenses needed to operate a landscape company other than a commercial applicator license which is regulated by the Ohio EPA, and that is only needed by companies that perform lawn and ornamental chemical applications.

    I hope this helps.
  8. LPS1987

    LPS1987 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Thank you so much guys!

    I really appreciate all the help and explanations, this is going to save me so much time and hassle since I was going to have to cold call Landscaping companies to get this information by interviewing them.

    Again, thank you very much everyone!


  9. Southern Tommy

    Southern Tommy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    I think the other guys have pretty much summed up exactly what you need.

    If you're still having troubles you could always try www.google.com *trucewhiteflag**trucewhiteflag*
  10. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 812

    hope this helps

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