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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by RC Services, Aug 11, 2001.

  1. RC Services

    RC Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    I have been doing some lawn work for friends and people I go to church with for about 3 months. I enjoy this work more than anything I've done in the past. My plan was to keep my day job as a mechanic for a country club and start small, part time. I Have a trailer, a couple push mowers, a couple weed wackers, a hedge clipper, pressure washer and a blower. I started off right and registered with my village, county and state department of revenue. I pay taxes!! My problem is my employer decided they no longer needed a second small engine mechanic as there golf outings have been canceled left and right and the hot weather has kept golfers from coming out to play. Now I need to find a way to increase my accounts late in the season. Any suggestions? I have been handing out flyers and i just put an ad in the local paper. Is there anything else I can do? I am prompt
    and polite to the few people that have called. I also do a very good job with the Minimal equipment I have. I have also found that most people in my area do not want to sign a contract. They like to call WHEN the grass needs it! What do you guys do in the off season?
    Thanks!
    Randy
     
  2. BerksLawn

    BerksLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

    Word of mouth is the best advertising also i would put magnetic signs on your truck, last year we went full time and put them on and the business really picked up. Another thing I would do is get a used walkbehind probably a 36" or a 48". Since u work on engines u wouldnt have a problem fixing it. For the off season we are at the point if there is no drought all we do is plow in the winter and other odd jobs that customers want done as in gutter cleaning, chipping up branches stuff like that. Another thing you could do is talk to other LCO's see if they have equipment for sale or are selling/or will give u any accounts.


    Steve
     
  3. MATTHEW

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Posts: 665

    I think you would have better success just getting a mechanics job AND looking to increase business. You need to make sure you are 100% legit before really trying to make a go of it. You will need a vendors licence, commercial plates, insurance(truck/equip./liability/health/life.ect) Now really is a bad time to get new accounts. You could very well get a few from other LCO's, but they will probably give you the gripers-slow payers-p.i.t.a.lawns-and you don't want to try to make a living with 50 of those! GOOD LUCK!!!
     
  4. RC Services

    RC Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Well I have been wrenching for over 8 years and it really isn't getting me anywhere. The country club didn't offer any benefits- no vacation, no health benefits. Luckily my wife has a good job with all benefits. As far as licensing goes I have met all requirements for the state of Illinois. No vendors license required. Already have B plates on the truck. Insurance is on the way! As I am the "new guy" on the block I am reluctant to contact the other LCO's as I mostly get dirty looks. Just the other day i was in my driveway doing a repair to my trailer and a guy pulled up in a new f-150 with a trailer full of equipment he wrote down my number and made a rude comment as he drove off!! I don't think they will be willing to help the "competition"

    Randy...
     
  5. BerksLawn

    BerksLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

    Some LCO's are like that but most of the LCO's around here are freindly they talk to us at jobs/gas stations and wave when we drive by. But of course that could be because most of them had charge accounts at my dads gas station but we talk to new LCO's all the time and some of them dont last a whole season. If u really wanna stay in this business u should go to a potential area and put out flyers also ask your already customers/friends if they know anyone that needs lawn care.


    Steve
     
  6. do you know the groundskeeper at all? maybe you could get your number out with him. for the most part, poor people dont spend their money on country club memberships. right?
     
  7. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    you dont want customers calling you when they feel they need cutting-that will turn into a big headache. push the contracts as best you can.

    real tough to get customers now, esp. if you got drought conditions like we do here. but not impossible. if the adv. is generating calls, do more.


    off season we plow snow, some guys go south and even out the farmers tan.

    if you get into plowing this winter it gives you a good base of homes to start your cutting list next spring.
     
  8. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    RC Services:
    A few years back I had some accounts in your area and in Algonquin that I gave away to a friend. Instead of turning them down, I'll email you if I get any in your area to bid. How far will you drive? I assume you are wanting smaller lawns since you have push mowers.

    In the fall I aerate lawns, in the winter I plow snow, and in the spring I aerate again, so I keep busy the year around.
     
  9. RC Services

    RC Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    I have been staying in Carpentersville for now to keep the drive times down, but I am planning to go as far North as Crystal Lake and South Elgin to the South! At this point I would consider ALMOST anywhere!!
     
  10. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    Another thing you can advertise is leaf clean up jobs for this fall. Also gutter cleaning, aerating and overseeds. Get several aerating jobs lined up and then rent a machine for a day to do them all. I didn't see an aerator on your list of things, so rental is a good thing until you get one of your own. If you don't get enough to make a rental pay off, sub them out to me. :D

    Go to some real estate places and see it they have any lawns that need take care of. You would be surprised how many you can get from doing this. This is a good way to find lawns this time of the season. I hope this helps.
     

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