im a rookie.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TopCut, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. TopCut

    TopCut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    Hey i have learned a lot from reading your posts and replys. but i still have a few questions. i am wandering if some of you would like to give a new guy some advice.
     
  2. Eho

    Eho LawnSite Member
    Posts: 205

    If you have any specific question, feel free to ask and I m sure you ll get good answers.
    1 whatever you do, always do a GREAT job...as long as every lawn you mow looks great, you ll make people happy
    2 Be very friendly to your customers, treat them well and with respect and it will pay off...take the time to visit with them and get to know them
    3 Use commercial grade equipment...I started out using homeowners equipment to get started, but after one year of that, I had enuf money saved to get commercial equipment...Spending more money on commercial is worth it for sure
    4 Be organized....keep track of everybody who owes you...try to come up with a good schedule for payments and when you mow for people.
    Hope these help...work hard....do good work and be nice to your customers!
    EHO
     
  3. TopCut

    TopCut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    Thats good advice. Like you, I only have residential equipment. But i am an ASE cet. mechanic, so i dont think i will have any problems there. But i do plan to buy commercial grade equipment soon. The questions i have are about scalping. Is it good? Does it help? And how much should i charge for a spring clean up? What all should i do for the spring clean up? And am i too late? It seems that i see a lot of other companies out, but when i go out to try and get accounts it seems like they are not thinking about lawn care yet. I need help. Any help would be very much appreciated.
     
  4. Eho

    Eho LawnSite Member
    Posts: 205

    Spring clean ups usually include whatever it takes to get the lawn looking nice...raking up old leaves, trimming hedges, etc. I would say that around 45 bucks an hour is a decent rate for spring clean ups starting out.
    EHO
     
  5. Ed Ryder

    Ed Ryder LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 541

    Advice for a new lawn guy:

    1. If you have no experience, go work for an established pro. You will learn whether the business is right for you, how to work efficiently, and you will develop the work ethic and discipline needed to build your own lawn service and stick with it.

    2. If you know how to mow and trim... when you are getting your first customers, don't be so desperate to give your services away.

    3. It is important to get the right customers. You don't have to accept every opportunity to land a new lawn customer. Brush the cheapos off. Don't take every 10 day or 2 week customers. Weekly only.

    4. Don't ever take a piss in the customer's back yard. If you gotta go, be classy about it, and never knock on their door asking to use the toilet.

    5. Get insurance.

    6. Always promtly return customer phone calls.

    7. Deliver your service with consistancy.

    8. Be reasonable about getting paid. Cash after every cut is a hassle. Most guys bill monthly.

    9. Don't be lax about collecting your money. Never let anyone slide when it comes to paying. As for me, after I submit an invoice, I give them a month to pay. If they don't pay, I send out another invoice with the new amount. After that month goes by, if I still haven't gotten paid, that's when I get aggressive. I usually do not have problems with collecting. When I do, I am a pitbull. I always get paid.

    10. Keep a mileage log. Record your business related travel. Write down every single expense and keep all the receipts.

    11. Safety. Don't be a dumb@ss, like a lot of other lawn guys. Always wear something to protect your eyes, especially when using a string trimmer. Always wear something to protect your hearing. And be mindful that you will be at an elevated risk of getting skin cancer, so use sunscreen a lot.
     
  6. TopCut

    TopCut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    Thats good stuff. Do you use contracts?
     
  7. Ed Ryder

    Ed Ryder LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 541

    12. Buy only commercial grade equipment. Everything else is junk and won't last.

    13. Secure your equipment in your truck or trailer. If you crash and a heavy mower flies out and kills somebody, because you failed to take reasonable measures to secure it, they will make an example out of you and you will go to jail.
     
  8. Ed Ryder

    Ed Ryder LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 541

    I do all residential, plus one gas station. And I totally don't do contracts. I have found it to be a lot easier to win customers without having a formal instrument to contend with. So, I do everything in an easy going way and my customers are comfortable with that. I also try to make my service as stress free as possible for them. I'm about to send out my price increases. They don't have to do a thing to continue the service. I will be there automatically unless they tell me to stop.

    I don't have customer problems. If I do get a customer problem, it doesn't last very long, because I get rid of customers that I don't like dealing with. (I'm a solo operator.)
     
  9. TopCut

    TopCut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    i am going solo as well. I think that is good advice. What is your rate for mowing and trimming? and do you do any other services? i.e. sod, fert. and tree trimming.
     
  10. Ed Ryder

    Ed Ryder LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 541

    I only cut grass. I have no time for anything else. And I have no interest in doing any other lawn work.

    My hourly rate? As much as I can get. My best hourly return comes from smaller yards for sure.

    That's it.
     

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