Just about to give up..

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jarrells74, Apr 21, 2003.

  1. Jarrells74

    Jarrells74 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    I read these threads everyday and it baffles me that so many of you are so busy. This is my first year in the business. I had an add in the paper that is gonna run out this week, and I didn't get many calls at all. It was in for a month. Maybe I didn't get calls because there are about 60 other adds in there as well. Seems that everyone and there mother is doing LawnCare this year. I have fliers out too, and business cards. I could put more fliers out, but I just keep sinking money into this biz and getting nothing in return. It is a joke. I am just about to a point now to cut my losses and sell my equipment. This just isn't working. I have 3 accounts and they are not real close to each other. I am not making nothing. I must be in a bad area or something. Anyone else close to me, and having this problem? It is a VERY depressing time around here. This is my dream, and it looks like it isn't gonna work out. :( Anyone have any suggestions? I just can't keep doing this and not making money.. My wife works and it breaks my heart that I can't contribute as much as I want too. I was hoping(or just dreaming I guess) that I would be able to get this biz off the ground and then hire my wife to do the paper work in a few years or so. She would love that.. She wants me to succeed, but she is getting depressed too. My job closed their doors last year, and I kinda got forced into this biz earlier then I wanted too. I work part time on the weekends just so I could do this business. Well, I have said enough. I just wanted to vent my feelings on here. Didn't want this to be a sob story, sorry. Well, good luck to you all. I wish SO much that I could be out there too, but it isn't looking to promising. :(
     
  2. Rhett

    Rhett LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,071

    Don't give up yet. You all had a bad winter and people are just starting to look out at thier yards, "Yikes" It will get better maybe not making a living the first year but I can tell you the second year gets not only a whole lot better but a whole lot more hectic. Keep plugging away!

    Good Luck
    Rhett
     
  3. crs

    crs LawnSite Member
    Posts: 121

    Hang in there buddy. Be patient, sometimes it may take a little time to get established.

    One thing you can do is just stop at poorly maintained properties and talk to the owner or manager. Be sure you present yourself well and deliver more than you promise. It takes a while to build a reputaion.

    Get some singage for your truck and or trailer and drive them through the neighborhoods you want work in when you are out running errands or going to other clients.

    Work on a saturday. That sounds strange but almost everytime we work a saturday someone comes up and wants an estimate for some work.

    Really blanket the areas where you have customers now. If they see quality work at your current propeties they may use your service.

    Good luck ...If I think of something else I will let you know.
     
  4. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    Hey Jarrells, sorry to hear you are having a hard time. I think almost everybody struggles with the same thing when they are starting out. This is only your first year, you've got to give it some time. I remember starting out and being in the same boat, it was very depressing.
    I got a job with a swimming pool company doing services, vaccuming, repairs, openings, and closings. I only needed one day to do my lawn accounts. I learned a lot from the owner of the company, he liked to talk and I just listened. I found out he had struggled also when he was starting out, he would say "those were dark days, man"
    He was in his 18th year when I started working for him, and was making well over 100k per year, owned several rental properties, and had a beautiful home in a nice neighborhood. He is about 45 years old now and retired. We're still friends and talk often.

    The bottom line is that you cannot succeed in anything if you don't stick with it. Good luck to you.
     
  5. thartz

    thartz LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 486

    You'll be okay.More than I few of us have started the same way.Read a lot of LGF and get inspired!!!!!!!!
     
  6. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    The guys above gave you sound advice. My bizis only 2 years old and growing...but....this spring the phone has been very quiet...even more quiet than in the first year. I run a more expensive ad in a local weekly paper. There is only one other ad like it...and still almost no calls the past month...Nearly all of my work now comes from referral. But that wont help you will it....you must make yourself stand out from all the "JOE's MOW AND GO...WILL BEAT ANY COMPETITORS PRICE"...you must give people a reason to call you...if your ad says something like..."Bills Lawn Service...mowing, mulching, trimming..free estimates, low prices"...then your ad is just like the 25 in front of it and 25 behind it in the paper. Are you about quality? high value for dollars spent? "guaranteed results", can you do other landscaping tasks?? If not then learn a few...because I swear I see more Sears mowers on 8 ft trailers pulled by a Ford Ranger...allot of these guys are mowing $35 lawns for $15 and some are right now reading this post as you are. I would not want to start in this biz today as a mow only company. I have to be honest and say this...I'm sure some guys here will strongly disagree...you are going to starve if you dont offer more than mowing in this economic climate. Too many yahoos who yesterday drove a forklift and today are laid off and now start a lawn biz....again, what can you say and DO that will give people a reason to call you, keep you, and refer you and separates you from the masses of mower people. It will take time...maybe get a full time job...no matter how menial and do this start up on the side. Many Many successful guys here on this site know exactly how you feel...many of them almost threw in the towel on more than one occasion. If you want it bad enough, you will find a way to make it work. Dont give up if you want it
     
  7. LakeSide Lawn and Landscape

    LakeSide Lawn and Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 337

    Hang in there buddy things will get better
     
  8. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    Like the others said, dont' give up. I did 700 fliers and got very little response for a while then they slowly started coming in alittle late I thought. I also put an ad in the paper along with at least 6 other companies. I have gotten 5 new customers and possibly another 2 as of today. It seems like I'm catching the stragglers and latecomers more than anything, alot of the yards were overgrown when I got them LOL. A quick double cut with double blades and it looks beautiful. Can you keep your equipment and do it part time and get a full time job? Name recognition plays a major role I am convinced. Try to stick it out for a while if you can, it will eventually get better. Also always answer your phone and respond to messages as quick as possible and get there to give estimates quickly also! I can't stress that enough, thats a big problem around here that LCO's never answer the phone and are slow to respond and give estimates. Be as friendly and professional as possible, that has payed off too. I would say do some more fliers if you can.
    Best of luck!
    Eric
     
  9. thartz

    thartz LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 486

    Jarrells74;I lived in Akron so here's how I did it.Go for the high end of town.Start there(I know the Tiger men have money) and start offering services there.I used Goodyear as my starting point.You get one excutive and boom the phone will be off the hook.Do good work;be neat and carry yourself like you have some sense,they will give you a chance.Be respective of your prices and don't take everything that comes along.Good Luck and e-mail me if you need some contacts.
     
  10. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,048

    Jarrells,

    No one gets much their first year. Try and talk to as many people as you can. Talk to real estate people...they have empty houses needing to be looked after. Mention it to everyone you meet, at the bank, post office, while out eating or getting groceries. Networking this way will allow others to give you someones name that needs your service. If you dont talk about it they will never know.

    Plus I dont see how you can be thinking sell, when you havent even tried this very long.

    Just stick it out this year. It will work out, but you have to be willing to stay with it. Thats the only way it will work.

    Remember quitters never win, but winners never quit!
     

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