Hello! I am 20 years old and am currently in the process of starting my business, Hart Lawn & Landscape Co. Where do I start? My only equipment is as follows: -2004 Bobcat 52" ZTR Rider -Cub Cadet "Commercial" Straight shaft weed eater -Craftsman 200 MPH blower -Numerous seeders/spreaders/shovels/rakes and a few small (21" cut) push mowers. I realize this isn't exactly the optimal equipment to start with, however, I have read countless times NOT to invest in equipment until you actually have to need to purchase. My plan is to go door to door throughout neigborhoods hanging door tags and handing out business cards. I plan to speak with everyone I can. I am handling this business in an extremely professional manner. I have a service contract (Which I would like comments/criticisms on if anyone cares to look at it) I plan on tackling as many residential customers as possible. I have NO experience whatsoever as far as bidding is concerned on commercial properties, however, I would really like to secure some commercial contracts (Do you sign a service agreement with a business?) I intend to have a "personal-friendly touch" in my business, especially towards valuable residential clients. I believe it helps secure long-term and successful relationships with customers. I am the type who will send Christmas cards to residential customers - - - "Happy Holidays from your friends at Hart Lawn & Landscape" I intend to keep prices reasonable, however, I am NOT going to "Lowball" anything. Its not worth it in the long run, nor is it worth my time. When someone brings up my price is to high, I will kindly respond with "As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. If you want professional, dependable lawn service from an insured, experienced company, choose us. If you'd rather have a fly-by-night guy cut your lawn, go for it. 'Cheaper' isn't exactly synonomous with 'Better'. Here is a picture of my business card: Once things are somewhat up and running, I'd like to get more equipment (Like a quality 36" WB.....say eXmark or something along those lines?) What is THE BEST way to get your name out and attract business? I am going to do the old fashioned door to door, but I would also like something economical that will really make the phone ring off the hook. As part of a test, I called all of the LCO's that have a classified ad in the newspaper and pretended to be a newspaper employee doing a survey on how well their ad was doing for them. The replies were unanimous...the small classifieds don't do a damn thing. I have also heard advertising in the phone book is a waste of money. I am treating this like a car salesman would...I will be carrying business cards with me 24/7 and any chance I get to promote my business, I will. Another key element of my plan is UPSELLING. By getting some residential clients, I can potentially upsell mulching, aerating, landscaping, spring/fall cleanups, small decorative ponds (My personal specialty interest), overseeding, hedge trimming, and numerous other jobs. I can also get their winter business by clearing the snow off their drives. When do you guys usually start going out and "getting the business"? When is the deadline before most people already have someone to maintain their lawn? My slogan is intended to be personal and it is also intended to allure potential clients into thinking that Hart Lawn & Landscape is PROFESSIONAL (Which, like I said earlier, I intend to be extremely professional) My main slogan is "YOUR PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE CREW" The slogan serves yet another purpose- to make potential clients feel as if they are of a higher class (Bad way to word it) because they are contracting a "professional crew" to maintain their premises. A secondary slogan is "HART LAWN & LANDSCAPE - TAKING LAWN MAINTENANCE TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL" I want to "register" this business as an LLC. This is where I get lost. How do I go about making my company "official" (With the government, IRS, ect.). As far as the city and county is concerned, I am fairly certain I don't need a license or any other form of "registration," but I know I have to somehow become official with state and federal govt. This is the part where I really need direction. Any suggestive comments or criticisms are more than welcome and all help is GREATLY appreciated.