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Mowing only to start

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by JohnnyCuts, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. JohnnyCuts

    JohnnyCuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from iowa
    Posts: 256

    I've had a small residential roofing biz for the last 10 years or so. After helping another guy push snow in the winter the last couple of years I ventured out and picked up 35 or so residential clients. Some of these clients are now asking if we do mowing, and that brought me here. The guys at Plowsite were a goldmine of info to help me startup the snow removal, as are you guys with lawncare.

    One of the main reasons I am entertaining a mowing biz is I have a hard time getting my help full time hours with my roofing biz because of weather and because I wear all the hats as owner/operator. I therefore have a hard time keeping good help. Having a full day of mowing accounts could help solve some problems for me and add income.

    My snow removal buisness is very similar to some of the mowing only operations I've read about here (Justmowit, DFW, etc). I passed out 1000 doorknob hangers with written prices on them. When they called they were ready to sign up, we just had to go over the particulars. After 7 snow events I still havent met half my clients. I have two snow blowers, 2 scoops, a bucket and a bunch of ice melt in the back of my truck that I take on my route. On the average snow with two guys we average around 4 accounts an hour, and do 30-36 accounts. We leave a bill on the door when we're done (love the bill the credit card the next day idea).

    Anyway running a similar mowing operation dosen't seem too far fetched. After a week or so of research here this is what I've come up with:

    -learn as much as I can about lawn maintenance between now and the season

    -do market research to learn the going rate for mowing in my target area

    -hand out enough flyers in my target area to get 20-30 accounts (3000?). Only hand them out in a designated area to make sure I keep a tight route. The flyers would have a price schedule on them and advertise mowing only. Prices will be on the lower end of the spectrum because I wont be providing a premium service. Just cut, trim, blow weekly and mulch everything.

    -have a very specific set of FAQ's that will explain exactly what my service will provide and how things will work to lower questions/calls and streamline the process.

    -run the route out of the back of a truck. This is the equip. I'm thinking of to handle residences with smaller yards (20k sq ft lot or less). Quick 36, cheap 21 push, blower, trimmer, edger. I'm considering using my personal equip (smaller JD rider) for the first month and using mowing income to upgrade.

    -provide good customer service as far as answering phone, being there when I say I will, responding quickly to complaints etc, without going outside the parameters of mowing only.

    If I'm free to do the work I'll do it. If I can have a helper do it, he will, or we'll do it together. If we're swamped with roofing my wife can do it..?

    Anway thats most of what I'm thinking so far. Any help or suggestions with my plan so far?
  2. mowman25

    mowman25 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Sounds like you've got a good plan. Don't buy any cheap handhelds. Go with commercial grade (I run nothing but Echo) stuff or youll be hating life after 2 to 3 months.

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