need direction

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by turfjunkey, Feb 7, 2002.

  1. turfjunkey

    turfjunkey LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Need to make a good business plan what would be a good first year to long term business plan.I currentlyhave about 20 accounts had them now for about ten years my fultime job is about to lay-me off march4 love to mow grass would love to make it full-time i am married and have 3 young kids need to make some cash flow i just basically need some direction if any of you remember your first year in the business and what you did to help make your business what it is today i would sure appreciate it any tips from the pros would be great
     
  2. DMS

    DMS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    Turfjunkey-

    Sorry to hear about the job. I started the business in '96 to supplement my summer job income and also help pay for college. I started with three accounts. I quickly went out and put up flyers (low cost) anywhere that would allow me. I also took an ad out in the local paper for about $40/ad. I only had to do this a few times and the customers started rolling in. Once you have a base, the best way to build off of that is by word of mouth. If you do a good job, your customers will talk, and you will get a lot of referral business. My mother taught me that if you are going to do something, do it 100% or don't do it at all and I have stuck to that philosophy and its paid off. I graduated from college last year and I currently am maintaining 70+ customers. Seventy doesn't sound like a lot, but I am a full-time firefighter and that is all I have time for. I also have had 70+ since '99. Another tip would be to get equipment that is right for what you are trying to do. Personally, I prefer ZTR's vs. tractors because they reduce your time by at least 40% and make the business more efficient. Also get a trailer that is big enough. I made that mistake three years ago when I bought a 12-footer, I should have spent the extra money and did it right the first time and went with at least a 16-footer. One final piece of advice would be to lay out your game plan: strategy, target market (residential, farm, commercial, etc.), budget, and goals on a piece of paper and stick to it. This will give you something to refer to at later date and you can chart your progress as you grow.

    Good luck and I hope this helps,

    DMS
     
  3. Especially the part about doing it 100%

    I went thru what you're experiencing in '83 when I was about your age.
    3 kids, job disappears. Best thing that happened to me!

    Good luck to you. You at least have lawnsite to ask questions on what you need to know.

    Dave
     
  4. Craig Turf Management

    Craig Turf Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 354

    turfjunkey,

    Here's a start. www.sba.gov

    There's a ton of useful information for start up businesse.
    Good luck' Bill Craig!
     
  5. PAPS

    PAPS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 404

    Don't start out spending a ton on all this new equip. There is no reason why you cannot handle those accounts or say up to like 40 accts. with a simple 48'' hydro walk behind. Dont go out spending a ton on ZTR to handle 40 -50 accts. As you grow.. buy a few more items... don't over extend yourself.
    Also, I would suggest staying a solo operation. Break up the accounts a few a day and take on small side jobs to fill in.
     

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