New company support group

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Howard Roark, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 805

    Just thought I'd start a thread for new companies who just started this year to give a little motivation and encouragement. I'll start:

    Got my truck and "donated" my mower and blower to the business this year. Bought a new Shindaiwa trimmer with speed feed head (awesome BTW!) and got 500 4 X 6 postcars printed up. Passed out all 500 in about 6 hrs, with another 500 passed out the week after. Total regular customers are up to 8, with 2 weekly and the rest bi-weekly. 5 other one time jobs with hopes of landing bi-weekly on them. All this in about 2 1/2 weeks time, with more postcards going out 3-4 times a week.

    My overall thoughts are it's going even better than I thought, and my goal is to be upto 50 lawns by the end of May. Considering the response rate, I don't see this a problem at all. I'd love to hear from other LCO's just starting up and your approach and what you've learned.

    Thanks to justmowit for the great tips!

    Good luck to all and have a great season! :)
     
  2. tjgray

    tjgray LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    Hello Neighbor :)

    This is our second year in operation. We mainly concentrate on chemical application as that has been my husbands employment for the last 15 years and what he has the most experience in but have found ourselves doing more and more landscaping here lately as demand has increased and equipment has been acquired :D

    It's just us right now.....My husband has the green industry knowledge, I have the business degree and marketing knowledge and we have a seventeen year old son for extra labor.

    We started last year in May *it took us that long to get all the license, testing, and insurance together* and kept ourselves super busy with sub-contract work and growing our customer base with word of mouth and flyers designed and printed by me. We ended the year with 20 monthly customers.

    This year I see absolutely no reason why we can't triple those figures as we started in February and are super busy right now. We have been working dawn to dusk six days a week and are loving that the days are getting longer.

    Daylight savings time is just around the corner payup
     
  3. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    you may or may not get much support here, some people think just because your new, you must be lowballer, or are here to infringe on thee territory, but others are really nice an helpful...

    I'm 42 was in the marines, worked lawncare and maint for companies , then went to college, bachelors degree in art and minor in business management... Have been managing a printing company, but they are closing, so I'm doing this, lots of experience just have to get it done... its my first year and I'm having fun just getting ready for the season... life is good today.... :cool:
     
  4. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 805

    Great to see some replies!
    Yes there are a lot of insecurites regarding new comers and assumptions of low balling, so at least we can support each other. As far as I'm concerned there is NO competition, only creation.

    6 more accounts landed in the past 2 days, and you're right tjgray daylight savings is coming soon!

    Best wishes to all, go out and make things happen!

    :D
     
  5. touhey33

    touhey33 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773

    This is my first year too. I have landed 2 weekly mows, just through an American Classified ad, also landed a dethatching aeration job which paid 385, and might get a weekly mow out of that, also have a mulch and plant install that will pay around 200-250. Things are slow here right now in Indiana, as weather is just now starting to change. I have 2,000 post it note flyers ready to go out, and hope things will pick up soon. I originally wanted about 40-50 weekly accounts, but now am hoping to get around 25 I hope I can get there!!! Good Luck to everyone!!!
     
  6. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    its snowing as i speak..... but will be gone in the am.

    been in my shop working on a trimmer...

    i have 5000 flyers out this week , hope to see some return after the holiday....hit all the grocery stors and local bulitin boards

    going door to door next weekend after the holiday... it seems the resurch here shows the personal touch at the door on sunday helps.... im in then............

    life is good
     
  7. CWilliams

    CWilliams LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    Will you share your post card with us? We have sent out about 600 post cards in the last week. No response yet. I'd love to see how you are getting everyone's attention.
     
  8. DGM

    DGM LawnSite Member
    from Ga.
    Posts: 154

    Just passing along some knowledge. What I did in my first yrs that really helped increase my business. I wanted a mix of commercial and residential clients. For Commercial nothing is better than dressing professional, acting/speaking professional and going in there and talking to the manager sell him on what you can do for his property. (you will get alot of NO's but you will get some "yes please give me a bid")

    As far as residential one thing that worked great is to used the best advertising method possible "word of mouth" and use your existing clients to do that for you, offer them a discount/credit (example $5) for every customer that signs up for a 1 yr contract with you that they referred.
     
  9. lazerslicer05

    lazerslicer05 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    Hey I'm going on my third year in bus and my first year I had about 15-20 accts, in my second year I went up to almost Fifty, Now coming up on my third year im hoping to get up to around 60 -65. I do all the work myselfm which becomes rather tiring towards the middle of the season, but seeing the money flow makes me very happy. My question to u is where r u putting the post cards at i have put oput flyers in news paper boxes and have had little response. My ad in the paper is where i get most of my accts with alot of help from word of moouth. I have just about gave up on flyers so i was going to try to put magnetic bus cards on doors or metal mail boxes, but your post card thing caught my eye so could u tell me where do u put them?
     
  10. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 805

    I put postcards between people's front doors and their weatherstripping. The card fits in perfectly, you can put it at eye level, and best of all you don't have to pay extra for die cutting a door hanger. I've been using Vitaprint.com and getting 4 x 6 postcards, but I'm always looking to cut costs and places like postcard warehouse may be my next place of business. Lawnsite is a gold mine of information if you just do your research. And hats off to companies like Justmowit who not only came up with a great business plan, but shared the whole thing with everyone on here, even their competitors in their area! Operate in confidence NOT fear, be grateful for what you have a realize there is and will always be enough for everyone to go around.

    Just their recommendation of prices on the postcards with no estimates has saved me a huge amount of time (time I don't have these days!). I used door hangers last year and paid a heavy price on printing and die cutting to do so. I put out about 200 with a partner, got about 3 lawns and ended up hurting my back. Blessing in disguise as I really never wanted a partner in the first place as I work much better alone. This year I have over 1000 cards out already with 650 going out tomorrow, and 13 regulars landed. I pick up my trailer tomorrow, I'm ordering 10,000 more cards and see no end in sight!
    Hope this helps, I'll do my best to upload my postcard for all to see as I'm new at this!
     

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