New Looking for Help!!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by elite4422, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. elite4422

    elite4422 LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 14

    I'm new to the forum and also in the process of starting a small lawn care business in Atlanta. If there are any guys out there who are working in the Atlanta area I would love to hear from you and get any tip, thoughts, or advice about how to be successfull. I really would like to slowly grow my business the right way. I'm looking to get maybe 20 new customers this season. If you can help please let me know.

    Thanks
     
  2. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Gold Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 3,864

    I just started last June on the side. What I can tell you is this market is flooded with lawn care companies. I never really paid to much attention to it until I started to do it myself. There are alot of lowballers out there for sure.
    Because I just started my customers are spread out so I have to drive alittle between services. Most of the time when Im driving I will pass 15 to 20 other LCOs from one customer to the other customer and thats in 4 or 5 miles.

    And then see a couple more in the neighborhoods that Iam in. I started late in the season so I did not expect to get alot of business but I put out about 1000 flyers and business cards. I went on about 30 estimates and I picked up a few customers last year. Just about everyone I talked to said the last guy did it for $20 or $25 dollars.

    These where 1/2 acre to 3/4 acre properties. My neighbor has a 3/4 acre property and the guy that cuts it does it for $25 dollars every other wk. Most of the people want it done everyother week so that they can save a few bucks but they dont realize that it is not good for there lawn during heavy growing periods. They want you to come every 2 wks when its 6 inches high and cut it for $25 bucks. When you tell them its not healthy to cut more than 1/3 of the leaf off at one time they say just cut it short. Then it turns brown and its your fault.

    I try to target neiborhoods that I think can afford the service but they are all the same. If you go into the really high dollar neighborhoods you have to compete with a million other guys. Those are usually done by bigger outfits that can put 4 guys on a property and knock it out in 15 or 20 mins for $30 or $40 dollars. It would take a one man operation 45 min to an hour busting your a$$ just to cut the lawn,trim edge and blow.

    Not to mention that that includes fert and weed control and hedge trimming included in that price. I dont want to sound negative but that is reality. Everybody and his brother is out there doing it. Not to mention the million illegal mexicans. I have insurance 1,000,000 cost $650 a year. I have a ZTR Hustler $8000.00 and a Hydro walk $4000.00 not to mention a trailer and all the other tools you need. I bought quickbooks pro and I have to pay for an accountant.

    Iam trying to get my pesticide license right now. I sent for the info and Iam studying for it. I have my business license, I want to be a legit business. But there are a lot of guys out there that are not. I want to learn as much as I can so that I can provide a quality service not just cut grass. I have never worked in this industry before so I have to teach mysesf. I have bought a bunch of books and I have learned alot from the experienced businessmen on this site.

    Sorry to ramble on but I hope that I can pick up a few more customers this year that can afford the service and start to grow some this year. If I can help you with anything just ask. Thats what this place is all about. If I cant help, someone with more experience sure can. I just thought I would let you know what to expect when you start.

    Hope I helped alittle.

    Dave...
     
  3. elite4422

    elite4422 LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 14

    I was getting the same kind of feeling as I drive around town. I want to be a success also but it seems like there are a million of the guys driving around. I have my business license also, and I have just spoke to someone about getting a pesticide license. Where did you find the study materials for the test I can't seem to find any? And what part of Atlanta do you work in? Do you have any suggestions about how I can pick up a few more customers? I plan to put out flyers next week.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  4. okeefl

    okeefl LawnSite Member
    Posts: 155

    Elite 4422

    "....about getting a pesticide license. Where did you find the study materials for the test I can't seem to find any? "

    Check on the pesticide forum at the top. There is a Sticky with links to each State...good luck
     
  5. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Gold Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 3,864

    I live in forsyth county. As far as the pesticide license you have to go to georgia.gov website. Click on the department of agriculture links and you can print a form to send out with a check for the study materials. You need the general standards guide $15 and the ornamental and turf $25. This year you can take the test online for $65. As far as getting customers Im still trying to figure out what is best. But I know you need to do alot of advertising.

    What part of Atlanta do you live in?

    Dave...
     
  6. elite4422

    elite4422 LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 14

    Thanks Dave for all your help! I live in the Decatur/Stone Mountain area, but I would like to do business in the Jonesboro area. I feel that it will take me a while but I'm up for the challenge. I'm also attending a class for people interested in starting a lawn care business next week. It's sponsored by a local equipment dealer, I'll let you know how it goes.

    Here is my email address: elite4422@gmail.com, hope to talk to you soon.
    Joe
     
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    May I suggest taking the next few weeks, while the season is still slow, and spending a few hours each day reading through the posts here on lawn site?

    Because there exist literally millions of posts within another tens of thousands of topics here, all of the information you need has been discussed at least a dozen times over and you can learn everything you need to know and more.

    I think it would likely boost your current experience by a factor of 3 to 4 or even more, this site rules and I think it would be time well spent.

    Good luck.
     
  8. elite4422

    elite4422 LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 14

    Thanks topsite, I'm starting to explore now and I didn't know that there was such a wealth of information.
     

Share This Page