projected midwest start week??/Should I cancel spring break?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by JeffW0011, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. JeffW0011

    JeffW0011 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    A couple questions here. Assuming you have put yourself in a decent position with advertising and image in a given marketplace(mine being a fairly large and fairly affluent one) when does your phone really start ringing?? If you don't have a lot of customers the first real week of the season are you in for a slow year? Or do calls trickle in or come in steady??? How was it your first years?? Do a lot of people (customers) start off all gung ho thinking "I'm going to scimp on the lawn guy this summer....that's something I can do myself and save all that cash", and then about middle of May they have had it, tired of spending half the weekend messing with the lawns...maybe a few rainy weekends have put them under.... so bottom line question is...after you make your first big advertising push of the year, should you expect a quick and decent response (best response of the year) or is the guy who just keeps chipping away with a little more advertising every week in the right places going to end up where he wants to be?

    Also any veterans in the midwest, specifically central Indiana, or similar climate and condition area have any solid predictions on when the big week will be. I mean a few early cuts or spring cleanups withstanding, when will that week be that everyone starts heavy cutting and all the customers realize this is the week I have to make a move.

    Dates in question March 29th-April 9thI am extremely concerned about this because I am going on vacation the first week of April....I know, I know....I can hear some of you veterans thinking what a friggin moron....guy's trying to start a business and worried about taking a vacation....All I can say in my defense is we have had these reservations for a year. I only started thinking about starting this business last fall. At the first of the year I was certain I was starting this but at the time was planning something more part-time with a smaller investment and not nearly as an aggresive marketing strategy as I now plan. A few months ago I made the decision to really go all in with this. I realize that my decision would require immense sacrifice to be successful. As such I am prepared to drive the family down to Florida. Hang out for the weekend, fly home, work all week and then fly back and drive them straight home. Obviously, that is not my first choice and it definetly is not my wife's first choice. I realize the days of two week summer vacations are all but over. I realize Christmas break is going to become our family vacation time....But I got prepaid non refundable reservations here....

    should I say screw it and take a "last vacation"?

    If I don't go or come home early am I going to be staring at the phone all week??

    Should I delay my major advertising push until I return??

    Should I level with my customers and potential customers that I am on vacation and will be back and fully ready to work or estimate on April 9th?

    Or am i worried about nothing??

    Will we be cutting in Indiana the first week of April?

    As always...thanks for all the excellent advice in advance......
     
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,138

    Take your vacation!
     
  3. cks dad

    cks dad LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    Here in Ohio we really dont get going on the mowing until the second week of april
    .Depending on weather of course.I have been doing this for five years now and it seems we always have snow fall first week of aprilhere.If you are that worried about it get someone you can trust to do it for you while you are gone.Take the vac while you can and enjoy it with your family while you can
     
  4. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 753

    Jeff ... which "burbs" of Indy? I'm west myself.

    Have a great vacation .... enjoy the kids .. they grow up fast.
     
  5. JeffW0011

    JeffW0011 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    Thanks guys!! I figured I was stressing over nothing...It sure is nerve wracking starting your own business.

    Prestige...I am on the far southside, I live in the Center Grove area. CG, Greenwood, Bargersville and far south Indy is my service area. I am really targeting the Center Grove/Bargersville area...the development down here is unreal...One upscale neighborhood after another and lots of new commercial properties to support these peoples needs. One day it will stretch from Indy all the way to Brown County....just one big sprawl of suburbia....there is so much to go around down here.
    I have seen you on the board here for a while and read a lot about your posts and have asked around town a little about you. I was going to approach you soon and see if we could talk. I was hoping maybe you could help me a little. Can I e-mail you my number or something. There are some matters I would like to discuss with you.
    Thanks,
    Jeff
     
  6. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 753

    Jeff ...

    You should have a PM from me ....

    Dave
     
  7. Ric3077

    Ric3077 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,113

    Here in MO my phone has been blowing up with calls...I wouldn't even have time for a 2 hour vacation...I have been working 7 days a week for a couple weeks now.
     
  8. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    Just checked computer invoices for last year and we started mowing everyone on 4-4-06. This year were starting next week since the grass on some yards is starting to grow and getting long in places. I run an ad in the local paper every year and run it from March 9th to April 9th and send out direct mail every quarter starting in Feb I also have ads in every phone book in are area. I recieve calls all year long for mowing some from people who move into the area and some who are just fed up with mowing or the mowing company they have. You should start getting calls soon since its getting warmer out and its been a wet year.
     
  9. Ric3077

    Ric3077 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,113


    Yea a REAL wet year! :cry:
     

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