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Second Year Lessons Learned

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Shane7258, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. Shane7258

    Shane7258 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    Can't believe it is the start to year two. I have recieved and called myself all of last years accounts plus I've added quite a few more. They came by Word of mouth the most and some advertising. Lessons learned
    A. Be a better salesman when quoting prices
    how can you do this? Get a book on sales and let me say it is all in the verbage for example. When you greet someone... How are yall doing...wow you've got a nice size yard and go from there what does that do it gets them thinking higher in price because they know the yard is really bigger than what they want to pay for and it allows them to pay more..

    B. Deal with idiots better and get time hackers off of my to do list. Idiots who always say something stupid about the yard and expect you to be there all day for 50 bucks.

    C. Gas costs money charge for it.

    I learned that a 48 inch deck is to big for my area and I need a 42 and I am looking at a Mini Z by hustler

    Try not to bag anybodys yard period and if you do charge for it

    And lastly but most importantly NUMBERS NEVER LIE

    Hope this helps I hope to get into the 40,000 bracket after overhead this year
  2. Landscape25

    Landscape25 LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 199

    I started my second year in Oct. but no lawn service. That is so true about the numbers though. I am finally starting to get a grip on true numbers although I still have not been to good about calculating things like estimate time and have not calculated book/numbers time at all. I intend to pay myself this year quarterly, although not as much as I would like since I don't have enough business to really cover my overhead and make a profit. It is really kind of fun learning though. I could use a sales book for sure but would probably forget what it said when I got to the property, I still get a little nervous, but I am sure that passes with more and more estimates. Congratulations on making it to your second year.
  3. Green-Cuts

    Green-Cuts LawnSite Member
    Posts: 154


    How much would you charge for baging? Most of the other LCO's bag around here and I personally do not want to do it but will do it to make sure the lawn looks good. I have heard that $5.00 for a bag is good.
  4. 2 clowns mowing

    2 clowns mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 566

    starting my second year april 8th, did well last year did 60 yards a week. then over winter plowed snow and did tree work. delivered over 1000 flyers have little responce but it's still cold here. my brother-in-law is helping me this year. used a 48" ferris last year. buying a 60" and a 42" this year. set my customers up on prepaid programs which work very well. :)
  5. chriscraft

    chriscraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 390

    we dont bag unells its absoultely isisted upon . We charge 2.00 per bag (compost bag) plus 2.00 per bag if we have to haul to dump. Its still to cheap
  6. Green-Cuts

    Green-Cuts LawnSite Member
    Posts: 154


    What is a compost bag? Can you drop off bags of grass at most landfills?

  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    You mean, 5 dollars per every time you empty the bag or 5 dollars for the whole yard?

    Reason I ask is I don't bag because:
    - 5 dollars for the whole yard isn't worth it when it takes me twice as long just to cut the grass.
    - 5 dollars / bag might be a bit much (my bag is smallish) but then 15 dollars / yard for a 30-35 dollar yard wouldn't be that far off... My problem is I don't see many folks willing to pay 45-50 for this and then they want it hauled off which means it's still too cheap.

    It is for this reason I removed the hardware from my machine that makes this possible.
    For the most part, I just act like I can't do it but if I have to, I'll throw the bag away next (it stays underneath the house because it does raise the value of the machine come time to sell it).
    I figure they didn't call these mowers 'recyclers' for no reason, I truly believe the Toro commercial Walk-behind was never designed to bag, thou it does come as an accessory (300 dollars for a bagging system to boot).
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    #1-Lesson you should have learned is not to think of any of your customers as "Idiots".They can see it in your eyes and read it on your face.It's a bad habit to get into and bad business to think or speak of your customers in such a derogatory manner.
  9. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Posts: 867

    It is my 3rd year in business and I have also learned a few things I can share.
    -First, keep good records. A Dome accounting log book is a great way to do this when you are small time. It is easy, you just have to be disciplined about putting your numbers in every day.
    -Second, always keep looking for ways to to become more efficient. Keep your routes tight, and don't waste your time doing lawns you don't make any money on.
    -Always do great work. It is a direct reflection on your company and yourself.
    -Find yourself a niche. There are a lot of companies cutting grass. You have to find a way to make yourself stand out from the rest. Only you can decide how to do this.
    -Never stop learning. Be an information junkie. Become the expert at what you do.
    -I have learned a tremendous amount from all the people here on Lawnsite. Stay tuned, it is a great resource.
    Good luck this year, everyone!
  10. Shane7258

    Shane7258 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    How to avoid bagging a yard remember we have to be salesman. If you're not running a walker mower that always bags for the most part here is a technique

    Try to let them know like this Ok Great, so I will mulch the front and back... pause and wait for a response 9 out of ten they will agree.. the one will say well I want it bagged... then lead in with this Is there an area in your back yard that I can put the clippings now you will get some that will sya yeah right over there and there will be some that say I A. want it bagged and ask him can you leave it for the trash man or he will tell you he wants you to hall it.
    Bagged and dumbed on their property 5
    Bagged and bagged for the trash 10
    bagged and hauled 15
    On reasonable yards bump the prices according to size
    Some will change their mind and go with the mulch or dumpped on property

    Someone had the right idea don't spend time on accounts that are idiots drop them for example I got ripped off on a yard for 50 bucks for 5 hours and the man was a nice guy but was a butt hole. If there was one blade of grass out of a million turned the other way he wouold say something but he failed to realize he had bermuda, st augustines, centapeod and someother grasses all mixed to gether he was and is an idiot and I don't and would never service someone like him again.

    People forget like when they buy cars we have to make an honest living and the margins of profit are so small we can not waste time on idiots not every one is an idiot but they are out there

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