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starting out this spring

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by mikey, Jan 18, 2002.

  1. mikey

    mikey LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    i am starting out this spring ..any advice?im very nervous cuz im getting married in june im afraid i might nit make any $$$
    etc. i am a very hard worker and im very aggressive ...when should i begin my advertising?fliers/cards adds etc.?Should i just start out doing clean uos and lawns then build from there?Also what do u reccommend for the best form of advertising aside from word of mouth..fliers?

    god speed
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    My first piece of advice is.... You are not starting out in the spring.... You are starting out NOW.

    If you are nervous about starting out, you have good reason to be. How much thought have you put into this venture? Do you have a business plan? What is your marketing strategies?
    What equipment do you have? Do you know your overhead costs? No one can tell you what to charge for a clean-up, to cut a lawn, etc... You have to figure out what your costs are first, so you can know how to price. You need to figure this out now before you jump into this.

    I can tell you this though. People that care about their lawns are already starting to think about their lawn service. We got two calls this week. They started out by saying, "I know I'm calling early, but I want to find my lawn service before the spring."

    If you have truly given this a lot of thought, then you better get your name out there. A lot of people on this forum say they use fliers. Lay them heavy so you can get some customers. Do good work, and you will get more customers from referrals.

    You can also learn some by reading this forum. Lots of reading, but you will come away with some good advice.

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Posts: 665

    I say get a full time job (doing something else)and start the lawncare thing part time. Buy nice equipment and pay it off.Build up a customer base slowly, gaining skills and buisiness savy.
    It may take a few years of working 60 hrs a week, but you will have less of a risk of failure. Good luck!!!
  4. Green Care

    Green Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 530

    NOW!!!!!!!!!!What are you nervous
    about the BIG L or M!!
  5. corban

    corban LawnSite Member
    from K.C. Mo
    Posts: 49

    I say you should definitly go out and get some contracts. See how many you can get, how much money you would make, and buy the equipment necessary. I would agree that another job at the same time would be the safe way to go. Try to find some big commercial jobs and look like you know what you're doing. Make some business cards and letterheads for submitting proposals. Find out how much businesses are paying their current mowers. If they aren't pleased with who they have, offer a lower bid. You can't be too demanding or choosey when you're new. I would say though, that starting a mowing business takes quite a bit of time and money. If you have a new wife, you need to be careful where your time is being invested. God speed.
  6. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    Just wondering---have you worked in lawn maintenance for someone else? And I don't mean mowing your grandmother's lawn. Have you put together a business plan? Hopefully you have an idea about the list of services that you will need to offer to keep clients loyal. IF any of these thoughts make you uneasy--start doing intensive research now. Read this forum, look at the trade mags, go to several equipment dealers and ask questions. No doubt there is plenty of competition in your area so you need to have an idea of what you are doing and how to do it professionally or you may have a disillusioned bride rather quickly. If you don't already have some industry experience, going after large commercial jobs is not particularly wise at this time.
  7. mikey

    mikey LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    what happened was i got layed off from my job and said to myself
    what the hell let me place an add in my local community newspaper and see what happens...what happened from this little tiny add after the 2nd week i got a total of id say...actulally
    a]i advertised every 4 weeks so i went from august til late november placing aroun4 line adds which was a total of around
    12 weeks...Anyway i probably recieved a total of about 25-30
    calls mostly for leave clean ups where i made very good $$$
    for each job sometimes i underbid myself cuz i was learning how to bid. at the time..i used to blow a ton of leaves into a pile and then i had to friggin bag them and make a couple of trips to thje dump..i jammed them all into a 94 explorer?So i made some ok $$$ and was pretty busy there were some jobs i had to turn down cuz they were to far away and i hated bagging 40 bags of leaves i was killin myself cuz i had no vacuum or dump truck to put them in..i am think in if buyin a f350 82 with a dump and plow for short $$$ to start up all my equipment is paid for andthe truck
    will be paid for so to start up ill have very little overhead
    but im just alittle scared cuz basically all i know how to do it mow,
    clean leaves and lay mulch and do spring clean ups i dont know how to lay sod or seed but i have an idea...any advice should i open up my small co. or what?
  8. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 509


    I am right along with you. I am starting an LCO on a shoestring and have a good basic knowledge.

    Advice... read..read..read... This site is a wealth of info (and yes there is some bs here as well). I am banking on reading, asking for help and trusting my instincts.

    Good Luck.


    Here we go Steelers, here we go..
  9. Bman

    Bman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    You should begin your advertising yesterday. Word of mouth will bring you tons of business but advertise also (newspaper, fliers, internet). Find a feeder--some one who brings you business, and do quality work.

    Troy Bman
  10. TurfGuyTX

    TurfGuyTX LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Posts: 648

    Good luck to all you newbies.

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