hi ryan, no ironworking, full time grounds mntc. currently setting up to offer window cleaning service. lawn signs from vista print work great. treat every job as an advertisement, put your signs out and try to get all the calls first. when u want something and you get a voicemail it sucks dosnt it !!!!
I advertised in about a radius of 40 min driving time from my home. my longest trip for work being about 24 mins tops. I am currently just shy of my 18th birthday and awaiting reply from universities and hoping to get my Bachelors in Landscape Architecture from Guelph U. I have never had anyone look down on my JD in any respect really. The only time I can think of where it may have been an issue was with a local realestate agent who had more money than she knew what to do with but offered me 70 for three properties. I quoted more than she offered, but eventually decided to atleast try out the lot to see if it was worth it. Her expectations were so unrealistically high that I dropped her. She wanted an acre and change mowed trimmed bagged blown and taken away plus another section of property that was maybe .2 acre done the same way. But along the fence of the double property was so thickly overgrown with brush and trees that it was virtually impossible to get into it with a regular trimmer, the ground was uneven and hilly, and there were plenty of obstacles to trim around. I understand that I was hungry for money and she was offering a weekly deal that would have made me a ton, but It's just not worth the abuse.
Oh and I tried virtually every advertising method out there. door to door, cards, word of mouth was a big seller, newspaper classifies and kijiji.
I lost a potentially huge gardening gig in late July (kinda low work time) and I think for this season I will have a signed deal with some possible upfront cash to insure myself against that. It sucks when you take the time to travel and quote a job only for them to keep you waiting by saying "don't come today" over and over... I figure with some money already invested into the job it might give them some incentive to go through with it.
I grossed roughly 5k last year mowing about 9 properties regularly, I also had a few vacation/part time gigs, as well as some larger landscaping (mostly gardens) jobs. The heat of the summer nearly killed any form of growing life around here as we had about 2 weeks of 94+ with virtually no rain.
This year I plan to add a few more Items to my sales list and hope to grow to 15+ regular accounts, I will be in a predicament though when I go off to university in the fall.
I too have taken criticism on more than one forum for using a homeowner model rider. I admit, they are cumbersome, don't turn on a dime, and when the grass is really high, it's not the nicest to cut with. But circumstances lead me to buying it in a pinch to keep the money coming in. If you read my post in the startup stories thread, you can get a better idea of my business.
I rarely use the rider to mow and do most of my properties (between 8 to 14 any given week) with a 22" Toro self propelled (also a pinch buy). I use the rider mostly as transportation. I do the majority of my business in the small town where I live, so i load the toro, a trimmer, hand tools, and anything else i need into a 10cu/ft dump cart and go off to work riding between lots on the deere. It's not ideal, but its affordable (maybe not in the long run) and keeps the bills down. I do have to drive for some out of town accounts but i organize myself so that they can be done all in a day so that I don't have to borrow my father's pickup too often.
I'm probably rambling a bit but lets just say this. My equip. isn't professional but it's functional and paid for. Is that not the goal of any business? Pure Profit?
I made it in Yahoo Site Builder (not the online thing) all custom. I took classes in high school how to make a websites. Its like 12.00 a month for web hosting & email. Pretty good deal if you are decent at making them. You can also you adobe dream weaver. I just made that a few days ago new layout info, pictures etc.. still working on it to sound better and adding stuff. Thanks! if you need help let me know!