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A few thoughts for you new guys from someone who was in your shoes

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by VAMower, May 13, 2010.

  1. jsw2008

    jsw2008 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    VAMower, I second everything in your first post. I've been doing this for 5 years now full time and every word is true. I wanted all the customers I could get when I first started out. I didn't care who they were. Now I've started screening customers when I do an est. for them to see if they are a potential PITA. I have a few questions that will root them out. I also started telling customers I'm not the cheapest around and if they want that then I'm not their guy. They will get what they pay for or else the last guy would still be doing their yard.
  2. underESTIMATED

    underESTIMATED LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    Nice thread.

    Look forward to reading more.

    Thanks for the write up.
  3. jnt412

    jnt412 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    I would also like to add that.. "You must know your equipment"... From fixing stuck valves to changing filters and blades. Putting your equipment in the shop isn't cheap and at that point your working with someone else's time. And time is money.. Keep your equipment clean and maintained...
  4. VAMower

    VAMower LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 78

    Very good point. Consider taking a class on small engine repair at a community/tech school in the off season. You can only be as reliable as your equipment. Hence the reason why I say not to waste you time and money with used handheld's.

    Also, make nice with your local dealer/parts supplier. If you have a good relationship with them they can help you out when your in a bind.

    People have argued Stihl vs Echo vs Redmax vs Shindy vs you name it on here for years. Personally I think they are all about the same if you are using their commercial grade equipment. Its best to pick a brand that has a close dealer that you like to work with. It can become a real pain in the A** if you have 4 different brands and have to go to 4 different shops to pick up parts.
  5. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,298

    If you don't mind me asking what kind of questions you have to screen out customers for potential PITA?
  6. underESTIMATED

    underESTIMATED LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130


  7. VAMower

    VAMower LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 78

    "if your currently with a service why would you like an estimate from me?"

    Pita says:
    1 - The current one won't weed our beds and trim our hedges for free when he mows
    2 - The current one won't talk to use for ten minutes each time he is here
    3 - The current one is charging $30, can you believe that? That's way too much, I mean its just cutting grass.
    4 - The current guy just stopped mowing and won't return my calls. I didn't like him anyway, he wanted to cut weekly, I wanted to call him and tell him when my lawn needs cut.
  8. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,298

    Thank you, that makes sense to me.
  9. underESTIMATED

    underESTIMATED LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    Those questions are so specific, that I KNOW you've actually had to heard those stupid statements in your experience.

    make me wanna: [​IMG]
  10. rickyg

    rickyg LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    A lot of good info in this thread, thank guys. VAMower, that first post was very informative. Thanks for starting this thread, I have been thinking about getting into the business part-time next year. So I am doing some research and trying to educate myself as much as possible before I make my final decision and start upgrading my equipment.

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