Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mireland4390, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,358

    Excellent point about business plans there Masscape... You are absolutely correct... Shooting from the hip is never the sound business practice... And mireland4390, sounds like you are on your way man! Advertising is tricky, there is a ton of stuff on this site if you search on advertising... I like that stealth idea... keeping the ideas and creative juices flowing is what it is all about... Super interesting thread in the archives about door to door vs. door hangars... I must admit that I had preconceived notions about door to door and these guys convinced me otherwise.. One thing that you will always hear and I happen to agree with it is that word of mouth is king... and you can take that to the bank...
  2. Southern grass

    Southern grass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    I've thought about flat blacking my zero once I like the murdered out look lol
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  3. sbuchanan8154

    sbuchanan8154 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I did not mean for my posts to seem negative good luck to you I hope you do well gopherhaulforum .com has a lot of marketing ideas
  4. mireland4390

    mireland4390 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Yea im def banking on the fact that word of mouth is going to travel very fast around here. Half of my family lives in this area so I have them spreading the word to everyone as we I said before, it got me 3 lawns already!
    Another thing that I wanted to stress to everyone is the fact that I am NOT afraid of the work that this business takes. My full time job has me packing in a 20x20 room with 11 other guys and big desks AND no windows.....the walls are starting to close in on me so I am so ready to get outside and start working! lol Plus the whole bills/money issues of the business are going to be taken care of by my wife. She was an intern for a restaurant and handled all of their accounting/bills. Plus she got all these certifications for accounting when we were going to FGCU. So all I will really be dealing with are the customers, equipment and the yards.

    -Cuts by IRELAND-
  5. mireland4390

    mireland4390 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    These are the first set of flyers that have been and will be handed out. Staples is having a sale right now so I got 100 postcards. And yes im sure you have heard the little slogan I put on the back before but I love it! I forget who originally posted it so im sorry for not giving any credit but the 3 people that called me all mentioned how they like "you grow it, we mow it" I kinda have to go with it now lol
    Again....any ideas are appreciated!


  6. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

    You will get yourself into trouble with price match. Also the problem with discounts is what happens when you have five in one stop and due to whatever circumstance you loose all but one. You are now left doing a yard and not really making what you wanted to
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  7. mireland4390

    mireland4390 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    If I've got the yards I mow lookin good and I'm keeping everything on point then there is no reason why a customer would drop you. Obviously it could happen but the chances of losing yards when you have them looking good is so slim

    -Cuts by IRELAND-
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. TuffTurfLawnCare

    TuffTurfLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 667

    First thing to remember is that a customer can and will drop you for any reason, whether its your fault or not, no matter how well your work is. When I started I made the decision to not work for friends/ family. Work is work, I don't want to be at a friends house for a BBQ then have him bring up something about the work we did at his house. Or the friend can easily become a PIA client who you despise working for....but you can't drop him because he's your friend. Or they start asking for extras, freebie, and friend discounts. all things that could strain a friendship.

    I will take leads from friends and family but I wont work for them. I had a friend offer his yard and his sisters yard, accross the street, and I explained to him that want to business and friends separate. He agreed, and that was the end of it.

    Start looking into mass advertising. 100 cards is nothing. when I started this springi sent out 2500 EDDM flyers that I made then had printed at I got 12 weekly clients from it, then picked up 5 neighbors from those. Its not a ton of work, bit I'm happy with it right now as I am part time with a full time and another part time job. next year I will send out 5000 EDDM cards and quit the part time job. Don't rely on friends and family to support your business. Advertise like crazy to get as many bids as you can. if your getting all the jobs you bid, your bidding too low.

    I agree, the price matching could get you in trouble.
  9. Bryan27

    Bryan27 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    Sometimes taking the "leap of faith" and buying equipment IS the right move to make. If a person is motivated and has the discipline to get out there an hustle up some business, then I think we can all agree that he'll need the equipment to fulfill his business obligations. 0%/48month/no payments until April are pretty much unbeatable terms and you have the "safety net" of also having a fulltime job to cover the payments. The debt free approach sounds good, but it isn't always better. Starting out, you aren't going to have any duplicate equipment to cover your route if you have a mower go down, so having something that doesn't have the wear and tear of used equipment, is still in good shape and under warranty is an advantage. Spending $5k cash on a bunch of used equipment to start a business has the advantage of not having that $300 equipment nut to crack each month, as long as repairs and replacements don't displace it. Everyone who starts their own business enters into the realm of uncertainty, but does so with the faith that they will make it happen and overcome the obstacles ahead of them. If a business fails because a couple hundred dollars a month in equipment payments, then there are likely larger problems.

    I'm also not really convinced that buying used equipment is the great deal some make it out to be. If you expect to get 2000 hours out of a mower and buy an $8000 (new price) mower for $3000 with 1000 hours on it, then you have a mower with no warranty, 1000 hours worth of wear and tear, likely an unknown maintenance history and will start costing you money in repairs. The original owner paid $1/hour more to run the mower and got the better half of the mowers useful life, the second owner saves $1/hour only if there aren't any additional repairs or wear and tear.
  10. TuffTurfLawnCare

    TuffTurfLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 667

    Aslo, focus less on the people you have for leads, and more on their properties. The only thing I see your missing is a trim mower. Your gonna need a 21" at some point.

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