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fall clean up

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by the weed man, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. the weed man

    the weed man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    this is my first year on my own i have 23 accounts i started real late this year to..im not5 new to the work but new to owning the bizz..as of now i have only 7 that are going to want fall cleanups..do you think i should do a flyer run for just the fall clean ups??i guess if i land just one ill be ahead..im not realy sure on priceing the cleanups,i pretty much based the few i have priced on how long it will take me..
  2. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

  3. sdog882007

    sdog882007 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    What do you guys think the best way to clean up leafs is?
  4. boxoffire

    boxoffire LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    Yeah, I'm a newbie too and only have a Redmax blower and a jeep cherokee with 5X8 utility trailer. Guess my leaf cleanup can only be so large unless I make multiple runs to dump if city doesn't pick up at street. Should I blow and tarp after mulching with bagger on my John Deere first run through? I need help or suggestions since I'm new and don't have these awesome trucks with leaf boxes and loaders etc... Just got my business name declared today as a matter of fact and bought a license. Need some signs for my Jeep now. Also, in process of rolling up my 400 flyers, putting rubber band around each, placing in Glad clear gallon size baggy with business cards I did myself as well. Called Post office and they said I could attach the baggy to mail post only and leave the box alone and it should be ok. Now, who do I target is my question for tomorrow when I'm done bagging all of this tonite. Little cooler here now, think putting a Hershey's chocolate kiss in each bag is bad idea? Thanks, I'm rambling too much now....

    Have a great day and thanks for help, suggestions, laughs, etc....

  5. Amitche

    Amitche LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Hey I like the baggie idea and the hershey kisses. That is a lot of work. I was thinking about just slipping them under the door. Seemed less hassle and less cost (all the glad baggies) Any other suggestions for a newbie?
  6. boxoffire

    boxoffire LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    I "bagged" the Hershey Kiss idea after only doing about 4. Thought to myself if somebody left this at my house I probably wouldn't eat it. Plus they still would have melted. I did use Gallon size glad storage baggies (Only $1.78 for 100 count at Walmart). Bought 4 boxes for 400 flyers. Rolled up my flers and put small rubber bands around all of them while watching football this past Saturday. Then printed up 500 business cards with AVER 8731 cards from Office Max ($25). Went through 1 black and 1 color cartridge on my HP Deskjet 5150 ($50) and bought a cheap office max stapler $4.99 to staple the baggy shut after folding it over at the top a couple of times. There I was on Tuesday after doing all that work over the weekend (probably took me a good 8 hours printing/stuffing/stapling, and went out on foot. I called the Post Office and asked if I could put on mailbox POLES with push pins behind the mailbox and they said sure, it's ok. Well after I put out about 50 on Tuesday and mailman backed up his truck and said that was a no no and showed a piece of paper documenting his case about the law. He was an a$$hole all the way, but doing his job I guess. I tracked back and started putting the ones I left on mailboxes on the doorsteps instead or in driveway. Well I must have missed 1 or 2 cause that same night when I was at home in my carport stuffing small rocks into my baggies so I could just drive my jeep around and throw the flyers in driveways (much easier), I got a call on my new cell phone. Thought I had a customer call cause nobody else has my new number yet. Well I was wrong, it was the mailmans postmaster calling to WARN me this time not to do flyers on ANY part of any mailbox or else big fines for each next time. I explained I was new to this and wouldn't do it, yada yada , and he said it's ok just don't do it again. He then asked for my address so he could send me official form stating the law not to do it and that would be it this time. So I did. To make matters worse when I was backtracking I turned my ankle in this driveway and heard my ankle POP and thought I freakin broke it. Luckily it rolled back up quick and just was sore last night, but is ok now. Cut my bro's lawn today for him. Now I have about 350 flyers in baggies with small rocks in them that I will distribute from my Jeep out the window and not hurt myself or hopefully not get harrassed by somebody for doing it.

    I did get one call late Tuesday night from a guy asking if I could seed his entire lawn with a "Slit Seeder device" and I found that maybe I started a little above my head because I don't have one of those and actually have never done an entire lawn. I have seeded a small bad patch in my yard before and can do that, but when I hesitated about it he said forget it and that he would do it himself. Oh well first opportunity blown because I advertised a bit too much to be a newby I guess. I will do seeding but not and entire lawn. Maybe later when I learn more. Everything else on my flyer are things I can do. I haven't fertilized before, but know I can. I've read up on it and will buy what I need should a client request it. Guess all of it was a lesson learned right off the bat. I'm sure if I continue in this business there will be many more surprises and mistakes I'll make and just need to realize it. It feels kinda bad though and discouraging. But I'm currently unemployed and looking a job, and this is like my plan B. I need to go slow and learn. Fortunately I am getting unemployment and live with my mom taking care of her after major heart surgery. I'm lucky to have her and no big bills (except my nice car which I want to keep, but.....we'll see). Really need a good truck instead of a 160,000 miles 93 Jeep I6. I also only have a 5X8 trailer with a JD L110 tractor, self propeleed push mower and 1 Redmax blower and Homelite weedeater. I'm gonna need alot of other little items I'm sure like tarps, rakes, shovels, small digging tools, cutters, and on and on and on. It's kinda overwhelming really. You just don't know how much till you get started and it all comes about. Heck, I just made my first Work Order/Estimate work sheet today with Word in case I get a call from one of my flyers and need to go meet a perpective customer. What the heck am I thinking. Then, if I get my first customer I'm gonna get on the horn and buy liablility insurance pronto, then open a new business account at the bank. One day I guess all of these details are taken care of and you can develop a organized system for yourself and DO IT hopefully. Although I've read over 90% of home based small business's FAIL! Not funny but a reality. Good luck to all you new guys and old ones too for that matter.
  7. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,487

    seeding an entire lawn is not difficult at all. You can buy a walk behind seeder at Lowes for under $50.00. All you do is read the specs on the seed bag about the amount of seed to distribute, and that is it. It will take about the same amount of time to seed the yard as it does to cut it with a 21".Then fertilize. It's that simple. Ask the customer what type of seed he likes and buy it. Tack on a fee for going to get it, say $10.00. Then after you seed the yard leave the seed at his house so it will be there in the spring when it's time to re apply it again. Just remember, it is the customer's responsibility to water the lawn. Let them know that you will be happy to apply the seed, but it is up to them to water it. If you have a riding mower you can buy a slit seeder at Lowes for under $200.00. You can put seed in it and the seed is dropped while the slits are being made. Pretty simple.

    The best thing to do if you are unfamilliar with any of the equipment that is used in this type of work, is to go to Lowes, Home Depot, Northern Tool, Souther States, and all of the mower dealers you can find. Look around and ask them every question you can think of. Write down info and prices on anything and everything. That way when you are ready to buy something, or a customer has a question, you have all of the pertinate info on that product and can make an informed decision.
  8. boxoffire

    boxoffire LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    Thank you Mo Green. You make me feel much better about the whole situation now. It was my first call and I just kinda blew it this time. Was just trying to be honest I guess, but maybe I shouldn't have freeked out so much. I'll start doing more homework on prices of seed/fertilizers so I can quote customers after I now how large their lawn or how much they want covered.

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