First Year In Business

Discussion in 'Original Pictures Forum' started by osmann_lawn, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. osmann_lawn

    osmann_lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    is it more of a hobby? sounds kinda cool. I use to raise chickens & turkeys when i was in high school. Do you get stung a lot ?
  2. Mikegyver

    Mikegyver LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,803

    On my level yes. Many Many people make their living off of bees. For me its a well paying hobby that I can run up to a business w/ little growing pains if wanted/needed. Drop by my site ( when you have a chance.
    What I already said in an above post about getting stung-
    Thats funny about turkeys and chickens. I have a bunch of chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, goats, guineas, etc. I'm a country boy!

    SITEWORKS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    agree with both you guys and will tell you both, THE key advice osmaan_lawn gave is...TAKE YOUR TIME AND DO A GOOD JOB. I have been in business over 25 years and I really believe the key to success is HARD WORK. Never, Never leave a job until you walk it and know its done like you would want your own done AND, pick up all the trash, debris etc...even if it's not yours. Most customers do not know a good job from a bad one...but they all know a clean job from a mess! Always look for a little something extra to do at no charge that enhances your customers property...anything related to the grounds...something that only takes you an extra 5-10 minutes. Your customers will appreciate it...just plant that seed and watch it grow....they will tell their friends aboiut your clean hard work and that you take pride in a good job. Before you know it, you will be hiring help...and that leads to a new thread/conversation.

    Good luck to you guys...go get 'em. Bill
  4. osmann_lawn

    osmann_lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    Thanks for the great encouragement! I have all my postcards, business cards and truck magnets designed and printed. Just waiting on the door hangers. That should be most of my marketing material for 2012 season. I got a call yesterday to do a shrub trimming job (dad's friend). I just ordered a ECHO HC-185 should be here by tomorrow. Now just have to save money for a walk behind or ZTR!

    SITEWORKS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    when you do a job for a friend of your dad's, or any other referal (especially family) be very careful to #1. agree on a price up front, it's okay to give them a break in the price, I recommend doing it at the end when they write you the check, give them a fair price up front...most people are looking for an honest contractor who will show up on time and do what they said they would without any crying!!! JUST DO YOUR JOB. be very careful #2. the absolute best advertising you will EVER get is FREE....word of mouth. The only thing you must do to earn peoples referral is to go do a GREAT JOB, neat and clean like I said yeterday. In my 25 years of business I can tell you guys 95% of my work comes from referrals....heck, think about it...when you arrive to meet your new customer for the first time on a job you were referred to...the job is 50% sold, all you have to do is CLOSE THE DEAL. Show up 5-10minutes early, dressed neat/clean (not in suit and tie...just be neat....helps if your truck is clean with your name on it) that's the next 45% of the sale.

    Now you have 95% of the sale completed and you have not even shaken their hand!!! Referrrals are the absolute best thing that will EVER happen for you and your business...hands down no question about it. HOWEVER, you must back it up. #3 if you get a call polite and humble..."sorry Mrs Smith...I will be right over to look at it"...get there quick, within 24 hrs is acceptable, ask them what works best for them and DO IT. Your next referral depends on you backing up your work.

    When I meet a new client, I hand them my business card, shake their hand and friendly. If you don't get the professional and it's okay to ask if your price was okay, even okay to ask what they did "buy" the job for...may not always tell you, but okay to ask once politely. Thank them for the opportunity and ask to remain on their list for any future opportunities. They will appreciate you being gracious and PROFESSIONAL... be a gentleman at all times. You will get a few folks calling you back to take over from the guy you lost the job to, because he did not perform, or was late, or just not all that you set your standards to be. People recognize it at will see the difference.

    #4 after all has gone well, drop a small personal thank you note in the mail, hand written to the person who gave you the referral. Because you want them to know you appreciate their confidence in your services and let's them know you did help therir friend. If you find on person continually referring you and you are getting jobs from them...think about a small appropriate gift like maybe a new shrub planted at the home by you as a thank you, or maybe a gift card in a thank you note good for some mulch, leaf clean up, clean out a gutter etc...something you can do while there or nearby that you know they may want...know your customers. Only do this after a client has sent you many jobs....

    So, when you see me say careful, you see what I have just received the ultimate compliment a customer can give you, AND now you MUST BE CAREFUL to protect it and earn another.

    just a thought for the day for you hungry young guys..."go get 'em". Bill
  6. utahgrassguy

    utahgrassguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I was in the same boat also years ago, Advertise on your truck and trailer, not those little magnets I mean car wraps or boards on your trailer. you haveprime space on the side of your cab of your truck. In the spring I run big banners that say "LAWN AERATING" with my number, straight to the point. and park your truck with signs on busy corners the mall walmart etc. I dont even advertise For Aerating I just schedule or or two and hour and I do sometimes about 6 an hour cuz people come out of the woodwork. The same with Lawns. hope this helps
  7. osmann_lawn

    osmann_lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    Thanks! yep i am going to cut him a little deal. Its a pretty big job everything is over grown. He bought a foreclosed house last year. When i did mulch i went by the hour but i think for this i am just going to go a flat rate. I have not seen it yet so i will know how long it will take when i get to take a look. How long did it take you guys to get were you are at? able to quit the full time job and go straight to your business?
  8. milwlnds

    milwlnds LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    TAKE YOUR TIME AND DO A GOOD JOB. I have been in business over 15 years i started the same way ur starting good luck
  9. osmann_lawn

    osmann_lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    Thanks! I am looking to get a new 21' Push Mower. I have heard great things about the HONDA push mowers so i am leaning towards one of them. My budget is under 850.00
    I found 2 of them that i like. One has the hydrostatic and the other is a commercial push type both with warranty. I am looking for one that will last, good cut & a backup if ever needed. I have used the hydrostatic ones before i did not really care for them. Let me know on your opinions. Here are the 2 Honda mowers i like let me know witch one to buy! thanks.


  10. JContracting

    JContracting LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,878

    Yikes man, you have a budget of 850 for a push mower? Buy one for 150-200 bucks and put the rest towards a comm grade walk behind.
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