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Congratulations 2firemenmowing, I'm in the same boat as you.Starting my business up too. All the people here on lawnsite have a ton of knowledge so don't be shy and ask questions.You should be able to do searches on this site for advertising to give you ideas on how to get your business out there and noticed. Eric ELM has a page on his website that lists all sorts of good stuff, you can link to a ton of stuff there.I think it sounds like door knob hangers and doing some "cold calls" on commercial properties will give the best results. Hope this helps a little, I'm learning as I go too, so I certainly don't have all the answers. Good luck !
Welcome to the forum 2firemenmowing! Hopefully you did your homework before going into business. As most of the guys here will confirm, there's a lot more to this business than just making a customers landscape look outstanding. When I got into business, I thought it was just a splendid hobby. Wow, you can make several hundred dollars a day, just cutting grass! How easier could it get. Then all of a sudden you have more work than you know what to do with, weeds start taking over your sites because your too busy just to get the weekly mowing done, then it rains for 3 days and customers start calling and saying, "It didn't rain today", not caring if your 3 days behind. Now your up to 14 hrs a day, 7 days a week just to get everything done. Is that your buddy going by your house with his boat, heading to the ocean to do some fishing? Too bad you can't go, 'cause you have to do equipment maintenance today. You probably get all the lawn industry magazines. They come in every month and you sit and look through every page at all those pictures of that fancy equipment, all those profiles of companies that did 25,000 their first year, 300,000 their second, 25,000,000 their third and so on. BUT, you skip all those articles that teach about job costing, labor practices, estimating, etc. All those "boring business things". This my friend, is what will make you successful or not. You HAVE to learn the "business" end even more so than how to do turf maintenance. Oh my that wasn't the answer to your question!
I would print out a few fliers, go to neighborhoods that look like they take pride in their properties and hand them out. Just don't put them in mailboxes, unless you wan't to go to federal prison. Then when you get the jobs, make sure you show up when you say, do what you say, and charge what the work is worth. Don't bend on your prices when Customer X says, our other lawn service did it for 2.00 less, tell them to call their old lawn service back. Just my .02 worth.
Everyone is very correct. Hard work, determination, and constant education. The minute you stop learning your wheels will start spinning.
For us we have taken hundreds of jobs over the years away from firemen and others who have this venture as a part time job. It is very possible to be part time and do well however your work must be close to perfect so nobody can say boo. The moment it becomes a pain and your attitude slips is exactly the time it'll start to show in your work.
The excitement of the $$ possibilities must be balanced by your ability to handle the time commitment. Like it was mentioned before, you'll be forced to trade fishing, hunting, and many other enjoyable activities your card punching friends will still be doing. We dont get paid extra on holiday's, get paid sick days, or even paid holidays. No time and a half, double, triple, or quadruple time by definition but our level of involvement,quality and knowledge, if close to perfect will insure us more pride and hopefully a bigger bank account then our risk free friends can ever hope to enjoy.
As said before, flood your home with trade journals, company catalogs, and information spots such as this website. The best way to learn is from our mistakes. Good luck and keep us posted