Getting into the biz :(

casey humphrey

LawnSite Member
Location
Elk river MN.
I have been doing lawn/snow part time my whole life! And I am now 35 years old. I just found out this week I am going to get laid off from my full time job oh joy! I have been thinking about going mainstream in this lawn care biz for a few years now. I am thinking I should start this now while I am still young and energetic HAHA. But it still takes me a POT of coffee to get started in the morning.

I have made all the fliers and brochures and biz cards through out the years so the marketing part is ok. I only have a 5x10 trailer and 2 pieces of equipment now but I have been watching craigslist and ebay I am going to get a zero turn by spring. As of now I have a totaly rebuilt 48 proline. This is a damn good mower and reliable after I totaly restored the machine and A lawn boy 21.

I have been doing this part time on my own for 5 years and I have only been able to get a handfull of customers and the ones I have say I do great work and they will refer me to other people but that never seems to happen. How does one get new customers these days? I am going to get a box of brochures made up today and hit as many commercial properties in my area as possible and try not to get to depressed HAHA. I know a wb site would help but that will have to be down the road. What are some of the ideas other LCO's have used in the past to drum up new clients? Or even just to get somebody to call ya?

Thanks for all the help.
 

Exact Rototilling

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Zone: 5B
Seriously....I would not limit yourself to lawn care just because of a layoff or downsize. The economy continues to get worse and I believe many posters here on Lawnsite struggle silently to pay the bills [long time bigger operations to Johnny upstarts] and stay up beat. Many arm chair experts here. It takes time to get a lawn biz dialed in. My take is to continue part time and looking for something else full time. In all honesty I really don’t know if there is much future in what I’m doing outside of keeping it a small family run type business with low overhead.

:waving:
 

mowerbrad

LawnSite Fanatic
Be very carful offering too many services. If you start taking almost any work that comes your way, you will quickly become a "jack of all trades and master of none". If you want to do lawn care full time, focus on that and don't start branching off into home imlrovement as well. Feel free to expand your services, but do it on the lawn care side of things, start offering fertilizer apps (with proper license of course). Or get into small landscape installs/improvements. If you truely want to do this full yime and for the long haul, you will have to make your company able to accommodate most requests from your customers.
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alexschultz1

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
north of atlanta
dig your knuckles in and get 'er done. I was terrified of my future when i was laid off, however i make almost double what i was at my previous job. Heres the key to success, wake up at 7, work, come home at 5. Repeat monday - friday. If you dont have a lawn to cut its because your not focusing on growing your business. The only time i feel unsuccessful is when i have free time, so now when i have free time, i work. Pass out flyers, make calls, do bids, anything to make the money start flowing.
 

soloscaperman

LawnSite Gold Member
dig your knuckles in and get 'er done. I was terrified of my future when i was laid off, however i make almost double what i was at my previous job. Heres the key to success, wake up at 7, work, come home at 5. Repeat monday - friday. If you dont have a lawn to cut its because your not focusing on growing your business. The only time i feel unsuccessful is when i have free time, so now when i have free time, i work. Pass out flyers, make calls, do bids, anything to make the money start flowing.
I totally agree on this.
 

Swampy

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Montello, WI
dig your knuckles in and get 'er done. I was terrified of my future when i was laid off, however i make almost double what i was at my previous job. Heres the key to success, wake up at 7, work, come home at 5. Repeat monday - friday. If you dont have a lawn to cut its because your not focusing on growing your business. The only time i feel unsuccessful is when i have free time, so now when i have free time, i work. Pass out flyers, make calls, do bids, anything to make the money start flowing.
I got in that bender for a bit. It sucks, yeah its my first year by on my own, it felt like I sunk a ton of money into the business. I had realized though its all start up. And yes I did the classic newbie mistake of offering services when I should have focused on the "basics". During the summer I didn't have that much as far as lawn accounts, 12 to be exact and a few short ones (mow my house till the house sells). I was planning on pushing snow this winter, there was some interest in it but not enough to justify it, but also now it will allow me to hit my laundry list of things I want to accomplish this winter and prepare for next year. I plan on doubling my account load for next season, write up a contract/agreement for next season instead of using Office Depot's genaric form, and more....

Just the onslaught of winter bored is killer.
 
OP
C

casey humphrey

LawnSite Member
Location
Elk river MN.
How does one charge for gutter cleaning? I have seen this offered A LOT with lawn care contractors. Do you charge by the foot? Or by the hour?

Also Hanson Lawn care? What is that all about? Is this a subcontractor deal?
 

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