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How I started my business

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Lance Isaacs, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. Lance Isaacs

    Lance Isaacs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    My name is Lance Isaacs. I started my business as a freshman in college. (18 years old) My first piece of equipment was $80 craftsmen curved trimmer. A eight year old craftsmen 22 inch cut that was self prop. The back aching hand blower craftsmen series. I hauled everything around in a 2000 chevy tractor in the back with the seats down. It smelled of gas so bad. My parents found a 2wd Chevy Chyenne 91 automatic. I bought a trailor from Lowe's for $500. I thought I was cool as can be with everything. I was mowing daylight to dark for those twelve accounts making about $350 a week for the first year. Then I found a cub cadet hydro walk behind 36 inch cutnew for $3.200. I did the same as cash deal in mid July. Bought a Huskie from Lowe's for $300 and a Ryobi from lowes $180. ( My mowing barely broke even my landscaping and odd jobs paid the little bills that I had.) I have twenty accounts by the end of the year. I bought out a guy for $ 500 for his six lawns.
    The next year I had sixty accounts going into the mowing season with no help plus going to school full time. I devolped symptoms of carparls tunnel in my left wrist. Fellows please remember if your mowers or trimmers are vibrating to much fix the problem to save alot of pain. I had to hire two full time employees to take care of my lawns. I lost over $24,000 by not fixing the $200 dollar problem.
    I am now 21 with 521 customers includes condos and apartment break down and all other customers. I run 2 walkbehinds with to horrible redmax's.
    Thank you for your time
    Lance Isaacs Johnson City, TN
    30 miles from Bristol Motor speed way
  2. ike in okc

    ike in okc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    what kind of advertising did you do to grow your buisness
  3. Lance Isaacs

    Lance Isaacs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I will tell you a few secrets about lawn care. Do not use the newspaper ads. ( Those are bargain hunters) Do not go door to door. ( That is very annoying)
    Buy some cheap business cards with your name on it the services that you provide. My business does almost everything expect for building houses at least for the moment. Let all customers know that you are a small business and that you would like to know if they know anyone who would like a new lawn care service. Most people are happy to take care of someone who spends that extra 2 and a half minutes on their lawn to double check any missed spots.
    I went to a place that makes Real estate signs not the metal ones but the ones with that outdoor sealed care board. The sign reads Lance Isaacs Lawn Care with my phone number. I added twenty acres within 2 weeks tripling my income and landing about $40,000 in landscaping with one customer. I can go on all day and I am actually going to be writing a book next winter on secrets in the lawn care business. Please e-mail with any questions that you have? One more thing east tennessee may be different than where you are from.


    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    Lance :

    Bristol is an awesome track! How far are you from the Atomic Speedway? We used to run there in the dirt track days, now we are running El Cajon (Jimmy Johnsons old stomping grounds) and Irwindale.
    My daughers run thier 1/4 midgets at Barona speedway...I hope Nascar never decides to take away the Bristol speedway, theyb have discussed removing Martinsville...That would suck!
  5. mowinmoney

    mowinmoney LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 70

    521 accounts, how many employees does it take to manage this?
  6. rookiemower

    rookiemower LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    he says he only has two walkbehinds with 521 accounts this has to be a typo or a lie
  7. Lance Isaacs

    Lance Isaacs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I said I had 521 customers not accounts. The biggest lawn care service in my area only has 204 accounts. He runs 15 scags and 5 trucks.I do a lot of landscape maintance. I only mow about 65 acres a week last year. I am looking at maybe 90 acres a this year. I will say this about accounts. If you see each customer as a customer, and treat each one that way it makes your bank account look nice. We do alot of condo complexes and apartments. I only have sixty five resdinetal lawns. We really focus on landscaping now.
  8. Lance Isaacs

    Lance Isaacs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Payroll runs on average last year 120 hours a week plus myself when it raind. I have four employees this year. Two picking weeds, with me mowing three days a week with my other two guys.
  9. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,684

    Iv never heard someone count the customers differently then the accounts where does the number 521 customers come from. Are you counting every soul that lives in each house and the apartment buildings? Or is this the number of people you have done odd jobs for over the 3 years plus your regulars.
  10. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,684

    I devolped symptoms of carparls tunnel in my left wrist

    This is one of the most important reasons to get a ZTR the difference on your wrists and hands is amazing and you will thank yourself when you go home at night and you feel no discomfort at all in your hands I used WBs for a decade before I got my first ZTR there’s no going back.

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