How to figure out if my market can support more lawn/landscape guys?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by MindI, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. MindI

    MindI LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I have been planning to start up a business next year. I intend to mostly leave my current line of work in an area where the market is swamped. My home town, Greater Tulsa, has a population of approximately 375,000 - 400,000. Including a full page ad and some smaller ads and all the individual listings, our yellow pages for lawn and landscaping takes up a total of 4 1/2 pages. I would sure hate to buy a bunch of expensive equipment only to find out that I can't get more than ten accounts, because too many people are in on the action bidding too low (like my current profession). How do you figure out in advance whether your area can support more lawn/landscaping folk? Any ideas?
  2. Insometry

    Insometry LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 43

    Question everyone you know - see if you can get a couple people on board with you before you buy. (Friends, family) Develop something that sets you apart from the competition, be it your adds, a trend focus, ect... Specialize in something and if you got the "something" right - you will get the customers.

    What makes you different?

    Very hard to answer that in lawncare. :( If you can, and then market it and buy your stuff towards that difference. You will more likely succeed in my mind. But thats just my opinion.
  3. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    go to your library and get a book on creating a businesss plan, the information will be in there...
  4. Splicer

    Splicer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 992

    Same situation here. With one major difference. I already have the equipment. I bought it with the intent of just doing a few yards but have switched to full time. I don't advise you knocking yourself out getting new equipment. Used is a pretty good way to start out.

    From what I have learned here as well as out in the field is that word of mouth is really the key to any kind of success in this occupation so talk to EVERYONE you know and tell them, whether they care or not, that you have a lawn care company you started. Make your yard look pristine. Show off what you can do. I even went so far as to do some things for a neighbor for free. Why? Word of mouth. I do a good job on someone elses lawn that reflects highly on me.

    Talk to old and current employers. I talked to a guy I contracted cable for and got him on the spot for the same $$$ he was paying someone else. I didn't lowball anyone to get the account but the guy knows me and my ethics and ability. That lead to doing some restoration work for a company and I picked up my 1st check from the first job yesterday. Word of mouth seems to be the way to go. Good Luck to you...
  5. chriscraft

    chriscraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    Theres always enough room for a legit company to start up , but i would paln on offering services the non legits dont such as aerating , dethatching , overseeding, rennovating, rolling, mulching, bed eging and the like. It's waht sets you apart form tje "NON LEGIT" guys
  6. Blade-o-grass

    Blade-o-grass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    I heard that the more lawn mowing trailers you see the better the business will be. The area that I am in is swamped with mowers but I'm still growing and not because of low prices either.
  7. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    It's the same way around here. You will see many pickups with mowers in them and we still get calls everydaypayup
  8. Full throttle lawn care

    Full throttle lawn care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 151

    I say go crazy!!!Crazy name,Crazy logo,Crazy adds!!! It's working for me. It's working so well I just hired a guy full time. The most important thing is to have fun and the money will come.:weightlifter:
  9. jbone

    jbone LawnSite Member
    Messages: 125

    I also am starting a company soon with a friend of mine. He and his father have been doing it for a long time. Something were doing is not just concentrating on whats going on now but what will happen years down the road. Develop a short and long term plan. Ours is to make ourselves known particularly to the people my friends father has contracts with. With any luck they will come to us after his father leaves the area in the next couple of years since we will already know how they do business, what they want and how they want things done. His fatheris also a reputible landscaper so refferals from him will help alot!.....So yeah "word of mouth"
  10. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Messages: 866

    You almost have what you need, something that seems verrrrrrry illusive to most who start out. You have not bought equipment before you have sold any clients. Sales ALWAYS come first and I have no idea why that is not totally obvious to guys and girls starting up. Teh type of clients you have determine the types of equipment you are going to need, not viceversa. Get out and sell. When you do, people will tell you what they are looking for in their lawn service. Move to fill that need and you will be succesful. Don't end up selling enough, then you have your answer. Turn around and sub what you did sell to someone else and walk away. It's unlikely your market is tapped out, especially with so many companies looking to shove square peg needs into their round hole best marketing survery will come when you ask people for their business, the rest of the path will unfold from there.

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