I need tips for 2004....

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jnm4, Jul 4, 2003.

  1. jnm4

    jnm4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Thanks in advance for your help. I've decided to start my business next season for several reasons. I have a few questions

    1) How soon can I start trying to attract customers for next season?
    2) Once I final begin...should I worry about stripping, double blades, etc.
    3) Should I buy my equipment (Exmark 48' hydro, trimmer, blower, and extras) in the winter, or wait until I land my frst account(s) earlier next year?
    4) Does anyone have any suggestions on approaching new clients? Should I mention that I'm brand new??? Maybe a better way to ask the question what can I do prior to my first job so that I don't look brand new once I start?

    My goal is to do quality work, and with the help of this web-site I know it will be just a matter of time before I can give a new guy/girl advice.

    Thanks once again
  2. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 476

    Don't tell them that you are new when you are advertising. They will assume that you don't know what you are doing. Always look like you know what you're doing, even if you don't!!!
  3. jnm4

    jnm4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    let it grow....

    i agree with whole attitude part...here's a question/comment for you. i've never owned/operated a 48' walkbehind....so i'm more concerned that once i show up at the clients property with this new $5k machine that i operate my equipment as if i've been doing this kinda work for years. any suggestions????

    i hear members talk about "demo's". how does this process work? so far i've found two good dealers in my area...Greensboro,NC (a Exmark & Walker dealer) LOL at myself....I seem to find a way to visit both places a few times a week. I already see how developing a relationship with the dealers is key.

    would you approach the competition to ask questions about the industry? what i'd like to do is ask a few of the larger companies and ask for any accounts that they decline, but i'm not sure how approach that one????

  4. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 476

    If I were you I would take my new machine and go to my family and friends and offer them a free cut if they let you try your machine out on their lawn, then go use it until you get used to it. Then you can cut your customer's lawns and look like a pro.

    As far as demos, most larger dealerships will let you demo their machines...kind of like test driving a car.

    I would have no problem approaching large landscaping companies and just telling them that I am a new company and if they had any accounts that they had no time to mow to give me a call, and give them my business card. Some companies will be real nice, and talk with you about the industry, but others will just see you as competition...this is just one you have to feel out.

    I hope things go well!
  5. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Buy it early next year with enough time to play with it to get comfortable. Don't buy it now because the warrenty runs from the time you get it. You can cut your lawn and friends lawns to get experience. You might can find someone from lawnsite in your area that might let you help them out a few days to get some experience now.

    Start reading everything you can here and everyone. Educate yourself. Then you will sound like you have a clue. Don't bring up new, but don't sound like you know everything.

    Start now working on your name. Tell friends and family your plans. Tell them if they know anyone interested next year to let you or them know. Get some cards made up and have avaliable to people.

    Don't worry about anything at the beginning except getting and keeping customers. You can fine tune your service as you get more experience. Be consistent and fair with people and the business will come.
  6. snakedoctor

    snakedoctor LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    This is in regards to Joey @ JNM4. I am in Greensboro, NC. I am seriously considering starting my business in 2004. I have pondered the idea of a business partner. Would you ever consider such. If so, post your email address for me....thanks
  7. jnm4

    jnm4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23


    I have considered the idea, but since I'm new to the Greensboro area I just figured I have to go it by myself. I must admit I'm still in the very early stages of creating this business. Let me know what you think???


    by the way..I actually live in High Point..
  8. harpoonalt

    harpoonalt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    I just started my business this year after a 20 Year hiatus. (kids took over my life) I bought all my equipment last year and did my own lawn for a summer before I started and it was a good thing. I read everything here but it all really makes sense once you actually do it. Learning to use the WB and not make divots and look like a pro takes practice. If you can afford it, buy your stuff now and get to know it. Just getting your handheld stuff to start takes some practice as each one has it's own drill. Load up your trailer and figure out how everything fits.
    I only do this part time and only have 4 lawns, but have been very busy. The lawns are pretty large and I never realized all the extra things I'd be doing. Spring cleanups, mulching, seeding, etc have kept me very busy. I may add a couple lawns next year but I'm still fine tuning my operation. Read all you can here and practice everything. Get familiar with your equipment and how to maintain it. Don't be fumbling around with something when you have a full day of work to do. I'm starting to realize that doing this job right is hard work and not just the mowing. You are running a business, doing the work, and maintaining equipment. You have to be master at scheduling based on the weather and the individual lawns. You need to have a degree in psychology to figure out your customers and what they really want. It's the best job there is once you get more comfortable with it. Just start slow if you can and add customers as you can handle them. You'll geta feel real quick for this. Good luck!
  9. JT Shale

    JT Shale LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Always be confident, I have learned in the past if you stammer and stutter through you presentation they are too busy wondering if you know what the hell you are talking about, rather than considering hiring you.
  10. Hawkeye5

    Hawkeye5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    I'll share what I did. Purchased the mower (ZTR) in late winter, around the end of January. Started to just run around the yard, not mowing (too early). You need some practice making straight lines and turns. By mid March I had customers, but also continued to practice on my yard and a neighbor's yard. Started mowing March 20. Still didn't have enough practice, but with more customers, time and tips from this web-site all started to come together and by the end of April there was no problem. There are some things you can read about but it still takes time to learn them correctly in application.

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