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Is There A Dedicated Business Forum?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by A Perfect Shine, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. A Perfect Shine

    A Perfect Shine LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    When I came to this forum, in the back of my mind I was thinking there would be a lot of discussion about the business side of things, marketing, accounting, demographics, handling employees. I found a little of this, but mostly people here seem to want to work for themselves rather than own a business, which is a much different perspective than my own. This also seems to be the trend on the other board relavent to our business: www.autopia.org

    On closer thought, a forum dedicated to small and medium sized business owners might be more suited for some of my needs.

    Does anyone here know of such a forum?

  2. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,865

    There are plenty of us that discuss "business" on this site, and specifically this forum. Your link to the other site you apparently frequent, an auto detailing site, shares something in common with this one: relatively easy entry for those wanting to be self-employed.

    As for a "small business" board on here, I can't see how that would really vary from this one. Why? Find me those solo operators on here that don't consider themselves a small business.

    Feel free to kick start any "business"-related discussion you might have. If you can't think of anything, search the archives for any of the topics you've mentioned and I guarantee you'll find hours/days of reading material.

  3. JustMowIt

    JustMowIt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    There is a forum associated with Compass Systems Go To the Forum that possibly would help you. They are trainers, consultants & trying to sell services.

    As a personal note, since participating in Lawnsite, we have heard of no one, large or small that did not start their business in the field with no employees, including prominent names like Perficut in Des Moines 28 Million $ Company
    covering the State of NJ. & ourselves, Just Mowing]Just Mowing[/URL] which is small compared to them, but TJ nor I ever leave the office & service 2,050 accounts, planning for 3,000 by the end of next season. TJ started with daddys honda out of the garage in an old dodge truck & learned the business from the ground up, much like many of the professinals you will read about on Lawnsite.

    So, if you are planning to enter the business without ever personally mowing a yard, I would suggest listening to these guys here on lawnsite very carefully because you will need to know all the little nitty gritty things that go on, & it is free!

    Mike & TJ Justice
  4. bp418

    bp418 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    So, if you are planning to enter the business without ever personally mowing a yard, I would suggest listening to these guys here on lawnsite very carefully because you will need to know all the little nitty gritty things that go on, & it is free!

    Mike & TJ Justice[/QUOTE]

    I agree, get out there and sweat awhile servicing some lawns. That way when a customer calls compaining about a bad cut or wants to know why her dog "Fluffy" is shaved or the rose bush was weedwacked, you can have some appreciation for just how hard this work really is.
  5. A Perfect Shine

    A Perfect Shine LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Definitely, it seems very unwise to start a business from scratch without actually having participated in all aspects of it... unless you have the financial backing to hire a manager who does know the business from the start.

    We used autopia.org to learn as much as possible about auto detailing. We did it for a few months, became proficient at it, and then hired help. Now we try to have our employees do as much of the actual work as possible so that we can focus on expanding the business.

    We came accross this site not for lawn care, but because it had information about Holiday Lighting in some threads which is a branch of business we started to keep us busy in the winter.

    Both these forums have been very helpful in learning the specifics of each business and without them we would have been severly handicapped in our endeavor.

  6. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,865

    Related to business advice, here's some unsolicited marketing/web advice:

    I just checked out your lighting site. Nice looking, but a bit confusing. It looks like you guys have the foundation for a very nice site, but you really need to strip out the overly redundant navigation. You might find yourself confusing visitors with the 4 (??) different navigation sections you have on each page that all go to the same place. In fact, 2 of the exact same nav bars are stacked on top of each other (Contact/Specials/Services/About). Other navigation issues are using text links that are sometimes underlined, sometimes a color other than black, and coupling that with plain text featuring the same as the links. It's basically hit or miss on the visitors part when they move the mouse around your page and you should aim for consistency when using text links.

    When you copied the auto site and added your lighting content, you forgot to change the page titles.

    A couple of times you use the word "weather", when it should be "whether". Actually, you might want to comb the site for typos. "Gorgeos" is another.

    And the in-your-face charity thing with the pictures of the kid within the navigation might come off as less than genuine. You have the same pic of "your kid" 3 times on the home page alone?? Subtlety might serve you a bit better. "We've added 2 new kids" is a bit of an example of something, no matter your intent, that comes off as such.

  7. A Perfect Shine

    A Perfect Shine LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Your comments are definitely appreciated. You're actually the first person we've had give criticism about the website, most people are just like "Oh, it looks good" and leave it at that.

    The truth is the website was just thrown together by me over the course of a couple of days. I despise computer work so I tried to wrap it up fairly quickly but I need to go back and improve on the design. Your comments verbalize a lot of the concerns I had about it.

    I'll look over it and see what I can do about the text links, a simpler web page is definitly better.

    Also, more content is implied from the home page, but many of the links just simply send you to the same page because I never got around to fully completing the site.

    What do you mean the page titles haven't been changed over for the holiday lighting site? Do you mean the actual titles of the html documents? If so, which page names are inappropriately named?

    The charity may or may not be regarded as genuine. I do genuinely care about that cause a great deal. But my thought was to embed within my business system a mechanism that gives to charity more and more as the business gets biger and also unriches the business. In this case, for each job we do, money is donated to charity, but I also expect this to work as advertising and a trust mechanism to get us more jobs and make us more money. In other words, the charity gets more money and I also get more money. I beleive this is the best way to give to charity because the mechanism is more reliable and robust as giving to charity causes more money to be given to charity.


    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Like tonygreek said, this is an easy business to get into, so you'll find a lot of guys that start their business, then learn the business side as they go. I consider myself lucky, I worked for one LCO for over 10 years, got to experience both the operations and the "behind the scenes" business aspect of it. So when I took the plunge I felt like I had a leg-up on a lot of companies.

    Looks like you're new here. Continue to check in here frequently, you'll quickly learn who the smart guys are and can learn from them.
  9. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,865

    Chris, your page titles, found in the TITLE tag are what needs changed. That tag generates the content seen in the top of your browser window, such as this current page you'll see "Lawnsite.com - Is There A Dedicated Business Forum?". Search engines utilitize those towards site ranking. You're boosting the auto detailing biz, and not your lighting.

    As for the charity, a little can go a long way. Too much, and it can be construed as being an in-your-face marketing tool. One pic, and one link is all you need. Obviously people have different reactions. If I just stumbled across your site, my own personal knee-jerk reaction would be that you are using it as a sleazy sales tactic, and are not genuine with it. The reality is different as you say, and I wouldn't bat an eye if it was on there once.


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