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just starting out and needing lots of help

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by gmeeks, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. gmeeks

    gmeeks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I was wanting to start my business out as part time,wanting it to turn into something full time later on. I was wondering what I need to do to start out to try and get as many clients as possible. What is the best type of advertising that I could do, also what would be the best equipment to start out with? Would you try and buy something new or would you start out with something used. I need all the help and advice that I could possibly get. Thanks alot
  2. S&K Outdoor

    S&K Outdoor LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I'm new also, but I got 2 jobs today leaving a mowing job. Saw a house with a FOR SALE by owner sign in the yard, hadn't been mowed for at least 2-3 weeks. Called the number, told the lady I saw the house when i was leaving a mowing job, she asked me if I wanted to mow it and if I did, how much, told her yes, gave a price, she said O.K., and met me 15 minutes later with the cash, asked me if I wanted the job for the rest of this year, and to do their new house about 3 block away. I told her thanks for the work, she says, Thank You, I wonder how many lawn co's have gone by here and you were the only one to ever call. One call, $80 per week for about 1 1/4 hours work, not too bad for a newbie I didn't think. maybe this will help someone
  3. TCZellars

    TCZellars LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I just started out this year as well, but am picking up business quickly, I went from 3 to 12 accounts this year so far. I started with a little 21 walk behind mower and a weed wacker. The 3 I started with were friends, Neighbors see me working, and that leads to another and so on. I then bought a new 36" Bobcat walk behind along with a used trailer. Looking back I recommend buying a used mower instead of new when starting out, Money wasnt an issue paying for it but it could have been put towards a dodge diesel or something, I then bought 2 used blowers and trimmers for 300$. and then just recently a used 48" bobcat. Best advice, dont get ahead of yourself, i tried rushing things like getting loans etc. but i stopped looked at the situation and worked it out, dont be afraid to be the sensible guy, fancy equipment and trucks are one thing, but quality work is the most important, thats how I work.
  4. gmeeks

    gmeeks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I am still wanting and needing help!! I would still appreciate every comment.
  5. lawn crafters

    lawn crafters LawnSite Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 440

    ok heres my advice... depending on what you have for a truck, i would get a 12ft trailer because you want room for growth. then buy a used commercial 21 push mower. a trimmer and a hand held blower. as you get more involved you then can get a 36 or 48 w/b, a backpack blower. etc next , get a licence and insurance. then put a add in the newspaper, also after you get going alittle more have some signs made up and put them on the nicest looking yards you do. get a logo for you truck.

    the biggest thing is to look like a pro and you will be looked at as a pro
  6. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,260

    It really depends on your area. Around here, newspaper advertising works well for me. Doorhangers work ok too, you just have to hand out a ton. Like anywhere though, word of mouth is the best. You have very little competition to bid against when you get a job from this kind of advertising.
  7. Care Free LC

    Care Free LC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    i started of with my residential equipment i had for my lawn in the back of my truck. I advertised on craigslist and started off with just a couple of yards on the weekends and after work. Weekends worked much better for me because of the visibility factor in the area. Ppeople began stopping and asking for estimates. Get a good corner lot by a stop sign and work when there is a lot of traffic. This was good for getting more clients in the same neighborhood. Used my dads riding mower (craftsman 42inch). Used a friends trailer to haul everything, eventually I bought a used 32 inch walk behind to make properties faster. Kept advertising on craigslist every day or two and offered free mows for referrals that signed up with me and got several new clients that way. Then i placed a $5 a month ad in my daughters elementary school newsletter and got 9 more accounts in a small area and then paid my kids to pass out fliers in the area. Got 10 more acconts in the area and now i am just swampoed with work. I am looking to get a helper next season if things go like this much longer. I bought a new wright sentar sport (financed with warranty to make sure it was solid investment) and put a vinyl deacal on back of truck. I dont think that was a good idea though. it hasnt gotten much work for me. only one job so far. The fliers and the newsletter are the winners for me. cheap cheap cheap! may try a postcard mailer next year but i am happy with mu success for my first yaer full time.
    In the off season, i do holiday lighting, window cleaning, pressure washing and pool cleaning. I will do just about anything to get the bills paid though.
    good luck and if you do a good job people will refer you. if you do a poor job people will fire you. Most important thing to remeber is that you still have a boss to answer to. A bunch of them!
  8. gmeeks

    gmeeks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I just thought about targeting certain neighborhoods and subdivisions with flyers and maybe a few door to doors and see what happens since I am only starting part time at first.Then I hope referrals and word of mouth gets me lots more. I'm still trying to come up wit a name for my company. Also trying to get some great ideas on flyers and business cards. Again thanks for all your advice and looking forward to getting more.
  9. Father&Daughter Lawn care

    Father&Daughter Lawn care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 434

    Use what ever equipment you have on hand. Hold off on buying stuff. This is really not the best time of year to be starting out. I would concentrate on letting people know you are available for fall clean up.

    Fliers, newspaper adds, and a lot of talking among friends and relatives.
  10. gmeeks

    gmeeks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    bump bump bump

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