Just starting out

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by llama, Feb 26, 2003.

  1. llama

    llama LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    What is the best way to gain customers when you are just starting out in the business? And is one Tiger Cub 52" acceptable to be the main mower for a new company?
  2. danp

    danp LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    First let me say welcome to the site, second, I will be the first to suggest you run a search on the subjects you are interested in. I did the same and was able to get most of the answers I was looking for from previous posts....
  3. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    The best way is to rub elbows with a fellow LCO, help him out from time to time and he/she/it will refer you. I've given away more work in the last couple of years than I remember. I give it to friends in the business..........they help me and I help them. I'm not trying to conquer the world so when I get swamped I refer all calls and requests to those that have time to get to it. Not everybody with a trailer and mowers is an A hole so rather than shy away from them go talk with them and ask their opinion about pricing........availability of work...........and see if there is a way you can help them. Might be surprised how fast you can be up and running.

    Yes, the mower is fine.

    Where are you at in Alabama?
  4. bastalker

    bastalker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    Hey llama...Man you can start with a push mower an a broom goin door to door if ya want!! Dont take long to add things on;)
    Hey Homer send some of that work my way!! heh heh heh payup
  5. Thompson Lawns

    Thompson Lawns LawnSite Member
    from OK
    Messages: 21

    Llama, I am a new member to site and this is my 2nd year in the bizz on my own (did irrigation and landscape while going to school). Your best bet is to spend hours reading this sight and take the advice of the guys that have been in it awhile. (You can take mine for what its worth, Its just that its still fresh in my mind about starting out.)
    Find out what works for LCO's in your area if you can. A local newspaper and good referalls from local businessman that I had done work for helped get me started (getting one office building under your feet will do wonders, be friendly to every person that walks across that parking lot and soon almost every person that works there will be your customer) and one office bldg. Mng./Owner knows another eventually it will snowball on you. neighbors tell neighbors, family tells family. People will stop and ask you for a bid while your loading/unloading your equip. Just look as professional as possible (through the sweat and dirt) and educate yourself, nothing worse than the customer knowing more than you.
    If you have any other landscape experience then advertise those too, more than likely you will have the time (maint. sprinkler repair/install, trees, bushes, flower beds, clean-up, drainage, retaining walls, etc.) whatever you can get your hands on, soon they will be lawn customers. Eventually word of mouth will be your best Advertisement.
    Buy quality equipment, and only buy what you need to get started (my opinion). Stay with the commercial brands (Stilh, Echo, Red Max, Shindaiwa, etc.) Ditto on mowers. Dont waste your money on lesser equip. or you will be replacing it soon. You mentioned Scag, that is one of the three finalist for my next mower. Hustler and Exmark are the others. The LCO's here gave me their advice to. As soon as the snow and ice melts I will demo them.
    You didnt specify what size areas you will be mowing or if you already have accounts set-up. Everyone starts out differently, with different budgets, and different applications. My choice would be a 32" or 36" walk-behind. Small gates with large yards. You dont want a sweet ZTR collecting dust, if you have the work for it then great. Do what works best for you.
    Take care of your customers and they will take care of you (99% of them anyway). Good luck!

    P.S. Dont forget a referal program.
  6. llama

    llama LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    I am in Gadsden.
    Thank you for the information.
  7. Grounds Man

    Grounds Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I tried fliers, door hangers, local shoppers ads, newspapers and yellow pages. I found fliers and door hangers to be too time consuming with a very low return for the effort. Local shoppers ads paid their own way while newspaper ads were not consistent producers.

    My best return for the money is always yellow pages advertisement. You don't need a big ad. In fact, a big ad may hurt you because a lot of customers think your too expensive if you can afford a bigger ad.

    Referrals will come if your doing a good job. You just have to have the staying power till it all comes together.

    Grounds Man
  8. johnhenry

    johnhenry LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    All good advice .You will learn more every day.Scag is a very good mower .You have a good start Use the search here alot. You will find hundreds of post to help you

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