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Landscaping in the year 2002

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by steveair, Dec 30, 2001.

  1. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073


    well, I've finally gotten my 'dream' rolling and just wanted to see what you guys think.

    This is what I call my 'mobile design office':


    Inside, I've got this:


    Looking to do design/estimate for a group of 3 contractors next year. Bascially, the vehicle gives me the power to design/print/estimate/ print proposals on the job site.

    Basically, its good for jobs in the 5-50k range.....the goal is to pull up to a house, talk to the client, take measurements, go to the car and do a quick plan/estmate, then get out and hand it to the client within a hour or two....

    From my own experiences, I think one of the biggest keys to making a sale is being timely about it. Most guys are still taking 1 -2 weeks to just get back to people for even small jobs....now, that factor will be eliminated. Imagine how hard it will be for someone to say no if you come back in a hour and have a full plan/plant list/ typed proposal and contract ready for them to sign...

    Also think about what happens when they are trying to figure out what contractor they want to use.......They will have my estimate sitting in front of them while still waiting on the other guys to show up or come back........

  2. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 543

    Nice idea with the PT. They're a catchy vehicle and it really adds professionalism. You've hit it pretty close with the timeliness of closing a sale. Must say thats one of my weaker areas. Now i have something to aspire to.
  3. kermit

    kermit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Take out the rear seat, install good chair, tiedown the laptop and printer, get a decent converter unit and extra 12 volt battery.
    Get a small bookcase for your reference works and make sure you have a state of the art digital camera. use aprogram such as DIG and you have a pretty decent mobile office.
    Too bad you don't have a van which would work out better,but if you already have that little toy you might as well use it.
    If you are just going to have your laptop etc. tossed in the back of the toy maybe you should haul it into the customers home and present your Power Point presentation.
    I assume you are charging appropriatly for the plans you are handing out to prospects? You aren't doing this for free are you? Could take a good part of your working day handing out estimates.
    Just my two cents worth.
  4. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Messages: 949

    Good Idea. I think a van that allows you more space would be a plus. The ability to print a bid or proposal right on the spot can be very impressive.Well Done.
  5. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    Nice little set up Steve.

    Im not sure how you can estimate for 3 differant companys. For one... do they trust you to estimate? .. do they all bid the same?
    Maybe I missed something here.
  6. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073


    I know it raises a lot of questions that I work for 3 differnet companies now. One of the ways I do this is each one is in a different area, and each one is in a different market.

    One company has 40+ employees, doing mainly commercial accounts with a few higher end residential accounts. The next is a 10-15 employee company that services mainly residential. The last is a small, 3 man operation that does, well, I'm not sure what he does.

    Pricing is very interesting between the 3. One company is in a very 'ritzy' area, that allows a much higher pricing schedule than say, the 3 man operation up in the 'sticks'. The biggest operaion is the most interesting, as his prices are all over the place, often depending on what day of the week it is sometimes!

    Between the 3, and a few other LCO I work for, I have gotten one general consensus from them. People like to have a second opinion on things.

    What I mean is, I often and brought in just to get asked, "what would you do", or 'what are your ideas on this one". Often, the guys do nothing that I have told them, but they are willing to pay me still just for that extra opinion.

    There's alot of guys out there that are 'on their own', and want nothing more than the feeling that what they are about to do is 'not far fetched' or that what they are charging is 'the norm'.

    Kind of like this website. We may know what we are going to do, just want to get some feedback to help give us that 'extra' support.

    I often wonder if the people here on lawnsite and other forum's truly understand the value of the information that is being conveyed here...........A lot of 'secrets being disclosed'.....and whether you see it or not, these 'secrets' have a value.

    Could it be possible to make a career out of just conveying this information to others that have not 'woken' up and gotten onto this new technological advancement called the internet? Maybe..........................

  7. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 611

    My only thought would be if a customer would want you sitting in their driveway for an hour in the backseat of a car.:eek:


    Sounds like a good plan. Let's see how it works out.
  8. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    Good luck with it Steve,

    A friend of mine would go to a customers house..draw a "to scale design" give them a quote and close the sale .... all in a hour or 2 while sitting at their kitchen table. He was VERY succesful.
    This guy could sell a eskimo ice cubes ...and for top dollar.

    He was the best I have ever seen.
  9. Old Guy

    Old Guy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59


    A couple of questions - What type printer do you have? Also, what are you using for power? My notebook is good for about three hours and then poops out. You have a "cigarette lighter" adapter for the notebook and printer?

    I think you have a winner.
  10. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 543

    Just make sure you don't have one of those bumper stickers that sez " If the PT's a rockin don't bother knockin":D

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