I've had the entrepreneurial spirit my whole life. Working for someone else, not being able to apply my creativity, glass ceilings, I can't stand it. At the risk of giving up medical benefits and a modest retirement contribution I would find it more rewarding to build a business from the ground up, my way. That being said I have some great ideas, some of them will work, some are probably unrealistic, but thats the beauty of owning your own company right? This will be an ongoing thread, kind of a blog if you will, about the ideas I have, the things I'm trying and how effective they are/were. I take this business very seriously. Professionalism is a requirement. I want to learn about my business one step at a time. I am currently employed full time outside of lawn care, so I have a little bit of freedom to experiment. It is my desire to set my self apart, and above my competitors. I am not afraid to spend money to make money, specifically speaking, professional equipment, professional image and advertising. Be forewarned that you will probably not agree with a lot of my methods, but I'm ok with that. My overall goal and modis operandi will be to saturate one residential subdivision at a time, starting with lawncare services and expanding from there. It is my desire to start hiring employees to perform my services within three years of conception, allowing me to work on the next level of service, ultimately expanding to other non-lawncare related services. I disagree with the typcial LCO strategy of plastering 1,000 fliers all over hell and gone. I will purposefully create brand name recognition withing each subdivision through careful image marketing, and repetitive advertising. My company name, at least initially will by SkyLawncare.com. My middle name is Sky, but thats irrelevant. I plan to have a substantial web presence so my website will be synonymous with my company name. My color scheme will by a dark sky blue, or cyan, and white. Fresh, clean, different. Sure I could call it Evergreen lawn and landscape, but that's so cliche' is it not? I may or may not go with a logo, I haven't decided. I think the color combination and name should be enough to achieve the desired brand name recognition. My slogan, or one of them anyway, will be "SkyLawncare.com - blue is the new green". I plan on painting my vehicles 2 tone, the bottom half being cyan and the top half being a nice white with SkyLawncare.com pinstriped or brushed onto the doors & tailgate. My company uniform will consist of khaki shorts and a cyan polo shirt with SkyLawn.com printed on the back. When I park my truck I will set out an orange cone in front and to the rear of my vehicle and trailer. I intend on creating a sandwich board to set near my truck that lists my name, some services performed, and some contact information. I will be creating my own marketing materials. I am quite good at this. I am purchasing clean edge, glossy business card stock from office depot and printing my own cards. This way I can control the cost while modifying my cards at my whim. I will by making every attempt to distance myself from the competition so I have purchased a roll of model railroad imitation grass and intend on printing my name and contact info on my business card, glueing miniature fake turf around the contact info and applying a self adhesive magnetic backing. I will post pictures when I have done this. Other methods of direct and indirect marketing will include creating brochures, mailing post-cards and producing self-playing powerpoint presentation disks. You can in fact have companies cut mini-discs into the shape of a business card and silk screen your logo and info onto the disk, you can then record a presentation onto the disk which also leads them to your website. When I select a subdivision to dominate, since most noisy work cannot be started until after 8:00, I will create a sign that says something like "SkyLawncare.com CUTS CEDAR RIDGE", and stand at the entrance of the subdivision as everyone leaves for work in the morning. When you show up in the middle of the day when eveyone is gone, how do they know you're even servicing that area? Given time is money, and the fact that gas prices are through the roof, it is my intention to offer any and all services I possibly can to each subdivision. I will focus on lawncare first and expand, service by service as I master each one while sending out post-cards each time I offer a new service. My brand recognition will be inescapeable once I decend upon a neighborhood. It makes sense to milk as much profit as possible out of each client without having to load up your equipment and drive. More houses withing a small geographic area should increase profits. Less time loading and unloading, less time driving, less fuel, less miles. I would eventually like to offer pressure washing, auto detailing, small dent removal, home cleaning services and eventually real estate services, you name it. Understand I will only do things that feel like a logical progression of services, I won't jump right into anything and I won't do everything conceivable. In the long term, I feel my investment in time and marketing will pay off in the long run. These are just a few of the ideas I have. Rather non-conventional. Most people know that you need to get your name in front of people 5-8 or more times before they start remembering you and I plan on doing a better job at that than anyone. We'll see how it goes, lol. Like I said, I'll be taking it slow. If something isn't working I'm not afraid to change it.