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off on my own...

Hello everyone !! My name is David and I'm starting my 13th year in the world of Irrigation. This however will be my first year owning my own company. I'm looking to concentrate on service, I'm a one man show, and I don't have the man power to do allot of service. Please understand that this is not going to be my only source of income it is a side business. I do have a few questions for you guys who have been at it for a while. Please keep in mind that I'm only looking for service, start ups and blow outs. And I'm starting on a limited budget.
1. what is the best way to go. Door hangers or Flyer's on mail boxes?
2. I plan on send some direct mailings to about 100 larger homes with existing systems. Has anyone had any luck with sending letters directly to the customer.
3. What is the best way to accept credit/ debit cards? My bank offers a program and I've been looking at the Pay pal system. What have you had luck with?
4. How do I find the address or any contact info for Homeowners/ Townhome association's? I'm wondering if the post office might have a list or perhaps the city offices?

Thank you for any help you may be able to give.
 
Volunteer work and joining a BIG church are a great way to start. Plan on spending 5 years to build up your customer base. Avoid getting business by being cheap. Get a good looking service vehicle with your company name on it and drive around the neighborhoods you want to work in on Sat and Sun and evenings when people are out. Avoid CC. Most people will write a check. Check with the city water dept for possible billing addresses on HOA.

Do quality work and show lots of knowledge and you'll get there with persistence.
Good Luck....We need more Americans like you right now.
 
OP
Dream Green irrigation

Dream Green irrigation

LawnSite Member
Ive been a service tech for a long long time. It just feels like the right time to get out there. I don't expect to draw any kind of salary for a few years. My quality of work is what has always set me apart and it's my number one priority
 

Waterlogged

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Texas
David Are you still working for an irrigation Co. If so, do they know you are doing work on the side? If not, this is not a good way to get started. When I started I had built up a relationship with alot of other contractors and I just went to them and asked If I could do any of the jobs they did not want to do. Boy did I get some doozies. It's all in relationships. You could try subcontracting. I never did door hangers or mailers. All word of mouth.:waving:
 
David Are you still working for an irrigation Co. If so, do they know you are doing work on the side? If not, this is not a good way to get started. When I started I had built up a relationship with alot of other contractors and I just went to them and asked If I could do any of the jobs they did not want to do. Boy did I get some doozies. It's all in relationships. You could try subcontracting. I never did door hangers or mailers. All word of mouth.:waving:
Very true. Seems like I had to suffer through a few landscapers to get a lot of service work in the beginning. Ditched them as soon as I could though. i hate middlemen but in the beginning it may be what you have to do.
 

hoskm01

LawnSite Fanatic
Welcome to the site, David.

Ive done some direct mailings in the past, letters, and they worked.

Once you get a residential customer, maintain constant contact with them throughout the year to build loyalty and knowledge of your company and services. By constant, I mean at least twice yearly. DanaMac does a great job at this, and I think his results prove it.

As far as HOA's and commercial properties, make friends with property managers. They rule the roost and will be your POC to the association.

Good luck. Come back often and chat.
 

DanaMac

LawnSite Fanatic
As waterlogged said - relationships. Work the supply houses, other landscapers and irrigation companies that don't do service, real estate agents (as much as I hate to say it, they can give you a lot of work). Even your current employer. Don't burn the bridge, they may be up for sending work your way, or subbing out to you.

Door hangers - ditch 'em.

Why don't you think you can take a salary the first few years? Keep your overhead low and you should be able to do very well.

I do the Paypal method for those wanting to pay by CC. I had less than 15 that did this year.
 
OP
Dream Green irrigation

Dream Green irrigation

LawnSite Member
Did you find Pay pal to be reasonably priced? Was it worth it? I do still work for a irrigation company. They are located 35 miles away from were I live and with the prices we charge we have not been able to drum up any business out here. Were over priced for the market. With Dream Green my over head is much lower therefore I can charge less for my services. My current boss is aware that I'm starting out on my own. I've agreed to stay out of his desired locations and my customers can not inter fear with my current job. He wants to keep me around and he understands that he needs to let me do this. I'm a true to my word guy.. I woun't mess with his customers or his area.
 
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