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small town operation/ how to begin?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Braxton, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. Braxton

    Braxton LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 81

    I'm still gathering intelligence so to speak; I plan a start up this coming march.

    Does anyone else live in a small town? Now, I don't mean one stoplight, we have approximately 2,500 and over 13,000 in the county. There are also three larger towns/counties within 30 to 50 minutes from my home. Of course, there is established competition, as with most places. In your opinion, what is the potential in such a setting? How do you break into the market to become established?

    Thanks much.

  2. pgiambat

    pgiambat LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    I went from 6 accounts to 20 with an ad placed in the Thrifty Nickel. Other places have that same thing called different names (penny pincher, american classifieds etc...). It was $6.50/week so I ran it from April 1st to the end of May. I got a lot of calls. The local 'Big' paper charges WAY too much.

    Usually, small town folk read the local publications, especially the free ones.

    I put carefully selected words in my ad since mostly women respond to the ads. I used words like "Reasonable", "Friendly", "Honest" and "Dependable". My first year advertising I put a price in the ad but not since, it gives you more flexibility.

    If someone called and we talked for at least a minute... I had the job. I sold MYSELF, not the cut. ANYONE can cut grass, not all good but anyone CAN cut. Also, you are battling the dirtball-undercutter that'll do it for $17/cut and then drop the account when they get a $25 cut down the street. Or, the 'kid' down the street that will cut for $10 but only shows up to cut every once in a while then not at all. This turns people off to hiring out their cut.

    NOTE: My whole post is assuming you give a SWEET cut leaving the yard looking like a MILLION BUCKS!!

    Find a SWEET corner lawn and offer to cut it for free in exchange for letting you put a sign in the yard, and make it a NICE looking sign. It's little things like this that will get you some cuts.

    I justify my prices by telling the customer that I'll be there EVERY week or I'll call ahead of time and let them know. This works, and you'll get word of mouth. Keep your shirt on, your hair cut, shave and don't forget to smile, wave and say 'Hi' to their neighbors when you're cutting.
  3. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

    Hi Braxton,

    Find services you can offer starting today and start getting flyers out there to advertise your services. You can do this. You can make it happen.
  4. Braxton

    Braxton LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 81

    Thanks for the replies. With the population numbers I gave (not sure how current, but the best I have) and the location in relation to larger towns, do y'all belive the potential is there?



    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I would guess with a sparse population that a lot of folks there have some land, so hopefully you'll need fewer customers since the lawns are large (just guessing). I'm sure you could make a go of it, might take a little longer to get where you want to be, but definitely possible.

    I can't relate, my county has just a little under 1 million residents, plus hundreds of thousands more in neighboring counties.
  6. Braxton

    Braxton LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 81

    There are a few LCO's here, so I think the potential is there, but not like the "big cities".

    Any other rural folks out there with advice?


  7. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 2,412

    It all depends on the median income. If the median income in your town is $200k, then yes, it defiantly can be done. If the median income is $25k, look somewhere else. Go to google and type in your town name, state and then "population". It will have all the stats.

    I live in a city of 12,500 (as of July 2002) with a median income of $75k, so I’m able to go out and get quite a few jobs.

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