Small Town or Go the distance

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Marvelous Gardens, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. Marvelous Gardens

    Marvelous Gardens LawnSite Member
    Messages: 119

    I have been in business for five years now, in this small town with the pop. @ 13,000, this year I have decided to hire someone to work for me, as I have a full time job. I work shift work so I have fourteen days off a month, and I have been running my business on my days off since I started, but I feel like it is time to get really serious about it and really spend the money on advertising and really try to pick up some new residential and commercial accounts. So my question is; Should I try to market just my area with pop 13,000, or the surrounding towns to? They would all be atleast a thirty minute drive. I have really nice equipment that can handle any size property.
  2. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    it depends on how big you want to get and how far you are willing to travel and pay for someone to travel between stops. i'm in the same boat as you and i still haven't made a decision yet .. but it is easy to tell someone else what they should do..
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,362

    So you put out flyers 30 minutes away and you get a couple yards. You going to drive 1 hour to do the yards and be competitive?
  4. Marvelous Gardens

    Marvelous Gardens LawnSite Member
    Messages: 119

    I want to have enough accounts to give my employee 32-40 Hour weeks and if I need to I would hire more people as needed, there is no limit to how big as far as I am concerned,

    If I went with the distance what I would do is try to land a commercial account that would be worth driving to then pick up other residential jobs in close relation to the commercial site.
  5. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    I'd do a little market research. Find out what competition exists in these not-so-neaby towns first. Use some census bureu stats about the median incomes. Then pick which town you want to work. Concentrate your advertising in just that one town. Post cards, mailers, door hangers, church bulletins, whatever methods you prefer. The local yellow pages can work well in that sort of geographic demography.

    If you didn't get a commercial account, I would think you could still get enough residentials to justify at least a days' work.
  6. jm3971

    jm3971 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    Hey Marvelous ! I also work shift work with 14 days off for a plant in Ingleside , Texas . I mow from corpus & travel up to aransas pass which is about 35 - 40 minutes . I am solo right now but I was thinking of hiring 1 employee this year with intentions of someday having a crew so I can take a day or 2 off if needed .
  7. jm3971

    jm3971 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    I'm sure scheduled properly, with enough work to justify the drive, you shouldn't have any problems .
  8. Marvelous Gardens

    Marvelous Gardens LawnSite Member
    Messages: 119

    I think I will do most of my marketing in Port Lavaca(pop 13000), Port O'Connor, Seadrift and if needed Victoria. Thank You for all the advice.
  9. crazymike

    crazymike LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 452

    30 minutes isn`t a far drive at all.

    I would go for it. Even if you could make $1000 a month off of 1 visit a week, that`s only 10 accounts and you could drive there, work and be back by lunch. So even if you don`t make much money, you open a new door.
  10. 24/48

    24/48 LawnSite Member
    from TX
    Messages: 31

    i work shift and mow on my days off. there are about 18,000 in my town and i mow in quite a few towns around me. at first you may drive for only a couple yards but if you do a quality job the yards will come. good luck

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