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Some of you guys are scaring the heck out of me!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by CLT Bluesman, Feb 11, 2020.

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  1. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 7,705

    Make sure your properly licensed to apply in your local. Even if you can buy it at the box store you have to have a license to apply for hire.
    hort101 and zlandman like this.
  2. OP
    CLT Bluesman

    CLT Bluesman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 234

    I’m licensed. I took the exam a couple years ago. I did need to take some CE credits though. Thank you though for checking.
    hort101, JFGLN and sjessen like this.
  3. Groomer

    Groomer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,543

    ghost riders on the lawns, wait, that was ghost riders in the sky.

    Same thing? lol
    sjessen likes this.
  4. Mattmowsgrass

    Mattmowsgrass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 329

    You can definitely be successful,

    Person 1, starts with a 100 dollar trimmer, $75 blower. A Facebook page, and calls himself a business. Prices low to get the job ,Gets customers, equipment breaks down, he doesnt't make enough to replace it, doesnt report his income, so he can't get credit, doesn't show up, doesnt answer the phone, gets fired, Goes out of business.

    Person 2, takes his business seriously, and treats it like a business,gets licensed and insured, takes care of his equipment, is a professional, acts like one, answers his phone. Cleans his equipment, maintains it properly, prices based on his value, not person 1s, pays taxes. Has a successful business.
    Are your person 1, or person 2?
    Wink'sLawnManag. likes this.
  5. Ronniecoleman

    Ronniecoleman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    Congrats on going full time. A couple of things I have learned over the years.

    Charge more money. I know this is hard to do trying to grow your business but you will get better clients this way.

    Next be a full service stop. Meaning make sure your doing everything you can for your client. This helps two fold it will make the clients property looking best and give you the most profits. Basic mow and go 1500 a year compared to 5000 for full service.

    Next 1 neighborhood a day. You make money working not driving. This took many years, but route density is important.

    Last I have been doing this 20+ years and having employers to start is just one more stress starting out. If I had to start over I would stay solo.
  6. OP
    CLT Bluesman

    CLT Bluesman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 234

    Great comparison. I did all of the description of number 2. The outcome remains to be seen.

    I listened to a podcast from the boot camp guy. He talked about action promotion vs image promotion. So I designed an idea for a door hanger that says basically “I just mowed your neighbors yard, 50% off on your first service”. That’s the gist of it. My plan is that when I’m mowing a yard, I’ll hang these on the neighbors doors. Maybe go 5 houses down on each side and 10 houses across the street. I have my person at Fiverr working on the design. The action is the 50% off on first service. If I just get one referral it will pay for itself. What do you think?
    JFGLN likes this.
  7. OP
    CLT Bluesman

    CLT Bluesman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 234

    Now vs when I was part time, I look for every opportunity that I can ask the customer if they want done. Before I was just mow and go.

    I am too old for solo. I’m 65 and sometimes my right hip aches and my back sometimes aches. I definitely need a helper. But I certainly see the benefits of a solo operation.

    I’m trying to build route density. I’ve got one neighborhood with 5 houses and one with three adjoining. To me road time is huge expense.
    sjessen and JFGLN like this.
  8. Matthews Lawn Care

    Matthews Lawn Care LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,154

    So we should believe your findings over someone else’s even tho you haven’t provided any “proof” either?

    Good job contributing to the thread, great info!
    JMK26 likes this.
  9. Ronniecoleman

    Ronniecoleman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    If you need a helper, I would make sure this is your guy and explain to him you plan to sell the business to him in 5 or so years. This will really push him to help you expand.

    One last thing. I would have at least some clients you have equal pay 12 months a year to cover payroll. This is hard to do with new residential clients.
    hal, JFGLN and CLT Bluesman like this.
  10. Mac-s Lawn & Snow

    Mac-s Lawn & Snow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 459

    I've never been a fan of the discounted service to get my foot in the door- so to speak. I do like your flyer idea and concept. Maybe work an angle like watch the service and quality of the work we provide your neighbor. Knocking on doors and handing out flyers will certainly help with improving sales skills, pricing and route density. Make sure to get some decals on your truck that can easily be read from 100 feet and have a company name that is simple to remember and easily gooogleable.
    You seem to have some good business sense and have thought this out. The rest will follow. Don't expect to fill your route immediately. I did landscape construction for 30 years as a solo-op and had to hang it up as my body is wearing out. I moved 200 miles and switched to mowing. I really thought the work would be easier, I was wrong on that one. This will be the start of my third season mowing and I should have a full route this year.
    Also, get to know your competition. I moved to a small town of 11,000 people with 10 or so LCO's. If I am on a bid and someone tells me they are also getting a bid from ABC lawns, I tell them they do great work and they should get a fair and comparable bid from either of us. Mow-daddy is also in the same town and his focus is mowing acreage. If some one calls him and tells him they have less than an acre to mow on my side of town, I don't even think he looks at it and tells them to call me or another player in town.

    Edit: on your flyers, leave a spot to hand write the neighbors name where you are working, enough room for Bob and Sherri's house. People seem to throw flyers in a junk drawer and will call a month or two down the road.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
    jonthepain, JMK26 and CLT Bluesman like this.
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