TIPS, Do's and Don'ts tips for the new guy

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Eric ELM, Apr 16, 2001.

  1. SirAndy

    SirAndy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Best tips I have to offer:

    -Get a pair of noise cancelling earbuds such as the Bose QC20's. Put them under your earmuffs to listen to music at lower volumes. Or even if you don't want music, the earmuffs combined with active noise cancelling is bliss.

    -Having a 34" ZT makes pushing a mower obsolete. I have 25 accounts and can fit that mower through every single gate

    -I prefer trimmers with a large swatch, the Shindaiwa T235 is the biggest I've found and it eliminates wasting line by trying to get the line out as far as possible

    -Tying down the mower between jobs was always the worst part of the work, I hated fighting with ratchet straps. Get some CargoBuckle retractable ratchet straps (The G3 for example) and weld them into Etrack attachable loops. Then attach swiveling tie down points to mower. This lets you move the CargoBuckles anywhere along the etrack and you can change location of ZT in the trailer.

    -Invest $30 in a husqvarna gutter cleaning kit. Its made for the handheld blowers but fits some of the mid sized backpack models such as the 350BT. If the eaves aren't too clogged it can clean them as fast as you can walk, it'll pay for itself in less than a minute and is probably the best example of efficiency I've ever seen
     
  2. Rockbridge Lawn Care LLC

    Rockbridge Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    as a new guy I've completed all 59 pages of responses and now I'm a seasoned new guy:)....

    I have found that cleaning the pre-filters after each route is critical to equipment longevity. Just the pre filter, wash it off and re-oil and slap it back in = worry free

    The other thing that I don't think was mentioned was to network your small business into the industry. I know a bunch of my competitors in my area and I have reached out to them (medium companies 2-man crews..) with some sales leads on jobs I don't do (tree trimming, year around maintance contracts for 2-4 acre lots as I< I don't do snow or trees)...as a result of being open to passing along business they have sent me some leads as well with-in my niche properties that were out of their main route and/or to small for them and their equipment set up (I love fenced in yards). We've also covered for one-another in a pinch when equipment is broken or the rain is just to much.....

    << This goes for materials too as this year we struck a legal agreement on bulk mulch between the three of us.

    I can't put a price on the value I learned from them this past year in regards to contract bids, market valuations and such. There is what you read on the internet; then there is what goes on in real life.
     
  3. Mitch's lawn

    Mitch's lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    The 2016 season was my first year running a mowing business. I started this year with $400 in my bank account and a truck, a push mower, a trimmer and blower. If you canstart your business without taking out a loan, do it! I focussed on customer service and quality work and saw my busines grow exponentially and saw my account balance also rise. Show your clients that they are the #1 priority and do good work.
    Do's:
    1. Show up 5 minutes early to appointments. This shows you keep a good schedule
    2. Keep your equipment clean. Even if its not the nicest or newest, clean equipment shows that you care and tske pride in your work.
    3. Be polite. Show up to the door with a smile on your face and wave to your clients and their neighbors.
    4. Take pride in your work. This is self-explanatory, good work gets good reviews. Happy clients will talk to their friends and family about you. Word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising!
    5. Have fun. When clients see you having fun doing the work you do, it can help to make their day better. If they see you having fun while still looking professional, they know that they have hired someone who loves what they do. When you love what you do, you tend to do great work!
    6. Look back at the finished product, would you pay for that work? If not, fix it, if so get your money and tell yourself you did a good job.
    7. Appreciate picky clients, many of us hate the ones that want the yard cut shorter or the hedges trimmed a little smaller. These are the clients you should want, heres why: if you do a good job, they will keep you, if you miss something that you don't even notice, they will make you aware of it.
    8. Never give estimates over the phone or from the truck. Get out and walk the property like you are mowing it. This will get you the best estimate.
    9. Be confident in yourself, nothing is worse than telling a client you have no idea what they are saying.
    10. Get a good pair of boots, not shoes but boots. Youre on your feet all day, be confortable.

    Dont's:
    1. Don't do mow and go yards, if potential clients see you doing crappy work, they will think you are a hack.
    2. Don't yell to employees while on a job site, walk over to them and talk.
    3. Don't work for people who want to negotiate $5 off the price of weekly mowing, they will never hire you for upselling or any side work.
    4. Don't go buying equipment you don't need just to look like a pro, your business will most likely fail if you have $30,000 in equipment and only gross $25,000 your first year.
     
  4. MySprinklerMedic

    MySprinklerMedic LawnSite Member
    Male, from North Houston
    Messages: 94

    good point, here in texas you hardly find 34"s
    i seetle with a metro 32"
     
    JLSLLC likes this.
  5. MySprinklerMedic

    MySprinklerMedic LawnSite Member
    Male, from North Houston
    Messages: 94

    what you mean bud...elaborate please
     
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  6. MySprinklerMedic

    MySprinklerMedic LawnSite Member
    Male, from North Houston
    Messages: 94

    I cant stress it enough,,,,Network Network Network Network..even if its competition...Example im building my route to just my town in Conroe for Lawn maintenance everything close by I pass it on to other business i network with, in return I get most of the Sprinkler jobs, which is my bread n butter
     
    JLSLLC likes this.
  7. MySprinklerMedic

    MySprinklerMedic LawnSite Member
    Male, from North Houston
    Messages: 94

    I dont compete on pricing but on value and knowledge, there's plenty of whiners to fill some route spots but afterwards i let them go, for premium accounts
     
    JLSLLC likes this.
  8. Jackslawncare06

    Jackslawncare06 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I have taken some maintenance classes from one of my dealers here in my town were I live and they that at full RPM you take a chance of snapping your belts is one of the reasons they suggest that we start at a low RPM and I have snapped a belt on my Gravely at a High RPM But when I bought my Exmark I was given these instructions as a first time zero turn purchaser. Some of the people I deal with tell you what you have been told so you can come back in by your parts ($80 to $100 for a deck belt). As far pressure washing I would recommend with a low pressure tip not a high pressure tip some of the engine parts cannot handle the pressure.
     
  9. Earl Velasco

    Earl Velasco LawnSite Member
    Male
    Messages: 1

    Three ways to boost revenue:

    1. Gain more clients
    2. Upsell existing clients
    3. Raise your prices

    Good luck on your lawn care business.
     
    JLSLLC likes this.
  10. JLSLLC

    JLSLLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,224

    Very well thought out responses- i must say. Keep it coming guys, post count Does not MATTER! Lets hear it!!!!
     
    ShoresLawn likes this.

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