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Want more customers

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by TNT Lawn Maintenance, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. TNT Lawn Maintenance

    TNT Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    I currently have 11 weekly mowing accounts (9 residential, 2 commercial) and I would like to get some more. I'm 17 years old and will be done with school next year and I would like to take this full time.
    So how do I do it?

    I bought most of my equipment from my uncle as surplus from his landscape business so i have very little debt, I want to build the business up this fall and winter so I can buy a newer truck and a new zero turn if i can.

    any ideas?
  2. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    First of all, what's wrong with your truck? I have '95 Chevy 2500 with the 350 and 4.10 gears and it has plenty of power to pull around a 16' trailer. I always keep it clean, get rid of rust when it pops through. Save for a few dings and a little rust on my rims, my truck practically looks brand new. I don't want a newer truck that costs more money.

    Second, I could understand the wanting of a ZTR. If you're set on it, find an entry-level commercial unit and take care of it.

    Third, what do you want to do after school? If you want to do this full-time, good for you. But do all you want to do is cut grass? What other services will you offer? What is your skill set? How will you learn how to do stone work or plant installs if that's a route you want to take?
  3. TNT Lawn Maintenance

    TNT Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    dont get me wrong its a nice truck but it has 170,000 miles and the tranny is starting to go bad so i figure i can keep through this plow season. I live in wisconsin so the harsh winters have also taken a toll on it and its getting pretty rusty.

    the mower i'm not set on yet im just looking for ideas but would like a zero turn because i want to start taking on more commercial accounts

    after school i want to do this full time but if that dosn't happen my uncle already said he would have a job for me until i can make my business full time. no i dont wanna do just grass, I want to cut grass, and do full landscaping installs/maintenance. I have the skills to cut grass, trim bushes and do basic landscaping, etc so that would be fine with me for now but im always open to bigger and better things, thats how i got this business started. and as far as stone installs i would like to stay away from that for now unless its basic patios or retaning walls
  4. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    Ok, I can understand wanting a new truck. I live in the rust belt also, but it's probably worse up your way. I don't use my truck to plow either, so I have that going for me.

    If you want to get into landscape installs, consider a job at a local garden center with a landscape install crew. They have the know-how of planting and design. I worked for one last year, and we did some awesome work. Either that, or a job with a landscape contractor that specializes in landscape installs.

    You could always take online classes, or tech school classes for landscape design or something similar, but why pay to learn what you can get paid to learn with hands-on-experience?

    My plan is to finish school, work a few more years for a local LCO, and then go on my own. Hopefully I'll be able to take some landscape design and stone work classes.
  5. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    If your truck starts to cost you money in repairs, that is a sign that a new truck is in store. Don't go out and buy a brand new truck (ie 2009), look for something used from 2002-2004 (or around there). And when you plow with it, make sure you are taking good care of it (always stop completely before changing directions, put a tranny cooler and temp gauge on there). Oh, and be sure to put some wax on the truck before plowing season and a couple time throughout the year to help protect the truck.

    Also, you might want to stay part time for the next year or two so you can take some classes at a local CC so you can get add some more services to your list.
  6. TNT Lawn Maintenance

    TNT Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    thanks for all the help guys.

    another question.... whats the best way to market your l.c. business and how do you get more customers??
  7. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    If you do good work, the best is word of mouth. And upsell your services. If you mow lawns, always talk to your customers about other services you offer. "If you need your shrubs trimmed, let me know." Or "I can give you a quote to re-do that plant bed since you mentioned you're unhappy that everything is overgrown."

    Other than that, it's hard to say what works best. Sometimes door hangers, mail-outs, fliers around town, etc.

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    a lot of business is from word of mouth

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