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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so ive bought my equipment, and have advertised in local free paper. Absolutly no business what so ever, ive gotten 2 calls total i dont know if because its dry and people dont want to pay to mow dead grass or what. IM down the fact of working for famially lord knows its not what i wanted to do but ill do anything for money

Should i push for leaf removal this fall, i think there would have to be some money in that

Ive also printed business cards, 4-H fair is next week might try to talk to some of the ppl i volunteer with
 

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try and have your friends to help you out. So if you tell a couple of friends then they tell their other friends and so on and by the time the get done u might have more then you want good luck. i would to fall clean good money their also try and do a couple of mulch jobs. most people want them done in the spring but you still could do some mulch jobs in the dry summer to have some income payup payup thats why i wait and do alot of my mulching jobs in the summer so the look good all some long and fall. good luck
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ive also put my name in with 3 real-estate companies

havent gotten any calls

ive got my serivces printed on the back of my business card as

Lawn Mowing
Sidewalk/Driveway Edging
Mulch Application
Hedge Trimming
Garden Tilling
 

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Summer IS a slow time of year so the low response rate is normal. That and it takes time, it really does - 2 calls for a 1-week ad is ok say if it cost you around 40 bucks to run it, that's not too far off but there may be other venues as well which may work better for you.

Since you have the equipment, maybe consider designing a flyer on your computer.
 

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Joe'slawnmowing said:
Ive also put my name in with 3 real-estate companies

havent gotten any calls

ive got my serivces printed on the back of my business card as

Lawn Mowing
Sidewalk/Driveway Edging
Mulch Application
Hedge Trimming
Garden Tilling
You're fine on the services you offer, I think those 5 things you do is good.

Some changes you might try (this worked for me):
From Lawn Mowing to Grass Cutting
Sidewalk/Driveway Edging to Edging & Trimming
Mulch Application to Mulch
Garden Tilling to Tilling

Do you have a Core Aerator? If not, no biggie but if you do, then
Aeration & Tilling
would work.

So then:
Grass Cutting
Edging & Hedge Trimming
Mulch
Tilling

Now this presents another issue because your original format looks better, but NOW you can move it to the FRONT of your ad which is a much better place than the back, and do so sequentially as follows:

* Grass Cutting, Edging & Hedge Trimming, Mulch, Tilling *

So then also I would add -
* Free Estimates *

That last thing, ppls love to get stuff for free,
yup, even if it's just an estimate.

Now I would keep your business cards, you already paid for them and there is no sense in spending more on that, the above ideas are meant for like if you design a flyer or maybe you can tune up the newspaper ad some.
Good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
for a spot in the classifieds in the free paper, cost me $4.00 for one week ( runs on tuesday and thursday)

Local regular news paper is $10.00 for ten days for classified

and to top it off i picked the driest sumer since 1988 to start mowing yards


Oh forgot to add that i put FREE ESTIMATES on the front of my business cards
 

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Joe'slawnmowing said:
for a spot in the classifieds in the free paper, cost me $4.00 for one week ( runs on tuesday and thursday)

Local regular news paper is $10.00 for ten days for classified

and to top it off i picked the driest sumer since 1988 to start mowing yards

Oh forgot to add that i put FREE ESTIMATES on the front of my business cards
Ok then those prices mean it cost you like 2 to 5 bucks per each phonecall you got, roughly speaking? That's not bad at all, sometimes I pay close to 10 dollars per call, not trying to scare you but what I would suggest is, if you can afford it for a bit is to keep running the ads since it is not costing too much and try and get used to it if you can, those are not bad prices to pay for that.

A one-week trial run is a good thing because sometimes you pick the wrong paper and get NO calls but in this case, I would suggest running the ad as long as you can, week after week, after week, after week. I ran mine in the spring for 8 or 10 weeks straight and some guys run theirs the whole season. That's how we get going, just keep running the ad until you feel you've had enough (meaning your schedule is close to full and you're working all the time). Seeing how cost-effective your ad really is you might want to leave it the way it is, it really is doing pretty good for the money and although I suggested some changes, maybe best leave it alone before we make it worse :)

The drought will ease soon, probably not tomorrow but certainly it could end anyday, and it can not and will not last forever. It will take some TIME and you just have to run the ad week after week, after week, lalala...

Some more tips next post.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hey thanks for the help i appreciate it

question, im waiting to get some business before i buy a trailer, but if i do get one what size should i aim for
 

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As you get calls, since you're slow, I might suggest adjusting your prices (wait) until you are getting about 1 out of every 2 calls as a YES. WITH the exception of jobs that YOU say NO to (because you can't do it or for whatever reason) if after your 5th estimate nobody has said yes, lower your prices a LITTLE bit (not a lot). Then, give 5 more estimates and see how it goes - Keep doing that.

Here's the trick:
If more than half are saying NO, your prices are too high.
If more than half are saying YES, your prices are too low.
Try for 50/50, that should get you started but again, it takes time.

Tax-wise, I wouldn't worry about it too much in your first year, you will likely be able to get away with simply declaring what you earned minus what you spent on supplies, so to speak. This is a great opportunity for you if you're living with your parents, you can take this year to build things up a bit and then next year build it up some more so by the time you're getting to be near 20 years old, you could have a pretty nice thing going (see I said it takes time, my first year was a bit rough too, the 2nd year was MUCH better). Hang in there, keep running the ad so long it doesn't break your bank.
 

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Joe'slawnmowing said:
hey thanks for the help i appreciate it

question, im waiting to get some business before i buy a trailer, but if i do get one what size should i aim for
uhmmm, the trailer thing is a trick you think about some ...
- I wanted one big enough for MOST jobs but not too big.. My truck is a 250/2500 3/4 ton series and pulls cars if need be, it is a tough truck with a v-8 and the transmission to handle some weight (I think it can haul 6 or 8 thousand pounds. So truck series is important - a smaller truck with a larger trailer will burn through the transmission within 6 to 12 months, every time. If you have a 150/1500 or smaller, keep in mind you may need bigger truck OR smaller trailer to keep from messing up the transmission.

I do mulch as well and find the ONLY trailer I can pull AND hauls a decent load of mulch is a 6x12 with 2-foot steel sides. Also I had to put a class-III trailer hitch on the truck rated at like 8 thousand pounds because smaller hitches will break and NO bumper balls don't work, heh...

Way I did it, I went to a local trailer dealer, that's all they do - sell trailers. I bought the trailer AND the hitch AND got them to put it on, paid like 1400 for it all AND got 1 year warranty and it was brand-new. Trailers only last 8, 10 maybe 12 years in this business so it needs to be good QUALITY.

Looking around, here is a trailer for 600 dollars (without gate thou) and this is about the least QUALITY you might look for:
http://www.trailershopper.com/page-11551.html
Click photo to enlarge, comes with a tilt-deck (mine doesn't tilt) and it looks sturdy, even thou it is 15 years old it is in very nice shape but I don't think it has a gate and you want a gate!

Because of mulch I picked the 6x12 because it is the LARGEST single-axle trailer, any larger and you go two axles and then it's more weight... Weight to me was important because of fuel mileage and transmission.
Now here is a 6.5 x 10 which has sides like mine, and these kind will hold about 4 cu.yds. of mulch without spilling all over the road:
http://www.trailershopper.com/page-11002.html
And THAT one has a gate, you want that so you can (un)load mowers and for the wheelbarrow (for mulch).

The one I got is the same as the above with those full sides but it is a 6x12 still most of the time I get 4 cu.yds. of mulch but if I want, I can get 5 to fit and the extra 2 feet is nice to have when you need it. 6x10 is big enough, 6x12 is a little better.

So, depending on your truck series, either a 6x10 or a 6x12 but only get the 6x12 if your truck is at least 3/4 ton (a 250 or 2500) or bigger.

Also the trailer dealer I bought mine from, I talked to ppls and the dealer was recommended because he has been in that location doing business for 20 years and is a good guy - You want to find someone like that, or buy a nice used one but of good QUALITY, check your paper there are usually some for sale and used is cheaper also if you can't find the sides you COULD build some sides out of wooden boards, too)... I have a friend bought one with the little sides and he built wooden sides but it is a lot of work, still something to consider.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
ive got a 1/2 ton 896 chevy 6 cylinder

i think there is a place in town that will install hitches for 150, if not ive got 2 different welders
 

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Joe'slawnmowing said:
ive got a 1/2 ton 896 chevy 6 cylinder

i think there is a place in town that will install hitches for 150, if not ive got 2 different welders
Ok you will want to talk to a reputable dealer but I really think the 6x12 may be too much for the 1/2 ton series as a friend of mine went through clutches when he pulled his 6x12 with a F-150 stick shift.
You might get the 6x10 but again make sure you know the truck can pull it, you might ask this question in the Trucks and Trailer's Forum:
http://lawnsite.com/forumdisplay.php?f=36

Far as the hitch for 150, if that includes the hitch then that sounds good and I don't think you need to weld, but dunno... On my truck they drilled holes through the frame underneath and slipped bolts through and all that...

One other thing I forgot to include for a list of things you need is a grease gun and a few grease cartridges IF your mower has grease points or zircs or grease fittings.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ah yes would like to get ahold of the enginer that put the zurks under the dang deck

i may splurge this fall and get one of those corless ones
those are really nice, ive got a entire case of grease from the JD dealer
 

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Joe'slawnmowing said:
Ah yes would like to get ahold of the enginer that put the zurks under the dang deck

i may splurge this fall and get one of those corless ones
those are really nice, ive got a entire case of grease from the JD dealer
Ok that is great, yes the cordless ones are nice but I ended up buying 3 or 4 from Northern for like 6.99 each (or maybe 7.99) they are the basic gun, no frills, no thrills but I would recommend buy at least TWO (even if one or both is a cheapo) so when one stops working, you have a backup. For some reason, sooner or later, a gun stops working and goes on strike.
Also I find it nice with several guns loaded, when one runs dry or stops working I put it in the 'empty gun' pile and grab another gun from the 'loaded gun' stack (I have about 5 or 6 today) :)
...
When a gun stops working, don't throw it away! This is a mistake I made thinking once they stopped working, they are no good but instead set it aside until you have 10 or 15 minutes to play with it, I found most of them last forever just sometimes air gets trapped inside or the spring fails to release completely, etc.
 

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Hey Joe,
I'm pretty new also, but wanted to let you in on the way my son and i have gathered customers.we have been in business for about a month now and have about 11 customers. but from those 11, we have made over $3000.00.
thats right. 3k this month and its not over yet.
here is what i have done. we go out and target the neighborhoods we want to cut in, with flyers. a simple flyer with co. name and the services we offer.
i use a rich green, not dark and not florescent, just a rich bright green.
what gets them to call is the section that says " ask about our cut,edge,trim and blo packadge", along with ask about our seasonal prices $________"
leave a blank, they will drive a lot of people nutz. they have to know what kind of deal you have. we put out flyers at the first of the month and i'm still getting calls. the flyers will cost you around $60 for a thousand.
we roll them up and put a rubber band around them. my kids love helping out.
then we stick em on mail boxes. some neiborhoods have a hole under the box so we put them there. some didnt so we put them behind the flag, dont do this got a letter in the mail from the post office :angry: . yes i put my address on the flyer, makes sence not to hide from a customer. try this and see if it will work for you.
good luck.
oh ya you will need someone to ride with you to put the flyer out or you will have to drive on the wrong sided of the road.

remember,
peace and chicken grease

Mark
ACLEAN CUT
 

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Hit the new developments and get your flyer's's out, the last thing most want to do is cut grass after they have moved in. Usually its open without the beds etc. & you can make record time. Something about having a new house, people in our area love the idea of paying someone to do their new property. Also ride through the neighborhoods and target the homes that the grass looks in need of cutting. Their is usually a husband that hates to cut and won't till the wife *****'s till he makes a move. Usually it will be the wife that gets the flyer and calls, then you got the groundwork started. Do a good job and the word will spread. Be competitive in pricing, but don't over charge. Good luck...
 

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Summer IS a slow time of year so the low response rate is normal.
lot of good advice, i think topsite nailed this one, by this time of year people are already using the lco they chose earlier in spring, also what top mentioned about the work you take on, you will not want every job you go and look at, bid accordingly.... best of luck and don't expect miracles over-night..

also since you have the extra time, take it, word of mouth can make you or brake you!
 
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