When to start getting nervous

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ffmedjoe, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    My customer in WI has one of the largest a Christmas Tree Farms in WI. HE TOLD ME two weeks ago that this has been a really long cold winter,as I heard him crunching around outside on the snow.
    I believe the weather has been responsible for a slower than normal start of the season.
    easy-lift guy
  2. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Messages: 4,143

    Pretty much right on. Took me a few years. Some years are slower than others too.

    A few new start ups around here are very slow as well. One company quit from last year. Another one started this year. Spent at least 15k on advertising if not more. Saw one of the partners at home at 430 yesterday when I pulled up to a customers home. They mow for 20. I mow for a lot more. I worked til dark the last 2 days. But I've been doing this since 07
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  3. Whittaker's Lawn and Snow

    Whittaker's Lawn and Snow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    Im in the Plateville area, I also.just started my.llc and all that good.stuff. I aleready had $5500 in equipment and 10 clients, but have picked up about 5-10 more, I have not run an add in the paper yet. Just word of.mouth and door to door advertising!
  4. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,724

    Yea its time to get worried it's nearly May and while mowing season is late this year it should be any day now. When the lawns start getting tall right in the beginning of the spring mowing season thats what the German Submarine guys would call the happy time. It's when signing up new work is the easiest during the year. It's when they need you yesterday to deal with they have put off for the last few weeks. I wouldn't rest with 2500 flyers I would double or triple those efforts. Don't assume people kept your flyer for later. Sure a few will but most won't so you need to stay in their thought process when it matters which is the start of mowing. The next few weeks can make or brake your year so it's very important you bulk up on accounts when its easy to get them.
  5. echo

    echo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,696

    Craigslist. Weed out the cheapskates and there's still lots of business to be found...and its free advertising.
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  6. rbljack

    rbljack LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 731

    we are off to another year of severe drought down here. Although I have more gross income so far this year, ive also matched that in expenses somehow....LOL, so my net income isn't that great.

    Down here we are in pray for rain mode. But I have been trying to work other angles like clean ups, and flower beds maintenance. Figure this year or next people may want to do some yard/sod renovations because our lack of rain over the last few years, and heavy water restrictions is causing a lot of the yards to show lots of problems with the turf. I agree with the OP that said it takes time. Do good work, and word of mouth will become your best form of advertising.
  7. HPSInc

    HPSInc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 763

    only a few of my repeat landscape residential customers have called me this year. which is not typical. In the past, by now, they have all called me crying for cleanups and mulch etc. its definitely the weather here.

    My first year was slow, real slow. It takes time.

    all word of mouth advertising here.
  8. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Messages: 3,274

    I would put more money into flyers if you want to get more accounts. I don't know when the season starts up there, but in the month when the season starts is a good time to pass out flyers.
    no need to worry. It never helps anyone. Thinking with a calm and collected mind will yield best results.
  9. zwhit81

    zwhit81 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    I wouldn't be worried for another week. I am in West Central Indiana and I had only picked up 2 new accounts until last week. Then I picked up 8 accounts including a 7 acre cemetery. This week I have turned down 3 accounts because I cannot handle anymore because I am a part time company such as yourself.
  10. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    My first year was scary in the spring. An ad on Craigslist went 3 weeks before the phone rang - then it rang non-stop.
    Many people don't "plan ahead" - they look outside and see the grass needs cut before looking for someone. I don't mean "needs cut" as in a regular "needs cut" height either - I mean a "needs cut before I get fined" type of height. ;)

    I've not heard from a few of my regulars either - even though I contacted them weeks ago. Some lawns are not growing AT ALL yet and some have needed cut for weeks.
    I'm getting all kinds of calls now from non-clients for cleanups. I don't have time for that crap NOW because that should have been done weeks ago and now I'm starting my mowing schedule and don't have room for cleanups.

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