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Old 08-31-2011, 08:44 PM   #1
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Lawn Care Business Help

Looking for advice and opinions from everyone on the following topics.

My buddy and I are thinking of going into the lawn care/snow plowing business. Both of us have 2+ years working for lawn care business at various point in our lives.

Lwn care is a very saturated market so obviously we are going to have to market our services very well. My buddy is going to handle this end he is good as selling stuff. He is one of the top two sellers at the Verizon Store he works at right now.

Equipment is going to be my duty. I'm thinking to start out
two used Zero Turns- looking at Skags, Dixie Chopper or Exmark's
(I hate the walk behinds with sulkies)
Two weed eaters Stihl?
Two Stihl Leaf Blowers- preferably back pack type
Chain Saw Stihl Homeowners series maybe the farm-boss size if we can find one.
Gas hedge trimmers
Various hands tools

Services Mowing, Turf Care, Retaining Walls, and landscaping, snow removal, gutter cleaning.

Truck will be a 2003 6.0L 1 Ton Diesel I'll be getting off my neighbor who also has a trailer we will be buying as well. If this all pans out will be selling the Tacoma. We are just in the planing stages now though. Any advice would be appreciated.


For those of you who provide lawn-care what do you think sets you apart from the other competing companies?

Too those who receive lawn-care why did you choose the company you did?

General question what do you think the three keys to success are?

Thanks for reading obviously advice/comments are appreciated
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:50 PM   #2
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theres a ton of companys around here, each one is priced lower then the next. Most are 2 white guys who own the company, and hired a bunch of mexicans to work. I wish you good luck if you can get going in this economey
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:53 PM   #3
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I mow my own yard, but if I were to hire somebody to do it, they will need to speak english. Not sure how it is up there, but down here in Texas, not many lawn crews can do the english thing. If you're lawn-crew-spanish saturated up there, market your english speaking abilities.

Also, you may want to offer services that mow, trim blow guys don't. Fertilizing and weed killing. EDIT: you apparently said that in your post
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:04 PM   #4
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Everyone around here speaks English so I'm good there.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:10 PM   #5
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Look around for duplexes, apartments, commercial properties, etc owned by someone who rents them out. When I did this type of work on the side it was easy to find one owner, get his vote of confidence and get 5+ properties to mow rather than spending time on one homeowner and getting 1 property. Also, most people who own multiple properties know and communicate with those who also own multiple properties. Offer referral cash. Cash talks.
As stated by others, make sure the potential clients know you are the owner/operator and will always be the one doing the work.
Make contact with owner often, sometimes weekly for the larger accounts.
Good Luck.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:38 PM   #6
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Even saturated, there is opportunity. There is a lot of turn over in the business. Equipment wise, your laundry list looks good except I would not discount a walk behind. They are very handy on hillsides where the ZTRs won't work as well as gated or fenced yards.

I think long term the business is dependent on strong client relationships; many times they become your friends. Secondly, determining your client mix; commercial and, residential, large or small. Myself, I'd rather have a quantity of small accounts mixed with a few larger accounts such as commercial. In my experience large residential just doesn't pay like small residential when factoring the time/pay ratio.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:56 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice guys your opinions are super helpful.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:43 PM   #8
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Not sure about your state, but if irrigation is required for dry times, do a system check up to make sure sprinklers are covering where they are supposed to, not wasting water (wetting driveways and walls). Make sure they are not clogged so grass gets even coverage, and the controller (if automatic) is set correctly. Upgrade old leaky or wasteful sprinkler to MP Rotators for superior coverage and 1/3 the water flow (great if water pressure is weak). www.mprotator.com
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