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Re: Thanks guys! More questions.......

Posted By: Jason <>
Thursday, 13 April 2006, at 10:36 p.m.

In Response To: Thanks guys! More questions....... (BizNewbie)

> Thanks Jim, Woody and Nathan (yes, I checked out that, and another forum!)

> Woody, your post made me laugh, the "South Beach Diet" for one's
> lawn!
> That is an interesting way to look at it, grouping services into packages
> to make more $$ per customer. I was going the opposite way and giving a
> "special low price" to begin with, and then trying to sell other
> services at the same time. I really appreciate your candid advice, it is
> making my head spin with ideas!

> Jim - Thanks for your enthusiastic post! It sounds like you worked hard,
> had a blast and walked away with a tidy sum!
Jim is right, the best accounts are to be had by finding condo associations! He mentioned that they were a handful. He mentioned a word that makes me think I know why they were a handful..... RETIREE!!!!! Am I correct Jim? I love and respect old folks and have done alot of work for them free of charge as I feel I owe it to this segment of society. I do not however like to enter into a service business relationship with the 70 plus crowd as they still think that $20 is a weeks wages, and daw-gone-it they expect a 40 hours of work! Also alot of retirees are lonely and like to TALK, and TALK, and TALK! This could turn 2 hours of labor into 4 in no time.

> Let me ask you both (and others) and others, some general questions and if
> you could give your advice it would be much appreciated:

> Background:
> I am doing this more as a "summer business". I finished
> university (for the 3rd time lol) a few months ago, so this is something
> to tide me over until i get an entry into my field. Also will get me in
> shape too! The city I am in has a population of around 200 000, and is
> mostly a blue-collar city with self-sufficient hard-working people. There
> are quite a number of senior citizens too from what I have experienced. I
> have done the math, and have determined at $17 a cut n' trim (I estimate
> about $3 expenses per cut - gas, etc.) I would need about 30 customers
> (for weekly cuts) to live modestly and about 40 to live a bit better.
You will not NET $14/ cut as you figured your expenses to low. Even if you are not planning on insurance.

> 1) Is 30-40 customers too unrealistic a number for a "casual"
> cutting business? Or do you think at the price I am charging people will
> be VERY interested (point taken Woddy - but I won't barter with them)in
> and clients will be relatively easy to come by?
Don't take this the wrong way....... but they should be grateful as you will be paying them to cut thier grass.
I don't care how good of a salesman that you may or may not be, if clients are easy to come by, you are not charging enough for your service.

> 2) I don't have money to invest in commerical equipment right now. But for
> the level I am going to be doing this at, I think I can get away with a
> simple resiential gas-powered push lawnmower. Can you recommend a decent
> brand of lawnmover and trimmer, for the budget-minded? I am looking into
> refurbished units.
Refurbished pro equipment would be your best bet as home owner equipment will cost you more in the long run. One example is the speed of the blades rotation is not fast enough with H.O equip to do a good job mulching during the sping or other heavy rain periods sou you will either double cut or bag and dispose of the clippings. Either way it will take you 2x as long to earn the same money.

> 3) What did you do with clippings? Did you mulch-as-you-cut, or did you
> bag?
Re-read above.
> 4) What do you think the best way to advertise this service would be?
> Ideally I would like word-of-mouth to be my main vehicle. I am designing
> simple flyer to post and will be putting a classified ad in the Pennsaver.
My advice with the penny saver ads is that is what you get, penny savers. Think about it, when you read the penny saver, what are you looking for (a good deal)I think that if you flyer desireable neighborhoods or ask your local newspaper the cost for an insert and it is affordable, do it! You should expect to realisticly close 2-6 per hundred a by this method. Numbers are not that great, just realistic expectations. Once you land your initial accounts. Offer the guy/gal a bird dog fee of $25 and a few bucks off per week for a yearly account that he sends your way WITHIN A 1-BLOCK RADIUS of his/her home. Give him a few af your business cards with his name written on the back to hand to his neighbor friends. Don't leave this all up to your client, sit in your vehicle and write all of the address in your close proxomity for use later. Get home and mail them a postcard that says something like " My name is Newbie, and I own newbies lawn care.
I will be in the neighborhood maintaining mr and mrs smiths' lawn at 123 main st And would like to offer you a discounted rate to maintain your lawn as well. If you are interested in a no obligation quote to determine what it would cost to give you more free time in your day, pleas call me at 555-1212."
I do not write ads for a living but you get the idea. If you can land three or 4 off of that one initial account in the neighborhood you are goingto do o.k. It will notcost you a dime to offer a discount as you can do them al without putting the equipment back on the trailer. Windshield time is a killer and this is why comdos are great.
I am on vacation and am tired so I hope this reads o,k, and I didn't offend you.

> Any help would be appreciated!
> thanks,
> Biznewbie

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You'll find great information in this "Read Only" Archive, but remember..... things change.
Be sure to visit the Current Message Board when you're finished here.

We're very friendly, so don't be shy... just jump right in and post your question.
Scams outnumber legitimate biz ops about a bzillion to one, so it's well worth your time.

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