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Dear members,

I recently drove to my administration building and turned in my keys - I am done with public education. I am looking at starting a lawn business with my two sons. I wondered if any of you are in the business, or know anyone who could give me some advice. I especially need some good ideas for marketing because there are a lot of people out there doing this.


Thanks alot!

Robert Davis

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*Neat, small, stick in the ground signs. "Your Lawn Could Look this good: Callllll::" Put'em in before, tak'em out when you leave.

*Uniformed staff. Tee shirts, ball caps.

*Leave a neat, raked up job. No grass clippings on sidewalks.

*If your truck leaves ruts, fix them without being asked.

*The customer is always right, even when they aren't. You can always charge THAT one more the next time.

*Be prompt, on time for appointments.

*Use the local "penny papers". Craigs List.

*Participate in local festivals, street fairs, etc.

*If advice is asked, give it freely.

*" Price list:Finger pointing, free. If we cut your lawn, $xx per hour. If you watch us cut your lawn, $2xx dollars per hour. If you help us cut your lawn, $3xx per hour."

*Be attentive to local recycling/EPA/etc. regulations. Make sure your customers KNOW you are being so attentive.

*Leave your business card EVERYWHERE, with EVERYONE. You can never tell when your name will come up at just the right moment.


"Do Your Best"

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I started my own lawn care business a long time ago and sold it within 2 years because I had secured a contract with a few local Mickie D's franchises that the buyer wanted to service.


It would help to know what kind of area you're in. Rural? Small city Suburban? Big city Suburban? Urban? What's your potential client base and what's the economics of the area?


What are you capable of doing? Are you going to be limited to lawn mowing, edging and maintenance or do you have the capability of tree and shrub removal, trimming and planting? Will you have the required licenses to commercially apply fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides? In most states now, you, as someone being paid as part of a business, can't just go to Home Depot and buy a few bags of fertilizer to spread on your clients lawn - you will need to take classes, pass and exam and get licensed.


What is you client base? Residential? Small business? Commercial? Can you specialize? Residential work - SSScout has some great ideas. Suggestion - go visit local residential real estate firms and try to talk to the owner/GM (not a salesperson) - a lot of times, these folks are selling properties where the owner has moved and the property is vacant - and they need someone to maintain lawns. Go visit your local banks - see if they have foreclosed homes needing maintenance. Visit with local governments - in these days of foreclosures, many are now having to deal with cutting the lawns of foreclosed/vacant homes and sending the owners fines to do so - maybe you can be there go to guy to actually do the cutting rather than having to use there already stretched thin staffs.


Those are things off the top of my head

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businesses generally pay more than homes

put a small ad in your church bulletin if your church paper accepts ads

put up your flyer at all public bulletin boards (grocery, laundromat, hardware store, big box).

Ditto for the business cards - many convenience stores have a spot near the register to leave a few cards

have your business name & phone # attached to your truck or trailer, later in the white pages

contact the county agriculture extension agent to get pesticide application certification so you can kill weeds

leasve your flyer & busines cards with all the realtors in town (&probably all banks) as they frequently have vacant houses to take care of

businesses will want a bid rather than by the hour -- this may include minor activities such as putting up/taking down the Xmas wreaths, picking up trash, etc. Window washing is also easy.

For houses -- knock on doors, introduce yourself, and make your offer

Lastly, change your homeowners vehicle insurance to commercial and GET LIABILITY INSURANCE

Launch by giving your church a freebie with yur signs out front & some business cards in your pocket.

Any auctions looking for prizes - donate some lawn care prizes

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Solid advice....


I never advertised, it was strictly word of mouth, but I was never relying on it for my primary income. Started with the elderly neighbors directly around my house then their brothers and sisters, then their friends.........


Went from my pickup, push mower, trimmer and gas can, to landscaping trailer, self propelled commercial mower, big weed trimmer, brush cutter, backpack blower......

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Are you sure that is what you want to do in this economy?


I would try the lawncare business in the summer, and have a backup plan of going back to the classroom in the fall if it doesn't work out. Lawncare is seasonal, and has a lot of competition.

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