It can be tough enough trying to estimate what to charge to mow an average sized yard, but what should you do when you are called in to estimate a 15 acre camp ground? That is what this one business owner was called to do and he asked for help on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. As you will see from the discussion below, quite a few elements are involved in creating a price you can make a profit on and the customer will accept.
Here are a few tips from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum on how to improve your mowing operation by streamlining the time spent at each customer’s property. As a business owner, you need to be as productive as possible and knowing which services yield the biggest bang for the buck and which don’t can help you on your pathway towards maximizing your profits.
There is a constant desire and drive by new entrepreneurs to go out and explore. The boundary of how far they are willing to explore seems to forever be pushed further forwards. If you find yourself doing this with your own lawn care business, here is a cautionary tale from someone who has been there about the downside to exploring the unknown, on a customer’s dime. In this story, from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear how one project mess up had cost a landscaper $10,000.
Here is a landscape job request you won’t get everyday. It’s from a customer who posted the job on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. She needs a hole filled in that was dug under a trampoline so that the trampoline was level with the ground. The catch on this job is that it is difficult to get around to the backyard so large equipment won’t be able to be used. A couple of interesting points came up about this job that can really effect the job price. As you are reading the job description, think about how you would handle this request and come up with your own price before you see how these other landscapers would bid this dirt fill job.
Estimating hedge trimming jobs can be tough for those who are unfamiliar with the process. The amount of time it will take to perform the job, from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave, is almost always under-estimated. The biggest element missed in most bids is the amount of time your clean up will take you. It only takes a few hedge trimming jobs under your belt to learn that under-estimating your cleanup will dramatically eat into any profit you think you will make. So before you bid on any future hedge trimming jobs, consider the lessons learned from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and learn how to improve your estimates which reflect a realistic amount of time needed to be spent on each job.
Starting a new business can involve a lot of frustration. When you come up with a business idea and a plan, it is up to you to breathe life into your creation. No one else is going to do it for you. If you are not accustomed to being a self starter, you are going to be in for a difficult experience. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one new entrepreneur who just can’t seem to get his footing and he wonders what should he be doing to improve his current situation.
There is nothing more frustrating than spending a lot of time designing, printing, and distributing your lawn care marketing material only to find later that no one returns your calls from them. When this happens, it makes you question everything. Are you doing the right marketing? Are you in the right business? Should you just throw your hands up in the air and surrender? Before you get too crazy over this, take a moment and see what other entrepreneurs have gone through and shared with us on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. I am sure some of these insights will get you headed in a better direction.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you bid a lawn for mowing at one price, only to find out after you mow it that it took a lot longer than you expected and you underbid the job? What should you do if this happens and you bid the job for an entire year? Should you suck it up and just deal with it or should you immediately contact the customer to reprice the job? That is what one entrepreneur wondered when he shared his story with us on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
Most every lawn care business owner is always looking for more ways to attract customers. Sure you can hand out flyers or door hangers, they will take some time out of your schedule. But have considered using lawn signs on the yards you are actively mowing? That is what this entrepreneur did and he shared his story with us on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. It seems the idea worked quite well and helped him get more customers that fit into his mowing route.
Two students looking to start a summer mowing company are curious to find out more what steps to take to begin. It is amazing how much regulation is involved to simply try and get a small business going for a few months. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, one veteran shares his thoughts on how a newbie should go about doing this and if it is financially worthwhile to attempt.
There are times when you may get a new lawn care customer who lives in a neighborhood controlled by a home owner’s association. Such areas may be gated communities or they may be tightly regulated by the association as far as what you can do with marketing. If you’d like to get more customers in such neighborhoods, you may want to consider what this entrepreneur did to market his business. He shared his guerrilla marketing method, on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, that was effective for him and might work for you.
Was your first year in business a good one or a bad one? How did you know either way? Did you compare your situation to others or did you simply set goals to achieve and hoped you hit your benchmarks? In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, one entrepreneur shared with us his updates after hitting the mid-season point of his first year. How does his first year in business compare to yours?
Having ground rules set before you hire any lawn care employees can go a long way in preventing issues from popping up later. If you aren’t sure what kind of ground rules you should set, do a quick internet search for lawn care employee handbooks to find some ideas from others who have dealt with similar issues and consider the problems this member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum ran into.
Planning out a business and doing the hard work yourself is tough. It is that which filters out the entrepreneurs from those who would be better suited as employees. Thinking you don’t have to take those long hard learning steps other successful entrepreneurs have taken because you know more or feeling that you are prepared to lead others to perform tasks when you don’t know how to perform those same tasks yourself is foolish. As we will see in this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, you need to really have your act together before you can expand your business. If you try to take shortcuts you will more than likely fail.
You get a call about a potential job that includes some plant installs. So you stop by the potential customer’s house. You walk the property, find out what the homeowner wants, and present a bid. Great news, the customer accepts and you are off to the nursery to purchase a trailer full of shrubs. The next day, you show up to the property and spend the entire day planting the shrubs. When you are finished, the customer smiles and shakes your hand saying thank you. Then he wants to know what kind of warranty will be included on his new shrubs? You do have a warranty don’t you? If you don’t or haven’t thought about it yet, consider this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and figure out which warranty method would be bested suited to you and your company.
Once in a while, lawn care jobs bigger than you can handle will appear. When they do, you need to think about what it would take to service such properties. Do you have the man power to perform the work? Do you have the mowing equipment? If not, do you have the money to be able to scale up to take on the job? Here is a discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum in which one entrepreneur ponders if he should take on a much larger job than he is used to.
The longer you are in business, the more you learn the importance of being able to handle those weeks. You know which weeks I am talking about. The ones where everything goes wrong. The weather turns foul. Your equipment dies. Repair bills are through the roof. Customers drop you. Sometimes it seems like it just keeps on getting worse and worse. But if you are prepared, you should be able to make it through unscathed where others might just quit and go back to having a day job. Here is a great discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum on how to handle those weeks.
Expanding your lawn care company from a one man / crew operation to a two man crew or more, is a delicate process. Human nature needs to be taken into account once you start paying employees you aren’t able to immediately supervise and send them off in their own landscape truck. You need to have a firm grasp of what you are doing before you do it, otherwise you will create an inefficient and potentially destructive mess. Here is a discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum that explains in more detail which steps needs to be taken and how to take them in order to make this process flow smoothly.
Here is a situation that not every new lawn care business owner will run into. However, the lesson learned in this story can be applied to everyone. The importance of communication and holding firm to your price of performing a job, is the cornerstone to running a successful company. As we will see from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, you need to solve pricing problems sooner than later. If there is a miscommunication, it needs to be addressed before a small problem becomes a big one.
Big box stores are seem to be everywhere you go. They offer a wide variety of products too. But as a landscape professional, should you be buying your materials and plant products from them? Are their prices the best you can get or are there other, better alternatives? That is what one entrepreneur wondered when he asked his question on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. He wanted to find out if he was on the right path or if he could be saving himself more time and money by purchasing materials in bulk from other locations.
Licenses are created to regulate industries, to train and educated people to operate under the current legal guidelines, and to raise revenue for the state. Regulating too much can lead to over-regulation. When that happens, people either decide not to t comply with the laws or they just avoid getting into industries that they feel are over regulated. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum we hear from one entrepreneur that learns he needs license to perform the jobs he is already selling and that forces him to reconsider what he is doing.
Depending on your skill set, time available, and the tools you have at your disposal, you may find building your own landscape trailer to be more fun and cheaper than going out and buying one already made. That is what this one entrepreneur did on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. He shared with us a little about the process, the time it took, and the amount of money he spent. In the end, he got exactly what he wanted at half the price he would have paid retail for such a trailer.
It is difficult to create your own lawn care marketing message from scratch without any outside influence. Sometimes getting a little help in the form of an example can really help you get going. Here is that help thanks to a member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. In this discussion, a fellow landscaper shares with us his marketing message in hopes to help you find new customers and grow.
Here is a way you can find lawn care aeration customers. This one member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum shared with us how he gained his first customer of the season via a newspaper ad. It wasn’t just any old newspaper ad, it was something the newspaper calls Daily Deals. This section allows an ad to be placed for free as long as it contains a deal for the newspaper reader. Let’s look into this a little further as maybe something similar is offered in your area that could help your company.
Having a full time job and trying to get a lawn care business up off the ground is possible, it’s just tougher for a number of reasons. You only have so much time in your week to apply to your business when you are working full time elsewhere and that can cause many headaches as we will see in this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. Knowing what you are up against can help you avoid those problems and find success despite of them.
There are many ways to promote your lawn care business. Most of them you can control the message and design it specifically for your targeted audience. But what happens when you utilize a marketing tool that allows for the injection of other outside variables into your marketing message, like facebook? How do you take a social networking site that because of it’s nature, has social interactions going on and keep it all middle of the road and politically neutral? Isn’t that ultimately what you have to do with your marketing? If you don’t, won’t you surely offend someone?
Then if that is the case and you can’t keep everything, light and fluffy and neutral, then are you going to be hurting yourself and ultimately your business by using such a marketing method? That is the question which came up on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and it should give the reader quite a few reasons to really think out it’s usage.
There are some very small lawns out there that you may be called upon to bid your mowing services on. How should you price them though? Can you price them real cheap because they are so small or do you need to have a minimum price regardless of how small a yard is, just to show up? That is a topic which came up on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum when a new entrepreneur questioned what he should do with a mobile home customer.
If you have ever tried to create your own lawn care logo, you know that it can be quite difficult to make something looks good, tells the viewer what your company is about, and helps improve sales. That is where a graphic designer comes in. A talented designer can create a logo that will last a long time. What elements though should you look for in a good lawn care logo design? How do you know what is good or bad? That is the question brought up on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.”
It sure would be nice to have an unlimited lawn care marketing budget so you could do any idea you wanted. But what should you do when your marketing budget is limited? To be more specific, what should you do if you only had $200 to promote your mowing business? That is what one entrepreneur wanted to know when he asked his question on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum with a lot of interesting ideas in response.
While performing lawn care services, you are probably going to get a lot of calls for various landscape projects as well. If you haven’t yet worked on any retaining wall or fence projects, here is a relatively simple landscape project that an entrepreneur was called on to perform. Doing the job the right way will mean a lot less work on the landscaper’s part and having positive results. Doing the job the wrong way will mean more work, less pay, and a job that will rot within a few years. Let’s look into this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum to learn more.