There are times when jobs will present themselves and they will be a perfect fit for you. Not too big of a job and not too small. There are other times however when the jobs will be just way too far outside of your reach. When you come across them, you may have an inclination to bid on them in hopes they will help launch your lawn care business to a higher level, but there is also another option you can take, as we will see in this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
When presented with a potential mowing job on an average sized property for one home, the average new lawn care business owner would more than likely go to the property and check it out before bidding. But when presented with the opportunity to bid on a larger lawn mowing job with a limited time to bid, that same business owner might try and guestimate a bid price in hopes of getting it. With the idea in his head that no matter what, winning such a job would be a way to take his business to the next level, that business owner would rather gamble with larger jobs than smaller jobs. The problem is, as we will see in this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, that your potential losses are a lot bigger on bigger jobs if you underestimate them than smaller jobs. So if you ever find yourself in such a situation, take a deep breath and prepare for the big job estimates the same way you would with the smaller ones.
If you are out there promoting your mowing services to the general public, there is a good chance you are going to have customers who have dogs. National statistics point somewhere to 1 in 3 households have dogs. So what do you do when your mowing customer has a dog(s) and doesn’t clean up after them? What is the best way to handle this situation? That is what one entrepreneur wondered when he asked his question on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
Getting your lawn care business started can be very exciting. Getting the proper insurance for your vehicle and equipment can seem like quite the opposite. Many new entrepreneurs put off getting the right insurance or even asking their agent about what insurance they need for fear of finding out the costs will be too much to bear. So before you put off investigating your insurance needs further, consider the lessons learned from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
Any time you distribute lawn care flyers to promote your business, you probably wonder what kind of results you will get from your efforts. Over time as you experiment more with different kinds of marketing, you will see trends as to which marketing methods work and which don’t. Until you get to that point where you have a track record of proven results, you may want to compare your results with the response rate this entrepreneur found and shared with us on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
No one ever thinks about contingency plans to continue running a lawn care business if something bad were to happen to the owner/founder. But maybe it would be better if a little planning were to be put into place. Here is a story from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum about what happens when the owner/founder of business dies and leaves the day to day operation of running the company to a spouse untrained in how to do so.
Here is an interesting look at how route sales companies work, the pros and cons to using them, and if they are worth while. At first glance you may think this concept is insane for many reasons. This company discussed seems to charge a lot per lawn care customer and sells the lawn service for cheap, but maybe, just maybe, they could help you gain new lawn care customers. Let’s check out this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and find out more if this would be a good choice for you to consider.
There are times where a clause in a lawn care contract can really help better explain a process a home owner is agreeing to with a lawn service provider but there are other times where clauses can wildly spin out of control and cause more problems than they solve. Here is a great discussion on this topic from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum highlight the point further.
It can be very frustrating trying to come up with a lawn care business name for your new mowing company. But what should you do if after you register a name, you find someone else is using it? Should this be a big deal or no? Are there ways to protect yourself? As we will see in this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, the first step you should take before you register a business name is to research that name. There are a lot of lawn care businesses out there spread across a very large area, so the chances of someone else using your same name somewhere is higher than you might expect. So save yourself a big headache later and put the time in to research it now before you get started.
Getting a lawn mower, line trimmer, and a truck is the easy part when it comes to starting up a new lawn care business. Finding mowing customers is the tough part that will take you a little time. If you find yourself frustrated in your attempts to increase your customer roster consider some of these tips from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
There are times as a small business owner that you will meet someone interested in investing in a small business. Sometimes these situations work and sometimes they don’t. One thing is for sure, taking on an investor whether active or silent can complicate an already complicated process of trying to get a business off the ground. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we get to look more at the question of whether taking on an investing partner is worthwhile.
It’s real easy to get frustrated with your lawn care marketing if this is your first season. Sometimes an entrepreneur will be a little too early with their marketing and spend a little too much money. Then they get little to no response and they throw their hands up in the air to quit. Before you give in to frustration consider these lawn care marketing tips from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
Learning how to start a business is a lot like learning how to swim. With both, you can just dive head first into a deep hole to sink or swim with a great potential for failure. Or you can put on a life jacket and wade in, taking the process slowly but surely. In the business world, this can be done by having another job, either full or part time. Such a source of cash flow can help keep your head above water until your lawn mowing business picks up. As we will see from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, it is a lot easier to experiment and learn from trial and error when you are younger but in the bigger picture, it is never too late to get started. Here are some insights from a new entrepreneur who kept putting his dreams off that should help motivate you.
Spring and fall cleanups are great add on services you can offer your lawn mowing customer. For those customer you have who are on annual property contracts, they are great services to include and increase your profit. But what services should you include in these cleanups and how should customers be billed for them? That is the question asked on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
It can be tough enough trying to get commercial lawn care accounts but when you add to it the skill set needed to bid them accurately, it’s no wonder so many new start up mowing business owners stay clear of them for at least a year if not more. If you are trying to figure out the key to making commercial lawn care customers work for you here are some very important tips from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum that will help.
As a new business owner, it is a great thing to pay for everything you need as you go and not go into debt. Taking on debt at any stage is dangerous but it is especially risky when you are a new start up. More new businesses fail due to a lack of positive cash flow than any other reason. When you take on debt, the debt needs to be paid back and that money comes out of your cash flow. If you keep yourself debt free, you don’t weigh yourself down with monthly debt payments. With all that said, what is the best method to follow when looking into using a credit card for your lawn care business? That is the question asked on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
If your area has been hard hit by the economy slow down, you might see ads to work for asset companies or banks to take care of foreclosed properties. To some, this opportunity may seem like a great chance at bringing in more income, but as we will see in this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, the work can be long and the pay meager.
Taking that step from simply offering lawn mowing to offering larger landscaping projects can bring in more money but they might also test your abilities and knowledge base. Here is a great discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum about what you need to do if you are hired to install sod on a customer’s property. A few tips from the experts on how to prepare for a sod installation, will surely help you get great results.
If you have been in the lawn care business for a short time, you probably have had potential customers call you to their home and ask you for a bid to improve their property. Sometimes you get the job and sometimes you don’t. Have you ever gotten to the point where you are spending quite a bit of time giving out estimates and not winning them? Maybe to stem this problem you have even considered charging for your lawn care estimates. That is what one entrepreneur was considering doing when he brought this up on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
If you are new to bidding lawn care for commercial properties, here is a look, from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, at how a few different landscapers came up with their price. Quite possibly you could compare a current job you are looking to bid on with the job discussed here and get a feel for how long such a job would take to mow and what you may want to consider bidding the job at.
Sometimes when you get your business started, you have a little business experience from somewhere else or maybe you have a little hands on experiences from a previous job. Other times, you might get started with no experience at all! In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one entrepreneur who was lucky enough to grow up in the business yet he needed a little advice on the business side of things that his father always took care of.
If you have estimated more than a few landscape jobs, you have been in a situation where you didn’t get a job because of price. When that happens, you may sometimes reflect on your estimate and wonder if your landscape bid was too high or if you simply got lowballed by a competitor. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum we look at what to do when you find yourself in such a situation.
Your first year in business can be a real trial by fire. Everything is new and there are so many issues you are going to be running into, it can make you want to pull your hair out. One specific issue we are going to focus on, from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, is whether or not you should be using lawn care contracts in your first year. There are pros and cons to doing so. Sure they can help cut back on the goofy customers who want to pay what ever figure they come up with in their heads, but are you comfortable enough with your bidding to lock yourself into the price you estimate for a full year? These are things to think about.
Promoting special offers in your lawn care marketing material can be a great way to fill up your mowing schedule. As your route gets filled, you can then bid your jobs higher to improve your profit margin and get rid of lower profitable jobs. Here is a great example of promoting special offers on business cards from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. After reading this discussion, you may never want to create another single sided bland lawn care business card again!
Have you ever gone door to door with your lawn care marketing material and tried to talk to home owners? If so, you know how difficult it can be to get them at the moment they are looking to buy. But what if instead of you going to look for them, they came looking for you! That is what goes on at local home and garden shows. If you sign up to rent a booth at a local garden show, here are some tips from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum that might help you out.
Using a lawn mower is the first tool that a new lawn care business owner learns about. Next is using a line trimmer to keep the areas you can’t mow, trimmed back. Other tools like hedge trimmers and pole saws then come into play. Lastly it seems the lawn edger is the least used tool in the start ups. This doesn’t have to be the case. You can give your lawns a professional looking edge, even if you are new by using an edger. Let’s look into how from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
Sometimes you need to actively go out searching for new opportunities and other times opportunities come looking for you. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, one entrepreneur talks about how he was contacted with an offer to buy out a local competitor. The question he wondered though was should he do it and if so, how would he figure out the value of the company putting itself up for sale?
How important is it to you that a property you are servicing looks top of the line? Do you care if you are hired to mow a lawn weekly and the hedges are out of control? What about if the property needs edging but the customer only requests lawn mowing? How do you handle this and does it matter? That is what one entrepreneur was concerned with when he discussed his predicament with the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
Are you the type of entrepreneur that is constantly looking for new opportunities to expand your business empire? If so, here is a great discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum about how one business owner expanded his services from offering lawn care to offering mobile lawn mower repair services. Maybe these ideas will inspire you to experiment and explore more.
Many newer lawn care business owners tend to think their residential customers can be flighty when it comes to retention and that maybe going after commercial clients would be the way to go. As we will see in this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, the commercial customers can be a lot less loyal than the residential ones. There are also steps you can take to build loyalty amongst your customers and improve your customer retention year after year.