Applying knowledge learned from a previous employer.

If you are looking for a way to learn a bit about the lawn care industry before you start up your own company, you might want to consider working for another lawn care company first. There are many positive and negative lessons you can learn from such an experience. Both will assist you in your own business adventures as you will have seen much of what does and doesn’t work. That is what this one member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum did and he shared his thoughts on how it helped him.

He wrote “I am new to running my own lawn care business but I have previously worked for another landscaping company for quite some time in which I learned a lot. Due to the fact that I like the lawn care business so much, I decided to branch off and try to start my own business. My immediate goals are mostly to pay my bills and make a living at it but it would be great if I can do better than that.

I’m doing all this on less than a shoestring budget so I plan to take the cheapest steps I feel which will get my business moving forwards. That’s for now since I’m in more of a survival situation than a prosperous one. I don’t need much to pay my¬† bills so I feel this is the right time to start out.

Here are some of my lawn care marketing plans to attract customers.

Immediate publicity plans:

  • Get word of mouth publicity by asking everyone I know to spread the word.
  • Get magnetic signs for my truck.
  • Leave flyers/brochures at strategic places. Mostly businesses where I know the manager or owner and their customers might be interested.
  • Make a website with details and refer to it on other publicity.

After I make a little money:

  • Place small yard signs where customers will allow them.
  • Use search engine advertising and improve the seo of my website.
  • Purchase some small newspaper ads.

Door hangers and going door to door is illegal here, so I can’t do that.

I’m looking to get the work I can do myself without help. So mowing mostly residential yards to start. I probably won’t try to expand to the point I need employees for a while.

My previous boss has been in the lawn care business forever and has built up enough of a reputation that he has steady long term customers to keep him going. He doesn’t do any active marketing¬† now or anything to attract customers but he had shared many stories with me on how he got his start and that is how I created my own marketing plan.

He taught me the importance of building long term customers and getting word of mouth from them. At a certain point, you reach this critical mass point where your customer base is big enough to talk to other people to bring you even more customers and that is where he is at now and that’s all he needs.

I learned that treating your customers right is very important for building word of mouth. Of course though we should do what’s right with them because it is just good business as well. Be honest, do good work, and be friendly and you’ll get long term customers.

The previous company I worked for did well in customer service and quality of work. The things I saw that he didn’t do well were, he had a bad attitude toward employees. He didn’t use the right tools for the right job, mainly because I think he was too cheap. For instance, he’d use a small saw when a big one would be better. He’d use hand tools when power would be better. Etc.

But all in all I wouldn’t have been able to get my company together so fast and know how to reach out and gain new customers if it wasn’t for my opportunity to work with him and learn from him. So I am very grateful for that and highly recommend others follow a similar path before they start their own business.

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