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Old 06-05-2021, 01:40 PM   #1
WildMatt84
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Default Any lawn service business owners here?

Not to recently I made a change in the fire department I work for. I went from one full time department to another, it just so happens the one im working for now used to be my side job. So not having a side job and a 48 on 96 off schedule has left me with a bunch of free time. SOOOOO I decided to start a lawn business.I have everything I need, zero turn, trailer, edger, 2 trimmers, back pack blower, all sorts of hand tools and a 33" walk behind. Now its just a matter of getting customers. Ive been grinding it out on social media and putting out flyers and business cards, just seems a little slow going. Looking for any tips and tricks from anyone in the business and how they built their client base
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Old 06-05-2021, 01:48 PM   #2
KEGLEG
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What area?


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Old 06-05-2021, 01:55 PM   #3
RiverRat1
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Focus on one area. Consider starting a little cheaper if you talk face to face with people to get your foot in the door. Most people don't use because it's a hassle. Make it worry free. Make them trust you.

Once you have clients try talking to them every visit. The guys who want their place mowed once every two weeks are the best.
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Old 06-05-2021, 01:58 PM   #4
TA_Fab
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Talk with local realtors. My dad has been in business for asking as I can remember. When we first moved to Galveston and didnít know anyone thatís where he got his first jobs. It was all word of mouth after that.


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Old 06-05-2021, 02:00 PM   #5
Bassdeer
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I think it's a lot of word of mouth, Do you have a Nextdoor Neighborhood web sites? Get on there and tell your story.
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Old 06-05-2021, 02:04 PM   #6
WildMatt84
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What area?


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League city. In between Houston and Galveston


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Old 06-05-2021, 02:05 PM   #7
WildMatt84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverRat1 View Post
Focus on one area. Consider starting a little cheaper if you talk face to face with people to get your foot in the door. Most people don't use because it's a hassle. Make it worry free. Make them trust you.

Once you have clients try talking to them every visit. The guys who want their place mowed once every two weeks are the best.

Iím definitely trying to stay within 10-15 miles oh my house at the moment.


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Old 06-05-2021, 02:13 PM   #8
BillyMac
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My son built a very successful lawn business through the Nextdoor app.
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Old 06-05-2021, 02:29 PM   #9
brushtrooper
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Not sure if a customer point of view will help but this is what I want. I look for ease of payment and I want to be put on a schedule. I do not want to have to chase down the lawn guy to mow my yard. I do not want my yard clippings blown into the street period. I want him to do it and bill me. When it is time to fertilize, tell me and I will make that call, which most likely is yes- do it. I prefer guys with good looking equipment/trucks not stuff that is a tow bar away from central America.
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Old 06-05-2021, 02:38 PM   #10
friscopaint
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God I wish we would change to 48,-96
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Old 06-05-2021, 02:45 PM   #11
WildMatt84
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Originally Posted by brushtrooper View Post
Not sure if a customer point of view will help but this is what I want. I look for ease of payment and I want to be put on a schedule. I do not want to have to chase down the lawn guy to mow my yard. I do not want my yard clippings blown into the street period. I want him to do it and bill me. When it is time to fertilize, tell me and I will make that call, which most likely is yes- do it. I prefer guys with good looking equipment/trucks not stuff that is a tow bar away from central America.
Kind of all the points Iím trying to hit. That included with open lines of communication and focus 100% on customer service/satisfaction. Basically just applying everything from my civil service background to this company.
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Old 06-05-2021, 03:13 PM   #12
huntingfanatic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brushtrooper View Post
Not sure if a customer point of view will help but this is what I want. I look for ease of payment and I want to be put on a schedule. I do not want to have to chase down the lawn guy to mow my yard. I do not want my yard clippings blown into the street period. I want him to do it and bill me. When it is time to fertilize, tell me and I will make that call, which most likely is yes- do it. I prefer guys with good looking equipment/trucks not stuff that is a tow bar away from central America.

Good list. When I had my small lawn business I did all these things. I had people stop me while mowing all the time and ask me about mowing their yard. I got to where I had to decline cause I was so busy. Get out there and get a few yards , do a good job and business will come
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Old 06-05-2021, 03:23 PM   #13
JonW
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I have two commercial accounts that would probably be the equivalent of a few dozen small residential accounts. Have you looked into picking up any of these?

My most recent one I got because I was willing to do some major landscaping overhaul. Mulching, trimming, planting, etc would probably be helpful to offer. Planting grass, also, if there are any farms out that way.

Business seems like it would be good in my area. I see people asking on social media daily for somebody, anybody, to show up and mow their yard.


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Old 06-05-2021, 03:31 PM   #14
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Maybe hit new subdivisions being built, try to get a customer there and when other houses are being finished and moved into you can pick those up as well before someone else does. Kinda start off slow and then pick up more in time.
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Old 06-05-2021, 04:01 PM   #15
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Grab a few boxes of Shipley donuts and business cards and hit several brokerages. If your only focused on yards you can get buy with using one side of your business card. If not and you want to throw in sheet rock repair, fence repair, ceiling fan installation, etc , etc, you’ll have all the work you can handle.
Talked to a handy man the other day and he’s making so much money that he’s opted out of college for the time being.
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Old 06-05-2021, 04:03 PM   #16
Bisch
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Default Any lawn service business owners here?

No advice on the lawn business, but hope you get it going!

I spent 30 years working 24/48, but I could see how 48/96 would be real nice!

Bisch


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Old 06-05-2021, 04:39 PM   #17
RedBear78
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Wild always go door to door drive through neighborhoods and look for yards that need help and then hit the houses within walking distance.We don’t mow anymore just new installations or major upgrades but if it gets slow I’ll have a few guys canvas neighborhoods with cards and flyers.It’s amazing what you can pick up with face to face meetings.
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Old 06-05-2021, 05:06 PM   #18
Acameron52
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Man, I wish we could go to 48s... soon hopefully!! As far as the lawn business goes, we’ve had several that have done it. It seems none of them last more than five years. Not due to a shortage of work but they just get tired of it I guess. I do know I have heard them say that commercial accounts are the way to go.
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Old 06-05-2021, 05:11 PM   #19
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Maybe just me but I would play up the fireman angle. I would rather pay a little more for someone I feel I can trust and who is part of the community.
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Old 06-05-2021, 05:15 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Acameron52 View Post
Man, I wish we could go to 48s... soon hopefully!! As far as the lawn business goes, weíve had several that have done it. It seems none of them last more than five years. Not due to a shortage of work but they just get tired of it I guess. I do know I have heard them say that commercial accounts are the way to go.

I started when I was 13, Iíll be 24 tomorrow. Did it all through highschool and through college; it has led to some awesome things. All of my work is word of mouth, or word of mouth on nextdoor. Nextdoor can be a big friend but it can also be your worst enemy. Have to take care of people regardless of the situation or they will bash you and you wonít get anymore work from it. I have a crew of 3 guys that mows 6 days a week. Commercial contracts are great for mailbox money, I just wish I had the equipment I have now when I was doing it on my own, I havenít mowed but 2 yards myself in 3 years!


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Old 06-05-2021, 05:19 PM   #21
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My thoughts on the subject: if you have the money buy the good equipment, the biggest available in a blower and a weedeater, and take the guard off the weedeater. This will be my 13th year doing landscaping, started off on my own and now have a crew working 6 days a week mowing for me. If I had the equipment I have now I wouldíve made a killing by myself after my equipment was paid off. Sure takes some of the beating off of your body at the end of the day!


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Old 06-05-2021, 05:40 PM   #22
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If you were closer I would let you mow mine every two weeks just because of this awesome boxer you sold me 4 years ago!

Good luck getting lots of business Matt!👍
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Old 06-05-2021, 05:47 PM   #23
WildMatt84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justindiehl7 View Post
My thoughts on the subject: if you have the money buy the good equipment, the biggest available in a blower and a weedeater, and take the guard off the weedeater. This will be my 13th year doing landscaping, started off on my own and now have a crew working 6 days a week mowing for me. If I had the equipment I have now I would’ve made a killing by myself after my equipment was paid off. Sure takes some of the beating off of your body at the end of the day!


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I went 18k big. Bad boy maverick 54” zero turn, stihl 800 mag blower, stihl 131 trimmer, stihl 56c edger, and a cub cadet cc800 33” walk behind
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Old 06-05-2021, 05:49 PM   #24
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Thank you everyone for the advice so far. I’m taking in a bunch of good info
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Old 06-05-2021, 06:44 PM   #25
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Have you seen your competition? They are at Bucees on 96 every morning at 7am blocking every single pump. I must get a business card stuck in my door at least 3-4 times a week.
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Old 06-05-2021, 07:08 PM   #26
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Being a consumer, there is a guy that foes a fantastic job and he seems to do about half the houses on my section of the street. Just goes from one yard to the next, maybe drive 200 feet and do 3 more houses there. So seems the focus on one area crowd has something going here.
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Old 06-05-2021, 10:33 PM   #27
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Good luck
One of my fire fighters quit when his lawn service started making a few hundred grand a year.
I can see it being a little difficult now with a gov. Doing it’s best to destroy the economy but I’m sure there are still people willing to pay for this service
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Old 06-06-2021, 05:40 AM   #28
WildMatt84
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Originally Posted by Bayouboy View Post
Have you seen your competition? They are at Bucees on 96 every morning at 7am blocking every single pump. I must get a business card stuck in my door at least 3-4 times a week.
Youíre not wrong! Reckon I just gotta out grind them
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Old 06-06-2021, 06:59 AM   #29
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I work a similar schedule like you.Mowed res/com property for 20 years.Still kept my full time job..There's a helluva lot of money in it,but I had to give it all up,but one big property..It just became too much work.Daylight,to midnight,seriously.Couldn't keep help,didn't matter how much you paid them.The weather,and paperwork were probably the worst part..I couldn't imagine trying to catch up on yards,this year! 2007 was real similar to this one.I bet I didn't sleep 2 hours a night back then.Burned every day of vacation trying to catch up..I was younger then,but man it was terrible.Folks on golf courses and million dollar houses expect you there the moment it stops,lol.Good luck amigo!
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:19 AM   #30
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Don’t mow my yard on Sunday
Don’t mow my yard after 5:00
Don’t mow my yard when it’s wet
Don’t mow my yard when it doesn’t need it
Don’t mow my yard and come back 3 days later to weed eat
Don’t scalp my yard
Don’t mow around “stuff”
Don’t just show up....text me
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:39 AM   #31
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This is something me and my special needs son could do; however, at 65 being in a windless backyard in August would probably kill me. You should hit Dustoffer, on here, up. I think he had a yard business for at least a decade.
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Old 06-06-2021, 09:35 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Leemo View Post
Donít mow my yard on Sunday
Donít mow my yard after 5:00
Donít mow my yard when itís wet
Donít mow my yard when it doesnít need it
Donít mow my yard and come back 3 days later to weed eat
Donít scalp my yard
Donít mow around ďstuffĒ
Donít just show up....text me
Stay away form this guy
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Old 06-06-2021, 09:46 AM   #33
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Mention to your customers that you pay your taxes. (Not kidding) I recently started with a new lawn guy. Old guy retired. New guys business name was Something like Hernandez landscaping Inc. So, I write my first check after a couple of weeks using him and he had the balls to reject my check because it wasn’t written to his business name and not his personal name. Fired!!
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Old 06-06-2021, 09:57 AM   #34
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Know your worth
Set yourself apart
Insurance
LLC
Licenses
Web presence

Also best investment I’ve made has been box truck/ trailers and logos (nothing overpowering). Mobile billboards and keeps your equipment out of the elements and pawn shops.
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Old 06-06-2021, 10:05 AM   #35
crumrw
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Originally Posted by Fishndude View Post
Mention to your customers that you pay your taxes. (Not kidding) I recently started with a new lawn guy. Old guy retired. New guys business name was Something like Hernandez landscaping Inc. So, I write my first check after a couple of weeks using him and he had the balls to reject my check because it wasnít written to his business name and not his personal name. Fired!!

I own my own business, an LLC. I pay my taxes. My business account is in my personal name. Doesnít matter from a tax stand point, because an LLC is viewed as a sole proprietorship in the eyes of the federal government. Who you write the check to is not an indicator of whether they pay taxes or not.


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Old 06-06-2021, 10:09 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by crumrw View Post
I own my own business, an LLC. I pay my taxes. My business account is in my personal name. Doesnít matter from a tax stand point, because an LLC is viewed as a sole proprietorship in the eyes of the federal government. Who you write the check to is not an indicator of whether they pay taxes or not.


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So youíd reject a check written to your business name?
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Old 06-06-2021, 10:13 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildMatt84 View Post
Not to recently I made a change in the fire department I work for. I went from one full time department to another, it just so happens the one im working for now used to be my side job. So not having a side job and a 48 on 96 off schedule has left me with a bunch of free time. SOOOOO I decided to start a lawn business.I have everything I need, zero turn, trailer, edger, 2 trimmers, back pack blower, all sorts of hand tools and a 33" walk behind. Now its just a matter of getting customers. Ive been grinding it out on social media and putting out flyers and business cards, just seems a little slow going. Looking for any tips and tricks from anyone in the business and how they built their client base
I have been doing it for over 10 years now. The first was slow going and I to travel like 30 miles into Baton Rouge and do some forclosure deals for banks in some not so nice places. Went through some of my savings to stay afloat but it worked out well. Bust butt all summer just cutting around here now and off the winter to hunt when I want. Little tough getting started but don't give up. I don't do flower beds and stuff like to much trouble for the little money make. I'll fine a local guy to do that for me. Stay positive and it will work out. Good Luck
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Old 06-06-2021, 10:20 AM   #38
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I have been using the same guys for years.
They do a few neighbors yards throughout the week.
The only thing that has changed in the last few years is they will show up and unload the trailer of any valuables and hide them behind bushes or they put them in a backyard out of site. They have been hit too many times by getting hit while they are working.

If you have all new stuff your going to be a target. Protect your investment.
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Old 06-06-2021, 10:49 AM   #39
WildMatt84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoveBlaster View Post
Know your worth
Set yourself apart
Insurance
LLC
Licenses
Web presence

Also best investment I’ve made has been box truck/ trailers and logos (nothing overpowering). Mobile billboards and keeps your equipment out of the elements and pawn shops.
I went DBA, but after speaking with a few people I am just going to file for the LLC and be done with it. Seems to be much more separation between personal assets and business
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Old 06-06-2021, 11:02 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Fishndude View Post
So youíd reject a check written to your business name?
Unprofessional, yes but doesn't necessarily mean he isn't paying taxes.

He might not have set up a commercial bank account set up with the DBA he is using.

But when it quacks like a duck......
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Old 06-06-2021, 11:06 AM   #41
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A lot of guys I know do lawn around here.

Don't be afraid to fire a customer....Some just are not worth it.

Commercial is where the money is at! But it can be a lot of work.


I saw an ad(in California) for a company that only uses electric. With all the imports for Cali, that might be a good business model(it's the future anyways) and you can charge more and set yourself apart from the rest.
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Old 06-06-2021, 11:46 AM   #42
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So youíd reject a check written to your business name?

Probably just trying to avoid any hassle from his bank with who the check is written to. Iím sure the way he handled it has something to do with your reaction also. In my case, I make it clear in my invoices who to make checks out to. I still have people write checks to my business name from time to time. I havenít had any issues with my bank yet, but do get nervous trying to deposit those checks.

To answer your question, no I donít reject those checks... at least not right off. If and when I have any issue depositing them, I will reject them.


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Old 06-06-2021, 01:36 PM   #43
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I've been using the same people for 21 years now. The first time I was approached, I was pushing a lawnmower in my front yard in the middle of summer, while this Mexican guy was mowing my neighbor's house right next door. A 7 year old little boy gets out of the truck, walked up and I killed the mower. He said, "Mister, my dad will do your yard for $25". I pushed that lawn mower in the garage, got a cold beer out of the fridge, popped open a lawn chair and became a loyal client of Velasquez Lawn Care.

They've kept my business by doing great work, being honest, telling me when they've broken something and then fixing it, offering other services such as replacing dead plants etc., and having fair pricing. In those 21 years, I've watched their business grow substantially. That original little 7 year old now runs the company. His parents finally, and through a lot of dedication, proudly got their American citizenship. They run multiple crews, but Dad and son still mow and weedeat right along with their workers. They'd have to bury a body on my place to get fired at this point. I've come to love the people.
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Old 06-06-2021, 02:23 PM   #44
JackRyan
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So youíd reject a check written to your business name?
I wouldn't but my bank would, and I paid every penny of my share of taxes. Operated the same way for years and occasionally had to ask for checks to be rewritten.

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Old 06-06-2021, 04:49 PM   #45
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Venmo, Cashapp, Apple Pay, etc are really popular now.

The more automation/convenience you can provide for your customers the better.

As far as checks, it depends on how the account is set up.

We have Inc, LP, and DBAs all under different names. Account is under DBA. Checks written to LP or INC wouldnít be accepted. But then again they wouldnít know anything other than my DBA unless they researched it.


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Old 06-06-2021, 06:19 PM   #46
DPElite
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Matt

How many customers you have at the moment?


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Old 06-07-2021, 04:18 AM   #47
Swampa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildMatt84 View Post
Not to recently I made a change in the fire department I work for. I went from one full time department to another, it just so happens the one im working for now used to be my side job. So not having a side job and a 48 on 96 off schedule has left me with a bunch of free time. SOOOOO I decided to start a lawn business.I have everything I need, zero turn, trailer, edger, 2 trimmers, back pack blower, all sorts of hand tools and a 33" walk behind. Now its just a matter of getting customers. Ive been grinding it out on social media and putting out flyers and business cards, just seems a little slow going. Looking for any tips and tricks from anyone in the business and how they built their client base

Iím not in the business, but my mindset is to differentiate yourself from the normal lawn guy. Put a package together to put in spring/fall flowers, trim hedges periodically, put up/take down Christmas lights, spray demon and drop granules every 4-6 weeks and add insecticide control.


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Old 06-07-2021, 04:43 AM   #48
WildMatt84
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Matt

How many customers you have at the moment?


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Currently 3 recurring. Everything else is just work as it comes
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Old 06-07-2021, 07:04 AM   #49
pigsticker64
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I sent you a PM
I have place in Shore Acres I would like a quote on .
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Old 06-07-2021, 07:49 AM   #50
tdwinklr
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did this back in 2013-2014. You can work yourself to death in this heat though, is better if you have helper at times. Sometimes I would over-commit myself to too much and then have to turn people away, thus losing business in the future.
Just a note: when acquiring new customers, ask them to pick up stuff out of their yard first (limbs, toys, large trash, etc) and mark stuff they wouldn't want chopped up, or you'll be spending half your own time doing it. Very annoying.
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