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When rain alters your lawn mowing schedule.

As your mowing schedule fills with regular lawn care customers and mowing contracts, rainy days and other delays will have you scrambling for extra time to get your mowing schedule back on track.

Though it’s a great problem to have, a schedule that is too full will wind up costing you money in the long run.

Why is a packed schedule a bad thing? There are inevitable delays in the lawn care business. Traffic delays, lawn care equipment breakdowns, and job-time misestimates are norm for the lawn care business. With these scheduling stressers the only thing you need is a rain delay to throw you completely off schedule. High quality lawn care customers are difficult to come by. If they feel you are neglecting their lawns (even due to a rain delay) they will drop you for other lawn care companies that are more attentive.

How can you handle rain delays? We have found many methods for effectively planning for rain delays.

The first method is to plan a realistic schedule for your lawn care customers. If you can reasonably mow 15-20 yards per day, don’t schedule 25 lawns per day. It is unrealistic that you can keep up with a 25% overrun of your maximum. It is understandable that you want to get as many customers as possible but one way to keep your schedule manageable is to cull out the less profitable lawns as you replace them with better customers.

Second; keep a mandetory minimum of 1/2 day per week for catch up work. Since Friday is a common day for people wanting their lawns cut, I have always scheduled the second half of Thursday as my make-up day. This is good for two reasons. Early week rain delays can be made up on Thursday. If rain is expected Friday, a quick call to Friday clients will allow me to move them up to Thursday and their lawns will still look good for the weekend.

The last method is to communicate with your customers. Lawn care clients do not want to guess when you will mow their lawns. When you first realize that you are behind schedule, call them on the phone to let them know when you expect to mow. Here is a GREAT tip that will make your customers feel better about the delay. Resist the urge to tell them that you are too busy and will get to their lawns “when you can.” Instead, explain that mowing wet grass damages the turf and it is better for the lawn to wait until it has dried. This simple statement will let them know that you have their best interests at heart and you are truly caring for the grass.

There are many stressors to running a lawn care business. However, if you take a calm, clear, proactive approach, your lawn care business can run as smoothly (and profitably) as possible.

We have been associated with the lawn care industry for 2 decades and we know what it takes to get a business up and running quickly and effectively. We have developed a lawn care business program (with estimating softwre) that will help you with your business.





For more information, visit this webpage: http://startalawncarebusiness.com/order.html

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Start A Lawn Care Business – April, 2011

Start A Lawn Care Business - April, 2011

Start Your Own Lawn Care and Landscaping Business

Though springtime is already underway, right now is a perfect time to get started with your own lawn care business.  If you have ever thought about making money during the summertime mowing grass and doing small landscaping work for your lawn care customers, you should not delay starting your business.

April is the time that many homeowners and business owners hire a lawn  care person for the upcoming mowing season.  The grass is already growing and if you don’t get customers during the next several weeks, you will miss out on the rush of customers looking for lawn care professionals.

Proper price estimation is one of the main problems you will encounter when you are acquiring lawn care customers.  Many new guys do not know how much money to charge when they are giving estimates.  Lots of lawn care people think the only way to attract customers is to underbid (lowball) the other guys cutting grass.  Lowballing is a quick way to lose money.

Instead of lowballing, we teach you how to attract high quality lawn care customers and charge fees that will help you make the best money possible doing lawn care and cutting yards.

If you are starting your lawn care business this year, or if you are hoping to expand your existing lawn care business, proper pricing is an obstacle you need to overcome.  By getting good quality customers right now and charging the money you should be making you can dramatically increase your profit potential for the rest of the year.

Don’t lowball.  Learn how to charge the right amount of money with our bidding tutorial and lawn care business estimating software.  We have it on sale for the rest of the month for a price low enough that it should pay for itself in 1 or 2 lawns.

For more information, visit our main website homepage:

How to Start A Lawn Care Business
http://www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com

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Lawn Care Estimating – The Driveway Moment.

Lawn Care Estimating - The Driveway Moment

Lawn Care Estimating - The Driveway Moment

What do you think is the most important part of estimating lawn care jobs? 

When I am consulting with new lawn care business owners I spend lots of time discussing the basics of giving proper lawn care business bids.  Understanding the total costs of each particular job is paramount to knowing how much money to bid.  Basic knowledge of your overhead is important as is knowing local pricing (what the market will bear).   Our Lawn Care Business Guidebook contains an excellent bidding tutorial which teaches you the basic principles (as well as the finer points) of lawn care estimating

All of this information is helpful to you in determining a basic price and the Lawn Care Estimating Calculator Software is a very handy business tool.  However, all these “textbook estimating examples and calculators” don’t do you any good if you can’t actually SELL your services to your customers.  

Let’s face it, presentation is highly important when you are giving lawn care estimates.  If customers don’t believe you will do a good job, they will pass over your estimates and choose other lawn care companies.  If you are not confident in your bids, customers will sense your weakness and will get you to lower your prices.  If you are not prepared to offer additional services to your customers, you will miss crucial upsell opportunities.  All of these things cost you money. 

When giving lawn care estimates, I have always taken a couple of moments to sit in the driveway before exiting my truck.  These “Driveway Moments” allow me time to prepare myself for each sales call.  During this time I scan the house & the yard (and even the cars in the driveway) looking for clues that give me an indication of the price I can get for each job.  I also look for additional services to offer the customer.  No matter what the customer requests, I try to have 3 or 4 addtional services that the customer might need.  Great presentation, understanding of your customers’ needs, and proper upselling can make your lawn care business thousands of dollars of additional income during the course of a year.  

The driveway moment also gives me an opportunity to put myself in a proper frame of mind (psych myself up).  It allows me to forget about that guy who cut me off in traffic as I was leaving my last lawn care job.  It allows me to convince myself that I will not be talked down on my price.  It allows me to approach the estimate with enthusiasm, confidence, and a positive attitude.  

If you are new to the lawn care business and you feel that you don’t do a good enough job in presenting your lawn care estimates, give yourself a Driveway Moment before knocking on the door of your next potential customer.  I have given thousands of estimates over the years and I still believe that the Driveway Moment is one of the most important parts of estimating lawn care jobs. 

If you are a new lawn care business owner and you need help in your estimating process, our Lawn Care Business Guidebook and Software package is what you need to help you give better estimates.  To learn more about this HUGE lawn care business guidebook, business toolkit, and estimating software, please visit our main webpage: 

How To Estimate A Lawn Mowing Job
http://www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com

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Mowing Grass for Foreclosure Homes

Make money mowing grass on foreclosures.

Learn how to make money mowing grass on foreclosures. This sign is advertising a free foreclosure list at a local real-estate office.

Can your Lawn Care Company make money mowing foreclosure lawns?

Lawn care business owners have faced a tough business climate since the housing bubble burst. We (StartALawnCareBusiness.com) have been guiding many business owners on methods of making money during this economic downturn. We get to speak with lots of Lawn Care Business owners and we have seen increased opportunities for the past several months.

Now that we’re coming out of the winter season, spring cleanup jobs are in abundance. Our financial winter is also coming to an end and the housing market is beginning to see new signs of life. Just this morning, I was reading a report that states foreclosure filings dropped 27% from February of last year.

Since the foreclosure market has been so big in recent years, we have become experts in tracking down foreclosures and making money upkeeping their lawns. The fact that foreclosure filings are dropping means that real-estate is moving again and real estate agents are becoming even more willing to spend big money fixing up lawns of foreclosed homes and businesses.

We believe the opportunity to make lots of money providing lawn care and landscaping services on foreclosure properties will remain strong all this year and into next year.

If you are just starting your lawn care business or if you are looking to expand an existing lawn care business, our guidebook will help you understand how to bid these properties and how to make great money doing foreclosure cleanup.

For more information on the business program, visit our main website:

Make Money Mowing Foreclosure Lawns
http://www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com

Lawn Care Business and the Recent Unemployment Numbers.

by:
Start A Lawn Care Business
http://www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com

Economists are so funny.  First, they make up forecasts based on their best guess estimates.  Then, when the numbers don’t come in as expected, they claim the unemployment numbers are disappointing.  Everyone gnashes their teeth and the stock market plummets as the television news stations make us common folk feel like the world is coming to {yet another} end.

Maybe the numbers themselves aren’t “disappointing.”  Maybe it was the economic unemployment forecast that was “disappointing” to begin with.

My formal education is in finance and economics.  I earned my degree long before I broke free of the cubicle and started my own lawn care business.  I will alway remember one professor who told me, as I was trying to analyze an economic report, “the numbers can be good or bad, it all depends on what kind of spin you put on them.”

Yuck.

Anyway, what do you guys think about the latest unemployment numbers?  Do you think that they are good or bad for the economy.  How do you think they will affect your lawn care business.  I will tell you what I think.  I think a lowering of the unemployment rate to under 9% is a huge step in the right direction.  As more people are put back to work, more people will have less time at home.  And they will have more money in their pockets to hire out their lawn care services.

One other benefit of more people going back to work is that many guys who were cutting grass as extra income while they were out of work will stop mowing grass.  Less competition in the lawn care industry is good for the guys  who are still doing it and for the guys who are starting their lawn care businesses this year.

So, if these talking heads on TV are getting you down and making you feel there is no hope for your life, turn off the TV and take your destiny into your own hands.  Someone is always going to have a bleak story to tell.  However, we (www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com) speak with LOTS of lawn care industry insiders and we feel we have a pretty good idea of what is going on within the industry.  Lawn care is going to be strong again and we think this year is going to be one of the best years in recent memory for anyone with a lawn care company.

So, wether you are wanting to grow an existing lawn care business or you are wanting to start a brand new lawn care business of your very own, we hope you will stop dreaming and start doing.  Right now is a great time to get started.

We would also like to tell you that if you don’t know where to start and you don’t know how to acquire customers and price your jobs, we have developed an EXCELLENT series of guidebooks and ESTIMATING SOFTWARE to help you start your own successful Lawn Care Business. Maybe by using our Lawn Care Business Estimating Software, you will be able to give better estimates than the economists. 🙂

For more information, read more about the business program on our main website.  Click the link below:

How To Start A Lawn Care Business
http://www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com

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Instantaneous Profitability with your Lawn Care Business?

by: Start A Lawn Care Business

My good friend Steve with the LawnChat.com lawn care blog recently asked how long it takes before a lawn care business becomes profitable.

I remember taking business classes when I was in school. The professors often lectured that many businesses take up to 5 years before they ever turn a profit. “An entrepreneur should have a minimum of 6 months working capital before starting any small business” they would preach. I remember sitting in those classes thinking that I wanted to be profitable within 6 DAYS of starting my business (whatever it was going to be at that time) not 6 months. “Were they crazy?” I would think to myself, “6 months is an eternity.” Well, as I get older I realize that 6 months is not an eternity but I still believe it is certainly too long to wait to become profitable in a small lawn care business.

When we finally started our lawn care business in 1992, I was lucky that we did, indeed, have 6 months working capital. However, we did not feel that was an excuse to waste time and money trying to become profitable. Listen, we’re talking grass mowing here. We’re not designing the next super computer or building an automotive factory complex with billion dollar financing.

We are big believers in steady controlled growth of a new business concept. We have truly never understood lawn care business owners that borrow $10,000 (or more) to purchase great lawn equipment before they’ve ever even cut their first lawn. There are benefits of starting with $10,000 in business loans but it’s just not our style. Look at the huge success stories in the business world today. Microsoft, Google, Walgreens have never had any significant debt and they are at the top of their industries.

I personally believe lawn care is one of those businesses you can start with practically no debt. A smart LCO can grow his equipment list as his client list grows. Starting small and growing steadily is preferable, to me anyway, than having a constant worry of mortgaged equipment. Starting at this level means you can, practically, be profitable with your first few lawns. “Yeah, well, what about advertising” my professors would say. Do you know what I say to that? Get off the couch, hit the street and start meeting your potential customers face to face. It’s the best advertising you will ever have…and it’s FREE.

Can you imagine starting your own company on Monday and turning your first profit by Thursday? Though this might not be practical for all lawn care business owners, my old business professors’ ears are likely burning when I say such things.

In the Start A Lawn Care Business training course, we show you methods of starting your own lawn care business with the idea of becoming profitable almost immediately. We can’t promise that you will be profitable by Thursday. However, we show you principles of the lawn care industry that will have you up and running, and hopefully profitable, than you would have ever thought possible.

To learn more about the lawn care business training course and estimating software,
please visit our website: http://www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com

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LOUD LEAF BLOWER? Protect your hearing!

by: Start A Lawn Care Business

Any of us that have been in the lawn care business for any period of time know what it’s like to be a newbie. You are young, eager, and excited about your business. You have constant thoughts about getting new clients, buying new equipment, and making money all year long. You are on the precipice of making a new life for yourself and you are enjoying the freedom owning your own lawn care business affords you.

Although all those things should excite you, they should never stand in the way of being a responsible business owner. And, being a responsible business owner means you must pay attention to the health of your business as well as your own physical health.

We at StartALawnCareBusiness.com have long been proponents of proper safety equipment and business practices of lawn care business owners. One of the necessities of operating lawn care equipment is functional noise reduction hearing protection. I remember my first year in business. I do not always like wearing hearing protection but I always wear it. It’s hot, makes my head sweat, and is uncomfortable. If you wear it religiously proper lawn care equipment hearing protection will quickly become an everyday part of your work life.

According the the CDC: while noise-induced hearing loss is 100 percent preventable, once acquired, hearing loss is permanent and irreversible.

This morning, as I passed a city lawn care crew working on a leaf job, I was surprised to see none of the crew member had any sort of hearing protection. They did not even have basic hearing protection afforded by the small foam ear inserts. Leaf blowers are so loud that I cannot imagine the long-term hearing damage these workers were experiencing.

If you are a lawn care business owner, we urge you to pay attention to your overall health. This includes utilizing hearing protection with the proper Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) necessary for your equipment and your working conditions. We have spend a lot of time extolling the virtues of starting a lawn care business this fall. There is lots of money to be made raking leaves and operating leaf blowers. Please take a few of those dollars you are making and buy the protection you need.

And, as always, if you want to operate a better lawn care company, take a look at our lawn care business training course.
It’s well worth the current low sale’s price: www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com

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I didn't get anything done today in my Lawn Care Business.

Have you ever felt that way?

I think every lawn care business owner has the occasional day when you put the equipment away at the end of the day only to realize that you basically accomplished nothing. It’s disheartening when you feel like you’re wasting time and losing money. Spinning your wheels is especially difficult for newer lawn care business owners. Keep your head up though. The main point to remember early in the game is that you are gaining experience each day you work on your business.

What has kept you from getting work done today?

If we put our minds to it, we could possibly list 100 different things that keep you from getting work done. Instead of making a list so long, we’re going to hone it down to 3 main reasons for a new lawn care business owner not accomplishing anything during a work day.

1) No Lawn Care Customers – Most new lawn care business owners have days where there are no customers lined up. Don’t equate having no customers with having nothing to do. Stop sitting around moping in front of the computer waiting for your phone to ring. The next time you have no customers scheduled, get up early, load your equipment in your vehicle, and set out with the same frame of mind as you would if you had 10 customers. Go to the coffee shop early. Make sure people know you’re the owner of the equipment. If you don’t get bites by the time you’re finished with your coffee, let everyone know that you can’t hang around because you have a busy day (leave a few business cards). Head over to Lowe’s or Home Depot (or the nearest hardware store) and look at weedeater. When the guy comes over to ask if you need help, ask some questions about the best commercial weedeater they sell. Tell him you need it for your lawn care business and that you would love him to refer some new customers his way (hand him a business card). As the day wears on, think of other places you can stop where people congregate who might need your services. Hand out your business card and make contacts all day long. When you get home, even if you didn’t unload your equipment one single time, don’t be discouraged that you didn’t get anything done. You made great contact and pretty soon those contacts will turn into customers.

2) Lawn Care Equipment Failure – This is probably more disheartening than having no customers. Losing money is worse, to many people, than not making money. When all the people at the coffee shop (see above) are ringing your phone off the hook wanting their lawns done, it will madden you if your lawn care equipment is in the shop. Equipment failures happen. This is just a fact of life. There are a couple keys to reducing your downtime due to equipment failure: buy good commercial equipment and maintain that equipment properly. Change oil regularly, lubricate according to schedule, change filters, keep your outer stage air filter clean, sharpen your blades, and keep your belts in check.

3) Time Management of your Lawn Care Work Habits – Strategic planning is vital to increasing your efficiency as a lawn care business owner. Proper route planning is one of the biggest drains on a lawn care business owner’s time. After route planning, improper equipment selection and use of that equipment causes many lawn care businesses to lose the time value in their business. Knowing how reduce these time sappers will allow you work more efficiently an feel like you’ve actually accomplished something during your day.

If you have recently started your own lawn care business and you frequently feel that your just not accomplishing much in your business, we invite you to take a look at our main website. We have developed a great business package specifically designed for new lawn care business owners. Within the business guidebooks there is a tremendous amount of information that will help you attract new customers, select and maintain the proper equipment, and manage your time to work more efficiently and make more money per hour worked.

You can read more about us and check out the program at:

Start A Lawn Care Business www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com

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Outhouse to the Penthouse!

There’s nothing I love more than a story of a successful lawn care business owner who starts with nothing and expands rapidly.

We recently received a letter from a lawn care business owner who purchased our Start A Lawn Care Business guidebook and estimating software.   He wrote to tell us that he started his business by purchasing our guidebook to teach him estimating and bidding of larger contracts.

A couple weeks after reading the manuals he bid a large contract and won with a bid of $35,000 per year.  He is very pleased with his contract price and said he couldn’t have done it without our help in the process.

This is a guy who started with nothing and got a $35,000 contract within his first month in the business…more money than he’s ever earned in his life.  Truly a rags to riches story.

If you ever feel your life is in the outhouse and you have nothing going for you, don’t give up.  You never know when an opportunity will present itself allowing you to end up in the penthouse.

A brand new lawn care business…from outhouse to penthouse.  I LOVE IT!!!

If you have purchased our lawn care business strategy guidebook and you have a success story to tell, please let us know.  Write to us anytime at:  LawnCareBusiness@gmail.com

Chain saw time is here.

If you have run a lawn care business for a number of years, you know that early winter is a great time to tune-up the chain saw, sharpen your chains, don your protective gear, cut damaged limbs, and clear fallen trees.

This can be a very profitable time for lawn care business owners with chain saw skills.  Cutting wood is not for everyone.  However, woodcutting knowledge and chain saw competence can lead to lots of additional cash.

Firewood

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Your customers will gladly pay you to chop fallen or unwanted trees.  If the wood is good, you can spilt and season this wood.  Once cold weather is in the forcast, people with fireplaces or wood burning stoves will pay you for the wood.  We’ve even heard stories of Lawn Care Businesses who sell wood to the same customers who paid them to haul off the same tree.  Making double money on the same customer is SWEET BUSINESS!

Chain Sharpening

Time is money and sharp chains mean even more money.  If you do lots of chain sawing, consider purchasing a professional chain sharpener.

You don’t have to spend $300 for a professional chain sharpener if you only need to sharpen the occasional chain. This sharpener is only $35. It does a decent job and can be used in the field from your truck’s battery.

Safety is ALWAYS a strong consideration when you do chain saw work. Here are a few safety items. This list is incomplete but it is a good start to being in full compliance when you are providing tree cutting services for your customers.

Chain Saw Chaps

Chain Saw Safety Helmet

Chain Saw Boots

Chain Saw Gloves

Chain saw work can be a good add-on for your lawn care business. If you want to learn more about starting and running a successful lawn care business, check out our training information at:

Start A Lawn Care Business.com

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