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  Reply # 875328 11-Aug-2013 12:37
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jonherries: You might be able to make compost from your clippings, which could be a revenue source...

Jon


I actually mentioned that to my mate who has a lawn mowing business. Too much space and time to be viable. An option if the owner had a country style block with land to spare

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  Reply # 875333 11-Aug-2013 13:05
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tdgeek:
jonherries: You might be able to make compost from your clippings, which could be a revenue source...

Jon


I actually mentioned that to my mate who has a lawn mowing business. Too much space and time to be viable. An option if the owner had a country style block with land to spare


Also you would need a lot of other media (e.g. woody material) to achieve the right proportions for well balanced compost  

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  Reply # 875337 11-Aug-2013 13:24
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pctek: I'd like to know how they make money.

Neighbour up front - his fee is $10. Small lawn....
Mums lawn - $20 but it's fortnightly, he does garden as well, a bit of a tidy up.

Friend $20 - his is 1/4 acre of kikuyu.

Another friend, he dad did this for years - but it supplemented his pension....

So that's an awful lot of lawns, and remember that fee is turnover, not net profit.


If they are calling the business 'Just Lawns' then one would pressuem that all they do is 'just' lawns, so they probably don't include any other gardening in their feel, which saves a lot of time. The fees you have quoted are way too low. I know in my town that they are charging upwards of $50 for a normal sized house lawn. $20 for a 1/4 acre, they are getting a very good deal, the petrol would probably be $5 alone.



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  Reply # 875810 12-Aug-2013 13:03
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mattwnz:
pctek: I'd like to know how they make money.

Neighbour up front - his fee is $10. Small lawn....
Mums lawn - $20 but it's fortnightly, he does garden as well, a bit of a tidy up.

Friend $20 - his is 1/4 acre of kikuyu.

Another friend, he dad did this for years - but it supplemented his pension....

So that's an awful lot of lawns, and remember that fee is turnover, not net profit.


If they are calling the business 'Just Lawns' then one would pressuem that all they do is 'just' lawns, so they probably don't include any other gardening in their feel, which saves a lot of time. The fees you have quoted are way too low. I know in my town that they are charging upwards of $50 for a normal sized house lawn. $20 for a 1/4 acre, they are getting a very good deal, the petrol would probably be $5 alone.


Well i was thinking of adding a free 1 or two months of hedge and tree trimming for signing up on my flyer... Then after the two months if the want tree and hedge trimming to continue i would negotiate 5 dollars for small property's and 10 dollars for big property's...... It's early days still though : )

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  Reply # 875820 12-Aug-2013 13:23
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you should move the business up to auckland, I need someone to do my lawns :)



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  Reply # 875821 12-Aug-2013 13:26
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I actually want to move back to Auckland i love my Auckland : ) We'll see next year.... that's one of my goals to live in Auckland around Mt Eden or the cbd near Victoria Markets ,haven't been to the markets since i was a kid ,love asian culture : )

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  Reply # 875839 12-Aug-2013 13:43
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AppleJackXD:
mattwnz:
pctek: I'd like to know how they make money.

Neighbour up front - his fee is $10. Small lawn....
Mums lawn - $20 but it's fortnightly, he does garden as well, a bit of a tidy up.

Friend $20 - his is 1/4 acre of kikuyu.

Another friend, he dad did this for years - but it supplemented his pension....

So that's an awful lot of lawns, and remember that fee is turnover, not net profit.


If they are calling the business 'Just Lawns' then one would pressuem that all they do is 'just' lawns, so they probably don't include any other gardening in their feel, which saves a lot of time. The fees you have quoted are way too low. I know in my town that they are charging upwards of $50 for a normal sized house lawn. $20 for a 1/4 acre, they are getting a very good deal, the petrol would probably be $5 alone.


Well i was thinking of adding a free 1 or two months of hedge and tree trimming for signing up on my flyer... Then after the two months if the want tree and hedge trimming to continue i would negotiate 5 dollars for small property's and 10 dollars for big property's...... It's early days still though : )


Maybe using another word than 'Just' because someone may see your advertising like me, and think you only do lawns and nothing else, as 'just' means 'only'. 



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  Reply # 875845 12-Aug-2013 13:51
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mattwnz:
AppleJackXD:
mattwnz:
pctek: I'd like to know how they make money.

Neighbour up front - his fee is $10. Small lawn....
Mums lawn - $20 but it's fortnightly, he does garden as well, a bit of a tidy up.

Friend $20 - his is 1/4 acre of kikuyu.

Another friend, he dad did this for years - but it supplemented his pension....

So that's an awful lot of lawns, and remember that fee is turnover, not net profit.


If they are calling the business 'Just Lawns' then one would pressuem that all they do is 'just' lawns, so they probably don't include any other gardening in their feel, which saves a lot of time. The fees you have quoted are way too low. I know in my town that they are charging upwards of $50 for a normal sized house lawn. $20 for a 1/4 acre, they are getting a very good deal, the petrol would probably be $5 alone.


Well i was thinking of adding a free 1 or two months of hedge and tree trimming for signing up on my flyer... Then after the two months if the want tree and hedge trimming to continue i would negotiate 5 dollars for small property's and 10 dollars for big property's...... It's early days still though : )


Maybe using another word than 'Just' because someone may see your advertising like me, and think you only do lawns and nothing else, as 'just' means 'only'. 


What about "Just Lawns and Trimming" i like the Just Lawns name : )

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  Reply # 875846 12-Aug-2013 13:52
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I too think "Just Lawns" meant you only mowed awns. TBH I would think of a different name (without the word "Just"), just my 2 cents (feel free to ignore it :P)



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  Reply # 875848 12-Aug-2013 13:58
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reven: I too think "Just Lawns" meant you only mowed awns. TBH I would think of a different name (without the word "Just"), just my 2 cents (feel free to ignore it :P)



Well i think i will do some brainstorming and set up a poll on here sometime and ppl can vote on names so i can get an idea of an appropriate name from a consumer standpoint. : )

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  Reply # 875981 12-Aug-2013 16:23
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Something friendly like you name? Jim's lawnmowing is successful for a reason, because it gives the impression of a personal service.

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  Reply # 876373 13-Aug-2013 11:38
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I started a lawn mowing/garden care business in Auckland eastern suburbs a while ago which did well. We ended up selling the client list for 10k too.

It's a PITA chasing people up for $40 here and there but it does pay well if you work hard enough. We had a young guy we paid an OK rate and kept the profits.

You need a trailer (or van you don't mind ruining), a couple of decent mowers, gas weed wacker, gas pole trimmer, gas leaf blower, plus other general gardening tools and gear. Depending on what services you offer you may also need ladder(s) and a few other things like water blasters. We did lawns, cosmetic gardening, small tree and bush trimming, edges, leaf blowing, gutter cleaning, waterblasting, minor outdoor handyman stuff (broken fence pails, etc), pond cleaning, window washing, etc. Quite a few things!

We mainly did homes but we also did some commercial jobs too. They are great as they will pay a good rate and will just get you round fortnightly/monthly whether the place really needs it or not. The best thing we ever did was get into some property management companies. They would have us mow/maintain a portfolio of properties on a regular basis and because their clients were ultimately paying they didn't haggle the price too much

Pick a good name (ours was Giardino, which is Italian for Garden), and get a few matching polo shirts, sleeveless polar fleeces and caps and get the name embroidered on. Is cheap and makes a difference visually. Quite a bit of business comes from word of mouth so if you make a good impression\, it helps a lot. Some magnetic signs for your car/van are also great advertising for a low price.

Also make your own website (cheaper) and submit it to all the search engines, online maps, phone books and local business directories you can find. Almost all are free. Don't steal images. Website can just be a one-pager but it's always better to have a few pages. We had a home page, a commercial services page, residential services page, map of areas we covered and a contact us page. We tried listing with No Cowboys and a few other pay sites but didn't find they were great value for this business.

As I can print at my job for free, I used to print a thousand or so A5 flyers a week and deliver them to houses in the evenings as a way of getting exercise and new business. We'd get jobs/quotes from every evening of deliveries almost. If you don;t have time to do that, see if you know a trustworthy kid you can pay $10/h to do it.

Make sure you use electronic billing/payments as much as possible with as much automation as is feasible. As I said, chasing up people for $40 cheques sux and is not worth your time.

As someone already said, the aim of the game is to build up a decent regular client list that ticks over like clockwork, and periodically increase your prices slightly. There is a lot of competition out there, and some people are willing to do it for very little, but if you make a good local brand and consistently do good jobs, people are willing to pay a bit more. Do edges and leaf blowing for free. Big section clearing jobs pay well but you need somwhere to dump. If you have somewhere you can (legally) dump for free then all the better. You can also mulch/compost/chip but you need space and equipment and it stinks, attracts pests etc. We knew someone with a high deck over a huge bush who let us dump all the waste there in exchange for free mowing. Constant trips to the tip add up.

There are some really good forums out there with very active large communities discussing lawncare and gardening business. Most are overseas so some of it is not relevant, but most is universal and there are loads of good tips.

Good luck and let us know if you have any questions

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  Reply # 876382 13-Aug-2013 11:51
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NonprayingMantis: Probably using a picture of an American house not the best idea....


Yes - Kiwis will realise just how poor many of the houses here are in comparison!!





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  Reply # 876415 13-Aug-2013 12:49
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Well i was thinking of adding a free 1 or two months of hedge and tree trimming for signing up on my flyer... Then after the two months if the want tree and hedge trimming to continue i would negotiate 5 dollars for small property's and 10 dollars for big property's...... It's early days still though : )

Don't do it for free. For a start nothing is free. Secondly you ought not to be targeting cheap arse clients. Try something like "for just $5 extra in the first two months we'll .........."

It was mentioned earlier but in Christchurch you need to allow for a couple of months down time during winter.

When mowing a lawn don't forget to knock on the neigbours doors to see if they would like to expereince your fantastic services for say $15.

Dont park in the neigbours driveway - that really pisses me off when I'm running late.

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  Reply # 876562 13-Aug-2013 16:20
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Offer discounts for referrals too

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