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I posted this in the main forum, but the Iron Jen suggested I also post here as well.
I have been considering starting a lawn care business doing fertilizer and weed control in my area (not mowing). I used to work for a big corporation doing this, so I already know how to do the work. Also, I know Dan Miller says to start small and grow to avoid going into debt to start the business. However, we live in a growing, fairly affluent area around Indianapolis with new and large houses going up daily. I know I could grow quickly if I start now (just before winter) with the right marketing plan preparing for the Spring campaign.
Everyone else is not going to start marketing until Spring for this and I want to get people thinking now about who they use in the Spring. I would use marketing learned from Joe Polish and the I Love Marketing Podcast utilizing a free recorded message and web page educating people about how to choose the best lawn business for their money.
My problem is that I have zero capital to put toward the starting of this business. I project that to start with the right equipment and product I would need about $7,000-$10,000 to do the job.
I have been learning a lot about sales, marketing, and advertising from Dan, Joe Polish and Dean Jackson, and many others. But I was just listening to Christy Wright on the Business Boutique podcast and she interviewed 2 women who had asked customers for pre-orders to start their businesses. Having no money to start and no product on hand, they needed those pre-orders to get the ball rolling otherwise they wouldn't have been able to start making and selling.
Do you think this might be something that I could possibly offer? My plan would be to go door to door, do door hangings, put up fliers, etc. and offer 15%-25% off if they pre-pay the entire year and give them the exact price it would be. An added idea someone suggested was to offer discounts for referral business on top of the prepay.
I would have the full intention, if I don't raise enough money with the pre-paid accounts to give everyone a 100% refund. If i start now I could have a good idea of a number by Spring.
Thanks for your feedback. I also sent this to email@example.com so he could possibly respond on the podcast as well.