Thursday

Charm Your Way To More Lawn Care Business Profits

"Charm is the quality inothers that makes us more satisfied with ourselves." - Henri Frederic Amiel



Everybody and their dog can think of someone they know that is charming. This is the kind of person who always seems to be on the up and up. They are happy and have a skip in their step. They're someone we like to run into. We look forward to seeing them.

Not only is a person who is charming interesting, they also seem to be successful in their lawn care landscaping business.

Being around someone who is charming makes other people feel better. 

But the question that seems to arise in our minds is aren't these "charming" people being fake? Or even better, what the "heck" does this really have to do with a lawn care or landscaping business??

The truth is most charming business owners are genuinely authentic and are in fact very powerful lawn mowing business owners.

So the question is, just how charming are you?

A lot of people land in around 4-6 out of 10. Don't despair, you can raise your level on the scale of charm in a number of ways.

Smile. Give out compliments and be friendlier on the job site. Give your employees or customers sincere compliments. 

Charm just plain makes people feel better about themselves. So make it your mission to brighten the atmosphere of your company, your office. This will pay rich dividends in the long run.


Successful Lawn Business Strategies


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Sunday

Lawn Landscaping Business Tip: A Henry Ford Secret To Success

Our brains are like a battery. The more of them put together, the greater the power. A group of brains in unity, focussed on a single purpose can provide more thought energy and ideas than a single brain. The increased energy created through those like-minded individuals seems to become available to every person linked together in that group.

I remember reading that Henry Ford used this strategy to get from poverty to riches in 25 years. I think its applicable to the lawn landscaping business industry.

Not too many people know he came from a place of poverty and illiteracy. The odds seemed to be against him.

People say his greatest advancement in success came from the time he befriended the famous inventor Thomas Edison.

He later went on to add to his mastermind group the likes of Burbank, Firestone, and Burroughs. Henry Ford tapped into the mind power of these 4 brilliant men and used the knowledge and experience gained to help himself rise to the top of success.

And that's worth thinking about and acting upon.


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Lawn Care Business Success: 3 Words To Help You Fast Track To Outrageous Profits

My mentor told me these three words would change my life. He said if I use them correctly I could fast track to success. Here they are: weigh, count and measure.

I have to be honest I didn't see what was so important about these 3 words when he told me. Then he explained further that these 3 words all have to do with keeping track. You see what your results are should dictate how you act and react in situations.

You know like measuring the response rate of an advertisement over a reasonable amount of time should tell you a few things - if you keep track.

My mentor went onto say that if I discover that my results are not to my liking there are only three places to look.

My philosophy needs to be in check. My attitude needs to be strong and on track. And my personal disciplines need to continually improve. Activity, attitude and philosophy create results and results are the name of the game.

Now on the topic of results I teach that we all need to make measurable progress in reasonable time. This is a great philosophy to adopt. Not too quickly and don't take your time. Do what you must in reasonable time.

Success is a numbers game. How many prospects have you talked to? How many calls have you made? How many customers have you thanked? If your numbers don't change your life won't change. If you'll start working on improving your numbers then in time you'll start to see the change you want to see.

The bottomline is that success and results all come down to numbers. It's the numbers that count. We've all got to make measurable progress in reasonable time and the numbers are the GPS system of our life.

Here's the best time to start. Right now. Don't wait, keep track now. Measure, count, and weigh all you can. You've got to add up some of your own numbers and ask yourself if you are moving along on time and in the right direction.

Keeping track keeps you on track.

Until next time...


Successful Lawn Business Strategies

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Lawn Care Maintenance Business Tip: If You ______ You Will ______

We've all heard this saying but it is true and so very relevant to business. "If you sow you will reap." Leaders, employers, parents, teachers and volunteers are rewarded for sowing into the lives of others.

No deposit, no return. If you sow you will you will receive the amazing rewards of sowing, even in your lawn care maintenance business.

Here's what I mean.

If you sow into a child's life and take them time and again to hockey practice after hockey practice, you will see those rewards start to blossum in your life. Perhaps its the pride of seeing your child develop their skills. Maybe they develop them so much they can pay you back with more than just love and gratitude -- although that is all most want.

This is the way life works. All life wishes to respond to those who have taken the time and energy to sow. The ones who give their energy, their time, their money, their patience, their ideas, etc. The seed has been sown and is beginning to grow.

I was taught a wonderful principle that I pass onto you in this regard. Whatever you move towards tends to move towards you. When you move toward working out, stronger muscles, confidence, and all of that starts to move towards you and seeks you out.

You will always find this. Its predictable.

Put it to use in your life even more today and the days to follow.

Until next time...


Successful Lawn Business Strategies

http://www.HowToStartYourLawnCareBusiness.com

http://www.HowToGrowYourLawnCareBusiness.com


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Lawn Care Business Tip: We Have To Love The Chance

My mentor taught me that it isn't so much passion that needs to be behind running a business but simply loving the chance. The chance to change your life, gain success, build a future, and improve your health etc. Making a phone call or showing up to someone's front door may not be something you look forward to, but we have to love the chance of what might be behind that door of opportunity.

For example, someone says, "I'm mowing lawns. Should I love mowing lawns?" The answer is, "No you don't have to love mowing lawns, but if it is your first step onto the ladder of success, you say, 'I'm happy someone gave me the chance to mow lawns and I'm going give it my all and do it so well, I won't be here for very long.'"

You can be excited by having found something even though you are making mistakes in the beginning and even though it isn't your favorite thing to do.

You don't have to like it, you just have to learn to appreciate the chance and appreciate the person who gave you the chance to start on the road to success.

If we will take on the disciplines that come with this chance to change our lives we will soon find that our self-confidence starts to grow. And soon when we go out person to person, talking to people, we will find it to be the most amazing opportunity in the world.

Think about it.

Every person we meet could change our lives. They could help lead you to a means of retiring. They may become a friend for life. The next person could be a business contact for many years to come. Wow. What a change in mindset.

Sometimes in the beginning when we are just getting the ball rolling we don't always see the big picture.

Hang on and push through. Remember this age old principle: All success is based on long term persistence, hard work, faith, the right attitude and a few obstacles to go through and hurdles to jump over along the way. You might not like where you're at right now, but the chance to change it all could be right around the corner.

Until next time...


Successful Lawn Business Strategies
http://www.howtostartyourlawncarebusiness.com
http://www.howtogrowyourlawncarebusiness.com

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Saturday

Lawn Care Business Tip: Stop The Excuses

Personal discipline with a lawn care maintenance business is about as important to personal achievement as rocket fuel is to a rocket. Of course there will be moments when you will feel like someone poured molasses all over your life, but you'll always get out of that mess with some consistent and persistent disipline. Without it, you're destined to stay stuck in a rut.

The opposite of self discipline is procrastination. Discipline means you never throw in your towel. Procrastination usually means you never get started, although on the other side of the spectrum, the inability to finish something is also a form of procrastination.

Ask people why they make excuses and you'll often hear something like this, "I have to get this "just right". Everything has to be perfect before I can get down to business. Let me just shuffle and straighten out my business cards first, have to make sure there are no distractions, not too much noise, tidy up my desk, no telephone calls interrupting me, and of course I have to be feeling like working, too. I can't work when I don't feel like working." On the other end of making excuses you'll hear things like, "That's just not good enough just yet. It has to be perfect. I'm really not satisfied."

Do you see where I am going with this?

The root of making excuses could be (more likely than not) fear of failure. That's what perfectionism is all about really.

You're essentially paralyzed by fear. Afraid to make a mistake. You're stuck. You're still going nowhere. You're still overwhelmed by the responsibilities that are before you. It's an endless cycle of having your thougts dominated by a negative view of the road ahead. So in the end you convince yourself not to do anything.

Here's my recipe to end making excuses and procrastinating. I'll show you how to turn procrocrastination into self discipline. If you're brave enough to do what I suggest you consider, the process will be easier than you think. It involves two steps.

The first step comes from Henry Ford. He said no task is too big if you break it down into smaller jobs.

No matter what you're trying to do with your lawn business the simple key to achievement is your ability to break down the job into smaller more manageable tasks and then carry them out one by one. Concentrate on accomplishing what's sitting before you right now. Forget about what's off in the future.

Suppose I were to ask you if you could lose 52 pounds. If you're like the majority of folks, that would sound like an improbable job.

But what if I changed up my question. What if I asked you to lose 1 pound a week for one year? Do you find this smaller task more plausible? All I did was break down the 52 pounds into a weekly goal.

Trust me. If you keep this up for one year, you'll lose the weight. Discipline yourself to stay focused on the day at hand and you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

The second step is to put thought to paper.

Writing is to goal setting as carbon is to steel. The writing you'll do in order to end making excuses is very similar. Instead of focusing down the road, you're now going to be writing about the present just as you experience it every day. Instead of describing the things you want to do or the places you want to go, you're going to describe what you actually do with your time, and you're going to keep a written record of the places you actually go in your life.

In other words, you're going to keep a journal. Write about your activities. If you're like me, you're going to be surprised by the wastes of times and distractions you encounter each and every day. All of these "things" get in the way of achieving your goals. The brilliant thing about keeping a journal is that it brings all this out in the open and lays it on the table for you to see. It forces you to face what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong.

Your journal doesn't have to be anything overboard. Just a little book you carry on your person at all times, making quick notes as you go through your day. A note every thirty minutes is best, and you drive yourself to create this daily habit for at least 7 days. 21 days is ideal.

Break it down. Write it down. These were the instructions from my mentor and I pass them onto you. These two steps are simple. Don't wait. Make the changes you need to make now. Put an end to making excuses and keep moving on the road to achieving your lawn care business goals.

Until next time...


Successful Lawn Business Strategies

http://www.howtogrowyourlawncarebusiness.com



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Friday

Lawn Care Business Is Booming: VIDEO - Grass Cutters Seeing Green

Thursday

Start a Lawn Care Maintenance Business Not a Franchise: Find Out Why

So you're thinking of starting a business huh? I am sure starting a franchise has crossed your path. According to “Entrepreneur Magazine” here are the top 10 franchise opportunities along with the “price of admission”: 

Franchise Rank Startup Cost

1. Subway  $74,00 to $222,800

2. Papa Johns      $205,000

3. Sonic DriveIn  $861,000 to $2,300,000

4. McDonald's  $506,000 to $1,600,000

5. Jiffy Lube  $214,000 to $273,000

6. Domino’s Pizza  $141,400 to $415,100

7. UPS Store / Mail Boxes Etc.  $153,800 to $266,960

8. 7 Eleven Varies

9. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service  $48,600 to $91,800

10. Dunkin’ Donuts  $179,000 to $1,600,000

* Source: Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 - 2007 


Some of these prices are outside what people feel comfortable paying. If you've considered starting a lawn care business then you've come to the right place.

Everything you need to know about starting, running, and profiting from starting a lawn business from the comfort of your home without it costing an arm and a leg can be found here:




Successful Lawn Business Strategies




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Wednesday

Lawn Care Business Tip: You Hold The Key To Your Future

You are the key to your future. What I mean is, your personal growth determines most of it. We can talk about more customers, lots of sales, more equipment and employees, but all of this probably will not happen without you personally growing. It’s really the stepping stone to a profitable future. In fact I’d like to have you memorize a most important phrase. Here it is, “For things to change, you must change.”

Let me repeat that. “For things to change, you must change.” I recommend you place this somewhere that you will see it daily. Anywhere where you can see it every day. You hold the key to a better future. Try to remember that every day you live and think about it. Its all up to you.

There are several things that will help you carve out a better future. If you own or are employed at a strong, dynamic, progressive lawn care business, that would definitely help. If the company has great service or great products, that you are proud of, that would certainly help as well. You get the point.

All of these things will help, and of course, if it doesn’t go horribly bad for you and your life, that will help. If your business keeps going strong, that will help. If the your spouse doesn't get sick, that will help. If your neighbors stay "sane", that will help. If it doesn't get too cold or doesn't get too hot, all those things will help your better future. And if the economy gets and stays on track, that will help.

I could go on and on with a very big list but as you already guessed, all the reasons in the world added together play a small role in your profitable future.

The biggest factor to your profitable future is you. Grab ahold of that. This is a major point to remember.

You are the major key.

Don't be or act like the 90+% who aren't going anywhere. Develop the habit of doing more than you're paid for. Do and be above average.

Develop above average enthusiasm. Develop an above average smile. Develop an above average interest into your customers, friends, and family. Work harder on you than you do on anything else.

Think about this.

Two different people with the same type of business earn different amounts each month.

One earns $1000 and the other $10,000.

If the services were the same, if the training was the same, if they both had the same tools. If they both had the same trainer, the same pricing, if they both attended the same business meetings, how could one person earn the $1000 per month and the other person earn the $10000?

The key is whats going on in the inside. The key is you.

Decide today to start working on you. There is power in making this kind of decision. There is power in daring to dream. There is power in above average service. There is power in compassion and caring and sharing. There is unusual power in strong feeling and you see, all that comes from inside you, not outside. So, you hold the key to your future. The real difference is you. You are the major key to your better, more profitable future.

Until next time!


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Saturday

Lawn Care Business Tip: Finally, Lawn Mowing Made Easy

Tuesday

Lawn Care Business Video

Saturday

Turbo Lawn Mower

Sunday

LIVE EVENT - Lawn Care Business Seminar Vancouver, BC / Anaheim, CA 2009

We're Rolling Out The RED CARPET and Inviting YOU...

Lawn Care Business Superconference!

2009 Live Training Events

Vancouver, BC, CANADA - February 2009 and Anaheim, CA, USA - March 2009

HOSTED by Lawn Business Expert Daniel Pepper

Join the most elite group of lawn business owners, young and old...

  • YOUR Big Business Breakthrough is waiting for you - here.
  • YOUR Greatest Opportunity Ever may be found - here.
  • The contacts. The resources. The real-world, actually doing-it experts.
  • The Newest, the Oldest, the Best, cutting edge, strategies.
  • And for beginners eager to get up to speed instantly or veterans wisely eager for comprehensive "check-up" and reaching the next level.


The only proven seminar revealing profitable strategies for a lawn care business for amateurs and veterans!


Click here for more information.

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Saturday

How To Accomplish More In The Next 12 Months Than The Last 12 Years...

Discover how to use the power of this brand new Success Program to grow your sales and increase your profits, all the while working less in your business...

Introducing The
Lawn Business Mastermind Program...

It's an exclusive group of very smart, successful lawn business entrepreneurs from across the country and around the world who want to:

Increase their sales

Increase their profits

Work less in their business (without any drop in profitability)




Ultimately, it's a program that can take ANY lawn and landscaping business and turn it into an automated money-making machine.

Here's how we do it:

The Most Effective Marketing Strategies: No fluff or theory, but truly "underground" guerilla marketing strategies unknown to 99% of the business community. You take these these strategies and apply them to your business for extraordinary results.



Forced Focus: You only spend time on the activities that really make a difference in your lawn maintenance business, instead of the thousand and one other things that do nothing but suck away the hours of your day.



Friendly Accountability & Encouragement: We gently push you into doing the important business tasks you know you should be doing.



"Creative Thinking Multiplied": Leverage the minds and experiences of your fellow members to come up with effective ways to solve your most frustrating business problems.



"Sounding Boards": Get feedback on new promotional ideas, sales strategies or other business challenges before you make a mistake that costs you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours.



Joint Ventures: Complementary businesses working together to break into new markets, get new customers and make more money.



IMPORTANT NOTE :

We are almost full and accepting few new applicants at the moment. Additional spots to be opened soon. To be put onto the list to receive more info about the program along with a priority invitation to join, please send an e-mail to Jason R. at info@howtostartyourlawncarebusiness.com with your name and e-mail address enclosed.

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Tuesday

Lawn Care Business: The Flying Lawn Mower

Questions You Should Answer Before Buying Lawn Customers

We received an email about purchasing 25 lawn customers.

The price is listed at $9000.

We cannot give you legal or business advice. In the
end you will have to do your due diligence in making
the final decision.

What we can do is tell you about what we have heard
and seen others do.

Most will calculate their return on that $9000 investment.

Answer these questions for yourself:

Are the 25 lawns under contract? Are you certain?

How much would you make from all 25 lawns?

How long would all 25 take to mow?

How much would it cost you to mow these lawns? (ie fuel, drive time etc.)

In the end, is what's left (your profit) worth it to you?


If you can answer these questions it will help you make
the final decision.

So if you make $40 per cut for those 25 lawns that amounts
to $1000 per week or $2000 per month (2 cuts a month).

If you spread paying back the $9000 over a year, you would
have to pay $750 per month.

$2000 minus $750 equals $1250.

$1250 divided by 25 hours to mow these 25 lawns and you
are making $50.00 per hour (30 mins to mow each lawn 2x a month).

The above numbers are purely an example, but you can
clearly see how the overall decision of whether or not to
purchase these customers is becoming easier.

(Yes, I did not subtract expenses incurred by mowing these lawns)

Hope this helps.

Justin P.

Successful Lawn Business Strategies

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Wednesday

Lawn Business Advertising Secrets

Hi Everyone,

We received an email this week about a new lawn business startup and an inquiry to what advertising will work the best for them.

Here's our answer:

Advertising your lawn business comes downs to tracking. 2 companies in the same county could have completely opposite results using the same method of advertising.

So there is no secret pill that will automatically make your lawn business marketing efforts explode. Not without tracking your results anyway.

You need to test different forms of advertising and measure your results. Find out what method of advertising gets the results you want and run with it.

For example, if you spend $300 on a classified ad and get 10 customers, each customer cost you $30 ($300 divided by 10 customers).

But if you create a flyer and get it handed out for you and it costs you $500 but you get 20 customers, each customer cost you $25.

Which of the 2 advertising methods is better? They're both good but one generates customers at a cheaper price.

There is no one source for marketing (advertising is part of the marketing process) tips and tricks. You should be getting your hands on books, audio, video and anything else you can. Never stop learning.

And once you get an idea of how to write the advertising copy, another key is consistency. If you only plan to hand out flyers one time, forget about it. Your advertising will fail or not do nearly as good then if you hand out flyers several weekends in a row.

Most customers need to see your ad about 20+ times before they realize they may or do need your lawn care service. That means you better plan on handing out your flyers for several weeks in a row.

Hope this points you in the right direction. Check out other articles within our blog for even more marketing advice.



Sincerely,

James R.

Successful Lawn Business Strategies
www.howtostartyourlawncarebusiness.com

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Sunday

Starting a Grass Cutting Business(Or Growing One): How To Get Word Of Mouth Advertising Working For You

Word of mouth is definitely one of the top marketing strategies of all. Finding ways to stimulate word of mouth advertising when starting a grass cutting business or growing the one you own is even more fun.

Why?

Because word of mouth advertising is the most powerful, effective type of advertising there is. The catch is that it's the only kind you can't just buy. You have to first create it, stimulate it, and nurture it with effective and creative strategies.

The good news is that most of your lawn care business competition just takes whatever word of mouth advertising they get, but not you.

The truth is that you can exert a considerable degree of control over this type of advertising and marketing for your lawn business. Really.

How many things have you bought or places have you gone to because someone said their experience was sensational? You ever gone out for dinner to a restaurant because a friend said the burgers were "to die for"? The reason that word of mouth advertising is so valuable is just that -- someone else is doing the advertising and you genuinely trust their opinion.

Nobody wants to hear what you have to say for too long. Nothing you could ever say about you and your lawn maintenance business, no matter how well you say it, can have as much impact and credibility as something another person says about you.

Think about this. The commercials you see nowadays that either are or "look like" they are a testimonial of a real person talking about their experience with a product or service are quite convincing and are by far the most effective.

Do you want to know a strategy that stimulates your customers to talk about your lawn business?

Find or develop creative ways to do what you do so well and so uniquely that your customers cannot resist telling lots of other people about you and your business.

For example, most lawn care trucks and trailers are messy but you keep yours squeaky clean. Most lawn business owners don't care when their customer's birthdays are but you do by sending each customer a personalized card.

How does this correlate to real life?

Customer "A" phones up their friends shortly after receiving a birthday card from you and tells them they can't believe you're one of the few who rememebered. Then two of those people call to have you come and give them an estimate. All from just one simple card.

Every lawn service business owner can come up with ways to stand out from the crowd and stimulate word of mouth advertising.

I know of a lawn care business owner, for example, who quadrupled his customer roster in just 31 months without increasing his marketing budget. All he did was come up with numerous ways to improve his service and those changes were responsible for a boat load of word of mouth advertising.

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Monday

Stop Chasing Your Lawn Business and Landscaping Business Customers For Payments FOREVER!

This just in...

I ran into the owner of an online automatic payment system SPECIFICALLY created for lawn business and landscaping business owners.The days of chasing customer’s for money are over.

Get paid when you want, automatically.

I also twisted his arm and got him to discount the ENTIRE fee for his system for anyone I send his way. You can now sign up FOR FREE!

Check it out:

http://www.lawnlandscapingautopay.com

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Thursday

Lawn Maintenance Business Tip: How To Charge For Spring Clean Up

The more you know the better. If you could gather prices from competitors who are offering this service that will help you gauge what your market is currently paying.

This is a key step for your lawn maintenance business.

The good news is that you shouldn't get caught in trying to be perfect. The price you decide to set may be too high or it may be too low but you can always adjust. There's plenty of business and it doesn't take much to make a lot of money.

Ask yourself what you want to make each hour and try to gauge how many hours a particular job would take. How much does it cost to dump the debris you collect? How long does it take you dethatch an area?

You see if you begin to systematically take notes on how long projects take you will be essentially giving yourself some very valuable information.

You start with recording one job and that will help you determine the next and so on.

Its not an overnight process but one job after the other and you'll be getting much more accurate with your bidding.

Don't get caught in the paralysis of analysis. Get out and do your best to guesstimate. If you're off, adjust for the next quote.

Through experience you'll be able to get much more accurate and your lawn maintenance business will get that much more profitable.

Does that make sense?

Hope this helps.


The Staff
http://www.howtostartyourlawncarebusiness.com/

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Tuesday

Lawn Business Help: What Do You Do When You're The New Kid On The Block?

QUESTION:

I live in a small town in central Texas @ 5,000 in population. I am a "new kid on the block" with a 4 mos full time lawn mowing experience for an expensive boarding school campus while residing in Wisconsin last year... I have noticed 3 active lawn mowing guys as my competition, the season is here, grass is starting to get really green, I only started to read the formula and there's so much to learn with little time. Not even half way into getting all the red tape cleared, (actually don't need a permit to mow in my county [of Coleman; no zoning ordinances on paper either]). I have the money for a trailer, push mower, blower, and trimmer, My target is towards senior citizens... I have absolutely no marketing experience nor any 'sales-manship' nature in me, I have created an ad flier and that's all I've got. Time and spring is not waitin' around, what can you tell me, in order to be able to still get ahead and have a profitable start.

ANSWER:

Well there is no magic potion or quick riches with lawn care. We wish we could give everyone success in a bottle but that just isn't possible because it always come down to individual lawn business owner.

What we can do is offer your some ideas that you can digest and decide if it's what you need to do.

Daniel started when he was 12 -- no marketing experience, no sales experience, nothing but the mower from his parents garage. Look at where he is at now.

If I was in your shoes I would be planning on saturating your market with weekly advertising. Being consistent is what counts. Dropping off flyers once a month or once a season will not cut it.

Look over this blog for some ideas on the bare essentials of an advertisement as well as some good advertising resources like books (of course continue to pull ideas from the course).

I would mow when I have to and hand out flyers when I am not mowing. Hopefully the amount of time I have to hand out flyers drops as new business comes my way. Or I would work at a part time job when I am not mowing, until enough new business comes in that I can work at
mowing full-time.

I would also suggest marketing your lawn business with as many forms of media as you can afford. If it's all about cheap or free advertising because that is all your budget can handle then you may want to look into:

Flyers
Craigslist
Facebook/Myspace
Free local classified papers online / offline
Bulletin Boards in Grocery Stores / Retail Stores/ Malls
Etc...

And always educate yourself about lawn business marketing. It doesnt matter that you dont know anything right now, but you have to learn or you will be eaten alive by any of your competitors that do know about marketing.

Whats it going to cost you to learn? $20 or $30 for that first book. Take action on the tips you learn from The Formula. Try to have as many things going as you can so that if one, two, or three ideas bomb, just one other may take off and bring in the business you need.

Also, advertise to any customers you already have. It's easier to sell to them than to find new customers.

Be persistent and don't give up. If you must, mow part time until the business justifies your full time attention. No point in going belly up when you can start safely.

You don't need a ton of customers to make a lot of money. You just need to profitably mow 10, 20, 50, 100+ and what you make just increases. Grow your list with care. Look after the customers who do say "yes" to you so they keep coming back each year.

Think about simply doubling your business each year. 10 customers this season, 20 the next, 40 the following, and 80 after that. Maybe you go to 160 for the next year and so on. How much could you make with 160 customers?

Be patient and never stop learning how you can become better at every aspect of running a lawn care business. Then take ACTION on what you learn over and over again.

The road to failure is paved with good intentions. In other words, people intend to advertise each week, but they don't. They intend to sell to their existing customers, but they dont. They intend on doubling their lawn business, but they don't do anything about it. Whatever you do, do something.

Do your due dilgence with the advice given to you above.

Hope this helps!



Sincerely,

The Staff
http://www.howtostartyourlawncarebusiness.com/

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Saturday

How To Get New Lawn Care Business Customers From Scratch

We received the following lawn care business question this week and it's one we've been getting a lot of lately so we want to post our thoughts and share them with others.

1. Would you share with me a few of the most effective ways to get some lawn care customers and contracts? I'm just starting out, got my truck and equipment ready to work, just picked up my business license last week and it seems like getting that first customer is the hardest thing to do. I made some flyers and distributed it out at some public places, school teachers lounge, employee lounge and a few other places. No bites and I'm going on two weeks. Is this normal? What's the average wait time before a lawn business lands its first customer? I'm trying different marketing approaches one at a time, and allowing time in between each one to measure and see which ones actually work. So far nothing is working.

ANSWER:

First of all congratulations on taking the step towards starting and running a lawn care business. Believe it or not, most people won't even take this first step because they are too afraid.

Right off the bat make a quality decision that you are going to do this no matter what. The reason is because starting out and getting momentum in your business can be challenging and you need to have persistence. The main reason is because you have to get those first few customers and you don't have any experience under your belt in doing that so unless you make a quality decision, it's too easy to get discouraged. Sometimes customers can come quick, sometimes it can take some time but only the persistent lawn care business owner wins.

Put the law of averages to work for you. This means that it could take 1 out of 100 or 1 out of 250 flyers or more before you get a quote. Just keep taking action. Just keep handing out your flyers and any other advertisements you have on a consistent basis. Doing it once or twice won't cut it.

You see imagine a pizza coupon. Most people get them once a week and how many times do you throw them out or just skim over them? But when they come on a regular basis, week after week, eventually there does come a day when the flyer comes and you want pizza so you call.

Your customers are the same way. It may take several exposures to your ad before they realize they need to call you . That's what a lot of lawn care business owners don't know. Your advertising needs to be consistently going out.

The 3 areas important for your marketing are: MESSAGE, MARKET, MEDIA. This means your ad has to be arranged and setup properly. You have to be advertising to the right market. And the last one means you have to be using the right form of media.

The good news is that it sounds like you have several marketing weapons working. What you need to do is have them all working at once. That is where you want to be. You want to be taking action on several fronts at the same time because sooner or later (as long as your ads are compelling, you shooting at the right market and using the right media to market), you will get phone calls.

We constantly recommend that you educate yourself about marketing. It doesn't mean you have to spend money. You can pick these books up from your local library for free, but just start to read about how marketing works. It's quite fascinating and in this game, the more you know, the better you become at making winning ads and beating your competitors.

We haven't seen your flyers or other advertisements but it's important that your ads have the following arrangement (our book recommendations at the end of this post will give you similar advice).

  • ATTENTION ---> HEADLINE
  • INTEREST
  • DESIRE
  • ACTION

There are a few schools of thought on this but the above layout in the ad is important. So a quick example of this would be...

--------------------------------
Do You Want The Best
Lawn On The Block?
Finally, come home to a fresh,
green lawn, cut and trimmed for you
ALL SUMMER LONG!
__________________________
$20 LAWN BUCKS
Valid on your next order over $100.
__________________________
Call or email us today for a
FREE ESTIMATE
555-1234
NoNameMowing.com
Hurry Offer Ends March 20xx!
--------------------------------


Your ads need to give people a reason for calling. They have to persuade and stir a reader to take action. Always have a great offer with a deadline and impel them to contact you. Yes, keep track of your responses. Ask people who called, why they called. Even ask those who didn't call why they ignored the call to action. Get your trusted family and friends to look over your ads and see if they find them compelling.


2. What are your thoughts on buying an existing lawn care business? My problem with this is not having the upfront cash to purchase the business. Is this an idea worth looking at?

Buying a lawn care business is another way to get customers. Most businesses don't sell so anyone selling a lawn care business may be persuaded to be flexible.

This means that what we have seen is that a seller may be willing to allow you the purchaser to make monthly payments over a period of time for the business. Not having to have the cash upfront may be the winning ticket. They might also be willing to help you with the transistion of ownership, working alongside you for a period of time.

The HUGE red flag with buying a lawn care business is that you need to be very cautious. Why are they selling? Are the customers on contract? Does the sale include equipment? What shape is the equipment in?

Doing your due diligence is VITAL. It's an absolute. Visit NOLO.com for information on buying a business.


MARKETING BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

9 Lies That Are Holding Your Business Back

How To Make Your Advertising Make Money

Advertising Secrets Of The Written Word

No BS Sales Success



Well we hope this helps!

The Staff
www.howtostartyourlawncarebusiness.com

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Wednesday

Lawn Mowing Business Tip: S Corp, C Corp or LLC? Which Structure Is Right For You?

S Corp, C Corp, LLC : WHICH STRUCTURE IS RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?


When a person considers starting a lawn business, or when existing lawn business owners consider changing their business structure, one of the most common options they evaluate is the corporation.

There are several different types of corporations, the C corporation, the S corporation, and LLC. Which one is best often depends on the goals you have for your lawn business.

Corporations and limited liability companies ("LLC s") are preferred lawn business structures because, unlike sole proprietorships and partnerships, both offer liability protection. This means that the owner of a lawn maintenance company cannot be held personally responsible for the company’s debts. The personal assets of an owner are shielded from company liabilities.

In researching the various business structures, one inevitably comes across the S corporation. S corps and LLC's are similar in that they are both "pass-through" entities for tax purposes. The income of these type of lawn businesses are passed through to their owners and reported on the owners’ personal income tax returns, thereby eliminating the double taxation incurred by owners of a standard lawn care corporation, or C corporation. (With a C corporation, the net business income is subject to corporate income tax, and the monies remaining after the corporate income tax are taxed a second time when they are distributed as dividends to its owners who must then pay personal income tax.)

Let's start with explaining the difference between an S Corp and an LLC? And discuss which structure is right for your lawn care business?

The answer depends on your own unique situation. There really is no other way to say it. If operational ease and flexibility are important to you, an LLC is a good choice.

If you are looking to save on employment tax and your situation warrants it, an S Corp could work for you as the lawn business structure of choice.


Lawn Business Ownership & Operation

There are restrictions on who can be owners (also known as "shareholders") of an S corporation. An S Corp can have no more than 75 shareholders. None of the shareholders can be nonresident aliens. And shareholders cannot be other corporations or LLC s. This is important.

An S Corp is operated in the same way as a traditional C corp. This lawn business structure must follow the same formalities and record keeping procedures. The directors or officers of an S Corp manage the lawn business and an S Corp has no flexibility in how profits are split up amongst its owners.

Let us explain.

The profits must be distributed according to the ratio of stock ownership, even if the owners may otherwise feel it is more equitable to distribute the profits differently.

LLC s offer greater flexibility in ownership and ease of operation. There are no restrictions on the ownership of an LLC . An LLC is simpler to operate because it is not subject to the formalities by which S corps must abide. An LLC can be member-managed, meaning that the owners run the lawn care business. Or it can be manager-managed, with responsibility delegated to managers who may or may not be owners in the LLC . This may be more attractive to your situation. The lawn business owners of an LLC structure can distribute profits in the manner they see fit.

This may be a lot to take so we'll paint you a picture.

Let’s say, for example, you and a partner own an LLC called ANYBODY MOWING LLC. Your partner contributed $50,000 for capital. You only contributed $5,000 but you perform 95% of the work.

The two of you decide that, in the interest of fairness, you will each share the profits 50/50. As an LLC you could do that. If you had your lawn business set up as a S Corp you could only take 10% of the profits while your partner would take the other 90%.

Get it? Let's keep going.


Employment Tax: Savings vs. Paperwork

A major factor that differentiates a lawn business structured as an S Corp from an LLC is the employment tax that is paid on earnings. The owner of an LLC is considered to be self-employed and, as such, must pay a "self-employment tax" which goes toward Social Security and Medicare. The entire net income of the lawn business is subject to this tax at a rate of 15.3% (rate as of this writing).

In an S Corp, only the salary paid to the employee-owner is subject to employment tax. The remaining income that is paid as a distribution is not subject to employment tax under IRS rules.

What does this mean? There is the potential to realize substantial employment tax savings.

Let's say Billy owns a lawn service business. In keeping with the industry standard, Billy decides that a reasonable salary for a lawn business manager is $35,000 and pays himself accordingly. Billy's total earnings for the year are $60,000: $35,000 paid in salary and the remaining $25,000 paid as a distribution from the S Corp . Billy's total employment tax is $5,355 (15.3% of $35,000).

If Billy were the owner of an LLC , he would have to pay employment tax on the entire $60,000, equaling $9,180. But as an S Corp, he realizes savings of $3,825 in employment tax.

Not bad. But, listen up.

One might assume that these savings could be further manipulated by reducing the salary to an extremely low amount and attributing the rest of one’s earnings to distributions, but this would be a very big mistake. In practice, the IRS is careful to notice whether a salary is reasonable by industry standards. If it determines a salary to be unreasonable, the IRS will not hesitate to reclassify distributions as salary. Don't mess with the IRS. It's never worth it.

Still, while the potential employment tax savings may make the S Corp an attractive structure for your lawn care business, bear in mind that you would then have to deal with all the paperwork associated with payroll tax.

The payroll tax is a pay-as-you-go tax that must be paid to the IRS regularly throughout the year. This means on time or you will incur interest and penalties. The paperwork alone can be an overwhelming task for someone who is not familiar with it. If you expect to incur losses or otherwise experience a cash flow crunch during the year that would hinder you from paying the payroll tax when due, this could present a problem.

Owners of LLC's pay their self-employment tax once a year on April 15 when income taxes are normally due (or make quarterly estimated tax payments, if they expect to owe total taxes of $1,000 or more). Income tax filings are also relatively easy for the lawn business owners of an LLC. A single-member LLC files the same 1040 tax return and Schedule C as a sole proprietor. Partners in an LLC file the same 1065 and Schedule C as do owners of traditional partnerships.


Employment Tax

Employment/payroll tax on salary; no employment tax on dividends paid to shareholders.
Self-employment tax on total net income.



The C Corporation Vs. S Corp

The C corporation is the standard corporation. The S corporation is a standard corporation that has elected a special tax status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It gets its name because it is defined in Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code. In order to elect S corporation status, Form 2553 must be filed with the IRS and all S corporation guidelines met.
While the C corporation and S corporation have many similarities, they also have distinct differences.


Similarities

Both offer the same limited liability protection for shareholders (owners), meaning that the shareholders are typically not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the lawn care business. Both are separate legal entities created by a state filing.

The formation documents that are filed with the state, which are typically called the articles of incorporation or certificate of incorporation, are the same whether the lawn service business will be a C or an S corporation.

To recap a bit, corporations have shareholders, directors and officers. Shareholders are the owners of the company and elect the board of directors. The board of directors oversees and directs the affairs of the corporation and has responsibility for major decisions, but is not responsible for the day-to-day operations of the corporation. The directors elect officers to manage the daily affairs of the business. Most states allow one person to be a shareholder, director and officer of a corporation.

Both are required to follow the same internal and external corporate formalities. Examples of internal formalities include adopting bylaws, issuing stock, holding initial and then annual meetings of shareholders and directors, and keeping the minutes from these meetings with the corporate records. Examples of external requirements include filing annual reports, which are required by the state, and paying the necessary annual fees.



Differences

1. Taxation

C corporations are separately taxable entities. C corporations file a corporate tax return reporting profits or losses, and any profits are taxed at the corporate level. C corporations face the possibility of double taxation when profits are distributed to shareholders in the form of dividends, as the shareholders must report dividends as personal income and pay tax on them at the individual level.

S corporations are pass-through tax entities. Pass-through taxation is discussed more below.

2. Corporate ownership

C corporations can have an unlimited number of shareholders, while S corporations are restricted to no more than 75 shareholders (some say 100, check with your local CPA or attorney).

C corporations can have non-US residents as shareholders, but S corporations cannot.
S corporations cannot be owned by C corporations, other S corporations, LLCs, partnerships, or many trusts. C corporations are not subject to these same restrictions.

S corporations can have only one class of stock (disregarding voting rights). C corporations can have multiple classes of stock.

3. S corporation Election

S corporations must make a timely filing of Form 2553 with the IRS. The IRS instructions indicate this form must be completed and filed:

At any time before the 16th day of the 3rd month of the tax year the election is to take effect, or;
At any time during the tax year preceding the tax year it is to take effect. An election made no later than 2 months and 15 days after the beginning of a tax year that is less than 2½ months long is treated as timely for that year.


An election made after the 15th day of the 3rd month but before the end of the tax year generally is effective for the next tax year. However, an election made after the 15th day of the 3rd month will be accepted as timely filed if the corporation can show that failure to file on time was due to reasonable cause.


Pass-through Taxation

As mentioned above, electing S corporation status with the IRS allows for pass-through taxation of the corporation’s profits. S corporations must still file corporate tax returns, but they do not pay taxes at the corporate level. The corporation’s profits are passed-through to the individual tax returns of the shareholders, and taxes are paid on those profits at the individual tax rate. If the corporation is reporting a loss, the loss is passed-through to the shareholders as well. Because S corporations do not pay taxes at the corporate level, this eliminates the potential double tax C corporations face when profits are issued as dividends to shareholders.

How's that for an explanation? ;-)

There is no one, magical entity that works for everyone. A CPA or a specialized tax attorney can assist you in choosing the right structure for your lawn business. The important thing is to consider the operational, legal and tax aspects of each structure as they apply to your unique situation.

Nevertheless, as you determine which business structure is the best for your business, there are both online and professional resources to assist you. For advice on which structure to choose, you should contact an attorney or accountant. For additional information visit NOLO.com.

Cheers!

The Staff
http://www.howtostartyourlawncarebusiness.com

Copyright SLC

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Thursday

Lawn Business Marketing Example

Hi Everyone,

Lets look at and analyze a lawn business ad and see how we can improve it.

The following is a sample ad we received recently. The sender asked for some advice so we're going to give some.



_____________________________________________________
COMPANY NAME
Professional, Affordable
Early Bird Special
Spring is around the corner.
We will:
Mow
Trim
-------
-------
Other services available such as:
--------
--------
Sign up before April 1 and save
$5.00 per visit
-Free Estimates-
Call Today!
555-5555
Satisfaction Guaranteed
_____________________________________________________
First off, this ad has many elements a successful ad needs. What we would suggest (in the end you make the call) is a little rearranging and adding a little more here and there.
First off, our advice has been termed outrageous. That's okay because the results have also been known to be outrageous. I don't know about you, but we believe it's all about results. It's all about persuasion. Getting a prospective customer's attention and moving them to call you.
Right? Whats the point of having an ad that doesn't make your phone ring?
So what we need is a killer headline. The truth is we like this company name. It just needs to be located in a different spot.
We like the promotion because everyone wants to know what the "special" is all about. What "deal" or "bargain" will an interested party get?
After we ran the ad past a few of us in the office this is how we would rearrange it for possibly better results. We say 'possibly' because you'll never know unless you try it and TEST it. That means you have to keep track of your results. Always, always, always ask people where they heard about you when they contact you. This way you'll know what marketing is working and what marketing is not.
You with us? Okay let's keep going.
This is the new version of the ad. You'll notice in this new example we have followed the age-old formula of ATTENTION - INTEREST - DESIRE - ACTION.
We catch people's attention with the headline. On average there are atleast 1500-3000 marketing messages being shot at your prospective customers every single day. You have to stand out of the crowd.
Once we get them to pay attention we have to stir up some interest. We then create a desire and end the ad with a call to action - pick up the phone now and call us.
_____________________________________________________
FINALLY!
A Way To Have The Best Lawn & Garden On Your Block...
GUARANTEED!
Are you looking for mowing, trimming,
shrub maintenance and other services?
Then look no further.
-----------------------------------------------
"My lawn has never looked better.
I am so happy with these guys and
my neighbors are impressed too."
- Mr. X, Somewhere County
----------------------------------------------
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL!!!
If you book your service before April 1st
you'll receive 5% OFF all season long!
HURRY! Offer Ends April 1st, 2008 12pm sharp!
Call Today For Your FREE Estimate
555-5555
[COMPANY NAME]
*Only 37 New Customer Spots Available
_____________________________________________________
There you have it. This is a very basic overhaul of a lawn business ad but it's enough to get your creative going. There's a ton of variations you could use in this ad but you get the point.
Advertising is salesmanship in print. This ad has the job of convincing someone to call you. And in the end, the number of people who call as a result of this ad is the clear reflection of how good or bad it is.
We hope this helps!
The Staff

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Monday

Lawn Business Tip: Raising Money

I received an email asking about how to raise money for a lawn business.

Although I do go into greater detail about this in my lawn business course, here is a very basic list of ways to finance your business venture.

  • Tap into your savings
  • Ask for money from friends and family
  • Wisely use a credit card (do your due diligence)
  • Sell something
  • Apply for a loan at your local bank
  • Visit the small business administration
  • Have your customers pre-pay you

Speaking to the business owner who emailed me, you mentioned you already had the jobs but needed some advice about the money. Since you have the jobs, option 5, having your customers pre-pay you, looks like it may be one of the better choices for you to look into.

By asking for prepayment, you could smartly cover your costs as you grow your business. You might decide to ask for full or partial payment depending upon what you dare to do. That way you are jump starting your cash flow which sounds like it might just be the ticket you're looking for.

Of course, stopping into the SBA is also a very good idea.

Hope this helps.

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Friday

Lawn Care Business: DiCaprio Sues Landscapers

DiCaprio Sues Contractors Over Yard Work
Feb. 8, 2008, 12:14 AM EST
The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- It's hardly a titanic struggle, but a dispute between Leonardo DiCaprio and his neighbors isn't departing anytime soon.

DiCaprio and the cousin from whom he rents a house are suing dozens of building contractors in an ongoing legal fight over a basketball court that neighbors claim destabilized their Hollywood Hills property.

The cross-complaint filed Jan. 30 lists contractors hired by the neighbors and by DiCaprio and cousin Robert Hrtica themselves.

Neighbors Joan and Robert Linclau sued DiCaprio and Hrtica in May for at least $250,000 in damages. They claimed their property was illegally excavated and some plants removed in 2004. They also said the work undermined a slope behind their home and left their deck and pool in danger of collapse.

The latest complaint from DiCaprio says the Linclaus' lawsuit has no merit, but if damages are found then the contractors are to blame.

Phone messages left after business hours to attorneys for the two sides and to the central contractor named in the suit were not immediately returned.

Previous court papers filed by DiCaprio contend the Linclaus may have caused the problems by installing an "illegal railroad tie retaining wall."

DiCaprio, 33, was a best-actor Oscar nominee last year for "Blood Diamond." His films also include "The Departed" and the megablockbuster "Titanic."

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Thursday

Lawn Business Competition: How To Succeed In a Tough Market

Here's a question we received just the other day. Maybe it's the same question you may be asking.

"I'm having hard time getting people to let me mow for them. They keep going to the kids around the small town I live in. What should I do?"

This is a tough place to be in. And it probably appears to have no other solution than to slash your prices and shoot for the stars.

That is the WRONG answer.

There is another solution that might just do the trick. Listen up.

Don't cut your prices. Add value to your lawn business services. Make it so irresistible that someone who avoided your offer would be ridiculous.

What am I saying exactly?

If your competition are just kids, then that means they may not have the ability to get their hands on other lawn equipment. They might only be able to grab what they can from their garage (I'll explain what I mean in a second).

Or there is a good chance they are not smart marketers and don't have a clue about what I am about to suggest.

Either way, you should have the advantage even in your small town.

I can't promise a miracle here but from what I've learned and heard over the years, the following is a tip that has worked for some to tear their competitors apart.

Instead of just mowing, try creating a combination of services all for a profitable price for you and your lawn care business.

  • The kids in your area might advertise lawn cutting for $15. But you could push lawn cutting and garden bed clean up for $25.
  • Or you could try 4 lawn cuts and a FREE aeration.
  • Or you could offer paying by VISA or MasterCard through PayPal.
  • Or you could start to donate a small percentage of your income from mowing to charity. People like to do business with companies that care. When you advertise, let people know this.

Most people won't change who mows their lawn unless there is a reason to. It has to make sense and the previous ideas are persuasive ways of convincing them.

You see adding value is what separates the good from the bad lawn business owner. The best from the better. Use some creativity and see if there is a combination of lawn services that could profitably work for you and appeal to your prospective customers.

The bottomline is there is a way to win, you just need to persist and find it.

Hope this helps!

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Tuesday

Lawn Business Marketing Tip: Your Competitors Will Hate You

Sunday

How To Not Short-Circuit Your Lawn Mowing Business

There are obstacles to generating wealth with a lawn mowing business that can short-circuit your success.

One big obstacle you may face are incompetent people. You know what I mean? They can't seem to carry out ordinary tasks or responsibilities. Some of them are lazy or uncreative. While others are just plain "dumb" or so they come across as such.

Dealing with these sorts of people is terribly draining to the lawn business owner and all to common in the industry. These people can be your friends, employees, vendors, or someone else.

Another obstacle quite similar to the first one are "time wasters". These are people who waste or abuse your time. Often you leave spending time with them drained and having accomplished next to nothing.

Another obstacle are people who drain or divert your mental energy. You know those people who having nothing good to say. The "you're never going to make it" type of person. They can also be whiners or complainers. Again, these people can be your friends, employees, vendors or someone else.

All of them must go. As soon as you identify them do what you must to rid them from your lawn mowing business, your life, and distance yourself from them. Start a "zero-tolerance" policy right now and enforce it. Not going through with this will always cost you more than whatever temporary trouble and disruption occurs from you making changes in your friends, your employees, vendors, or others around you and your lawn business.

Think of your success as electric current. One disruptive person laying a finger on it anywhere along the line shuts down the entire flow of success.

Yes, I practice what I preach. I do my best to operate in such a way with my lawn business and my life. I will not tolerate interference with the electric current of success.

The majority of lawn care business owners tolerate others which causes them undue stress. And yet most continue on carrying out the same mistake without realizing how costly such tolerance is. It is very, very costly.

Do what you must to keep your electrical current of success flowing in your lawn mowing business and your life.

Copyright SL Corp. All Rights Reserved.

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