Welcome to the forum Jay!
I am Jay from Michigan. I am in my thirties and just finished reading "The Millionaire Fastlane". I am not new to the get rich journey. I have read most of the guru's books along with lots of titles on marketing, Internet businesses and investing. The Fastlane just seems to tie it all together and makes it clear.
A little on my background. I was an auto tech for a number of years and ended up going back to school, well because you know. I ended up in a cubicle and hated it. Was laid off and it was the best feeling to be free. I then started a landscape company that I still run today. I realize that it is just a job that I created for myself, but it pays the bills and I enjoy it in the mean time. I really have alot of experience that I think would work great as a info product to sell. I am currently researching ideas and potential areas that I could create content for. I am looking for the millions to sell to I guess you could say.
I am excited about learning more and sharing my ideas with the group. I have been lurking for a week or so and it seems that this forum has a real helpful and nice culture.
Hello Jay and welcome!
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Thanks guys! Really a lot of information to absorb.
I am really leaning towards a how-to product. Thinking about using my knowledge gained starting my Landscape company and putting it into a mini how to course. I have a few tricks and marketing ideas that really seem to work when I started my company and I think that this could add a unique aspect to the information. The landscape industry really has a low barrier to entry and there is a high turn over of people starting companies which makes for a steady amount of potential customers. Only negative is that some of this demographic is still in their late teens(cutting grass and landscaping to pay for college, cars and dates) and I am not sure they have the disposable income or desire to purchase a product like this.
I have some other ideas also, but this one seems to have a pretty good reach. There are about 7-10 other websites providing similar information which leads me to believe that there is money to be made. I have some cool ideas to carve out a niche and differentiate myself from the others... Any feedback?
If the entry barrier is low and the competition is high, then "carving a niche" is a good idea.
You could write an Ebook about "how to tend a golf course or (soccer field, football field). Go even deeper and write on care of specific kinds of grasses and bushes.
A lot of guys don't realize that just to cut grass, they have to have a business license. If they travel more than x amounts of miles (depending on the state) they are required to get registered by the U.S. Dept. Of Transportation. Troopers in particular will write tickets if you operate beyond the area you are supposed to. All this is info. that a new business owner needs to know.
Put together a brand that includes equipment and techniques (shown by membership to your site) and sell franchises to responsible candidates. Contact Lawn services such as TruGreen or Chemlawn and try to partner deals with them. For every new customer they get, you will offer the customer your service at 50% the first time. Pay the partner x% of each service thereafter. If those type of companies are too big, then look at mom and pop services and try to strike deals with them.
You say that college kids tend to be high turnover. One things I've noticed is that there are a lot of middle aged men working at fast food restaurants lately. The economy is pushing them into jobs typically reserved as "first jobs". They might be more reliable because they are more mature and have families to support.
Switching gears, you could build a lead generation service specifically for lawn care. Competition might be tough (such as Angie's List), but you could look into it.
These are just my initial thoughts and I have no experience in lawn care. Maybe some others members can suggest more fastlane methods.
When I said the entry barrier is low and turn over is high, I was speaking about those who start lawn service companies. Not my how-to idea. Sorry for the confusion. This is actually a benefit for me. Unlike other trades where someone starts say a plumbing company, they typically stay with that profession for a long time. Lots of guys start lawn care and landscaping companies to pay for college, as a second income or to replace a job they lost. Lots of turn over and new people starting out would seem to be beneficial to my idea.
Lead generation could be tough. Angieslist and Service Magic really have the market dominated. There are a few smaller services, but they really are small fish. Not to say I could not be a player. It just may be something to add on down the line. I could maybe add a pay to list directory by state and city. Make a seperate website do some SEO. I would already have the contact info of the business owners that came to my site and either bought my course or filled out a newsletter or free information form.
You really touched on what I was thinking. Besides the issues with starting a biz, licensing and the DOT there are at least a dozen things specific to starting and running a landscaping business that most newbies would not know. Add to this my system ideas, marketing experience along with basic information and I think I could have a nice 50-100pg ebook or mini-course. I have been following the landscape and lawn care forums along with documenting my own struggles to know the hot button issues. These seem to be things the others offering start up guides and how to information gloss over or don't fully address. This could be my sales approach.
I am currently looking into how membership sites work along with possibly adding a coaching program and affiliate program. The one issue I see with the competition is the pricing model. They all seem to be under $50.00. It would seem there is room for a higher priced model. Maybe $99, $149 or $199? Lots of room to add value in my opinion and thus increase price. Not to mention membership fees and maybe coaching income.
I not sure it is a million dollar a year idea, but it should easily make 6 figures once it is up and running.
My fault, not yours.When I said the entry barrier is low and turn over is high, I was speaking about those who start lawn service companies. Not my how-to idea. Sorry for the confusion.
Angie's list started out going door to door, besides even 3rd or 4th in search results will draw in traffic.Lead generation could be tough. Angieslist and Service Magic really have the market dominated. There are a few smaller services, but they really are small fish. Not to say I could not be a player. It just may be something to add on down the line. I could maybe add a pay to list directory by state and city. Make a seperate website do some SEO.
As far as charging, I've heard that people don't want to pay unless they see immediate benefits. You might consider offering free listings and then charge for premium ads once the site grows. This is how Craigslist manages to be free to most users.
I don't know which is best, but you might look at SubHub.I am currently looking into how membership sites work along with possibly adding a coaching program and affiliate program. The one issue I see with the competition is the pricing model.
As far as value, you would definitely have to bring it to get money in this economy.
On your marketing, you could target high school/ college kids by presenting an ebook with titles such as "A Young Entrepreneur's First Business" or "Grow Your Business One Yard at a Time".
I don't know if the market would support it, but there seems to be a lot of Hispanics in that field. You could hire someone to translate the book into Spanish for a few hundred dollars.
Again, these only my opinions, take them for what their worth.
I am still in research phase. I am not convinced that this has the scale I need to really make it worth while. I would really like a project that could reach millions not the maybe 10K that this would. I have about 5-6 other ideas I am still developing. I really think that to hit the fastlane you need to have a topic that can appeal to millions. Something like finance, self help, relationships, inspiration, investing, etc. Something that solves a problem that a large majority of the country or world experience. Or a niche that is still large but poorly marketed too.
I would rather do the research up front and flush out the bad ideas before I spend to much time developing content that wont sell or wont sell to enough people. Ya an extra 20-30K a year would be nice, but I want the Fastlane.
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