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INTRO Who I am, Where I'm at in life and Why I'm here

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Brendan Schmidt

Contributor
Dec 3, 2014
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21
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I made a short introduction post a few days back but after browsing through the forum for hours I wanted to be a bit more thorough!

My name is Brendan (if you didn't already guess ;)), I'm 22 and I live in Vancouver Canada. Growing up I always wanted to do something that made a significant difference in the world. Since getting out into the 'real world' and leaving home I spent 2 years on a wild spiritual journey that took me to several different countries while I asked some pretty serious questions like 'who am I', 'what do I want out of life', 'where am I going' etc. Coming back home and getting more grounded and out of some of the woo-woo I found myself in, I've naturally become more interested in business and entrepreneurship. I'm glad that I'm already coming into it with a service oriented approach and am thinking about how I can add value rather than just thinking about how I can get rich.

What I'm currently doing for money is running a seasonal lawn care business. I work in the spring (march-june) and in the fall (sept-oct) providing a popular lawn service. I go door to door and am hustling every day throughout the season. Once I make the sale, I then do the job, then I make another sale etc. Not only is it mentally/physically tough, I also am on the road for 4 months of the season, living out of the back of my truck while I work. It is really a full out grind but has a pretty nice upside. This year I mae $38,500 in 5 and a half months. As I got the hang of what I was doing, I got alot better, making $12,500 in september alone. Next year I think I can make around $60K now that I've got it all down. While this job is teaching me a ton and is really making me mentally and physically tougher, it is obviously not an ideal set up by any means!

As I've read books like MJ's and learned about all the different ways you can create systems that generate wealth, I've been looking for my own unique way to put it all together in a way that is making an impact in the lives of others and is also freeing myself from the time for money trade. About 2 years ago I started a FB page sharing my thoughts and experiences as I searched for meaning in my life. To my surprise the page grew pretty quickly and now has over 6,500 people on it. I've been kind of stagnant with the page recently but am thinking of ways I can move those people over onto my own platform and start generating content there and then down the line start monetizing.

I'm really grateful to be here and have already received tons of value just by reading over some of the content on this forum. I'm hoping to develop some positive relationships with some of the people in here and am always open to constructive criticism an being called out on my shit if I am making excuses or selling myself short! I also am weary about posting only about myself with my questions and concerns and am thinking of ways that I can add value back to the forum. Thanks for reading :)
 
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Arsh

Confused Soul
Dec 5, 2014
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Hey Brendan. I also live in Vancouver; 20 years old.
Welcome to the forums. I'm actually fairly new too, but these forums provide extraordinary amount of value! Hope you enjoy your stay here! :)
 

MVDH

Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jul 29, 2012
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Cairns, Australia
Welcome Brendan, have you considered running paid advertising to lead gen form in area's where there is low competition? I remember I ran a lead gen for my friends wife for dog walking.. at $5 cost per lead, the average revenue per lead was $10 a week, average time they would use the services was roughly 5-6 months.. perhaps you could do something similar..
 

Trivium iz rC

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jan 23, 2014
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159
Welcome Brendan,

Do you plan to keep with the lawn care business & grow it? Or do you have no interest in the lawn care business and rather find something else.

You can most certainly scale any service business & make good money off of it but, you need to have a "Durable Competitive Advantage". Otherwise your landscaping business will be just like everyone else's, a commodity and you'll just be competing on price. Once your business's only value is "Lower Price Than Your Competitor" you end up owning a Job & not a business.

I recently just invested in a local landscaping company & it caught me off guard on how most service business do not upgrade technology because the owner/partners haven't kept up with it or don't want to learn new technology. In the end it just hurts there business & most competitors in that field are doing the same. If you don't mind I'll list some stuff that we have started to turn around in the Landscaping business I Just invested in.

Systems I've Added:

-Serviced
**Added More Services

-Website
**Email News Letter-(Email Marketing, Discounts, Content Marketing, Upselling Products)
**Pay Your Bill Online-(Customers Who Pay Early/Ontime get 3% Discount)
**1-800 Phone Number To Look Bigger (We Use Ring Central In Our Office)
**Customers Can Pick Which Day Of The Week They Want There Lawn Done

-Long Term Assets
**Mandatory Uniform (Timbland Boots, Dixie Pants & Company TShirt/Jacket)
**Bought A Couple New Trucks
--Wrapped Our Trucks w/ Company Logo & Design
**Drivers Carrys "Square" Payment Processor For There Phones Incase Customer Wants To Pay On The Spot
--Added GPS Tracking & Route Routing To Trucks, Dispatcher Keeps Track Of Times & Routes

-Scalable Product
**Currently In The Process Of Making Our Own EcoFriendly Lawn Care Products (Grass,Weeds, Bushes,Tree's ect)
--^Planning On Selling Them B2B & B2C

Obviously there's a lot more stuff that I didn't write in but I figured I'd try to help. Hopefully this little framework will let you expand your ideas in your lawn care business. So you can personally SCALE the Service & Scale a Product.
 

Brendan Schmidt

Contributor
Dec 3, 2014
15
21
19
29
Welcome Brendan, have you considered running paid advertising to lead gen form in area's where there is low competition? I remember I ran a lead gen for my friends wife for dog walking.. at $5 cost per lead, the average revenue per lead was $10 a week, average time they would use the services was roughly 5-6 months.. perhaps you could do something similar..

Because I only plan on doing this short-term, I'm not bothering with paying for advertising or anything extra. I enjoy keeping things as simple/straight forward as possible. Half the time people end up saying yes to the service because I have the machine there and can do the job on the spot. Sometimes people are actually booked with another company but because most landscaping companies are notorious for not calling back, showing up late, or not showing up at all, they go with me because I'm there ready with the machine and can match the competitors price.
 

Brendan Schmidt

Contributor
Dec 3, 2014
15
21
19
29
Welcome Brendan,

Do you plan to keep with the lawn care business & grow it? Or do you have no interest in the lawn care business and rather find something else.

You can most certainly scale any service business & make good money off of it but, you need to have a "Durable Competitive Advantage". Otherwise your landscaping business will be just like everyone else's, a commodity and you'll just be competing on price. Once your business's only value is "Lower Price Than Your Competitor" you end up owning a Job & not a business.

I recently just invested in a local landscaping company & it caught me off guard on how most service business do not upgrade technology because the owner/partners haven't kept up with it or don't want to learn new technology. In the end it just hurts there business & most competitors in that field are doing the same. If you don't mind I'll list some stuff that we have started to turn around in the Landscaping business I Just invested in.

Systems I've Added:

-Serviced
**Added More Services

-Website
**Email News Letter-(Email Marketing, Discounts, Content Marketing, Upselling Products)
**Pay Your Bill Online-(Customers Who Pay Early/Ontime get 3% Discount)
**1-800 Phone Number To Look Bigger (We Use Ring Central In Our Office)
**Customers Can Pick Which Day Of The Week They Want There Lawn Done

-Long Term Assets
**Mandatory Uniform (Timbland Boots, Dixie Pants & Company TShirt/Jacket)
**Bought A Couple New Trucks
--Wrapped Our Trucks w/ Company Logo & Design
**Drivers Carrys "Square" Payment Processor For There Phones Incase Customer Wants To Pay On The Spot
--Added GPS Tracking & Route Routing To Trucks, Dispatcher Keeps Track Of Times & Routes

-Scalable Product
**Currently In The Process Of Making Our Own EcoFriendly Lawn Care Products (Grass,Weeds, Bushes,Tree's ect)
--^Planning On Selling Them B2B & B2C

Obviously there's a lot more stuff that I didn't write in but I figured I'd try to help. Hopefully this little framework will let you expand your ideas in your lawn care business. So you can personally SCALE the Service & Scale a Product.

If I was planning on pursuing landscaping/lawn care in the long term, I would definitely be implenting some of these strategies. My plan however is to get out of this as soon as possible!! Even though I can make 10K +/- a month for 6 months of the year at 22 years old, it is far from an ideal set up because if I'm not working the business doesn't work.

The fastlane plan I'm working on is building my own brand. As I mentioned I have a following/community of nearly 7,000 people on Facebook. Right now I'm working with a business coach that is providing some structure and direction for me so I can build a website around it and towards the end of the year I'm looking at implementing a podcast. There is already a proven interest/demand in the content I'm sharing, + I am passionate about what I'm doing and am making a real positive difference in the lives of others at the same time. This is the direction that I really want to head in and the lawn care business is just a means to an ends for the time being. Another step I'm taking is attending my local toastmasters club weekly so I can build my public speaking skills.
 

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