This is Jonathan Pototschnik. I got the question, “I have a small trailer and a push mower, I believe it is a 21-inch push mower. What’s the best course of action and what’s my next step?”
Really, if you have that type of equipment, I think that you really want to look at residential. Residential is really your market because that’s where you’re going to find the most properties, from a maintenance standpoint, that need your services. In this market, you can be competitively priced and can make some good money to buy the bigger equipment and make the bigger investments.
You can do so quite quickly. Fortunately, the small tools are not that expensive. For about $3,000 you can fully equip a truck, generally, and have everything that you need to go out there and be highly competitive.
You may have heard me say it before, if you have an interest in commercial, this is a nice time to experiment with some really small commercial properties…maybe properties that are about three times larger than your average residential.
In commercial, look for properties that lend themselves to being done with a push mower or self-propelled mower. Then, you’re still able to have a competitive bid. You will also get a little experience dealing with a commercial property, how they are used to getting quotes in the marketplace, how to communicate with them, and their mindset in terms of choosing a vendor because it is different than the homeowner that takes more personal involvement in their property.
Even though the smaller commercial properties may not have the official, multi-page legal agreement stating everything you’re going to do, you will still learn the flavor and feel for what’s involved in commercial. Everything in business is all about doing it that first time and getting over that fear of the unknown. You will gain confidence for the next opportunity and confidence is what helps you sell.
That’s why I encourage you to go ahead and take that step right now if you think you may be in commercial in the future. Just start small and don’t be tempted to underbid.
I would encourage you to focus almost exclusively on the residential approach to build up your business and your cash. If you want to move into something else, do it later as you have the ability to afford the bigger equipment and the better marketing.