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Business Lessons

Saturday, July 31, 2010


When I was 15 years old, I started a lawn mowing business with a good friend of mine. We had a mower, a weed eater, and a desire to make money. We were in business.

We started out by walking door-to-door in my neighborhood passing out flyers. The name of our business was "Mighty Mowers". I made a black and white flyer featuring two buffed guys mowing a lawn. I wasn't buffed then (nor am I now) but the idea of two buffed guys mowing lawns was sure to land us a bunch of accounts.

The flyers worked out really well and we started getting accounts. At first we would literally push our lawn mowers up and down the streets in our neighborhood, going from house to house cutting the grass. Soon, it became too much work and my Dad joined our operation as the driver. We put the mowers in the back of the truck and would drive to each house.

As our business started to pick-up, we needed to get a trailer. My friend's dad had an old trailer that we fixed-up and painted. The trailer had to be red because my Dad's truck was red... it was really cool. When I turned 16 my Dad officially retired from the business and I started driving to all our accounts. Our first year in business was very successful. We made a lot of money and were having fun!

The next year began much the same way. We made copies of the flyer and passed them out door-to-door. We had almost all the accounts from the first year. With good word-of-mouth (and my great flyer), we added more accounts to the route. We started to get really busy. My Dad came out of retirement and started helping us again. We also put a couple of our friends to work 3-4 days a week.

The money was rolling in. It was a great business. I continued to own and operate the business through the summer before college. Then, after my first year in college, I was too busy playing baseball to continue operations. So, I gave the business to my cousin. He ran the business for about 2 months. Ultimately, he lost all the accounts and Mighty Mowers went into history as a great business that was ruined because of bad customer service.

Looking back, I realize what an awesome business I had! It was all cash, the revenue was reoccurring, our customers loved the service and it was scaleable.

You might ask: "Why not start another lawn mowing service?" Well, I have thought hard about it. However, there's a number of reasons why I didn't do it again. When we first started Mighty Mowers there we only 3 or 4 lawn mowing companies in town. Now the competition is fierce. Today the licensing requirements are very strict. And, there's not really a competitive advantage. But the number one reason is the amount of competing lawn mowing companies. There are simply too many.

When you're looking to start a business, or buy a business, you need to look hard at the competition. If there are too many competitors--even it you're the best--it's harder to win. 
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Monitor your Brand Image Online

Monday, July 26, 2010


I got a call today from one of our clients about some false claims on a website blog. The comments were in-fact, completely untrue... but, nonetheless hurt my client's image.

Here's the deal guys, conversations are being held on the web with or without our consent, some of these conversations can have a negative impact on your brand.

Take time each day to monitor your brand. Find out what people are saying about you and your company online. News travels fast on the web--good or bad. It's your job to make sure you're on top of it. 
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Your Website is your Biggest Storefront

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I just read a great article from Adage about the importance of a company's website. 
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Online Business and Brand Consulting

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I'm a bus dev guy. That is my passion. I currently own two businesses and am working on a third. Being an entrepreneur is hard. In addition to the long hours and hard work, there is a lot of ups and downs! And, (in most cases) when you first start out, you have to do--and learn--everything: accounting, marketing, sales, operations, legal, fixing the toilet... et cetera. Is it worth it? Totally!

When I first started my web design and development company Bullsprig I didn't quit my day job. Let's face it, I needed to pay the bills somehow. What I did was work on the business at night, after my "real job". I would come home from work and spend time with my wife (girlfriend at the time) then, when she went to bed, I would get to work. This is what it takes guys. Hard work. Period. No other way about it.

I have a lot of entrepreneur / start-up business clients at Bullsprig. I love it because I love helping people achieve their dream of financial independence. Over the past couple of months, I have taken a good, 360 degree, look at my business. What are my clients really looking for? What do my clients want from me?

There is obviously a lot of answers to these questions, but I think I have really narrowed it down.

So, what's the point of this post? Well, I want to tell all my beloved readers and clients I'm taking Bullsprig in a new direction. Yes, we will continue to provide web design and development services and online marketing services. But, we're going to go a step further and provide more consulting services regarding their online and social media presence. We're going to help our clients build brand equity online. 
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