I am a teenage guy who is looking for ways to make money this summer. Do you have any suggestions?
By Calvin from TX
Older folks or those with bad backs or even those without enough time to do their own yard work absolutely love to hire someone to bend down & do the weeding & mow the lawn for them. You could start a "Lawn service:" where you go back once a week. For example: Every other week you could mow & on the off weeks rake leaves & do a bit of weeding or offer to plant flowers. You can bill one of these customers monthly or weekly. My mother hired someone to come each week & keep the yard looking good they even came in the winter & would do some leaf blowing etc. but I'm different, I prefer to ONLY call the person when I need the lawn mowed & not have them just show up each week. Each client is different.
I'm one of those who needs to have a decent looking yard, but our bad backs hinder our doing a lot of our own yard work so just last week we paid a teenager $35 to mow our medium-sized yard. We would have paid him $40 if he would have also weed-eated but he didn't. The mowing took him 2 hours, so he made nearly $20 per hour. We didn't mind paying him that much because he had his own mower & also we knew that he mows for free (or at a great discount) for seniors with severe health problems. We would have paid him less if he had to use OUR mower & gas.
You can buy a brand new lawn mower for under $100 at Sears, so it's a great investment because you wouldn't want to accidentally harm a customers lawn mower. This way, if something happens it's YOUR mower. You can get a used lawn mower for that works for around $40.
Make up business cards & flyers stating the work you'll do. You may want to only mow lawns & not do weeding, it's up to you. You should then ride a bike or walk around your neighborhood at dinner time & knock on doors explaining your services. Be sure to dress neatly! Most people are like me, they are absolutely thrilled to see a teenager that doesn't mind working for a living & they will be happy to offer you a job! This is why they need to see you "face to face". Don't just leave your flyer or business card because they probably wont call you, they need to see you are a responsible & neatly dressed teenager that lives locally. (not a lawn-care company).
Also, take your flyers & put pull-off tabs at the bottom with your phone number & the words "lawn care" & your phone number on them then put these flyers up on bulletin boards at senior centers, grocery stores, churches, laundry-mats etc.
* It helps to offer a Senior discount of $10 (or 10% or so) off the price. (a senior is anyone over 60) Also, if it were me, I'd offer a satisfaction guarantee & not ask for any money until they are totally happy with your work. Also, if someone does a REALLY good job, I like to tip them an extra $5 or so... You can also offer a "$10 off - First time Special" or even give someone $10 off (or whatever) if they refer a friend to you as a regular customer. My chiropractor sends me a discount coupon in the mail for every person I refer to them. You could do something like this. Send them a "thank you" coupon in the mail for referring a friend to you. When someone calls & asks for your service say "How did you learn about me?" & this is how you'll know who referred them to you & if your advertising is going well. Once you get several regular customers, you'll be set!
When my boys were teens they made the rounds to all the contractors in the area and asked for any job at all. They got more than they could do but it sure was "grunt" work. They crawled under houses and dug out space for the skilled workers, they laid sod, they cleaned up after a building project, they cleaned garbage from rental houses, they did whatever they were asked. They also worked for farmers picking hay up in the fields and stacking it in barns. After one summer they never had to look for work again. These people called before school was even out asking for them. This wasn't "in the dark ages". These boys are 21 & 22 now. Make yourself available and willing and you'll get work. Good luck!
My brother bought his first car with money made from mowing yards.
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