Business Articles

Two Grave Site Decoration Events

If you are running your own Grave Care Business, I hope you’re not forgetting two very special holidays

If you are running your own Grave Care Business, I hope you’re not forgetting two very special holidays over the next few weeks. St. Patrick’s Day is March 17, 2010 and Easter is April 4, 2010.

If you have a strong contingent of Irish (or Irish loving) clients, it is a great time to call them to ask if they would like to decorate their loved ones’ grave sites for St. Patrick’s day. I just wanted to remind you of this because St. Patrick’s day sneaked up on me. There are a few days left before St. Paddy’s day so you have time to prepare for the 17th. As important as St. Patrick’s day is, Easter is much more important. It is a prime time to look for new clients that will want you to make special preparations for grave site decorations.
Oh, I almost forgot too; As I am writing this, it is Pi-Day and if you have any families with Mathematicians you know that this is a great day to offer math related decorations. If you need to know what Pi day is, this Wikipedia article should explain if for you. It’s meant to be a fun day and Mathematicians with senses of humor will get a kick out of the fact that you remembered them.

If you haven’t started your Grave Care Business yet or if you are looking for ideas to expand your business, be sure to take a look at our main website where you can learn about our Grave Care Business program. It is packed full of great information and business tools that will help you with your Grave Care Business. The main page is: https://GraveCareBusiness.com

Tombstone Damage

Avoid damage to tombstones when operating your Grave Care Business.

I was in a cemetery recently doing some photography when I noticed many of the tombstones had familiar chips knocked off from their edges.

Tombstone Damage Caused By Lawn Equipment
Tombstone Damage Caused By Lawn Equipment

These chips are most likely caused by negligent lawn care equipment operators running their mowers too close to tombstones.

Lawn Mowers in Cemeteries

Damage occurs as lawn mowers are navigated too close to the tomb stone and a metal part of the lawn mower engages the tombstone. Chips can be knocked out rather easily by heavy equipment.  There is also a possibility that a rock was kicked up by the lawn mower and if the grass shoot guard wasn’t in place the rock could have contacted the tomb stone knocking a chip out.

Weedeaters are also damaging to tombstones.  Weedeater heads spin at upwards of 8,000 RPM and the cutting line can make marks and wear away the stone.  Although weedeaters normally do not make chip marks, wear and tear happens on a smaller scale over time.  Instead they make scuff marks and gradually wear away the stone with repeated contact over time.

If you are running a grave care business and if you are doing plot maintenance or grounds maintenance, pay attention and do not allow your lawn equipment to contact tombstones.

Have you ever thought about starting your own Grave Care Business?
There’s a lot of money to be made mowing individual plots in
unmanaged cemeteries.  There’s also ALOT of money bidding contracts for whole cemetery grounds maintenance.

Don’t know where to start?  We’ll show you how.
Check out our home page to learn about our Grave Care Business Course.

 

Maintaining a neglected cemetery.

you are interested in maintaining the historic value of cemeteries you should think about starting a Grave Care Maintenance Business.

A recent news article caught out attention over the Memorial Day weekend. The news article concerns a cemetery in West Virginia that is not being taken care of properly.

Most notable is the claim that the cemetery’s grounds maintenance crew is improperly handling their lawn care equipment and causing damage to tombstones.

If you have read our Grave Care Business program you know the importance of proper lawn equipment handling to eliminate damage done to grave markers by lawn mowers and weedeaters. Grave stone are easily damaged by lawn equipment and the grounds crew at this cemetery should be trained in proper procedure.

The news article also highlights, at least in our minds, the need for a Grave Care Company in this West Virginia town. Look at the heartache of the families that have loved-ones buried at this cemetery. They shouldn’t have to face damaged tomb stones and poorly maintained grave sites. Families hurt by improper grave care from a cemetery company are willing to pay good money to an outside company to properly care for these grave sites.

If you are thinking about starting a small business in your community and if you are interested in maintaining the historic value of cemeteries you should think about starting a Grave Care Maintenance Business.  You may never have thought about a Grave Care Business.  There is much more to this business than grounds maintenance and you can build a lucrative business offering many Grave Site related services.  Visit our home page to learn how you can get started with your own Grave Care Business. Our program is on sale right now through this website. www.GraveCareBusiness.com

Magic Happens in the Morning

pictures of gravesites for a cemetery photography / GPS project.

Magic Happens in the Morning.

Last week I was taking pictures of gravesites for a cemetery photography / GPS project.

Though I would have rather slept in a couple hours that day, I had a busy schedule ahead of me and decided to stumble out of bed early to get a jump on my workload.  In all honesty I can’t call it a workload since playing all day in old cemeteries with cameras and GPS units rarely seems like work.  Besides, photography and tombstones always mix better with light from morning’s sun as it crests over the horizon.  There is something about golden sun rays on old marble tombstones that produces photographs to stir the imagination and explore the true nature of reverence in an old, forgotten cemetery.

Morning’s Light in a Cemetery

As morning broke and I readied my camera equipment, I looked me to survey the entire cemetery.  Since the night before’s weather was drizzly, a heavy mist of fog hung low over the cemetery landscape filling low spots and smoothing the undulating ground work.  Taller tombstones spired mightily through the fog as lower tombstones barely peeked over the fog’s top layer to get their first glimpses and their new day.

Best Business Ever

The beauty of this serene scene was almost overwhelming and I nearly choked up with amazement that I am able to be self-employed in such an amazing business.
If you are interested in learning how to operate your own successful Grave Care Business, visit our home page (Click “Home” at the top of this page).

Grave Care Business Program

The grave care business program is on sale right now and teaches you practically everything you need to know to operate your own Grave Care Business.  (Click “Home” at the top of this page)

Father’s Day: 6-21-2009 Grave Care

Around the country this year there are millions of families who have lost their Fathers. Though their Fathers have passed on, they can still buy a perfect Father’s Day present.

What is your experience shopping for Father’s Day?

Whether your experience is fun (because your Dad is easy to shop for) or hard (because he already has everything he needs and he’s not hip to new things) you know how good it feels when he truly appreciates what you have bought (or done) for him.

Father’s Day Gifts and Services

In my family, we often perform services for one another instead of buying the latest gadget at a department store that won’t be used anyway and ends up being a waste of money.  Services for Fathers day used to include mowing the lawn or giving him a day alone just to watch sports on TV.  He always appreciated quiet time.  I even remember one year as gift to my Father I installed a shower head that had awaited installation for 6 months.  Sometimes the services were a big hit and it was always a great feeling knowing I had given him something he truly cherished.

Grave Care is the Perfect Gift

Around the country this year there are millions of families who have lost their Fathers.  Though their Fathers have passed on, they can still buy a perfect Father’s Day present.

If you have read our Grave Care Business Program you already know the importance of special days for your customers.  Father’s Day is a perfect example of a time when you can advertise special services and promotions for your business.  Don’t lose sight of the fact that grounds maintenance, photography, and Father’s Day Card (message delivery) services are very much in demand for Father’s Day.  Your Grave Care Maintenance customers may not be aware that you offer these services.  Elderly spouses may not be able to physically visit their husband’s gravesite.  Younger family members may have moved away and are not able to visit the gravesite nearly as much as they wish.  These are the customers you need to cater to.  They are the ones truly in need of your services.
Start your Grave Care Maintenance promotions now to let you current and prospective customers know of all the services you offer specifically for Father’s Day.

Purchase the Grave Care Business program

If you have not yet started your Grave Care Maintenance Business, right now is a great time to start.  Get started on the right foot with our Grave Care Business program available through our website:
www.GraveCareBusiness.com
The complete program is on sale right now.  Visit our homepage for more information.

How-to Run a “GREEN” Grave Care Business

Small businesses are rewarded by providing their services in an environmentally friendly manner. Grave care is no exception.

Small businesses are rewarded by providing their services in an environmentally friendly manner.  Grave care is no exception.

If you have read our Grave Care Business materials you know important we feel it is to operate your business as environmentally friendly as possible.  By saying this, we are not eco-fanatics.  However, we believe an eco-friendly business will be looked on favorably by your comunity, loved by your customers, and cost less money to operate.

The Grave Care Business program outlines many different services to offer your customers.  Today, we are giving you a brief overview of ways to make the landscape maintenance side of your business environmentally sound.

1)  Lawn Mower

If you Grave Care business normally does single plots, you will find it beneficial to use a push-style reel mower.  Reel mowers do not use gasoline thereby eliminating ozone destroying pollution.  Since they do not have engines they they practically producs no sound.  For larger areas and entire cemetery clean-ups feel free to use a powered mower but for single plots a reel mower is a great choice to cut the grass.

2)  Weedeater or String Trimmer

There aren’t many effective non-powered options to trim weeds.  Since 2-cycle engines are some of the most polluting lawn care equipment engines, if you are in the market for a weedeater, seriously consider purchasing a battery operated or a propane powered weedeater.  We have personally tested several models of battery and propane powered models.  The Lehr propane powered line trimmer is our favorite.  Though it is noisy like many weedeaters, it produces very low emissions and it runs for two hours on a 1 lb. bottle of propane.  As always, use caution with string trimmers around tombstones and grave markers.  The string can damage these stones.

3)  Plan your routes

Plan your routes so trips to the same cemetery coincide with each other.  Travel time is a huge waste of your resources.  Plan your jobs so all jobs in the same cemetery are performed on the same day.  One trip is much less wasteful than three or four trips.

These are just a few tips on how you can “green” your Grave Care business.  For our entire Grave Care Business package, visit our home page at:  GraveCareBusiness.com

Small Business Start-Up Advice: Pricing.

If you are a new Grave Care and Maintenance business owner you may find it difficult, especially at the beginning, to charge prices on par with your service.

Have a strong pricing strategy for your Grave Care and Maintenance business.

Pricing is a tentative subject for most new small business owners.  Pricing is particularly difficult for businesses that provide services where prices are subjective and up to the discretion of the business owner.

If you are a new Grave Care and Maintenance business owner you may find it difficult, especially at the beginning, to charge prices on par with your service.  After all, since pricing is up to you, you are able to charge whatever price you want.  You can even work for free if you want, right?

If you want to stay in business you cannot work for free.  There is a minimum price you can charge for your services and remain an ongoing concern as a business.

A common problem we see with new business owners is wanting to lower prices to attract customers.  Lowering your price is not the best option to attract customers.  Customers will always want you to lower your price.  They will gladly accept your services for free if you agree.

Your small business survival depends on your development of a strong pricing strategy.  Know your costs and know what the market will bear. If the market won’t bear the amount you need to cover your costs then don’t do the job.  If the market will bear more than your costs then you will be able to make a profit.

Grave care and maintenance is an emerging market.  It’s not a business that many people (both business owners and customers) know what the going rate for service is.  Therefore, it is up to you to develop a strong pricing strategy by knowing your per-job costs and deciding what the market will bear.

Our Grave Care Business program will help you develop a strong pricing strategy so you can make the best money possible in your local market.  The program is on sale right now and it can be ordered directly from our home page.  Click “ORDER HERE” above.

Overgrown cemetery plot.

How do I charge for overgrown and neglected cemetery plots…

How much money to charge for an overgrown cemetery plot a customer wants you to clean up.

Today’s blog post is a questions from a recent customer who purchased the Grave Care Business package.

“Hello.  I am focusing on grounds maintenance in my new Grave Care Business.   A recent new customer wanted me to care for her husband’s grave site.  She knows I charge $25 to maintain a double plot but when I got there the grass was knee high.  It hadn’t been cut in over a year.  How much money do I charge for overgrown and neglected cemetery plots and what’s the best method of cutting high grass so it looks good?”

Overgrown cemetery plots normally require at least 1 1/2 times your typical charge. Sometimes, you should charge double depending how much additional work is involved.

When grass is very high you will need to make at least two passes with your lawn mower.  Set your blades as high as they will go for your first pass. Use a straight-line mowing pattern (left-right or front-back). When you are finished with the first pass, rake excess clumped grass and remove it from the cemetery plot.

Now, lower your blades to the correct height for that type grass and make a second pass. For the second pass, choose a different mowing pattern. If you did left-right on your first pass, mow front-back for your second pass.

It is important to rake excess grass away.  Unkempt gass will never look good after your first service. Once grass gets leggy, stems close to the ground become thick and discolored. Let your customer know it will take at least two services before it begins to look like a lawn again.

After your initial servicing of an unmanicured grave site, resume your standard charge as long as the customer agrees to regular servicing.

Don’t forget, the Grave Care Business program includes a large pricing guidebook that tells you how much to charge for certain services.

Visit our home page for more information.

GPS for Grave Site and Cemetery Georeferencing

GPS Datalogger for Grave Site and Cemetery Georeferencing as a Business.

GPS Datalogger for Grave Site and Cemetery Georeferencing as a Business.

If you have read our materials on Starting and Operating Your Own Grave Care Business, you already understand the economic potential of adding a georeferencing component to your business.  GPS allows you to geo-tag individual grave sites as well as entire cemeteries.

In addition to georeferencing grave sites a GPS data logger gives you an ability to document your own presence at a particular grave site.  This comes in handy should a remote customer ever question your work at their loved-one’s burial site.

We go further into business potentials in our program.  The main purpose of this posting is to tell you about one of the most enduring GPS receivers still available today.

Turn-by-turn GPS vs. Hiking GPS

There are many GPS receivers on the market today.  These days, when you hear the term GPS, you may think about the GPS many people have in their cars.  While turn-by-turn GPS receivers are great for driving instructions, they are not ideal for our purposes here.  Hiking GPS receivers are more inline with they type of GPS tool you will need to properly perform your functions.

There are several important functions your GPS must provide to be beneficial to your grave care business.

1) Easy to read, view, and navigate the menu.

2) Ability to set tracks, routes, and waypoints.

3) Compatibility with Google Earth, Other Aerial Programs, and/or Topographical Mapping Software.

We have found one particularly good GPS tool that has lasted us 5 years and helps us everyday in our datalogging tasks.

Garmin Etrex Legend

Our Garmin Etrex Legend has been our workhorse GPS for almost 5 years.  We purchased the unit from Best Buy on sale for a little over $140.  Though its price has dropped dramatically it’s quality has remained the same (and, through firmware upgrades, improved).

The Etrex Legend is water resistant, has a clear greyscale display, is easy to handle, and is intuitive.

Using a thumb-manipulated joystick and 5 side buttons, the user is able to navigate from screen to screen, set and name waypoints, breadcrumb tracks, and navigate routes.

The Garmin Legend connects to your laptop computer via a peripheral computer cable.  Etrex Legend models are compatible with Google Earth which allows uploading of complete data sets ready to be synchronized with photographs or video of your grave care maintenance work.

For more information on how to perform this work, check our main web page: www.GraveCareBusiness.com

For the exact GPS unit we use in our daily work, check the Amazon.com link below.  You can purchase it for one of the best prices available on the web.

The adventure pack including an Etrex Legend:

The etrex Legend

No Excuses

So, you’ve decided to start your own grave care business.

Grave Care Business – No Excuse Not To Start Now

So, you’ve decided to start your own grave care business.  You’ve decided to start your own grave care business during the worst economic recession in our lifetime.  Gas prices remain at historic highs and financial lending institutions hold iron fists over money loans that were so easy to qualify for only 12 months ago.

Now, some entrepreneurs have marched into business ownership in easy times – times of economic stability when money flowed easily and all you needed to do was perform satisfactory service to be successful. Other entrepreneurs have received their business licenses in times of trial and upheaval, when the very foundations of our small-business economy has been shaken. 

It should be clear by now the category into which all of you fall.

For many small-business entrepreneurs starting their own businesses, these challenges are felt in more personal terms. Perhaps you are starting a grave care business because you have given up looking for a job – or you’re struggling in a failing career path in this struggling economy. Maybe you have a job but you need extra money to help with unexpected bills or credit card debts.  Maybe you have always been intrigued with cemeteries and gravestones and you want to explore your fascination while making a nice income.  Maybe you just want a better life for yourself – a life where you can be the boss and dictate your own destiny – a destiny where you can expect more than just a 9 to 5 and a paycheck every two weeks.

In the face of our current economic challenges, it may be tempting to fall back on a typical work path.  You may find yourself saying “why bother” and continuing with the same day-in day-out unfulfilling job just like your friends do and your parents (or children) expect you to follow..

You can take that road and it may work for you. But at this difficult time, that approach won’t get you where you want to go in your life.  You have an entrepreneurial spirit.  It can’t be taken away from you. And no amount of outside influence should keep you from your goal of starting your own business and creating your own destiny.

The businesses we revere and the business leaders we admire didn’t sit back and wait for a perfect economy.  They didn’t twiddle their thumbs awaiting a gold-lettered invitation to join the entrepreneurial class.  They didn’t let naysayers influence them to give up on their dreams just so they could become another hourly employee working for a faceless corporation making money – and making a destiny – for someone else instead of themselves.

Many of our current challenges are unprecedented. There are no standard remedies, or go-to fixes this time around.  But, like those you admire, you should not let the obvious obstacles of today’s world block your path. 

Yours is the great American story – the story of starting a business in uncertain times – the story of taking your life and your destiny in your own hands when so many around you are drowning in self-pity and despair.

So now, it is abundantly clear that you need to take your direction and start doing things a little differently. In your own life, you need to adapt to this continuously changing economy,  keep gaining new skills, and keep taking risks as new opportunities arise.

I know starting a new business in troubled times is a challenge. But it is also a privilege and it is the greatest opportunity you may ever have.  Times like these that force us to try harder, work smarter, to discover paths we never knew existed.   Greatness lies within you. So don’t ever shy away from your entrepreneurial spirit.  I can promise that you will be forever better if you take the small steps now to start a business of which you’ve always dreamed.

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The GraveCareBusiness.com business package is designed to help you start and operate a successful Grave Care Business.  Visit our home page to learn more about the business.  The business program is currently on sale for under $30 and will be shipped promptly as soon as we receive your order.