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RobertVF
02-25-2006, 07:52 PM
My name is Robert. I appreciate everyone's input on this forum, as it has been extremely helpful. I am very interested in starting my own lawn care business. I have about $7,000 capital, a truck, and some great ideas.

Grass does not start growing here until early April. That leaves me 5 weeks to get my name out there. I have absolutely no lawn equipment, no trailer, and no real hands-on experience. But I do know the potential that lies in this industry.

I have a business name and logo in mind. I plan on making business cards, signs, door hangers, truck magnets, small magnets (for accounts/prospects fridge), and shirts.

I plan to start small. I have decided that I will not unload the truck for under $35. My target market is small lawns that a push mower could easily handle. For the first 20-30 accounts I will be a one-man operation.

My business will provide the following:

Mow
Trim
Edge around driveway and sidewalk
Blow excess onto street
Bonus: Hedge clip/hand clip out of control bushes


Other than the computer software, gas cans, oil, accessories and extras, I realize that my business needs the following equipment:

Push mower
trimmer
edger
back-pack blower
hedge clipper
hand-held clipper


Of course I will get a license, insurance, pay taxes, the whole nine yards.

My question is, what equipment should I get? Would it be a good investment to go ahead and get a kickbutt riding or self propelled mower? Will the back of my truck due, or do I NEED a trailer? Please help!

J&R Landscaping
02-25-2006, 08:12 PM
I would say useing your pickup for that size operation will be fine! I don't know the prices around your area but I would lower my price minimum to $25.00. If the yards are small enough to do with a 21" mower, 35 will be a bit much IMO. I would recomend either REDMAX or ECHO handhelds! The REDMAX blowers are the BEST IN THE INDUSTRY! Get an EB 7001 back pack blower. The ECHO pb403 is good as well! Hedge cutters I would also go with REDMAX, I bought an echo and it will be getting traded in for a redmax! I find the echo trimmers good but I have not personally used a Redmax line trimmer. What dealers are in your area? When do you plan to start advertising or have you already started?

CC Lawncare
02-25-2006, 08:20 PM
You might want to check with your local laws. In the areas we work, you will get fined if you put the clippings onto the street.

RobertVF
02-25-2006, 08:30 PM
I would say useing your pickup for that size operation will be fine! I don't know the prices around your area but I would lower my price minimum to $25.00. If the yards are small enough to do with a 21" mower, 35 will be a bit much IMO. I would recomend either REDMAX or ECHO handhelds! The REDMAX blowers are the BEST IN THE INDUSTRY! Get an EB 7001 back pack blower. The ECHO pb403 is good as well! Hedge cutters I would also go with REDMAX, I bought an echo and it will be getting traded in for a redmax! I find the echo trimmers good but I have not personally used a Redmax line trimmer. What dealers are in your area? When do you plan to start advertising or have you already started?

I agree with using my pickup. I have a 2004 Dodge Ram. Not only is it nice, big and paid off, but it is also a manual, more POWER!

I agree. I will not unload my truck for under $25 not matter how small the yard. My first target market is yards that are small, but not too small that paying someone to cut it doesn't make sense.

As far as dealers, we have Home Depot, Costco's, Samsclub, Walmart, BestBuy. I don't know about any other dealers.

I have my business name and logo in mind. The business cards, Signs, door hangers, truck magnets, fridge magnets, and shirts will all be very similiar. My girlfriend is an artist and pro with Adobe Photoshop. With my help, she is designing the business cards. All other marketing will start with the design on the business card. Marketing is taking place ASAP!

RobertVF
02-25-2006, 08:31 PM
You might want to check with your local laws. In the areas we work, you will get fined if you put the clippings onto the street.

What other alternatives do I have. Could I bag them up, or just blow them back on the yard?

nobagger
02-25-2006, 08:39 PM
7K is a decent starting point since you already have a truck. Just starting, look into a used but decent 6x12 trailer, and as far as mowing equipment goes, that would leave you with about 6500.00. I would look into a decent 21" self propelled mower, maybe a used 36" walk behind mower, some type of hand held blower,(we use Echo PB200) Hedge clippers:confused: I suppose all the commercial brands do well, again we use Echo. Same for trimmers. Don't forget about commercial truck ins. and separate lawn care ins. Leave some $$$$ for start up to pay your self until the customer's start paying. And the rest I would find the most advertising I could with what I had left over.:weightlifter:

palawnman
02-25-2006, 08:39 PM
I agree with using my pickup. I have a 2004 Dodge Ram. Not only is it nice, big and paid off, but it is also a manual, more POWER!

I agree. I will not unload my truck for under $25 not matter how small the yard. My first target market is yards that are small, but not too small that paying someone to cut it doesn't make sense.

As far as dealers, we have Home Depot, Costco's, Samsclub, Walmart, BestBuy. I don't know about any other dealers.

I have my business name and logo in mind. The business cards, Signs, door hangers, truck magnets, fridge magnets, and shirts will all be very similiar. My girlfriend is an artist and pro with Adobe Photoshop. With my help, she is designing the business cards. All other marketing will start with the design on the business card. Marketing is taking place ASAP!

They are referring more towards dealers that sell commercial tools. I would not recommend buying from Home Depot or any other hardware store for your equipment. There is only good for residential use, not intended for commercial. I understand wanting to use their equipment, but in the long run its going to end costing you more if you go residential equip first, they cant handle the wear and tear of everyday use. Also I dont know if I would recommend blowing clippings into the street, it really wouldnt look good in front of your customers house. What we do is blow it back into the yard. As long as you dont leave it in piles, you wont even be able to notice it.

Ron

RobertVF
02-25-2006, 08:52 PM
7K is a decent starting point since you already have a truck. Just starting, look into a used but decent 6x12 trailer, and as far as mowing equipment goes, that would leave you with about 6500.00. I would look into a decent 21" self propelled mower, maybe a used 36" walk behind mower, some type of hand held blower,(we use Echo PB200) Hedge clippers:confused: I suppose all the commercial brands do well, again we use Echo. Same for trimmers. Don't forget about commercial truck ins. and separate lawn care ins. Leave some $$$$ for start up to pay your self until the customer's start paying. And the rest I would find the most advertising I could with what I had left over.:weightlifter:

You don't think that the bed of my truck will be enough?

What is the difference between a push mower, a walk behind mower, and a self propelled mower. They are all the same right?

How about a back-pack blower compared to a handheld blower?

I am definitely getting lawn care insurance, and I already have insurance on my truck. My pops company pays for my truck insurance so I don't have details on that.

For advertising, I plan on making business cards, signs, door hangers, fridge magnets, and of course the truck magnets. My marketing plan is to find the neighborhoods that have the right size yards and are closest to my house. I will hang about 1000 door hangers. If only 1% become accounts than that's 10 new accounts. Keep in mind that I am a one-man operation.

RobertVF
02-25-2006, 09:12 PM
They are referring more towards dealers that sell commercial tools. I would not recommend buying from Home Depot or any other hardware store for your equipment. There is only good for residential use, not intended for commercial. I understand wanting to use their equipment, but in the long run its going to end costing you more if you go residential equip first, they cant handle the wear and tear of everyday use. Also I dont know if I would recommend blowing clippings into the street, it really wouldnt look good in front of your customers house. What we do is blow it back into the yard. As long as you dont leave it in piles, you wont even be able to notice it.

Ron

There is a redmax and an echo dealer around me.

I agree Ron. I need some equipment that is ready to eventually take on 36 hour weeks or more.

mow2nd
02-25-2006, 09:49 PM
Not to be rude, but you have no lawn care experience but you plan to start your own lawn care business?

Ummmm, Why dont you at least work for somebody who is already in the business for 2 seasons, if you still like doing it and learn some things, then maybe you can start a lawn care business.

Sorry man, I think you are setting yourself up for failure

RobertVF
02-25-2006, 09:58 PM
Not to be rude, but you have no lawn care experience but you plan to start your own lawn care business?

Ummmm, Why dont you at least work for somebody who is already in the business for 2 seasons, if you still like doing it and learn some things, then maybe you can start a lawn care business.

Sorry man, I think you are setting yourself up for failure

Good point. I am starting off small with a handful of accounts with small yards.

How hard can it be to mow a small yard, edge around the driveway and sidewalks, trim, and blow the excess back in the yard?

Yes I have some learning to do, and I have someone with a lot of experience helping me out at first.

And I do have experience mowing yards, just not running a fulltime lawn care business.