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View Full Version : Should I start a business?


11baron
04-20-2006, 11:59 AM
After reading so many of the posts here and listening to how much money it takes to actually start a lawn care business, I am wondering if I should start a small one and see where it goes.

I may have the necessary tools to start the business, I just need someone to do the work. Let me know what you think.

Here is my point. I am sort of a tool freak. I got burned once to many times using cheap tools on my 7 acre mini farm. I enjoy working outside, but 8 hours to cut the grass with a tractor was crazy so I bought an Exmark. These are the tools I currently have. Exmark Lazer 72" deck, Honda push mower, Echo string trimmer, Stihl edger, Stihl multi-tool/mini tiller, mid-size Toro tiller and others I can't think of right now. I realize that a smaller mower may also be needed for the business end. But what would you think of starting the business and just finding a crew to work the jobs? I would concentrate on the mini estates prevelant in this area. Let me know. What other items would you recommend?

Fredericksburg VA area.

Regards,

Bryan

daveintoledo
04-20-2006, 12:16 PM
especially just starting out... you have to be there, quallity control., customer relations..... until you get bigger you will have to be there, even if you hired someone with experience, you dont know how things are going unless your there

Tvov
04-20-2006, 12:23 PM
Especially with "mini-estates", quality control is important. Which usually means you have to be there. You certainly can outfit a crew(s) and send them out to do "mow & go" yards.

FinerCutslawnCare
04-20-2006, 12:39 PM
I wouldn't hire anyone yet, I would get your name out there more, and I would also get a wb like a 48", a 72" is to big for residential.

11baron
04-20-2006, 12:47 PM
I agree with wanting to make sure the quality is there. I imagine I would have to go out on the weekends I could and the weekdays that allowed it. 4 kids, my own grass, being a soccer coach and trying to finish two additions, doesn't leave a whole lot of time. I was just thinking I could make better use of the equipment I have that just sits there when I am not using it.

I see my up-front expenses being a trailer and possibly a walk behind. Then there is insurance to think about. My biggest concern is that someone not being careful with the 72 inch deck getting it on and off the trailer, it aint easy. An employee would have to have their own truck. I have a blower but no equipment to do vacuming. I never had a need to vacumn clippings.

I was thinking that for the time being, if I found someone with a bit of experience and was trustworthy, I would split the money somehow. I would have to find a proportion that was fair. This would then personal for them and they could make more money with more lawns if they grew the customer base and they could just as well lose it if they become sloppy. What would be a fair split seeing as how they would be doing most of the work, if not all. I basicly am on the hook for equipment and equipment failures. They would have to be on the hook for gas and time. What is fair?

Regards,

Bryan

daveintoledo
04-20-2006, 12:55 PM
plain and simple , if you dont have the time to be there, you wont succeed, infact, your equipment will get torn to peices, and you will be robbed blind....

11baron
04-20-2006, 01:13 PM
That is what I worry about. I need the equipment for myself and would not want to see it get torn apart. I can't do it all myself because of my current job. I am a computer nerd, I do programming, software analysis, software design, application load analysis, stuff like that, so I am not going to switch jobs. I just wanted to toss this idea out to the proffessionals and see what you thought. The type of employee(s) I would need probably does not exist. I just thought I could maybe get someone started in the business and give them a fair share of the profits. If as you say, my equipment would get tore up, then it wouldn't be worth it. I do appreciate the insight.

Regards,

Bryan

Bustus
04-20-2006, 01:54 PM
Don't do it if you can't be there. Definitely don't hire until you get too many contracts to handle yourself, you may end up losing money.

nephilim0167
04-20-2006, 08:28 PM
I wouldn't want to put my money and reputation in the hands of anyone else unless they'd been around a while and my company was established. That's a whole of of trust that can go wrong REALLY quick. Before you know it you've got a bunch of P.O'd customers and you're out of business. Not a good scenario.

topsites
04-21-2006, 12:28 AM
I wouldn't want to put my money and reputation in the hands of anyone else unless they'd been around a while and my company was established. That's a whole of of trust that can go wrong REALLY quick. Before you know it you've got a bunch of P.O'd customers and you're out of business. Not a good scenario.

Not to mention you need to know ALL the answers to ALL the millions of little questions such as 'the belt broke, what now?' which, with a proper training program for your employees can make or break their days in the field, just as an example.

I absolutely agree, the inexperienced business owner has no room building an employee-based Co. from the start.

As far as being a computer nerd, one hobby site of mine resides on a leased Unix box, which makes me the sys.admin: http://atopqualitysite.com/ and of course the business site in my profile is on that same server... I've been into pc's since around 1982 and I doubt our love of chips has a negative impact per se, but you do have to be willing to get dirty and sweaty lol !
Being physically tired never stops me, only once my brain is also worn out can I sleep.
Other than that you can be nerdy in this field, it doesn't appear to matter much because folks accept you 'as is.'

But this bit:
I basicly am on the hook for equipment and equipment failures.

That isn't going to work, you'd go broke fast if you don't know anything about maintenance because every 8 hours these machines need something, and it's not just fuel lol

11baron
04-25-2006, 06:04 AM
I have read all the responses and the advice and appreciate them all. This was a side business I was contemplating to make use of equipment that pretty much just sits idle until I use it on the farm.

As far as knowing what to do with the equipment or repairs and what not, I just pulled my motor to investigate a poor running condition. Cleaned up the connections went through the rest of the machine dropped the motor back in, kinda heavy and awkward without a cherry picker but manageable. So far the problem seems to be solved, so maintenance wouldn't be an issue, time would. I don't think this business is something I will be doing any time soon. Thanks,

Regards,

Bryan

guven
05-15-2006, 07:13 PM
I have been mowing lawn about two years full time. I do not have trailer, I use my Toyota Tacoma 4x4 to all my jobs, I delivery stone 3/4 Ton and I also delivery Mulch 3 yards with it. I do a lot of fall clean up and spring clean up . I have over 45 client but 35 are active.I was wondering I have to buy trailer, my mower is billy goat 33 finish mower and push mower, I have 48'' bobcat but it is sitting in my drive way because I do not have trailer. I use woodon ramp for 33'' mower.I need some help from you . I came the country 3 years ago, I am legal and I pay tax and insurance.what can I do anymore.
thanks

Natural Earth
02-23-2007, 11:16 AM
Bryan-

I was curious if you chose to try your hand at the Landscaping business.

I've just returned from a few years in Hawaii (getting my Master's Degree and a pretty good tan) and I'm in Fredericksburg. While in Hawaii, I worked with the largest commercial landscaping company in Hawaii and ran commerical landscaping operations (in addition to Human Resources for 250 employees).

I'm pretty sure I want to ditch the corporate world and take a stab at building a mostly commerical landscape maintenance business in this area (and as far into NOVA as necessary). My strengths are in the business management side, but I'm less strong on the equipment side.

Any progress on your end?

Jeremy

f&mlawnworks
02-23-2007, 03:25 PM
how do you take care of your business...aren't you still in school...just curious....im 17 and it is quite difficult

Adam12
02-23-2007, 08:05 PM
After reading so many of the posts here and listening to how much money it takes to actually start a lawn care business, I am wondering if I should start a small one and see where it goes.

I may have the necessary tools to start the business, I just need someone to do the work. Let me know what you think.

Here is my point. I am sort of a tool freak. I got burned once to many times using cheap tools on my 7 acre mini farm. I enjoy working outside, but 8 hours to cut the grass with a tractor was crazy so I bought an Exmark. These are the tools I currently have. Exmark Lazer 72" deck, Honda push mower, Echo string trimmer, Stihl edger, Stihl multi-tool/mini tiller, mid-size Toro tiller and others I can't think of right now. I realize that a smaller mower may also be needed for the business end. But what would you think of starting the business and just finding a crew to work the jobs? I would concentrate on the mini estates prevelant in this area. Let me know. What other items would you recommend?

Fredericksburg VA area.

Regards,

Bryan

I have read all the responses and the advice and appreciate them all. This was a side business I was contemplating to make use of equipment that pretty much just sits idle until I use it on the farm.

As far as knowing what to do with the equipment or repairs and what not, I just pulled my motor to investigate a poor running condition. Cleaned up the connections went through the rest of the machine dropped the motor back in, kinda heavy and awkward without a cherry picker but manageable. So far the problem seems to be solved, so maintenance wouldn't be an issue, time would. I don't think this business is something I will be doing any time soon. Thanks,

Regards,

Bryan Bryan is there a phone number I can contact you on or Call me (914) 879-7928 Live in NY Looking to Move To VA I have a great oppurtunity To get your idea off the ground. Adam

N&CLandscaping
02-23-2007, 08:14 PM
Hell ya start a business!!!

Ed Ryder
02-23-2007, 09:11 PM
To me, it's a fantasy to jump into the business and then turn it over to employees. If you pursue that strategy, a lot of things will go wrong. And the work quality probably will not be very good.

I'm too fussy. I couldn't go through with a plan like that.

C&K
02-26-2007, 03:20 PM
Also, you could be and probably are training your competition. Without some quality "face-time" with your customers, they will soon be someone else's. More than likely the guy you hired to run your business. Some people make things happen, some people ask "what happened?". Don't be the latter. Sorry if that sounds too harsh. Trying to help!