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tehpr3chr
05-10-2006, 04:50 PM
I am 22 years old, and live in Northeast Georgia. I have been seriously considering starting a landscaping business in the next year, and wanted some input. Here goes the questions:

1)Other than business license, is there any other type of certification I need?
2)I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4. That should serve me well correct?
3)Other than a trailer, what all should I buy? I'm thinking a large WB, trimmer, blower, smaller push mower....what else?
4)how much am I gonna spend?
5)how the heck do I get the money?
6)How do I take care of my finances? Do you guys use quickbooks, or an accountant?
7)My experience is very limited. Should I do something to make me more vested before I venture out and screw someone's lawn up? what can I do?

any and all help is appreciated guys! i guess i'm just one of those people who wants to be outside all the time and wants to work for myself. i also need a job where i can get off early when needing(i race road bicycles a lot and am trying to make an attempt at going pro there..)Thanks!

jacob land and
05-10-2006, 05:01 PM
go work for a big lawn care company for a year or two to see if you like cutting grass 9-5 five days a week, if you do then you should have enough saved up to buy a walk behind and you will be ready to go out on your own

tehpr3chr
05-10-2006, 05:09 PM
how much money can i make doing that though? the sad thing is that i have a college degree and i hate what i got it in (drafting)..i just want to be able to make enough to support the wife and I (she teaches middle school starting in August)...just worried about making a living i guess...

jacob land and
05-10-2006, 05:17 PM
around here $12-15 an hour, bad thing is no health care, insurance, etc. usually

tehpr3chr
05-10-2006, 05:35 PM
i make around 14-15 an hour right now, and have no health insurance, lol...the wife will have great state health insurance once she starts teaching, so no worries there...i guess i'll see what i can find...

mrbray101
05-10-2006, 06:51 PM
I would say just put in at least 5 months at a reputable company. While you are there ask as many questions as possible and try to learn the business end of it. I did this, and my foreman I worked for was bombarded with questions about bidding, scheduling, licenses, etc, he didnt mind and was very helpful. IMO, The easy part of having the business is the actual work. The hardest part for me is all the paperwork, billing, talking to clients, fitting everything in, etc. I bought all my equipment used and paid in cash when I started out. It was relatively cheap. Heres what you could expect to spend if you want a similar setup to start out with.

5x8 trailer-500 (you may want to start with a larger trailer if you can)
36 belt drive-900
echo 260 weedeater-75 on ebay
echo edger-90
echo handheld blower-100
hedge trimmer i bought new for about 400

thats really the main things you would need to start out plus straps, gas gans, weedeater line, etc. Good luck with you venture man, I am sure it will work out for you. Just learn as much as you can and read up on lawnsite.

phototropic1
05-10-2006, 07:39 PM
Good advice above! I think getting a little experience working for somebody else is priceless. And you get to avoid the capital investment. This book covers a lot of the hurdles you'll have to jump in order to get started. Highly recommended!!!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0762738812/qid=1147300749/sr=2-2/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_2/002-9411816-2780052?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

FIVE-0LAWNS
05-10-2006, 10:15 PM
Get a 6X12 trailer. I was in the same boat you were in about a month ago. EVERYONE said get a 6X12 trailer and I got a 6X10 and regret it every day. You have to spend money to make money. It'll start out slow but if you do a great job and kiss some ass it'll pick up like you've never imagined. I also tow with a Jeep Grand and it is great. Good luck.:drinkup: :drinkup:

tehpr3chr
05-10-2006, 10:34 PM
didn't expect such good feedback so fast! i'm sure this website is going to be very valuable to me in the future!

rfed32
05-10-2006, 11:01 PM
i would go with a 5x10, 6x10, or 6x12 trailer...you could find a used mower cheap, get commercial blower and trimmer run u 350 blower 300 trimer(echo)...and print up flyers on your computer...ull spend 2-4grand on a new walkbehind...i wouldnt get bigger then a 48...always carry a 21'' push on ur trailer...can pick one up at a yard sale 5-20bucks...good luck...you could always work for a lawncare company in ur area and do 5 lawns on sat to get started....good luck

topsites
05-10-2006, 11:05 PM
Get a 6X12 trailer. I was in the same boat you were in about a month ago. EVERYONE said get a 6X12 trailer and I got a 6X10 and regret it every day. You have to spend money to make money. It'll start out slow but if you do a great job and kiss some ass it'll pick up like you've never imagined. I also tow with a Jeep Grand and it is great. Good luck.:drinkup: :drinkup:

He's right, I have a 6x12 single axle and it is the trailer to get because it is the largest single axle trailer money can buy. If you get a double-axle trailer, that will put your truck + trailer gvwr over 10,000 pounds (doesn't matter what is loaded, it's the rating), and this requires a Class-C commercial driver's license.

So, get a 6x12 and most of the time it is a bit overkill but you never worry about space and when you do, it's for a good reason.

tehpr3chr
05-10-2006, 11:12 PM
okay....so 6x10 or 6x12 is def. what i need...i found a friend who might can get me a job with their outfit if my current job falls through soon (commercial sales)...as for getting started on saturdays, i could do some after lunch maybe, but like i said earlier, i race bikes avidly and don't really have the time on weekends..as far as money goes, i can probably buy my trailer and other stuff outright and make payments on the wb...i have a "tuner" car w/ all kinds of junk i traded for...i can sell all that crap for about 2k probably...that should help as well...

tehpr3chr
05-10-2006, 11:13 PM
oh ya...do you guys use quickbooks or an accountant? how do you keep up with your taxes? is there a rule of thumb number to keep outta ur monies to keep urself in check?

landgator
05-10-2006, 11:25 PM
Quick books is great if you have the time and patients to learn how to use it. I use an accountant as well. Just make sure your paying the correct amount of taxes.:usflag:

tehpr3chr
05-10-2006, 11:30 PM
ya...i have a friend who has a landscaping business and makes a ton of money...only problem is he has no license and pays no taxes...he says first year he doesn't have to, but i think that's bull...and i'm 22....the computer generation...quickbooks shouldn't be too bad...plus my father in law is an accounting professor, lol..

Dogbonz
05-10-2006, 11:59 PM
I started with a 5x8 trailer,,500 bucks new made 2x12 ramps bought $1500. 48 Husqvarna Belt W/B,, Blower,, straight split shaft trimmer,, with edger and tiller attachments,,, <---All on Ebay found within 50 miles of my home. Printed flyer's on Comp and hung them in the local grocery store,, all this last April 05, paid cash for all and have slowly started to build up a client base,, In a town of about 4000 and one big LCO in town. Newspaper ads for a 2in by 3 column run 28 bucks per week and go to 4 towns of 7000 peeps,, I get about 2 calls a week from ad,,, this season i got 5 regs,,, and 5,, um, my mowers broke. can you mow for a few weeks?,, type people that i charge about $10 more than if they were seasonal. did 1/4 acre lot for 75 was over grown,,, and did 1/2 for 90 it was 3 weeks behind,,, both in one night in 3 hrs from my home to home.
I'm a stay at home dad full time and mow part time,,, My sugar momma works at a major health co and has a great salary + full bennies. Yeah I'm loving life!:rolleyes:

Lee in OH
05-11-2006, 12:00 AM
I just started up this season I have 2 TORO recyclers, a 20" snapper side discharge and just bought a 44" Jayzee. Also a cheapie Weedeater string trimmer and bought a new Echo PB 200 blower. I'm doing properties for sale and some gas stations. None of them are bag jobs and are steady. I have about 20 accounts all together. With the bigger mower, I can mow the same amount of lawn faster. Not needing to pay someone to help more than covers the expense of payments on the mower. I have a 4x8 trailer and it's working for now. The price was right. Almost all my accounts are residential, so I don't need a larger mower now. I also have a full time job, so I'm not looking for a ton of accounts. I make enough to have some extra pocket money and keep myself busy. I may go legit next season.

Dunn's
05-11-2006, 12:30 AM
1)Other than business license, is there any other type of certification I need?
2)I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4. That should serve me well correct?
3)Other than a trailer, what all should I buy? I'm thinking a large WB, trimmer, blower, smaller push mower....what else?
4)how much am I gonna spend?
5)how the heck do I get the money?
6)How do I take care of my finances? Do you guys use quickbooks, or an accountant?
7)My experience is very limited. Should I do something to make me more vested before I venture out and screw someone's lawn up? what can I do?


1. No not really, I mean it kind of helps if you make yourself an LLC or something like that then if you get sued they don't come directly after you and your personal belongings (ex.: your house, car), just your business.
2. Probably a truck would work better. If you are going to be doing a lot of clean up jobs like removal of leaves and debris and that kind of thing it is a lot easier to just throw it in the bed of a truck.
3. Unless you have a lot of commercial jobs, you really don't need anything bigger than a 32" walk-behind, back-pack blowers look a lot more professional. You might want to purchase an edger, our pricing includes edging once a month and it makes the properties look a lot nicer.
4. This year so far we have spend probably somewhere around $7,500 to $9,000.
5. We weren't able to get any loans from the bank, if you can, try to get an SBA loan, read up about it. (Small Business Association) We had to do everything on credit, at least we have 0% APR for 1 full year.
6. What we use is Groundkeeper Pro http://www.adkad.com/ it helps you with your finances, it does invoices for you. It is kinda pricey but man, it is well worth it. You can download a free trial.
7. I would really get some insurance for your business. It really isn't as expensive as I thought it would be, ours is $750 for a full year with 4 million to 5 million dollars in coverage. Just don't take more than you can handle though. The number one failure to any business is too fast of growth.

GOOD LUCK!!!

tehpr3chr
05-11-2006, 12:30 AM
nice guys! keep it comin!

jacob land and
05-11-2006, 08:34 PM
i dont know if you already have good credit but that was my biggest mistake so far, i am trying to grow but i cant finace anything because i have no credit, so i had to go and get a couple personal credit cards. it was hard to hear that you cant grow as quick as you want, but you cant ever get discouraged, no matter what!

tehpr3chr
05-12-2006, 11:31 AM
i have pretty good credit, as i've paid off two cars on my own, and have a couple credit cards(old navy, normal use for internet, and emergency card)...my wife and i make it a point to try and only use the normal use and old navy card if we have money in the bank to pay the card off, and haven't used our mbna "emergency" card yet...

tehpr3chr
05-12-2006, 11:32 AM
and btw...as being in sales has taught me at the young age of 22, a lot of people are weary of doing business with someone younger...am i gonna have this issue here as well?

Dogbonz
05-12-2006, 12:05 PM
I think if you present yourself in a professional way,, dickies,, clean t-shirt with biz name (I bought a iron on kit from compusa, made my logo printed off and ironed on my dozen shirts at left pocket area!!),, clean shaven,,etc. You will find that this approach will start all your biz interactions with a positive edge,, then its up to you as a person, salesman, biz man, to win the customer over. and get that account.
I am finding out in a small town, that most men worth their nutz already own and use there own mower. It's the widows and single moms I'm getting most of my biz from,,, the only men that have called me was to say there mower was broke and mow for a few weeks.
With the little old ladies,, If they like you, you will be like a new grandson for them,, be careful here,,,,cause they will want you to do alot for free.:hammerhead: If you are up front about what you charge, and why,, and they understand. you got your self a good customer. payup
Now get off this thread and get out there and wow somebodies,, with your flyer's, new ads(both made by you on comp @ home cheap), and self,, get some biz and get cracking

Dunn's
05-12-2006, 05:01 PM
Exactly ...You have to make yourself look professional. Business t-shirts, clean, shaved (or at least shaved to make it look nice), you don't want to look like a bum. I am the owner and I am 22 and my worker (my fiance) is 24, while we were waiting for our t-shirts and polo's to get made we had dark khaki's and a green t-shirt and no one took us serious. It really helps how you present yourself. You will always get those customers who think that you are just some kid and they will want you to do these huge jobs for 1/4 of the price you are asking ...You just have to be firm and stick to your guns.

tehpr3chr
05-15-2006, 10:08 AM
nice to hear from someone my age...I'm thinking about taking environmental horticulture w/ a landscaping concentration before doing anything else. You guys think this would be wiser?

tehpr3chr
05-16-2006, 10:06 AM
nice to hear from someone my age...I'm thinking about taking environmental horticulture w/ a landscaping concentration before doing anything else. You guys think this would be wiser?

anyone have any insight on this?

tehpr3chr
05-24-2006, 05:12 PM
Good advice above! I think getting a little experience working for somebody else is priceless. And you get to avoid the capital investment. This book covers a lot of the hurdles you'll have to jump in order to get started. Highly recommended!!!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0762738812/qid=1147300749/sr=2-2/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_2/002-9411816-2780052?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

bought that book....imma read up on this before jumping into it!

PMLAWN
05-24-2006, 06:33 PM
Just my opinion but I believe you are missing the boat.
You have a degree in drafting, you want to get into landscape?
Should be easy to get set up as a landscape design pro. I would look into that. Mow grass in the hot GA. sun and work yourself to death for 30K, or design in a cool office, supervise crews doing backbreaking labor, and make much more. Something to think about.

tehpr3chr
05-25-2006, 01:22 PM
i've been in the office setting, and i hate it....i don't want to work for someone either....i want to work for myself where my limits are basically set by how hard i work...