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rlander06
12-17-2006, 03:28 PM
My new Lawn care business equipment. This is the equipment I have 2005 6x12 Doolittle trailer,2005 Toro zero turn 52" rider. 2000 Toro 36" walk behind, 2 Sthil string trimmers, 1 Sthil edge trimmer, 1 Echo backpac blower, 1996 Dodge 1500 4x4 pickup. I am starting my business in 2007 I need all the help and information I can get.

grassmanak
12-17-2006, 03:50 PM
looks like you have good equipment, do you have any accounts yet, insurance is important, just read lots of stuff on the board. Best advice i can give.,

rlander06
12-17-2006, 04:24 PM
I have no account as of yet. end of season. I know I will have my neighbor. I am working on my advertising and looking in for some good insurance. I figured to start a business I would need the equipment first and the insurance and then customers,hope thats right?

Oxmow
12-17-2006, 04:32 PM
Obviously you have had a good outlay of money in that equipment. Just make sure that you aretrying to get accounts that will pay for it all. NO LOWBALLING!!! Do some research in your area as to what people are paying for their service. I don't care if you won the money for the equipment in the lottery, don't leave money on the table when selling your services. No use saying i'll do the job for 25 bucks when the market rate is 30-35. Professionals charge professional rates. Don't sell yourself short!

Petr51488
12-17-2006, 04:39 PM
Why would you buy all that equipment with no accounts? I know when i started out, i had a 21'' mower, the cheapest trimmer, and a cheap blower. I Don't know about you, but you better make sure you get some accounts ASAP.

rlander06
12-17-2006, 05:13 PM
If you don`t have the equipment how will the accounts get done. Customers want to see that you have the equipment to do the job. Advertising will be going out in Feb. and hopefully the calls will start coming in.

Petr51488
12-17-2006, 05:38 PM
If you don`t have the equipment how will the accounts get done. Customers want to see that you have the equipment to do the job. Advertising will be going out in Feb. and hopefully the calls will start coming in.


Your keyword is hopefully. You're taking a huge risk here. You could have bought something used and inexpensive. I won't tell you you how to run your business, but i think you made a big mistake in buying all this equipment without any accounts. Do you have any experience in this field? Ever worked for a landscaping company? BTW, if you dont mind sharing,or me asking, how much did this setup cost you? and how much do you plan on spending towards advertising? I've found out that flyer's don't really work all to well. You should try advertising in your local newspapers. I had great success with that this year. If you have money you can also try placing an ad in the yellow book.

Lawn Enforcer
12-17-2006, 05:41 PM
Nice equipment, how big is the trailer? The set-up should make you good money!payup

rlander06
12-17-2006, 07:44 PM
My whole package deal was $8000. My trailer is 6 x 12. I have done lawn care in the past and want to expand on my own. this is just part of what is offered in my line of work.

TheLawnBarber
12-17-2006, 08:37 PM
I like your setup. it basicaly looks like my setup but without the Toro rider.

KS_Grasscutter
12-17-2006, 10:15 PM
Very nice setup, but... In my opinion you have WAY too much invested for having no customers. Yea, the equipment will help you get the customers, and you got to have most of it, but just starting out I think you would have been fine with the 36", trailer, a trimmer and the blower. No need at all for 3 trimmers, in my opinion.

Good luck to you in the 2007 season!
Eric

jaybow
12-18-2006, 12:33 AM
Why would you buy all that equipment with no accounts? I know when i started out, i had a 21'' mower, the cheapest trimmer, and a cheap blower. I Don't know about you, but you better make sure you get some accounts ASAP.
Ithink getting good equipment to start is great if you have the funds.You sound like one of those old men who say when I was young I walked 5 miles to school barefoot up hill in the snow LOL.:rolleyes:

RedWingsDet
12-18-2006, 04:23 PM
man I aggree with Petr. You coulda took that 8grand, bought a 32" mower for a grand, and stick edger, trimmer and blower for another grand, and took the other 8grand and bought 60 accounts to secure yourself, and then after the 2nd month or even year of cutting upgrade.

J&R Landscaping
12-18-2006, 09:52 PM
Equipment is nice but for not having any accounts, I'd say your in way over your head. Best of Luck in 07!

rlander06
12-19-2006, 08:14 PM
Hey when you have the money for the toys there is no worry that the job can`t get done. the customers will come later. I am currently employed and will make sure the income is there.

mattfromNY
12-19-2006, 08:29 PM
My advise would be to get your name out ASAP, even if its just a blurb here, a blurb there...flyers at the grocery store, post office, local pizza joint, etc... just so people start to see your name now. Then when its time to start advertising and you have nothing but time on your hands (because you dont have any accounts yet), hit the neighborhoods with doorhangers in hand, knock, introduce yourself, etc., hang doorhangers on the doors when no one is home. I started this year, got great response by actually talking to homeowners, not just hang and run. First week of June, I was all done with my accounts by Tuesday, didnt have anything going the rest of the week, I knocked doors for 3 hours Wednesday morning and got enough work (mostly small jobs weeding, edging, trimming, etc. but it all pays) to get me through the rest of the week. And picked up a couple of weekly accounts! Good luck, I hope you have as much fun as I do!

LawnTamer
12-19-2006, 09:43 PM
That is a great set-up. I love the Stihl hand-helds and I'm a Toro man myself. If you got that all for 8 grand, that's a pretty good deal. Once you get the accounts, that outfit will make some good money.

Petr51488
12-20-2006, 12:24 AM
Ithink getting good equipment to start is great if you have the funds.You sound like one of those old men who say when I was young I walked 5 miles to school barefoot up hill in the snow LOL.:rolleyes:

LOL I think getting good equipment is great too, but not when you don't have any accounts to pay it back with. Luckily he is still employed.

BQLC
12-20-2006, 05:43 PM
If you had the money up front and did not have to get a loan to get it you should be OK but if you did start pounding the pavement and get your name out there. Best of luck to you and nice setup

rlander06
12-20-2006, 07:21 PM
I can`t understand anyone that says you should have accounts first before you by equipment. Yes maybe I did buy more equipment then I needed to start with but it was a good deal and I will not need to expand to soon. I can get accounts just like everyone else. Advertise like everyone does.

ED'S LAWNCARE
12-20-2006, 07:34 PM
The setup looks good and should serve you well for a long time. As far as the money outlay that is up to you. If you are financing it all then I would say you went in too much too fast. If you paid cash I'ts not the soundest investment all at once but still an investment in you.

I spent 15k start up not including my truck. After the 1st year I understood that I could have started slower and build but either way I made it all back, And I'm part-time.

Good luck

Lynden-Jeff
12-20-2006, 07:39 PM
You sound alot like me lol. I started this year with:

6 X 12 trailer
98 Dodge ram
52" bobcat rider
32" belt drive walkerbehind bobcat
lots of echo stuff

So far ive learned:

- Trailer is way to small, will be upgrading to a 16 or 18 footer next year
- The 32 gets little to no use. Puchased a 48 inch hydro and prefer it FAR more
- Expect to puchase extras like baggers etc because it happens.

Cheers
Jeff

Lawn 'N' Order Landscape
12-20-2006, 08:27 PM
Back to your original question. I would recommend to start advertising in February like you said you were going to do (flyers, door hangers, paper, yellow book, etc.). Get your truck lettered or at least get magnetic signs in my opinion it is the cheapest and most effective form of advertising I cant count the amount of times people have come up to me and said I have seen your truck driving around town. FYI be careful where and what subdivisions you knock on doors. Around me you have to have a license from the village to go door knocking….just an FYI you could get yourself into some trouble.

I wish you the best of luck next year,

rlander06
12-21-2006, 09:03 PM
I would like to send some advertising out in February and some more out shortly after that. Or should I just keep them going every week? Can advertising to much make it sound like I need the business?

Lawn 'N' Order Landscape
12-22-2006, 01:20 PM
If you’re going to advertise every week I would rotate the subdivisions/areas that you advertise in keeping a 3-4 week interval before advertising in the same area again. I do have to say that you should defiantly advertise in the same area more than once when you do that it will just reinforce the other times that you advertised in that area.

rlander06
12-22-2006, 06:15 PM
I am looking for insurance. What would be a good policy and how much to get that would cover my business?

J&R Landscaping
12-23-2006, 05:01 PM
Get at least 1 millon in general liability. Make sure you include to have your tools and equipment covered as well. If you plan on providing snow removal, find out if they will insure you for that as well.

Lawn 'N' Order Landscape
12-23-2006, 07:18 PM
Get at least 1 millon in general liability. Make sure you include to have your tools and equipment covered as well. If you plan on providing snow removal, find out if they will insure you for that as well.

Exactly......it wont be too expensive if its only you and no employees.

Bolo9092
12-24-2006, 11:08 PM
I am in the same boat as you.I started late this year and made several thousand off the few jobs I did.I bought and paid cash for my Toro ztr,trailer,trimmers,weedeaters.edgers and all the small tools also.I found a nice 48" toro walkbehind(T Bar) with 30hrs on it from a family member for $800 and a older 36" exmark for $350 and will buy both of them before the season starts.I see it this way for me if it doesn't pan out I can resale the walkbehinds and use everything else on my property.Good luck and you have some nice equiptment

rlander06
12-25-2006, 03:28 PM
Thanks for all the replys. It is sure nice to have people out there that can help others. Everyone have a HAPPY HOLIDAY

robknasel
12-25-2006, 10:52 PM
Well first off, great choices in your purchasing equipment. Stihl, Toro, cant go wrong. And for those that say you are taking a risk, well if you dont know already that doing business is taking a risk. As far as advertising I would highly recommend the Service directory in your local paper. That has been the most sucessful for me. I would not recommend the Yellow Book. The yellow pages are only there if you are a established business. I know that may be the oposite of what you have heard but it is true. I would contact people you know and ask them to keep a eye out for you. This is called referral business and there is no better way to get good customers. You can add up all of your other methods together and they will not equal refferal business. When you do get some customers make sure to work them for refferals also. This is also known as sales networking. Now, one more thing, The equipment you have there. There is a right way to use it and a wrong way. You need to be strict about the way you do business. Do it the same way every time, no shortcuts and if something dont exactly work try something different but if it does work, stick with it. Edge everything. Get a good STIHL stick sidewalk edger and use it every time you mow a yard, do the sidewalk, curbs, and patios. Charge extra to get them in tune the first time you mow. Tell them how much the mow will be and then tell them how much you would like to charge to get rid of the grass that has started to take over there curbs, driveway, and sidewalks. If they dont go for the upsale then just do a litte bit every time you come to mow. They will see there yard looking better every time and will be happy to allow you to continue. This usually works but can backfire and you will lose the account so avoid the temptation to do the hard trimming with a shovel all at the same time.
Good Luck
Rob Knasel
Signature Lawn Care
I have some equipment but why advertise it, do you want someone to come over and steal it.

Grn Mtn
01-01-2007, 03:48 PM
I am looking for insurance. What would be a good policy and how much to get that would cover my business?

I'm beginning to think Greece should be renamed Florida, there is a LCO on every corner.

Anyway, nice setup, Hey those aren't my stolen Sthil Trimmers are they:cry: Just Kidding.

Call Victor at MGM Insurance (Tell him Roald from GRN MTN sent ya). He knows business insurance! He won't sell you what you don't need and he will tell you WHY you need certain types. I called around for two months trying to find someone good and Victor rose above the rest. Call or email me for the number-see my signature.

rlander06
01-01-2007, 04:49 PM
GML.
qhat is the going rate for lawn cutting in Greece? I am new here and need some help.

rlander06
01-01-2007, 04:50 PM
Those Stihl trimmers I picked up in Iowa with the package.

Grn Mtn
01-01-2007, 04:52 PM
GML.
qhat is the going rate for lawn cutting in Greece? I am new here and need some help.


way too little.. put it this way, I charge $27.50 and am about $15 over what many guys charge.

rlander06
01-02-2007, 05:11 PM
GML,
Thats a pretty small lawn for that price. My neighbor pays $30.00 for 2 Ac.

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
01-02-2007, 05:19 PM
GML,
Thats a pretty small lawn for that price. My neighbor pays $30.00 for 2 Ac.


$30 for 2 acres??? Is that for real?

Grn Mtn
01-03-2007, 12:25 AM
GML,
Thats a pretty small lawn for that price. My neighbor pays $30.00 for 2 Ac.

Not exactly sure what your getting at:confused:

And as to the neighbor finding someone willing to mow 2 acres for $30 beans.... that is exactly the reason I don't mow only. I pick and choose my mowing clients, only taking the ones that will pay what I want. And what I want I don't think is that unreasonable -$60 per acre.

rlander06
01-03-2007, 06:12 PM
GML,
Thats what I can`t understand, getting paid to little for the work that has to be done. Do you think they took that job on just to get the work? What I am thinking of charging is $25-$30 for a .25 acre. Do you think that sounds ok for this area?

Grn Mtn
01-03-2007, 11:00 PM
GML,
Thats what I can`t understand, getting paid to little for the work that has to be done. Do you think they took that job on just to get the work? What I am thinking of charging is $25-$30 for a .25 acre. Do you think that sounds ok for this area?

I think it sounds great, are you going to get lots of business -NO. Greece is cheep, lots of people with mowers doing it who shouldn't be, its a customers market.

The good news is you have a "z", so your time on the property will be short, are you solo or have helper?

There is a guy (can't remember his company name) but he power edges the sidewalks every single mow, customers love it. He ended up with the whole cul-de-sac because of it. The first time it takes awhile, but after the 3rd time he is trimming the sidewalks faster with his edger than a trimmer.

rlander06
01-05-2007, 05:06 PM
GML,
I am not just staying in Greece, I am venturing out to other towns. I do have a helper.

Grn Mtn
01-05-2007, 05:33 PM
having a helper is, well, helps:laugh: Way more efficient with 2 people. Good luck to you, supposed to be a HOT summer.

LawnLad
01-06-2007, 07:04 PM
With a helper and new equipment ready to go... what other aspects of your business have you been focusing on developing? I might encourage you to read the E-myth and PLANET's Crystal Ball Report on Lean Management before you begin work this spring. Just starting out, if you embrace the principals in these two quick reads you'll be years ahead of others who start in business. Many new businesses fail each because they fail to plan. I just heard of a former employee who is no longer in business for himself. Maybe by choice, maybe he couldn't make it happen. Of the ones that I thought could have made it happen, he was one of them. But after five years, he's not running his own business. It might not have been for him, I'm not sure as I have not talked with him. Having been in the business for a while I see it each year, guys get in and they get out. They get out mostly because they failed to plan. And often because they don't know how to plan. It's hard to wrap your head around a lot of concepts. Heck, we're still learning and trying to develop the better business. But these two books will help to put things in a frame work which will help you think more strategically.

While you're out working you think strategically about your business and how you can develop a franchise prototype. You'll need to have some pcocesses in place that you have defined and that you can measure so you can manage your improvements. What it would it take to get others to run your business without you being there each day to make it happen? Not that you want to franchise it... but you should have systems in place so that your business can produce a predictable outcome whether you're there or not.

As for buying equipment before you have the customers, who cares. If you can support it, then fine. If it's in your plan and that's how you operate great. We buy equipment before we need it, growing into it. To some degree you have to make that leap of faith by buying in advance of the business, but there are many times when it's okay to make the sale and then tool yourself accordingly.

lawnpro724
01-06-2007, 11:22 PM
Nice setup, better than most start out with. I have used Toro equipment for over 15yrs with no proplems at all so what you have should serve you well. Good Luck!