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View Full Version : Is there anyone in Canada that can help me?


lawnmowermen
05-28-2007, 03:50 PM
I'm taking a business course that is helping me create a business plan. I intend to start a lawn care business. I'm hoping that someone can tell me if I need a license or permit for my business. I have started looking on the internet for answers but have had no luck.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

Vikings
05-28-2007, 07:25 PM
Here in Manitoba, $40 to register a business name and $45 to do a name search. That's it.

DO NOT volunteer your business name if you inquire about permits, they can't retro charge you if you need one.

You don't have to collect GST in the first year but if you call them up to register your business name and get a GST number from that moment on you have to collect and remit. You can't change your mind once it's in the data base.

lawnmowermen
05-29-2007, 12:31 PM
Thank you Vikings!! I need to know how I should charge customers. Do I charge by square footage or do I charge a flat rate? I will at first be doing basic lawncare (mowing and weed control). I will also be be doing snow removal during the winter months.

Vikings
05-29-2007, 02:23 PM
Thank you Vikings!! I need to know how I should charge customers. Do I charge by square footage or do I charge a flat rate? I will at first be doing basic lawncare (mowing and weed control). I will also be be doing snow removal during the winter months.

I'm not so good at pricing for lawns, this is only my 2nd year doing them but I did snow for 8 years as well as windows and eaves.

For lawns, what ever you do, don't give them a $35 minimum or you won't get any work except for large or very large lots and if all you have is a 21" yer screwed.

I have a link to the Cities web site that lists all the lot sizes and if they are corner lots. I look them up to gauge their lot size. But I'm changing that up a little and holding off giving a final price till I see it.

The most important thing I learned is not to compete with lowballers. I did that last year and never made any money. There are so many lowballers that its easy to find out their prices by talking with potential customers. This Year I raised prices and lost half my customers (and good riddance) but then I gained twice as many as I lost in new higher paying customers. Just yesterday I lost a customer who I never even cut yet. She ordered my service then before I got there she had a kid do it for $10. I was charging $30, lol. But then she started asking me about window cleaning but I knew she was just a waste a time... I shot her a price and said you think about it and walked away.

I still think I could raise my prices a bit but my lowballer mentality is holding me back, plus lack of experience.

And now I just got a Toro 36" to make my two days of cutting to (hopefully) 1 day. I got 32 lawns, with about 8 bi-weeklies.

For snow removal, I only do residential. I wish I did have a plow, maybe this year. But you can only take on so many customers (I had 50 last year but with two trucks sometimes). You might as well stick to certain areas with new houses. The kind that have their drive way in front with a little side walk going around to the door. Charge them by the month $70-$120 depending on the size and the time they sign up (I have no contract). At least that's how I do it, I know Calgary has a different climate than Winnipeg.

lawnmowermen
05-29-2007, 03:18 PM
Thank you very much for the information! I have alot to learn but that comes with the territory! Did you have your own funds to start your business up or did you look to a bank for a loan? Myself I have and electric lawnmower that is moe than likely 10 years old. I WILL NOT use this mower to start my business. I will be looking for help in the financial department to gain the nessecary equipment.

Vikings
05-30-2007, 12:23 AM
You need two lawn mowers at least. If one breaks down you need the spare or your out of business. To start small you need a half ton, ramps, two lawn mowers, trimmer and blower.

Not free but you can't get much cheaper then that. If you can't afford that you should get a job and save money to buy this stuff. Not counting the truck it will be at least $3000 if you get the proline mower ($1500 CAD), the spare mower ($600) can be a cheap one, Echo trimmer($300) and back pack blower. ($400). I guess you could shave off some money from this budget.

(I made the mistake of buying non-commercial grade mowers. I still paid a thousand bucks for a Toro Super Recycler but I should have gotten the Toro Proline for an extra $400. Anything cheaper breaks down real fast even if your only doing 25 lawns a week)

DuraCutter
05-30-2007, 01:14 AM
You need two lawn mowers at least. If one breaks down you need the spare or your out of business. To start small you need a half ton, ramps, two lawn mowers, trimmer and blower.

Not free but you can't get much cheaper then that. If you can't afford that you should get a job and save money to buy this stuff. Not counting the truck it will be at least $3000 if you get the proline mower ($1500 CAD), the spare mower ($600) can be a cheap one, Echo trimmer($300) and back pack blower. ($400). I guess you could shave off some money from this budget.

(I made the mistake of buying non-commercial grade mowers. I still paid a thousand bucks for a Toro Super Recycler but I should have gotten the Toro Proline for an extra $400. Anything cheaper breaks down real fast even if your only doing 25 lawns a week)

I bought 4 mtd mowers from Home depot, cost $279 each. We don't do tons of lawns, but they'll go for 8 hours some days. They are 21" and seem good for the dough. As far as I'm concerned, if the guys hit a steel water main, it don't matter if you paid $1,500 or $279, she's prolly toast.

:)

Vikings
05-30-2007, 01:32 AM
No. I hit a lot of things that stop the engine dead in its track. The last time I bent the spindle and wrecked the blade. It cost $50-60 bucks but the engine seems fine (thank god). They can straighten it out with a press I believe. I don't think I would buy that cheap a mower, even as a back up, because they are probably not self propelled and that makes a big difference. At least to me.