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MOWnGO Lawncare
06-04-2007, 11:06 PM
I have a 5 year plan to stop working for the man, and become him instead.

I don't plan to make lawncare my profession per se, rather a piece of a multiple income stream.

Heres the plan as it stands:

Use my craftsman mower, line trimmer and manual edger initially. I will also need to purchase an inexpensive gas blower. I plan on reinvesting all profits back into the business to purchase equipment.

I then plan on purchasing a Honda mower, Echo line trimmer/ with edger attachment and a Stihl backpack blower.

There is a LOT of lawn companies here in Florida, so competition is ripe. I want to keep things extra simple at first. Since I will be servicing homes in residential developments, most lawns will be fairly uniform, so I would like to charge a flat rate, probably around 25.00.

Pretty much just want to keep it basic until I increase my knowledge base regarding troubleshooting, fertilizing, pruning etc, etc.

I did consider offering to remove dog excrement for a small fee, as well as wash exterior ground-floor windows. Just trying to think of some simple value-added services.

I'm going to pick up a business license as an LLC and open a business checking /savings account.

I'm trying to learn adobe illustrator and indesign, but I will use Publisher to create some snazzy business cards, post cards and brochures. I will either distribute these personally or obtain a mailing list and send them out at regular intervals.

I also plan on creating a business website using yahoo.

Other than that I just want to make sure the process is enjoyable. I'll be doing a lot of reading on the forum. If you have any comments, advice or criticism I gladly welcome it.

Prestige-Lawncare
06-04-2007, 11:21 PM
Sounds as though you have given this some thought. As you might imagine, these are some pretty good "starting points" ... ones that will have to be expanded on and addressed as soon as possible.

I have a 5 year plan to stop working for the man, and become him instead.

I don't plan to make lawncare my profession per se, rather a piece of a multiple income stream.

Heres the plan as it stands:

Use my craftsman mower, line trimmer and manual edger initially. I will also need to purchase an inexpensive gas blower. I plan on reinvesting all profits back into the business to purchase equipment.

I then plan on purchasing a Honda mower, Echo line trimmer/ with edger attachment and a Stihl backpack blower.

Make sure you reinvest in commercial grade equipment. Even though you don't plan on this being your profession, you will be using the equipment more then what the manufacturer intended on any homeowner models being used in a weeks time.

There is a LOT of lawn companies here in Florida, so competition is ripe. I want to keep things extra simple at first. Since I will be servicing homes in residential developments, most lawns will be fairly uniform, so I would like to charge a flat rate, probably around 25.00.

I would suggest that you do not charge a "flat rate" ... even properties the same size can have different rates depending on amount of trimming, edging, or extras the customer may want. Steer clear of advertising a flat rate.

Pretty much just want to keep it basic until I increase my knowledge base regarding troubleshooting, fertilizing, pruning etc, etc.

I did consider offering to remove dog excrement for a small fee, as well as wash exterior ground-floor windows. Just trying to think of some simple value-added services.

This is a good idea ... .jut be sure to charge appropriatly. Whatever you do, do not become a low-baller.

I'm going to pick up a business license as an LLC and open a business checking /savings account.

I'm trying to learn adobe illustrator and indesign, but I will use Publisher to create some snazzy business cards, post cards and brochures. I will either distribute these personally or obtain a mailing list and send them out at regular intervals.

I also plan on creating a business website using yahoo.

Other than that I just want to make sure the process is enjoyable. I'll be doing a lot of reading on the forum. If you have any comments, advice or criticism I gladly welcome it.

Most of all ... good luck, and welcome to Lawnsite!

lurch
06-04-2007, 11:24 PM
Like he said...be fair and firm...don't let the customer set your prices...

welcome to the biz

4curbappeal
06-04-2007, 11:30 PM
MOWnGO,

Your plan sounds great! You may want to consider upgrading equipment a little even before you start. A manual edger is not practical. You can find a used ECHO stick edger on ebay for less than $125. Not only will you be able to put a great edge on your props, but you will be able to do it as fast as you can walk! A good used 36 inch belt driven walk-behind mower and a descent hand held blower should be a dime a dozen in your area! You need to spend a little $ to make alot more$!!!! Good luck You will be fine!:walking: :drinkup:

MOWnGO Lawncare
06-05-2007, 12:47 AM
lol, I guess craigslist is my friend then.

I just finished reading the 27 page thread of advice for noobs, great stuff!

I'll also have to look into that Tools-For-A-Time Turfpac deal mentioned in that thread since I'm in the greater Jacksonville area.

I had a Honda HRX (one below commercial) and a Stihl 450 backpack blower but had to sell them when I moved from WA to FL a year ago. I will definitely invest in pro equipment.

I'm not in a hurry. I'm going to take my time and enjoy the process as there is so much to learn. It will be a bit humbling to use my Sears equipment for a bit, but I'll get over it.

If you advise against any flat rate pricing then I'll have to do some more research on competitive pricing and rate structure.

Yeah, I was thinking of offering to pick up dog excrement for an extra $5.00, wash the exterior ground floor windows for an extra $5.00, weed the beds, or maybe even throw them into the service. I know petbutler.com has a whole business model on cleaning up poo. I like treating fire ant mounds and spraying wasp nests as a complimentary, value added service. If they have mulch or beauty bark I would also quickly rake those areas to make the bark look fresh again. Dunno, still putting things together.

I'm definitely thinking about the cross promotion aspect as well. Partnering with businesses that are complementary to eachother would be great.

At any rate, thanks for the replies. Nice to see that there is an active community here.

I wouldn't mind some feedback on the name MOWnGO. Sounds a bit generic to another lawncare professional i'm sure, but probably not so much to a customer. I might consider Sky Lawncare, Sky Professional Lawncare, or some variation of instead. (Sky being my middle name, due to the fact that my parents were hippies)

lurch
06-05-2007, 01:13 AM
yea...there is a mowngo around here...don't know about around you though...

be careful to follow the proper regulations set by your state as to the app. of chemical pesticide...i know here in texas it is highly illegal to apply without a liscence....heavy fines are handed out per infraction....

4curbappeal
06-05-2007, 01:28 AM
It seems like you have a very positive attitude. Work hard and you will make all the extra cash you need!

MOWnGO Lawncare
06-06-2007, 07:40 PM
Is there a resource to the basic procedures for professional techniques?

I know any joe can push a lawnmower, but I know theres certain things you do before others. Like do you edge first or last, do you cut up and down or laterally, how do you make straight lines look good, etc etc.

Feeling a little underexperienced and little nervous about representing myself as a professional and then providing a high school kid quality mow. If you can point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.