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2fatguyslawncare
02-24-2008, 03:49 PM
Hi folks, my father-in-law and I are starting a new lawn care business with a focus on restoration. This will be part time, as we are both professionals. We just want some extra money, a better tan and perhaps a new career with less stress someday.

I wanted to list what we intend to get for equipment and see what we get for responses, as well as recommendations for equipment, etc...

1 - Riding mower (Decided not to focus on mowing, but knowing we need to offer it the utilitarian benefits of the rider seemed appropriate for the plan... looking at a JD, with a bagger, broadcast spreader and wagon....)
2 - Aerator (Ryan Lawnaire V Plus
3 - Dethacher / Slice Seeder (Toss up between Classen and Bluebird) (x2)
4 - Trimmers, blowers and handtools...
5 - 12-14' open trailer

We have put a lot of thought into the smaller tools/supplies and this site (Particularly the tips thread.....) is awesome.

I look forward to your constructive criticisms.

Leroy - 2 Fat Guys Lawn Care

Whitey4
02-24-2008, 05:12 PM
My first question is what sort of properties do you want to taget? Small or large residentials? Commercials? I think you need to make those decisions now, and buy equipment that is approriate for the business plan.

Are you in the flatlands, near the coast, or will you be working on hills? If you will be doing hills with a potential soil erosion problem, you might think about a hydro seeder. Some mowers and aerators are great on the flats, but not so good on hills.

Knowing first what your target market is has to be the fist step. That should drive everything you do, from how and where to advertise to what equipment is best suited to the planned operation. NEVER buy equipment first, and figure this stuff out later. That is putting the cart before the horse.

You say you are a "professional". Then you should understand the necessity of a business plan. Perhaps you have one already, but I did not get that impression, aside from the fact you want to hit a target niche in renovations.... that's a start, but not enough. Did the niche renovation idea come from a brainstorm, or from some market research that indicated it's a viable business strategy? To fill some niche void in the market place?

Sorry, I have no answers.... just questions you should be asking yourself. Answer these questions, and the decisions become much easier. You will know the answers, because you've researched the questions. The better the plan is, the less one has to rely on luck. Luck doesn't hurt, btw... and good luck.

2fatguyslawncare
02-24-2008, 05:25 PM
My first question is what sort of properties do you want to target? Small or large residentials? Commercials? I think you need to make those decisions now, and buy equipment that is appropriate for the business plan.

In our area... Both coastal and inland there has been a huge boom in construction over the last 5-10 years (Like everywhere else....) The majority of this has been new construction, in new subdivisions. That being said the terrain and size of the properties are mainly residential .75 - 1.5 acre.


If you will be doing hills with a potential soil erosion problem, you might think about a hydro seeder.

Interesting, never considered a hydro seeder much more then to discuss it briefly.

We do have a business plan, a marketing plan and have given the customer base a lot of thought. Who would start a business without these? Plenty I suppose...

We also have relationships with some mowing services who do not offer aeration, seeding or dethatching. We did a lot of research, used our business experiences and opened our eyes. There is a niche in our area to be filled for sure.

I appreciate your thoughts and comments.

So... assuming (what more can you do?) that we have a plan, a target customer base and knowledge of our region what do you think of the equipment list? Any ideas what the real cost of a hydro seeder is?

Thanks!

lawnpro724
02-24-2008, 05:32 PM
Hi folks, my father-in-law and I are starting a new lawn care business with a focus on restoration. This will be part time, as we are both professionals. We just want some extra money, a better tan and perhaps a new career with less stress someday.

I wanted to list what we intend to get for equipment and see what we get for responses, as well as recommendations for equipment, etc...

1 - Riding mower (Decided not to focus on mowing, but knowing we need to offer it the utilitarian benefits of the rider seemed appropriate for the plan... looking at a JD, with a bagger, broadcast spreader and wagon....)
2 - Aerator (Ryan Lawnaire V Plus
3 - Dethacher / Slice Seeder (Toss up between Classen and Bluebird) (x2)
4 - Trimmers, blowers and handtools...
5 - 12-14' open trailer

We have put a lot of thought into the smaller tools/supplies and this site (Particularly the tips thread.....) is awesome.

I look forward to your constructive criticisms.

Leroy - 2 Fat Guys Lawn Care

If your going to be doing lawn restorations your going to need the following.

de-thatcher - optional
aerater
seeder
tiller - rear tine and front tine
broadcast spreader
soil test kit

and a book that I have found to be very useful the Ortho home gardners problem solver

P.Services
02-24-2008, 05:42 PM
i have to scags for sale and a new hardley used classen dethatcher for sale also. i will meet you half way if you want them. i will cut you a deal on the dethatcher and ups can ship it.

2fatguyslawncare
02-24-2008, 06:21 PM
If your going to be doing lawn restorations your going to need the following.

de-thatcher - optional
aerater
seeder
tiller - rear tine and front tine
broadcast spreader
soil test kit

and a book that I have found to be very useful the Ortho home gardners problem solver

Lawnpro, thanks for the information. I did forget the Tiller, but my partner didnt. It is on the list. Why front and rear tine?

Just ordered the book, thanks.

Leroy

Whitey4
02-24-2008, 06:29 PM
In our area... Both coastal and inland there has been a huge boom in construction over the last 5-10 years (Like everywhere else....) The majority of this has been new construction, in new subdivisions. That being said the terrain and size of the properties are mainly residential .75 - 1.5 acre.



Interesting, never considered a hydro seeder much more then to discuss it briefly.

We do have a business plan, a marketing plan and have given the customer base a lot of thought. Who would start a business without these? Plenty I suppose...

We also have relationships with some mowing services who do not offer aeration, seeding or dethatching. We did a lot of research, used our business experiences and opened our eyes. There is a niche in our area to be filled for sure.

I appreciate your thoughts and comments.

So... assuming (what more can you do?) that we have a plan, a target customer base and knowledge of our region what do you think of the equipment list? Any ideas what the real cost of a hydro seeder is?

Thanks!

Excellent! Someone that has a freakin business plan! One that was actually researched! You would be amazed at how many don't. New construction, and the people that develop real estate have a reputation for being VERY cheap! Keep that in mind when working with real estate contractors and developers.

Hydro seeders can be rented, and in my area, they are reasonable and available. Great for municipal right of way stuff, hills on roadsides, that sort of thing. I suggest finding a company that rents them, look at the rental inventory, and have a truck that can handle them. Some are skid units for the back of a pickup, some are heavy trailer units.

Hydro seeding is often a fast and inexpensive way to go for new housing development bids. The system depending on what materials you would spray, can be both a weed seed barrier, spiked with Tupersan (are you licensed for pesticides?) for crabgrass prevention while allowing grass seed to germinate, and it also works as something of a moisture barrier, keeping moisture on the seed. be very careful what you use in the mix. Find a good seed supplier that you trust that also rents hydro seeders. That guy, whoever it is, will be almost a partner in the business plan you describe. you would likely get your starter fert from him too, and put it all in the mix.

Having a network of LCO's to sub through is great. I hope you found what I've posted helpful, but I am an LCO that does apps. I only use aerators and over seeders on small developed properties. A very different business than the one you describe. Few new seeding or complete renovations for me. I use futerra rolls. My properties can't justify using hydro seeders, too small.

My best advice I think I've already given... find a good seed guy that rents hydros. The more business you get, the more he gets to sell to you. Especially being local, his advice is something I would seek out for equipment recommendations too.

Good luck!

lawnpro724
02-24-2008, 06:47 PM
Lawnpro, thanks for the information. I did forget the Tiller, but my partner didnt. It is on the list. Why front and rear tine?

Just ordered the book, thanks.

Leroy

Rear tine tillers are great for breaking ground and larger areas but front tine tillers are good for tight areas where a rear tine tiller can't get around as good.

lopomon
02-25-2008, 04:37 AM
im sorry, but thats a terrible business name. think to yourself, f you were in a customers positions, not knowing anything about a company, looking through the phone book, would you want "2 fat guys lawn care"?

topsites
02-25-2008, 05:13 AM
im sorry, but thats a terrible business name. think to yourself, f you were in a customers positions, not knowing anything about a company, looking through the phone book, would you want "2 fat guys lawn care"?

From the sound of things this is at least as good as the 16-year old who just got an inheritance wants a Corvette.
You know, kid walks into the Chevrolet dealership talking smack I mean you can about see the employees there knocking over furniture in their rush to get at this one...

See, the sick of it is I somehow wonder if they'll even be a tee to the wiser afterwards.
Like, the kid's vette might last a week, but the money's gone and I'm not sure which is sicker.
The kid's foolishness, or the other side's vulture-like behavior.

Because it temps more and more, every day, to just let stuff like this go and sit back and watch, now there's fun to be had.
Isn't it our job, as business owners, to prevent a customer or anyone else to make a total fool of themselves?
Or do we, when a customer calls with an idiotic request just take the money and run?

In the end I think the latter has far reaching implications and side effects I don't want, but that's just me.

topsites
02-25-2008, 05:27 AM
ack it cut me off...

Honestly speaking one could forgive the kid, he didn't know any better, right?
Yeah, but how about the other end, who out of the group stands up and says whoa boy slow down a minute here.
Because who out of that bunch is going to stand up in court for the kid when he has to answer for charges of reckless driving?
Nobody will, and that's the problem.

You know, if you're a car dealer, doesn't matter if he's got the money, he ain't ready for it, right or wrong?
Now what's the job of a dealer, is it to take that customer's money?
The kid ain't never been behind the wheel but how many a dealer would just sell one of the world's fastest most powerful automobiles without second thought, does anyone see the problem with this?
Or, is it the dealer's job to make sure first he's got a solid match for a proud Corvette owner?

Yes of course it helps if they have the money, but...

In my book it ain't just a matter of having money, it is a matter of right and wrong too, but knowledge and experience and all of these things together, either you're ready for it or you're not... And if they ain't ready this is just asking for trouble, isn't it?

Right, I ain't no better than nobody else now lol this is just one or two little things I learned the hard way, so you two fat guys might want to slow down some before you hurt yourselves.

2fatguyslawncare
02-25-2008, 06:42 AM
im sorry, but thats a terrible business name. think to yourself, f you were in a customers positions, not knowing anything about a company, looking through the phone book, would you want "2 fat guys lawn care"?

No need to apologize, I was not asking for comments on our name. We chose this name for a few reasons. *WE* like it, and we feel as though it is not only be eye catching, it is FIRST in the phone book listings.

The logo is great and the reception from people so far has been great. Not the advice I am looking for though so thanks but no need to waste a thread on it.

2fatguyslawncare
02-25-2008, 08:45 AM
Ok... Thanks guys... now that I have had a coffee and some time to think, I have done just that.... thought. I like our logo, but we can still keep the logo and accomplish the yellow pages position we were looking at.

I value most of what people on here say, there seem to be a lot of intelligent people who can really articulate themselves so I need to take that advice into account. This *IS* the last week I can make changes to advertising so now I will have to give some thought...

My first new thought is - 2nd Chance Lawn Care and Restoration. I am looking into the hydro seed options and tillers.

Leroy

lawnpro724
02-25-2008, 01:49 PM
Ok... Thanks guys... now that I have had a coffee and some time to think, I have done just that.... thought. I like our logo, but we can still keep the logo and accomplish the yellow pages position we were looking at.

I value most of what people on here say, there seem to be a lot of intelligent people who can really articulate themselves so I need to take that advice into account. This *IS* the last week I can make changes to advertising so now I will have to give some thought...

My first new thought is - 2nd Chance Lawn Care and Restoration. I am looking into the hydro seed options and tillers.

Leroy

How about "Big boys lawn restoration & mowing" ? Don't get down on some of the advice people give on this site. Do your research and purchase the equipment you need to do the job right. Good Luck.

2fatguyslawncare
02-25-2008, 02:14 PM
How about "Big boys lawn restoration & mowing" ? Don't get down on some of the advice people give on this site. Do your research and purchase the equipment you need to do the job right. Good Luck.

Thanks for the words of encouragement. And, to be honest... I think I should stick with the name. There is not nearly the competition around here and like you said, getting the right equipment and doing the job right is our goal. If we find we are not getting any business other then referrals we will revisit, but for now I feel as though we should move forward and stick to the plan we have invested 100's of hours developing.

I do look forward though to using lawnsite.com to solve technical/operations problems in the future!

Leroy

hackitdown
02-25-2008, 04:26 PM
Leroy...5 years ago, I had ZERO customers. I went out and bought all new equipment...mowers, trimmers, trailer, blowers, etc. I used my newish Toyota pickup. I spent gobs of cash on advertising and signage. If I had asked the good folks on this site if I was on the right track, I would have been verbally strung up and whipped.

I had the cash, decided to spend it, and I have stuck with it. I am still humming along, making a couple of bucks, and enjoying my business. Since then I have upgraded equipment, bought new trucks, bought backup equipment, and so on based on the money I have earned. I am small, but making money.

In the grand scheme of things, if risking an investment of a few thousand dollars to buy equipment isn't going to send you to the poor farm, then do it. You can always sell the stuff if you decide to quit. Go for it.

BTW, aeration/seeding and de-thatching in New England is excellent $$. It probably represents 25% of my business.

2fatguyslawncare
02-25-2008, 04:29 PM
Leroy...5 years ago, I had ZERO customers. I went out and bought all new equipment...mowers, trimmers, trailer, blowers, etc. I used my newish Toyota pickup. I spent gobs of cash on advertising and signage. If I had asked the good folks on this site if I was on the right track, I would have been verbally strung up and whipped.

I had the cash, decided to spend it, and I have stuck with it. I am still humming along, making a couple of bucks, and enjoying my business. Since then I have upgraded equipment, bought new trucks, bought backup equipment, and so on based on the money I have earned. I am small, but making money.

In the grand scheme of things, if risking an investment of a few thousand dollars to buy equipment isn't going to send you to the poor farm, then do it. You can always sell the stuff if you decide to quit. Go for it.

I like your story. I think we will do fine, if not... we will have some cool equipment, nice lawns and another experience behind us. We are pretty dedicated guys though, and professionally and personally we have accomplished some pretty cool things so I am looking forward to this new adventure. And your right, it is not a ton of money to get started and I have already had a lot of interest with about 32 inches of snow on the ground.

Thanks for sharing!

Leroy

kleankutslawn
02-25-2008, 10:32 PM
i wish u luck!keep your heads up&i respect you guys on the way you except critisizm

2fatguyslawncare
02-29-2008, 11:01 AM
and a book that I have found to be very useful the Ortho home gardners problem solver

I got the book yesterday, AWESOME book. Thank you very much!

Leroy

Weekes
02-29-2008, 12:52 PM
Either someone had a bad experience with losing a Vette when he was young or he hates to see new competition. Enjoy the business, your reasons for getting in are well defined. And they don't show the desperation or unthoughtful planning that most have when they enter.

As for the name this business is word of mouth, I grow my business every year without a yellow pages ad; or even much advertising. If people like your reputation they will pay you for services no matter your name. Hey I eat at Fudruckers and that is a horrible name for a restraunt.

Good Luck

2fatguyslawncare
04-14-2008, 09:55 PM
im sorry, but thats a terrible business name. think to yourself, f you were in a customers positions, not knowing anything about a company, looking through the phone book, would you want "2 fat guys lawn care"?


For what it's worth, our phone is ringing off the hook - the number one reason? People love our name and logo. Being professional and understanding customer service has landed us all of the jobs we bid on and quality work is getting us referrals already but it is our name and logo that got us on the phones with our customers.

Thanks for all of the advice you guys have given. We have what I feel to be good equipment and a good plan... the only thing I would have done differently. Started studying for my applicators license back in the winter, but I am two chapters away from sending in for an exam date so no big loss I guess.

Leroy