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Simplecut20
03-10-2008, 05:57 PM
Hello all, I would like start by thanking all of the people who give advice. It’s a huge help.

I plan on opening a lawn cutting business in spring of 2009. I have $15,000 and I am up in the air with weather or not I should spend $12,000 on a good truck, marketing, equipment and other quality stuff. Or spend as little money as possible for ok equipment and see if the business can self propel it’s self (No pun intended). Any ideas or tips would be welcomed. Thank you for reading my post.

P.S. How hard is the the tax side of this business.

BeautifulBlooms
03-10-2008, 07:53 PM
My advice, finance as little as possible especially initially. Go out in the fall of 2008advertising for your services for next year. Go door to door and introduce yourself to people. It may take you longer but you are more likely to close the deals if you meet them in person. Then if you get some level of committment from people in the fall you can think about going out and buying the appropriate equipment. I only suggest you match all your properties so that you only need one main mower, and dont need specialty mowers. Get something that will fit through 3' gates if necessary, or avoid all gated properties and go for a big mower that will make you efficient. If you get any response in the fall then you can consider what equipment you might need. Get yourself a pickup, you may be able to finance that through a dealer pretty low %, which would be ok because its value will hold, wheras other equipment will not hold its value as well. Advertise heavily in the spring also, hitting the same neighborhoods over and over and over. They need to recognize your name in order to think about using your services, eand if you have already gone and met them in person you will be one step ahead of the competition. Keep your properties close at first meaning stay within a 10 mile radius if at all possible. This efficiency will also make you more profitable. I dont know how feasible it is to start a full time mowing company from scratch because that is not the main focus of our business (we added mowing after 2 years of landscape maint. and after 7 years of landscape design so we already had a large customer base). Any questions feel free to PM me. Best of luck

Simplecut20
03-10-2008, 09:24 PM
Wow, thanks for the great reply. I really appreciate the time you spent on it. I will definitly contact you if I have any more questions. Thank you very much.:usflag:

lifetree
03-10-2008, 10:31 PM
Start with used equipment and upgrade after your first year or two in business, that way you'll know whether you can afford to get new equipment ... in other words, established client base, steady income stream, etc. !!

Simplecut20
03-10-2008, 10:42 PM
Thanks:weightlifter:

Carolina Cuts
03-10-2008, 10:50 PM
i have a bit of a problem.... most likely I'd fly out to Vegas, get an escort and let her drop $10 g's on Black... no Red... Black.... ya see? that's why I'd let her drop the cash.... and pray to the money God's.... Then I'd come home, wishin' and hoping I still had all that money to buy some equipment instead of blowing it all for the wrong reasons.

So, if you wanna be smart.... yea, buy some handhelds new. Blower, trimmer, edger. Rakes, shovels, pitchforks, wheelbarrows...etc.... The mower, I'd most likely buy used... but in good shape of course. If you buy new, it'll cost ya big bucks... and just like cars, they depreciate BIGTIME soon as you take em' off the showroom floor. So yea, buy someone elses junk and learn the maintenance 'thing'.

A new truck? Yikes, there goes all your dough.... you're on your own with this one. A used truck could either make ya or break ya.... depending on how much you wanna spend. BUT, before you doing anything.... get some customers.

G'luck to ya and stay outta Vegas...

jdogg399
03-10-2008, 10:58 PM
i would get a nice used ztr and walk behind wait til winter or look for the deals buy handhelds new never liked buying them used you got a truck or need one its best to get good equipment so not always at the shop fixing

capetan
03-10-2008, 11:50 PM
1. DON'T BUY A TRUCK
2. put no money down and finance the truck ( assuming you have decent credit)
3. OKAY, know you have 15,000 to spend on equipment
4. buy a trailer
5. get decent backpack blower
6 good trimmer
7. pole trimmer
8. chainsaw
9. hedge and bush trimmer
10. a small 21" push mower
11. maybe 36" or 48" walk behind
12. something bigger if necessary
you could drop over 10,000 on just the mower
13. maybe a pole chainsaw trimmer
14. manual labor tools

P.Services
03-11-2008, 12:01 AM
are you the one that called me awhile ago??

packey
03-11-2008, 12:04 AM
wow 15k to start lucky sucker. Hey you can find a decent truck that will haul your equipment I have seen some faily good older trucks for 3000-5000 buy you some good had tools and a compressor and learn how to use them so you are not hauling stuff to the shop. I would find good used mowing equipment start with what you know mowing and trimming. as you get better at what you do and increase customers look at building up what you offer and equipment list.

Whitey4
03-11-2008, 12:14 AM
So, you have a budget. Now, you need a business plan.

Don't just buy equipment and hope it turns out to be the right stuff for your customer base, that is backasswards.

Decide what kind of business it will be. Small residentials? Big residentials? Commercial accounts? Gated yards? Athletic fields? Will you apply fertilizer... do you know enough to do that? Will you get certified to apply pesticides?

FIRST, you MUST answer these questions. If you are going for high income large residentials, then you might have to worry about image a lillte more. Go for more middle class smaller residentials, not so much. You can't use a 32" WB on a commercial account. You can't use a 60" ZTR on a gated backyard.

Not only that, your target customer base should drive not only your equipment purchases, but how and where you advertise as well. Do you want a tight route, or not?

Do you want to be a mow and blow, or do you want installations?

My suggestion is to think this out a whole lot.... then write a business plan. That plan should drive every decision you make. The plan can change... but you have to start with a plan.

Turf Commando
03-11-2008, 02:06 AM
I'm curious to why you plan to start in 2009 vs 2008...?
You don't need loads of money or equipment to make it work..!
(Things you need to begin with)
1)Truck
2)Trailer
3) Used wb (optional)
4) Push mower
5) Trimmer
6) blower
7)Rakes and shovels

Start small, work yourself up, never go into debt, many lawn services fold like card tables, cause they failed to plan...Good luck, whatever you do...Joe

Simplecut20
03-11-2008, 04:24 PM
Great replies, I will take all of them into consideration.

jds720
03-11-2008, 05:01 PM
I spent 3grand on what i have listed. + a pre-built website. and prob another grand in misc biz related things. Everything I bought was used only a few times. so the deals are out there

jds720
03-11-2008, 05:02 PM
Exept the rodeo I owe wayy to much to get out of it!

P.Services
03-12-2008, 09:33 PM
check out the link to my equipment on page 10 and 11 you might want to take a look at the scags i have for sale.

MOWEMJEFF
03-12-2008, 10:29 PM
1. DON'T BUY A TRUCK
2. put no money down and finance the truck ( assuming you have decent credit)
3. OKAY, know you have 15,000 to spend on equipment
4. buy a trailer
5. get decent backpack blower
6 good trimmer
7. pole trimmer
8. chainsaw
9. hedge and bush trimmer
10. a small 21" push mower
11. maybe 36" or 48" walk behind
12. something bigger if necessary
you could drop over 10,000 on just the mower
13. maybe a pole chainsaw trimmer
14. manual labor tools

Couldn't agree more. Minus the something bigger you could have all of that for $6-7k buying commercial around 5k you get a used walk behind. Then you still have 7-8 buy a used ztr maybe a little advertising and try to save at least 1k.

mock
03-12-2008, 10:51 PM
start small work your way up, learn your equipment so it spend's less time in a shop. Shop are real down fall for people they can realy stick it to you for thing's. the more you learn the better you'll make it. good luck