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vlasich3090
06-18-2008, 12:40 PM
I've been thinking of starting a lawn care company for a little while and I'm finally deciding to do so. It is myself and 2 other friends we have 2 regular walk behind push mowers a weed whacker and edger. We have a van for transportation and currently trying to get clients. Looking to charge between $25-40 per lawn depending on size/time/work etc. Just wondering if this seems like a descent start up for a company? Keep in mind I'm just a senior in high school. Also I was wondering if I should get a waiver form for people to sign so if something is damaged we'll pay for it but they can't sue us, and also if I should write up a contract as well? And maybe how to do the billing, I was thinking Biweekly, and I'm using QuickBooks Premium.

MJS
06-18-2008, 02:33 PM
I've been thinking of starting a lawn care company for a little while and I'm finally deciding to do so. It is myself and 2 other friends we have 2 regular walk behind push mowers a weed whacker and edger. We have a van for transportation and currently trying to get clients. Looking to charge between $25-40 per lawn depending on size/time/work etc. Just wondering if this seems like a descent start up for a company? Keep in mind I'm just a senior in high school. Also I was wondering if I should get a waiver form for people to sign so if something is damaged we'll pay for it but they can't sue us, and also if I should write up a contract as well? And maybe how to do the billing, I was thinking Biweekly, and I'm using QuickBooks Premium.

Welcome to Lawnsite :weightlifter:

Your post raises a few questions for me, though. . .

It's been my experience that working for/with friends usually/mostly doesn't work. I hope it will for you, but what happens when one guy quits, or both of your partners? You need to have a plan if this ever happened.

I'm not sure that a waiver will protect you if you break something/hurt somebody. Insurance is a good thing to have in this business. . .

If you don't already have Quickbooks, don't spend the money for premium, just get basic, it'll do what you need with a startup business, and you will have saved yourself some cash.

Yes, it sounds like a good plan overall, you're willing to work, that's good, it doesn't sound like you're going to be low balling very much, that's even better.

Best of luck :usflag:

Anybody else?

DA Quality Lawn & YS
06-18-2008, 02:56 PM
Agree with MJS - watch the 'working with friends' thing. If possible, have everyone sign an Agreement that spells out who is responsible for what, and how the profits and expenses are divided.

A definite must is at least General Liability insurance. You shoot a rock out and hit a kid walking by with sue-happy parents and you would have trouble.

Also, come up with some sort of brief business plan. How you want your operation to look (what you want to do), how many customers you want, gross sales, profit, expenses, marketing costs, etc. Does not have to be fancy, you just need to have some direction.

Too much other stuff to type here - hope this helps.

MowHouston
06-18-2008, 03:38 PM
I third the comment about your waiver. You need to get general liability insurance. Even if your waiver does hold place in the law, I would -at least- give you a strange look if you gave a waiver to me. I'd probably tell you nevermind though and find someone else. It seems like a good idea from you but from a customer, they arent going to like it.

Dont work with your friend, search "partner" on these forums and you'll see plenty of horror stories. It probably isnt going to work my friend. Sorry.

You should check out LMS (www.landscapemanagementsystem.com) for your billing. I'm not sure what you want to do with Quickbooks, but unless you have some sort of merchant account along with Quickbooks, all you're really doing is a bunch of record keeping. LMS can keep track of your income/expenses as well as allow your customers to pay online.

Your equipment is fine, just do good work and your customers should be satisfied.

dura to the max
06-18-2008, 04:09 PM
i 3rd (or maybe it's 4th) the thing about friends. bad idea. gl is needed. your equipment is fine for startup. one big problem i see that hasnt been mentioned is the fact that you want to use 3 people. you probably ought to start solo, then get help as you gain more yards. if you have 3 guys and 5 yards at an average of $30/yard, you have $150 gross. take out insurance, fuel, materials (blades, trimmer line, etc...) and split that between 3 guys, you might as well flip burgers and work inside in the AC.

dura to the max
06-18-2008, 04:10 PM
by he way, i use word/excel for billing once more per month, at the end of the cutting period.

vlasich3090
06-18-2008, 04:12 PM
Thanks for all the input guys appreciate it. I'll definately look into liability insurance and I know working with friends can be bad but we do have a written agreement and set arrangements on who does what and so forth. Anything else you think would be valuable to know keep the comments coming!

Lawn-Sharks
06-18-2008, 04:24 PM
Good Luck!:usflag:

vlasich3090
06-18-2008, 04:26 PM
One quick question about the liability insurance. What can I expect to see quotes around for this insurance. Just to get a ballpark figure for when I look in case prices seem really high.

punt66
06-18-2008, 04:50 PM
Do not go into business with friends! Plus you dont need help to mow lawns. 3 people sharing profits? You will not make it that way.

LawnPro19
06-18-2008, 05:34 PM
i agree with punt and everyone else... i hate to bring down your spirits but just starting out you cant expect to make it when ur splitting profits three ways.. the price of gas is to expensive for that.. my advice is start everything by urself build up some clients then maybe hire your friends back as employees (which seldom works). you may have made agreements with these guys but i have a feeling there will be three chiefs and no indians... IMO work as long as you can solo, but however goodluck in whatever direction you go... and definately get insured and if these guys are going to be workin for you you need to check into workers comp. especially if u plan on doing anything commercial.. GOODLUCK

mowerbrad
06-18-2008, 05:59 PM
I would definately not be working with 2 other people in a start-up business. 3 people mowing residential lawns is 1 too many people. You should have one mowing and one trimming. If you want to avoid conflict with your friends I would make the business mine and then hire one of your friends. I would never make my customers sign waivers, only contracts. General Liability is a must, if you don't have it you could have a big problem if something happens. Best of luck to you.