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lawnguy996
08-11-2008, 08:27 PM
Me and my friend are planning on starting a lawn care buisness in southeast Michigan. Does anyone have any advice like with equipment or anything that you could give us?? Any would be GREATLY appreciated.:)
Thanks in advace
-lawnguy996-

dfklawn
08-12-2008, 12:00 AM
i prefer hustler mini z 52" 23hp. its small enough for my subdivisions and big enough for my 4 acre yards. i also have two 60" hustlers but the 52 is a GREAT base mower in my opin. i just switched from echo to stihl after 10 year of loyalty.

dura to the max
08-12-2008, 12:30 AM
equipment brand is sort of a ford/chevy question. get good commercial grade equipment that has good dealer support. most equipment is built to an industry standard, however some mowers do better in certain areas than others.

dfklawn
08-12-2008, 12:57 AM
my dealer carries, hustler, grasshopper, bunton, bobcat, snapper,skagg,simplicity,aerens, gravely,redhawk,he will tell you pro and con about all of them... his fav is hustler also..controls is the bid difference,.,.most have a variety of motor optionscomparable to eachother

ncls
08-12-2008, 04:21 AM
Your equipment needs to match your customers lawns. Are you doing 5 acre jobs? Commercial 30 acre jobs? 1/4 acre postage stamp lawns?

The worst thing you can do is buy the equipment before you get the work. If you bid a 10 acre job, and you only have a 48 walk behind, you're losing money and don't even know it.

Anyone can cut grass. It takes experience to run a business.

You and your friend should go work for different landscapers. Just for one year. Absorb all you can. Then, after one year, if you both are sreious, go for it.

Runner
08-12-2008, 08:04 AM
First word of advice?.....Get rid of the "and my friend" in your business formulation. This is one of the best words you will ever read or here, and goes way deeper than you know.

AI Inc
08-12-2008, 08:09 AM
First word of advice?.....Get rid of the "and my friend" in your business formulation. This is one of the best words you will ever read or here, and goes way deeper than you know.

Without a doubt, by the time ya split profits in this industry , you both will just be making a paycheck.

AJ Lawnscapes
08-12-2008, 09:10 AM
First word of advice?.....Get rid of the "and my friend" in your business formulation. This is one of the best words you will ever read or here, and goes way deeper than you know.

So wish I would have read this when I started. What a PITA it's been for both of us. Great fella, but he's not able to devote his time as much as I am.

lawnguy996
08-12-2008, 11:33 AM
thanks for every thing guys. We are looking at all John Deere products. We were thinking on starting out with the JD LA 105 and LA 135LE a 21" push mower and a JD trimmer w/ blower and edger attachments :-)

jimithing31
08-13-2008, 08:29 PM
thanks for every thing guys. We are looking at all John Deere products. We were thinking on starting out with the JD LA 105 and LA 135LE a 21" push mower and a JD trimmer w/ blower and edger attachments :-)

And if you are looking to get into a 50/50 partnership using SLOW residential grade equipment you are REALLY in for a rude awakening. Hope you have a rich uncle that is going to be feeding you.

hackitdown
08-14-2008, 07:54 AM
You will not make money with a partner. And you may lose a friend.

ALC-GregH
08-14-2008, 10:43 AM
I'm experiencing this first hand. I have a friend that after a few months of talking, we were going to open a lawn business. He kept dragging his feet as he was already working and has a good job. Now that I made the move to open my OWN business, he's trying to work against me. I've known him all my life and you'd think being he is already working (good union job) that he would refer people to me to help me get started. NO, he bought a bunch of used mowers and is doing a few under the table. When I asked for some help landing some mowing accounts, he said, your kidding right? I'm opening my OWN lawn mowing service to make money, why should I give the work to you? Now I've helped him do work around his house, you name it, I've helped him do it. I've decided to stop doing ANYTHING for him. The first time I didn't help him, he asked if I would grab something while he was holding something heavy, I laughed at him. He got pissed off because of it. I then told him that I'm done helping ANYONE that it's all for me, phuck the rest. It's a shame, 40+ years of friendship or so I thought, out the window. Anymore, I'll laugh at him when he has problems just to add fuel to the fire. :D

All_Toro_4ME
08-14-2008, 12:54 PM
Yes, thats very unfortunate Alc. It seems our friends are only friends until business and money enter the equation. Once that happens, its a dog eat dog world. When I first started, I had my "friend" help me as well. He used all of my equipment on the accounts that I had obtained to help. He insisted to get paid 50/50 per yard. He eventually got some cheap equipment from Wal-Mart and started doing the accts a day or so earlier of normal schedule, leaving me on the fence. The customers paid him 100% of what the acct was worth. If there's anything I've learned in this business or any other, thats to stay clear of friends and family in business and you certaintly live and learn.

willjustin
08-14-2008, 01:14 PM
I have own 3 family/friends operating businesses. (one being commercial landcape) The first thing you need to do is lay the rules out up front. Make all of them sign non-disclosure/non-compete agreements. I know there are ways around these but most people will back off when they know legal actions may be involved. Always remember and tell you "partners", family, friends when it comes to business that all stops the minute your on the job.

ALC-GregH
08-14-2008, 01:25 PM
this guy has alot of equipment/toys. I'm getting in the mindset that when I DO go to his place, I play on his stuff and try to run the living piss out of it. LOL He can't even keep up on his own grass between working his union job, trying to get projects done around the house and now he's trying to mow grass for a Realtor on the side. He's "on call" for weeks on end and has to drop whatever it is he's doing to respond to the call. He can't use the company truck to pull the trailer so he loads his van up (full size Chevy) with a 36WB, push mower, trimmer, blower, shovel and rake, trash cans and anything else he might need. Then he parks it at his work so he'll have his mowers closer to where he has to mow. He lives 30+ miles from his job and where he mows. He told me he had to leave one place when he got a call and had to drive BACK over (20+ miles) to finish it! Most of the projects at his house he has going are half done and look like crap, he leaves trash laying around and has had a few certified letters mailed to his house from the county inspector about it looking like a garbage dump! He just doesn't see it and wastes more time fooling around with a track he built to ride his fleet (12 in all) of 4wheelers on. He wastes more money buying stupid stuff that to me is a total waste of money then it sits in the weather and rusts up! He went as far to get a 1155 track loader just to move some dirt on his property to build the track. He lost more then $2000 when he went to sell it, 2 months later! He never did get to use it on his property. LOL Everytime he started it up, it had another problem. He dumped a few G's in it and then sold it 2 months later for less then he paid.

I've helped him all the time in the past because he was a single parent raising a girl (I won't go there, or will I? 7 months pregnant at 15 years old! Gives her money to leave him alone! I've seen it time and time again.) so I thought I'd help him do some of the projects he started. It's been this way for years and years, always helping him out. He has basically stabbed me in the back with this so I'm changing my ways with him. He also swears to god with filthy language on anything that doesn't go perfect. He's VERY bad at this. If he drops a bolt on the ground, no matter what, he swears and will cuss.I think god is telling me to rib him every time I hear it from him. If something doesn't go his way, I say thank god for that. He'll learn to hate me eventually. :D

sorry about the rant, it keeps eating at me.

fool32696
08-14-2008, 10:26 PM
Step 1: Drop your partner (being business partners ruins relationships)
Step 2: Buy used commercial equipment
Step 3: Wait until you complete steps 1 and 2

lawnguy996
08-27-2008, 03:34 PM
thanks guys, we will not be using slow equiptment anymore, we are looking at Z425 ez trac and a used GT 245, so they willl not be slow. We will be mowing 1 1/2 through postage stamp lawns. If there is anymore advice that would be great

jimithing31
08-27-2008, 10:12 PM
thanks guys, we will not be using slow equiptment anymore, we are looking at Z425 ez trac and a used GT 245, so they willl not be slow. We will be mowing 1 1/2 through postage stamp lawns. If there is anymore advice that would be great

Yes as said before.... Drop the friend and start on your own....

Lets break down some simple numbers.

Lets say you eventually get to 30 lawns (simple number for simple math.) And it's gonna take you awhile to get there.

Say you average $100 per lawn, per month, thats $3000. Take off $500 for gas and simple expenses now you are down to $2500. Divide that by two.

$1240 per month each thats $315 per week. Can you live off that??

Obviously there are other variables but hopefully you get the idea.

lawnwizards
08-27-2008, 10:36 PM
Me and my friend are planning on starting a lawn care buisness in southeast Michigan. Does anyone have any advice like with equipment or anything that you could give us?? Any would be GREATLY appreciated.:)
Thanks in advace
-lawnguy996-

go to college and get a degree and dont try and start a lawncare business. or if you insist, ditch the friend and hit it hard by yourself. you will thank yourself in the end.

amor4421
08-28-2008, 02:08 AM
if you insist on having your friend go into business with you, you should really think about what people have said. we don't know your friend and i think you won't know him once the first issue of money comes up. but anyway good luck and do alot of research on equipment before you buy.