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View Full Version : Start Up Advice for a New Biz


rsmith1002
08-17-2008, 05:28 PM
I used to maintain 10-12 lawns approx 20 yrs ago while in HS & college. Now after being fed up w/ corporate sales gigs for the last 15+ yrs I am ready to jump back into the biz and do something for myself for a change. Interested primarily in Lawn maintenance for residential & eventually commercial customers. Initially will be doing this solo but eventually want to take on a helper. I know its late in the season and mainly this will be for next year, however, I am in central AL so there are still several months left to at least begin picking up a few customers. What advice can you guys give me in the following areas:

What I would like to have & need: trailor, mower (ztm or wb), trimmer, blower

Equipment to buy?- (father is retired & does lawns on a pt basis so he has some equipment). Buy used or new? What is a decent amount to spend at start up w/o going into a ton of debt since at present I have 0 customers. Do I take the "Field of Dreams" approach (if you build it they will come) and buy my equip, set up my biz and then advertise? whats the best way to handle this?

Best advertising methods that are effective. What about a yellow page ad for next season?

And what about all these "start up kits" on the internet? Are they worth the $50-$60 investment?

Anything else to consider as I begin? Thanks a bunch.

mowerbrad
08-17-2008, 05:41 PM
Don't over do your set-up to start with. You can buy new or used depending on how much money you will want to spend. There are some good used mowers out there, you just have to find them. Since you are just starting I would suggest going for a wb. The wb will save you some money over the ztr. You have to consider the size of your prospective lawns before you can decide on what size mower will be best for you. A 48" wb would probably be a good choice. Though if you will be having several smaller gates to get into a 36" or 34" mower might be better. But a standard 21" push mower can solve that problem too.

As far as trimmers and blowers go, I would buy from the same company and same dealer. In any equipment purchase the dealer should be one of the deciding factors. Always buy from a good dealer, it will pay off. I do prefer stihl though over any other brand.

There are several threads that answer your questions in this forum. Just take a few minutes and search for them. Best of luck to you.

stevenf
08-17-2008, 06:54 PM
I would target the smallest yards possible with a push mower. When you upgrade your mower, thoughs small yards will be the most profitable accounts you can have( especially if more then one per street). Also, I would set a goal of 5-6 customers for this year and go after them. Thoughs will be your customers next year also if you do a good job.

STIHL GUY
08-17-2008, 07:05 PM
dont buy too much stuff in the beginning or you may end up sorry you did

browningv308
08-18-2008, 12:43 AM
learn how to budget your money

lawnkingforever
08-18-2008, 09:50 PM
When I started out, it was midseason also. Try to use your dad's eqiupment and donot buy much this year. I started out using res. equipment that I already owned for my 2 acre yard. You will have all winter figuring out what to buy and what direction you want go in.

Lawnut101
08-19-2008, 12:14 AM
I would target the smallest yards possible with a push mower. When you upgrade your mower, thoughs small yards will be the most profitable accounts you can have( especially if more then one per street). Also, I would set a goal of 5-6 customers for this year and go after them. Thoughs will be your customers next year also if you do a good job.

I would agree with this. Just make sure you don't shortchange yourself. Figure out your costs, and charge accordingly.