View Full Version : One Man Lawn Care

One Man Lawn Care
02-16-2009, 03:31 AM
Hey everyone I just wanna start by saying im glad I joined the site.

Im 17 From Georgia and love landscaping I dont know everything there is to know but im working my way there.I been trying to get a job for about a year and tried everywhere with no luck so since I love landscaping and have been doing it for a few years now I've decieded to take to the next level and make it my job and my own company.The way I came up with the name is well it's going to be just me no one else.Im not looking to make alot of money my 1st year I know it takes time to get it built up.Im starting in my Subdivision due to I wont be driving for another 2 months but yeah I just wanted to introduce myself and stuff like that.If you have any tips or anything post them up im open to any new tips or ideas.

Chris Durham

02-16-2009, 08:58 AM
Welcome to Lawnsite...Good Luck!

One Man Lawn Care
02-18-2009, 03:40 PM
Im in need of a little help im starting out doing lawns at 25 for front and 50 for a full and raking will 15 front and 30 for a full is that a bad price or what Im using a push mower and rake its all dont manually pleaselet me know Thank..Chris Durham

One Man Lawn Care
02-19-2009, 01:50 AM
can any one help or anything

02-19-2009, 10:06 AM
Man, you're more expensive than I am...lol! My minimum is $30 bucks and that includes front and back. If the yards are 1/4 to 1/2 acre in a regular subdivision, I say thats to high, especially in the economic times. Also, are you only mow and blow? If so, your services are lower thus lower cost. I think you would be good with 35 bucks to start, and include backyard in service, instead of adding it on as extra. But thats with me just guessing by what you said, IF you can get those prices, then more power to you.

02-19-2009, 05:14 PM
i just started doing almost the same thing that your doing. no landscape company is going to hire a 17 year old for insurance purposes or becasue they think you will be irresponsible (thats what its like around my area) but good for you i also start my own buisness. I advice you to buy a trimmer/weedwacker what ever you call it. It doesnt need to be real expensive. Buy a homeowner one for now it will last for at least a year till you get enough money to buy a better commercial one. Plus you should also look into offering more services you will make more money. Best of Luck

One Man Lawn Care
02-19-2009, 06:43 PM
I've been adding a few things.I do offer weed eating and some other stuff as well.The yards im working with are about an acre big prices do vary as ive stated in the flyers ill be passing out here in a few days but im trying to get everything settled before I start passing them out.Thanks.Chris Durham

PAR Lawn
02-25-2009, 09:36 PM
Hi, next month is the time to start over-seeding and fert. Big money maker there my friend. I charge 5 bucks a bag for fert. and the cost of the seed. Quick way to get some fast cash together for the summer months and start your business off smooth.
I'm a one man show too and it's great when all you have to rely on is you. So make the best of this next month by putting out flyers now for the extras to come. See if your Dad of a friend could help you out in picking up the fert. & seed for you and have them drop it where you need it to go, and by this time next year you'll be driving a new truck if you keep up the level of service. People need to be reminded that it's time to seed and feed. You do that and they'll be good customers for life if they see you have their best interests at heart.....Gr8 success is up to you.! Have a great week!

02-25-2009, 09:57 PM
I find a good money maker is aerating i do a ton of it. I bought a machine last year and paid for it in like 2 weeks. you just have to be out on the streets alot and the $$$$ rolls in

02-25-2009, 09:58 PM
fert license?

02-25-2009, 10:08 PM
in canada you need a sprayers licenses..but not to aerate.:canadaflag:

02-25-2009, 10:11 PM
i was talking to the 14 year old kid.....kinda hard to get a license.

PAR Lawn
02-25-2009, 10:25 PM
As long as you have a business License in the city you're working in, there should not be a problem. That Aerating gig the hot ticket too.

One Man Lawn Care
02-26-2009, 06:06 PM
well to start im not 14 im 17 and I dont know if we have to a license i still have some stuff I have to look into so ill find out soon thanks everyone for putting in ideas keep'em coming ill hopfully beable to get pictures of my work this year so everyone can see.Thanks.Chris Durham

02-26-2009, 06:38 PM
In Georgia you do not need a license to use fertilizer provided it does not contain a herbicde (i.e. Weed and Feed). For that you must pass the state exam for pesticide in the Turf and Ornamental along with the General section.

One Man Lawn Care
02-27-2009, 12:49 AM
Thanks JP where in georgia you from

One Man Lawn Care
03-13-2009, 12:13 AM
hey everyone its been a while since i was on
how is everyone

03-13-2009, 04:20 AM
I started at a young age walking to my yards, and only had a weedeater and a toro. I didn't have a blower so I would run the toro along the sidewalks to blow (or sweep). Keep things as close as you can.

Fliers are your best ally. Mention that you are young and are willing to undercut bigger companies as tactfully and "sweet and innocent" sounding as possible. Shouldn't be hard since you are just 17. My first fliers advertised helping me buy my first car and $15 a yard. Undercutting others is extremely easy since you have little to no overhead. These customers will stay with you as you grow and increase in price if they like you and you develop a good relationship with them. To a point, they will enjoy watching you grow from a kid pushing a lawn mower to a full service landscape entrepreneur. The key (that's why I said "to a point") is to keep those customers on your "A" list. These are the people that will later give you awesome references. Trust me references are much better than getting work from advertisement. It puts you at a higher standard before you even go to give them an estimate.

Don't be afraid to work for cheap, but don't screw yourself. You are trying to make money. Don't worry about alot of the paperwork now (except for keeping a strict scheduling book, always return calls promptly). You are only 17 and won't be making alot of money your first year out. Don't get me wrong. Paying taxes is something we all have to do, but skirting under the radar a little at 17 is not something the IRS is going to crucify your for. Look at your first couple of years as a learning experience until you decide really make it a company and get a dba, sole proprietorship, or LLC. However, If you do start making alot of money quickly. Don't take your time on doing all this, and rise your prices accordingly to cover the expense. Most of your customers will be happy you are doing well for yourself. YOU DO NOT WANT TO GET INVOLVED WITH THE IRS!! I know a few people who have and it's not something you want on your back, but if your just the neighborhood lawn boy don't worry about it a whole lot.

Change of Subject, estimating is a fine art. Don't quote more than a major landscaping company would, but don't screw yourself. I tend to think low, so I go by this: whatever your intitial thought is, think just a hair higher. Your lack of overhead is where you will make most of your money. Try to bring in at least $20 or more an hour for all the work you do (include walking time, etc). Remember your putting your personally safety (power equipment is dangerous), and your expensive equipment on the line.

Speaking of, don't do nasty yards unless your getting paid for it. If there's a bunch of trash, etc. Tell them to call you later when it's clean or charge accordingly for the clean up. I've torn up too many mowers with crappy yards that didn't pay me enough. Don't fall into that trap.

Don't be shy. Be personable and genuine. Don't ever lie to people, and always crack a smile. If your having a hard day don't show it. Your T-shirt will show it plenty, and when people see a smile behind a dirt covered face of a young man they are usually more than happy to hand you some $$. On the same note, pay attention to your customers, and talk for a small amount of time before you go. However, don't let them try to talk to you for an hour or want you to eat lunch with them when you have more work to do. You will find alot of your business will be older people who just can't do their yard work any more. All of them want to talk. That's fine. Pay them some attention, but don't turn into their long time friend or you will never get anything done on the days when you do their lawn.

If you wear contacts, get some glasses or shades. If you don't then get some goggles or shades, preferably wrap arounds. I went to the optomitrist the other day thinking my prescription had changed, but low and behold I have eye damage from getting hit in the eye with dirt, rocks, etc. I will never get that vision back, now.

Get to know your local dealer. He has the ability to make/break your overhead.

Enjoy your work. You already said you do, but that gets alot harder when your doing 7 or 8 yards in a day by yourself in July when it's hot as hell. Get an MP3 player and rock out while your working. If ever discouraged, think about your days at school and how crappy it would be to sit behind a desk all day for half of the money you'll be making 5 years from now (when all your friends that are in college get done).

That being said. Try to stay in school. Knowledge is power. (cliche but true) I have an associates in business, and it has really helped me learn how to run my business. I'm still in college pursuing my bachelors in entrepreneurship. There also might be several classes you can take to learn more about the trade. (horticulture, arbological, master gardner) Go grab your local community colleges catalog and take a look. (see my thread on schooling in Green Industry) Also, most Junior colleges offer small engine classes. Take one and you'll save a ton on maintenance and repairs.

Having the color green around you has been proven to help fight depression. What better occupation could anyone have.

Good Luck.

PS drop me a line if you ever have any weird questions

03-13-2009, 01:11 PM
fert licence is a waste of time and money,been doing fert applications for 9 years and never been asked if i have a licence.i'll get on the day im asked by someone who matters

One Man Lawn Care
07-30-2009, 03:00 AM
Hey guys I havent been on much I was caught up in school and everything but its my last year of school so im looking to get this company goin and off the ground. How has everyone been