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matt10486
02-22-2009, 01:15 PM
Hey everyone, I am new to this site, I just came across it, I am a member on another site which in the past I have asked for help and havenít really gotten any. I have started to read some threads and now am trying my luck to see if there is anyone out there willing to help. A little about myself, I am 22, I first started out cutting a few neighbors yards back when I was 14 or so. I did that just for some extra money all through out high school, took a few college courses, worked at a funeral home for a while, tried a lot of different jobs, in the back of my mind I knew that I wanted to have my own business, my uncle recently started his own home improvement business and thatís when the bug really hit me. For the past 3 years now I have been working with a friend of mine who bought a landscaping business. For the past 5 years now I have been the groundskeeper for my churches 10 acre cemetery. I am in charge of the weekly cutting and trimming, I have to fill graves when the time comes. I donít get paid a lot for this however but it relaxes me and I have received so many compliments since I took it over, and that means a lot to me. My dad works for one of the big hospitals in my area and he comes home stressed out everyday, Saturdays he cuts his acre and a half, and he tells me all the time how much he likes cutting grass so my idea/goal would be to either start or buy a business, hire him, and take it from there. I know that itís not going to be a walk in the park, but this is all I have thought about for the past few years. I have a notebook started on things I want to do, things I have seen the guy I work for do and how I can improve from that. I donít want to come off as some snotty punk kid who thinks he can make it over night, I know you guys have busted your ass to get where you are today. All Iím asking is for some advice and some answers to my questions. So please anyone willing to help, Iím listening.... Sorry this post was so long!!!
-Matt

tradeyouraccounts
02-22-2009, 01:52 PM
HI have you done some of the basics flyers, door hangers, referral incentives, signage on vehicle and clothing. Networking with other service companies?

matt10486
02-22-2009, 01:57 PM
HI have you done some of the basics flyers, door hangers, referral incentives, signage on vehicle and clothing. Networking with other service companies?

No, I am still trying to figure out if i should start from scratch or buy an established business. I dont know with the economy and the shape that its in even if it would be smart to start a business now. When the time comes I plan on doing all of those.

Thanks.

Tommy Boy
02-22-2009, 03:07 PM
Matt, Couple of suggestions, I would have you go work on a crew with someone else for about 6 months to a year. See if you like the work and get ideas. You can't go back to their customers, but it would be great experience. See what forms they use, how do they bid.

Or start out from scratch like most of use did

Good luck

LouisianaLawnboy
02-22-2009, 03:20 PM
Don't buy an existing business as your first step. You don't have any experience. If you start out small you can learn alot from your mistakes and not have to pay for them big time like if you had a big biz.

mowerbrad
02-22-2009, 03:34 PM
You should definately start out small and work your way up. You don't want to get in over your head with buying an existing business. Get some flyers and business cards and start advertising. Try to keep your expenses limited your first year incase you decide not to continue, you won't have too much invested. You will learn as you go, there are always class you can take that can help you expand your services later on. Best of luck to you.

matt10486
02-22-2009, 04:18 PM
Get some flyers and business cards and start advertising.


What would I have to do to start up a business? How many of you use your real names for your business and how many use fictitious names? Which is best? The only reason I ask this is because I have one of those last names that I know people will butcher, so Id rather use something else. But I am still open to suggestions. Sorry if any of my questions are dumb.

LouisianaLawnboy
02-22-2009, 06:23 PM
I don't use my name at all.

matt10486
02-22-2009, 08:51 PM
I don't use my name at all.

Hows that work out for ya?

clipperslawnservice
02-22-2009, 09:56 PM
I'm just starting full time myself. Here are a couple of things i have
learned; check with city hall or the courthouse for any permits
or license you may need; try to find out what the other guys
in your area are charging;have some back up equipment. hope
this helps. :cool2:

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-22-2009, 10:03 PM
I think the best method of choosing a name is using a name that also describes your service, so people are clear of what you do, there are several variations to our trade, Lawn Care, Lawn Service, Landscape Maintenance, you get the idea, then you'll want to register your name with your states, Secretary of State office.

matt10486
02-22-2009, 11:13 PM
I'm just starting full time myself. Here are a couple of things i have
learned; check with city hall or the courthouse for any permits
or license you may need; try to find out what the other guys
in your area are charging;have some back up equipment. hope
this helps. :cool2:

Yeh thanks, if you dont mind me asking how much did you spend to start up?

matt10486
02-22-2009, 11:13 PM
I think the best method of choosing a name is using a name that also describes your service, so people are clear of what you do, there are several variations to our trade, Lawn Care, Lawn Service, Landscape Maintenance, you get the idea, then you'll want to register your name with your states, Secretary of State office.

Very true, thanks for your help!

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-22-2009, 11:22 PM
I know every state & local fees vary, but here's an example what it cost me to start up not including equipment:

Local Business License: $50/Year
Secretary of State registry: $50/Year
Business Liability Insurance: $45/Month

You know I started my business on the side while working full time, I had a Walmart lawn mower, a Shindaiwa weed eater I found at a local Pawn Shop, and a Shindaiwa Blower I bought on ebay, maybe $500 worth of equipment loaded into the back of my truck, this got me going and did the job just fine for the first few months until I could afford to buy better commercial grade equipment.

matt10486
02-22-2009, 11:38 PM
I know every state & local fees vary, but here's an example what it cost me to start up not including equipment:

Local Business License: $50/Year
Secretary of State registry: $50/Year
Business Liability Insurance: $45/Month

You know I started my business on the side while working full time, I had a Walmart lawn mower, a Shindaiwa weed eater I found at a local Pawn Shop, and a Shindaiwa Blower I bought on ebay, maybe $500 worth of equipment loaded into the back of my truck, this got me going and did the job just fine for the first few months until I could afford to buy better commercial grade equipment.

I understand, I am trying to find a job with a different Landscaping Company now so that I see how others run their businesses and plus more experience. I plan on starting out small, get my name out, save up, and then I HOPE to be able to go fulltime.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-22-2009, 11:45 PM
Yeah, that's probably the best way to do it, might be hard to hide from whom ever you work for that your starting your own business, but it can be done, trust me I did it. This is probably one the easiest part time opportunities to start, with a little patience, you'll be able build up your customer base and go full time on your own, just do the very best job in everything you do and success will follow!

matt10486
02-22-2009, 11:49 PM
Yeah, that's probably the best way to do it, might be hard to hide from whom ever you work for that your starting your own business, but it can be done, trust me I did it. This is probably one the easiest part time opportunities to start, with a little patience, you'll be able build up your customer base and go full time on your own, just do the very best job in everything you do and success will follow!

What services do you offer? Did you do a lot of advertising? If so which ways worked the best for you?

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-22-2009, 11:53 PM
What services do you offer? Did you do a lot of advertising? If so which ways worked the best for you?

I do everything associated with Landscape Maintenance, from mowing, edging, to fertilizing, planting seasonal flowers, to bark installation.

To be honest, when I started I had the best success with advertising methods that were FREE! From Craigslist to posting flyers and business cards at stores.

matt10486
02-22-2009, 11:55 PM
I do everything associated with Landscape Maintenance, from mowing, edging, to fertilizing, planting seasonal flowers, to bark installation.

To be honest, when I started I had the best success with advertising methods that were FREE! From Craigslist to posting flyers and business cards at stores.


I was thinking about getting door hangers made up. Not saying anythings wrong with the FREE methods either HAHA...

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-23-2009, 12:00 AM
Door hangers & postcards are great as long as they end up at the right properties, at the right time. I've been getting a lot of estimates lately, I think people are getting that Spring Fever, so I would say if your going to do it, get it together within the next month or so before people starting searching the phone book or elsewhere, if they have your door hanger or postcard already in front of them, who's getting the call?

There's aspects of the business you don't need to completely know to get started, but go to your local farm or co-op store and ask questions, for example what fertilizer to put on and when, and how often, and at what spreader setting, just ask questions, most of the people who work at places like this are more than willing to guide you along.

matt10486
02-23-2009, 12:08 AM
There's aspects of the business you don't need to completely know to get started, but go to your local farm or co-op store and ask questions, for example what fertilizer to put on and when, and how often, and at what spreader setting, just ask questions, most of the people who work at places like this are more than willing to guide you along.

Do you work solo or do you have a crew?

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-23-2009, 12:13 AM
Do you work solo or do you have a crew?

Its just me and my buddy who helps me a couple days a week. I've only been in business 1.5 years and its been growing steadily. I look forward to hiring a full time helper come spring time, since my buddy who helps me now has a full time swing shift job and doesn't want to quit, LOL.

LouisianaLawnboy
02-23-2009, 01:20 AM
Hows that work out for ya?

Works out fine.

matt10486
02-23-2009, 01:04 PM
Its just me and my buddy who helps me a couple days a week. I've only been in business 1.5 years and its been growing steadily. I look forward to hiring a full time helper come spring time, since my buddy who helps me now has a full time swing shift job and doesn't want to quit, LOL.

Yeh thats how i want to be, except with my dad, have it just me and him, and i HOPE to grow to one day be a family business, get my mom in on the action have her do the paper work or something... one can dream right? Ha-Ha.. What kind of equipment do you have? How long till i can send PM's on this site?

matt10486
02-23-2009, 01:05 PM
Works out fine.

Now just say the name you want someone has but not in your state, can you still use it? Does it cost more to make up a name then use your own?

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-23-2009, 07:20 PM
Now just say the name you want someone has but not in your state, can you still use it? Does it cost more to make up a name then use your own?

As long as the name you want isn't registered with your state Secretary of state office, then you can use it, if its already taken, you'll have to change the name so its not identical.

https://www.corporations.state.pa.us/corp/soskb/csearch.asp?corpsNav=|

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-23-2009, 07:25 PM
Yeh thats how i want to be, except with my dad, have it just me and him, and i HOPE to grow to one day be a family business, get my mom in on the action have her do the paper work or something... one can dream right? Ha-Ha.. What kind of equipment do you have? How long till i can send PM's on this site?

I thought the requirement for PM's was only 10 posts and your beyond that, so it should work. Family businesses can either be great, or bad, depending on the circumstances.

Equipment: Honda Commercial mowers, Shindaiwa Trimmers, blowers, edger, and hedge trimmers, and an Earthway Pro Spreader. I haven't purchased anything too radical and most of my equipment I picked up used from here and there and they all run and work great! I have a 6x10 utility trailer that I fabricated and built, with an Extreme 3 place trimmer rack. All in all nothing over the top and too fancy, I started small and purchased items along the way as I could afford them, without incurring any debt.

matt10486
02-23-2009, 07:39 PM
I thought the requirement for PM's was only 10 posts and your beyond that, so it should work. Family businesses can either be great, or bad, depending on the circumstances.

.

Ha Where do i go to send PM's? I cant find them. haha

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-23-2009, 07:51 PM
Just click on the person's name and one of the options will be to send a PM.