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metch32
02-28-2009, 09:37 PM
I am trying to start a small mowing busniess. I have a full time at the moment but want to have this as the full time job. I was wanting to know the fastest way to get customers. I'm looking to get around 10-20 clients so start off with to see how it goes. All I'm doing is mowing, edging, and blowing off any grass on concrete. I don't have the means to much more at the moment. Any suggestions would be great........thanks

Jersey Shore Landscaping
02-28-2009, 09:54 PM
first i would start of by get ur truck registered commercial and get some insurance should give you an idea of how much u have to make to cover those expenses

LKNBigFish
02-28-2009, 09:57 PM
i would keep your current job. its a bad time to start mowing.

mowerbrad
02-28-2009, 10:11 PM
Since your just starting out don't go spending $10,000 on a new mower. Get a smaller walk-behind (ie 32-36), you could probably get a new one for about $3000-$3500 depending on the brand. Make sure you have a good trimmer and blower and you will be set with equipment. Make sure you get your insurance and licenses.

metch32
02-28-2009, 10:38 PM
Already got the insurance lined up---by license I'm assuming you mean getting my truck registered as a commercial vehicle? Or something else---

Exact Rototilling
02-28-2009, 11:41 PM
i would keep your current job. its a bad time to start mowing.
Definitely don't quit your day job. I would only do this part time to test the waters.

Depending on your area you may not have to be licensed to be legit. Here in Idaho every Joe Six Pack runs around with a mower for beer money. "Lowest prices in town for yard mowing ask for Pete". :hammerhead:

If your area is like mine mowing is the least profitable of all the services. Find out what the going rate is before you jump and go crazy and buy an expensive ZTR mower.

What ends up happening is the low baller $15 a cut types get super busy and get swamped with work and often find that even on a cash basis they are not making as much as they think they are and then they quit and go do something else. Then the next batch picks up where they left off. This drives down prices.

This just might be my last year for mowing.

metch32
03-01-2009, 08:26 AM
You don't have to be licensed in my area--I'm not looking to to go crazy at first. Just buying basic equipment and bought a used walk behind toro from a buddy. Need to do this to offset loss of income due to wife losing job---I am keeping my main job because I can't afford not to. I was just wondering quickest way to pick up clients. Already have 5 lookinf to get 5 to 10 more. Sent out flyers but haven't heard anything back but its still early.

Thanks for all feedback---

mowerbrad
03-01-2009, 10:47 AM
After passing out flyers don't expect the phone to start ringing for jobs right away. You may get a couple calls at first but the rest usually take a while. Once the weather starts to warm up a little more and it is almost time to start mowing, then you will get more calls (at least this is what I have found out). When you passed out flyers, did you target certain areas or just passed them out anywhere and everywhere you could? I would suggest targetting areas that you would like to start mowing in. By doing this you can in a way 'choose' your customers and limit your distance between lawns.

Toy2
03-01-2009, 10:56 AM
Already got the insurance lined up---by license I'm assuming you mean getting my truck registered as a commercial vehicle? Or something else---

Insurance in the event you take out a $500.00 glass window/door, or worse someone gets hit with debris from your mower/trimmer.......

CYA, always.......check the mowing prices in your area......cheap will get you a bunch of yards, but they could give you a load of headaches as well......

Search button on this site helps as well, you'll need plenty of time to read all of it.....good luck

supercuts
03-01-2009, 12:02 PM
welcome. keep your full time job untill your up and running. there is alot of money to be had in this. if your only doing 20 lawns, id reccomend a nice used commercial zero turn rider for 2 reasons. one, their very fast and efficient which means you can make more $ per hour, and second, since your doing this on the side im sure you'll not only want to get them done quick but may need to depending on weather. oh yeah, you wont be as exaughsted as you would be using a walk behind. good luck, feel free to IM for more real advice too, not the " dont get into this keep your job man" comments

supercuts
03-01-2009, 12:05 PM
oh yeah, how to get lawns, i made a hand painted wooden sign and got tons of calls from it. simple ad in paper and flyers in mailboxes, although those are frowned opon by some

Exact Rototilling
03-02-2009, 02:04 PM
oh yeah, how to get lawns, i made a hand painted wooden sign and got tons of calls from it. simple ad in paper and flyers in mailboxes, although those are frowned opon by someIs it possible you can post a pic of your homemade sign?

I've wondered about the response rate from the very homemade sign vs. more professional signs that I got a very poor response from for snow removal. In some ways I wonder if those roadside signs reflect poorly on a business.

I admit I'm annoyed by them myself. "Make a CEO income from home"...."finally affordable health insurance".....like I'm really gong to fall for that. :hammerhead:
Maybe it's just me. :rolleyes:

Exact Rototilling
03-02-2009, 02:21 PM
Before you run off and buy a bigger ZTR of any kind figure out what kind of gates you have in your market area. Size of the grass area would also help. I would absolutely love to have a need for a sit down ZTR mower but that would require a bigger trailer, which would require a bigger truck which would require DOT registration, more expensive insurance, more overhead and the list goes on.....

My vote is still to go for a hydro drive 32 or 36 WB mower with a sulky at a minimum. You will probably need a 21" mower which is ok for starting out but you will loose profits. I will probably never own a ZTR. But I will probably own Toro Grandstand 48" or 52" or possibly a Wright Stander of some sort for maximum speed and efficiency yes ..... even over a ZTR.

My Quick 36 is a great intermediate mower. Smaller truck or trailer, less expensive insurance etc. and no DOT hoops and regs to jump through. Once you get enough posts send me a PM and I'll give you a heads up on focusing on the more profitable type properties for a solo operation.

:waving:

Sturob
03-02-2009, 07:56 PM
Do NOT quit your day job! Start off by talking to everyone (including family) that you know. Tell them that you are getting into the buisness part time and are looking for some yards to cut. Have them talk to everyone that they know as well. You will be surprised as to how many yards you will drum up just by doing this. Working part time you can probably do 10-15 small jobs a week in 3-4 days. I would stick to that and see what happens. You will make good money and will have a chance to grow your buisness from there. I was in your situtation several years ago and just wanted to get big quick. Don't worry so much about getting big quick because if you take your time and treat your customers good, more will come to you. I am sure that everyone on this site will agree that the best customers that you can have are the ones that come from word of mouth. Thats how to grow your buisness. It will not happen overnight and may not happen for several years but you have to decide now if you want to put in the work that it takes to get to where you want to be.

supercuts
03-03-2009, 07:12 AM
Is it possible you can post a pic of your homemade sign?

I've wondered about the response rate from the very homemade sign vs. more professional signs that I got a very poor response from for snow removal. In some ways I wonder if those roadside signs reflect poorly on a business.

I admit I'm annoyed by them myself. "Make a CEO income from home"...."finally affordable health insurance".....like I'm really gong to fall for that. :hammerhead:
Maybe it's just me. :rolleyes:

i think that is what set mine appart, it was clearly home made but looked good, very clear to read and simple. it helped it was infront of my old house on a busy main road and we did an enormous amount of work making the old unique house beutiful, but i couldnt keep up with the phone calls