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View Full Version : I have a rusty old mower, an edger and a truck. Is this enough to start?


Cutting Edge LC
03-10-2009, 02:46 AM
In everyone's sigs I notice they have all this crazy equipment with trailers and what not. I'm 18 starting a lawn business and at this point I know little to none about landscaping and have minimal equipment. If I'm just in it to mow and edge lawns, do you think my current state is enough to start grabbing clients?

ALLPro Landscaping
03-10-2009, 03:15 AM
If everything runs, then that's all you need to mow, but don't forget about insurance license, work mans comp, etc

Mickhippy
03-10-2009, 03:43 AM
And a broom! lol That will get old pretty quick!

ALLPro Landscaping
03-10-2009, 03:49 AM
Did I forget to add that, oh my bad LOL

Mickhippy
03-10-2009, 03:52 AM
Did I forget to add that, oh my bad LOL

You should be sorry! He wouldnt stand a chance without the broom!:laugh:

ALLPro Landscaping
03-10-2009, 04:00 AM
......................lol

Cutting Edge LC
03-10-2009, 04:34 AM
I'm guessing you mean I should get a blower for cleaning up. I think I can use someone elses until I get going. Is it necessary to have insurance before I even do my first job?

It's not in the budget right now if it doesn't have to be.

Mickhippy
03-10-2009, 04:43 AM
I wont get into insurance etc with you but yes, you will need a blower!
It takes longer to sweep a driveway, paths etc than it does to mow the lawn!

ALLPro Landscaping
03-10-2009, 04:52 AM
I have for one for sale, a blower

topsites
03-10-2009, 05:30 AM
I'm guessing you mean I should get a blower for cleaning up. I think I can use someone elses until I get going. Is it necessary to have insurance before I even do my first job?

It's not in the budget right now if it doesn't have to be.

It all depends where you live, you have to check with your state's requirements on whether
you are required to have business liability insurance for what you will be doing.

You can probably ask the county clerk about this when you go get your business license,
she may or may not know the answer but someone down at the courthouse likely does.

Peace out

Cutting Edge LC
03-11-2009, 01:41 AM
So are you saying it's REALLY a requirement to get insurance and a license before I get started. I mean..maybe later but I barely have the money to advertise!

grincon
03-11-2009, 01:47 AM
is a broken window in your budget?

Cutting Edge LC
03-11-2009, 02:49 AM
is a broken window in your budget?

No........

ambersLawnmowing
03-11-2009, 03:22 AM
I swear people re-register just to test us...LOL.. Insurance isnt that much. Insurance is also something i look for in advertising when i hire a service.

grntmbfisher
03-11-2009, 11:30 AM
A lot of insurance companies will let you pay by the month if you want. Say your liability policy costs a total of $700 it's only going to cost you $58.33 per month.

LB1234
03-11-2009, 11:37 AM
as topsites has said...you may not be req'd to carry insurance, check with your state for all applicable laws/regs. Chances are you do not req Workmens comp if you are an owner/operator. It would probablly cost you more money for WC than it would for the medical bill/salary for the first year.

As far as general liablity insurance, it is a risk versus reward type of thing. If you have nothing to lose (i.e. house, car, assets, etc.) then ya you may be able to get away with not carrying GL insurance. I'M NOT RECOMMENDING IT, but for the cost of insurance it may be cheaper to pay for the broken window than for insurance for the year. where the problem lies is bodily injury. Whether its a automobile accident or throwing a stone into someones eye while line trimming....you will lose any assets whatsoever, UNLESS you carry proper insurance.

On a side note, it seems as if you will be doing this halfheartitly. Not a legit business entity, feel no need for insurance, etc. You may want to rethink this business venture a little closer, run some better numbers, and make sure if this is right for you. Not trying to discourage you, just make you check the depth of the water before diving.

AllAmericanlawn
03-11-2009, 11:41 AM
Be legit. Get liability insurance. Even if it is only $ 200,000.00 in coverage or something cheaper. I would not worry about worker comp. ins. yet. Get a business license, cost maybe $30- 50 depending on city. Oh yeah, DONT UNDERPRICE THE LAWNS! It brings the business down for everyone.

Go with the blower over the broom. lol

Whitey4
03-11-2009, 01:29 PM
No, it is not enough to start. The first thing you need is a business plan. Without that, you are a ship with no rudder and almost certain to fail. I would suggest getting a job, saving as much $ as you can, develop a biz plan, get a handle of your costs, overhead, etc, do some research and be ready to do it the right way next year.

I started last year with an old 1998 Chevy S10, and about 10 grand. Got legal for pesticides, insurance, etc, hand delivered 1200 door hangers and went to work. Even at that it was often a struggle, but I just ordered a new F150 and will get an enclosed trailer shortly. My projected billings for 2009 have doubled from last year with no advertising. I followed my business plan.

You can jump in and go about this half assed, but success is not the likely result.

Cutting Edge LC
03-11-2009, 01:38 PM
Thanks for the good responses! I know it's not going to be the smoothest take off but I've gotta start somewhere. If I mow two lawns, I can afford insurance, if I mow another I can get a business license. Time to get the word out. I'll let you know how I do!

Cutting Edge LC
03-11-2009, 01:39 PM
I started last year with an old 1998 Chevy S10, and about 10 grand.



I also have a 1998 Chevy S10. I don't have the 10 grand though...Just $79.82

grntmbfisher
03-11-2009, 01:51 PM
Are you going to collect your money at the end of each cut? You are going to be out of that 79.82 pretty fast if you send out an invoice at the end of the month. What if something happens to your mower or trimmer? You aren't going to be able to replace it with that amount. If this is something you're serious about you may want to do what others have said and wait and save up your money.

Cutting Edge LC
03-11-2009, 01:56 PM
Cross your fingers for me...

Fife Lawn&Lane
03-11-2009, 02:46 PM
Hate to say it but you will not last the 1st month.

mowerbrad
03-11-2009, 03:14 PM
I am a firm believer in first impressions. I don't care who you are but usually the person/company with the better equipment gets chosen first over the person/company with the "crappy" equipment. Now the person with the crappy equipment may do an awesome job, he may be the best in town, but he is looked over because the potential customer only sees his equipment. Equipment says alot about an LCO. You can kinda think of it like going to the doctor, would you go to the doctor that has all the 20 year old tools or would you go to the doctor that has all the brand new tools?

Cutting Edge LC
03-11-2009, 05:31 PM
I am a firm believer in first impressions. I don't care who you are but usually the person/company with the better equipment gets chosen first over the person/company with the "crappy" equipment. Now the person with the crappy equipment may do an awesome job, he may be the best in town, but he is looked over because the potential customer only sees his equipment. Equipment says alot about an LCO. You can kinda think of it like going to the doctor, would you go to the doctor that has all the 20 year old tools or would you go to the doctor that has all the brand new tools?

That's a really good point. To be honest I didn't really think of equipment as a way of marketing myself. If I get going at this thing, I can't go backwards, only forwards so that is motivating. It's gonna take a lot of persistence and I plan on trying for longer than a month even with small failures and a slow start.

jshjky
03-11-2009, 07:19 PM
You got it buddy! You can make as much as u want with what you have. Most of us are spoiled by $12000 mowers and enough trimmers and blowers to start a hardware store! When you start making enough to pay taxes start buying write offs. Till then good luck and remember "genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration"!

Midstate Lawncare
03-11-2009, 08:21 PM
.......... walks out of the room.... backwards and slowly.

LB1234
03-11-2009, 11:39 PM
I am a firm believer in first impressions. I don't care who you are but usually the person/company with the better equipment gets chosen first over the person/company with the "crappy" equipment. Now the person with the crappy equipment may do an awesome job, he may be the best in town, but he is looked over because the potential customer only sees his equipment. Equipment says alot about an LCO. You can kinda think of it like going to the doctor, would you go to the doctor that has all the 20 year old tools or would you go to the doctor that has all the brand new tools?

I'll have to disagree with this statement.

I go to quotes in my company truck...I don't pull all the equipment around to go to the quote and then back out the mowers to let them see how shiny and new they look. However, I do agree that if you show up with your company uniform, lettering on the clean truck, then yes, that will make a difference...but equipment??? I don't think so.

openbook
03-12-2009, 01:42 PM
I would say since your starting from scratch with no money or anything you have to market yourself as the neighborhood kid. There are people around who will let you cut their lawn. I don't think a crappy push mower has enough power to scoop up a rock and break a window, it would be rare if it happened. As long as it has a discharge thing that keeps stuff down nothing should shoot upward. It's the commercial mowers when you have the flap up that break windows.
Anyways you will probably want a new mower so go make some money to get one.

melanieb3
03-13-2009, 09:15 PM
I know you can do it! You're young, like openbook said, "the neighborhood kid." Also, if you go to church, get those people who already know you. Tell them you're cutting grass, ask if they need anything? Since they know you, ask them to pay you when you finish the job...that way you can hold out on the other customers as they come.

Old equipment? that shouldn't be a problem as long as you do a great job with what you have. And, like a previous post said, buy as you you make money. Nothing new ANY TIME SOON. You can get GREAT used equipment if you search hard enough. We got ours from craigslist.com...

Insurance...I think you should have it, talk to several agents, tell them you do just mow/blow and they'll give you quotes...TALK TO SEVERAL. Tell them you only want like what the other previous poster said or ask if you can even get lower...just get some...it's better to tell them that you have insurance than you don't, even if it's just a little bit..you don't have to tell them that unless they ask you exactly how much you have...

You'll do just fine...just get out there...

oh and if you need..maybe you could borrow a few bucks from your parents to help you out for the first few months...just a thought..

GOOD LUCK

Kennedy Landscaping
03-13-2009, 09:23 PM
Good luck this season!