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cjohns55
03-30-2009, 12:49 PM
Hi everyone!

I am new to the site and I have not yet officially started my own lawn care business. I currently work in the development/construction industry but we all know how that is going right now -- it sucks! The company that I work for is really struggling but my boss is very optimistic. I'm all for being optimistic but I also like to be realistic as well. I have knots in my stomach that one day he is going to walk in and say...that's it we fought a good fight and we can't make it.

I have been seriously thinking about starting my own thing. I have always had a great passion for being in the yard and having a great looking yard. Over the past years I have really become an avid learner of lawn care and how one should take care of the yard, shrubs, and trees.

This weekend, I got pricing on a Scag 36" walk behind, Stihl BR 380 backpack blower, and Stihl FS 80 trimmer for $3,500 for the package. The dealer stated that the Scag is a 2008 model so it is roughly $300 cheaper than 2009 model. I did not want to start out using my own personal home equipment which includes a 21" Sears mower and Lowes blower/trimmer for fear of breakage leading to down time. I have no idea if this is a good price.

I have 2 customers, my next door neighbor, and one up the street. I also get a ton of other neighbors who take time out to stop and admire my yard as they pass by. Now don't get me wrong... just because someone admires my yard, I don't think that is the only reason I should start a lawn care business. However, I have always had a great love for working in the yard and I take great pride in my work. Lately this pit I feel in my stomach about my job makes me think that if I'm going to be worried, I can at least put it on my own terms.

So in short what do you guys think about:

1. The $3500 pricing that the dealer is offering for the Scag 36", Stihl backpack, and blower?

2. Would you guys recommend any other brands that are good and may be a little easier on the pocket?

3. Do you think I should invest the money upfront for the new commercial equipment?

4. With the economy, do you think having another new lawn care company out here is a dumb idea?

Lastly, as I have read through many of the threads... I solemnly promise not to be a low baller. I take pride in what I do and giving a fair price for great work is how I was brought up.

Thanks for any assistance and taking time out to respond.

reveti
03-30-2009, 06:07 PM
Anytime is a good time to get started. I myself am just getting started so welcome to the rookie club. Put your heart and mind to it and make it work, that is all you can do. Good luck to you

J & D Greens
03-30-2009, 06:37 PM
I think the equipment is a steal, if it is in new condition. I would love to have a Scag mower to start out with. Would you start out working both jobs? I would go for it if it meant not borrowing any money, maintenance your equipment in a way that if it does not work out it will still have good resale value. Every thing I used for the last two seasons sold for 90% of what I paid for it used. I replaced it with commercial mowers (used) for what I sold them for. So far I feel good with where things are at going in my third season. I have 18 lawns to service this year, Which is all I can handle right now along with my full time job. Good luck, David

MarkintheGarden
04-02-2009, 12:31 AM
The deal on the equipment sounds great. Scag and stihl are good bang for the buck equipment.
The deal with your current job situation sounds bad.
Can you afford the risk? Can you afford not to?
Only you can say, but I can see that you have thought this through.
If you take the plunge let us know how things go.
Best luck whatever you do, and remember not to sweat the small stuff.

Proc's Lawncare
04-03-2009, 08:14 PM
The equipment pricing like everyone else has said is a great buy... I would truly start with the $3500 bucks because even if it doesn't work you can sell it and recoup a good portion of what you will be spending.

Secondly, you already know the answer to starting your own business doing lawn care, listen to yourself, if you want to run with it then do it! NO business will EVER fail IF you truly give it your all. Do it half a$$ed and go no where fast...

Is it a dumb idea to open a business doing what you enjoy just because you think there is to much competition out there already? Uhm, NO. look at the Pet Rock, sold over 4 million painted stones and 15 other companies selling the same stone made millions of dollars calling it different things but it's still just a painted rock. Now granted, your not re inventing lawn cutting, BUT you can make great money and have a butt load of clients if you set yourself apart from the rest of the people out there. Look at McDonalds, there not the only ones selling burgers, and yet people pcik them because they are offering something thats a little different then the others... See my point here?

Having your stomach turn day in and day out waiting for the ax to fall down on you is like taking yourself back to school and making an appointment to see the principle for some punishment. Nothing screams "gonna have a heart attack someday" more then worrying about someone else taking away your income, go out and make your own freaking money and count on yourself... If it isn't making enough then work harder at it, the sky is the limit...

So there was the pep talk you were looking for, now go freaking do something about it!! :) (and... I ment all of this in a nice way, I could just see you needed a firendly kick in the pants!)

Good luck my friend and get busy!

Proc

jay albers
04-04-2009, 07:35 PM
Good luck bud! I'm new to! I spent 5000and have a trailer.I'm sick of talking about it and now im doing it!

cjohns55
04-06-2009, 12:44 PM
Thanks for all the positive feed back! I am doing the damn thing! I found a better deal on the equipment at a pawn shop. I got an '08 Scag 36" walk behind with aluminum grass catcher, dually rider attachment, and mesh trash bag for $1600. The Scag only has 60 hours and is in great condition. I also purchased a new 360 Stihl back pack blower and FS 90 straight shaft trimmer. Today I am picking up my 6 x 10 utility trailer. I have been able to get everything I need to get started for just around the $3600. I will post pictures as soon as I get everything together.

I have already picked up 3 customers in my neighborhood and 6 more prospects just from being out and working in the neighborhood. This week my objective is to get finished with my fliers & cards, place a few small ads, and pick up my insurance.

Chat with you later...I've got business to get!

MarkintheGarden
04-06-2009, 02:42 PM
Thanks for all the positive feed back! I am doing the damn thing! I found a better deal on the equipment at a pawn shop. I got an '08 Scag 36" walk behind with aluminum grass catcher, dually rider attachment, and mesh trash bag for $1600. The Scag only has 60 hours and is in great condition. I also purchased a new 360 Stihl back pack blower and FS 90 straight shaft trimmer. Today I am picking up my 6 x 10 utility trailer. I have been able to get everything I need to get started for just around the $3600. I will post pictures as soon as I get everything together.

I have already picked up 3 customers in my neighborhood and 6 more prospects just from being out and working in the neighborhood. This week my objective is to get finished with my fliers & cards, place a few small ads, and pick up my insurance.

Chat with you later...I've got business to get!

Good for you!
When you get a customer make sure you give all the neighbors a flier.
If you can mow two, three, even four or five lawns before reloading the trailer it will make your day that much more profitable and easy.

Best Luck, keep us updated, and let us know if you have any questions.

TPM
04-10-2009, 09:51 PM
Good for you man! Don't let destiny find you go out and find it yourself! Take it seriously and you will be rewarded.

Ben's Landscape
04-10-2009, 10:18 PM
Take your time and stay focused on the job!! Once you have mastered that you are good to go!! Hope this career change works out for you. I think you got a great deal with the equipment. Good luck this season!! Post up some pics!!!

kestes0704
04-10-2009, 11:57 PM
Just getting started this year myself, I was tired of working 60hrs a week sitting behind a desk in the auto finance biz. The good news is I was able to just sign a credit union group of 6 plus another business that the VP bought all his cars from me (bad news I just had to spend $6800 on Toro 400 series 52" zero turn mower). I am glad to here you went for it, I am still scared to death but I want to spend more time with my kids. as of now I am going to try both jobs just until I can get enough accounts. Did my first spring cleanup yesterday took 7hrs and still have 3hrs left to finish, needless to say Parts of me hurt that I did not know where there....

cjohns55
04-26-2009, 10:30 PM
Way to go on the big purchase! I am waiting a little while until I get more accounts to get zero turn. I am sticking with my pawn shop Scag 36" walk behind for now. Things on my end are starting to pick up and the word has been getting around the neighborhood. Last week I finally got my logo finished, bank account setup, insurance, and my grass catcher installed on the Scag. I am starting to get busy and I have lost a few pounds :rolleyes: Thanks for replying and take care!

cjohns55
04-26-2009, 10:52 PM
Hi there Mr. Pants Kicker :). I have not been on the site for a minute. I have started to get a little busy. I have been working my butt off trying to get everything setup correctly. I think I am just about there. Just need a little odds and ends for my trailer to make everything smoother. Made a few rookie mistakes that I have already laughed at myself for making. For example...learning to back up the trailer without looking like an idiot or crushing my flowers while looking like an idiot backing up, learning to steer the Scag 36" instead of it steering me, remembering to strap in the arm of the backpack blower so the extension does not fly off into a 4 lane highway median (I retrieved it unscathed), learning that 36" and curbs don't really get along well, and last but not least I am not really as strong as I thought I was when trying to move a stalled 36".

Well all of those adventures happened in just one week and I am sure I will have more. But as crazy as that may sound, I have made some awesome progress. I finished my logo, handed out fliers, got the business all setup properly, got my insurance, setup my checking account, pay-pal for credit cards, and picked up a few more clients. Now I am working on my website and hope to have that done this week. Hell I even dropped a few pounds but probably picked them back up with the cold beers tonight though :)

Well I have to get to bed but I just wanted to email you and tell you thanks for the great email you sent the other week. I really appreciate your time and I will keep you posted. Pictures are coming your way soon too.

Take care!

J & D Greens
04-27-2009, 04:43 PM
Hi there Mr. Pants Kicker :). I have not been on the site for a minute. I have started to get a little busy. I have been working my butt off trying to get everything setup correctly. I think I am just about there. Just need a little odds and ends for my trailer to make everything smoother. Made a few rookie mistakes that I have already laughed at myself for making. For example...learning to back up the trailer without looking like an idiot or crushing my flowers while looking like an idiot backing up, learning to steer the Scag 36" instead of it steering me, remembering to strap in the arm of the backpack blower so the extension does not fly off into a 4 lane highway median (I retrieved it unscathed), learning that 36" and curbs don't really get along well, and last but not least I am not really as strong as I thought I was when trying to move a stalled 36".

Well all of those adventures happened in just one week and I am sure I will have more. But as crazy as that may sound, I have made some awesome progress. I finished my logo, handed out fliers, got the business all setup properly, got my insurance, setup my checking account, pay-pal for credit cards, and picked up a few more clients. Now I am working on my website and hope to have that done this week. Hell I even dropped a few pounds but probably picked them back up with the cold beers tonight though :)

Well I have to get to bed but I just wanted to email you and tell you thanks for the great email you sent the other week. I really appreciate your time and I will keep you posted. Pictures are coming your way soon too.

Take care!
Wow I hope you are shopping for your Insurance policy.:laugh: But with all kidding aside you will be weeding out all these things in about a month and by then you will have fallen in love with that scags mower of yours. A guy who has a son on the same soccer team as my son is a mower mechanic at one of our larger shops. told me that the scags is the best deck mower you can buy. (mainly because of the zerk fitting on the spindles make them last longer since you can grease the regularly) Good luck this week!!!!