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edson
08-19-2009, 12:52 AM
So i just recently found this page today, and i am glad I did. I am struggling right now money wise. I am in college, married, working a part time job and my wife does not have a job. We were trying to figure out how to make some more money while working only the weekends. Than I had the idea during this past weekend, of mowing lawns. it is an "easy" way to get money. Since I used to cut the grass when I lived with my parents, and I think I know enough about the job.
I had the idea to go to home depot and apply for a credit card and purchase several stuff. But I was hesitant about this because i did not know if the money was going to come quick or not. I need advise. on what to do. one option is what i mention earlier about the credit card. and the other option is to just borrow the mower, a weedwacker and a electrical blower from my father. I guess that this option will require more work by only having a mower. My father lives 4 hours from me and since i am visiting them this weekend it would be very convenient trip.
Some of the stuff i wanted to buy at home depot are the following:
-walk behind mower
-a riding mower
-weedwacker
-rake
-blower
and some other stuff and the money just add up to where i was very hesitant about it. now let me remind you this was an impulse decision that i had before i visited this website.

If you have any other pointers for me, i will appreciate it a lot.
Thanks in advance.

noriega
08-19-2009, 01:18 AM
Well edson what I think you should do is keep your overhead cost down when you are starting out. Let say you get everything on credit your profit is going into paying it back. What if work is slow? Now you have an extra payment to deal with. if you can borrow the equipment from your dad I think that is good. When you start making some money you can start purchasing your own. You should put a business plan together whether you are doing this for extra money or a career.

edson
08-19-2009, 01:40 AM
thanks noriega i already had the intention to do a business plan but haven't started it yet. And yeah i know in the beginning the profit will be only to pay back the credit card back but i was considering like an investment but like you said if the work is slow it only will be an extra payment. what i have done so far are design for business cards and i am designing a flyer to put around subdivisions. And maybe i will try at first with only the borrowed equipment, i still have until the weekend to decide.

noriega
08-19-2009, 01:59 AM
How is the competition in your area? I did flyers my first year and I only got 2 calls out of 500 flyers. If you are low on cash you can post on craigslist and find some work there I've got some good customers from there. Bussiness cards are great I keep mine simple just black lettering on a white card. Pass them out to everybody you can (clerk at the grocery store, people at school, etc.) Try bulletin boards in your area school, church, etc. Good luck!

LouisianaLawnboy
08-19-2009, 09:26 AM
You have to be in this for the long haul. Financing any HD crap is stupid. For right now I'd get some used equipment and pay cash.
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starry night
08-19-2009, 09:42 AM
Two thoughts from me: Do your business plan FIRST, before anything else.
How else would you know whether the whole idea is feasible? On a lesser note, most folks like to have their lawn mowed FOR the weekend not ON the weekend.
Good luck. Nice to see people who are willing to work.

edson
08-19-2009, 09:46 AM
You have to be in this for the long haul. Financing any HD crap is stupid. For right now I'd get some used equipment and pay cash.
Posted via Mobile Device

the problem is that i dont have enough cash to pay for equipment like that, that is why I opted for financing.
and i do not know too much about equipment, what are brands to stay away from, and what are the good ones that will not be too expensive?

White Gardens
08-19-2009, 10:18 AM
You need to do some searching around for equipment before financing.

My first year of lawns and landscape maintenance, I had a push mower (15 bucks), string trimmer, (10 bucks), used crapsman back-pack blower, (50 bucks).

I had to work on them a little bit, but nothing major. If you've got a truck, your good to go.

edson
08-19-2009, 02:35 PM
Thanks for your reply's. I guess i will start small so that i don't get in debt, i will ask my father for some equipment for just a month or 2 and i will start looking for used equipment to buy, after i get some money.

SangerLawn
08-19-2009, 04:38 PM
[QUOTE=edson;3148700]it is an "easy" way to get money. Since I used to cut the grass when I lived with my parents, and I think I know enough about the job.[QUOTE]

WOW!!!! You are in for a rude awakening!!! Before you start you need to get this thought out of your head or you will be the first in your area that will wind up in a lawsuit and loose everything you have.

You are looking at money for start up so you can be legal or you will be getting fines and possibly sued because you have no insurance. If all you did in the past was mow your own lawn, please don’t say you have experience. More then likely you have no idea on mowing hights, grass types, how to trim, or when, how, and why to treat different grass differently. Since you already said you don’t know about the equipment that probably means you have no idea on how to run a mower correctly.

I am honestly not trying to be a jerk but think about what you are doing and what you are saying. I have done this work most of my life and I am still learning something new at least once a week. Anyone who tells you differently is lying to you. Some people have gone to collage for years for this and still have no clue what there doing. You need money and almost every lawn care service around is hiring all the time. Go to work with them, learn something about the industry then think about starting your own business. You have one chance to make a name for yourself, don’t screw it up because you THINK you know what you are doing.

SangerLawn
08-19-2009, 04:42 PM
By the way, in the last 3 weeks (since the first of the month) I have spent over $3,700 to stay legal and run my business. that is monthly bills for my business and the month isn’t over yet……not so easy now huh

edson
08-19-2009, 07:47 PM
[QUOTE=edson;3148700]it is an "easy" way to get money. Since I used to cut the grass when I lived with my parents, and I think I know enough about the job.[QUOTE]

WOW!!!! You are in for a rude awakening!!! Before you start you need to get this thought out of your head or you will be the first in your area that will wind up in a lawsuit and loose everything you have.

You are looking at money for start up so you can be legal or you will be getting fines and possibly sued because you have no insurance. If all you did in the past was mow your own lawn, please don’t say you have experience. More then likely you have no idea on mowing hights, grass types, how to trim, or when, how, and why to treat different grass differently. Since you already said you don’t know about the equipment that probably means you have no idea on how to run a mower correctly.

I am honestly not trying to be a jerk but think about what you are doing and what you are saying. I have done this work most of my life and I am still learning something new at least once a week. Anyone who tells you differently is lying to you. Some people have gone to collage for years for this and still have no clue what there doing. You need money and almost every lawn care service around is hiring all the time. Go to work with them, learn something about the industry then think about starting your own business. You have one chance to make a name for yourself, don’t screw it up because you THINK you know what you are doing.

what wanted to say when i said easy was that you get money instantly. I may know very little about lawn care but i know how to cut grass, i did it for about 6 years, i think that counts as experience, or not?. If i don't know something i try to research about it. now that you told me all of that i am going to have to do more research. and i plan on doing it only on the weekends by myself if the plan works out. if not i guess i will have to think about other ideas, but at least i have to try. Everybody started somewhere.

edson
08-19-2009, 07:49 PM
By the way, in the last 3 weeks (since the first of the month) I have spent over $3,700 to stay legal and run my business. that is monthly bills for my business and the month isn’t over yet……not so easy now huh

i dont think i will spend that much money just to start. maybe i will become legal later.

openbook
08-19-2009, 08:00 PM
You might be able to make some extra money on the weekends. I wouldn't count on your money problems being over. Find a used mower on craigslist, people move or buy new mowers all the time. You can even advertise on cl for free. Most people on there probably wont pay more than 20 dollars a lawn. It shouldn't take you more than an hour to do the work. Now factor in wear and tear on your vehicle, mower, the cost of gas and the mower and you have found a neat way to earn 10 dollars an hour working for yourself, getting good exercise, a tan and meeting new people all on your weekends!

Mckenzie's Maintenance
08-20-2009, 12:36 AM
I would at least look into working for a local Lawn care Owner...what have you got to lose...

pay from a job and getting the experience...then you can try to be ready come spring

noriega
08-20-2009, 12:37 AM
Edson don't get discouraged set your plan into action and you will be successful. even if you are just making a $10.00 profit, its a start. Its better than making nothing, some guys forget we all have to start somewhere.

Bob_n_weave
08-20-2009, 01:58 AM
Go to your local Dealer's and chat with them see who gives best customer service. Ask if you buy something from them and it needs a repair what is the wait time. Answer should be no more then 2-3 days. If your running a business you can't be waiting 2 weeks for a repair.

Also Toro and other's often run special Finance rates that your local dealer will known about. For instance I Financed my new Toro Grandstand, $7500 at 1.9% in April 2009. Some will say save up and pay cash, buy used...
yada,yada I say decide for yourself. It takes money to make money, just don't sell the Farm as they say.

I borrowed $12.000, started mid April and holding steady at 22 Residential / 2 Commericial accounts working only part time. All done with only Flyers / word of mouth. BTW: I never put together a business plan and no I will not be out of business next year because of that. :laugh:

You probably going to have a hard time picking up new accounts this time of year so.... If I was starting today I would get my line of Credit approved at the local dealer, not Home Depot / Lowes. See how much $$ you qualify for and hope a promotional rate is available. I wouldn't buy anything yet.

Get your Flyer's / Business cards / roll of tape / put on your Sneakers and start :walking: If you can't get enough accounts to at least make your loan payment to get you by until the spring then don't buy nothing and go work for somebody else. Thumbs Up

jada86
08-20-2009, 07:18 AM
My only comment is that lawn maintenance is not as easy as everyone thinks it is. To be successful, you have to know what you are doing and only about 25% of the effort is actual mowing. The rest is marketing, customer service and managing your business. Good luck!

edson
08-20-2009, 08:05 PM
Thanks for your comments and encouragement, I will start posting flyers on Monday and start cutting next weekend going door to door and hopefully if I get calls. One more thing what is the best time to go and start to knock on doors is 8 am to early on Saturday and Sunday?

LouisianaLawnboy
08-20-2009, 09:06 PM
8 am on Sat is waaaaay too early
Posted via Mobile Device

whosedog
08-20-2009, 09:07 PM
Thanks for your comments and encouragement, I will start posting flyers on Monday and start cutting next weekend going door to door and hopefully if I get calls. One more thing what is the best time to go and start to knock on doors is 8 am to early on Saturday and Sunday?

You're joking right? The season is half over everybody already has their landscaper for the year,do what other posters said and try working for a lco this year,check craigslist. Put the wife to work pronto,then make plans for starting next year.I don't know what the laws are in your town but here you would be ticketed for soliciting without a permit if you went door to door.:nono:In Texas they might shoot you.

Bob_n_weave
08-20-2009, 10:15 PM
Thanks for your comments and encouragement, I will start posting flyers on Monday and start cutting next weekend going door to door and hopefully if I get calls. One more thing what is the best time to go and start to knock on doors is 8 am to early on Saturday and Sunday?


Do not knock on door's. :hammerhead:
Tape Flyer to door and leave

Jay Ray
08-20-2009, 10:46 PM
One of my neighbors asked me all the questions last week, and he has big dreams and a big appetite for equipment. I told him to use what he has, an old Murray rider, hook nose trimmer, miscellaneous cheap stuff -- get a few lawns, and see if he likes it before he makes any kind of committment. All he sees now (thinks he sees) is easy money. Lot to learn. And got to learn to love the heat. He works in an air conditioned office and does his lawn toward dusk. Lot to learn.

Jay Ray
08-20-2009, 10:48 PM
Do not knock on door's. :hammerhead:
Tape Flyer to door and leave with blue, easy release tape.

edson
08-24-2009, 11:07 AM
ok, i am back from visiting my parents and came back with a crafstman lawnmower, a crafstman weedeater, a toro electric blower, and a rake. I am going to use that equipment for about a month, if i can buy equipment myself by that time.
one thing that i see as a problem is the electric blower, will it look bad if i asked the owner of the house if i can plugin the blower and use his energy. is the gas blower something i should consider buying first? i saw an ad on craigslist for an used echo backpack blower $150, is that a good price? here is the ad http://brownsville.en.craigslist.org/grd/1330769436.html
today i will start putting flyers in houses to a nearby neighborhood and hopefully get some clients by the weekend.

LouisianaLawnboy
08-24-2009, 11:21 AM
ok, i am back from visiting my parents and came back with a crafstman lawnmower, a crafstman weedeater, a toro electric blower, and a rake. I am going to use that equipment for about a month, if i can buy equipment myself by that time.
one thing that i see as a problem is the electric blower, will it look bad if i asked the owner of the house if i can plugin the blower and use his energy. is the gas blower something i should consider buying first? i saw an ad on craigslist for an used echo backpack blower $150, is that a good price? here is the ad http://brownsville.en.craigslist.org/grd/1330769436.html
today i will start putting flyers in houses to a nearby neighborhood and hopefully get some clients by the weekend.

See what is the model number and let us know.

golfnpreacher
08-25-2009, 08:42 AM
A couple of things you mentioned need to be addressed

1 – I you only have the weekends to work you’ve put yourself in a difficult position. For example -What you are going to do when it rains all weekend? Are you going to let your “accounts” sit all week without mowing? And what if it rains two weekends in a row? Commercial accounts don’t look favorable on things like that, so residential is the way to go.

2 – With residential, depending on the size of course, you can survive with a push mower and broom. (possibly a rake) It is a lot of work (and hot work this time of year) I certainly would not buy anything on a credit card. 18% APR will eat you up especially during the winter when you’re not making money. Pay CASH. Start simple and grow. For example if you got 4 accounts at $50 a piece...in a few weeks you would have the cash to buy a used riding mower, which would make life easier and allow you to pick up another account.

3 – Finally, for now, regardless of what a lot of people on here think, you don’t get paid for “equipment”. The customer wants you to cut their grass and to do a good job. They don’t care if you push it with an old Murray mower, or ride on the latest stander. They don’t care if their walks are cleaned by a fancy blower or a push broom. They don’t care if you pull up with a fancy trailer or if your stuff is in the back of a beat up pick up. Too many ‘Start ups” fail because they attempt to LOOK the part.