View Full Version : new comer needs advice
01-14-2000, 12:39 AM
Hello my name is Felix Peña and I have a few questions for you pro's in the lanscaping field. Anyone out there.
01-14-2000, 09:06 AM
Mr. Pena,<br>The best way this forum works is to post your questions. The responses will come.<br>Good luck!
01-16-2000, 06:01 PM
The following are a couple questions I'm throwing out there to see if any one can help answer them:<br> What equipment do I Need?<br> Should I buy used?<br> How do I make A good bid for a job?<br> Do you recommend using a Pick-up or A <br> trailer to start with?<br> What type of preventive maintenance should I<br> perform on my equipment?<br> What ideas do you have on getting my company name noticed?<br> When does the lanscaping season start and end? <br> There are obviously quite a bit of questions here and I'm sure the more I think the more I'll come up with but any help I get will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
01-16-2000, 06:35 PM
Felix,<p>What is it that you want to do? Landscaping or be a Mowing contractor?<p>What kind of time/$ commitment do you have?
01-18-2000, 10:35 PM
What I intend on doing is starting slow. In other words: cut a few lawns,trim a few trees and bushes. I beleive by doing this I will get a sense of demand or lack there of for landscaping contractors, which essentially is what I intend on doing. Establish good relationships with clients and build within the neighborhood. As I continue to grow I plan on assembling teams or crews to tackle various different accounts. I would like to get the ball rolling by the beginning of the summer. I understand I have quite some work to accomplish and that is why I have entered this forum, to get the advice of the experts.<br>In terms of subsidizing the project one of our other companies will help support the project until it is strong enough to be on its own. Again, I appreciate any helpful advice or comments. Thanks
01-19-2000, 06:28 AM
In today's market, the competition is for employees, not customers. There is so much work to be had, you can grow at any pace your business plan dictates.<p>I would aquire as much equipment to maximize your own personal productivity. Don't aquire any homeowner equipment to save money. Get some regular work- weekly mowing, periodic pruning, etc. and then augment that work with landscape jobs, shredded bark, etc.<p>I would not be hesitant in waiting to see if the demand is there. If you're available, do good work and come across halfway decent, you'll have more work than you can handle.
01-20-2000, 04:31 PM
Felix,<br>Lazer is correct. The real challenge is securing employees. Have you considered the INS' H2B Workers program. The program allows you as the employee to hire Mexican nationals legally. You can request as many as you need for the seasonal period. Because they are here legally, there is no threat that you would be out of compliance with respect to INS. There are a number of other benefits to the program which I would be more than happy to discuss with you by e-mail, or through the forum. <p><br>WorkForce International<br>WorkForceIntl@aol.com<br>(713)923-5564 (Business)<br>(713)923-5517 (Fax)<br>
01-21-2000, 06:32 PM
Before I go any further, I would like to address an H2B related issue that has weighed heavily on my mind--providing housing, or not providing housing for H2B workers. INS regulations do not in any way, shape or form require employers to provide housing for their H2B workers. Nevertheless, at some point its not just about profits, or what we are legally bound to do. It is about what is right. I appeal to you that you give this question some thought. This may dissuade some of you from using the H2B program, but at the risk of losing customers, I feel it is right that I make mention of this.<p><br>WorkForce International<br>WorkForceIntl@aol.com<br>(713)923-5564 (Business)<br>(713)923-5517 (Fax)<br>
01-24-2000, 11:41 PM
Well first things first you need to sit down and do a business plan on what it is you really want to do. Then when you decide that you need to figure out what market you want to target. The easy post stamp lawns or the large deluxe homes. Or is it going to be businesses. Its hard to give someone advice if you dont know what they want to do. Are you going just for mowwing or do you want to get into landscape installes? I would suggest go out pickup some small easy lawns and some others size lawn but keep in close area. Then after you have steady maintenace work maybe 3 or 4 days worth push for picking up some small install jobs. Little mulch work and so forth. Install work pays alot better then mowwing grass but its hard to land the high paying installes with out some work done to show for. So go after updates rehab small walls and walks. Do high qaulity work and soon after you will have a crew mowing your lawns and you will be ranning the install crew. But let us know what type of work you plan on large small what your plan is and so forth we all wood love to help but need little more information.
01-25-2000, 10:30 PM
At this point I believe I'm going to start small. In fact that has always been my plan.<br>However, I do intend on growing the company to provide a number of different landscaping services. What I would like to ask is in terms of equipment, what do I look for? I would like to start with used equipment but I'm a bit leary about the problems I might encounter. What is the lowest H.P. rating mower I should purchase given what I plan to begin with? What other tools do you recommend? What steps should I take to properly prepare myself for jobs like resodding, maintenance work, lanscape design etc. I also plan on buying a small pick-up truck, probably a small used Chevy S-10 to use as a work truck. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
01-26-2000, 09:13 PM
i have a small truck actually a s-10 . i wouldn't buy one you might as well buy a wheel barrow and make two trips. i think the ideal truck would be a three quarter ton truck used or a used izuzu with a contractors dump thats what i think would work best i need a big truck myself and i'm looking last year was my first year in business and that little truck took a beating rock bricks and top soil weight alot more than you would think
01-26-2000, 10:18 PM
fpena,<p>If you have the means, attempt to find someone that is "seeling out" their company. Take the equipment, accounts, everything that is included in the sale. This way you aren't sitting around with a business plan and no where to go. The accounts will start to bring in some capital rather than starting from scratch.<p>This is how I got rolling, but their are drawbacks. If the company you are purchasing lowballed jobs, did shoody work, or just generally pissed folks off you are gonna find out about it. In my case, the guy lowballed jobs. And to top it off I bought the business during a year that we had a drought. I really got double-whammied. The upside was the equipment wasn't half bad.<p>As far as a truck goes, scrap the S-10 idea. Go and a get 3/4 ton. This is very important. Equally important is a good trailer. There is nothing worse than trying to fix a piece of crap trailer when you know darn good and well that you should be out getting things accomplished. I have lived this first hand and it sucks!!! <p>If you want to get your name noticed try fliers and little things like that. Get yourself established by doing a good job and let things happen. You will be amazed the referals that you get. That is how I get most of my work. People come to me and ask me to do sevices for them. It is a great situation.<p>In regard to employees, my motto is forget about them. Personally, I schedule enough work to keep me busy. My feeling is that with the selection of employees so thin that you are really scraping the bottom of the barrel to get good people. If you tell a customer that you can deliver a service then it doesn't shake down because your employees didn't show or screwed around all day you are the one that is out, not the employee. The employees know that jobs are readily available everywhere you turn. I had a guy tell me that he didn't care if he was fired because "he was looking for a job when he got this one". With attitudes like that you are going to suffer much more than you gain. <p>Finally, hard work pays off like you wouldn't believe. If you bust your tail and always strive to learn something and apply it sensibly to your business, you will do just fine. There will be some bumps in the road along the way but just keep your chin up and keep swinging. In the end you are at the mercy of yourself. If you fail, look in the mirror. The only person you have to answer to is yourself. <p>----------<br>Jay Raley<br>The Good Earth Grounds Management
01-26-2000, 11:25 PM
Hey, get some employees,you need the income they will bring in. Ever hear of a company growing with one person? How big do you figure Wal-Mart would be as a single owner-operator? Get serious and get good help. If you treat employees well they will stick with you, sounds like some people out there aren't attracting or keeping their help. Develop a solid business plan, learn all you can, offer good service and you'll do alright, good luck.
02-12-2000, 11:54 PM
Over the past few months, my company has been working to streamline the Mexican side of the H2B process. I can tell you that it has paid off in a big way. By making the process more efficient we are now able to pass a $900 savings right to the employer. Talk about businesses cutting their labor costs!!! <p>WorkForce International<br>WorkForceIntl@aol.com<br>www.workforceinternational.bizland.com<br>(713)923-5564 (Business)<br>(713)923-5517 (Fax)<p>
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