View Full Version : Newbie ready to start..BUT WHERE??
09-21-2002, 10:45 PM
Hi all, first time here. I'm 38 and full time employeed nights with free time during the day, 8am-2pm. I want to start a residential/commercial mowing business in the spring. I live in So. IN and figure we mow for 7/8 months outta the year. I wont be purchasing my ZTR mower until Jan, 2003. I have everything else. My questions: When do I start sending out flyers to get new customers? If i try now will I lose some folks interest that might be more interested if I do it in the spring? Do most residential accounts like contracts or just be billed monthly for the number of times mowed? Is a 48" deck the best size for residential? What are the benifits of a stander vs a sit down ZTR. Is exmark/scag/toro/grasshopper all very similiar, or is one a better entry level mower? Do you cut twice a week in the spring? I know I have a ton of other questions I will ask on other post, please be patient with me, I'M GREEN at this. Thanks ahead of time for all your help.
09-21-2002, 11:07 PM
Welcome to LS.
I usually start sending flyers out in the end of February to the middle/end of March for clean-ups and new customers. I get a pretty good response, have tried the advertisment section on the newspaper, but that didn't work as well as flyers. I like flyers because you can select where you want to work and who you want to work for.
All my accounts have contracts. I used to have a monthly billing, but I switched to contracts about a year ago.....I like them alot better.
I have two 36" Toro Prolines and a John Deere F-725. I barely use the JD, only for large areas i.e. church yards and big residential yards. Im looking to sell the JD and get a 52" Exmark. IMO, I like wb's better because they just cut better than the big JD, thats why i'm looking to buy a ZTR of some sort. For an entry level mower, I would go with Toro. My first mower was a Toro, and I really loved it, that is why I have two Prolines today.
ALSO: Use the search button on the top right hand corner of the page. That button has done me wonders!
09-21-2002, 11:21 PM
There really isn't an entry level brand, but they are all good machines. In this business, you don't want anything "entry-level". It should be of commercial quality built to run for a very long time. I suggest sending out the flyers next season. There is a little more interest then. You could do leaf removal's this fall if you believe you are equipped enough to do so. I'm partial to Exmark. I've had my my TTHP 36" for three weeks and it's already saving me tons of time over a 21".
09-21-2002, 11:21 PM
I would hang out flyers the first of Feb.
I dont know about jumping right into a ZTR mower. the expense can be right steep for a start up. Dont plan on picking up 30 yards in your first year. If you do thats great. I have found you only get about a 1 % or less response on flyers. Which is pretty good.
Look at a 36" or 48" WB mower. Maybe even a belt mower.
Payments will be pretty affordable just in case work is slow at first.
On your flyers. I have found short and simple is the best wording. Good Luck my Friend
09-21-2002, 11:55 PM
I recommend passing out flyers at the beginning of march. You could start as early as late Feb. if you want. Right now I send out a bill at the beginning of the month for all work done the previous month. I will take a good look at doing my residential maintenance on a contract basis in the near future. As for mowers, it really depends on the type of accounts you are going after and the amount of money you plan to invest. Personally, I run a 60" exmark lazer z and a 36" toro walkbehind. For me this works well. It will take time to build your business......if you want it bad enough, you can be succesful. As RVLI said, use the search feature at the top. I spent many months just reading the wealth of knowledge this site has to offer. Welcome to LS
send flyers now, offer a discount if you have a signed agreement before say nov. 1st. then re-flyer in febuary and offer the dicount again if they sign before march 1st.
make sure that you are not actually losing money on the discount, do the math
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