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Emcarthur
07-30-2011, 06:54 PM
Hello I am new to the site, and a friend and i have been wanting to open our own lawncare business. We would like to start out doing the following:
Mowing
Fall cleanup
Fertalizing
Mulch
Snow Removal.

I would like to get some feedback on our idea, I have found 2 nice used Zero Turns, a good use trailer and all the accessories to get started.

JDiepstra
07-30-2011, 07:14 PM
Thats great. Be sure to get all the licenses you need and pay all your taxes due. Good luck. Youll need it.

Fordsuvparts
07-30-2011, 09:01 PM
Why would you want to do that, it's not the easy money you think it is, do yourself a favor and go into a different line of work.

Emcarthur
07-30-2011, 10:03 PM
I know its not easy money, but we enjoy that kind of work.

LegendaryLawns
07-30-2011, 10:22 PM
Im kinda in same situation as you, i been mowing on the side for about 15 years, no more than 3 or 4 lawns, but in the last year i have decided to get serious and go full scale and work for myself. I had a 42" rider that i used as much as i can, and a 22" push to use as needed. I have had a very reliable Echo trimmer for several years and picked up a blower last fall.
Last year i shopped around for a few months and nabbed a used 36" walk behind exmark, and a 12 foot landscape trailer with a drop gate.
I have ,up to this point, paid cash for everything, which i have learned is a very important point. I picked up a few more jobs this year including a sizable account where i needed to get a zero turn. I been looking at used ones in area for long time....unable to find a used one i was going to be happy with, i broke down and got a Bobcat Pro-Cat, dropped a decent size down payment, and got 0% interest on the rest for 3 years, but i want to knock it out by next year, so im back to even again.
My plan is to get all my local liscensing and insurance in place in the next few weeks, as well as set up LLC and get busniess cards immediatley to help marketing.
then I will have the winter to work on marketing for expanding customer base and getting new accounts for the spring...
READ as many threads on here as possible, a TON of useful info from a great group of people in the industry. If you like mowing like i do, dont be deterred by the few that tell you to find something else....

LegendaryLawns
07-30-2011, 10:24 PM
yea, its not easy money, but I believe that working for yourself and putting yourself in a position where the amount of success you wish to enjoy will be directly proportional to the amount of effort you put in to get there.

Ducke
07-30-2011, 10:28 PM
Run dude run,
GET WHILE THE GETTING'S GOOD.
This isn't the Pontiac that your Father Drove.
Go do something safe like Bomb Disposal or play basket ball on the freeway.


all kidding a side
Lawn care/ landscaping can be a very rewarding job But do your research first and make sure you have a market that will take another LCO. Because if there are to many outfits its going to be an uphill battle.

Good luck
Graham

Kelly's Landscaping
07-31-2011, 01:28 AM
Hello I am new to the site, and a friend and i have been wanting to open our own lawncare business. We would like to start out doing the following:
Mowing
Fall cleanup
Fertalizing
Mulch
Snow Removal.

I would like to get some feedback on our idea, I have found 2 nice used Zero Turns, a good use trailer and all the accessories to get started.

You say like to start out that's the first thing to figure out is when you plan to make that step. Its mid summer now which is a very difficult time to begin. You could try to get in for fall clean ups or snow removal and of course spring is the best time of the year to start this trade. But that aside the next thing you would want to know is how long can you last with virtually no income to speak of cause that is what you will face when you make that step.

I am not going to sugar coat this for you we are in recession that later will likely be upgraded to a depression we have a president that is lost and can not fix this. So you want to become a business owner at the hardest time in the last 20 years. Save as much as you can and learn to live on very little as you are going to have very difficult time. They give stats on failures but at this point in history you can double that so protect yourself and give your self the best chance of success by having the biggest war-chest you can build. My first year I managed to get 65 accounts by the end of the year and nearly hit 80,000 you know what I got paid about 7k. The fact is there is so much you will need to buy when you start if you wish to grow that there won't be much for you for sometime.

Well look at it this way when you post on this board your either going to get other newbies that tell you good luck, or someone that makes some stupid insulting cracks, or lastly someone that is in your face honest at what your looking at. But that last group are the ones that will keep you from making some huge mistakes now is there anything else I can help you with?

Puddle of Oil
07-31-2011, 01:57 AM
Yep, summed it up well.^^^^^^^

Ducke
07-31-2011, 07:46 AM
You say like to start out that's the first thing to figure out is when you plan to make that step. Its mid summer now which is a very difficult time to begin. You could try to get in for fall clean ups or snow removal and of course spring is the best time of the year to start this trade. But that aside the next thing you would want to know is how long can you last with virtually no income to speak of cause that is what you will face when you make that step.

I am not going to sugar coat this for you we are in recession that later will likely be upgraded to a depression we have a president that is lost and can not fix this. So you want to become a business owner at the hardest time in the last 20 years. Save as much as you can and learn to live on very little as you are going to have very difficult time. They give stats on failures but at this point in history you can double that so protect yourself and give your self the best chance of success by having the biggest war-chest you can build. My first year I managed to get 65 accounts by the end of the year and nearly hit 80,000 you know what I got paid about 7k. The fact is there is so much you will need to buy when you start if you wish to grow that there won't be much for you for sometime.

Well look at it this way when you post on this board your either going to get other newbies that tell you good luck, or someone that makes some stupid insulting cracks, or lastly someone that is in your face honest at what your looking at. But that last group are the ones that will keep you from making some huge mistakes now is there anything else I can help you with?

I agree 100%
you about summed it all up.
It may sound harsh but it's the truth.

DoodyCalls Franchises
08-01-2011, 05:13 PM
If you haven't already, you should start thinking about marketing your new business. Customers are the lifeblood of every business - especially service-based startups like yours.

A couple quick tips -

Commit yourself to it. Marketing is not a one-off exercise that leads to overnight success. It takes time, energy and money. If you're serious about growing your business, you need to be serious about your marketing efforts.

Budget for marketing expenses. Getting started with marketing can be expensive - especially when it comes to designing marketing materials. In addition to design, there's production and placement costs as well. Start estimating your costs now and make sure you build them into your financial plan.

Always keep materials on hand. Get your signs, flyers, cards, etc designed and off to the printer months before you need them. The last thing you want is to be sitting in neutral, waiting for an order to ship, while your competition is out there actively promoting their service to your potential (and existing) customers.

Happy to share more advice, just let me know -

--
Marc Samson
DoodyCalls

TheBetterDoorhanger
08-01-2011, 05:25 PM
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Request free samples of our products at www.AdeasPrinting.com/free-samples.
Watch videos of our Band-It & Stick-It Products at www.AdeasPrinting.com/door-hangers

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robin@adeasprinting.com
866-778-4254 ext 200

Thanks & good luck to you!

JB1
08-01-2011, 05:36 PM
why does everybody want to start a lawn care business with a friend or buddy ? do you not like your friends or buddies ?

rywnygc
08-01-2011, 09:25 PM
why does everybody want to start a lawn care business with a friend or buddy ? do you not like your friends or buddies ?

hahahahaha....nice.

materialmovers
08-04-2011, 12:31 PM
I agree with the buddy thing, bad idea, learned from experience. I run the company as though it is mine and I am getting rid of my partner, and since he hasn't put any money or work in it I don't feel bad about it. I do more of the hardscape and dirtwork than maintenance at this point, but want to change that once he is gone. (and I wouldn't consider him a buddy anymore) I have done all the leg work and put forth all the money to the tune of 35k, after he said he was going to pay for the dump trailer. I will NEVER go in business with someone again, other than my wife so she can sign checks and help with paperwork. It is slow to get started, but I do enjoy what I am doing, happiest I have been in a long time, but I am not rolling in piles of money either and that is ok for now and I knew that would happen when I started.

ny scaper
08-04-2011, 12:50 PM
I would suggest that buying a couple Z's without a solid customer base is a bad idea. You may get called a hack, but build slowly. Have a couple 21's'' and a trimmer to start. Get some clients and do solid work. You can do solid work with a push mower and not some $10,000 equipment. There is no point to sepnd that $ when you only have 5 clients. Get a blower when you can as it works much better than a broom. Then you have the basics down. Building slowly with low overhead will help you get established. Now if you got cash, i dont know how to give advice because I never do:)

Snapper Jack
08-06-2011, 08:51 AM
You say like to start out that's the first thing to figure out is when you plan to make that step. Its mid summer now which is a very difficult time to begin. You could try to get in for fall clean ups or snow removal and of course spring is the best time of the year to start this trade. But that aside the next thing you would want to know is how long can you last with virtually no income to speak of cause that is what you will face when you make that step.

I am not going to sugar coat this for you we are in recession that later will likely be upgraded to a depression we have a president that is lost and can not fix this. So you want to become a business owner at the hardest time in the last 20 years. Save as much as you can and learn to live on very little as you are going to have very difficult time. They give stats on failures but at this point in history you can double that so protect yourself and give your self the best chance of success by having the biggest war-chest you can build. My first year I managed to get 65 accounts by the end of the year and nearly hit 80,000 you know what I got paid about 7k. The fact is there is so much you will need to buy when you start if you wish to grow that there won't be much for you for sometime.

Well look at it this way when you post on this board your either going to get other newbies that tell you good luck, or someone that makes some stupid insulting cracks, or lastly someone that is in your face honest at what your looking at. But that last group are the ones that will keep you from making some huge mistakes now is there anything else I can help you with?
Well said! The economy is in the next stage of taking a big dump. I would weigh the pros and cons of the immediate area in question before taking the big plunge.

kemco
08-07-2011, 03:06 AM
Good points. You can easily gross $250k in this business and at the same time easily net $30k. This is an expensive business to run, not to discurage but to be real. The profit margin, industry wide is around 10 to 12% of gross. There are so many that think, oh I can get 100 yards a week at $40 a pop and be making $4000 a week for about 33 weeks out of the year. And you will probably net around $20k to upwards of $30k if you are lucky after expenses including payroll, insurance and taxes. Ive got a hair over 200 customers, not all are weekly, we cut about 150 a week. My gas bill for two trucks and equipment runs me well over $1200 a month. Just for gas. And that's a small fraction of what I pay out in payroll.

rywnygc
08-07-2011, 10:31 AM
Well said! The economy is in the next stage of taking a big dump. I would weigh the pros and cons of the immediate area in question before taking the big plunge.

Yeah, uh huh.....

The economy is horrible...

Tell me that when I don't get paid 230 bucks to put a mail box up. Or when I pass Tim Hortons in the morning and cars aren't wrapped around the building waiting on $8 coffee and donuts.

I hate political threads, and I don't mean to turn this into one, but the economy isn't nearly as bad as cnn would like you to believe. I don't care what numbers they show you. When the economy actually does get bad, we will not be working. People will mow their own lawns.

clydebusa
08-07-2011, 10:36 AM
Hello I am new to the site, and a friend and i have been wanting to open our own lawncare business. We would like to start out doing the following:
Mowing
Fall cleanup
Fertalizing
Mulch
Snow Removal.

I would like to get some feedback on our idea, I have found 2 nice used Zero Turns, a good use trailer and all the accessories to get started.

Instead of figuring out what mowers and equipment you need. You need to go to school and get the business side down, accounting and such. Anybody can mow and blow, the learning curve on the business side is what kills the business.

clydebusa
08-07-2011, 10:38 AM
Good points. You can easily gross $250k in this business and at the same time easily net $30k. This is an expensive business to run, not to discurage but to be real. The profit margin, industry wide is around 10 to 12% of gross. There are so many that think, oh I can get 100 yards a week at $40 a pop and be making $4000 a week for about 33 weeks out of the year. And you will probably net around $20k to upwards of $30k if you are lucky after expenses including payroll, insurance and taxes. Ive got a hair over 200 customers, not all are weekly, we cut about 150 a week. My gas bill for two trucks and equipment runs me well over $1200 a month. Just for gas. And that's a small fraction of what I pay out in payroll.

This is sooooo true,, sorry I posted the previous post without looking at all the others.,,,

Kelly's Landscaping
08-07-2011, 02:05 PM
I hate political threads, and I don't mean to turn this into one, but the economy isn't nearly as bad as cnn would like you to believe. I don't care what numbers they show you. When the economy actually does get bad, we will not be working. People will mow their own lawns.

Actually CNN has a vested interest in convincing you the economy is doing well since their boy is the one in the white house. I based my expert assessment of the economy on the factors I am encountering this season and last season as well.I did an post card blitz this year that was my best ever they were sweet looking and in 2005-2006 would have gotten me 150-200 leads and well over a 100 new accounts. That didn't happen got about 10% of that just enough to cover my attrition loses and I got plenty more on the way I must have 20 accounts that are for sale. I based that on our fuel costs which have hovered at 3 dollars a gallon all last year and 4 plus all this year. You may point out the spike of gas prices summer of 2008 under Bush but they fell too 1.99 a gallon the day Obama was sworn in and I do have my gas recites to prove it. The higher gas prices are going to cost me an additional 10,000 dollars this season.

So no the economy is very weak and we do see more and more people opt to make their kids mow their lawns. But Matt you just bought a new 60,000 dollar plus truck yes I did and it has already saved me as much in repair cost this season as the payments are. You need to work smart and think through your moves and that purchase was debated by my partner and me for 6 months and I was proven right.

My main reason for posting here was to help a new guy see what he was getting into not to make a political point which obviously is quite easy. Just because your area may or may not yet show signs of a recession doesn't mean the rest are doing well and in 2009 we saw no decline at all but the recession found us last year and this year.

lawnpro724
08-07-2011, 06:39 PM
If your really serious about getting into this business do yourself a favor and work for a larger company to gain experience. Then if you still want to get into this business develop a great marketing strategy and deploy it. Make sure to have a good business plan that can guide you through the growing pains and stick to it. This business is very cut throat and highly competitive so either do it right or do yourself a favor and find something else.

will38
08-09-2011, 01:04 PM
I have been reading all the posts and I have to say I was laughing with some of the responses. A good laugh is always good now a days. My friend the landscaping industry is not what it used to be. The profit margins for a job are shrinking before our eyes. What I mean is by the time you buy the materials and finish the work then wait to get paid its almost not worth it. Now you said you have a friend you want to do this with. Well are you splitting it 50-50. Are expenses 50-50. Every partner I had that was a friend either was lazy or didnt contribute as much money as I did. Nine times out of ten partnerships are a bust without a plan. Make sure each of you go over how much you need to live on each and then take it from there. For example if you need 3k a month to live and he needs 1k its more beneficial for him. So if you do a job that profits 6k he gets 3 and you get 3. But he will be able to save 2k while you need all of yours for bills.

Gianninilandscaping
08-09-2011, 05:45 PM
Hello I am new to the site, and a friend and i have been wanting to open our own lawncare business. We would like to start out doing the following:
Mowing
Fall cleanup
Fertalizing
Mulch
Snow Removal.

I would like to get some feedback on our idea, I have found 2 nice used Zero Turns, a good use trailer and all the accessories to get started.


I started my business about 2-3 years ago and up to this summer i just had a few, i have a full time job at a rental store and we sell husqvarna products... so this summer i started buying new equipment. first i got the top of the line trimmer and then the top of the line blower and just today i got one of their better hedge trimmers once i pay something off i buy another piece of equipment.. i pay 50 bucks a week out of my check or if the mowing is slow then i can work some overtime to pay for the equipment.. im going to just keep doing this till i have everything i need then i can start thinking about going full time into the business... i think thats the best way dont go out and buy all your stuff at once find a steady job where you can buy equipment from your company at a discount and buy it a piece at a time and before you know it you will have everything you need in newer condition that you purchased brand new so you know how its been used... thats just my opinion

jsslawncare
08-09-2011, 08:40 PM
Do it by yourself. If you need help from time to time hire someone.