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Great Site! I'm thinking of getting into the lawn service business? I know, I'm probably crazy but it's something I enjoy! I ran a small industrial sales business for a few yeas and have since gone to work for a large company. My problem is I will not be able to go part time to full time. I need to go full time from the start. I do have 4 or 5 people in my neighborhood who have told me they will give me there business when I am ready to go. Any advice?
05-20-2003, 05:34 PM
The most important advice I could give you would be to search the heck out of this site! Seriously.
There is far too much to learn than can be put into one thread.
Maybe try using terms like "going full time", or "getting started" in the search feature.
05-20-2003, 05:48 PM
1) Do not bite off more than you can chew, with your business and when eating....haha.
2) Make sure your pricing is in line with your market area.
3) Dont try to do everything. Start with 1 area (as in complete mowing) then move on to others.
4) Let your toys grow with your company, and not your company by the toys. Its easy to get more equipment than you really need.
5) See if you can find a niche in your area. Do you see lots of other LCO's only trailering large mowers, as in zero turns? Do they pass on the gated yards? Could be an area you could check into. I know more and more here are doing that. If they cannot get the big mower in they pass.
6) Get good dealer support. Demo equipment on the properties you will use them on. This will tell you if it will work there, and if you can handle or control it.
7) If your in the Nashville area, move about 250 miles away!.........hahaha just kidding :D
Green in Idaho
05-20-2003, 09:24 PM
I like whate gator wrote.
Develop a budget with different scenarios:
10 customers 20 customers 50 customers.
Run some realistic numbers (search this site and others)
Determine your profit. And then profit per hour.
Talk to an accountant. Or surf the net until you can puke taxes, p & Ls, bookkeeping, costs, and pricing. If you are serious about f-t you should consult with one regularly- not just April 15.
Then decide if you would be better off doing lawns or something else. There are lots of easy entry business with less competition, more potential etc.
If you can not offer a statement why you are better than the other guy, or why you have an advantage, you are doomed to bitching about the competition and being a part of the problem.
Unless you love grass, it may be a waste of effort. Even if you DO love grass, 4 years from now you may NOT love it any more. Doing it for a living changes when you have to do it every day. It's no longer a fun breath of fresh air and excercise.
What others say about 'being your own boss' is ****. Don't buy it. Instead you will have 30 bosses. And you don't set your own schedule. The sun, the rain, mother nature and your customers set it.
If you are then still green (no pun intended)
Learn about horticulture. Books, Internet, classes, etc. One can NEVER know everything about the science of horticultural.
Become as good at marketing as you are at the trade. Those doing good marketing have ample customers at good prices. There are lots of guys turning away work; but it's because of price more than quality. You should be getting quite a few, "No thanks that's too much."
Find a niche! If you have to ask "like what?" you are not ready.
In my market I can list several niches within the landscape arena that are not being well served. I am often tempted to go after those too just to play in the dirt. BTW I'm a former landscape guy now doing niche accounting for my local LCOs. And I enjoy servicing my own yard once again.
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