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Qdriver
10-15-2003, 06:38 AM
I have been visiting this site for a while now. I finally joined so I can get some advice on my own questions.

I will be alone (maybe some help from a long time friend) working part time to start. (while holding a job in the mortgage banking field) I will start small (probably with a Toro) 36'' hydro/float, Murry 21" push, Stihl- trimmer,edger, hedger and bp blower. I have not decided on why type of hauler or trailer yet.

I have and am still taking classes with the local SBDC.

From the threads I have gathered that it is most important to start slow and learn to price jobs correctly from the beginning.

What is the most efficient way to price a job? I feel that it is not wise to price by volume as there are only so many daylight hrs. But you must be careful not to "price for profit" yourself out of a bid.

What brand would you choose to start with? Considering cost vs productivity. Toro or Exmark, Stihl Or shindaiwa.

Thank You.

Let it Grow
10-15-2003, 01:30 PM
Figure out what your expenses will be for every hour that you are working (this includes drive time), then figure out how much profit you want to make per hour, add these two numbers together, and that is the amount you need to be making per hour to have a profitable business. Now when you go to do a bid you can do your best to figure out how long it will take, and charge according to your hourly rate.

Most of my services I have a way of figuring the price out besides just hourly...for example when I do retaining walls I charge between $12 & $14 per sq. ft. (depending on the difficulty of the wall). This makes bidding real easy for me...there is very little guesswork. Some people don't like doing it this way, but it works really well for me.

Good luck

tiedeman
10-15-2003, 02:19 PM
Just starting out the brand that I would choose would be Toro and Stihl. Now if I was along a ways I would choose exmark and stihl.

Qdriver
10-15-2003, 03:19 PM
Thanks for the advise.....

I was told that Toro owns Exmark,. that Exmark was the lower brand. You can guess what distributor thats was I realize, but is there any truth to it?

BOSS MAN
10-16-2003, 02:14 AM
yeah it's true toro owns the name exmark. it's just another way for them to make money. personally i would start out slow and then work my way into pricing bigger and bigger jobs. i've been doin this for 4 years and i'm still learning all of the time.
JUST REMEMBER A DAY OUTSIDE IS BETTER THAN A DAY INSIDE

Qdriver
10-16-2003, 02:49 PM
JUST REMEMBER A DAY OUTSIDE IS BETTER THAN A DAY INSIDE

Ya Know,.. that is one of the reasons I chose this business....

Qdriver
10-17-2003, 12:34 PM
I am going with a professional set-up as opposed to most of what I see around my town IE. beat-up-pick-up-with-old-sears-riding-mower-on-a-trailer.

question to the guys that have been around a-while, have you noticed if the beat-up types stay in biz for long? They can't be making good money.... even with their small start-up capitol needs.

WeatherMan
10-17-2003, 04:57 PM
Just Starting out I would go down to the john deere dealer and buy all my equip. mowers and 2 cycle " Nothing Runs Like a Deere"


Good Luck

Qdriver
10-20-2003, 12:08 PM
Thanks , I have not looked into JD yet.

PS.... Which slogan sounds better.

...lawn stand out from the rest.

or

...lawn stand out among the rest.

Logo will be some type of desert oasis scene.

LongIslander
10-21-2003, 10:17 AM
Originally posted by qdriver
Thanks , I have not looked into JD yet.

PS.... Which slogan sounds better.

...lawn stand out from the rest.

or

...lawn stand out among the rest.

Logo will be some type of desert oasis scene.


I would say that standing out FROM the rest sounds best. The word among sounds like you are in the group, from makes you sound like you are in front of the group. I hope that helps, or makes sense!
marg

Qdriver
10-21-2003, 04:35 PM
Thanks LongIslander,

It's the small things that matter......

How many LCO's develop a feasibility & Business plan to get start-up money from a lender vs how many just start with their own money and just go for it?

I am completing a Start-up business course through my local SBDC. Part of that course is to develop an F & B plan.

Which kind of a follow-up to my previous question on professional set-up vs joe-down-the-street operation.

Let it Grow
10-21-2003, 04:51 PM
I just started with my own money BUT it is still a good idea to have a business plan. It is kind of a roadmap of where you want to go.
The startup business course is a great idea. They say over 50% of new business start ups fail within the first two years...you can't be too careful...take the time and do this right.

And definitely use FROM the rest. What is your whole slogan? It's hard to give any advice unless I can see & hear the whole thing.

What is your business name?

By the way I would NOT use John Deere...at least in my area the JD products are not as good as some of the other choices. (I use Honda commercial walk behinds, a Honda trimmer, and Stihl hedge trimmer.)

summergrove
10-22-2003, 02:40 PM
IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY I BELIEVE EXMARK IS A BETTER MACHINE STIHL MACHINES CAN BE TAKEN APART AND PUT BACK TOGETHER WITH ONE TOOL I DON,T THINK ANY OTHER TRIMMER CAN DO THIS. IT IS A REAL TIME SAVER IN THE FIELD.I DON'T KNOW IF IT IS THE SAME WITH ALL EXMARK DEALERS BUT THE THREE I HAVE DELT WITH ALAWAYS TRY TO KEEP YOU WITH A MOWER EVEN IF YOURS BREAKS DOWN WHICH RARELY HAPPENS.GOOD LUCK.

Qdriver
10-31-2003, 12:42 PM
I completed the "New Venture Business Planning" program last night! Got a nice certificate.

I have to tweak my business plan a little B4 I start going to lenders But, ..

I learned a lot and I feel much more confident that I will be successful with the new knowledge I have. I know a lot of pitfalls to watch out for and ways to structure my business to grow.

I have applied for my fictitious name and will get my license and Ins. soon.