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Jamesgateslandscaping
10-25-2004, 09:16 PM
Hey everyone,
I'm 18, from Amherst NH and I first strarted mowing lawns in 2nd grade for neighbors. I bought a 96 Chevy Silverado last spring in hopes of doing more work than I was but did not do as much as i thought.I have slowly grown maybe 1 lawn a year or 2, but not until this year has it really started to explode. I started offering snowplowing with our tractor around the neighborhood and got 4 accounts. I broke down and bought a used MM plow for my truck in the middle of winter. With the purchase of a loader for our JD 445, I really got rolling. I bark mulched all spring and picked up 10 lawns accounts. My dad sold our 6x10' trailer and I bought a new 16' trailer, and most recently a used cub cadet WB this fall. Earlier this fall I ended up buying the 6x10 trailer back from the family friend we sold it to . My parents have loaned me a lot of my money for start up, but I am almost paid off all in one season. I have networked with other local landscapers and designers for extra work, which I actually havnt needed cause Im so busy as it is. I now offer new lawns, driveway installation, bark mulching, lawn mowing and the list keeps growing. I will have all of my loans paid off (except truck) and still have a profit. I will become a company this winter and get insurance and hope to start walkways, patios, retaining walls, and synthetic putting greens in the spring.
Current list of equipment
96 1500 Silverado Ext cab, 7.5 ' MM
6x16' trailer
6x10' trailer
01' JD 445 w/ 48" deck, bagger, loader, york rake, rear blade, front blade, thatcher
JD 21" JX85
Cub Cadet WB 48" deck
JD straight shaft weed whacker
RedMaxEB7001 BP blower
Tons of handtools
hopefully a dump trailer or dump truck in the spring

Jamesgateslandscaping
10-25-2004, 09:18 PM
forgot to add, I will be attending Thompson School at UNH for Landscaper design/Horticulture after I graduate.

Green Dreams
10-26-2004, 06:11 AM
I wish I'd have had a clue when I was 18. I was too busy trying to find out how many different girls I could nail in a day...oh by the way, the record is 4..lol.

There are some guys around my area that started out just like you. And they ain't doin' too bad nowadays either...

gogetter
10-26-2004, 12:13 PM
Why two trailers?

Lawnmower_Man
10-26-2004, 02:42 PM
man i wish my parents hooked me up like that! good luck on that dump truck!

Jamesgateslandscaping
10-26-2004, 09:29 PM
One trailer is to haul equipment, and the other is to haul brush and other trash. My dad sold the 6x10 for $300 in the spring and I bought it for what he sold it for, so I own both now. Its easier not to have to worry about having a trailer full of trash (weeds, brush, etc.) and have to take it to the dump (only open 3 days a week) just to use it. Plus, 2 trailers, no waiting.

SHARP CUT LAWN SERVICE
12-18-2004, 05:48 PM
hey man that is good to hear about havin your own bussiness at 18 but i also started when i was 17 and gave it up at 20 i was in love and figured i would go and get a full time job then i turned 23and quit 10 months ago and went full time i am doin 53 yards a week and workin 7 days aweek in the summer time cause i am doin alot of landscapein jobs oh and man i am backin u up on the 2 trailer deal i need to trailers one for lawn and another for landscape who wants to come home at night and unload a trailer full of mulch just to load up moweres for the next day 2000 and 2005 f250
16 ft open tarailer all stihl equipment
36 exmark toro52 hydro walk behind with velke
and 223 grass hopper mid mount deck 52 inch deck

westwind
01-19-2005, 10:45 AM
forgot to add, I will be attending Thompson School at UNH for Landscaper design/Horticulture after I graduate.


this is the best thing you can do for your new business. never stop learning. if you offer it you better know how to do it.

Patrick.B
03-16-2005, 07:02 PM
Green Dreams,,,LOL back when i was 18 ...heck..don't remember seeing Lawn Service Back then ..now theys all over the place ,, Good Luck !!

Jamesgateslandscaping
10-28-2005, 08:42 PM
Heres an update guys, Im almost halfway done my first semester at the Thompson school and am learning a ton of very useful information. I still am growing as we speak, even though Im not accuiring many fall cleanups because of school, only 20-30, don't want to get to far ahead of myself. I formed my LLC and obtained insurance ($1 mil). I bought a scag wb to replace my cub cudet, what a difference:p , its a 2003 and paid only $1200 for it, I thought it was a steal. I ended up with around 25 lawn accounts for mowing, with construction filling the rest of the week. I am currently on the hunt for a 1 ton dump (2001-2006) and plan on getting on sometime before or during the winter. I bought a fisher Xblade to run on my 05 GMC Sierra, so I will have two plow trucks out this winter and will have between 40-50 accounts. In the spring I plan on leasing a skid steer and at some point buying a enclosed trailer also. I also plan on selling my 96 Chevy and lease a new GMC 3/4 ton or 1 ton SRW Single cab as a crew truck. On november 9-10 I will be getting my ICPI (international concrete paver institute) certification to install concrete pavers, which will hopefully generate a lot of income. In the spring, my yellow page ad will premere in the talking phone book also.
Well, I always love hearing input, if anyone has anything let me know, or any questions are more than welcomed.
Thanks guys
James

lawn_pro
10-30-2005, 05:59 AM
Congrats on your success, make sure you finish school. I wouldn't go overboard on the equipment. Try to pay cash for everthing, sounds like you know what you are doing, keep it up.

Boycea
11-03-2005, 11:13 PM
Where are you getting the ICPI certification done?

Jamesgateslandscaping
11-04-2005, 07:15 AM
Saco Me, they have some in mass in march.
Thanks
James

N.H.BOY
11-06-2005, 05:35 PM
saco Me. ? Is'nt that a haul for ya from Amhest? What does that cert. do for ya? Im not familer with the pavers. How long did it take? Oh ya what did you do with that Cub walk behide? Still have it? For sale? Thanks

Jamesgateslandscaping
11-07-2005, 11:12 AM
I sold the cub cadet to a homeowner...where it should have been in the first place:cry: and replaced it with a scag hydro wb, what I really needed:D . Im up as school right now (durham) so itll only be an hour or so to get there, Its better than the one in long island I was gonna go to:realmad: . It shows a level of professionalism in the fieldpayup , it shows the customer that you know exactly how to do it. Its a two day course with a test at the end. www.icpi.org . shoot me an email sometime if you wanna chat more. jimmyjoe@eudoramail.com Heres also a link to some of my equipment if you havnt checked it out already. http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=123147
Thanks
James

kirk brown
11-16-2005, 08:20 PM
your doing a good job.your right where i want to except i`m 10 years older.
should start snowing anytime now.

o it grew landscaping
11-21-2005, 01:31 AM
when i was 16 years old, i bought a 91' chevy s-10. i had a yard machines self propelled mower,, a crastman weedeater and a crastmen hand blower. along with 5 accounts. i slowly grew to 7 accounts. then winter came, i slowly lost them, so i gave up the bussiness. i did a few odd jobs for people and helped other yard maintenance people.this year my girlfriend and i were painting my bathroom and i looked at her and we both agreed our jobs sucked, and decided with the know how i had and some experience she had, that we would start a landscape and yard maintenance service. we got enough money from her parents to buy a 6x10 foot utility trailer, another mower, a weedeater and an edger and an echo backpack blower, plus all the other mics. power and hand tools. i put an add in the local newspaper and we started getting calls non stop. that was 5 months ago, im 18 years old, have 17 accounts and got lucky to have great customers, ive dont about 10 sprinkler installs and 4 sod and sprinkler installs. its winter here now the install jobs have slowed but the accounts are still there and im still getting calls. im studying for my contractors liscense and will have it by this january.

SodKing
11-21-2005, 05:21 PM
Doing good James....now go study! Football team is doing well, I may be at the game against Colgate Saturday.

Jamesgateslandscaping
11-21-2005, 08:00 PM
You can never study enough here, its crazy, I just can't wait to relax over turkey day...except their talking snow already....oh well, all the cleanups are all donepayup , now to send out all my bills. Id like to meet you sometime SodKing.
Thanks
James

nocutting
11-23-2005, 12:28 PM
Hi, James and make sure you continue your education after school as well:waving:

Diane
12-15-2005, 11:32 AM
Hi Jamesgate

You are an inspiration. To be so focussed at your age, and to take advantage of the resources your parents offered - way to go!

Are you planning on expanding into advanced lawncare? If I remember correctly, you are on the east coast. Advanced lawncare should be reasonably lucrative and in demand.


Diane

GreenMonster
12-15-2005, 12:26 PM
James, sounds like you're on your way -- good for you.

I hope all of you guys at the Thompson school don't end up like you, I was hoping to hire a few for the summer next year

Jamesgateslandscaping
12-15-2005, 12:36 PM
I think we will be offering just basic lawn care for now, I will be hiring someone in the spring to head up that crew. You really should hire some from the school, many are very knowledgable in the field. Many of them would like to own their own business at some point and could really use some insight on how a business is run. I am one of only 2 kids from the school which have a LLC and have a professional image. Many of the kids look up to me and ask me questions on how things should be done in the field and in the office. It has been a very stressful fall with going home 1-2 times a week to work and also to keep up with school work. We have had a good season with very little problems with customers (one customer who is giving me problems will be having a lein and possible court action if he doesn't pay me, but check out that trend in commercial landscaping for the full story). I can't wait for next year, especially with my ICPI certification that I just recieved. It should be a great next year and am hoping to almost double my sales.(I am selling smarter each year in business).
THANKS GUYS FOR THE COMPLIMENTS!!!:rolleyes:
James

Jamesgateslandscaping
02-25-2006, 02:17 PM
Well guys, heres an update. I just bought a 06 GMC 3500 4x4 Dump two weeks ago, a 7x20' Down Easter Equipment Trailer and a New Holland TC35DA w/ Loader this morning. I will be offer full lawn service this spring (mowing, fertilizing, thatching, aerorating) as well as irrigation and hardscaping ( me and one other guy on the crew are now ICPI and Allan Wall Block certified). I will be having 2 crews running 98% of the time and will also be attending the Thompson school for another 2 years (almost done my first). While I am at school I will have a mowing/maintenance crew going and focusing on construction during the late spring and summer while me and my guys are home from college. We should have about an 80% increase in revinue this year compared to last year and am hoping for 50-65 lawn accounts. I will be posting pics of my new tractor next weekend when I get it and in a few weeks when my dump arrives.
Thanks guys
James

jreiff
02-26-2006, 03:24 PM
Sounds like things are going good. Can't wait to see the pics...

ALarsh
03-04-2006, 05:11 PM
James, Just wondering, what kind of advertising are you doing and how much of it? What have you found to work for you?

Jamesgateslandscaping
03-04-2006, 11:05 PM
News paper ads have been the majority of it for the past 2 years, I will be having a yellow page ad debute this month (can't believe it is already here!). It also has been word of mouth along with a few fliers here and there. I will spend about 1% of my gross sales this year, not to bad imo.
Thanks
James

J&R Landscaping
03-05-2006, 07:05 PM
Sounds like you are off to a fantastic start! Can't wait to see those pictures! Good Luck