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Where's everyone get thier money to start up an lco? I don't want to put all of my equipment and advertising on my credit card, so I was wondering what everyone else does.
12-24-2004, 12:12 PM
You can start your advertising with little money. Create some flyers and hand them out. Build as you go.
Review our signature link for flyer ideas.
12-24-2004, 12:34 PM
I worked a full-time job in the civil engineering field and started to build my lawn business on a part-time basis, building up my clientele and putting all the profits back into the business to purchase additional and better equipment.
After two years of building up clientele and having equipment paid for I was ready to jump in to the lawn business full time.
For those people that want to jump into the business as soon as they can and don't want to wait there are several options available.
1 - Small business loans
2 - Borrow the startup money from a family member
3 - Use your credit cards
4 - Take on a partner
5 - Find a business investor
12-24-2004, 01:17 PM
If you start a LCB part-time while working a full-time job you use the profit to build an equipment base so when you go full-time you will have the clients and equipment to do the job. Most suppliers offer 90 days same as cash so if you can pay off before the 90 days, you don't pay a finance charge. All the guys I know started small with a 21" walkbehind and/or a budget rider of some sort. We started,(well I started) with a 21" self-propelled Yardman walkbehind (from Lowe's) in the back of my pickup. I ran ads weekly in our local free ad paper for $4 a week. One account paid for my advertizing and mower for that year. So you see, we all got to start somewhere. When you see other companies and say to youself "howd they do that?" remember, they started small too. Unless they're rich! payup :p
I started the same way as the rest of these guys. Everything I had to mow my own yard is what I used to start out. First thing I did was called a couple of friends of mine that are in the buisness and took all the crappy jobs they didn't want. Then I started buying used equipment off them. Started with my push mower then bought a 36" walk behind and then a 62" toro. It may take you a couple of seasons to get what you need but after that depending on what you want to do the sky is the limit. Just don't start buying equipment betting on work to come. If you don't need it don't buy it. Hope this helps.
Thanks for everyones advice. I went to the bank the other day and they said that i need to write up a business plan, in order to get a small loan here. I also applied for a business credit card. Anyone ever try these two options?
12-27-2004, 04:38 AM
one of the many mistakes that I've seen people on this site make is that they buy to much equipment before they have the accounts to pay for it.
if the mower you buy won't pay for it self in six months you probably should not be buying it.
2nd, if you get a bigger mower you better be advertising to the larger accounts that you can do with the mower you just dropped $$$$$ on.
3rd, a good plan for purchasing equipment is to max out the lawns that you can do with the mower you have and then upgrade to a larger mower that will get your properties done in half the time you HAVE to double your accounts. to meet your larger mowers price tag and parts costs.
when you start out you have to target the accounts that you can do. if you ony have a 21" then you target residentials. if you have a rider than you target commercials. the main thing is that you find your nitch market and try to exploit it.
one way of cheap advertising is to to make flyers on your computor using corel word perfect or what ever package comes with your computor.
12-27-2004, 09:22 AM
I took some of my savings and bought equipment. I bought a new trimmer, edger, blower and 36" metro. I bought a used 48" hydro w/b and trailer.
If you have some homeowner stuff, then start with it in the spring. You may find within weeks you have money for a comm'l trimmer and blower. A few weeks later you have cash for a 36" belt drive. By mid season you have the cash for a bigger w/b. One of the biggest problems I see with startups is they can't handle the cashflow at the beginning. They want to take "paychecks" out all the time. You really need to only use what is absolutely necessary and keep as much as possible in the business at the start. Let the first year be a re-investment as much as possible. What you make, churn the money on better equipment in preparation of the coming years. What you do currently to help the business is the future of your business. My first 3 yrs I didn't take a paycheck at all. I paid only the limited bills I had to. That was it. I kept re-investing with cash(no debt). I used it as a reward system for myself. Once I built it up I gave myself a few rewards. What I spent back then still makes me money today.
01-05-2005, 05:23 PM
Like I always tell the wife," You gotta spend money to make money"!!! payup payup payup
01-06-2005, 03:48 PM
i took out a student loan for 2000 dollers i dont have to pay it back untill i graduate if i pay it off before then its intrest free
01-06-2005, 05:51 PM
Do write up a business plan. It shows them you know where you're going and how you think you will get there. It also shows how much thought you put into this venture. They use that to help weed out the people that have no buisness sense and may default on the loan. If you can find alternatives to borrowing though. Less pressure when you're statrting out. Sell off any junk laying around and have a couple yard sales. Get rid of some luxuarys for awhile and concentrate on putting stuff together for your business in your free time after work. Pick a time frame of when you want to start up and if it's still a season away stash the money where it can gain some interest. Let your money for for you as much as it can. As for a company credit card you will need one for some stuff and it will build your credit rating for the company but in the begining you may have to purchase on a cash and carry account for awhile until they will extend credit. Don't get in over your head right off. So many guys do that each season and their equipment is in the paper or on ebay in no time. In fact I'd start looking at some of those deals about 3-4 months into the season for deals.
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