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procut
02-02-2005, 03:00 PM
This happened about a year ago, but I just thought of it again the other day and thought i would share this story.

Last April I was at one of my best customers houses doing some spring clean up. The lady who lives next door had just moved in over the winter comes over and asks about mowing her proporty. So I give her an estimate. ($30.00 for a basic city lot) she says "oh, thats really resonable start the next time your here to do my neighbor." I say ok great. So about week later I show up to cut, helper starts on her lawn, while I begin on the neighbors. After about 5 minutes she comes walking out all confused and motions for me. She says "did you get my message?" I say "No", so she replies, "oh well, my neighbor kid from accross the street came and offered to do it, so I told him go ahead. I'll pay you for today, and that will be it, but if i need anything in the future i'll call you" I say fine whatever, so she gives me $30 cash and I walk off kinda pissed.

Some satifaction did come about a month later when I showed up to cut her neighbors lawn and her neighbor kid was over mowing. He sweating his a$$ off pushing his 21", making nice crooked lines, and even managed to miss grass between passes. My Z Master stipes on the neighbors lawn really showed him up. The best part was when he finished mowing he grabs an ELECTRIC trimmer and trims for about 45 seconds around the front and calls it good.

Now, I'm sure some members are going to jump down my throat for not using a contract, but rest assured, after this a few other incidents, I have learned my lesson.

Eddie B
02-02-2005, 03:09 PM
Ya know.... one day I was that kid. :(

proenterprises
02-02-2005, 03:16 PM
well, i will be the first to say that we all start somewhere, i did, however, always did a excellent job.

too bad you lost the account.

procut
02-02-2005, 03:20 PM
well, i will be the first to say that we all start somewhere, i did, however, always did a excellent job.

too bad you lost the account.
I know everyone has to start somewhere, but I don't think this kid is in the lawn business or even wants to be. It is my suspision that he only mows this one lawn using what appears to be his dad's 21"

MMLawn
02-02-2005, 03:29 PM
I know everyone has to start somewhere, but I don't think this kid is in the lawn business or even wants to be. It is my suspision that he only mows this one lawn using what appears to be his dad's 21"


Yeah, but in life that is all some folks want. They could care less about stripes and edging and only want the grass cut so they don't have to do it and they don't care really how it looks only how cheaply it gets done. I even had a older customer ask me one time if we could mow his lawn without the stripes. There will always me the kid with his dad's mower out there and I'msure most all of us started that way in some form or fashion. The only time it bugs me is when some 15 year old doing it says, <b>"I'm in the lawn care BUSINESS"</b> no insurance, no license, no paying taxes, no nothing... but he is in BUSINESS....yeah okay kid,that ain't business that is cutting grass for spending money. ;)

PLUS, since you are only 18 yourself now and this was a year ago you would have been 16-17 yourself at the time and since you too claim to have been in "business" for 5 years that means you started at "13" so you really aren't that far removed from that "kid" are you? :p

bobbygedd
02-02-2005, 03:57 PM
hey man, why didn't you stop, and show him a better way to do it? teach him the right way, so he can pick up more accts on that block. competition is a good thing. you should have introduced him to lawnsite, then we could all say, "hi, welcome to lawnsite, new people in my neighborhoods are good, the more the merrier."

sailinstud420
02-02-2005, 04:25 PM
bobbygedd, your the man. Whether you meant that or not, I never cease to laugh at your posts.

procut
02-02-2005, 04:49 PM
Yeah, but in life that is all some folks want. They could care less about stripes and edging and only want the grass cut so they don't have to do it and they don't care really how it looks only how cheaply it gets done. I even had a older customer ask me one time if we could mow his lawn without the stripes. There will always me the kid with his dad's mower out there and I'msure most all of us started that way in some form or fashion. The only time it bugs me is when some 15 year old doing it says, <b>"I'm in the lawn care BUSINESS"</b> no insurance, no license, no paying taxes, no nothing... but he is in BUSINESS....yeah okay kid,that ain't business that is cutting grass for spending money. ;)

PLUS, since you are only 18 yourself now and this was a year ago you would have been 16-17 yourself at the time and since you too claim to have been in "business" for 5 years that means you started at "13" so you really aren't that far removed from that "kid" are you? :p
Thats were you are wrong. I have business licence, insurance, pay taxes and all the nesesarry stuff. I appear much older than I am, there are people I could have knocked over with a feather when I told them I was in High School. Anyways I never went around bragging about how I owned a business I still don't. I see kids talking about how they have a lawn mowing business all the time hate it with a passion. Just look at my equipment, Ford F-250, two zero turn Toros, Stihl accessories. So yes, I am VERY far removed that kid.

Hartlawn Services
02-02-2005, 05:02 PM
I'm the new guy here, just finding this great website and forum. But in defense of this nameless kid: I was in his shoes not too long ago. While I believe I always did a better job than he seems to be, I started from pretty humble beginnings, also. And now, I help out those younger than me every chance I get.

PMLAWN
02-02-2005, 05:15 PM
I did it 30 years ago, Got like $15.00. Towed the mower behind my 10 speed with the handle under the seat. Dads mower--I bought the gas, about $.50 The rest I put in pocket. What profit!!!

If the customer is happy with what they pay for than so be it. Find the people who want full service and the manicured look and sell your services to them.

ALarsh
02-02-2005, 05:22 PM
Everybody starts somewhere. I was worse than that kid 3 years ago, I didn't even do trimming.

the scaper
02-02-2005, 05:41 PM
I saw a kid in my neighborhood standing on his 21" self propelled and actually riding it down the street with a gas can and hedge trimmers. I just laugh at them.

dwc
02-02-2005, 06:01 PM
Just wait till that kid throws a rock thru a $1,000 windshield and the lady has to pay for it cause the kid doesn't have insurance. Your $30 will look much better than what he charges!

LawnsByJon
02-02-2005, 06:06 PM
I am proud to say that I am that kid, more or less. And I do consider myself a business.

I'm currently 16 and I've been mowing since I was 12 or 13, under the table.

Last year, I got official, and paid the fee to get the soliciting permit that I technically needed to do what I do. I don't pay taxes because quite frankly, I don't want to waste my time doing the paperwork for such a small ammount of income, and quite frankly, I don't think the IRS gives a crap about the $20 or so bucks they'd be getting from me if I did pay taxes.\

I do consider myself very professional though. All my equipment is transported in my wheelbarrow, which works fine because I only have clients in my small housing plan.

I have four official clients. All of them are on a two week mowing schedule, I do two one week and the other two the next. But I'm also "on call," for them, willing and able to go out if special circumstances require it.

I mow, I trim, and I haul away all of my own clippings, (more compost for me :) ) Also, I fertilize and or water on occasion, depending on what the customer requests.

And I think I do a pretty good job at it.

My mower is a plain old LawnBoy residential mower. My dad bought it, but I pay him a percentage of my earnings every year for use. I also pay for my own gasoline, and I pick up the tab on any and all advertising. (Very little, I'm happy with my current client list. I did buy a lawn sign that I put up wherever I'm mowing at the specific time, or in my yard if I'm not working) What I'm trying to point out is that I pay all of my own expenses.

In a year or two, my grandfather plans on giving me his tractor, which is at a minimum a 36" if not the next size up. He's giving it to me on the stipulation that I mow his lawn once every other week.

When I get the tractor, I will be paying for gasoline for it, and I'll be buying a nice trailer for it. Hopefully when I do this, I'll be able to expand a bit.

I'm not in this to become filthy rich or even make a living, I'm in it to make a little spending cash.

I'm not a "lowballer" nor do I intentionally try to take competition from the local landscaping companies, I just mow at a reasonable price for neighbors and friends.

Before you guys spend any time worrying about the neighborhood kids stealing your business, realize that some of us are 100% legit (or in my case about 80%) and that you will always lose customers to the kid who lives just across the street, just because often the customer knows the neighborhood kids a bit better.

I mean, think about it, if you had some house plants that needed watered while you were on vacation, would you rather hire a professional that you've never met, know nothing about, but they look reputable because they have a fancy ad in the yellow pages, or a nice truck, or would you rather hire your neighbor who you've known for years, who you trust.



I dunno, anyway, that was a very long-winded rant, I just sort of kept typing and typing. I'm sorry if I stepped on any toes, I just felt it needed said. No offense to any of you big guys.= :cool:

HOOLIE
02-02-2005, 06:07 PM
A contract isn't going to keep someone from going with the neighborhood kid.

I don't even sweat these kind of things. Rather see a young lad busting arse than hanging out on a street corner, smoking cigarettes.

Jeff@SGLC.ca
02-02-2005, 06:09 PM
I am proud to say that I am that kid, more or less. And I do consider myself a business.

I'm currently 16 and I've been mowing since I was 12 or 13, under the table.

Last year, I got official, and paid the fee to get the soliciting permit that I technically needed to do what I do. I don't pay taxes because quite frankly, I don't want to waste my time doing the paperwork for such a small ammount of income, and quite frankly, I don't think the IRS gives a crap about the $20 or so bucks they'd be getting from me if I did pay taxes.\

I do consider myself very professional though. All my equipment is transported in my wheelbarrow, which works fine because I only have clients in my small housing plan.

I have four official clients. All of them are on a two week mowing schedule, I do two one week and the other two the next. But I'm also "on call," for them, willing and able to go out if special circumstances require it.

I mow, I trim, and I haul away all of my own clippings, (more compost for me :) ) Also, I fertilize and or water on occasion, depending on what the customer requests.

And I think I do a pretty good job at it.

My mower is a plain old LawnBoy residential mower. My dad bought it, but I pay him a percentage of my earnings every year for use. I also pay for my own gasoline, and I pick up the tab on any and all advertising. (Very little, I'm happy with my current client list. I did buy a lawn sign that I put up wherever I'm mowing at the specific time, or in my yard if I'm not working) What I'm trying to point out is that I pay all of my own expenses.

In a year or two, my grandfather plans on giving me his tractor, which is at a minimum a 36" if not the next size up. He's giving it to me on the stipulation that I mow his lawn once every other week.

When I get the tractor, I will be paying for gasoline for it, and I'll be buying a nice trailer for it. Hopefully when I do this, I'll be able to expand a bit.

I'm not in this to become filthy rich or even make a living, I'm in it to make a little spending cash.

I'm not a "lowballer" nor do I intentionally try to take competition from the local landscaping companies, I just mow at a reasonable price for neighbors and friends.

Before you guys spend any time worrying about the neighborhood kids stealing your business, realize that some of us are 100% legit (or in my case about 80%) and that you will always lose customers to the kid who lives just across the street, just because often the customer knows the neighborhood kids a bit better.

I mean, think about it, if you had some house plants that needed watered while you were on vacation, would you rather hire a professional that you've never met, know nothing about, but they look reputable because they have a fancy ad in the yellow pages, or a nice truck, or would you rather hire your neighbor who you've known for years, who you trust.



I dunno, anyway, that was a very long-winded rant, I just sort of kept typing and typing. I'm sorry if I stepped on any toes, I just felt it needed said. No offense to any of you big guys.= :cool:


:eek:

You carry your tools in your wheelbarrow?

PMLAWN
02-02-2005, 07:10 PM
Do you have your name and logo on the wheelbarrow? :D

LawnsByJon
02-02-2005, 07:11 PM
:eek:

You carry your tools in your wheelbarrow?

Like I said, it's the easiest thing for me. I only have my learner's permit right now, so it's either the wheelbarrow or figure out a way to put a trailer on my mountain bike. All I generally bring with me is my push mower, my trimmer, gasoline for the two, and the yard sign. :rolleyes:

Generally, if I need anything else, or I need something specific, I'll make an extra trip with the wheelbarrow, or I'll just load it in the jeep and drive it down the road. I don't have any clients outside of my neighborhood, and so it's no more than a half mile walk.

And the comment about the rock being thrown by a mower and breaking someone's windshield, that's honestly not a problem for me. I am incredibly careful, and I always walk the yard real quick before mowing. Even if there was some kind of incident, these people are all very close friends who trust me, and they'd be perfectly willing to work something out. Worse comes to worse, I'll pay the money out of pocket from what I've earned in the past seasons.

If and when I get my grandfathers tractor, I will probably expand, and so I'll look into become a bit more formal, and I'll probably start paying the taxes and get some insurance, right now I'm just fine.

This business is whatever you make of it.


No, I don't have my name and logo on the wheelbarrow. YET.....

But I do have my phone number on the sides, and like I said, I always carry with me a lawn sign that goes in the yard that I'm mowing.

PMLAWN
02-02-2005, 07:24 PM
I admire your drive. Keep reinvesting and it will all be good.

DennisF
02-02-2005, 07:40 PM
I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade here, but I don't think it's a good idea for any homeowner to allow a minor to do any kind of work on their home, including lawn mowing. In most states anyone under the age of 18 is not allowed to work in any environment where machinery or power equipment is used. If a homeowner allows a minor to operate power equipment on their property and the minor is injured, the financial responsibility falls on the homeowner.
There was a case in Michigan about 15 years ago where a homeowner allowed the 14 year old neighbor kid to mow the lawn using his lawn tractor. The lawn tractor rolled over on the kid, which broke his neck leaving him a quadriplegic. The parents of the minor sued the homeowner for several million dollars. The homeowners' insurance policy paid out the maximum amount that the policy provided, but left the homeowner responsible for the rest of the judgment. The last that I heard of the case the homeowner lost his home, his life savings and his marriage. Sad story, but true. So much for allowing a minor to work on your property.

MMLawn
02-02-2005, 08:03 PM
I admire your work ethic young man and keep it up! But I also have to strongly disagree with you below as you are proving in your post exactly what I said earlier about kids and "business".

But keep working hard and stay in school!

I am proud to say that I am that kid, more or less. And I do consider myself a business.

I'm currently 16 and I've been mowing since I was 12 or 13, under the table.

That is exactly why you are NOT a business my young friend. You are as I said a kid mowing a couple yards for spending money and there is a BIG difference.

Last year, I got official, and paid the fee to get the soliciting permit that I technically needed to do what I do.

No, you didn't get "official". To do that you need a Business License (State/County/Local) and maybe even a State Sales Tax license depending on your state. Commercial Liability Business Insurance, maybe being a Corp, getting a Federal Tax ID,etc. ALl of which by law you have to be at least 18 to do also.

I don't pay taxes because quite frankly, I don't want to waste my time doing the paperwork for such a small ammount of income, and quite frankly, I don't think the IRS gives a crap about the $20 or so bucks they'd be getting from me if I did pay taxes.

I can ASSURE you that the IRS cares about each and every dime they are being cheated out of. Now if you didn't make over the filing threshold then that is one thing,but if you did and didn't file then that is stealing and criminally illegal...even for a 16 year old. Not to mention the morals you show by this statement.



I do consider myself very professional though. All my equipment is transported in my wheelbarrow,

Yeah,okay if you say so but this statement sures counters that :rolleyes:


Also, I fertilize on occasion, depending on what the customer requests.

This Requires you 1) to have a State Issued Applicators License and 2) to be at least 18 years old to get that. Apply chemicals without it is a Criminal Offense in most states and a Civil Offense in every state that requires licensing.

I'm not in this to become filthy rich or even make a living, I'm in it to make a little spending cash.

Excatly as I said earlier all kids are doing it for.

realize that some of us are 100% legit (or in my case about 80%)

Sorry,but you aren't even close to 80%. Looks like with only the Solicit Permit you are at about 5%.

I mean, think about it, if you had some house plants that needed watered while you were on vacation, would you rather hire a professional that you've never met, know nothing about, but they look reputable because they have a fancy ad in the yellow pages, or a nice truck, or would you rather hire your neighbor who you've known for years, who you trust.

So, because us professional true business owners that have that ad, and nice truck(s) we are not as honest as the neighborhood kid and can't be trusted? I guess based on that thought that your dad uses a neighbor kid to service his Heat and AC? The plumbing? As his Lawyer?...I think you see my point.

Anyway, I being the lover of work ethic I am again tell you to keep working hard, but also as the hater I am about 14-17 year olds saying they are in "BUSINESS" when that are NOT and don't even have a clue to what really running a TRUE business is I had to call BS on that part.

Good luck kid.

stumper1620
02-02-2005, 08:20 PM
I did it 30 years ago, Got like $15.00. Towed the mower behind my 10 speed with the handle under the seat. Dads mower--I bought the gas, about $.50 The rest I put in pocket. What profit!!!

If the customer is happy with what they pay for than so be it. Find the people who want full service and the manicured look and sell your services to them.
This was me 35 years ago, bought my first mower from the neighbor for 2 bucks, An old wards 21 inch, bought gas a t Sinclair for 44 cents a gallon and charged 5 bucks a lawn, had 6 lawns I mowed every week. when my parents moved to the country my mowing ended. until I was 18 then I started on golf course running the big stuff. after several years mowing greens & fairways i moved on to Irrigation, I like turf too much had to come back to lawn care.
Just can't beat the satisfaction of looking at your work & being able to say
Damn that looks GOOD!
sorry rambling, anyway most people feel they are helping the kids by giving them a way to make some spending money.
I'd rather they earn the money to spend than be stealing what they can't buy. :D

lawncare4u
02-02-2005, 08:33 PM
OK,so we have downed the kid.There is enough pie to go around!Let him Let him MOW,Let him MOW so he can GROW,and maybe some day buy him a shiney new TORO/(with stripeing kit)ofcourse :p

Jeff@SGLC.ca
02-02-2005, 08:38 PM
I mean, think about it, if you had some house plants that needed watered while you were on vacation, would you rather hire a professional that you've never met, know nothing about, but they look reputable because they have a fancy ad in the yellow pages, or a nice truck, or would you rather hire your neighbor who you've known for years, who you trust.


Well considering I wouldn't let anyone into my house that was not insured and bonded........I'd have to say the guy with the fancy truck. Who is responsible if you water the flowers and forget to lock the door when you leave? In order to be bonded up here, you can not have a criminal record as well.


You know if the kid came on here and said "hey I mow a couple lawns for neighbours and one day I'd like to be a real legit company and choose it as my career and I look up to you guys for advice", that would be a different story but the kid says he's proffesional pushing his wheel barrow. Even when I was 17, driving my dads Suburban with magnet signs and the trailer with equiptment......I could of at least got away with saying I was proffesional.

nriddle77
02-02-2005, 08:55 PM
Dennis as usual you made a nice point. Who wants to be liable for the damage a minor could possibly do to himself or others?

Also, what if did worse than break a window? What if you caused a fire that damaged the house? Would your friendly customers still being willing to work something out?
It just sounds like too many risks for a few bucks.

mtmn35rem
02-02-2005, 09:05 PM
Some of you guys are ridiculous, I mean, u act like everyone under 18 that does anything that has to do with equipment or work or anything for that matter needs to be in a padded room with ballons on their ears. Gimmie a break, a teenager mowin the friggan lawn or the neighbors lawn isn't going to hurt anything for the most part, even if they do a bunch for extra cash, thats crap when some kid comes on here and says somethin like this and eveyone with a license over 18 jumps down his throat and trys to belittle him. He calls it a buisness, you know its not, so what, let him call it what he wants, someday maybe it will be. some of you on here need to lighten up and shut up about this subject cuz it is old and if your really worried about some neighbor hood kids buisness threatining yours, then your buisness must not be very secure. And I sure as hell would rather have a neighbor I trust go in my house when im gone and water the plants then some guy I have never seen before with a fancy van and company. But then again you do your thing and i'll do mine.

stumper1620
02-02-2005, 09:07 PM
Ok lawnsbyjon,
technically your not in business and you can't be at your age but, no matter what, you are, what is called an entrepreneur, that is a good thing, you are working yourself in the right direction for your age. you really need to stop the fert. spreading, that one will cost you more than you could ever imagine even as a minor the fines will be steep. I personally doubt that you are exceeding the IRS min. requirements and if you are then it should be claimed even if its on your parents return it should be claimed. saying what you have. I would dare venture a guess that you know how much mowing brings in.
either way, don't lose your drive to grow. You are at a age that allows you to make decisions on your future. Think long and hard, Maybe lawn care is your future. you never know. :D

LawnsByJon
02-02-2005, 10:40 PM
I knew I was setting myself up for a flame by posting this on a professional landscaping forum.

First of all, I guess I worded it wrong when I said fertilizing, or maybe I didn't I don't know. By fertilizing, I meant going to walmart, picking up a bag of Scotts Turfbuilder and putting it out in my dinky little walk-behind spreader. I doubt that's breaking any laws, but if it seriously is, please tell me.

I guess I also misused the word professional. That's sort of a more relative term. Let's look at the guy two blocks down the street who owns a landscaping company, with three identical trucks, with enough equipment and people to be able to mow at one site, and actually do serious landscaping at another, I'd call him really professional, and he's a really nice guy too. Then there's the 12 year old living two blocks in the other direction, he's very much like the kid first described in this post, he pulls his mower up and down his street, ringing doorbells, charging $30 for a shoddy job. Then there's me, I find myself somewhere in between. Still just a kid, but somewhere on the way to having a real business. With my efficient and neat work, I consider myself more professional than the other kid, but nowhere near as professional as the guy who owns his own company. I still think I'm more professional then most of the kids my age who are mowing lawns.

Someone mentioned that I misused the word business. That I don't really have a business. I agree that my "business" is nowhere near the "business" of most of you people, but that shouldn't make a difference on how you look at me. My good friend Merriam Webster defines a business as "The occupation, work, or trade in which a person is engaged." Does it say anything about driving a $40,000 truck or having a $5,000 mower? Does it say anything about being 100% legitimate?

Not really.

To be honest, I envy alot of you guys with successful businesses.


Anyway, I came here looking for tips on the upcoming season. I saw this post, and I saw how you guys sort of looked down upon the "fly by night" mowers. I thought my views might be appreciated, possibly an inspiration to others like myself. Instead I was shot down for calling myself professional when I carry my equipment in a wheelbarrow and call myself a "business."

Someday, I might be as high up in the landscaping world as you guys, but right now, I'm not.


But seriously folks, before you get ticked off about losing a customer to a 12 year who gives a lowball estimate and is 100% less professional than yourself, think of how much the extra $20-$30 means to you, verses $20-$30 that was the first money that a 12 year old kid truly earned...

plateau lawn care
02-02-2005, 10:43 PM
better than being out their robbing someone

plateau lawn care
02-02-2005, 10:44 PM
the kid robbing someone that is not lcos. just wanted to clear that up. Talking about the way most kids are raised these days

dwc
02-02-2005, 11:12 PM
And the comment about the rock being thrown by a mower and breaking someone's windshield, that's honestly not a problem for me. I am incredibly careful, and I always walk the yard real quick before mowing. Even if there was some kind of incident, these people are all very close friends who trust me, and they'd be perfectly willing to work something out. Worse comes to worse, I'll pay the money out of pocket from what I've earned in the past seasons.



I know that you are probably careful when mowing, I am too. Last year I got accused of breaking a $400 window at a customer's house and even though there was no way I broke it, I had to replace it to make him happy.
It's not only the customer's property I was referring to, but maybe the guy driving down the street in his Mercedes. That's when it would get ugly.

There is nothing wrong with starting like you are doing. I started when I was 15 with not much equipment or anything and I know where you are coming from. As soon as I could, I made it a real business though.
However, I did not choose to get on a professional lawn care forum and try to tell others that have made businesses out of the green industry and are true professionals that I rated right there next to them. I think that is what has everyone upset here. It's kind of like being the president of a club and telling the president of the US that there is not much difference than you and he.

Smalltimer1
02-02-2005, 11:35 PM
So, because us professional true business owners that have that ad, and nice truck(s) we are not as honest as the neighborhood kid and can't be trusted?

My grandparents hired this guy who came by in a fancy little rig all numbered and lettered up for home improvements, and my pop wanted his garage roof reshingled, and this guy goes and gets a roll of tarpaper and covers the roof laterally and calls it done, then sends them a bill for $850 for a day of work.

So much for being professional. :rolleyes:

The rig doesn't mean a damn thing. It's who runs it that counts, underage, overage or anywhere in between. I am not a carpenter or a roofer, but I know I could do a better job than that jackleg did.

I started out on a '77 Montgomery Ward 10/36 lawn tractor and a 20" Murray with a 3.5 Tecumseh and a Homelite Curved Shaft trimmer in 1997. I would load the pushmower and the weedeater in a little homemade garden cart and pull it around to my neighbors yards. I ran that Montgomery Ward into the ground, then used a 1989 Honda HT-3810 for a year, then the starter crapped out on it, got that fixed, then sold it, and got the 1999 JD GT-235 and then gradually expanded to include a 1969 JD 140, a 1987 Honda HT-3813, and as of this past weekend, a 1966 Allis Chalmers Big 10. I am doing a working restoration on the last 3, but they have all proved very useful and I hope to find a new starter for the HT-3813 so it will be ready to take over as prime mower for this summer, with the AC Big 10 as backup, as I want to keep the GT-235 for home use only from now on since its part mine and part my father's.

Hopefully at the end of this coming summer I'll have enough after I sell off my excess equipment I'll have enough to get a JD 430 Diesel with a 60" deck. That is the ultimate mowing machine as far as I'm concerned.

I don't call my operation a "business" so to speak, just a small organization. In fact when the big guys get full during the summer, some of them call on me to step in to help out if bad weather is expected or some other unexpected event comes up and time will not allow for them to finish all their accounts. I do not go out trying to compete, I just step in when neccessary with myself and my equipment and sometimes a helper if needed.

As far as taxes are concerned I have paid mine, and I strongly believe I'll be getting a nice refund due to the fact that I donated 2 riding mowers to my old school this year as well as some old equipment to my church for their yard sale.

stumper1620
02-02-2005, 11:48 PM
lawnbyjon
You just keep doing what your doing,
what i meant when i said your technically not a business is you have to be 18 to register a business as a dba or llc or what ever, an entrepreneur is someone who has drive, inititive, and an idea to make something work to make money whether that be mowing lawns or creating something, thats what makes it a good thing, now as far as spreading a bag of scotts, legally you still shouldn't be doing that. set up you pm and I'll send you a note about it.
don't let these guys drag you down, these guys think anyone under 18 has no right to do anything. then when they have someone 18 or over working for them and their late or don't work hard enough for them all they do is bi!tch
about how hard it is to get good help these days. he!! when i grew up you started working at 8 to 10 years old if you wanted to have anything. i had a family of 9, mom & dad couldn't afford anything extra. now the laws won't allow for a good work ethic. so once again I say
Keep doing what you are doing and blow off the bull, you seem like the kind of young man i would want as my neighbor. :cool2:

MMLawn
02-03-2005, 12:20 AM
First of all, I guess I worded it wrong when I said fertilizing, or maybe I didn't I don't know. By fertilizing, I meant going to walmart, picking up a bag of Scotts Turfbuilder and putting it out in my dinky little walk-behind spreader. I doubt that's breaking any laws, but if it seriously is, please tell me.

Yeah it is illegal Jon. The way the law is written if you are applying it to ANY yard other than your own and/or for hire (pay) then you must be a licensed applicator and doing it without being so is a violation of Civil and/or Criminal Laws.

PMLAWN
02-03-2005, 07:46 AM
I don't pay taxes either.. 4 years at this and I still haven't crossed the filing threshold :(

Tvov
02-03-2005, 09:14 AM
Some of you guys are ridiculous, I mean, u act like everyone under 18 that does anything that has to do with equipment or work or anything for that matter needs to be in a padded room with ballons on their ears. Gimmie a break, a teenager mowin the friggan lawn or the neighbors lawn isn't going to hurt anything for the most part, even if they do a bunch for extra cash, thats crap when some kid comes on here and says somethin like this and eveyone with a license over 18 jumps down his throat and trys to belittle him. He calls it a buisness, you know its not, so what, let him call it what he wants, someday maybe it will be. some of you on here need to lighten up and shut up about this subject cuz it is old and if your really worried about some neighbor hood kids buisness threatining yours, then your buisness must not be very secure. And I sure as hell would rather have a neighbor I trust go in my house when im gone and water the plants then some guy I have never seen before with a fancy van and company. But then again you do your thing and i'll do mine.


I pretty much agree with this (and it's not just because mtm is from CT!). These guys are working hard, more power to 'em. We can give advice without flaming them. I started out when I was 14, using a lawn tractor, towing my electric (yes, ELECTRIC, with a cord!) trimmer AND push mower (yes, ELECTRIC also) in a garden trailer. Needed the trailer because I had about 200' of extension cord along with the equipment.

We can give advice, and point these guys in the right direction.

timturf
02-03-2005, 09:36 AM
[QUOTE=LawnsByJon]I knew I was setting myself up for a flame by posting this on a professional landscaping forum.

First of all, I guess I worded it wrong when I said fertilizing, or maybe I didn't I don't know. By fertilizing, I meant going to walmart, picking up a bag of Scotts Turfbuilder and putting it out in my dinky little walk-behind spreader. I doubt that's breaking any laws, but if it seriously is, please tell me.

Anyway, I came here looking for tips on the upcoming season. I saw this post, and I saw how you guys sort of looked down upon the "fly by night" mowers. I thought my views might be appreciated, possibly an inspiration to others like myself. Instead I was shot down for calling myself professional when I carry my equipment in a wheelbarrow and call myself a "business."

Someday, I might be as high up in the landscaping world as you guys, but right now, I'm not.


Jon,
stay away from the fert, you must have a license to apply it for hire!

I like your attitude, push a wheelborrow with mower, gas , blower, and edger, up to 1/2 mile. don't forget the insurance when you reach 18
tim

lpwhandyman
02-03-2005, 09:53 AM
I just wish my kid had half of this kids drive. He's not 16, but soon to be a teenager. I've been wanting him to help out from time to time and he just isn't into it. I can't wait until the day he wants to earn a few bucks and starts asking "exactly" how he can save up money for dates, car/truck, etc. It won't matter to me if it's when he's 13 or 18 or whatever. I'd be happy to get him a push mower and a wheelbarrow. My only advice would not be so naive to think you can get away with not paying taxes, not having a license, etc. As you can see on here, other lco can take it a bit personal and a local lco might turn you in thinking you're taking food off their table. You call it extra spending money, the irs may call it a big fine or time in jail. Be sure to look into that. But other then that, good luck.

mbricker
02-03-2005, 01:20 PM
I have to say I admire the work ethic of these teens that get out and mow lawns, whether it is for a little spending money, or they actually are trying to grow a decent business. Some of you critics, have you not noticed how the work ethic is in real short supply these days in young people? And I want to add that I have a lot of respect for the parents that are teaching that work ethic.

Second, to those with the harshest criticism about bending the rules regarding taxes, fert. apps, liability insurance, etc: Do you not remember when you were young and you didn't know all the regulations we live with, and when you were informed about them, you said (like I did) "What a bunch of cr@p! Why do we have to do stuff THAT way?"

And last, don't forget, this country was built by people who came here, saw OPPORTUNITY, and without knowing all the rules, got in there and WORKED, and learned about the right way to do things as they grew.

My point being, cut a little slack, people. We don't actually HAVE to find fault with everything that isn't just the way we do it. (Although the lawyers love it when we do) payup

dishboy
02-03-2005, 01:35 PM
Yeah it is illegal Jon. The way the law is written if you are applying it to ANY yard other than your own and/or for hire (pay) then you must be a licensed applicator and doing it without being so is a violation of Civil and/or Criminal Laws.

I do not know about the state in question, but in some states it is legal to apply fertilizer without a license.

timturf
02-03-2005, 01:37 PM
I have to say I admire the work ethic of these teens that get out and mow lawns, whether it is for a little spending money, or they actually are trying to grow a decent business. Some of you critics, have you not noticed how the work ethic is in real short supply these days in young people? And I want to add that I have a lot of respect for the parents that are teaching that work ethic.

Second, to those with the harshest criticism about bending the rules regarding taxes, fert. apps, liability insurance, etc: Do you not remember when you were young and you didn't know all the regulations we live with, and when you were informed about them, you said (like I did) "What a bunch of cr@p! Why do we have to do stuff THAT way?"

And last, don't forget, this country was built by people who came here, saw OPPORTUNITY, and without knowing all the rules, got in there and WORKED, and learned about the right way to do things as they grew.

My point being, cut a little slack, people. We don't actually HAVE to find fault with everything that isn't just the way we do it. (Although the lawyers love it when we do) payup


great post

timturf
02-03-2005, 01:44 PM
I do not know about the state in question, but in some states it is legal to apply fertilizer without a license.

I believe that is right, as long as it's only fert, no pest control included!

stumper1620
02-03-2005, 02:11 PM
[/B]

I believe that is right, as long as it's only fert, no pest control included!
thats possible, and also, since i can't get a pm to jon, the law is very vag as far as this goes, I think if the home \owner has a bag of scotts in the garage and ask if he will spread it. so long as he is not paid for that directly it would be legal. but i'm not sure about his age. :D
they should give a really good tip for the mowing tho. payup