Hey guys, thanks for the input. When I was a first officer in 2005-2006 I was operating solo and built up to 30 properties my first year. I picked up about 12-15 people in the first 2 months by putting out flyers ( by the way this has been a very effective means of marketing for me). I actually had to turn down some business that did not meet my criteria. Don't get me wrong, I believe it is important when starting out in any business to take what you can get to generate cash flow and then weed out the non profitable or pita accounts later, but some of the jobs I turned down just were not something I wanted to take on. You know the type.
As for equipment. I believe you get what you pay for. I sold my Hustler 52" Super mini z when I stopped mowing in 2006. No sense in letting that kind of mower sit around if it's not being used. I still have my quick 36, Redmax trimmer, enclosed trailer and have replaced the stolen Redmax 7001 blower and edger because I knew I was going to return to the business. I will buy a larger mower when the business dictates.
I also don't plan on operating solo after the first year. I am well aware of the cost of hiring employees and have discussed this at length with my accountant who is also a pilot with my airline who operates a company called aircrew taxes. This guy is sharp! He worked for Arthur Anderson in the early 90's and has extensive experience with small business accounting. On the legal side, my father was an attorney for 34 years (before retiring) and handles all my legal issues. I plan on getting my pesticide applicators license before spring with the help of another pilot friend of mine who also operates a lawn care business. Last but not least,a former airline pilot friend of mine who operates a commercial window tinting business is helping me with marketing. If you are beginning to see a theme. You are right. I believe it is important to seek advice from people who are experts or successful in their field.