Mouse - do lots of reading and research. This forum can be very useful in the "starting a lawncare business" section or whatever it's called. I would highly recommend going to www.lawnguru.net
and purchasing Ken's program - it is well worth every penny and is specific to lawncare in Maine since the guy who wrote it lives in Winslow. Knowing what to charge depends on your market area and what equipment you are using and how good you are with it. Only YOU can determine what you niche in the market will be and as far as how to stand out I would say is pretty basic: be professional, continually educate yourself, be dependable and always wear a smile, and return calls to customers asap. Very few people in my area do any of these things lol. But you are right, they come and go. It usually takes 3-5 years to develop a decent sized client base but be patient and before you know it you will have to turn down work. Good luck and pm me any questions. Where you from anyways?