Ive been lurking this forum for a while now, and feel that I can provide some advice on how to get started "on the cheap" because thats exactly what I did.
Id get a poulan pro (or similar brand) multi use tool and buy it NEW. Get the weed eater, edger, and blower for that machine. Fall is a great time to pick them up because wal mart will clearance that stuff out in about a month. If they have the hedgetrimmer attachment or pole saw, then grab them too. That will get you the basic tools you need, and then Id pick up the best 21 inch mower you can afford and self propelled is a must. New or used, its up to you. BUT i feel that starting out with NEW equipment decreases the number of headaches, and allows you to enjoy your equipment a bit more knowing what you have. I have hearld a lot of people that like the hondas, but they are pricey. You can get by with a pickup truck and a set of ramps, but id recommend a trailer. Just depends on the funds you have to work with. The 21 inch mower is my recommendation for the yards I do. Most are residential and small. You must consider the lawns and customers you have before deciding on which mower.
Once you have the mower and three other tools, immediatly start saving as much as you can to "reinvest" from your mowing jobs. First purchase should be a commercial trimmer ( i like the stihl, but everybody is different). Then get a commercial edger. Hold off on the backpack blower, and continue to use the blower attachment on the cheap poulan pro power head (or whichever you decide ) unless your doing a lot of leaf clean ups. Buying new or used on these items is up to you. I picked up a two stroke stihl commercial edger for 120 bucks, and its been a GREAT machine so far.
Going this route provides you with better equipment designed for commercial use, AND the other unit with the multi attachments becomes your back up. That multi use tool will save your bacon on those days when those other tools break down. And it WILL happen!
After that, its time to upgrade to whatever size commercial mower you think you will need, and get that dedicated back pack blower. I still havent purchased these last two items...LOL. You know what they say about opinions...everybody has one. Well I just gave you mine on how to get started. I mow as a side business, and have about 15 lawns to take care of. If that is your intended starting point, the equipment im talking about will be fine for a start. hope this helps.
Last edited by rbljack; 09-23-2012 at 06:08 AM.