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Old 10-03-2012, 11:22 PM
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mowerbrad mowerbrad is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Grand Haven, Michigan
Posts: 6,273
Your are tackling a very large task starting from scratch and obtaining your equipment and your customers. I have no problem purchasing equipment new, however, when you are just starting, I don't think it's too terribly smart to be purchasing your large ticket items new at your stage in your business. $10k+ for a new ztr is a huge expense when you have zero income (yes I know, you will be getting customers soon...blah, blah, blah). There is absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing used machines when you are just starting out, its a great way to keep start up costs down but still get equipment that can be used for a pretty good amount of time. A used $4000-$5000 lawn mower can last you a couple seasons, especially while you are just starting out. Finding a used trailer, that is half the cost of a new one, will do just good as a new one for significantly less money.

You need to understand that you are only 16 years old, don't have a truck yet, no trailer yet, no mower yet and no customers lined up for next season. That is a TON of money to spend on equipment. I don't care that you have plenty of money saved up from working summer jobs over the last few years, it is STUPID to spend all your money on all this equipment and still having to be making monthly payments for your nice new equipment.

When I started out, I didn't have all this nice new equipment. I bought myself a used ztr in cash for something like $5000 and used it for 3 seasons and then sold it when I upgraded mowers (to a new mower) for $2500. If I remember correctly my first trailer cost $600-$800, used that for 3-4 seasons and then upgraded to a new custom built trailer. My first truck cost me $2200, put about $3500 into repairs for it and it was ready to go, used that for 5 years then bought a slightly used truck for a rather significant amount of money. I have since added a second mower (bought new) and multiple attachments and handhelds in that same time. Never once have I had to finance things (I saved up my money from summer work over the years growing up).

I'm not saying you need to follow exactly in my footsteps, I just want to point out that you can be quite successful and purchase many of your initial pieces of equipment used and then upgrading to new equipment when the funds are more available and you can actually justify spending larger amounts of money. Yes, financing maybe necessary but I live by the philosophy of "save your money, pay with cash". To this day I have never financed anything...

I would highly suggest you rethink your spending plans and look at ways that you can save money, especially while you are just starting. Do you have advertising plans? Doorhangers, flyers, business cards...anything to help you get customers. Have you planned out your insurance needs for your business? What about billing and record keeping, have you purchased a program to do that (like Quickbooks) or do plan on doing that by hand and just do it on paper? How about enough cash reserves should you need money for repairs to your truck, fuel for everything and miscellaneous supplies (like oil, filters, belts, etc)?

I really don't want to sound mean or like I'm trying to bring you down, but I think you are wanting to spend way too much money when you are just starting out. I think you need to revisit some things and make sure you plan well for your first year or two in business.
'07 Chevy 2500HD
2010 John Deere Z925A 54" MOD
2011 John Deere Quik Trak 647A
John Deere walkbehind
81"x18' trailer
Stihl handhelds
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