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Old 02-04-2013, 03:40 AM
perdonlandscaping perdonlandscaping is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Nutley, New Jersey
Posts: 1
I am a college kid who started my business two years ago under the table with one customer, no insurance, no trailer, and little experience, but I did have a truck, and I bought a small push mower, a handheld blower, and residential string trimmer. The first summer I only had one customer and I was pretty bummed out about that, but looking back it really helped me to only have that one customer. With the residential tools and small lawn mower everything will take longer then you think, now i certainly would have like to have had five or ten customers that first summer and I probably would have been able to do that but my customer service and cut quality would have really suffered so don't be to quick to get out there and have forty customers right off the bat, because first of all that won't happen, its going to take a lot of time to grow your customer base, and second of all you won't be able to handle all of the time and work. I am saying that from experience as a new one person crew everything takes way longer to do. You have more time then I did if you are taking off for a semester so you can take on 15 or 20 customers by the end of the summer if you can get that many but don't be upset if you don't, but with being new, inexperienced, and having mediocre equipment, not having to many customers is the best learning/training experience you can have. In my second summer I got up to 15 customers and I saved up about $200 and did all the research on lawn site and google on how to become legal and i did it my self (if you read enough its not that hard) I pay sales and use taxes and now I'm filing my end of year tax return, my mother is also an accountant so that really helps for the filing of the taxes. I am also looking into getting insurance I found pretty cheap insurance on for a $1,000,000/2,000,000 policy. Being young it is harder to get insurance that is cheap but it is really necessary if you don't want to be paying for medical expenses from hitting someone in the head with a rock that flew out from under your mower, and trust me medical expenses rack up quickly and are very very expensive. Becoming a legitimate business and getting insurance were the two things that I wanted to get before I upgraded all of my equipment or anything, its a great feeling and it takes away the fear of having to pay hefty fines to the state or medical bills out of pocket, so I suggest saving up for those two things by the second year of business at the latest. I am now currently looking to buy a brand-new commercial mower if i reach my customer goal for this upcoming season and I am studying for my fertilizer license which i suggest getting once you become legitimate because those fines are stiff as well. Become a good salesman as well, google and youtube and read as much as you can about lawn care, even if you are not completely sure you will be able to BS a customer and empress them until you actually fully understand what you are talking about, that will close a lot of deals for you. DO NOT LOW BALL A BID TO GET THE JOB EITHER. If you do that you will not make it through the summer, come up with a price and stick to it, people will pay more then you think and if you go in high it gives you a little room to negotiate if the customer wants and it makes both of you happy when you agree on a price. So basically after that very long answer, do as much research, reading, googling, and youtubing as you can to learn about lawn care, set your priorities in terms of what you are going to invest in first after you get your business started, don't low ball, and remember everything will take you longer then you think. Oh and don't quit when it gets tough, I wanted to quit very often but I didn't and I'm doing pretty well now. I hope this helps and good luck
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