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Old 06-23-2014, 03:11 AM
lawnandorder2013 lawnandorder2013 is offline
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A Teenager's Potentially REVOLUTIONARY Lawn Care Business Model

What are your thoughts on this business idea?:

A business in which the people mowing are local teenagers that mow lawns with their own push mowers. This business would be moderately large in size (let's say 100+ yards per week) and located in an upper-class suburb. I (a college student) would find new customers, manage the business, and handle most customer service, and I would take a cut of the income from each lawn. Our prices would be comparable to those of professional lawn care companies (maybe a little lower), and we would operate on strict principles of quality (no badly-mowed yards).

Here is my rationale for this idea: People (especially those that live in really nice suburbs) LOVE the idea of a hardworking teenager, and many people who would not hire a professional service would maybe hire a teenager. They would not have to worry about the quality of the lawn care, because it is an established business with an experienced owner (who is barely out of his teens) making sure the teenager is doing a good job. The teenagers would be well trained by me, and they would make a LOT of money (about 2.5x minimum wage, in my experience). Compared to other jobs available to a teenager, this job requires more personal responsibility, but it pays off in the amount of money that can be made. I will be able to attract the most reliable teenagers to mow lawns, because I would more than any other job they could get.

This is the plan for Lawn and Order, a business that I started last year. It currently has 17 clients. I am hoping to use this business model to grow the business around the community. Any comments, ideas, critiques, or wisdom is much appreciated. I am very new to "the industry", but I think I might really have something here.
  #2  
Old 06-23-2014, 04:20 AM
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easy-lift guy easy-lift guy is online now
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Although you may believe your "business idea" is novel I can assure you it is not new. Contact your local score.org office and set up an appointment with actual experts that have been there and done that.
After your first meeting or interview I suspect you will be given an honest opinion of your "business idea"
and than if you would like to proceed will be given a homework assignment which will be to create a actual business plan. Once you have completed this assignment I believe you will have a much better perspective on everything involved with starting a business going forward. If possible ask about any mentoring programs available as well. There is no cost for participating except your own time and future business life.
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:39 AM
ztman ztman is offline
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Same concept as the house painters isn't it. The claimed to have college kids do the work. I don't see them around anymore. See what happened to them, and don't do what they did
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:45 AM
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JCLawn and more JCLawn and more is offline
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Originally Posted by ztman View Post
Same concept as the house painters isn't it. The claimed to have college kids do the work. I don't see them around anymore. See what happened to them, and don't do what they did
It's a franchise called student painters. They are everywhere actually. My gf works for them.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:35 AM
DuallyVette DuallyVette is offline
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Someone around here uses college students to pet sit. Or pet visit. They would come take the dog for a thirty minute walk and just check on them. One of my customers pays 35/40 twice a day if she is out playing tennis and having lunch with friends. :-) Another pet sitter I met worked alone. She didn't trust the students that she met. And was concerned about liability issues, sending people into customers homes

For lawn maintenance... I don't think it will work.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:57 AM
lawnandorder2013 lawnandorder2013 is offline
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The student painters thing is really interesting, and in some ways it could be used as a model for my personal business model. Why exactly do you guys believe that my lawn care business model won't work?
  #7  
Old 06-23-2014, 09:49 AM
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White Gardens White Gardens is offline
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Originally Posted by lawnandorder2013 View Post
The student painters thing is really interesting, and in some ways it could be used as a model for my personal business model. Why exactly do you guys believe that my lawn care business model won't work?
General Overhead.

Start Up Costs.

Lack of actual teenagers wanting to work in the blazing summer sun.

Lack of quality control on each site while they are doing the work. Otherwise you'll be checking everything every week with no direct supervision.

100 yards will be tough to push mow, you'll need at least two crews. You won't be able to get the volume you need to cut a profit like the bigger companies do if you are staying competitive on pricing.

Teenage drivers are probably going to cost you a lot more in insurance costs to have driving trucks. You would probably be looking at $500.00(+) in insurance alone per month,12 months a year, if you can find it at your age.

Customers are going to want more, and you'll need to offer everything. Otherwise they'll move on to the next guy that can do all the services they need done around their properties.



Now, can it be done, possibly, but you'll have to do some serious number crunching to figure out your costs and over-head. I can't remember where I saw the article, but there was a guy that was charging considerably more to run around with a small truck/trailer and was using electric equipment. He tapped into the greener side of the market and found a niche. I don't want to be pessimistic, but mowing is not a market share that we push. There is always at least 20 mow guys for every 1 out there. We pushed the landscaping where there might be 10 per every 1. At that point, we took on mowing accounts that were requested for us to do and were profitable. After nine years, we are still only at 2 days worth of mowing and that's fine with me.


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Old 06-23-2014, 09:23 AM
Dr. Cornwallis Dr. Cornwallis is offline
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I know how teenagers are, I used to be one, and I wouldn't want one working outside my direct supervision for the most part. I think you'll have trouble with employee retention.
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  #9  
Old 06-23-2014, 10:44 AM
allagashpm allagashpm is online now
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Kids around here are in school until june depending on the winter we had. Then they go back end of august. They will want to go to the beach and on their families vacation. Some will want to do an off season basketball camp. They may be enticed by the pay but they will be late, not show up etc. Your workmans comp and other insurances will be very expensive. Most people actually would rather have a professional if they are paying the same price. You can expand and grow but alter the plan and I would leave the teenagers out of it
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Old 06-23-2014, 03:34 PM
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TPendagast TPendagast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allagashpm View Post
Kids around here are in school until june depending on the winter we had. Then they go back end of august. They will want to go to the beach and on their families vacation. Some will want to do an off season basketball camp. They may be enticed by the pay but they will be late, not show up etc. Your workmans comp and other insurances will be very expensive. Most people actually would rather have a professional if they are paying the same price. You can expand and grow but alter the plan and I would leave the teenagers out of it
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^ this.

And what happens if the teenagers own mowers break?

Also remember daddy's lawn mower isn't commercial quality.
youll have a lot of issues maintaining a group of kids who, if they want to work, actually CAN because daddy's more done broke down.

All you need is one kid to get hurt doing the work and your world is all upside down.

The gubber-ment isn't going to like you 1099in' teens.
sand that's really the only way to get around the fact that "teens" cant use power equipment legally, they can work for themselves, but not for you.

to work for themselves and BE 1099'd, they need to have their own insurance... know any kids that are going to pay the bill?

Most insurance companies want a chunk-a money upfront to initiate a policy too. Where are the kids getting that from?
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