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Old 12-01-2009, 03:10 PM
Salinger7 Salinger7 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 5
A few questions from a landscaping newbie.

Howdy there,
This is one heck of a forum. Glad I found it. So many knowledgeable fellows and years of experience.
I really love plants, working outside and being my own boss.
I've been thinking about starting a small landscaping operation for some time now. I had a few good experiences doing some very small landscaping gigs through Craigslist and decided I want to take it more seriously.
I bought the "How to Start a Home-Based Landscaping Business" book and been reading it slowly. Its a good book.

Anyway, my questions are:
1. Any other good books for people just starting out? Less about the business aspect and more about introductory design method and theory? I know how to plant, keep plants alive but how do I choose which ones go best with each other?

2. I'm thinking about starting the buisness with a friend. A 50% partnership. I know that it is sometimes a sure recipe for disaster (The author of that book talked about that a little bit), but did any one had good experiences starting with a partner? Any other words of caution, wisdom?

3. We don't even have a truck yet. We've been looking around. My basic idea was a good solid used truck with a crew cab, and enough power to tow a big 20 feet trailer. I thought we could find something like that for around 6 grand but it proves to be harder than we thought. Is that sum too small? What other requirements we should look in a landscaping truck? Words of advice on that? We both don't really know much about cars, and mechnics is not our strong side. Where should we look for it? Huge established car dealerships? Smaller used cars dealerships? Craigslist? Private people?
What is the bare minimum we'll have to spend? What was your first car?

Thank you so much for reading my somewhat lengthy post,
Have a great day,

Reed
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  #2  
Old 12-01-2009, 11:20 PM
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Puddle of Oil Puddle of Oil is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Akron/Canton Ohio
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1.id start by working for a landscaping business, you'll learn alot about the business and maybe avoid some costly mistakes toward your own business!

2. you answered your own question!

3.you dont need a 20' trailer to start! a 5x10 will be plenty. when you look for a truck make sure it looks good and runs great! it dosent matter where you get it from. i got my 99 f250 from craigslist and she runs/looks like a beauty! http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=297691

start small and work your way up! you dont need to go big your first year just have a decent looking rig.

hope this helps!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Gemma View Post
I get paid to keep the property looking good. It is not hard what we do like anything else in life, added will power, desire and the ability to look for solutions not excuses then you will succeed.
Stay focused and leave distractions for those who will fail in their ventures
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2009, 08:46 AM
helidriver helidriver is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Broomall Pa.
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Yeah....take it easy on the big trailer for now. get a smaller trailer and learn all you can. try to work for someone else first a let them train you. Watch all that is going on and listen to customers. You could go out on your own now but u might learn the hard way and that usually costy you money.
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  #4  
Old 12-03-2009, 08:46 PM
Salinger7 Salinger7 is offline
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Location: Central Texas
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Thanks,

Thank you very much.
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2009, 09:47 PM
360ci 360ci is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 985
I've been using my 4x8' utility trailer for 5 years or so now. Unless you plan going into the commercial market, or large residential lots a large trailer is an unnecessary expense. If you go too big too fast, you will fail. If you build only when your needs grow, then it'll be profitable and keep both partners happy. A midsize or 1500 series truck is all you'll need. I started with a Dodge Spirit, but family grew, so I purchased GMC C1500. I wanted 4wd for the winter and upgraded to a Durango. My lawn income paid for everything. Mind you I only work part time. Cheers!!
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  #6  
Old 12-04-2009, 05:53 PM
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JFGauvreau JFGauvreau is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,283
Like everyone said, you don't need a big trailer to start off, start small, buy the stuff you can and work your way up, when you have an establish business with customers, then you can grow bigger. So all you need is a small ford ranger or in the f-150 or 1500 series.

And I was supposed to be in business in 50% partnership with my friend but I decided to go 100% shareholder in a federal corp. It is a big risk if your 50/50, maybe in 3-5 years your partner will decided to go in a complete different way then you. Just my opinion.
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