Register free!
Search
 
     

The Green Industry's Resource Center


Click for Weather
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-09-2013, 06:53 PM
rppaving rppaving is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 65
Looking to start a landscaping business in the spring, need tips and pointers!!

Hello everyone, I am new to the site and would love to get as much information as possible regarding starting a landscaping business for the upcoming spring season.

First off I just recently started a snow plowing business this past winter and to my surprise I landed a total of approximately 25 contracts. A few of my clients have asked me about taking care of their lawns this year so it dawned on me....might as well start a landscaping business!!!

I have been reading many of the threads about the do's and dont's of a landscaping company but any additional information would be GREATLY appreciated!

First off, I already have a 1 ton diesel ford, edgers, a blower, rakes, shovels, small push mower, and various other tools that I know I will need. On my list of what I do need is:

-trailer
-zero turn mower
-possibly a riding mower

What else would you all recommend for me to buy?

Also since I am new to the landscaping field, Im not 100% sure on how to price, I know it goes by the hour (around $20-50) but I would like to know what you all are charging.

Also, what do you all think I should do besides cut grass?

Mulch, trim hedges, fertilize?? How do I add that in the total price for the customer?

I know this is alot of questions but any help is GREATLYY appreciated, and if there is any other information that I am missing at all, feel free to let me know so I can grow my business as much as possible in year 1.

Thank you all very much!!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-10-2013, 09:06 AM
pineymountain pineymountain is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Chapel Hill NC
Posts: 53
When you find out let me know. I have the hardest time estimating.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-10-2013, 09:21 AM
millie86 millie86 is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: lexington ky
Posts: 76
I didn't see you list a trimmer. probably need one of those. For me, to use a straight riding mower, would be a waste of money and time. Depending on your finances, i would go with a walk behind. (hydro) Versatility!
For me , most of the residential yards i do are between 25-35 bucks. thats edging, trimming, and blowing included in the mow. I would probably never do a yard for less than $25. 20 bucks if it was super small.
If you are doing residential lawns, Just offer anything else that you know how to do. Tree/shrub trimming/removal, planting, fertilizing, mulching, seeding, general cleanup.
I don't know hardly anything,but one thing I do is ask alot of questions and I'm always searching for answers. Good luck to you this year!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-10-2013, 10:19 AM
skorum03 skorum03 is online now
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Hudson, WI
Posts: 335
Here's what I will say, keep your overhead low. It seems every year there is a guy who is in his first couple years of business and goes out and buys 2 new trucks, a trailer, and some brand new mowers. Stay out of debt if possible, if not, try to keep it small. I try to keep myself from "buying from the future" aka using credit cards. I would say, right now you will need a zero turn, and trailer, and some trimmers. At least for the lawn care side of things. Start off with the lawn care, you already have some of the stuff you need for that so start there. Landscaping opens another group of tools that you need for things. What I have found while mowing is that a lot of landscaping we do ends up being for the people that we mow for.

Hope some of that helps.

Spencer Korum
www.yardbros.com
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-10-2013, 02:39 PM
rppaving rppaving is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by pineymountain View Post
When you find out let me know. I have the hardest time estimating.
Yes that is one thing i dont know how to either, do you just guesstimate, is it per hour, is it both??

Also how to you charge for mulch, shrub trimming, and other various jobs.

Any help on pricing those would be very beneficial!!
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-10-2013, 02:54 PM
LandFakers's Avatar
LandFakers LandFakers is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CT
Posts: 5,552
I work mostly solo, and I have to say that a round here I work for $60 an hour. That's mowing, mulching, pruning, pretty much everything. As others have mentioned, keep the overhead low... Buy a trailer, mower, and trimmer, and then just use em and work em. When It comes to estimating, it really comes down to you learning how fast you and your equipment can work. I try and get a dollar a minute from gate drop to gate up. There are obviously exceptions for larger properties, seeing as I don't have to drive around from property to property. Any other questions feel free to ask.
__________________
Rob

PlowSite-SnowFakers
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-10-2013, 03:06 PM
rppaving rppaving is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by LandFakers View Post
I work mostly solo, and I have to say that a round here I work for $60 an hour. That's mowing, mulching, pruning, pretty much everything. As others have mentioned, keep the overhead low... Buy a trailer, mower, and trimmer, and then just use em and work em. When It comes to estimating, it really comes down to you learning how fast you and your equipment can work. I try and get a dollar a minute from gate drop to gate up. There are obviously exceptions for larger properties, seeing as I don't have to drive around from property to property. Any other questions feel free to ask.
As kind of a "newbie" what would you suggest i do, mow lawns, mulch and edging are the basics that I know i can handle. but what are other things i can do when i start landscaping, and would they follow the basic $60 per hour rule?
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-10-2013, 10:48 PM
711SnoPro 711SnoPro is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Lake Park, MN/Fargo-Moorhead
Posts: 79
I'm in the same boat as you rppaving.

Looking to get going this spring as well and the pricing for mowing lawns is confusing to me as well. With the snow plowing I've done, it's X dollars an hour with the skid steer and snow pusher and that's it. Mowing I'm not so sure of though because there are some that have their hourly rate and some that go by the job and size of lawn. To me the hourly rate is the way to do things but I'm unsure of how to calculate what it would cost me per hour to mow, trim, blow sidewalks off, put fuel in the truck and mower, maintain everything, pay myself etc etc etc and still stay in the black.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-10-2013, 11:12 PM
dstifel's Avatar
dstifel dstifel is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: des moines ia
Posts: 738
Find a couple buddies with yards big small and in between call the companies around your area to come bid them. Gives you a general idea of what pricing in your area is. I did this this past spring and was surprised that i was actually more then perficut and trugreen in my area. Dropped my prices to be competitive with them and started landing a lot more jobs. Probably not the "best" business practice but helped me out a lot.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-10-2013, 11:29 PM
Above Par Lawns's Avatar
Above Par Lawns Above Par Lawns is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Blue Springs, Missouri
Posts: 506
I'm going into my first year as well this Spring. From what I've learned just use your hourly rate of $50-60 + material costs for all your mulch jobs. You'll be able to get a feel for how long it takes you to do certain jobs after you get some experience. At $60 per hour with low overhead you are going to be making some money. It's hard to truly know what to charge and what you're worth until you get a year under your belt. Keep track of all gas, oil, repairs, etc. throughout the year and figure out your true costs next year at this time. Never mow a lawn for under 25 I don't care how small it is. You have to figure that between driving there, unloading, trim, cut, blow, and load back up it'll be at least a half hour. Then you add in equip costs, overhead, gas for truck/equip, insurance, etc. If you charge somebody under 25 you aren't making ****!

The best thing is when you land 3 or 4 houses side by side and you can fly through it and make a killing per hour.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:03 PM.

Page generated in 0.06894 seconds with 9 queries