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Old 08-29-2014, 10:53 AM
ducnut ducnut is offline
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Originally Posted by Gmwilkes View Post
Thanks, I guess that's more that I need to look at when giving a quote.
Never give a quote, without seeing the property. Even using or Google earth doesn't tell the tale. You simply can't see undulations and slopes, from an above image. Furthermore, you want to get a feel for the place. Is there dog feces, toys, debris, etc on the property? If you meet the customer, how do they come off? High-end or large properties aren't a guarantee of a good fit, customer-wise.
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:19 PM
Gmwilkes Gmwilkes is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: VA
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I won't do an estimate unless in person, I'd already decided that. I've considered the walk behind for hills and the ztr for flatter surfaces. Also I've thought about the ztr and a 21 inch posh for the hills and tighter areas.
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:19 PM
Jason Simmons Jason Simmons is offline
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Location: chattanooga, Tn
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Never finance anything before you got any accounts. A lot of people start financing everything, new mower, trailer,truck and then complain about no money in lawn service, well u already $40,000 in the whole. You wont be around in a couple years. People kill me think they need the latest landscaping truck, mowers. When we all r think about money and to survive during the winter. Just start out a small truck and 21" mower and check craigslist. You can always find a good deal during the winter where people finance everything before accounts and are getting out of the lawn service. I've been during this for a long time. My two good friends do it for a living one has a 74 chevy pick up with a 5x10 and a 17yr old lesco. The other has a basic chevy with one ztr and lawnboys got about 90 accounts and hes been doing it for 30 yrs plus. So just think about it. Start small if you want to be in the game for a while.
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:17 AM
Gmwilkes Gmwilkes is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: VA
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I understand where you're coming from. My truck is paid off and will be my work truck. The trailer is needed for storage as well as transporting my equipment. I've foulnd a few decent walk behinds on craigslist, so i'm exploring that option simply to be more efficient.
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:46 PM
gebby gebby is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 696
Been doing this for about 20 years. When I started I only had mainly what was in the garage. I bought a 33 inch Troy Bilt on borrowed money. In a few years graduated to a 48 inch belt driven walk behind, cutting my mowing time in half. 9 years ago, took a plunge, buying a zero turn, trailer a 3/4 ton truck. Again cutting my mowing time in half again. Keep in mind as you move forward you will learn how to cut and trim faster. You can't cut down on drive time.
Before you decide what equipment to get, you need to figure out your customer base. Then figure out what you need to purchase as far as equipment. In my area, it is hard to put money in the bank on residential. You can pay the bills and make a couple of bucks but, you will work very hard for little net profit. You have to be as efficient as possible no matter what. You can't be afraid to put a good price on you're work. Residential work will beat you down to breaking even if lucky. If I had to do again, go commercial. What you have listed will get you a start but, be prepared in the long haul to add equipment. Buy commercial. Excluding all other over head, over the last 9 years, I still have the zero turn, the trailer and the truck. I paid cash for it all. 24,000.00 = 222.00 a month. That does not include repairs and upkeep. To buy the mower alone is 10.00 an hour You have a lot of figuring left to do. Don't take the shot gun approach and hope to just hit something. Get your rifle out with a scope and target what you are after, figure out your cost and then price everything. Personally, I like commercial. Just dropped my residential customers this year. I prefer to drop the gate once and be at a location 1-2 hours again cutting my mowing time again doubling my net profit thus putting money in the bank to replace equipment when needed and taking care of the family and hopefully retirement in the future. Lastly keep what you finance low. You have to be in a position to walk away from a customer if need be. You have to be in a position to change your customer base if need be. You have to be in a position to keep your reputation and your credit in tact. Don't be one of those guys that says there is no money in this. There is if you plan and, if you don't waste recourses. As you sit and plan what you perceive and what reality really is, you will find they are 2 totally different things. I found out and so will you. Don't get discouraged just roll with it and land on your feet if possible and, learn from your mistakes.
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Old 09-01-2014, 02:19 PM
Gmwilkes Gmwilkes is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: VA
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Thanks for all the help. Its tough figuring out what I would need in the sense of making enough to have some profit to put away and to put back into the business... But I think i'm getting the hang of it.
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