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  #21  
Old 08-20-2005, 02:54 AM
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lawn_jockey lawn_jockey is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Lewisville, Texas
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Usaf Me too

I got out in Jan 05. Got about 85 to 95 accounts. Having fun and paying the bills. I agree with comercials being a pain in the rump. But no paying deadbeat clients are a pain too. They always seem to be the people with the most income. Somehow a couple of my clients got it in their head that I owe them something for them letting me work for them. I am still confused about that one. but so far they are paying after a little prodding.
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  #22  
Old 08-20-2005, 08:43 PM
Rhett Rhett is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Destin Florida
Posts: 1,071
Hey Retired, I Retired in 2001. This is my fourth season. Looking back there are a few things I hit right and a few that were marginal. Advertising, Found that door hangers and word of mouth are the best. Ran adds in the paper found those that responded were price shoppers and spread out all over. Door hangers allowed me to saturate areas I wanted to work. Trailer, bought a 10 wish I had gone for a 14. Wouldn't want to go much bigger as I work in areas that would make any bigger a pain. Make sure it is a quality trailer. See many cheap trailers that are made of angle iron. Equipment, I would start out with a 36 hydro, (Belt if things are real tight) and a self propelled 21. Buy bigger as your accounts require. Hand held . When I started had Stihl Kombi system with one power head that ran all the attachments. Still have all the attachments and a power head for each attachment. Only up side is that if one head quits I can use another until I can get broken one fixxed. Not real impressed with Stihl but each will have thier own opinions Blower Bigger is better. Find a dealer that will work with you and has a good service department. Also has parts on hand. Good Luck Rhett
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  #23  
Old 08-22-2005, 04:04 PM
jfb1060 jfb1060 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: st. augustine, florida
Posts: 14
Does anyone have a good idea on walk behinds 22" and other equpment? I'm just starting in the business again after a summer layoff. Lost some accounts and went through the divorce thing and lost my equipment with the divorce. Had a "Brigs and Stratton" but wasn't totaly satisfied with it.

Had a yardman weedeater but that sucked too along with a yardman gas edger. Went through 2 blowers last year and have to get another one of those too.

Evidently I was doing something seriously wrong concerning equipment. I want to get restarted and restarted correctly. Any help would be appreciated.

Just looking to start out with residential on the weekends at first and grow from there.

Thanks
Joe
Florida
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  #24  
Old 08-22-2005, 04:45 PM
jfb1060 jfb1060 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: st. augustine, florida
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I have also noticed that many on the board go with an actual dealer concerning equipment. What is the importance of this?

Don't want to sound like a knott head so I'm sorry if these are kinda stupid questions.

Joe
Florida
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  #25  
Old 08-22-2005, 06:27 PM
Rhett Rhett is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Destin Florida
Posts: 1,071
If you have a good dealer and they sell you the equipment that buys you a place at the head of the line to have it repaired. If you buy commercial equipment the down time should be seldom till it gets towards the end of its service life. Been there and done the home owner equipment. You will spend more just keeping the junk going rather than just starting with commercial grade..
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  #26  
Old 08-23-2005, 08:52 AM
jfb1060 jfb1060 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: st. augustine, florida
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhett
If you have a good dealer and they sell you the equipment that buys you a place at the head of the line to have it repaired. If you buy commercial equipment the down time should be seldom till it gets towards the end of its service life. Been there and done the home owner equipment. You will spend more just keeping the junk going rather than just starting with commercial grade..
Thanks for the reply, Rhett. It is greatly appreciated.

Do you have any preferences concerning equipment? Brands that you think are better than others?

I'm just looking for walk behind at the moment but don't mind paying a bit more if I have to.

I'm also going to get a blower as well as a weed eater and edger.

Any insight to this would be helpful.

Thanks
Joe
Florida
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  #27  
Old 08-23-2005, 09:29 AM
Oldtimer Oldtimer is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 1,402
A Business Is A Business Is A Business!

I like to feel that, as a dealer, I am a partner in my customer's business. It the LCO isn't working he isn't making any money and my store depends on repeat business.

This thread was started with a question about how to start a business but most of the posts have been about how to buy equipment. Anyone can but a few pieces of equipment, start mowing and pocket the money. The most profitable way to start is to set up the business, project actual costs and then purchase equipment based on available capital or credit.

Always remember, short term debt can be a business killer while long term debt is is considered a business builder. My largest customers usually finance their larger purchases.

One of my customers considered naming his business:

"Home Boy's Lawn Service", you grows it and we mows it.

I have always considered the fact that he was joking but, maybe not.

My comments are based on owning a dealership since 1985 while working as an LCO from 1983 -1996.

Oldtimer
You can not control the wind but you can adjust the sails
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  #28  
Old 08-24-2005, 01:48 AM
Retired USAF Medic Retired USAF Medic is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 12
Sound advice!

Oldtimer,
Thank you for the sound advice. Coming from someone like you in the business with longevity, I place high value to it and will use it the best of my ability. I've gleaned some great ideas and information from you and others that I can definitely use to formulate a business plan and execute it! Thank you again, and maybe we can do business in the future!

Butch (Retired USAF Medic)
gnelsonjr@hotmail.com
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  #29  
Old 08-25-2005, 07:32 PM
jfb1060 jfb1060 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: st. augustine, florida
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retired USAF Medic
Oldtimer,
Thank you for the sound advice. Coming from someone like you in the business with longevity, I place high value to it and will use it the best of my ability. I've gleaned some great ideas and information from you and others that I can definitely use to formulate a business plan and execute it! Thank you again, and maybe we can do business in the future!

Butch (Retired USAF Medic)
gnelsonjr@hotmail.com
Oldtimer,

Thank you for input, However when you made the comment of setting up your business and going from there to what your rates would be. How do you determine that??? What are the priority's when setting up a SERIOUS LAWN BUSINESS that you want to grow???

I'm talking about someone who is in it for the long haul and not a flash in the pan, or a weekend warrior although that is how I will have to start???

Joe
Florida

Last edited by jfb1060; 08-25-2005 at 07:37 PM.
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