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  #1  
Old 01-30-2014, 08:49 PM
Camall56 Camall56 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Neptune NJ
Posts: 2
starting up a new lawn maintenance company for 2014

Hi me and my buddy decided to start are own lawn maintenance company.I use to cut 2 or three lawns and decided to make this company a LLC. my partner and I registered the business name and got insurance to make it legit. do you have any pointers on getting residential or even commerical.my mission is to have at least 50 customers this year. i have printed post cards fliers and business cards and place them in mail box in about 3 different town close to where I live. me and my partner is in the process of buying a Husqvarna M-Zt52 zero Turn a 323L string Trimmer, 350bt backpack blower, 122hd45 hedge trimmer all Husqvarna. do u think these are good equipment to start with. please give me any advice to help me start this business off successful
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2014, 08:57 PM
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LandFakers LandFakers is offline
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Location: CT
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Start small. Go into this with the LEAST amount of debt and overhead as you possibly can. You don't need a brand new ZTR if you have no clients. A used hydro WB will be more than adequate and will provide you with a stepping stone for larger equipment and being able to do almost all lawns. Just for a better word, be cheap but reliable. Do you have a truck and trailer? Advertise as that will get you customers but 50 is a lot for the first year. Im going into my 4th and have just over 50, it takes time.
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  #3  
Old 01-31-2014, 11:32 AM
Camall56 Camall56 is offline
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Location: Neptune NJ
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Thank you yes i do have a truck and a trailer. i was getting those equipment on a really good deal.50 is a stretch but i set it as my goal i will be satisfied if i don't get 50 my first year. a lot of customers come up to me asking do i do this or that sometime i don't even know what the hell they are asking. i just know how to cut lawn really good. i don't want to tell them no any advice to for me to educate my self more in the landscaping business. even if i don't know how to do it i would like have a idea of what thy are talking about.
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  #4  
Old 01-31-2014, 11:44 AM
sharperimagelawns sharperimagelawns is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Winston Salem, NC
Posts: 79
Take every opportunity to gain knowledge of your craft. Make it a point to understand the processes, and science behind a lot of the work we do in this industry. Of course you also have to be well educated on how to ACTUALLY do the work, but I have found that one of the quickest ways to send a customer running the other way is to let it be known that they might have more knowledge of a subject than you do. Ive seen a lot of guys just try to BS their way through situations like that and have even done it my self, but long story short: the more knowledge you have of all things "green" the better off you will be. Take advantage of the winter time or night time or whatever time is available to you to gain this knowledge.
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2014, 01:17 PM
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NWALAWNS NWALAWNS is offline
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Location: Rogers, AR
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I agree with LandFakers, certainly start small with the least amount of debt as possible. The last thing you want to do is go buy a bunch of equipment that you may not be able to use for the accounts you get. I don't know your market area but to start with a 52" zero turn would not make sense if you are needing to get through back gates that are 42" wide or smaller. My company uses 36" hydro walk behinds and 36" zero turns as we found that using larger equipment is impractical for getting in to back yards. We mow just under 200 yards a week with two trucks. When it comes to hand tools just make sure that you have a dealer in your area that has the parts on hand necessary to repair any problems you have. That should be the largest factor in your decision, because as that equipment ages you will have to do maintenance on them and when you are starting out you don't have spares to save you if one goes down.

As for marketing you need to create some type of website. It doesn't have to be a large expensive website just a place for customers to go and be able to contact you and see what services you offer. As you grow you will find that one of the biggest obstacles to over come in answering the phone as it slows you down considerably when you are the one out mowing the lawns. So give your customers an alternative to contact you or get information. When I started I had some door hangers printed front and back and passed them out to the neighborhoods I was targeting. I can tell you other than doing 9 arounds now we don't use door hangers due to the time it takes to distribute them. We now use EDDM for direct marketing, it is more expensive but we get excellent results with it. Your route density will play one of the largest roles in how profitable you are in this business. Basically if you are driving a truck you are not making money. Identify where your target area is and market to those potential customers frequently don't just pass out door hangers once in the neighborhood and quit. You need to do it several times. We like to put pricing on our marketing material, we have tried it with it and without and we have a higher response rate with the pricing on our marketing material so if you are able to do that in your market it may help. Basically make it as easy as you can for someone to do business with you. You will be amazed at how many people will sign up online.

Probably the best thing I ever did in my business is set up a payment system that charges my customers the day after we mow there lawn. We do this by charging a credit card on file with our company. I wish I would have done it when I first started, it will make a huge impact in your cash flow from the business and make it a lot easier to manage your finances.
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Last edited by NWALAWNS; 01-31-2014 at 01:25 PM.
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2014, 01:42 AM
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TPendagast TPendagast is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Wasilla, AK
Posts: 3,118
Have you thought of just maybe painting??

Why does everyone want to start lawn mowing?

It's probably because no one makes a really cool looking ride on spray painter….
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2014, 01:48 AM
twomancrew twomancrew is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: East, IA
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Well first off 50 or 500 account don't mean squat. How much you wanna earn and how much you need to get to obtain that is the question here. I got 1 account here that makes more than your 50(84k/year) ever will. One. I could tell you I had less than a dozen accounts at any one time in 2013 but wrote off almost 50K yesterday. Wrote that off buddy! So what you need to be asking is a bit different from what you are askng. I'm glad you're here and asking for help, I wish I would have done that. Would have saved me some trouble.
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2014, 02:02 AM
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TPendagast TPendagast is offline
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Location: Wasilla, AK
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Every time I see the name "Two man crew" I think "TwoLIVECrew" and I wonder if when he pulls up to lawns does a boom box start kicking out lyrics front he shrubbery somewhere?
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2014, 02:51 AM
twomancrew twomancrew is offline
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Location: East, IA
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I'm from 79 so you could do the math. When that came out our neighbor had it on tape. Changed forever, probably not in a good way. Where the price is right just to...

GreenT hit me hard with his "womancrew" the other day. I thought no crap how did I not notice that.
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2014, 08:36 AM
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jsslawncare jsslawncare is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North Georgia
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The problem I see- partner and debt. Both can be good. Most turn out bad though. I'm not familiar with the brand you are buying, but you can't cut ever yard with a zero turn. I'd buy a used walk behind and after a couple of year ( to make sure the partnership survives) then buy a ZT.
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