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  #1  
Old 05-23-2002, 02:51 AM
jason2002 jason2002 is offline
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: texas
Posts: 1
help im lost !!!!

i am trying to start my own business in the lawn care field. i have a push mower 3.5 horse and a weed eater, and alot of ambition. i put an ad in the paper that comes out on saturday, hoping i get a few calls to get established. i plan on reinfesting to buy better equipment as i go. i quess what im asking is when i get a phone call from a potential customer how do i bid the job, what is the going rate, how do i get them to be repeats, and are there other ways to get customers rather than the newspaper. i know i cant do very large yards due to all i have is a push mover, have any of you started out this way. also there is a guy who pretty much has all the commercial sites rapped up in this little town, is there a way maybe i can attract some of the business away from him. well i quess thats all, any other advise will be appereciated, keeping my fingers crossed, thanks jason
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2002, 07:50 AM
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T. Matthews T. Matthews is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Dunstable,Massachusetts
Posts: 205
Hello,

There is no real rate for landscaping, you need to figure what your overhead is and how much profit you want to make. That will be your rate. Just starting out I would stick with residential till you get established then move on to commerical. I started off just the way you did. I would take on big lawns with my small mower.It takes a while with a smaller mower, but when you get large enough to buy bigger mowers, at least you'll have a lawn to use them on. hope that helps.

T. Matthews
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2002, 07:57 AM
LawnLad LawnLad is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 738
Jason... you're asking a very complex question that can't be answered in sound bite time. Use the SEARCH button - as your specific question will be answered in multiple ways to varying degrees depending on exactly what you want to know. Spend time reading first, then ask specific questions that people can answer.

If you know nothing of the industry... get a job with a local LCO to learn the trade before you jump into it. You need to know how long it takes to produce the work, depending on site conditions and equipment you're using. There is no way for us to help you since we don't know what your market is. If you're cutting 1 acre properties, you won't be competitive with a push mower. If you're cutting 3,000 sq ft lawns, you can be competitive.

If you must get into before you know anything... start small so that as you learn by making mistakes, your mistakes are smaller. Don't bite off more than you can chew. You'll have to learn as you go.
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  #4  
Old 05-23-2002, 01:23 PM
CJIII CJIII is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Montgomery Alabama
Posts: 57
Hey u need to buy commercial tools, like a commercial walk behind mower and hand tools. I am going starting my lawn service with commercial stuff.
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  #5  
Old 05-23-2002, 07:40 PM
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goodbeus goodbeus is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Jax., Fl.
Posts: 392
first thing....have you done lawn care before, have you worked for anyone else??? If not, you need to for at least 6 months...find out if this work is for you and gain a little experience...after 6 months, you'll know if you want to this, rather than spending money and buying equipment only to quit in 6 months...I see this happen so many times...
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  #6  
Old 05-23-2002, 08:21 PM
Dennis E. Dennis E. is offline
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mulberry,Fl.
Posts: 349
Small steps Jason,small steps....

Good advice so-far. Don't drop a bunch of coin yet for equipment. Run with what you have. Stick to the smaller residential properties to start. Get some experience that way if you can't hook up with an LCO to pick up the trade.
When you get requests for info. or a proposal sell them on a season contract.

X number of cuts @ X number of $$$ divided by your growing season.
i.e.- $20 times 30 cuts = $600. divided by 6,8 months or whatever your cutting season is. CASH FLOW,BRO!!

Make sure you follow through on everything you quote them on.(i.e.-services you will be providing)
Be thorough and professional. Be there when you say you will.(Unless weather or equipment failure prevents it).
If that happens,call em'.
They will know you are concerned about your customers that way and they will appreciate it,believe me.

As you gain some time under your belt and get your own method downpat for pricing,plus a decent cash flow,then you can invest in some good commercial equipment AND begin to try your hand in some commercial accounts. Start with the smaller ones if possible. A bank maybe,doctors office,etc.
You sure as hell don't want to bite off anything big right away. It's dog eat dog out there!!

I hope you have a great start and things fall into place when you need them to.
Green side up!!
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  #7  
Old 05-24-2002, 02:04 AM
Grasshog Grasshog is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 270
I started my business with a 21" mtd $ 109.00. Homelite bentshaft WE $35.00. I didnt even have a blower, use to use the mower and a push broom. I used a Mazda 626 with over 200 thousand miles. it used more oil then gas.

I dont agree with CJIII. You dont have to have professional equipment. Just be professional about each job.

Dont lie be as honest as you can with your new custr.
Take a night course on Turf care.

Look around, hand out flyers in patio homes, town homes, areas with new homes.

Now for your pay. Only you can answer that. Please keep in mind you cant start at the top, only climb to it.

Ive been in business for 5 years now. I loved them all, but the best had to be the first year.
Good Luck
James
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