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  #1  
Old 04-13-2010, 03:59 PM
ag_843 ag_843 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: charleston,sc
Posts: 6
Just starting

Hello All...

Im new to the whole lawncare/Lanscaping business but decided this year would be the year that i go with it since contemplating last year. I have quiet a few questions and fig this would be an excellent place to start.

first supplies: have been doing my research on the zero turn mowers and i realize that they really would give me a bang for my buck per hr wise pretty much cutting time in half. my main question really is that is it necessary to have one? my customer base is obviously small/non existent right now so is it really smart to go out and buy one now or would it be a better idea to get something for the first year and work up to the zero turn using profits? i have the means to get one just dont know if it would be cost effective starting out. if i dont need top of the line everything right now, can anyone provide a nice 3 man crew set up that will get me through the 1st year or 2?

2nd: crew. again. small customer base. was thinking of starting out with a total crew of 3. is this a good number to start with or should i downsize to 2 and go from there. again. income vs outgoing is my main concern.

3rd: software. is there any software that you guys recommend in order for billing/accounts/invoices/employees. i have another small bus and i use peachtree just curious if there is any that you guys recommend.

4th: revenue. im looking for a no BS answer to what avg wise i can expect to make the first year out. this will help me better determine supplies, employee num and so for. i am aware its going to depend on jobs, qnty, services,etc but just looking for gen avg. no specifics.

5th: suggestions. i am a firm believer in learning from others who know so please please please...provide me with any additional insights, tips, that i may need to know or that can help me in the long run.

thankyou to anyone who took the type the read through this long thread and for all those who provide input. it is much appreciated
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  #2  
Old 04-13-2010, 05:07 PM
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lawnkingforever lawnkingforever is offline
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Location: Pittsburgh PA
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I will try to give you a few thoughts on a couple of your questions. I would start out with a nice 48"WB as your primary mower and get the ZT later. If you already have the "means" to get one, just hold off until you actually need it. You will more than likely need a walk behind anyway and it can be used as a back up to your ZT later on. The larger the bankroll you have starting out the easier it will be on you.
Start out with a 2 man crew, the third guy is not cost effective unless you have very large accounts. Labor is a major expense, I would hold off on the third guy until I really needed him.
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  #3  
Old 04-13-2010, 05:29 PM
ag_843 ag_843 is offline
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lawnkingforever, thank you. a perfect no bs answer i was looking for pertaining to those questions. i appreciate ur timely response.
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  #4  
Old 04-13-2010, 09:40 PM
horstmanlawncare horstmanlawncare is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: columbus ohio
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Start with the 2 man crew (unless you can start with a solo operator) and me personally I only run solo or 2 man operations. More than that cost too much per hour when not on very large accounts.

Get the 48" walk behind, great for small and med accounts.
After you get a couple large acounts get a 60" ztr. (I did this one backwards and wish I would have started with the 48")

Always by commercial equipment and good hand tools trimmers and blowers.

Keep overhead low!!!!!!!!

Good luck
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:49 PM
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lawnworker lawnworker is offline
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How much money do you have to invest in your start up?
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  #6  
Old 04-13-2010, 10:01 PM
ag_843 ag_843 is offline
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@lawnmaker i have about 12k or so to start with. i dont really want to spend that much just starting out though for obvious reasons (net profit) or at least break even. main reason i asked what can be expected to earn first year out.

@horstmanlawncare, u hit the nail on the head. i am trying to avoid going in the wrong direction by buying equipment and hiring personnel i dont need.

so, i decided im going to go with the wb 48" and a 2 man crew. now that leads to the next question. whats the best way to pay my crew? for example per job, per hr, per week, etc. which is most cost efficient and fair to my crew? also, is there any specific WB you recommend or for that matter have flagged and i should completely avoid??
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  #7  
Old 04-13-2010, 10:05 PM
greensolutions1 greensolutions1 is offline
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Location: columbia sc
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ive got a really nice 40" toro zero turn with very low hours i would sell you for a steal and im only an hour away
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  #8  
Old 04-13-2010, 10:10 PM
ag_843 ag_843 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: charleston,sc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greensolutions1 View Post
ive got a really nice 40" toro zero turn with very low hours i would sell you for a steal and im only an hour away
talk to me..details? I got some family memebers out in the columbia are that could meet you at anytime to check it out.
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  #9  
Old 04-14-2010, 10:00 AM
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lawnworker lawnworker is offline
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I don't think you will break even this year, but who knows, you might do really well. If your area is like mine, new customers are going to be the number one concern. I would get a used mower and set aside a large amount of $ for advertisement.The new customers will determine crew size. I have worked mostly solo. Seven years ago customers were begging for Companies to work for them. Now, it is a lot tougher.
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  #10  
Old 04-14-2010, 10:14 AM
ag_843 ag_843 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: charleston,sc
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yeah i know what you mean. being a previous business owner i know my first year i should be trying to build a customer base and limit my losses. if i can have a profit. even better. Thats the main reason i came to this site. Trying to avoid major pitfalls and negate major mistakes/errors, ie over buying, staffing, etc. i really appreciate the help from you all and in these few threads, i have learned a great deal. keep the ideas and thoughts coming..!! all is welcome. thanks
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