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  #1  
Old 05-27-2010, 07:52 AM
batchley batchley is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tennessee
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Initial Investment

If you were starting out with $5K to get into the lawn/landscape business, how would you budget it? What would you spend it on to get started?
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  #2  
Old 05-27-2010, 09:53 AM
jbt79 jbt79 is offline
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Thats about what I started with. $1000 for trailer, $2200 for 2 used walk behinds, $800 for trimmer, edger, and Blower. $100 for business license, $100 for insurance, $800 for advertising. Doesn't leave you with anything extra for unforseen expenses though. I bought 2 mowers, glad I did, but you dont have to. That would free up a little more, but sure have been glad I had a backup at times. Where in TN are you?
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36" Scag wb w/ velkie

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  #3  
Old 05-27-2010, 08:06 PM
360ci 360ci is offline
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You'd budget it according to what you need to do the job. If you do smaller yards, budget for smaller equipment. Commercial mowers might cost a bit more up front (on the smaller end for size) but will last longer than residential units.

It's like vacation planning but not getting a return on investment. If you have $5K, work out the cost of the plane tickets, accommodations, spending cash for personal as well as unseen circumstances and you'll be all set.
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  #4  
Old 05-27-2010, 10:06 PM
batchley batchley is offline
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Location: Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbt79 View Post
Thats about what I started with. $1000 for trailer, $2200 for 2 used walk behinds, $800 for trimmer, edger, and Blower. $100 for business license, $100 for insurance, $800 for advertising. Doesn't leave you with anything extra for unforseen expenses though. I bought 2 mowers, glad I did, but you dont have to. That would free up a little more, but sure have been glad I had a backup at times. Where in TN are you?
Thanks for the advice. I am in Crossville, TN. It's a pretty rural area but there are a couple of large retirement communities here. Most of the prospective clients in the area are going to have larger than average yards I think. I have been given the advice to start out with a walk behind but wonder if the yards I would be mowing would be to large.
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  #5  
Old 05-27-2010, 10:27 PM
twcw5804 twcw5804 is offline
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Location: Decatur, Illinois
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I bought a used snapper pro zero turn for $3500. Wouldnt leave you with much. Buy used trailer, commercial trimmer for around $200, maybe a residential 21' mower to get stared. I also picked up new stihl bg56 blower for $200. That puts you a little over budget but not by much. I got lucky starting out my wife worked at sears and when they disontinued mowers they would sell NIB for $100. Now ive built up to two toro commercial push and I got them for $600 each on sale.
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  #6  
Old 05-28-2010, 08:18 AM
jbt79 jbt79 is offline
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Check with SLE outside nashville. You can find them on Ebay. They have several package deals including, trailer, mower, trimmer, blower, and trimmer racks all at a discounted package price. Almost bought one, but went another route. Seems like some good deals. Search Lawn mower package deal in ebay and they will come up. You can get a package with a resi zero turn and trailer with racks, trimmer, blower, etc for 3,800 for husgvarna or 4,300 for toro. Keep in mind these residential units wont hold up like a commercial would, but may be a way to get started. Or if you want a commercial unit, I have a 52" Scag Walk behind with a Sulky I would sell you for $1,500 I'm about an hour from Chatanooga in Douglasville, GA. PM me if interested.
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2000 F-350 Crew Cab 7.3l Diesel 4x4 Brushguard, 15k winch, Moto Metal Rims, 33's Recon lights, strobes....

6x12 Trailer with side and back gate

52" Scag wb w/ velkie

36" Scag wb w/ velkie

Toro 21"

Sthil Handhelds

Echo Backpack Blower
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  #7  
Old 05-28-2010, 09:33 PM
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GrassIsGreenerLawnCare GrassIsGreenerLawnCare is offline
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i started with $5,000 i saved up and started in april. once i bought 2 used walk behinds (36" + a 32")a 5x8 trailer, new blower, new trimmers, and a few small things it was gone real quick. ur gonna end up spending more than that even if u try to budget correctly. ive spent $7500 and still havent completed a full set up yet and i think ive budgeted very well. im a Licensed/insured LLC w/ everything paid off. the thing is...you cant cheap out on ground equipment or mowers. To buy one used mower is asking for trouble as well. u should have a back-up for almost every piece of equipnment you NEED to use every day. if u cant buy two of everything, make sure u buy NEW handheld/ground equipment. things do break and need to be maintained frequently and u dont want to be stuck borrowing equipmnt or not being able to do your work. All in all it IS possible, but you will find out quickly that the $5,000 doesnt go very far at all when buying expensive equipment. Not trying to burst ur bubble, because like i said, i started 2-3 months ago with the same amount. Luckily i had extra money saved up just in case i needed it, but i wasnt planning on it. good luck man and spend wisely. peice together as u go along. i didnt buy a chainsaw until i got a job that i needed one for, and it payed for itself in that one job. plus any tools u already have can help out alot in keeping cost down. (luckily i already had 1 blower,wheelbarrow,2- 21" push mowers, shovels, rakes etc)
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  #8  
Old 05-28-2010, 10:21 PM
we cut we cut is offline
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How many hours on the Scag do you have pictures?
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  #9  
Old 05-29-2010, 09:44 AM
batchley batchley is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tennessee
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I really appreciate all of this advice.

Do you all suggest walk behinds to start out with because they are more versatile on hills, etc. than the ZT's? It seems like that is the consensus answer I"m getting from everyone.

Another questions I have is: Since it is already June, would you suggest stocking up on equipment, saving, planning, etc. and trying to start a business in March of next year since I would have the whole season ahead of me? Something tells me it would be tough making a living by starting out right now. Everyone probably already has their lawncare service hired.
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  #10  
Old 05-29-2010, 09:56 AM
batchley batchley is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrassIsGreenerLawnCare View Post
i started with $5,000 i saved up and started in april. once i bought 2 used walk behinds (36" + a 32")a 5x8 trailer, new blower, new trimmers, and a few small things it was gone real quick. ur gonna end up spending more than that even if u try to budget correctly. ive spent $7500 and still havent completed a full set up yet and i think ive budgeted very well. im a Licensed/insured LLC w/ everything paid off. the thing is...you cant cheap out on ground equipment or mowers. To buy one used mower is asking for trouble as well. u should have a back-up for almost every piece of equipnment you NEED to use every day. if u cant buy two of everything, make sure u buy NEW handheld/ground equipment. things do break and need to be maintained frequently and u dont want to be stuck borrowing equipmnt or not being able to do your work. All in all it IS possible, but you will find out quickly that the $5,000 doesnt go very far at all when buying expensive equipment. Not trying to burst ur bubble, because like i said, i started 2-3 months ago with the same amount. Luckily i had extra money saved up just in case i needed it, but i wasnt planning on it. good luck man and spend wisely. peice together as u go along. i didnt buy a chainsaw until i got a job that i needed one for, and it payed for itself in that one job. plus any tools u already have can help out alot in keeping cost down. (luckily i already had 1 blower,wheelbarrow,2- 21" push mowers, shovels, rakes etc)
I already have a lot of this stuff too. Right now I have a 02 GMC Z71, 2-21' push mowers, residential trimmer, new kubota residential riding mower, lots of hand tools (shovels, rakes, etc.). I'm really trying to figure out what my priority items are if I go commercial. Based on the advice I've been given it sounds like:

1. Trailer
2. New commercial: blower, trimmer, edger, fertilizer spreader
3. Used commercial walk behind mower
4. Toolbox for my truck to keep spare parts, tools, lubricants, etc in
5. Marketing material - i.e.: signs for truck/trailer, brochures w/ list of services offered,

Any other priority list suggestions would be appreciated.
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