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  #1  
Old 07-15-2010, 06:51 PM
NKOTB NKOTB is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Brampton, Ontario
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Wanting to Start A Legit Lawn Care Business

Hi everyone, first time poster here. I'll cut straight to the chase. I'm 21 years old, I've worked in lawn care/ maintainance for 3 years now. I recently quit the company I was working for to venture off and persue doing it on my own. I'm not registered legit and all that as of now, but carry a few residential accounts on the regular.

I'm being pushed by my cousin to go commercial with it, register a company, look for commercial/industrial accounts and get on my way to making more stable and better paying work.

My questions to all of you are a few: when is the best time to start looking for commercial work, what is a standard way to price out commercial contracts and what these prices might be like?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot, I look forward to being part of the community.

Mike
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2010, 06:56 PM
nepatsfan nepatsfan is offline
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Start by getting insurance. No commercial account will give you a shot without it.
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  #3  
Old 07-15-2010, 07:51 PM
NKOTB NKOTB is offline
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Location: Brampton, Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nepatsfan View Post
Start by getting insurance. No commercial account will give you a shot without it.
Sorry by not specifying, this sort of stuff I'm already aware of. Registration,insurance, etc. It was more the actual business end of it I was inquiring about.
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  #4  
Old 07-15-2010, 09:06 PM
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BINKY1902 BINKY1902 is offline
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On the business end of it, I don't think it's a good idea to start a lawn business mid-season.
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  #5  
Old 07-15-2010, 11:07 PM
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socallawndude socallawndude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BINKY1902 View Post
On the business end of it, I don't think it's a good idea to start a lawn business mid-season.
I disagree completely...alot of crews cant handle the heat and start to lag this time of year, and its a perfect time to scoop up their accounts. I pick up more accounts in the dog days of summer than any other time of year simply because I carry on, business as usual. People are impressed by that.
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  #6  
Old 07-15-2010, 11:34 PM
sdk1959 sdk1959 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socallawndude View Post
I disagree completely...alot of crews cant handle the heat and start to lag this time of year, and its a perfect time to scoop up their accounts. I pick up more accounts in the dog days of summer than any other time of year simply because I carry on, business as usual. People are impressed by that.
I agree.

Especially after there is a dry spell and heat wave. The volume players drop like flies when they can't cut for a month, their volume business model they relied upon just falls apart. All that equipment and big trailers they bought, storage space they rented, crews they hired, all for naught.

The volume players using a 3 man crew and a 60"ZTR on a 1/4 acre lot, yeah ok buddy you do that, after a dry spell when your laying off your crew, selling your excess equipment and dodging the storage landlord I'll get your accounts for MORE money.

Good time to advertise and get accounts after a dry spell.
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  #7  
Old 07-15-2010, 11:58 PM
NKOTB NKOTB is offline
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Location: Brampton, Ontario
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Well I actually wasn't planning on starting it until next season. I just wanted to get a head start on it just in case Winter would be a good time to get prepared. Thanks for the tip though, it makes nothing but sense!

How about in terms of pricing? How do you guys go about it? If you could throw out an average price for average size commercial property?? ( I know it sounds vague I apologize)

Do they usually go monthly? seasonal? yearly? if you do snow removal as well are you guys giving different prices over the winter?

There are so many questions, I just need a bit of a lead in the right direction.

Thanks again for any input, it's greatly appreciated!
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  #8  
Old 07-16-2010, 12:31 AM
SkinnyVinny SkinnyVinny is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Long Island, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NKOTB View Post
Well I actually wasn't planning on starting it until next season. I just wanted to get a head start on it just in case Winter would be a good time to get prepared. Thanks for the tip though, it makes nothing but sense!

How about in terms of pricing? How do you guys go about it? If you could throw out an average price for average size commercial property?? ( I know it sounds vague I apologize)

Do they usually go monthly? seasonal? yearly? if you do snow removal as well are you guys giving different prices over the winter?

There are so many questions, I just need a bit of a lead in the right direction.

Thanks again for any input, it's greatly appreciated!
Hey man, I can answer your questions on the snow removal side.. Its different everywhere you push. MOST of my accounts are on monthly payment plans and they are on a 2" trigger. I charge per visit and base the price on square footage. I know how long a certian amount of sqft will take me to plow, so I just figure out basic business math from there so i dont loose money and make a profit, etc. Sometimes you can get lucky and land a seasonal account, which is great because it doesnt even have to snow and you will make money. As far as cutting grass goes, I would go about it in the same mind set. Charge per visit and bid for size and amount of time it will take you.. Hope this helps, and if your looking to do snow plowing this winter, get your bids out now! I already started and have a ton of bites. Most people like to get everything squared away early, and the rest just wait till the snow is on the ground to call you back... Once again I hope i helped you out! and good luck!
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  #9  
Old 07-16-2010, 10:06 PM
JCS Landscaping JCS Landscaping is offline
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Location: NE WI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BINKY1902 View Post
On the business end of it, I don't think it's a good idea to start a lawn business mid-season.
IMO starting mid season is probably better than being unemployed for the remainder of the summer!
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  #10  
Old 07-17-2010, 04:52 PM
NKOTB NKOTB is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Posts: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinnyVinny View Post
Hey man, I can answer your questions on the snow removal side.. Its different everywhere you push. MOST of my accounts are on monthly payment plans and they are on a 2" trigger. I charge per visit and base the price on square footage. I know how long a certian amount of sqft will take me to plow, so I just figure out basic business math from there so i dont loose money and make a profit, etc. Sometimes you can get lucky and land a seasonal account, which is great because it doesnt even have to snow and you will make money. As far as cutting grass goes, I would go about it in the same mind set. Charge per visit and bid for size and amount of time it will take you.. Hope this helps, and if your looking to do snow plowing this winter, get your bids out now! I already started and have a ton of bites. Most people like to get everything squared away early, and the rest just wait till the snow is on the ground to call you back... Once again I hope i helped you out! and good luck!
Thanks for the tips man, I appreciate it tons. I was with a company but had no insight on the inside part of it although I was doing the work (during the summer anyways). Told the boss where to go and here I am! Im actually pretty excited to get started.

What's the best way to find out about upcoming bids? or is it something you go to the company with? How does that work?
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