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  #1  
Old 07-10-2013, 05:46 PM
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TriCityLawnCareLLC TriCityLawnCareLLC is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ohio
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Expanding the business....thoughts from those who've done it...

In 2014 I'd like to open up a mulch supply/distribution part of our company.

I have a pretty nice shop located right on the main drag of a smaller city (5k-6k) residents with two neighboring cities of similar size, not much in way of competition for mulch distribution.

For those who do or have done this:

1.) How profitable was/is for you?
2.) what Possible bumps in the road are there that i may not be visualizing right now?
3.) Is it best to register to become tax exempt?

in 2015 i'd like to open up some type of power tool/equipment sales. Currently thinking Stihl Equipment, push-mowers, wheel-barrows etc. There are a lot of farmers and contractors around here that could benefit from Stihl. Don't know of any Stihl dealer within 15-20 miles of our shop. What are your thoughts on this idea? How profitable? How to get started as a dealer?

Thanks Guys.
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2013, 06:02 PM
Mt. Zion Lawn Care Mt. Zion Lawn Care is offline
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Location: McMinnville, TN
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I too have thought about this idea, since my family owns 3 different shops right on the main highway to get to the interstate. In my town we have a scag/stihl dealer and a snapper/echo dealer. I would like to become a dealer of exmark and toro, and husky since the closest is about an hour away.
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  #3  
Old 07-10-2013, 07:07 PM
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nashlawn01 nashlawn01 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Southwest VA
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Expanding the business....thoughts from those who've done it...

In 2009 we bought a lawn and garden supply center. I live in a rural area no competition. We sold black brown red mulch decorative stones brick chips topsoil sand gravel since the quarry won't load small trucks. We sold Amish furniture portable buildings Carolina car ports and shrubs flowers. To the point. From mid march to late June it was swamped. After Mother's Day get rid of annual flowers and hanging baskets. From July to mid fall its a ghost town business picks up a little before winter then close dec-march 1. Selling mulch is like selling produce. You have to sell a whole lot to make a little. There were Saturdays we would gross $9000. I found a sucker wanting to buy it to put a feed store in so I sold it. We also carried jonsered power equipment but the only money there is parts and service. Don't make squat on sales. All and all after4 years I prolly lost $50k to keep the doors open after insurance delivery truck loader payment lights water rent. My experience I would really think about it. I would never do it again. We even tried filling propane tanks. Made decent on that but it's the up front cost to stock everything in spring. Better have $50-$60k disposable cash laying around to stock it. Hope this helps you
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:11 PM
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nashlawn01 nashlawn01 is offline
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Expanding the business....thoughts from those who've done it...

Best advise on becoming a dealer. Find what you want to sell contact regional rep. Go to expo in Louisville Kentucky this fall and talk to them. Anything and everything you want to sell and very helpful info
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2013, 08:11 PM
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TriCityLawnCareLLC TriCityLawnCareLLC is offline
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Thanks Nash. You had decent traffic then? I plan on stocking the bulk mulch for our own use but figure i might as well open it to the public as well. The concern of the spring rush is one i have- lots of sales March-mid july then business dying off. Another thing i will have to consider is buying a skid steer loader, not only for mulch but to move our pallets of fertilizer around-unloading and loading by hand gets old fast.

Nash, how much were you buying the mulch for at wholesale and how much were you selling for?
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  #6  
Old 07-10-2013, 08:13 PM
ryde307 ryde307 is offline
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Location: Shorewood, MN
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I know a few and like others have said you have to sell alot to make a little.

In terms of stihl I do know stihl has a huge buy in ( your first order has to be above $XXX). I do not know the number but it is something many people wanting to be a dealer struggle with I have been told.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:25 PM
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nashlawn01 nashlawn01 is offline
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Expanding the business....thoughts from those who've done it...

With sthil first purchase has to be either $15 or $25k. We talked to em but it was way to much to drop. We bought mulch for $18 a yard and sold in by the scoop on bobcat. Roughly 3/4 yard for $28 on red and black. $1600 a trailer load. A guy brought our brown on a big single axle dump. There were about 25 scoops on a truck for $200 cash. We tried trailer loads of brown but our bin would only hold around 3 loads 200 yards or so and if you got really busy I seen it empty out in one day. Call the mulch yard and be on waiting list for a week. This guy would haul in the evening sat sun. He would fill the bin every night or so. We would sell brown for $17 a scoop
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:38 PM
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nashlawn01 nashlawn01 is offline
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Expanding the business....thoughts from those who've done it...

I still sell mulch gravel and topsoil. We still buy mulch wholesale for our use and a bunch of contractors buy from me. I know a guy sells me tandem loads of gravel (20-22) tons delivered for $150. Then I can get around $400 out of it. But now I got it at the shop don't have all the hidden expenses. I also sell road salt in winter. I can get it for about $60 a ton during summer and in winter when we are plowing I got some contractors with hoppers and nowhere to store salt or load it so they will buy from me and I can get $150 a ton
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:38 PM
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TriCityLawnCareLLC TriCityLawnCareLLC is offline
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I'm waiting to hear back on wholesale pricing- should know by tomorrow i hope. I plan on selling it by the yard. Currently i pay (with a contractors discount) $30.50 for natural and $35.50 for any color that is double ground. $43 for triple processed black. A buddy of mine buys from the the same wholesale distributor that i'm currently talking with (Ohio Mulch, a very large operation) and he is getting roughly $23-$27 per yard average. My thinking is, if i can get it for even $25/yard and turn around and sell it for $38/yard, that's $13 "profit" per yard, or that's $13 per yard that i save for my own crews who are installing mulch on jobsites. I've never encountered anywhere that sells it by the scoop- interesting. Thanks for you input, I'm looking for as much as possible. I can't imaging any additional insurance would be necesary, but I'll check into it. I'll definitely ask them how quick they can have deliveries to me. Thanks again Nash.
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2013, 08:39 PM
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nashlawn01 nashlawn01 is offline
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Expanding the business....thoughts from those who've done it...

You could always sell coal and firewood in winter at your store. We tried but when it snowed we had to work and close store and that's when people want it. They sure wont buy any before it gets cold and bad
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