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Old 09-06-2013, 01:24 PM
george delcos george delcos is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: silver lake ohio
Posts: 4
Starting over 55

Hi all, I'm George from the Stow/Kent/Silverlake area of northeast Ohio, I recently found myself laid off after 32 years in the plastics business. I am seriously considering the lawn service business in the Spring of 2014. I have enough money set aside to buy a used walk behind mower and trailer, I already have a blower and trimmer. I would be a solo operation only. I was hoping for some input from you experienced owners, is this a feasible idea? Has anybody else found themselves in a similar situation and started this type of business to make ends meet. Any advice or input would be helpful. Thanks
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:50 PM
Jaybrown Jaybrown is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Toronto Ontario
Posts: 1,162
Starting over 55

Do it. You won't regret it. As long as your not scared of long days and hard work you can make a killing. Advertise like crazy. It sounds expensive at first but one or 2 contracts will pay for that. For every 1000 flyers I deliver I usually get 5-6 jobs. Door hangers work very well. Good luck
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:52 PM
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: dennis ma.
Posts: 1,344
Hey George,
Sorry to hear of your predicament.
1) start off right. Liability insurance. Comp, licensing for your area.
2) don't underprice.
3) study your market. Is it feasible to start this biz?
4) study your competition , where are you going to land on the range of services?
5) know your costs of doing business and your cog.
6) work within your level of competence.
7) don't play games with the tax man.
8) be prepared to work HARD.
9) get your ducks in a row early. If your thinking on starting next spring you should have marketing rolling now.
10) get the proper equipment for the job. Single operator owners need to work smart!


it's not easy, seldom rewarding, often frustrating, but we love doing it!
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:12 PM
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TheBetterDoorhanger TheBetterDoorhanger is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Wichita, KS
Posts: 499
Well when you're ready to do some door hangers and are wondering what a good place to go to for them is, I can tell you A'Deas Printing would love to help! We have a great special going on right now for 1000 full color one-sided door hangers for only $99 and with that comes free design! For more information go to our website
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:25 PM
HeartOfTexas HeartOfTexas is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 56
I may add one thing to Dependable's list. That is short-term disability insurance, especially because of your age. I'm 59 and never had a big health issue or accident until this June. I tore my Achilles tendon and didn't know what would happen because I did everything myself. I was blessed to have gotten help fast so I did not lose the business. It is something you may factor in because you never know what may happen.

Also, I'd like to encourage you to start your business. Its great being able to be outside every day.

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Old 09-15-2013, 10:18 AM
biodale biodale is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Richland, Washington
Posts: 177
startimg at 55

I started at 55 years old. I will turn 60 later this month. Yes, I am glad I did it but it is hard. It is a young man's game. I now mow about 80 yards a week, mostly residential, have a pest control truck on the road, and do landscaping. Gross business sales is about $280,000. And growing every year.
The advantage we have being older is experience and much of life's experience can be used in lawn care to our advantage. Many young lawn care professionals are not good business men. I have found it easy to out compete the younger lawn care people. Don't underestimate your business experience.
The biggest problem you will have is not customers or growing the business, but finding employees who will do a good job for you. I'm ready to quit because of employees who are slothful, lazy, late to work, don't have a good appearance, etc. If you can find good employees there is no limit to what you can do.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:23 PM
george delcos george delcos is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: silver lake ohio
Posts: 4
Starting over 55

Thanks for the input it is greatly appreciated, still a lot of things to think about, however if I do go ahead and do this it will be done legally. Again I really appreciate the feedback.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:05 AM
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vegandude vegandude is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: May 2013
Location: eastern wa
Posts: 449
You also have to know how to turn a wrench on your own equip. I know one guy who doesn't like to and his equip is always in the shop for something. A good mechanic is golden but quickly kills your bitten line.
"our task must be to free widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it's beauty" ALBERT EINSTEIN

"non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other livings beings, we are still savages. THOMAS EDISON
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:04 PM
sbuchanan8154 sbuchanan8154 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 12
hey George my names don starting over here also in mi at 47 I am not waiting till spring working on flyers and trying to get fall clean ups another site is gopher haul he has books to read got them on amazon but they say the same thing in both only thing with going on gopher haul some guys are assholes this is the site to ask for help
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:59 PM
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tinman tinman is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: ga
Posts: 1,348
I'd advise looking at having a competent helper that could do everything since u are 55. If u get hurt u have an option then but mainly you will not want to do all the work yourself.... unless you could get 50 yards that are mow only .. no trimming or anything that requires getting off the mower
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