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Old 11-30-2014, 12:36 PM
PlayBall_LC PlayBall_LC is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Tulsa Ok
Posts: 4
Start Up 2015, Please Help

I am looking to start a new lawn care business in 2015. I would like some advise on starting out. I want to start completely debt free and build from there. I have a great job now, but I want to be a business owner. So, I would do a lot of the work myself in evenings and weekends. I also have a couple of guys I know that want to work for me during the week as well.

So what is everyone's thoughts on starting with a basic push mower, trimmer, edger and blower. It is all my own personal equipment from my home and it is all new in 2014. I have a 1/2 ton pick up as well. Again, I want to do debt free and add equipment as it grows. I am not wanting to take a dime from the business the first year. My overall goal is to build a profitable business by 2016 and then leave my day job.

If you were to start new and fresh, how would you proceed?

Business Flyers, Web Site, Insurance, Contracts, Services, Etc???

I am wanting to gain as much knowledge as possible to begin, so anything helps.
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2014, 09:39 PM
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GreenBra GreenBra is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: St. Augustine
Posts: 6
My first year iwill be in 2015 also
Good luck to you
My advice to you is to read as much as you can on this forum
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2014, 10:34 PM
jonnyz37 jonnyz37 is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Lexington, Ky
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I have a few thoughts... First, you won't be leaving a good job after your first year. If you do $35k in sales your first year (thus profiting around $20k), you will have done exceptionally well. Hard to leave a good job for $20k. If you work your ass off, are intelligent, have good luck, and do good job...... You could go full time after two years, but one is doubtful. Slow your expectations down. Secondly... You need a trailer. 6.5' x 12' single axle will do. Nothing smaller. You need the trailer for mulch and other landscape work. You need the landscape work to hot the $35k in gross sales. You won't hit even that number in your first year just mowing grass. The real money is in landscaping.... Not cutting grass. Insurance can wait till year two... ( here come the booo birds). Next, advertising will have a lot to say about how well you do... Advertise ask the time. Speaking of advertising.... Craigslist has gotten me a lot of work, door hangers have not. And bandit signs have worked well also. Those are my main thoughts. Good luck
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  #4  
Old 12-01-2014, 12:00 AM
Armsden&Son Armsden&Son is online now
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: adirondacks, NY
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Look, here's the thing...

And to jonnyz37, I mean you no disrespect at all...

But EVERYBODY is different. Everybody's markets and competition are different. Everybody's seasons are different.

But...

Everybody has the same opportunity that everybody else has to get into this industry.

With that being said, you most certainly do not NEED a trailer.

There are literally tens of thousands of reputable companies working out of the back of pick up trucks, dump trucks, Box trucks, NPR's with dovetails, and the list goes on.

Also, "The real money is in Landscaping ... Not cutting grass." This is far from the truth, there is plenty of money in maintenance. And it also never has to be as cut and dry as maintenance vs. landscaping/installs. You can be the type of company to do a little bit of everything... It is completely up to you and your business plan.

"Insurance can wait till year two." Sure, insurance can wait until year six if you want.... But if one of those guys that you said want to work for you during the week happen to be string trimming for the first time and kick up a rock into traffic and cause a 10 car pile up resulting in the death of two children...... You aren't going to be able to tell the judge that a guy on the internet told you that insurance could wait until year two.

Greenbra has it right on the money...... Start reading bud.... Want to know about insurance? How much mulch to put down? How to price spring cleanups? Door hangers? Some books to get you up to speed over the winter? Stories of rags to riches companies? Stories of riches to rags companies?

Click on that beautiful box in the top right hand corner that says search.... But not the regular one... Do the "advanced search" And when you are doing the advanced search, click on the search titles only option. You will be stoked at the amount of information on here....

Then, you can come on the threads and ask pertinent, specific questions... Such as "Hey guys, I have been researching website hosting companies and squarespace seems pretty good, anybody else using them?"

You can make your business whatever you want. I really like your attitude of wanting to stay debt free. I think that EVERYBODY should try to stay debt free in the beginning and during the growing years. Once established, using debt to help grow your business can be a smart move but you have to play it smart and know what you are doing.

Last but not least, I am a 20+ year veteran in the industry who finally took the plunge and just started his business 2 years ago. I have a pretty extensive grasp on a lot of aspects and services in the industry and that is why I offer not only maintenance but landscaping installs, lawn renovations, patios, retaining walls, tree work, culverts, etc.

Yes, the margins can be higher with some of the services other than maintenance but I will tell you right now, if you are smart about it, and do it right, you can make a VERY good amount of money just mowing lawns. From what I know about the Tulsa market, the sky is the limit for you my friend. Good luck and welcome to Lawnsite.
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  #5  
Old 12-01-2014, 12:13 AM
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easy-lift guy easy-lift guy is online now
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Contact score.org and schedule a meeting to learn how to create a business plan going forward. No plan equals little or no chance of success. Spending money on equipment and other items with out a business plan is at best foolish and at worse disasteriious. Don't be penny wise and dollar cheap. Get started on the right foot and have a plan going forward. Otherwise you will remember this advise when everything else is going wrong and your equipment is maybe worth 5 cents on the dollar before the end of the season.
easy-lift guy
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  #6  
Old 12-01-2014, 12:48 AM
jonnyz37 jonnyz37 is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Lexington, Ky
Posts: 163
One of the easiest ways to enter into landscaping is installing mulch. It's easy to do properly and you can make good money doing it. Having said that... You need a trailer to do it. I can't imagine doing mulch of of a pick up truck. It can be done.... But don't. Spend a grand in a trailer, you will never regret doing so. Insurance.... Maybe, maybe not. You decide
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  #7  
Old 12-01-2014, 02:16 AM
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calvinslawnservices calvinslawnservices is online now
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Grand Rapids MI
Posts: 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyz37 View Post
One of the easiest ways to enter into landscaping is installing mulch. It's easy to do properly and you can make good money doing it. Having said that... You need a trailer to do it. I can't imagine doing mulch of of a pick up truck. It can be done.... But don't. Spend a grand in a trailer, you will never regret doing so. Insurance.... Maybe, maybe not. You decide
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Or you could not buy a trailer and just have the mulch delivered and bill the customer for delivery.
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2014, 06:31 AM
rbljack rbljack is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 566
Trust me...DONT wait on the insurance. I had insurance, but turns out I didn't have the right kind to prevent theft of my equipment. I lost 20k in equipment this year because I only had a General Liability policy, and a commercial auto policy. what I DIDNT have was called the Inland marine policy which is what protects your equipment from theft! Well, that was my situatino with my insurance anyways, and every one is going to be different.

BUT.....DONT wait on insurance. Just my two cents there. The rest, well, sit down with your favorite beverage and start the reading within the searches. I know that sounds bad, but believe me, there is lots of great info to be found by using keywords and searching around. don't take one persons advice as the KNOW all answer either. There are lots of ways to do things, some right, some wrong, and some just different. Good luck!
__________________
Equipment Stolen/ Please Help and watch for:
6.5x12 Dual Ramp Trailer with 3 place trimmer rack and two blower racks
2012 21" Honda HRC-216 mower
2013 Exmark Commercial 30
2014 Exmark Lazer Z S Series EFI 52
2008 Stihl FS250R Trimmer
2010 Stihl FS90R Trimmer
200? Stihl FC75 Edger
2014 Stihl KM130R edger and trimmer shafts

2013 Stihl BR600 Backpack blower
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  #9  
Old 12-01-2014, 06:44 AM
Kawizx62003 Kawizx62003 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Transition Zone
Posts: 881
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armsden&Son View Post
Look, here's the thing...

And to jonnyz37, I mean you no disrespect at all...

But EVERYBODY is different. Everybody's markets and competition are different. Everybody's seasons are different.

But...

Everybody has the same opportunity that everybody else has to get into this industry.

With that being said, you most certainly do not NEED a trailer.

There are literally tens of thousands of reputable companies working out of the back of pick up trucks, dump trucks, Box trucks, NPR's with dovetails, and the list goes on.

Also, "The real money is in Landscaping ... Not cutting grass." This is far from the truth, there is plenty of money in maintenance. And it also never has to be as cut and dry as maintenance vs. landscaping/installs. You can be the type of company to do a little bit of everything... It is completely up to you and your business plan.

"Insurance can wait till year two." Sure, insurance can wait until year six if you want.... But if one of those guys that you said want to work for you during the week happen to be string trimming for the first time and kick up a rock into traffic and cause a 10 car pile up resulting in the death of two children...... You aren't going to be able to tell the judge that a guy on the internet told you that insurance could wait until year two.

Greenbra has it right on the money...... Start reading bud.... Want to know about insurance? How much mulch to put down? How to price spring cleanups? Door hangers? Some books to get you up to speed over the winter? Stories of rags to riches companies? Stories of riches to rags companies?

Click on that beautiful box in the top right hand corner that says search.... But not the regular one... Do the "advanced search" And when you are doing the advanced search, click on the search titles only option. You will be stoked at the amount of information on here....

Then, you can come on the threads and ask pertinent, specific questions... Such as "Hey guys, I have been researching website hosting companies and squarespace seems pretty good, anybody else using them?"

You can make your business whatever you want. I really like your attitude of wanting to stay debt free. I think that EVERYBODY should try to stay debt free in the beginning and during the growing years. Once established, using debt to help grow your business can be a smart move but you have to play it smart and know what you are doing.

Last but not least, I am a 20+ year veteran in the industry who finally took the plunge and just started his business 2 years ago. I have a pretty extensive grasp on a lot of aspects and services in the industry and that is why I offer not only maintenance but landscaping installs, lawn renovations, patios, retaining walls, tree work, culverts, etc.

Yes, the margins can be higher with some of the services other than maintenance but I will tell you right now, if you are smart about it, and do it right, you can make a VERY good amount of money just mowing lawns. From what I know about the Tulsa market, the sky is the limit for you my friend. Good luck and welcome to Lawnsite.
saved me some typing.
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  #10  
Old 12-01-2014, 08:49 AM
grassmonkey0311's Avatar
grassmonkey0311 grassmonkey0311 is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: MD/NC
Posts: 714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armsden&Son View Post
Look, here's the thing...

And to jonnyz37, I mean you no disrespect at all...

But EVERYBODY is different. Everybody's markets and competition are different. Everybody's seasons are different.

But...

Everybody has the same opportunity that everybody else has to get into this industry.

With that being said, you most certainly do not NEED a trailer.

There are literally tens of thousands of reputable companies working out of the back of pick up trucks, dump trucks, Box trucks, NPR's with dovetails, and the list goes on.

Also, "The real money is in Landscaping ... Not cutting grass." This is far from the truth, there is plenty of money in maintenance. And it also never has to be as cut and dry as maintenance vs. landscaping/installs. You can be the type of company to do a little bit of everything... It is completely up to you and your business plan.

"Insurance can wait till year two." Sure, insurance can wait until year six if you want.... But if one of those guys that you said want to work for you during the week happen to be string trimming for the first time and kick up a rock into traffic and cause a 10 car pile up resulting in the death of two children...... You aren't going to be able to tell the judge that a guy on the internet told you that insurance could wait until year two.

Greenbra has it right on the money...... Start reading bud.... Want to know about insurance? How much mulch to put down? How to price spring cleanups? Door hangers? Some books to get you up to speed over the winter? Stories of rags to riches companies? Stories of riches to rags companies?

Click on that beautiful box in the top right hand corner that says search.... But not the regular one... Do the "advanced search" And when you are doing the advanced search, click on the search titles only option. You will be stoked at the amount of information on here....

Then, you can come on the threads and ask pertinent, specific questions... Such as "Hey guys, I have been researching website hosting companies and squarespace seems pretty good, anybody else using them?"

You can make your business whatever you want. I really like your attitude of wanting to stay debt free. I think that EVERYBODY should try to stay debt free in the beginning and during the growing years. Once established, using debt to help grow your business can be a smart move but you have to play it smart and know what you are doing.

Last but not least, I am a 20+ year veteran in the industry who finally took the plunge and just started his business 2 years ago. I have a pretty extensive grasp on a lot of aspects and services in the industry and that is why I offer not only maintenance but landscaping installs, lawn renovations, patios, retaining walls, tree work, culverts, etc.

Yes, the margins can be higher with some of the services other than maintenance but I will tell you right now, if you are smart about it, and do it right, you can make a VERY good amount of money just mowing lawns. From what I know about the Tulsa market, the sky is the limit for you my friend. Good luck and welcome to Lawnsite.
Spot on. One of the better posts I've read on here.
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