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  #1  
Old 07-18-2014, 02:29 PM
johnslandscapingservice johnslandscapingservice is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Southern New Jersey
Posts: 23
Need advice for starting a business for next year

Hi Im planning on starting a small lawn maintenance business for next spring
Basic Info: Im 19, have 4 years experience working for a good company I go to college locally so it would be a part time thing. I did work in the past for my neighbors and they were happy with me. I would try to get about 10 clients in my parents neighborhood. The yards are about 2 acres very upper class houses. These people currently pay about $120 per mowing. I would be happy to get 80 bucks per mow. I would be working by myself for starters. I plan to do weekly mowings, pruning about twice a year, mulch installation, spring and fall cleanups, and maybe snow removal.
My questions are for the following categories:
1. Equipment
I have a 2002 exmark lazer z hp 52" it works great no problems so Im good with that. I also have a new echo backpack blower and troy built weed whacker that i can double as an edger. I also have a power washer, walk edger, wheelbarrow, all the tools, a decent hedge trimmer, chainsaw, and push mower. My questions would be if I need the following equipment: Commercial walk behind mower, maybe a stand on? Should i get a bagger for my ztr or maybe a grass catcher that mounts on the side? Lastly, should I get a striping kit or make one myself if necessary?
2. Pricing
How much should I charge for the following:
Regular mowings (About 2 acres, half is taken up by house, driveway, pools, tennis courts etc)
Pruning (Large houses so lots of beds and shrubs)
Fall Leaf Cleanup (Not many trees maybe about 10 leaf producing ones per house)
Spring Cleanup
Snow removal (In Nj so we get about 6 8inch storms per year driveways are about 60-80ft 2 car widths with 3-4 car garages)
Keep in mind these people are pretty wealthy...
Thats all I can think of for now, sorry for the length
Any tips and advice is appreciated
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  #2  
Old 07-18-2014, 02:48 PM
Bryan27 Bryan27 is offline
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Location: Memphis, TN
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I would caution not to undercut on the price, especially by that much. If they are happy paying $120 per cut and you can make money at that price, then focus on giving them the best quality job you can give them for their money. Equipment wise it sounds like you are good to go, you'll figure out if you need something else as you go.
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  #3  
Old 07-18-2014, 03:13 PM
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easy-lift guy easy-lift guy is offline
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Contact score.org make an appointment with a councilor and plan on preparing a business plan. Schedule another appointment to go over your business plan and see if there are any mentoring programs available for you.
The cost is free and the advise you receive can and will make a big difference for the future direction of your business life.
easy-lift guy
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  #4  
Old 07-18-2014, 04:23 PM
32vld 32vld is offline
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Location: LI NY
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Your first mistake is to decide to become a low baller. If the only way you can get wok is by working cheap then that sends the message that the quality of your work is poor.

As pointed out already do quality work and charge for it.

With people paying $120 for 2 acres then you should charge the same. 1 acre $60. Have a minimum price. Mine is $35 for 1/4 acre or less.

You want to learn snow then sign up for Plowsite.

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  #5  
Old 07-18-2014, 04:54 PM
johnslandscapingservice johnslandscapingservice is offline
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Location: Southern New Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 32vld View Post
Your first mistake is to decide to become a low baller. If the only way you can get wok is by working cheap then that sends the message that the quality of your work is poor.

As pointed out already do quality work and charge for it.

With people paying $120 for 2 acres then you should charge the same. 1 acre $60. Have a minimum price. Mine is $35 for 1/4 acre or less.

You want to learn snow then sign up for Plowsite.

All these tips are good but if they are currently paying another landscaper $120 and satisfied with his work, how do I get them to switch to my work next year?
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  #6  
Old 07-18-2014, 06:43 PM
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Rob_In_MO Rob_In_MO is offline
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Location: Park Hills, MO
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If you're set on undercutting the current landscaper's price, then do it - but not by such a large margin. I wouldn't go under $100 for a property that size.
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  #7  
Old 07-18-2014, 10:36 PM
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ProCuts Lawn Care ProCuts Lawn Care is offline
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Location: Loveland, Ohio
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If the client is happy paying $120 for 2 acres and are happy with the service then odds are you are not going to get the client. Don't harp on "stealing" clients just advertise your company your prices and your services do NOT try to swipe a client from another. Most of us tend to carry a respect for each other and do not try swipe from each other. If your new to the biz. keep your cost low. bust your ass. and you will see the reward later.
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Current Set-up
08' Dodge 1500 5.7L HEMI
16' trailer w/ 2 ramps
2012 eXmark Viking hydro 48" w/ eXmark sulky wheel
2014 Bob-Cat ProCat SE 60"
2014 Husqvarna Blower 150BT
2014 Husqvarna Blower 350BT
2014 Stihl FS90 String Trimmer
2014 Husqvarna 128LD
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  #8  
Old 07-18-2014, 10:58 PM
johnslandscapingservice johnslandscapingservice is offline
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How much do you guys usually charge for pruning and cleanups in relation to mowing (ie twice the mowing price)
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  #9  
Old 07-18-2014, 11:30 PM
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ProCuts Lawn Care ProCuts Lawn Care is offline
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Location: Loveland, Ohio
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There is no set price for what to charge for other landscaping services. It really breaks down to what your overhead, job costs, prices in your area, and percentage of profit, etc. There are a lot different things that figure in. Just need to find your number. We cant give you a price to charge because everyones situation differs. Best way to break down is to find your price per man hour. Mine usually runs around $30-$35 per man hour. Your price may be more or less but that number works for me. There are a lot of posts on here about this exact question. most other landscaping service do not relate to mowing prices
__________________
Current Set-up
08' Dodge 1500 5.7L HEMI
16' trailer w/ 2 ramps
2012 eXmark Viking hydro 48" w/ eXmark sulky wheel
2014 Bob-Cat ProCat SE 60"
2014 Husqvarna Blower 150BT
2014 Husqvarna Blower 350BT
2014 Stihl FS90 String Trimmer
2014 Husqvarna 128LD
2014 Husqvarna 22in WB

Simple but effective!
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  #10  
Old 07-19-2014, 01:26 AM
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TPendagast TPendagast is online now
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Wasilla, AK
Posts: 3,464
I like the comment "I have all the tools"

Every time my guys think that… they don't do something.

Why didn't you get that done?

….I didn't have the tool.

!!!!!
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