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Old 09-27-2000, 10:29 AM
Kends Kends is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: New Lenox, IL
Posts: 25
Planning to start next year. Working on a business plan and have a few questions.

How many accounts do you have?

Of those, how many residential vs. commercial?

With that in mind, how many crews?

How many people per crew?

Does anyone have a sample of an annual contract they would be willing to post, or email me? The lawyer said he can draft one, but I want to make sure I cover my bases. And from reading other post, it sounds like it's necessary.

That's it for now. Everyone has been very helpful answering my other questions. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-27-2000, 10:50 AM
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TLS TLS is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: N&W Philadelphia Suburbs
Posts: 7,937

Please take no offense in this post I'm here to help. But have you ever cut grass before? Most people I know of who are in the business have started out small. Try and start next year kind of under the table. I've seen many a company just jump in with $40,000 worth of trucks and equipment only to find out they can't make money (duh) or don't like mowing period.

Sorry, if you are past this stage. Then go for it with all four barrels.

I personally have 35-40 accounts/year inc. vacationeers and one timers. I work 4.5 days/week and work weekends parttime at a Supermarket (13yrs) for benifits and winter $.

Just start small and get good equipment. It helps if you choose used equipment that you are handy with a wrench.

Good Luck,

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1996 48" SCAG Belt WB 14hp Kawasaki Classic Deck
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Old 09-27-2000, 10:57 AM
Greenkeepers Greenkeepers is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 695

Search, Search, Search..... Use it and gain valuable knowledge, this has all come up before.

The majority of your questions can only be answered by yourself. How big do you want to be? You may be able to only handle 40-50 lawns or you may be able to handle 100. Do you have experience supervising people? If not you may only want to start with yourself and learn the business and gradually work yourself up (The Best in My Opinion).

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Old 09-27-2000, 11:10 AM
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Five Star Lawn Care LLC Five Star Lawn Care LLC is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Livonia, Michigan
Posts: 1,005
Tom has a good point, all of us start small. if u get $40k into dept and think your going to have a 100 customer base your first year it just isnt going to happen. I would invest in a 16 foot trailer just so u have room to expand your business next year without haveing to buy a biger trailer. Maybe get a 48 or 52 inch hydro and a 36 belt drive. get a truck thats is going to let your company expand if u do decide to get a bigger trailer or even plow snow in the winter. Aim for about 35-45 customers. Your first year u just want to get your feet wet get mainly residential and a few commercial accounts. Remeber if u are doing comerrcial account it is a must to have a legal business plus insurance. one crew is plenty for your fist year. I would run a 2 man crew your first year. in my eyes a 2 many crew gives you more bang for your buck if u are cutting smaller residential, but a 3 man crew is a must when u get bigger.. dont plan on making a lot of money your fist year. also a trick is to spend a lot of the profits on the business so u can write off alot and wont have to pay taxes.
"People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselfs to copy after"

Eric Estes
Five Star Lawn Care LLC
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Old 09-27-2000, 02:45 PM
Cutter1 Cutter1 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
Posts: 1,251
Listen to everyone, we know what we are doing!! The one thing that we all have on this site is experience. That is the one thing that really helps. I agree with everyone in saying, start small!!! Don't get over your head, that is the one thing you don't want. Keep the customers happy that you have and work from there. I always say to sart off buying used equipment, so you don't get into a huge debt. Buy used and then slowly acquire new and better equipment. You don't need a huge trailer or a big truck to do 40 to 50 yards, so stay around a budget that suits you, because don't forget you can't cut all year!! Budget your money and get insurance.
Leisure Time Lawn Care
"Live to cut, cut to live"
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Old 09-27-2000, 06:08 PM
CommercialCuts CommercialCuts is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Mo
Posts: 37
Kend, Good advice coming from the other members. If you are going to be concentrating on residential accounts get your self a 16ft trailer a good walkbehind, trimmer, blower and go to work. dont invest alot till you see if it is for you. Now a days there is as many getting into the business as is getting out, its not all peaches and cream like alot of people think. I started out real small, when i started my first year i made a whopping 4k. WWWWHHHHHOOOOOOOO!!!But have tripled every year since. And now all i take care of is commercial accounts. Best of Luck to Ya!!!!!
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