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Old 01-01-2005, 06:44 PM
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ff279 ff279 is offline
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Location: Baldwinsville, New York
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Will Someone Help Me?

Will someone help me , tell me how to start a profitable business Im stuck and dont know what todo. I have a business name....RM Lawn Services or RM Landscaping SErvices..


Thank's in advanced for the much needed help,
Ryan
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Old 01-01-2005, 06:47 PM
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Wells Wells is offline
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What exactly do you need help with?
Be a little more specific and we can help you out more.
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Old 01-01-2005, 06:52 PM
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ff279 ff279 is offline
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What is the first step in starting a business, Im still in High School, but Im 18 yrs old, how do I do estimates, what do I charge.. Im pretty much dumb-founded, and have no idea what todo.



Thanks,
Ryan
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Old 01-01-2005, 07:13 PM
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hulan2 hulan2 is offline
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Ryan, save yourself now! Do a search on prices, bids and advertising. My advise.... Start by figuring ALL your expenses. Figure this and think about what you want to put in your pocket and that is what to charge. When I first started I talked to some LCO's and they give me their figures. But I had to figure, these guys have greater more expenses than I have and they are more experienced. However I did not want to go out and under cut prices just to get jobs. Start out slow and the work will come. The main thing is do the job you tell people you will do and show up when you say you will. Basically you have got to figure what it is WORTH for you to do a job. This site alone has helped me with alot of my questions, with out even posting them. I hope this helps.
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Old 01-01-2005, 07:17 PM
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out4now out4now is offline
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You're in the right place. Look in the green bar and go to the search function and read some threads on esstimating, pricing, equipment, insurance, taxes, accounting, software stuff like that for starters and write down more specific questions to ask as you go so we can help you better. Your topic is a little too broad and it may help to ask explain what this or that means or I read this but what about this type questions. Some guys don't like it when we suggest do a search but this is what I have found. Guys will give a great answer in one or two threads than they stop answering those type of questions so you miss out on some great info. That's just my opinon.

JUst a few pointers, buy good equipment of commercial grade nothing from Walmart, Sears etc, get some good accounting software or learn to use Excel or Open Office really well, figure out what type of jobs you want to target, bigger lawns, residentials etc, file for a business lic and get a tax ID number, go to some trade shows to take a look at equipment, if you go to church let people know what you are interested in doing and get some referals for jobs possibly some help on the business side, look at how other guys are set up on the types of properties that you want to get so you get an idea of how many guys it will take and how long it will take. Try and find out what guys are charging if you can to get an idea of what going rate in your area is.
Good luck and welocme to Lawnsite, keep the questions comming.
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Old 01-01-2005, 07:28 PM
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ff279 ff279 is offline
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file for a business lic and get a tax ID What do I need these for? I'm new to all this.

Thanks,
Ryan
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  #7  
Old 01-01-2005, 07:38 PM
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ff279 ff279 is offline
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Also, How do I charge, Hourly, per job, im not sure what im doing but im 100% committed to do this.
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  #8  
Old 01-01-2005, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ff279
file for a business lic and get a tax ID What do I need these for? I'm new to all this.

Thanks,
Ryan

I strongly suggest you go work for a local LCO for a while.. If you do not even know what a tax ID is you need to do a lot more reading and a lot less typing. If you don't have the intelligence to figure out how to structure a business on your own, you are never going to go anywhere. Before you com on this site looking for free advise, maybe you better do a bit of research on your own. You want to start a business? Did you take business classes in high school? Want are your local laws on business licenses? How much tax do you collect for your county? State? Like I said, you better go work for someone else.........
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Old 01-01-2005, 08:11 PM
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Fantasy Lawns Fantasy Lawns is offline
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best thing too do .... if you have no clue ... is to go to a local community college n take some business coarses ..... and in the same time look in the yellow pages & look around localy find the best looking operation LCO n go work fore em 1 year ... than come back
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  #10  
Old 01-01-2005, 08:50 PM
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Ryan,

Don't get discouraged, not everyone on here will tell you to go back to school. You have taken the first step to becoming a business owner and you are trying to go about this thing the right way, by learning how to become a legitimate business and by asking those that have been down that road for advice.

I'll give you a list of steps that will give you a general idea of what you need to do:

1. Develop a business plan, decide on a business name and logo (logo optional), decide what services you want to offer, who you want to market your service to (residential, commercial or both), how many clients you would like to acquire, what type and how much equipment you will need to service those clients, what your pricing structure will be, how your going to do your accounting and monthly billing and then decide on the type of business structure that you want to operate under. (ie. LLC, s-corp, sole proprietor, etc.) Depending on the type of business structure you choose you may not need a tax id#. An accountant and lawyer would be worth looking into at this stage as they will be able to help you determine on what business structure would be most beneficial to you.

2. Find out if you are required to have a business license for the city and state of NYC and acquire the business license if required.

3. Depending on what type of services you plan on offering you might need additional licensing (ie. if you plan on doing weed control or fertilizing you will need a pesticide applicators license).

4. You will need to find an insurance company and get yourself liability insurance that will protect you in-case you happen to damage someones property while working.

5. Start your marketing campaign: some things you can try are door to door flyer's, ads in your local newspapers, postcards, phonebook ad, and sales letters to commercial clients. Also get yourself some business cards printed up and some shirts with your business name on them. You want to look more professional then the neighbor kid doing lawns. If you do a good job "word of mouth" will do all the advertising you will need.

6. Start purchasing the equipment that you need in order to operate your new lawn care business. Plan on buying good commercial equipment if you can. If you do a search on this site you will find good information on good commercial equipment. (remember that your operating costs are going tied into your startup costs so don't purchase more than you need. As your business grows so should your equipment base).
You will need to start with the basic: mowers, trimmer, edger, blower and some sort of transportation. Some people start with just a truck and add the trailer at a later time which is just fine.

7. As the phone starts ringing you will need to show up and provide the client with a bid. As you become more experienced you will be able to do a bid just by looking at the property but a good rule of thumb is .005 cents times the square footage of lawn (ie. 5000 sq ft lawn X .005 = $25.00). This formula always worked well for me but you might need to adjust the numbers to fit the area which you live).

If you need bid sheets, customer letters, or ideas on designing a flier just ask as most people on here are willing to share what they have and help others out.

Most important is show up when you say you'll be there, and provide a top notch service. You'll gain alot of respect from your clients by being friendly and doing a great job.
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Last edited by Wells; 01-01-2005 at 08:55 PM.
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