Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Revival1906, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. Revival1906

    Revival1906 LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 44

    I need some advice on my next commercial purchase. As you can see from my listed equipment, I only have one piece of commercial equipment…the trimmer. I have $1,200 cash to invest in my next purchase and need to know what you think is most important right now.

    I only have 3 regular residential customers so far, (one of which signed on this weekend after I put out 100 fliers in a nearby neighborhood.) Many (at least 12) of the people that I spoke with while passing out the fliers stated that they hate picking up leaves and would call me when more leaves fall down.

    Customer #3…The customer I just picked up Saturday also mentioned pressure washing his sidewalks (3’ x 75’) and deck. Note: I returned my pressure washer back to Lowes the day before and would have to purchase a new one to accommodate. His son owns a few condos and is interested in hiring me for upkeep.

    Customer #1…My first customer was pleased with my work and also wants me to cut down some of the low-hanging tree limbs on his fence. He is a fireman and has already sent me referrals (none of which returned my calls yesterday).

    I know it is now leaf clean-up time, but I want to know what’s the best use of my $1,200…a commercial walk-behind, a backpack blower, a pressure-washer, a billy-goat (someone suggested this)? I need customers and cashflow to upgrade for next season.
  2. huh

    huh LawnSite Senior Member
    from Lubbock
    Posts: 251

    being a bit conservative I might hold on to the cash for a bit and see where business leads you to spend

    you have all of the basic equipment right now and that will work for the number of customers you have right now

    If you think you can get a lot of leaf cleanups then a vacuum might be what to go with (I think people on here like others better than billy-goat brand)

    as for a power washer I might see how much to rent one and still see if you can do the job for a profit

    and for leaves you also have your 13-13-9 army correct....ever 9 can put leaves in a bag

    sounds like you are putting out effort I hope it pays off :)

    and yea I might just wait on another major purchase unless leaves picks up for you well :)
  3. Newbie07

    Newbie07 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 140

    Well, i would have to say if you are doing this full time and you only have three customers, the most important thing for you to do, is to spend 100 bucks and print up a TON of fliers and start to acquire customers. Other than that, I would say that you know there is a need for some powerwashing but that could be done later. I'd say get a backpack blower or a walkbehind so that you are able to do leaves, earning money right now that can be used to buy equipment in the spring. Also, you might pick up some more regular customers passing out fliers for leaves, just my opinion though

  4. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Posts: 1,818

    No need to go out and spend a majority of your money on a pressure washer bc you can rent them for 30-40 bucks and still make good profit. Do like previously said and advertise alot then maybe pick up a good backpack or even a handheld blower. Do you have a job to hold you over throughout the winter?? Dont forget about start up costs next year so maybe bank some of that money.
  5. Revival1906

    Revival1906 LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 44

    Yes...my army 13-13-9 (sons) are still around...though basketball tryouts have just begun. I'll probably go solo for the most part, building up customers for later.

    No...I'm not doing this full-time. I picked a large neighborhood between my work and home to advertise in. My neighborhood is heavily saturated with LCOs. I will work on weekends and afternoons until it gets too dark here in Alabama. I get off at 5.

    Yes...I have a full-time job. I'm a commercial lender at an extremely high profile, conservative, small bank that would NEVER give a LCO a loan! Ironic.

    Started the business because of new family, new house, too many bank mergers, and love for outdoor work (short version).
  6. TriCountyLawn

    TriCountyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,517

    I would have to recomend getting a USED commercial backpack blower. Dont wast your time with a hand held blower. Rent the power washer or borrow one for the time being.
  7. Down2EarthLawns

    Down2EarthLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 191

    Personally, I would invest in a good set of hedge trimmers and a backpack blower. But that's it. Now, top of the line, those 2 items are gonna cost approx. $500-600. And they will last you for years. I find at this time of year homeowners like to get there bushes shaped up and if leaves start falling, your blower will sure come in handy. Save the rest, or maybe do a little more advertising.
  8. huh

    huh LawnSite Senior Member
    from Lubbock
    Posts: 251

    if I recall you jumped right into a pretty big family (4 step kids right)

    i commend you for that and hope working with your step kids gets you close to them quickly...and i commend you for stepping up and doing a bit extra for your new family

    again I wish you the best and hope you hang around the lawnsite :)
  9. Revival1906

    Revival1906 LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 44

    Thanks "Huh" for the kind reply. I need comments like that to offset some of the "are you stupid!" comments I get from "former" friends.
  10. Matts lawn care

    Matts lawn care LawnSite Senior Member
    from MD
    Posts: 829

    i would get a good back pack blower somthing like a redmax 7001 about 500 then spend 190 on doorhangers ( www.doorhangers.com ) you get 5000 for like 190. get as many clean ups as you can handle. That will give you more money to get a quick 36 1300 and hedge trimmers 300. you will be set for a wile then. the power warsher can wait you will still make good money renting one.

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