Separate names with a comma.
Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .
Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by boombaby3, Mar 22, 2012.
Long beds are good for clean ups with a topper.
Does anyone really think u need 40k to start out? I would think that is alot to invest without having any contracts yet. from what i hear is everyone starts out small and grows
The size of the lots determines the size of equipment. You can do most residentials with a nice 21. Get a small trailer, buy a new nice back pack blower do not go weak as this is were the speed is. Nice line trimmer, stick edger and go.
Think of your expansion cost and start banking that money. Think in terms of production and cost per hour over the life of the equipment. Consider the cost of a bookkeep, even if it is you or your wife later. Every aspect of the job needs to be paid. That way when you grow you will have those cost down.
Consider giving yourself a wage too as well as profit. At some point you may need to pay someone else those wages.
I don't think I'd be able to start up with just $5k. Then again, I started with ZERO when I was a kid just getting started. I guess I would put $500 down on a pickup, $500 down on a trailer, spend $1000 on a trimmer, edger and blower, put $500 down on a 52" zero turn, and then get business liability insurance. That will leave almost $2000 left for advertising. Get post cards, door hangers, business cards. Get simple lettering on your truck (logo, then city, gvw and DOT number). Maybe some Tshirts. Basically just use as much money as you can on as much advertising as you can to get as many customers as you can.
Just because your a 5k guy doesnt mean its a hobby, you have to start somewhere. Even the biggest companies started somewere. I dont agree with getting into debt right off the bat. Debt is tough, especailly when you dont know what kind of money you will be bringing in every month.
5k is definitely on the low side. I started 3 years ago, and waited til I had 8k cash, which was still not enough money after unforseen expenses. And I really only have a basic set-up, if you read my signature.
I thought I could get 2 nice WBs for 3k, which was wrong, I had found. You'll need at least 4k for 2 decent WBs. You want low hour used Mowers too. Buy blowers/weedwhackers/trimmers/chainsaw NEW tho. You will want 2 WBs in case 1 goes down. (it will happen). Pay cash, dont finance anything until the 2nd or 3rd year IMO.
I highly disagree that you need 40k to start tho. If I had done that, I would have sunk after the first year. With that kind of money, you could buy someone elses business tho I guess
if your smart 5k is plenty. i started with a white lawn tractor with a 44 inch deck. then i found one just like it but it had a bagger so i bought that. then i sold the pair of tractors and put a down payment on a toro time cutter 17/44 i used that for a few weeks it had no bagger so i bought the exact same machine with the bagger on it so i had two. then i sold both of those for 3500 and bought a cub cadet enforcer (JUNK!!!!!) that thing was a pile of crap so i sold that and bought a toro z master with a 48 inch deck and power bagger. This was all with in a year and a half lol and i just two weeks ago purchased a brand new toro z500... so i started with a white tractor and now i have two commercial zero turns.. it can be done if you play your cards right!!!! Let your work pay for your equipment
boom i know a guy in indiana that makes great trailors pm me ill get you his info real good prices too
Welcome Boombaby3. I am going to give you my 2 cents and hope it will help you out. I started OUT with a 21'' push sensation, echo weed wacker and a redmax blower. Please follow this tip because I learned this the hard way, DO NOT BUY A MACHINE IF YOUR LOCAL REPAIR SHOP CANNOT GET THE PARTS OR JUST DONT WANT TO FIX THOSE MACHINES. I WOULD CHECK WITH THEM BEFORE YOU BUY ANYTHING. I bought a john deere self propelled mower after the senations motor was shot. I had to drive far to a john deere reapir shop because my local repair shop couldnt get a hold of the john deere parts. $5000 dollars is a lot of money and you should have money left over. Now typically every repair shop fixes echo weedwackers and redmax blowers. So you should spend no more than $350 doallars for a top of the line ECHO weewacker. They are the best in my opinion. I had to buy another REDMAX blower the other day and I spent $540 dollars on the #8001 top of the line blower. You cant go wrong with REDMAX blowers. Now with the mowers I have a 21'' senation that I bought a new motor for it, a 36'' bobcat walk behind, a 48'' bobcat, a a 48'' zero turn bobcat. My main machine is the 36'' bobcat because on this job you will see there are so many tight spaces that you have to get through. So if I was you I would first get a 21'' PUSH mower, self propel always breaks, and a 36'' BOBCAT as long as your local reapair shop can fix them and get parts easy. A friend of mine gave me the 48'' bobcat walkbehind and I replaced the engine for $1300. So you can easily get a nice WALKBEHIND for under $2000 on craig list or something. I actually paid $2500 last year for my zeroturn bobcat on ebay. If you need to get a walkbehind mower, you should get a nice trailer for under $1500.
This is just my 2 cents. These are just my opinions but I think if you follow most of my ideas you should be fine.
Make sure you have a decent vehicle that can also pull all of that weight too. Mowers, gas powered machines, tools etc. It all adds up.