A few starting out questions...PLEASE HELP

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by StevensL&L, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. StevensL&L

    StevensL&L LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    Well im brand new to the site tonight i just joined about 5 mins ago. Ive been before and read alot of the threads and thought it would be awesome to join.

    Well ive been mowing grass and doing other lawn services for a couple years now. I started off just doing if for extra cash and now i love it and im going to school for a horticulture degree. My buisness is doing pretty good i have about 20 or so customers and i was just hoping to get some tips on a few questions ive always wanted to ask but never had anyone to ask it too so please help!

    1. HOW TO GET MORE CUSTOMERS??
    2. How much to pay a worker when mowing?
    3. How to determine what to charge per yard?
    4. What to do in the winter?
    5. Dump truck or dump trailor?
    6. Currently using JD... Is it worth the price?
    7. Whats the best way to get the mowers around? Trailer or like a Izuzu Utility truck?

    Thanks alot guys for any reply im looking forward to reading them and getting to know some people. Anything tips would be useul!!
    -Steven
     
  2. JGroverCU

    JGroverCU LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    1. Word of mouth. If you provide quality work, then people will ask your customers about you and soon be calling.
    2. The obvious answer is pay the cheapest amount that you can get away without breaking laws. Typically here we pay between 8-10 for a reagular employee. Not talking about forman.
    3.Look at your costs. Time, travel, solo or employees, and equipment. Estimate how long it will take to mow the lawn and add your travel fees.
    4.Winter in IL is and easy one with snow. Think about getting into snow removal. If you cannot take on that option consider cleanups. You can always invest your time in bettering your knowledge in the industry.
    5.Dump trailer is the more affordable way to go. It is all up to you. If you have a smaller business, it would not be a good idea to tie up all your money in a truck.
    6.Equipment should be bought based on the service. If I could buy a murray that would last and the service is great, I would be on it like a fat kid on a cup cake. Obviously the quality is not there and I know that, but I am just saying go with a brand that provides the quality that you would want to represent your work and one that you can get service.
    7. With 20 yards, a trailer would be the route to go. Isuzu are awesome pieces of equipment, but with some growth, you will get there.

    Everything in lawn care is relative. It is relative to what you can afford without pinching the pockets too hard. If you provide top quality work, all of the folks that jump into lawncare with lowball attitudes will fade away.
     
  3. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,785

    1. i put a small handpainted ugly sign in front of my house, had more calls from that than any other advertisement. lots from word of mouth too
    2. i start at $10/hr up to 12
    3. i never measure like most. i look at how big it is, how much trimming it needs and how many obsticles it has, hill, grass next to mulch, fenced in areas etc.
    4 plow snow, i try to do tree work/ clear brush, clean garages, i also deliver oil a few days a week
    5. ive your thinking for leaves and brush, to me a trailer is bulky. i started w a p/u with a dump insert (ez dump) worked great just a bit small. just bought a 12' grain dump f550- love it. if you putting a leaf vac on it, i swear by mounting it out front. much more efficient and you can still pull a trailer
    6 ive been told JD is made by a cheaper brand but these days most are. rather than picking a brand you pick a really good dealer that will take care of you when things break and build a good relationship. even if its a higher price, it will pay for itself when you need your mower fixed the day it breaks. i think this is one of the most important areas to concider. go in be straight forward and say, i can save $2000 buying this on ebay but i want to build a relationship with you, how long will it take you to fix this if it breaks, will i be a priorty over homeowners?
    7 id get a dump truck first, with a trailer, if down the road isuzu's are great but also remember any open trailer/truck you might have to unload it everyday. i have an inclosed trailer an just though a lock on it every night or if parked out of sight.

    tips, dont drive far from your house/office. all my acounts are in my home town with about 10 just over the line. we are very effient because we dont drive around much. you will be surprised, it takes longer to drive than it does to mow. dont over invest. start small and build up a little at a time or you'll break you bank. so dont buy your dump truck, trailer, mower, isuzu, etc all in the same year,especially on 20 lawns. however, if you mower keeps breaking and is older/lots of hrs. replace it asap, that is your bread maker!
     
  4. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 631

    Use the search feature at the top of the screen,these points have been explained thousands of diff. ways. Not trying to be smart @## youll get some great info by using this tool. welcome to lawnsite:waving:
     

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