advice

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by hd guy, May 19, 2006.

  1. hd guy

    hd guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    Well guys this is my first post on your forum,now i currently hav ea fulltime job as a firemen and i'm very interested in starting a side job doing lawncare basically mowing,edging ,weeding and maybe some small jobs.Now the thing is i have 42" craftsman mower with the 17.5 hp motor and i will buy a weedeater,edger,6x12 trailer and probably a hand held blower.Do you guys think i will be able to do some jobs with my residential mower maybe a couple months or should i invest in a commercial grade mower and thanks in advance.
     
  2. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    I believe what you have is a lawn tractor. It will last a while but it is so slow that if your are doing this to make money (is there another reason) you need to get a commercial mower. Time is money
     
  3. hd guy

    hd guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    yeah definately the faster i cut the grass the more profit i make i might be looking for a wb maybe 44" but don't knowwhat brand
     
  4. greenecare_rep

    greenecare_rep LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Lawn mowing is a great side line for firefighters. I am also a fireman but I had started my business before I started this job. I have been in business since 2000 and have grown leaps and bounds. Always spend the extra money for equipment to do the job right. So yes spend the money to buy that commercial mower. Also be sure to use the same price structure as the other LCO's in your area. Nothing will make enemies quicker than being the new low baller who just mows and blows on his off days. Run your business as if it is grossing 1 million a year in sales. You will definately reep the rewards in the long run.
     
  5. hd guy

    hd guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    i appreciate the help
     
  6. AlleganyLawnCare

    AlleganyLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    You know,

    when you first start out, and if you have alot of money to invest in the biz, buying all commercial grade is great. But if you don't have the money (I didn't), you have to go with what you can afford. Alot of times you have to be creative with what you got. It might not look pretty, and you sure will catch alot of flack (especially on this site), but no matter what what you got, be proud,as long as two things exist: 1. your customer is happy. 2. you are able to make a profit, and will be able to upgrade when you are able to.

    When I first started out, I had to use my (and I will catch flack for this I am sure), Grand Am (I sold my Grand Cherokee, so I couldn't use that anymore), a Murray pushmower, a curved weed eater, and a hand held blower. I had to break down the mower when ever I put it into the trunk and put it all back together when I got to my destination, the weedeater sucked, I couldn't get under bushes very well. The blower shook the crap out of my arm, to the point where I couldn't feel anything. Felt like it fell off a couple yards back. My business looked like crap, and I felt ashamed, until my clients told me how great of a job I did. I was able to upgrade to a (get this) reel mower. You know the old style push rotary blade mowers. I didn't have to break it down or anything. I was happy. Slow as crap, but happy, and still satisfying my clients.

    I was finally able to actually upgrade to a lawn tractor. I was estatic! Man I was moving now! :) I was able to buy a used truck. Didn't look too great (paint job on hood was coming off). Sides were pretty good. No dents or anything. Slapped somes mag signs on it, Was able to afford some business insurance. And I was REALLY in the biz then!

    My business has grown considerably since then, but my point is this. If you can only afford a lawn tractor, but are able to consistently provide quality service, then so be it. If you are able to make a decent profit, better yet!. I agree with PMLAWN whole-heartly. Upgrade to commercial as soon as you are finacially able and ready to. Don't rush into, just because the other guys on the block have the latest and biggest ztr around. They have alot of bills to pay and a large clientele just to maintain those nice shiny machines. They are very nice to have, and will save you a lot of time and make you alot more money, but don't go into bankrupcty just buy one, and especially when you don't have the clientele to maintain it. Build up your clientele first, to the point where you can put some money in your pockets, pay bills with, put some back in savings, and then have a fund jar just for your upgrades. Don't put all of your money into one jar, for you never know what the future might hold for you around the next corner.

    Sorry for ranting on. No matter what anyone says, whether it be here or actually out in the field, be proud of what you got, take care of it (No matter how much it cost - that is your lifeline in this business), and do your best to make yourself feel good about the quality of work you just did.
     
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Well don't feel bad, when I started in 2002 I had a 3/4 ton truck but it was a 1976 Ford with like 400,000 miles on it...

    However, my one regret if I could do it all over again, I should've saved more money, should've been more patient and saved several more thousand dollars, then I would've had better stuff and somewhat less headaches.
     
  8. hd guy

    hd guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    well thanks guys,i'm going to go look at some equipment today and get some prices i already have a truck 02 2500hd diesel and a 20x8.5 trailer thats my car hauler so i've got some stuff.but what do you guys recommend a walk behind mower or ztr if so i was thinking maybe a 36"wb or 44"ztr
     
  9. fulano

    fulano LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    I think a 36" wb would be best. It gets you into most gates and is easier for smaller yards and hills. If you mow open fields then a nice sit down ztr would be easier.
     
  10. ATVracer

    ATVracer LawnSite Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 346

    Allegany......nice post and great advice.
     

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