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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Green-Pro, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    I am in the stages of planning to start a LCO beginning next season and really want to make sure I am getting everything nailed down to help ensure a smooth entry into the local market and visible success. I worked in a factory for 16 yrs. and it wasn't bad, but it closed and (with same company) I got moved to an office well----I CAN'T STAND IT ANYMORE.

    I have been contemplating trying to start a business of my own for a while and lately cannot resist the gotta do it feeling. Just want to run some things I'm doing by the experts. I have nearly completed a business plan, with goal for first year to make what I do now about 40K, I feel I need to be very customer focused and to that end want to present a professional image (uniform shirts, clean shaved, on time, sign on truck & equip., etc.) I plan to use local trading post papers for ads and insert fliers & also post fliers, leave business cards at other businesses(with o.k.) and have brochures available all after first of year into feb. & mar. Also am insured & licensed.
    Equipment will be: 727A &717A commercial mini frame Z-Trak by J.D

    2 Trailers one 16' & one 8"
    2 string trimmers Echo
    2 blowers Echo
    2 hedge trimmers Echo
    40" tow core aerator
    HD tow spreader
    HD push spreader
    assorted hand tools
    Reason for 2 of everything is I do not want to turn any residences down I can always hire help if needed. Got truck but it is 1/2 ton ext 4 wheel drive.
    I have all equipment paid for, cashed in retirement to start debt free, and am so excited I can't stand it!!
    Hope I'm doing this right, want to work hard & gain good rep. & more work.
    Hope I'm not let down.
    :waving: Thanks for letting me ramble!
  2. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    You sound like you got the fever, and you need to keep it high.
    I have a friend who, every morning plays "Eye of The Tiger" over his speakers in the yard before the guys head out, and he does the pep talk from a little platform in the yard. I asked him if the guys didn't get tired of it day after day? He said, "I play that song for me. It gets me going every morning."

    So get after it.

    "If you're going to have to go through life as a bear, you might as well be a grizzly bear."

    Good Luck

    Oh yeah, just being a smart-azz, but what do you haul around on that 8 inch trailer? <chuckle>
  3. LMAO! Jerry, you are one funny dude.

    Debt free.....aaaahhh....I like the sound of that. Problem is I'd have to sell all that I own to get debt free ! Can't do that, hunting seasons starts soon!

    It sounds like you are ready to me....keep this in mind: I think a guy can make a pretty good living by himself without employees......depends on what you want.

    That being said, we are all getting older not younger....need to start thinking about the future. exit strategies etc.

    I have built my sprinkler company with that in mind....and I need to actually think about it some more...I have gotten off track a bit while trying to make my life easier and less stressful. the truth of the matter is though, we cannot all work in the trenches forever...gonna get tired eh?
  4. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274


    The getting older thing is the truth brother. After 20 plus years of doing everything below ground, the old back and knees just don't work like they used to. I can get down to the work pretty easily, but the getting back up is getting harder every day. But I can still crawl along the ditch at a pace a toddler would have a hard time keeping up with! (Need to get some of those fancy gardner's knee pads to save the knees of my pants. Somehow I keep wearing a hole in the right knee of all my jeans.)

    Maybe I should go into the fire sprinkler business for a while so I can work overhead for awhile. Nawww...too damn much work using steel pipe!

  5. Hawkeye5

    Hawkeye5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 295

    Looks like all you need now are some customers and some experience. Do you know pricing and how you are going to estimate bids? $40K first year, is that net or gross? If net, it might be a bit strong. My opinion is that you are best to start slower and learn the business than try to become the lawn care king the first year. Do you have a CPA? I will testify, a CPA is worth every cent, they will save you big money. You have the attitude, so good luck with your business.
  6. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

    Hi Green-Pro,

    Remember to believe in yourself and know that you can make this happen. Also read as much as you can. Hear is a list of inspiring business stories.
  7. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    Guys thanks a heap for the encouragement and good advice, Hawkeye no not 40k net but gross and yes good advice again, I had already set an appointment up with our CPA. Don't misunderstand I do not intend to start the world afire, I know it will take a lot of sweat(literally) and hard work and figure a part time job in the off season may be in order. My father-in-law was in boat business for himself for many years and I know me wanting to do this eats at him (syndrome; can't make money cuttin grass) but being self employed has been a dream of mine for years and this line of work is one that I enjoy (its not much but I maintain our two acre yard an beds and the church) Hardwork definitely, potential rewards monetary and other---GREAT.

    Anyway thanks for the encouraging word and great advice talk to you all soon.

  8. Up North

    Up North LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MN
    Posts: 1,063

    Congrats! Sounds like you've done a good bit of work before kicking off your business, I'm sure you'll be rewarded for that. This is my first year in the business as a part time LCO looking to go full time next season, our (wife & I) goals and expectations were met and surpassed by the second month of the season.

    Being new to this business the only "sure" advice I can offer is to do quality work, treat the customer as if you were the one paying for the service, and pay attention to the details when it comes to servicing lawns. That could very well be what seperates you from the other LCO's in your area, and believe me, customers do notice when you take that extra step to make sure their lawn looks great. One other piece of advice...get out there NOW! Why wait? Looks like you're ready to go, get a jump on finding a few customers and get a feel for the business.

    You have a great bunch of guys on this website that are willing to share ideas, advice, and their experiences. I have tremendous respect for a lot of these guys, they've been a great help to us. Good luck Green-Pro, go get em'!


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