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another newby with questions...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lottlawncare, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. lottlawncare

    lottlawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    I live in Houston and work nights. I'm broke so I figured I'd give the lawn thing a try for extra money. I have some basic questions, all of which you guys will probably think are stupid, but here they are:
    1. When's the best time to throw out some door flyers?
    2. I don't want to buy commercial equipment, just a couple of 21"ers. Should I go with self propell or push mowers? I'm in good shape, and I know push mowers are cheaper and have less parts to go bad. Plus, couldn't I get my mowing done faster with a push mower?
    3. Which 21" mowers would you guys recommend?
    4. For the one-man residential mowers, how much are you guys making a year (net?).
    5. Can I get/ keep customers if i just want to do their yards (i don't want to mess with flowerbeds/trees/etc.)?
    6. How many of you guys claim your income and how do you get licensed?
    7. how many of you guys are powerwashing too and is that worth the time?

    I'll keep it at that and post the rest of my questions later.
  2. pfifla1

    pfifla1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    21s are not worth it in the end. spend the money on a used 36 walk behind, i work 1 1/2 days a week, work another job, and go to school and i make about 1500$/mo from lawns. but i have found, most people want the whole deal, not just cutting.
  3. lottlawncare

    lottlawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    i wish i could afford that stuff, but i just don't have the money right now, i gotta stick with 21". maybe next year. but now that you mention it, where are you guys finding 36" mowers anyways? i can't even find them online very often.
  4. jcr4au

    jcr4au LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    Been in the biz for a year in New Braunfels and here is what I figured out over the past year:

    1. No idea, I havent done and hope not too. Main reason is that I hate it when people leave them at my house/car. Second reason is that you only get a 1-2% response.

    2. Would highly recommend getting a 36" WB, but if you have to go 21" I would go push b/c you can walk at your own pace. Self-props are often too slow if you are in shape like you say. Using a 36 make me enjoy my job.

    3. No idea. If you are getting a new one make sure it has a good warranty since you will be using it the most.

    4. I will have grossed about 30K over the past year and netted about 10K. I own all my equipment and bought professional grade so I would not have to work as much/hard and do it more quickly.

    5. You can, but you probably won't for long. Most customers I have encountered want to only deal w/ one person. Keep in mind the next guy will perform both duties and the customer may use them soley b/c he does everything.

    6. Claim everything. Dont have to get liscensed in TX unless you are installing sprinklers, or spraying chemicals.

    7. I dont, but this is more equipment you are going to have to buy and if you have the $$$ to buy this and a mower, then I would just buy a better mower (36" WB).

    Keep in mind that if you need the cash now, then this is not the best time to get in the biz. The cash will only be coming for about 1 more month and will probably be just enough to cover your expenses.
  5. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,487

    Start out with what you can afford, then buy up from there as you make more money. It will come, just be patient. The less you have to buy now, then the lower your overhead will be, and the higher your profit margin. It seems that word of mouth is the overwhelming favorite in the advertising discussion. But if you are ambitious, putting up flyers and/or doorhangers is not a bad way to start. You may only get 10 - 20% response, but that is better than nothing.
  6. jbell113

    jbell113 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 654

    i put out flyers this time last year and made about $2200 over a 6 week period and im a part timer work nights also and I put the flyers on the mailboxes without any problems. I put the flyers out on saturday nights about midnight. I may be considered a scrub ,though it was easier at night without traffic
  7. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    So you're also considering power washing? Do you already have one? Maybe use the $ made from that to purchase equip for lawns? If you do tiny and I mean tiny residentials a 21 will work. We had 21 trim mowers that collected dust for the most part at work. They were self propelled Deeres and were realatively fast but when we sent in the big riders for work we'd have to do the whole palce with them. Previous years we had to use Sensations to do it. Possible but slow! The productivity difference you'll see from a a 36 would be worth it. Get insurance and ask as many questions as you need too. If you don't have that much cash to start up it will take longer to get there. USe your head, productivity will be everything because your competition will have an equipment and speed advantage on you. Do good work, charge fairly and don't undercut yourself on price. One of the mistakes I see guys posting on here is that they did not get people on contracts. Do it so ther is no he said she said, it's spelled out in writting. You might wan tot think about just building up some cash first and looking for some deals on clearence. Watch some other companies and see how many of them use 21's and what brands are popular as they won't be very forthcomming with info unlike here. Good luck. :waving:
  8. JustMowIt

    JustMowIt LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367

    If you are interested in 21 inch Self propelled 2 Cycle Toro's, we are selling all 43 of ours at the end of the season. $200-$400 depending on age. Also, selling all of our Stihl blowers, edgers & weed eaters. BUying all new in 2005. We are in Dallas.

    Yes, you can get customers without doing bushes etc.

    Good Luck
    Our Website
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    43? Holy MACKeral!!! You certainly have a selection there! Also, just one thing...I don't think it's right that you charge him different prices, especially up to twice as much, just because of his age. These younger guys have to make it too! :p :laugh:
  10. lottlawncare

    lottlawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    at least someone's stickin' up for me. thanks man

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