Any tips/tricks for someone who is just starting...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mhubert123, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. mhubert123

    mhubert123 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    I'm going to dive right in and start...
    I am currently in high school, and looking to start in the lawn care industry @ 16 years old. Mainly as a part time (during school year) and full time summer job. I was wondering if their is anyone who can help me out with any info. on particular equipment, rates to charge, and or just plain tips for me... :confused:
    :) Anything would be appreciated. :)
    I would also like anyone in the Cincinnati, OH area who can help with recommendations or anything about the industry that i need to know PLZ don't hesitate to let me know...
     
  2. johnny_boy02

    johnny_boy02 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    Get good gas cans.

    Get the best equipment you can afford, check Craigslist daily for deals on used stuff.

    Get things in writing.
     
  3. mhubert123

    mhubert123 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    Thanx for the advice, I already have craigslist covered... :)
    "Get things in writing", what exactly do you mean...can you give me a few examples.
     
  4. RobertsDesign

    RobertsDesign LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    He means make sure ever customer signs a contract before doing any work.
     
  5. tlc1994

    tlc1994 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 290

    1) Create a service agreement that illustrates all your policies and terms, such as scheduling, payment, service, etc.
    2) Learn about all the different varieties of grass in your area, and take notes on their watering necessities, fertilizer, proper mowing height, etc.
    3) Get business cards with a unique company name, motto, and, if desired, logo.
    4) Even if you don't have them yet, determine all the expenses you will have, such as maintenence, marketing, gas, insurance, etc. Calculate how much you think you will spend on these during the year, divide by 52 weeks to give you an idea of your weekly expenses. Add in how much you want to profit per week (be realistic), then divide by how many hours you can work a week. This will give you an hourly rate.
    5) No matter how bad you want a customer, never, ever, sell yourself short or work less than you're worth.
    6) Find a good lawn equipment dealer near you and establish a rapport; hopefully this may result in a few incentives here and there.
    7) Don't do work you don't want to do, or can't do well yet; you may just end up wasting both partys' times if you don't do it right.
    8) Stay in good contact with your clients, such as picking up a few things if they were left out, and offering customer satisfaction surveys.
    9) Be reliable- always be consistent with mowing a customers lawn and don't skip out.
    10) Have fun.

    :usflag:
     
  6. STIHL GUY

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Posts: 5,225

    dont leave a property unless you have done the best job you can on it. remember everyone driving by sees the work you do so even if it takes a little extra effort and time it will pay off in the end. and a good way to get customers is word of mouth
     
  7. mhubert123

    mhubert123 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    Thanks to everyone who has replied, it is very good to have nice folks willing to help a new guy out... :)

    @tlc1994: I'm grateful of your comments and that should really help me out, I was going to ask if you have any recommendations for starting equipment (examples-w.b. mower, blower, edger/trimmer, and or truck and trailer? Do you possibly have any examples of how much my expenses would be per month, or for a whole season?

    @STIHL GUY- thanks for the advice, and that is a very good point, if I am @ a prop. for an extra 10 min. because I need to be there, I am willing to do so to stay in business.
     
  8. tlc1994

    tlc1994 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 290

     
  9. mhubert123

    mhubert123 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    @tlc1994: I can agree with you, I have little money to spend and no leads...
    I have looked on CL before for my area, I have found some good deals, the only problem is I'm looking for a 36" commercial w.b. with a sulky... (most properties in my area are @least 2/3 acre & up, thats the only reason I'm going for a 36" mower,
    The bigger res. properties I'm not worried right now... I hope to also have a few comm. clients in my 2nd season (larger properties). Seeing as how I still have to make a plan, for whom I'm going to service for the most part, *what do you recommend as far as accts., Comm. or Res?* I'm thinking about only residential at the moment, But I would like commercial accounts eventually...
    I am currently in the process of acquiring my equipment, I already have a truck... but I would prefer a newer one, currently I have a 96 ford ranger XLT. I would like to upgrade to an early 2000's ford F150 or Chevy 1500, speaking of chevy I found one in my area for 2500.00 and it looks real clean, pm me for a link to it and tell me what you think. I would also like to get a trailer 6'x10'/12' idk which size to pick yet,
    I do have a few ?'s for you and anyone else who can help me... :confused:
    1. What price range do u think for a used 6x12 trailer?
    2. What should a used 36" comm. w.b. (TORO, Exmark) go for within reasonable cond. and i really don't mind an early 2000's machine, but nothing more than about 900.00?
    3. What brand truck should i start with, yes i know image is almost everything..., Ford F150, or chevy 1500?
    4. Back pack or handheld blower? (i know straight shaft trimmer/edger)
    i think that should cover it for right now...
    :usflag: :confused:
     
  10. h2oskier

    h2oskier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 601

    Start slow stay focused. Equipment will come and go, just take your time and do the best you can. No matter if you are 16 or 86 and just starting out, you have to crawl before you run.
     

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