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

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

  1. joshman108

    joshman108 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 86

    Im 18, and this is my second year with 20 clients.

    Dont be like I was and be scared to charge what the pros with the big rigs charge. As long as you KNOW you can do a darn good job, it doesnt matter how old you are or what you drive - you're worth as much as anyone else. I learned that a little later than I wish I had, but oh well. I was doing lawns for $25. Then this year I upped it to the going rate of $30-40. Dont cut yourself short. Act confident, professional, and always justify the price, and people will pay it.... (usually haha)
     
  2. LegendaryLawns

    LegendaryLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    I have seen several Walkbehinds in Dayton and Cinci Craiglists, usually in 1200 - 1500 range. I bought my 36" Exmark on CL for 1200, and love it. Leave a great cut, and cuts amazing. 13 hp Kaw does wonders. I also picked up a commercial 22 John Deer that runs off a Kawasaki engine as well. picked it up on CL a couple years ago for $100 and though i dont use it much, its a great little mower to have.

    I have carried about 5-6 lawns a year for over 10 years, mostly having only a 22" push mower and a 42" Sabre riding lawn tractor. I picked up a Church contract (roughly 6 acres) a couple weeks ago and decided it was time to go big and got me a new 52" ProCat. 0% interest for 36 months was pretty nice feature, besides being an awesome machine! I have a full time job, but have 3 days off to handle my accounts. My goal is to get my mower and truck paid for in the next couple of years, and start working towards totally supporting myself with lawn care, and possibly branch into some plowing in the winter was well.
    So though im not as young as you, we seem to be tracking similar paths! Holla at me if you got some questions!
     
  3. mhubert123

    mhubert123 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    I know it has been a little while, but let me start by saying thank you again!!! I have not started yet but I am very interested and have been doing a lot of research on equipment, vehicles, etc. I am very thankful for everyone's advice that you have given and I am hopefully going to be able to start buying equipment soon. :) :clapping:

    I have a few more questions:

    When is the perfect time to get contracts? Whats your opinion...
    Roughly what should be a good rate to start out at?
    And anything else you can recommend or have input on.
    Thank you!!! :) :confused:
     
  4. joshman108

    joshman108 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 86

    Time of year? Anytime as long as you can get em. Spring is typically harvest time though.
    Rate? Its different everywhere, but round me a 1/4-1/2 acre goes for 30-35 bucks.
     
  5. Georgia Lawn

    Georgia Lawn LawnSite Member
    from Ga
    Posts: 97

    Any time that you can get clients signed up is great. Try offering a one time service such as aeration or leaf clean up can work wonders for signing people up for a maintenance contract. We signed up 75% of our maintenance clients this way.
    Rate all depends on how long it will take you to do the yard and how much it costs you to do the yard plus % off other expenses such as truck and company insurance.
    Its all in the numbers, the more flyers, postcards , emails, etc you get out the more return you will get. Dont rely on other people to get you business, go out and market your company. Do that and you will soon have all the business you want. Good luck
     
  6. mhubert123

    mhubert123 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    Let me start by saying thank you. Can you possibly be more specific "maintainance contract." Thanks. :confused:
    Thank you!!!
     
  7. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,511

    Do not spray grass in your customers mulch. They don't like it.
     
  8. Georgia Lawn

    Georgia Lawn LawnSite Member
    from Ga
    Posts: 97

    lol I meant maintenance
     
  9. mhubert123

    mhubert123 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    Okay, can you give me a sample of what your contracts include, and what you would not recommend I put in mine, thanks in advance.
     
  10. Georgia Lawn

    Georgia Lawn LawnSite Member
    from Ga
    Posts: 97

    We have just a basic contract that states what work we are going to do on what schedule and the price of that service, we include a 30 day termination claus, our referral program and thats about it. Contract or no contract though people will not pay, change service out of no where, want you to do more work on the side for free, and cancel you when the grass stops growing and the leaves stop falling. We did not have a contract for the longest time and still had great customer retention, the only reason we got one now is because we got more into the tx side of the business. If you provide great service on a regular basis people will keep you, just be ready for cancels in the winter.
     

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