Anything I should be doing now????

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jon99, Jul 9, 2002.

  1. Jon99

    Jon99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 375

    Starting a business in the spring, is there anything I should be doing now to make sure things are in place???

    I am tossing the idea around of buying a mower right now and hoping to land some accounts, but since I am financing the purchase I would hate to toss $6K into a mower and have it parked for 8 months... On the other hand, the Scag dealer has two 48" Tiger Cubs that he is selling for $6K, once he sells the two promo models the price will be $7400, so perhaps I could actually save money by making the purchase now...
     
  2. Turf Ranger

    Turf Ranger LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    wait until the winter to buy a mower... the prices will be down. But for now you should be making up flyers, business cards, ect... and i would try to get some accounts for next spring.... you dont want to go spend 6k without having work for it
     
  3. Jon99

    Jon99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 375

    I don't have a business phone line right now, should I spend the $20-30 a month so all of my fliers have the business number on them????

    How should I go about lining up accounts for next spring??? If someone is looking for a LCO this time of year, won't they be looking for someone for right now??? Thats why I thought if I bought a mower now, I could try to line up some accounts now so I would have them for next spring...

    And you are saying that $6K for a 48" ZTR is not a great deal, but rather one I will be able to match in the winter???
     
  4. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Posts: 3,256

    Jon, how big are the properties you'd be doing? Do you really NEED to go right for a $6k ztr, or could you start out with a less expensive walk behind?
    If you can get by with a $2500 48" wb (or an even less expensive used machine), and if you have the time to take on some accounts now, I'd say go for it.
    It'll be that many less you have to try to get next season. Plus it will give you a taste of it to see if it's really for you or not.
     
  5. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,117

    Get your pesticide license and start studying up on herbicides and fungicides and start treating your own lawn to see how everything works. Try your moms, uncles, cousins lawns too. Go bug the guys at Lesco and get some suggestions about chemicals too.
     
  6. lawnkid

    lawnkid LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 935

    I agree witht the others. I would wait for the business first then worry about buying new equipment. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to get your foot in the door now so that people will be thinking of you in the spring. I also agree that you should wait to see the size of the properties you will be mowing before you go out and buy an unnecessary rider. Even though my only mower is a Scag, make sure that this dealer is one that will stand behind you and not just sell you a piece of equipment for your money and screw you off. Anyhow I would start out with a walkbehind. If you can afford a hydro, I would get one or else a belt drive would do. Anyway, good luck! :)
     
  7. Pelican

    Pelican LawnSite Member
    Posts: 164

    You stated "promo" machines, but perhaps you mean "demo"? If that's the case then you need to purchase them when they are available, but generally prices and financing incentives are better off season.

    I would be looking for a hydro walk behind as my only machine, unless the terrain in your area is very level. The ZTRs aren't all that good in hilly areas and you'd have to be selective in the accounts you take. When you're just starting out, you can't afford to be selective.
     
  8. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    I'm with the others. Get a 32" or 36" walkbehind so you can get through gates. How do you know you need a ztr yet? You don't. You may think you like mowing but after a few months you may not like it. Go through the hot summer next year first to see if you want to stick it out more than 1 year. I got 1,000 business cards for $12 at Officemax or one of those type of places. Leave off cell phone number. You can always write it on the card by hand when you get a cell phone next year when you start business.

    Are you starting part-time or full-time. Don't give up your full-time job until you try mowing for a year. Think about the medical,etc. benefits you would be loosing from fulltime job.

    Lots to think about and lots more advice others can give you.
     
  9. Jon99

    Jon99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 375

    First off, the dealer is a guy I worked for many years ago while I was in college and after college I worked for him on Saturdays, he will shoot me straight...

    I have two reasons for wanting a new ZTR, first off I have the mechanical skills of a monkey, if something other than a belt breaks I will need to pay to have it repaired, so I want something reliable... Secondly, I have ran the Scag WB's long enough to know my hands can't take much more of that.. :)

    As for the other questions, I live in central Illinois, land doesn't get much flatter than that... I have mowed since I have been 17, now I am 34 so I am sure I know enough about the business to realize I like it...

    I am currently unemployed, working 20 hours a week so it doesn't effect my unemployment, so once I start this it will be a full time deal unless I don't have the accounts, then I will substitute teach on days I am not mowing.. My wife teaches so I am on her health insurance...

    Thanks all, Jon
     
  10. Pelican

    Pelican LawnSite Member
    Posts: 164

    I've made far more repairs to my Skag ZTR than I ever have to the walkbehind, so if reliability is an issue, in my case the walkbehind wins. It's just a much more versitile machine, that's why everyone is recommending it.

    If you feel your body's not up to the task, then why bother? There will be days that you'll have to work sun up to sun down to get caught up after a week of rain.

    You've asked for input here, but it's beginning to sound as if you already have all the answers.
     

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