Buying equipment, starting business.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cessnasovereign, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    I was in an auto accident which totaled my 1999 Camaro, I was in the process of buying another Camaro with the $9,500 I got from the other guys insurance company when I decided to buy a truck and start a business! :usflag: :canadaflag:

    I'm buying a 17 HP Toro 42 inch cut Z-turn mower for $2599.00
    Plus a Honda push edger 4.5 HP, a Ryobi straight shaft weedeater and a Ryobi backpack leaf blower.. What else should I get?
    I guess I'll also need a little push mower, rakes, maybe or shovel..

    I already have a few clients lined up. I'm 20 years old so I don't have many bills so I can afford to slowly build the business if that's what it takes. But I'm confident, I've been selling motorcycle parts on eBay since I was 14. I was the richest kid in middle school. :laugh:
    So I have a good "business" background and now how to sell a product. I made some great brochures explaining my services and about contracts. I'll try to get a file link so ya'll can see that soon.
    I'm also buying a 5X8 trailer and I'll weld a box on the front to keep everything in, so it won't get stolen.

    Opinions? Suggestions?
    I heard the best way to get customers is by word of mouth. I have a friend who runs a heating and air company, pretty big company, and we're gonna swap business cards, so when he gives a bill to someone, my card will be attached and vise versa, to kinda advertise to each other. Which is good cause he probably see's 10+ customers a day.
    I also come from a big family with alot of friends so I'm trying to get all our friends as clients plus offering discounts if they bring in clients. My base price for an average yard around here is $35, if they refer someone who uses me on a regular basis, I'll drop their price to $30 permanetly.

    I'm also stating in the brochure, that I make my visits 3 to 4 times a month. "Either every 7 or every 10 days depending on the condition of your property." Meaning, for a really nice yard with good grass, every 7 days, for the average yard every 10.

    Any tips would be greatly appeciated! Thanks!!!
     
  2. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    Plus, what do ya'll think of making a road sign to put out behind my trailer while mowing a yard so people driving by will see who I am, plus a sign on the back of my gate for people in traffic behind me to see and I'm thinking about getting some corogated plastic signs to place and move around every week or two.
     
  3. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 470

    Welcome to Lawnsite and good luck with your new business. I think that you are going in the right direction, however, remember that "word of mouth" advertising has to come from exsisting customers in addition to family and friends. Try doorhangers or newspaper ads for a while to get a good base of customers and that should take you pretty far.
     
  4. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    while it is a nice mower for a homeowner, it wont last the season if you use it commercially..... please please please dont make this mistake......

    you will want to look at the toro commercial line.... a new commercial z will be around 7 thousand ..... do you really need a z, can you get by with a commercial walk behind and a sulky... that new will be around 5 thousand...
     
  5. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,096

    I would steer clear of that Toro z. Its a home-owner machine and it won't stand up to much commercial work. Also, What dealers are in your area and what brands do the sell? Do they stock a good sized parts invintory for those brands? How is their service department?
    Sounds like you might be shopping at Home depot or something (if not, I applogize) I would talk to a few dealers and see what bthey recomend.
    How big are the lawns you have and what size properties are you targeting? If you are targeting smaller properties, maybe go get a 36" walkbehind (espically if your yards have gates). Otherwise, look at a 48" walkbehind. Either way, new or used will hold up better and get better trade in or resale value than the homeowner machine.
    If you want a small z, check out the Exmark Phazer.
     
  6. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    Thanks for the tips. I just figured the Toro would be much easier, being that I could sit down and all. ;)

    I did find a used walk behind for $2500
    " This is a commercial walk behind mower with a '48 deck, jungle wheels attachment, dethatcher attachment, and bagging system attachment included. This equipment was over $6000 new, and has only been used on less than 10 yards for 3 seasons.

    It is in fantastic shape, and has been well maintained. Also comes with 3 sets of blades."

    How do these mowers work? How fast are they? To me it seems like a Z would be best since you're sitting, you wouldn't get tired and slow, vs. running behind a walk behind all day..

    I can't really afford a $6K mower right now, maybe next year if it all goes good. The best I could do is maybe $3500 and the other option for a Z is a 22 HP 50 inch cut Cub Cadet for $2999 and yes they're at home depot. The local dealer only had reallllly expensive ones.
     
  7. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    Oh and most of the houses are about 1/3 acre.

    And as for gates, how would a walk behind be better?
     
  8. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    Also, what do ya'll think of a little website for the flyers and brochures? I'd be using a free hosting service (expage.com) so the site would be www.expage.com/mydomain for example. Would that look too un-professional? I do have an AOL address with the company name on the fliers and would like to have a site where they can look at equipment and previous work photos.
     
  9. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    Just bought a T-shirt from **** press with my logos on it!!!
     
  10. rfed32

    rfed32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Hatboro
    Posts: 680

    i would go with that used commerical mower u found, i would also make the sign for ur trailer i am going to do it i think its a good idea...t-shirt is a good idea, u might want to get a few made so u can have one clean nice one when u go to give proposals and stuff like that, i am in the prosses of gettin a golfshirt made with my name on it....good luck, word of mouth and flyers will get u long way....welcome to lawnsite
     

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