Commercial or Residential Lawn Mowing?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by HumphreyCA, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. HumphreyCA

    HumphreyCA LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4


    I am planning on starting my own lawn mowing business in Southwest Florida. Is it more common to start with residential accounts than commercial accounts? What would be the average start up cost differences? Please provide any tips or heads up for possilbe barrier to entry.
    Thank you so much in advance.
  2. prostriper

    prostriper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 336

    One of the barriers to commercial properties is insurance, You usually need alot of it.

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,566

    With commercial work unless you are set to do yearly work you are out of luck if you are a cut and trim only,commercial wants mulch cut and trim trash pickup to name a few.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Most guys start with residential because there is so much more of it and for the most part it smaller lots that can be done without to much "Opps" on the bid.
    Mow pro also had the right idea with the Full Service year round contract with all landscape maintenance work being required--including lawn care which will need a license to do.
  5. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,157

    Remember that grass is grass it all needs mowing. Personaly i like residentials.I really love having 6-8 customers on one block at 35 bucks a pop thats 210-280 and about 4-5 hours work. You can make a lot of $$$ doing residentials. Most commercials require you to have insurance,which you should get anyway. Most commercials want to pay monthly. Also commercials tend to be more spread out. Also large commercials tend to require more man power thus leading to workers comp and paying a salary to employees. GOOD LUCK !:usflag:
  6. HumphreyCA

    HumphreyCA LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    All great advise. Thanks a bunch!! This is such an awesome site.
    I was thinking residential would be the right way to go too. If I am starting from the residential side of the business, what kind of start up cost (average) should I be looking at? What are the basic "Must Haves" equipment and tools? I am in SW Florida, so no snow, and pretty warm weather year round. With grass not growing much the last couple months of the year. Thanks in advance!
  7. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Personally I prefer residentual. In my area everyone goes after the commercial accounts and pushes the price down big time. Ive seen huge all day accounts with 4 guys on them go for 200 and that includes mulching, edging, shrub trimming, the works for dirt cheap prices. I highly encourage contracts.
  8. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 753

    Just starting out ... limited equipment ... solo, or maybe one other person. I always figure you'll make more on smaller, residential properties. You can knock them down quicker, not over-extend your ability to keep up with your work load, and recover when work loads or scheduling become a factor.

  9. noseha

    noseha LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Posts: 554

    you may want to start with res. but the money is in com. but when i say money i mean real money, as in 3-mower, 5-trimmers, you can't run home for a back up, 2-edge, 4-back pack blowers, hedge trimming hand & power tools, fert eqmt, equip for a fast fall/spring clean ups, equip to haul blk and spread wood or stone bedding material. do you know anything about sprinkler systems? you will need 2-w/b blower for f/s clean ups and to clean the parking lot what about hand tools and wheelbarrows. so you just spented with truck and trailer 55k to 95k easy and now you have to get 1-3 mil in insurance low side 1,400 and worker.
  10. noseha

    noseha LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Posts: 554


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