Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Robert S, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. Robert S

    Robert S LawnSite Member
    from tx
    Posts: 97

    whats the best way to get accounts as in commercial accounts.will walking into walmart or mcdonalds and ask to see the manager.? i may have achance to get a buisness loan but i dont have any accounts
  2. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    You don't have any accounts?? You don't have any or just not any commercial??
  3. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,257

    You might not want to target Walmart as a poential client. I've heard bad things about pricing and what they pay.
  4. AJZ

    AJZ LawnSite Member
    from Tx.
    Posts: 12

    I am just a newbie so the only comment I can make in regards to your question is, "can/will you meet the minimum requirements." I am sure you would have to carry a huge insurance policy to do buiness with them.

    As far as commercial accounts, use your existing resources. Do you know anyone who works for a business that outsources their lawn care? Use them to encourage their boss/manager to switch to your company. In most larger companies the head honcho (sp.) probably does not even know who does the lawn work. All you would have to do is save the company some money because after all, it's all about the bottom line in business. I am not saying to do it for 50% less but a 5%-10% savings could go a long way.

    Also(not sure if it is legal, more than likely not) you could use an employee to help you gain thier companies account. In return, you could pay them a small amout of money(depending of size of the account) for helping you. This gives them motivation to push the issue.
  5. Robert S

    Robert S LawnSite Member
    from tx
    Posts: 97

    no accounts.dont knpw anyone either
  6. Eakern & Dog

    Eakern & Dog LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 431

    Does Walmart and other big box stores pay for the maintenance or does the owner of the property?
  7. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    DON'T GET OVER YOUR HEAD!!! Usually just to bid on commercial accounts you must carry 1 million dollar liability insurance policy. Why would you think of taking on commercial accounts as a newbie, your setting yourself up to fail. If you only run one mower, what are you gonna do when it breaks (and yes it will break they all do)? The companies aren't gonn sit around for weeks til you can get it fix, they're gonna go with someone else and your name will be mudd.
    How can you (or mor so why would you) get a loan w/ ZERO CUSTUMERS? You do understand that you'll have to pay the loan back right?
    Like everyone one keeps telling you start small and within your budget. Get your foot in the door before going into debt.
  8. Robert S

    Robert S LawnSite Member
    from tx
    Posts: 97

    i know but you cant get your foot in the door with no money to buy equipment our to i guess ill just crawl in a hole and give up.leave thisd for the people who can afford to work.dam
  9. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Posts: 0

    I currently service a Wal-Mart store and "Yes" you are required to carry a minimum of 1 million in liability insurance. You are also responsible for the commercial grade sprinkling system, trimming of the bushes, fertilization of the lawns, weed control of the beds and lawns and re-mulching of all the flower beds each year.

    So not only will you need the 1-million in insurance you will be required to have your pesticide license in order to apply the fert & weed control and you'll need a good size trailer to carry enough mulch to replentish all the flower beds.

    Now for the bad news, in order to do work for Wal-Mart your going to need a "Vendors Number" which took us over 60 days to obtain. Without the number they can't process your invoices. Once you recieve the vendors number and are in the system the payments are useually about 60-90 days out. So for a new company it could be around August before you see your first payment.

    Most commercial accounts are going to want the whole package ie: mowing, pruning, sprinklers, fertilization, weed control & even snow removal. If your not prepaired to offer a commercial client with all of those services then your better off not trying to go after commercial accounts at this time. Sorry to have to break it down like that but that's how it is with commercial accounts.
  10. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    I think you probably better re-think this, and approach it correctly. Thinking the way you're doing right now is NOT the way to go about it. You have to crawl before you can walk. First of all, you need to market the type of jobs that you ca hndle,...and you know you can handle. If you think you are going to step into this business and start taking on Walmarts and medical facilities, then you certainly don't know your of the golden rules. You need to think smaller, first. Take on the jobs of a caliber you can more easily handle, and you will make more optimum money - then build from there. For instance, if you start off with some smaller equipment (loan or not, you have to be realistic), you will be able to make some money doing smaller properties. If you take a 48" walk behind out, and try to cut 10 acres with it, guess what? you might as well be working for someone for what you will make. It is possible to grow too slow...that doesn't cost you as much. However, if you try to grow too fast? The same thing happens that happens to everyone else who makes this mistake. You fold. If you don't have the work, you can NOT pay the payments on a loan for larger equipment. It is all too common to put the carriage before the horse. I would look into a solid business plan...a REAL business plan,...not a pipe dream.
    I now this is not what you want to hear right now, but it is some of the most sincere, sound advice you could get right now. 25 years in this business....I've seen alot of 'em come, and ALOT of 'em go.

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