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Determined 18 Year Old With A New Business

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by pollak1322, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. pollak1322

    pollak1322 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    Hey guys, I've been reading on this site for quite some time now and finally decided to sign up. Im a 18 year old Eagle scout whose going to college that has been mowing lawns, mulching, pruning shrubs, snow plowing, and everything in between since I was 12. Over the years and with the addition of my license and truck, I have expanded out of my immediate neighborhood to about 17 accounts around my town. Last summer I bought my first commercial mower which was a dinosaur of a 48" Scag which now needs a new transmission among other things. Recently a very good family friend who knows my situation offered to loan me some money to buy a new mower. No strings attached, I pay him back a portion of each payment I get as I make the money, no interest or anything. I talked it all over with my parents and with their approval I now am the proud owner of a brand new 48" Scag Hydro. I have lots of other equipment that I've bought and accumulated over the years and this upcoming spring and summer I'm looking to further expand and really do this seriously at least while in college if not longer.

    I guess I'm just looking for some advice on how I should go about doing this and what has worked and more importantly what hasn't worked for all of you guys that do this professionally and for a living. Also more info on when its appropriate to register as a real company, marketing, and that kind of information would be extremely helpful. Thank you!
  2. masonenterprises

    masonenterprises LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    Stay in School. Establish good credit. Thats all.
  3. deerewashed

    deerewashed LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 884

    don't lowball, advertise....advertise.....advertise.....advertise

    p.s. sent you a message
  4. aeration

    aeration LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 68

    With 17 mowing accounts, one season should pay for a new mower. Definitely a new/used machine. Stay away from the money borrowing activity. Cash flow the business. It won't take long to get what you need if you save the vast majority of your revenue. Once you get the equipment you need, save a certain percentage every month for new equipment/maintenence. Its like a sinking fund. A pre paid expense so you will have the money to purchase new equipment and maintain your current machines.
  5. pollak1322

    pollak1322 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    Thanks for the advice! The only reason why I went through with the borrowing of the money is because I'm confident that I can pay off the new mower within a season fairly easily. I do not want to owe money to anyone so from now on I dont want to buy anything I cant afford. As of now I have all of the other necessary equipment to get through the season so I dont plan on any other purchases besides any repairs. Ever since I started the business I have always put a percentage of my pay away in savings so I already have a good percentage of the mower paid off and I plan to keep managing my money in this way.
  6. deerewashed

    deerewashed LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 884

    a trailer, or larger truck would help you, along with a sulky.......proslide would be the best, but i have a single wheel and it works nicely.
  7. pollak1322

    pollak1322 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    I have a decent flat bed trailer to haul around the mower but I find it easier to just put the mower in the bed of the truck that way I don't have to deal with maneuvering the trailer at some of my accounts that are tight as far as turning around. I also have a one wheel sulky but I haven't decided if I will switch it off between the two mowers or just buy a new one for the new mower. As for the truck I am in the process of trying to find a good deal on an f250 or 350 to buy once I get home from school for the year. The ranger worked alright with the small number of accounts I had but if I want to expand further a full size truck preferably diesel needs to be in my near future.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. All_Toro_4ME

    All_Toro_4ME LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,578

    Since you're in college, take some fundamental/intro business classes and at least 9 hrs of acctg and finance. You'll learn the mgmt side of things as well as cash flow in vs out. This is critical for any business.
  9. pollak1322

    pollak1322 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    Yeah currently I'm in a major called wood science and technology which has some business influence but not as much as I want so I plan on doing a minor they offer called entrepreneurship which covers all of the business aspects and it covers how to build up, run, and manage a small business which I think would be extremely helpful and useful.
  10. fivestarlandscapes

    fivestarlandscapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    I would have borrowed $400 and fixed the other mower up. If your in college I would be focusing on college and not expanding a lawn business. Yes, one season will pay for the new mower but you could have just fixed the other mower and waitied untill you had more like 30 accounts to pull the trigger on a new machine. Now you have to worry about paying the family friend and If something happens.... I know guys with 40+ accounts that have never purchased a new machine but they are good with mechanics. Best of luck to you but make sure you are not skipping classes to mow lawns like I was. Im still mowing lawns.

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