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Electrician to landscaper

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by B16bri, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. Slimreynolds

    Slimreynolds LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    I would get a 48" walk behind and a 22" push mower. As for the trailer you will not need a 16 foot trailer as someone said earlier. A 7x12 open trailer is more than enough to start off with and grow.
     
  2. Zach_KY

    Zach_KY LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    FWIW, I've been in the electrical business long enough to go from a journeyman working for 'the man' to master electrician (with EPA refrigeration certification) licensed in several states with a payroll of 63 back to a two-man operation who cherry picks which projects we will or won't do. We only do commercial and industrial since residential is nearly entirely price driven and we have no desire to compete with crap. If my options were limited to working for 'the man' as a journeyman or striking out on my own in landscaping, I'd pick doing my own thing as an LCO but I'd also keep working toward my master license. IMHO, I don't see this as strictly an either/or decision as there is always the possibility of both. Once you have that license, you have the ability to do, in-house, all of the lighting and related electrical required for those hardscapes you'll be doing once your landscaping business takes off. Thumbs Up

    First, in this economy, I would diversify as much as possible - you are much better off to have skills you don't need rather than need skills you don't have.

    Second, regardless of what so-called-experts say, don't grow too large or quality and, perhaps, your sanity will eventually suffer. More, often times, doesn't equal better. In my case, the gross revenue was much higher with many employees spread over several jobs but the net revenue is nearly the same now with only two of us and far lower expenses. Since chopping the business down to size back in 2007, much of my hair has grown back and my BP is now normal since I do less babysitting. :laugh:

    Good luck to you! :)
     
  3. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 615

    Blade Runner, it's only been 2 1/2 months, don't go giving me extra credit :laugh: You're right I'm new and optimistic because I have business sense, a solid business plan and a business that is falling into the path outlined in that plan.

    To the OP the things I mentioned above are much more important than what brand of mower, trimmer etc. They are also things that many here lack, that's why you hear so many negative rants. If you have something with a sharp blade on it that spins fast enough to cut a blade of grass, a string trimmer and a blower (or a broom) you have what it takes to get started. Never stop reading and researching to expand your skillset and create new service offerings. As you grow your business it will become evident what you need to upgrade in order to continue to become more efficient and effective.

    Most importantly don't allow your dreams to be crushed by someone with a poor view, be it in your personal life, or on this site. Accept their view and welcome it as an opportunity to prove them wrong. Sometimes that is all the motivation we need to succeed.
     
  4. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,145

    Well if you're planning on downgrading your income you'll have to downgrade your lifestyle too, after all you are giving up a skilled trade for an unskilled one, that having been said if you don't mind being poor, this job can be very rewarding... Then again so can splicing wires lol
     
  5. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,231

    You make a good point about motivation.

    Do you have any clients yet?
    Advertising with flyers door to door, a website and craigslist work best for most people. Of course customer referrals are great too once you have some.

    As for equipment it depends on your accounts. If you have very small city residentials nothing but a 21" push mower would work. Suburban accounts, a 36" - 48" walk behind mower with velke would probably do best. If you live out in the country more and have larger lots then you could invest in a 48"-60" mower, but only if you feel that's the right decision.
    Do you have a pick up truck? You can buy ramps for around $100 and load a 36 or 48" mower into the bed. Trailers range from about $2000 used and up.
    As for smaller equipment back pack blowers are very useful stihl br600 works great, and others have other favorites.
    There is something companies make that is 1 engine with many attatchments. Like stihl "kombi". String trimmer, pole pruner, edger, hedge trimmers, etc... in one. Echo makes one too, but I don't have experience with that. I have the kombi km 130 it works good.
    Be extremely careful if you use a chainsaw its very very dangerous.
    good luck!
     
  6. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    The two most important skills you'll need to successfully work for yourself in any business is the ability to market and sale your service or product the second equally important skill is the ability to KNOW YOUR NUMBERS and sale accordingly. If you can master these two skills you'll never need to work for the other man again.
     
  7. gmakes56

    gmakes56 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    i got what you need,,,,,,,already licensed and set up with 70 fertilizing accounts and never advertised ever.......

    gmakes56@yahoo.com..................lets do this....instant income.........looking for partner now
     

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