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Extreme newbie here!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by CBus, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. CBus

    CBus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    My buddy and I just got our tax refunds back, got wild hairs up our you-know-whats, and decided to start a lawn care business. I've been in retail management for the past 5 years, so I think I'm good as far as bookkeeping, etc. If some of you could answer some questions I have, that'd be great.

    A little info on what we've decided to do, first. We already have a truck, and we've decided not to buy any riding mowers yet. It's just the two of us, so we're buying two push mowers, two string trimmers, and an edger. We're gonna float out some business cards, print some flyers, knock on a few doors, and see what happens.

    Now, my questions:

    1. We're having a heck of a time thinking of a name. We're both named Mike, so we were just going to call it Mike & Mike's, but that sounds kind of two-bit/unproffessional IMO. Maybe if some of you could tell me how you came up with your names, that'd be extremely helpful.

    2. Is there any equipment that we're REALLY going to need at first that I haven't thought of?

    3. It's too late, my mind has gone blank. I can't think of 1 of the hundreds of other questions I thought of earlier. :confused:
  2. goodbeus

    goodbeus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 392

    You've already made a few mistakes imo...first, you'll need a blower...second, partners is a bad thing...third, you have no real foundation for lawn care...I see countless guys get the same wild hair and do the same thing you are...spend a lot of money, then for whatever reason(it's to hot, the work is to hard, profit margin not as high as expected), they get out..sell their equipment at a loss...go work for someone for 6 months and then you'll know if this is what you want to do...
  3. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,503

    Be sure to get insurance and get a buisness liscense also
  4. FFMED74

    FFMED74 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 242

    Dont get push mowers except to do trimming areas. Go with a commercial grade mower 36" or 48 ", like any of the sponsor mowers and don't spend the $$$ yet on a hydro, enless you can afford it. Look at used stuff too. A homeowner trimmer is worthless, it won't last you a few weeks at most. Go with Echo, Stihl or Shindiawa. Hit your local dealers and find the best deal possible, if you have trouble, PM me I have another idea or two.
    The blower is a must, at least a good hand held. I also don't see a problem with a partner, if you can work off each others strengths and weakness' You might be the money man and he is the sales guy, it can work, but it can cause huge problems if you aren't careful. Just my opinion.
  5. bubat48433

    bubat48433 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    Don't let anyone talk you out of doing what you want to do. If you don't try this, you will spend the rest of your life wondering what would have happened. You are bound to make mistakes. Promise yourself that you will learn from them and move on. I once did a job for $35 that ended up takin me 2 days because I allowed this nice little old lady to add "little" things to a basic leaf raking job that I thought would take no more that an hour. HANG IN THERE. You'll be glad you did.
  6. Carolina Cutter

    Carolina Cutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 987

    Well said and thought out. Good first advice. Just as an observation....I am not downtalking anyone here....but, we all talk of the "new scrubs" (by the way...scrub is a term that I just cannot stand) or whatever you want to call them and then we constantly get questions on here pretaining to the old "I've got $500 and a broke down truck some junk equipment and I am going into business" and whats the first thing that a lot of us do.....we jump right in and give away all the secrets of how to make this work. I guess I am just venting......I know when I started I learned from trail and error. There were four Lawncare companies advertising in the paper (5 years ago) and now today there are 19. I really think that every one thinks that they can go out and do shody work and make a fortune meanwhile slowly putting us out of business. Don't get me wrong, I love competition and I will tell a customer if they want a $10 cut job thats just what they will get from some of the weekend warriors and then they can call me and get a quility service. I did not ask anyone to hand me the guidelines or directions, not that there is anything wrong with that. I am glad that there are so many people on here who are willing to help and answer questions.....Lord knows I have had a few. But I am saying that if these people are really serious and not just "starting business" to lowball or make a few quick bucks, THEY WILL DO SOME REASEARCH ON THEIR OWN and learn the things that are needed. Once again, I am not saying that the replies are great and that they aren't much appreciated but I have to ask......"Are we......the established lawn care business people going to be the death of our own trade by training the scrubs?" Do you think Sam Walton gave away all of his trade secrets? No, if he had there is NO WAY Wal-Mart would be as large as it is today. I spent countless hours in the library reading books on business and lawncare to help with my business. Nobody can grow your business other than you and that takes commitment and dedication....a desire to discover the knowledge.........:eek: :confused:
  7. CBus

    CBus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    Ok, well, maybe I'm not as extreme a newbie as some of you apparently think I am. I must not have explained things very well. I worked for a greens department on a golf course for three years. Best job I have ever had, this is DEFINITELY what I want to do.

    We're only hoping that the equipment we're getting will get us through this summer. (We do have a blower, by the way. Forgot to mention that.) We had a lot of other stuff to spend most of our refund on. Then, next year, if things go halfway decently this year, we're going to buy high quality, commercial equipment and really dive in head first.

    And, sorry, I didn't realize I was asking for any "secrets". Christ, people ask about pricing, bidding, etc. and it's no problem, I ask about how you guys came up with your names and get lambasted. As far as needing to do my own research, I have been. 2-3 hours a day for the last month or so. I've found out about insurance, banking, workers comp, striping, waste removal, clean ups, marketing, licenses, etc.

    And, unless you guys are working in Weirton, WV (highly unlikely), I'm not trying to "steal" your customers.

    So: grass_cuttin_fool, FFMED74, and bubat48433, thanks. Goodbeus and Merlin: GET BENT.
  8. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    Oh great another new member with a bad attitude. Can't we all just get along?

    :D :D :D :D
  9. CBus

    CBus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    How do I have a bad attitude? I just asked a couple simple questions, and got called a scrub, was accused of doing "shoddy work" and asking people to "hand me the guidelines or directions", and told that I'm not willing to do the research on my own.

    Yeah, I've got a real crappy attitude. [​IMG]
  10. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,369

    Its not just you its the 100,000 lurkers out there who just sit back and take notes.
    2 push mowers a partner, 100 flyers and a pick up is scrub central. Now guys will be feeding the 1000's of lurkers with all the info they need again.

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