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Getting Started <Part-Time>

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Nick, Feb 24, 2000.

  1. Nick

    Nick Guest
    Posts: 0

    Does anyone have good advise on getting started part time? I have a couple of accounts and am thinking about expanding into a part time business. It started with a couple of friends/family and now all their neighbors are asking. My issue is I don't know where to start.<p>How much do I charge?<br>I an afford the equipment but I don't know exactly what I should buy.<p>Here's what I am thinking:<p>36 inch walk behind (Probally a SCAG belt drive or Exmark)<br>5x10 trailer<br>I have a Honda 4 cycle string trimer<br>I am looking at a Stihl Blower (EF 400) and 44 I thnk the model is edger.<p>What am I forgeting?<br>Are the Nilsson books really good?<br>
     
  2. curlawngreen

    curlawngreen Banned
    Posts: 309

    I get my Nilson book on Fri. Let you know.<br>If I had it all to start over I would take my first $200.00 and talk to an accountant.Start from there. He/she can tell you the ins ands outs of business better than you can get from an agronomist in here. Tim
     
  3. Nick

    Nick Guest
    Posts: 0

    What do you mean? Business structures? S corp vs Sole Prop? or more than that? I don't plan on any employees...
     
  4. curlawngreen

    curlawngreen Banned
    Posts: 309

    You may not plan on them but you may get so busy doing 2 hours of work for $20.00 you may need some. So it would be a good idea to know how much money it is going to cost you to have an &quot;employee&quot; working for &quot;the company&quot;<br>That employee is going to be you until you hire another one.
     
  5. bdemir

    bdemir LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 610

    Nick,<br>I would cut the grass and see how long it takes and then see that you can make 30 dollars an hour and up. Equipment wise get whatever you need to do the job right and (if you want to grow) print flyers or do a val pack thing. As far as equipment i would buy a 32&quot; walkbehind but if you can get into all your yards with a bigger mower then buy as big as you can but 48&quot; is a good size to start. I would buy a red max blower instead and a shidaiwa stick edger and some insurance if you want. <br>A truck or a vehicle to tow the trailer with and you should be set to start.<p><br>bdemir<br>
     
  6. ashlandscaping

    ashlandscaping Banned
    Posts: 113

    some point here to be touched on even if your not planning to have employes you should still have a business set up also to find out about taxs and all the laws that their are. Second look into some ins. get a simple policy to cover your ass. Buy the biggest mower that will work for you and that you can afford. If you have a truck then you could haul the mower in the bed at first to start. Pay the price up front and buy better stringtrimmers and blowers. I personal would buy a push edger first since you will get some lawns that have not been edged for years and a stick edger will not cut it. Then once your set do a great job and wacth the work come in. OOOO yea one important thing DONT be A LOW BALLER keep your prices in the local range. You may not get as much work at first but at least you will make what your worth instead of killing yourself for it.
     
  7. yardsmith

    yardsmith LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 627

    Too many things to consider; not enuf time to write them all down.<br>Best thing to do is get some/add to ypur business sense, as L.S. puts it. Most towns have a local S.C.O.R.E. office. They are retired executives, CEO's, & accts. who help people get started. They have seminars on starting your own bus.- I went to one & it got me on my feet as far as the legal standpoint of taxes, forms, licenses, etc. They can help you out with just about anything you could need. Also a big must is insurance for your equip. & bus. liability-trust us; One broken picture window & you just spent about 2-3 yrs. of premiums on that window.<br>As far as price goes, like everyone else says, DON'T LOWBALL.That'll make you a marked man. You should be a little less than the big guys, because customers won't jive with you charging the same as the guy with $60,000 in equipment. Call & find out what others in your area charge- have some give you a bid on a friend's property to see what the going rate is, then price your work accordingly. You could be $5 less on typical res. prop's. & still be in the &quot;zone&quot;.<br>Buy good equipment-the basics are a walk behind, push mower, weedeater, & blower to start out with-&quot;the basic 4&quot;. That is what I worked up to & still fit them all in the back of my 2wd Toyota pickup when I started.<br> Then take on as much work as you can COMFORTABLY finish each week. Easiest way to screw up is taking on too much work & getting burned out & with unhappy customers to boot. That's the hardest thing to do is keep from taking on too much.<br>Then as you grow, buy bigger & better equipment WHEN you need it. Too many guys buy big 'ol mowers, then scramble around trying to find enuf work to keep it busy to keep the payments made.<br>Grow as you go, you can't start at the top.<br>Last but not least, put this site on your favorites list & bookmark it!<br>Good luck.<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<p>
     
  8. Nilsson Associates

    Nilsson Associates LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

    Few more thoughts to the good advice above ..<p>.. Give some serious thought to getting your pesticide license .. doing lawn care programs, tree & shrub care because returns per hour are high while investment in basic equipment is low. <p>.. Like &quot;they&quot; said, don't feel you have to lowball just because you're new to the bizz,<br>tough later on getting the higher prices.<p>.. I don't know what market you're in but there's a big labor shortage, keep prices as high as the others in your area, the work is there, no need to give your time and equipment away, low prices are what you see during a recession, not now though.<p>.. Run out a first year cash flow schedule, just like a budget, stretch out the payments, bring the income closer to you in time.
     
  9. michael bucher

    michael bucher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    Nick,<br>When I first started, I placed an advertisement in our local paper. There is a section called the business directory. If you have this in one of your papers, you will be amazed at the response! This is a very inexpensive way to increase business. Definitely get insurance! This is a must. If you get over extended in work, don't be afraid to get some young guys that you know to work a day or two here and there. Don't quote me on this, but I think you can pay a worker up to $600.00 per year without having to pay taxes on them. It's the same concept as if you hired a neighborhood kid to cut your grass and do chores around your house. You would hire him as an employee, but there has to be some kink of guidlines, and this is where the $600.00 cap comes in. One last thought, don't get over extended w/costs. You want your business to see black not red!
     
  10. michael bucher

    michael bucher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    Hey Nick,<br>I ment to say that you would'nt hire a neighborhood kid as an employee, but there has to be some kind of guidline. (I'm trying to type too fast)
     

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