Well, short history of mistakes by me, who didn't even know he was a scrub till I got here. 1. Figured this would be a cheap way of making some money doing something I loved to do. I like being outdoors and working in the yard, and the last time I did anything like this it bought my first car and paid for my first year into college. I thought I could do that well again......WRONG 2. Thought I could go with the "little or no investment" mode. I put an ad in the local classified that said if people didn't have the time, but had the equipment, I'd do the work. It worked, but it also backfired........OUCH. I got the yards all the real LCO's wouldn't touch like the almost dirt, half rock, bumpy, cramed with stuff, people let grow a foot high type lawns. And of course they were all owned by the people who wanted it all for cheap. 3. Went and charged $10/hr. cause I thought since it's only the labor, that would be a good rate.......and after seeing what I was working with, I realized how badly I underbid myself. 4. Went and listened to the people who said "everybody is doing it under the table, why worry who knows". I got noticed by two LCO's working nearby some of my jobs......and they didn't look happy. Kinda like the contractor watching Uncle Ed slap up a deck on the neighbors house, and just taking a few bucks on the side. 5. Thought I could go on without any real equipment........until the people started asking me "where's YOUR mower?" Ooops. Now mind you I've been doing this for about a month now, and before I found this site. When I found LS I read through it for about a week, and then it hit me........Duh, you're not running a business, your running a wanna-be. So I said, ok, if I'm gonna do this I gotta do it right. And then I went on to read as much start up advice as everyone here offered. Then I started figuring out a plan for myself. Hopefully I got it right. Friday I went down and picked up all the "paperwork" I needed from the local state reps office (man is there alot of it). Today I mailed out my EIN form, my tax ID form, and went hunting for a good bank. I already have an accountant and a lawyer who's willing to help. Am I going in the right steps? Oh and you guys weren't kidding about new equipment....another OUCH. I could make a downpayment on a house with that kind of money! So I figured I'd take the money I've made so far and pick up some good used equipment to get started with. So far I've got the blower/vac., trimmer, and mower (not a Crapsman). Guess what, that sorta backfired on me today. My trimmer goes duh and I'm in the middle of a two day job. The lady said bluntly "either go get a new trimmer or don't come back to finish the job". So I plopped down $96 for a new chordless B&D. Now mind you this is only a $150 job (cause I went with the $10/hr deal) Anywho, after figuring out all the costs I'd have going legit..... com. insur. for a truck, liability, gas, mait., taxes etc. I almost got sick. Break even for me would be either 35 accounts/wk. at $15/hr. or 25/wk. at $20/hr. That's bare minimum for me to live. Thank God I'm single. Now for the questions........if anyone is willing to answer. 1. Should I raise the minimum to $25/hr. since most of the LCO's here go up from there? I don't want to lowball anyone, but I have a low overhead right now. 2. How soon should I start looking for "new" equipment? And what do I go after first? 3. Is 25-35 jobs a week a good number for a solo operator? Or did I miscalculate. And just a note......for those of you who wonder if people are getting "trade secrets" off this free site, the answer is yes. If it wasn't for reading all your posts, I would have no idea how badly I've been screwing up! So thanks in advance.