help....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by timR., Apr 17, 2007.

  1. timR.

    timR. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    i have decided to start this PT lawn service. to be honest i have no idea what im getting myself into? my goal is to have about 15-20 lawns. what i really need to know is what is the correct way to cut a lawn & trim it? i would like to just start as cutting & trimming or edging. nothing big to start! just some simple grass cutting...can anyone point in the right direction. if im going to do this i want to do it right! i have a 14ft. trailer \scags 48" walk behind,hand blower , echo trimmer ....what else will i need?

    Thanks,
    Tim
     
  2. NELawnCare

    NELawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 175

    Unfortunately it's not that "simple". There are many many things to do in preparation and while conducting business. Your high-level plan will not be successful unless you think about the details.

    My advice, create a business plan before you do anything else. A business plan is a snapshop picture of how you will do business, what money you expect to make, and what money it will cost to get your business started. The business plan should address:

    - demographics in your area (population by age, income, etc). You can get this information by visiting your state government web site or go here: http://www.census.gov/ . The demographics will help you in many ways. It can help determine what is the average family size and income for your area. It will help you estimate what prices are reasonable for your area based on average income.

    - Build a list of services you want to offer (e.g. mowing, pressure washing, tree removal, etc).

    - Build a "conservative" estimate showing how much money you think you can make for year 1, 2, 3, 4, and year 5 for your services. You do this by figuring out a reasonable market value for your services. Call around to several other lc(s) in your area. Pretend you're a potential customer. Ask them how much they charge. Use your demographics information to forecast how many customers you think you can get in years 1-5. This is called revenue.

    - Build a list of equipment you will need to perform the work. Take your competition into consideration. Shop around and get estimates on your equipment. This will give you your equipment startup costs.

    - Build a list of advertisement methods and costs (e.g. flyers, door hangers, business cards, signs, etc). This will give your your advertisement startup costs.

    - Build a list of daily/weekly expenses you will need to run your business (e.g. gas, supplies, parts, etc). This will be your "cost of doing business" expenses.

    - Tell a story in your business plan. Describe how you think you will start your business, how you will manage your business, and describe alternative plans if the business fails (e.g. recoup your losses by selling equipment, etc).

    Bring all this information together in your business plan. Then take your business plan to the Small Business Administration (SBA) in your area. Let someone at the Small Business Administration review and critique your plan. It's a FREE service by the SBA. Take their comments and critiques and refine your business plan.

    Once you've refined your business plan several times it will begin to take shape and provide you with a good information on your "plan to do business". It won't be perfect nor guarrantee success. But it will give you a clear understanding of:

    - what your startup costs will be
    - what your daily expenses will be
    - what you can expect in revenue and profit
    - what your advertising cost and strategy will be
    - what market target should be
    - what permits or licenses you will need

    It will be invaluable in helping you make good logical decisions (what you can afford, what revenue you can expect to make, what services and prices will be reasonable for your area, etc).

    Also, organize your finances! Purchase some quality financial and scheduling software. It will prove invaluable when tax-time comes! I recommend QuickBooks, but there are several that other members are using and recommend.

    I would certainly recommend you use the search feature on this site and search on key words that interest you. Many times other folks have already asked the questions and the answers are here.
     

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