How about you?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by CSRA Landscaping, May 2, 2001.

  1. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    You guys that have businesses that can survive with or without you, where did you begin? Did you start the way I did, with cheap equipment, half of which was borrowed? Or did you finance it from your own savings, with premium equipment? Did you go to school for it, or were you trained in any way? Or did you just jump in feet first, like some have done? What did you do right? What do you most regret? What helped the growth of your business the most? What stabilized it?
  2. cos

    cos LawnSite Addict
    Posts: 1,253

    I got aloan and paid it off. I bought used equipment. If I had to do it again, I would have borrowed more money. I should have put it in the bank and pay a couple of payments until more capital came in. I also would have bought new equipment so I would have no unexpected break downs and lost clientele.
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Although I am 43 now my beginnings were showing before I was a teenager. I used to love cutting grass. My professional lawn mowing career started when I was 36. I "borrowed" 40k from our savings account to get started. I did not use this money to buy equiptment but rather used it to make ends meet the first couple of years. I started out with a old riding tractor, a Crapsman weedeater and a determination to do the best possible job I could. I was a carpenter before that. What would I do differently? I would have started my business right out of high school when I had more energy than I do now.
  4. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    My start up sounds like Richard Martins except I was 42 when I started. I was also a carpenter, but started out with a new JD tractor. I also wish I had started out doing this when I was much younger. Another thing I wish I would of had is Lawnsite to guide me along so I wouldn't have made so many mistakes. ;)
  5. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    I was 34 when I started, 36 when I went full time. I wish I had taken some classes, business first, horiculture and ag classes second. Being in business and being a business man are two totally different things. Business minded people don't always succeed but they do have a better understanding of the flow of money and financing. I say that to make it and do well in this business you need to be well rounded or have good consultants to guide you. You also have to have the ability to sell yourself, your company and then back it up with quality workmanship.

    My goals this year are to stay at the level I am at and improve my quality to a point that my customers and no other company can find flaws. I'm looking at my commercial account like another LCO would, what would they be able to find that would allow them to use it against me. I'm also looking at some others work to see how mine stacks up. I must say that right now they don't! Poor quality work is like an open wound, opens the door for infectious diseases, ie, your competition.

    I think it's easy to get complacent. I'm looking at all the new guys pulling lawnmowers as potential business busters! Can't give them any reason to bash your quality cause that will get them in the door quick.

    Might have gotten off track but read it anyway!
  6. rixtag

    rixtag LawnSite Senior Member
    from Lehi Ut
    Posts: 280

    I got hooked by mowing my aunt's lawn for part of my rent and now I do it for me! I have been official for 3 years now and I will be 34 this month. I started with a crapsman 21 and a brand new crapsman weedwacker just doing friends and relatives homes out of the back of my truck and found an old eXmark 36 through a friend and bid on a commercial property ( first ever bid and first ever comm prop) got the bid and the rest as they say is history. All equipment was purchased and/or traded as used except truck. I have been slowly trading up on my equip ever since. I love to do it and when I figured out that I could make decent money it was even better. I am now officially and without any question hooked on the green.


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