How did everyone start?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by galby, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. galby

    galby LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Just wondering how everyone got off there feet? What kind of jobs did they first start with? Basic mowing? etc. And how long did it take to progress? to more elaborate landscaping jobs? What is the raw basic service a newbie should start with?
     
  2. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,047

    easiest to start mowing yards. it takes years to build up a good customer base. you'll be lucky to have 5-10 yards your first year.
     
  3. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 916

    1 craftsman mower
    1 craftsman blower
    1 echo wacker
    1 trailer

    total $1175

    I already had a truck

    put a $150 ad in the local paper and went from there

    will never forget my first yard
     
  4. Chris_NC06

    Chris_NC06 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Sanford, NC
    Posts: 6,670

    Mowing. Was pushing my lil' 21" around the neighborhood at 12 years old.
     
  5. Vanderhoff Landscaping

    Vanderhoff Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 383

    I had 13 in my first year. Getting them is the easy part. Retaining them on the other hand is another story! There will always be lowballers out there underbidding you! The ones you lose to lowballers are customers you don't want anyway. Don't undercut yourself just for the sake in getting a lawn. And don't let a would be customer try and talk you down if they don't like your price. Your price is your price.

    I started with:

    A partner
    2 Craftsman 21" push mowers
    Bolens weed eater
    Poulan pro hand held blower.

    I no longer have any of the above. Word of advise, don't buy homeowner junk in your first year like I did!
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. Southern Lawn Care  LLC

    Southern Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 314

    For me it started after a company I worked for decided they was shutting my division down locally because of financial issues. Made really good money and had no warning of what was coming. Got layed off. My hobby and passion has always been lawn care. So I took a job full time driving a delivery truck a lowes, got all my licenses worked out, state, county, and municipal. Started growing from their. Didn't push it much because I'm full time at lowes still and with my business. This year il be full time for myself and quitting lowes. I'm a professional fireman but here I make more money in lawn care and also I make more driving a truck. So with that said I have all commercial equipment nice NPR box truck and flat bed truck with to many trailers and a few other trucks. Basically at this point I'm loosing money not focusing on my lawn business 100% with full dedication. First baby will arrive in May so something had to go. Working for myself is much easier than listening to someone that could careless about me.
     
  7. galby

    galby LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    My wife has a successful cleaning business and was hoping to expand on it with lawn care. Have done some landscaping in the past but very little. My contract is up with the military in feb and am hoping to work with her to create a full family business.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. 123hotdog

    123hotdog LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 481

    The first year in 2007 I had:

    1.) A 1988 Jeep Cherokee that had been on all four sides I paid $300 for.

    2.) A used push mower

    3.) A homelite bent shaft weed eater with no throttle cable with a bread tie on the carb which made it run wide open the entire time.

    4.) A blower that was $20 at the flea market

    The second year my first riding mower was a yardman yard bug and I had no trailer to put it on or ramps to roll it on a truck which I didn't have. I had to take the seat off and pick it up and set it in the back of an S-10 Blazer (which had the push mower strapped on top of the luggage rack). God I wish I woulda took pictures.

    Fast forward seven years and I will be splitting into two teams this year for the first time ever.:weightlifter:
     
  9. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Posts: 2,824

    Spent the first 20 years of my working life in the restaurant business. The plan was to transition to lawn and landscape maintenance by working part time the first year and going full time the next. The owner made a business decision to phase me out instead so, in April 1992, I was forced to depend entirely on the proceeds of the lawn care and landscaping business. Wasn't sure how I would support my family but was willing to do anything I felt I could do well enough to charge for. That first year I painted houses, cleaned houses, tried to do a little plumbing, odd jobs, anything to fill the time and earn some income. Had 9 or 10 lawns the first year. Year 2 the mowing side began to grow. Started out with a 6 year old Toyota pickup, a new trailer, new 36" mower and used handhelds.

    My marketing plan was to answer the phone when it rang and return the calls if I missed them. Also, had several friends in my Sunday school class who actively referred me to others. One referral has led to 45 accounts in one subdivision. Other than business cards I have never spent $1 on advertising. Not putting this forth as a template for business success but it worked in this case.

    My work is average, the prices are mid range but the Lord has provided me with a very good living earning several times over what I earned as a restaurant manager.
     
  10. B16bri

    B16bri LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    I am also interested in this so keep them comming. I work full time elsewhere but want to start a lawn car business on the side and hopfully go full time some day. Not to jack the OP thread but oblvusly you start off small just mowing and trimming things that are really basic and low risk but my question is if you start off small like that especially part time how do you get the knowledge you need to expand I don't mean just throwing down seed or fert I mean which products do you use in certain situations and why ,and when to use them, which products mix and which ones don't and why and most importantly and my only fear if you mix product x and product y and the grass does not grow or turns yellow or blue lol what ever problems it may be what cause it ? And how do you fix it ?
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