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How Did You Start Out?

Discussion in 'Industry Surveys & Polls' started by MJS, May 4, 2008.

  1. NarNar

    NarNar LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 489

    #2 Here. Started very small and grew our business.
  2. Ridge Home Renovations

    Ridge Home Renovations LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    #1,2, and 4

    I am just starting out this year.

    I worked for a small 6 employee lawn and landscape company with high employee turnover, (bad employer) low pay for 4 years, got passed over for foreman position twice first time for a guy I trained that was a car guy and could repair his old trucks, second time, he hired a guy that moved from kentucy here and had his own lawn business there and sold it. So I quit that job went to work in a factory for 2 years, at the same time I moved into a new rental house and the landlord call me about something, and I said I was mowing my grandparents lawn. He then asked if I needed some extra work. I said sure and started working for him on weekends for those 2 years. I gained a ton of knowledge, from roofing to to flooring. I decided to work for the landlord fulltime and run his crew as I was the only trusted worker he had. I had only worked for him 2 months when he decided he was going to cut his payroll because his part time guys never showed up on time or at all, most of the time. Then decided to file unemployment on him. So I instantly became a independant contractor for him to keep the job. I have picked up some other jobs over the past year on the handyman side and landscaping. I am now looking to expand into mowing as well as pushing more with the contracting by getting liscenced and insured which goes with both the landscape and contracting.

    I currently have 2 22" toro personal pace mowers.
    1 was given to me by my grandfather, the other I got from a property where the tenant just left it there and all it needed was a new pull cord.
    I bought a blower off ebay for 200$ echo pb-500.
    I bought a trimmer off ebay new for 120$ swisher s300 e4
    I bought a trimmer off ebay new for 110$ swisher edger
    I bought a 1988 ford f-150 for 900$ needed 100$ put into it to run good.
    I am now looking for a trailer and a walk behind.

    This site has been a great help. Thank you
  3. steveo95

    steveo95 LawnSite Member
    from SC
    Posts: 46

    I borrowed (still am) equipment from my parents (my current equipment) and started out mowing a family friends lawn. From there got some referrals to the point that I am at now. (5 and growing) I also work for a local landscaper to gain some experience.
  4. exmark user

    exmark user LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 460

    13 years old started out with push mower featherlite weedeater and handheld blower now exmark lazer z 60 48 turf tracer 5 x 8 / 6 x 16 trailers spot sprayer lawn mower cart for it backpack sprayers 2 stihl weedeaters 90r and 110r hs 45 hedge trimmers ms 170 chainsaw br 600 and 380 backpack blowers 98 dodge 2500 cummins pole hedge trimmers i onky use stihl products never use any other they are the best now 16 trying to get big with over 50 lawns contracted and about a hundred people i do landscape management for giong to colledge for landscaping
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  5. Frosty Top

    Frosty Top LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    Started out with a Troy-bilt 21" push, Yard machine 22" push (bullet proof), a Worx Gt string trimmer, and a broom. My 14 year old son and I built up a few residential accounts and we're looking forward to spring.

    just purchased a Quick 36 dually that I haven't taken delivery of yet. We're also looking for a commercial trimmer/edger but haven't decided which model.
  6. newjerseylandscaping

    newjerseylandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,175

    combo of 1, 3, and 5.
    #1 Because ive recived a few things as gifts from people, such as my pressure washer, and roto tiller.
    3 Because Im looking at used stuff so Im going used ad getting better equipment rather than getting new and it being less qaulity.
    And 5 because Im using some of what i have so as backups.
    Starting hpefully in march, Debt free.
  7. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I started out without buying anything at first. I already had a 4 x 4 pickup with a plow, landscaper tractor with implements, chain saw, plenty of hand tools, a 21 inch mower and a string trimmer for personal use. I started out part time my first season mostly doing tractor work and reclaiming overgrown areas.

    I really hadn't planned on getting into mowing but the opportunities were there so I bought a 48 inch walk behind and a 6 x 12 trailer going into my second season (first full time season), adding a 52 inch Z rider the next season. I added a new truck after my second season season as well because the old 1985 just wasn't reliable enough...retired to dump runs and plow duty.

    I'm still pretty much running everything I started with except for the 1985 truck. I've added some things, including a dump trailer, but the mowers and tractor and trailer that got me started are still in service.
  8. TheGoat

    TheGoat LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 273

    I started my lawn service this year with #2.

    I started simple, and I'm fortunate enough that I don't have to rely on the biz income to pay the bills thanks to investments I made earlier in, life paying off.

    Because of this I'm able to reinvest 100% of my income into the business. Every dime I make goes to upgrading equipment, improving advertising, developing my business practices, crafting the business image.
  9. lyndont

    lyndont LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

    I started last year with a 50 in cub cadet rzt non commercial zero turn a 12 foot landscape trailer, echo edger, stihl fs 80, toro 21 push mower. This will be my 2nd year. I was able to buy a 50 in gravely walk behind this winter and hope to add more accounts after getting my truck lettered. I hope my cub cadet lasts me one more year though. I haven't had to finance anything so far but if I continue to grow I will probably buy a new commercial zero turn. If it weren't for advice on here and this site I would have been in over my head in debt without enough work to pay for it so thanks for all the great advice.
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  10. green123

    green123 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    Started out with a couple of junkie 21" puch mowers in the back of an S-10, had various death trap utility trailers:hammerhead:, bought used walk-behinds,worked full time jobs, bought better used equipment-Today I'm a one man show with enough work and equipment to save for retirement along with working full time. Always treated my lawn care business as a second source of income, but was always there when i needed it.
    No financing Vehicles, No financing equipment-Just wise investments.:cool2:

    61" Scag Turf Tiger
    48" Scag Tiger Cub
    48" Ferris Hydro walk
    52" John Deere Belt
    37" Toro ProLine
    Stihl Trimmers and blowers
    1 Ton Ashpalt Rollers
    7 x 16 Tandom Scapper Trailer
    03 F350
    01 F350
    And way to much energy and ambition.......

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