How do I do it?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by LawnBoy89, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. LawnBoy89

    LawnBoy89 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 967

    Hey guys, some of you may know me, some not, so I'll give you a little backround. I'm 16 turning 17, I cut grass last year for the first time with my 48'' Ferris beltdrive w/b. I use an F-150 my father lets me use (he has a work truck). I have 3 leaf blowers (redmax) 2 trimmers (redmax) a 60'' Lazer Z and the 48'' Ferris. I have other equiptment as well some commercial, some not, but that is what I use for cutting grass.

    What I want to know is if it is possible, how can I really make money this summer? I'm willing to work, that is not an issue at all, I think I'm pretty motivated. I have some experience working for others, I only had 20 regular lawns last year so I worked full time for a big landscaping biz. I know alot of landscapers but I really don't have the time to sit down and talk with them about what I have to do this summer to really make money. I know that during the spring and fall I will probably have to hire one of my friends to help me since I have to go to school but that won't be a problem. I just see some 17-20 year olds on here with awsome rigs and I just want to know how you make enough money to afford them? Do you guys have any advice? Thanks...
     
  2. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    17-20yr olds with awesome rigs....its probably either some one elses truck and equipment,or, mommy and daddy are loaded. Or maybe they did it the old fasion way or should I say the American way....in debt up to their eyeballs. Myself I would much rather have my 94 F150,fix it up to where its basically new and yes finance a small amount of $$$$$ for a mower. I would never make monthly payments more than a couple of days worth of mowing. If it were me I would have waited til I was out of H.S. to start my business and kept on working for another landscape company.
     
  3. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,646

    I'm 19, almost 20. I started out when I was 12 working for my neighbor who had a contract for a softball complex. When I was 16, I really started getting going. I worked for the state mowing. That allowed me to get my first commerical mower. From then on, each year I've gained a few yards. Last year, don't know how they got my name, but a condo complex contacted me. To be honest, my business hasn't grown because I'm out there finding work. The work has come to me, and it seems like it comes when I need it. Once I was done with high school, I had more time and that was when I got the condos. I also work for another lawn company 3 days a week. Now my week is pretty full and I might slowly phase out working for the other company once I have enough jobs to keep me busy throughout the week.

    Two lessons that have got me to where I am:
    (1) Do work that is above and beyond expectations. Strive to do the best work in your area. When the elderly find someone that does work that meets their picky expectations, word travels fast.
    (2) It's not what you know, it's who you know. I've gained most of my accounts by people I know and spreading my name by word of mouth.

    Good luck. It sounds like you have a really good start in this business. This site will become your best friend, unlimited amount of knowledge here.
     
  4. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,646

    The only help I ever got was my dad's signature to use his credit. Everything I ever got, to get my awesome rig, was to work hard and to do excellent work. The only thing that is not mine is my truck, which is leased, and no, I'm not in debt up to my eyeballs. $6K a year to have my truck. Everything else is paid for. This year I will net about $36K. I just signed a 2 year deal with a condo complex. The way my business slowly grew as I approached graduation from high school was an excellent way to have it happen. Plus living at home helps, I don't have all kinds of extra expenses that come with living on my own.

    So I'm not one who got life handed to me, I worked for every bit of it. I hate stereotypes that say young guys can't get it done.
     
  5. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 2,579

    jt, not to pick on ya bro but that in bold is why the older guys pick on the younger crowd. I'm not an old fart nor am I a 12 year old with 15 years in the business. I'm only 5 years older than you. I live at home as well and I have only needed help twice the first was a loan but I borrowed my own money that I had saved up from working a previous job. The second was $200.00 that I borrowed from my mother so I had enough get a new BP and in less than a week I had paid her back. Other than that everything I have is mine and mine alone.

    Rob
     
  6. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,646

    That's fine. It's an advantage I have. I'm sorry if they thing I'm "cheating". If I were on my own, my business wouldn't be the same as it is today. But I was fortunate enough to have it happen like this. But with that said, I still don't think it's fair to be stereotyped.
     
  7. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 2,579

    I agree and I'm sure If I were younger and came in here saying that I know everything and everybody else sucks I'd be sterotyped in a split sceond. The thing with you that I see is your comming off in a professional manner and not acting like a 2 year old rather you acting the age you are and treating others with respect. Good luck to ya :waving:

    Rob
     
  8. LawnBoy89

    LawnBoy89 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 967

    I think another issue I have is pricing I think I've been a little low and since I realized that I've been cutting on the quality of work I do because I feel that if I priced a job low, I'm going to have that amount of quality, whereas I should be pricing higher and spending more time on that yard. Instead I just try to get it done instead of taking the time to make it look nice. That is another thing I will change this year, my pricing, and the quality of work that I do.
     
  9. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,646

    Hey, I appreciate the favorable and kind comments. Thanks.
     
  10. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,646

    Yeah, that is something us younger guys have to learn. In the past year I've over come not being able to ask for that high price. I used to feel like I was ripping the customer off and my price wasn't justified. Now I do ask the high price because I'm confident in the quality of my work.
     

Share This Page