How Many Solo Operators?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Smallaxe, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    And do you specialize or do you go for 'full service' right from the start?
     
  2. mowing4rlife

    mowing4rlife LawnSite Member
    Posts: 240

    I am 26 years old and at this time i am a solo operation. Right now i only provide the basic mowing service- mowing,weedeating,edging,clean of after, and haul yard debris.

    :weightlifter:Below is a link to the thread about how i started:
    http://lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=367019&page=2
     
  3. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    Mow blow and go!
     
  4. mowing4rlife

    mowing4rlife LawnSite Member
    Posts: 240

    How did you start and purchase your equipment that you have now?:usflag:
     
  5. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Posts: 3,060

    When I started out I would do anything a customer asked me to do that I thought I could do well enough to charge them for. That included painting houses, pressure washing, plumbing and running errands. After 20 years, though, 85% of my gross is mower related(mowing, leaf cleanup, etc.) with the other 15% pruning, mulching, light landscaping.

    It is my opinion that if someone wishes to remain solo it is to their advantage to focus on a few things that are profitable to them, that they like to do, that they are good at and are able to do without prematurely using up their bodies.

    What this looks like will differ depending on each individual's abilities and preferences as well as the dynamics of their market.
     
  6. JT25

    JT25 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    This year I plan to start out a solo operation, at least part-time. I would love to be able to grow to full time that i can make a living and support my family. My full-time job is ok, but not what i plan to make a career out of, and I want to be my own boss. The sooner I get started the better. This site has provided more information and insite into this industry than i could have imagined finding in one place! Good luck to you all in the up coming season.
     
  7. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,869

    Solo here, 4 years in. Started mow and blow with some landscaping. Found I had to offer apps cause everyone was asking for them. Now I am doing just about everything.
     
  8. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,499

    i mostly mow,trim,edge,blow and go. i do a few mulch or shrub trimming jobs if they are small. i also do leaf cleanup. my first year i took on some big cleanup jobs and big shrub trimming jobs. you can see them in my picture thread posted in my signature. it was at that point i realized being solo i can't do everything. i have to pass on the bigger jobs and let bigger companies do those. i stick to the smaller jobs that can be done by one person without working myself to death. being solo you can't do everything or you will die very young :laugh:
     
  9. BCboy

    BCboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 62

    Solo for now but it seems when people see your truck or trailer with a naame & ph # on it you pick up yards to mow fast.
    With that said this will be my first year back after being off for 7 years.
    I offer weekly or one time cuts to home owners/strata/commercial/realtors.
    Additionally I am a certified horticulturalist so I do lots of pruning.
    Fertilizing, aerating, power rake, sprinklers, and more.
     
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Can I still call it a 'solo operation' when its the wife and I? She has the mowing and her own truck now... we file separate Forms Schedule C...

    I understand where you guys who specialize are coming from, in that one person just can't do it all... I do everything on a few properties including huge cleanup jobs, but only in the one neighborhood...
    Sometimes the hardest part of the job is turning down prospective clients when they ask. We've agreed to 2 more properties in the last 15 years...
     

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