How Many Times Have You Seen This Happen

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mekan, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. mekan

    mekan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Short story,
    I purchased a Walker mower that is nice, but really to big for my yard with sights on growing into the mower need. Now I am thinking about mowing part time to help pay for the beast. I am here as a blank slate, other than the threads I have read here, and am looking for wisdom from those in the know. More questions at the end of the long, hopefully funny story that follows.

    Long version
    Alright, my friend, yeah yeah friend that's the ticket, is in his 40's an lives in a subdivision with a 1/2 acre lot to mow. There is fencing, trees, and a very steep hill with the slope taking up about 1/6 of the acreage. For years this guy has been mowing that yard with a 21 inch push mower, never a good push mower. Once again the mower died. After a wet week and the grass growing to his knees he pulls the starter rope in vain until he kicked the mower in discussed.

    So this guy goes online to find the best push mower he can get yadda yadda yadda. He finds that he is better off going to a small engine shop than a big shop store and build a relationship. The small engine shop closest to home really likes walker and puts on a good show. This was after the shop owner was told that the most important things were ease of use, ease of maintenance, and ability to handle the obstacles and steep hill.

    My friend was sold, but he bought a bigger mower than he needed. You see there was a 06 MT model on the showroom floor for only 1k more than the s model. Now my friend is wondering why he bought such a big mower and is thinking about starting a partime mowing business.

    Questions:
    I am thinking about starting a lawn care business focusing on utilizing the strengths of the walker. The problem is I know nothing about the actual lawn care portion of the business. I understand business and accounting etc. but have never serviced lawns, you know, the product.

    Do you think trying to subcontract with a lco that may be able to gain more business with the Walker in their lineup?

    Could I do enough work part time to make starting a business worth the effort and expense?


    I am seriously looking into this and know that it is demanding work as owner operator and I am seeking serious advice/mentorship. I can offer advice/mentorship in web/network/pc in return.

    Thank you for your time,
    Dave
     
  2. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    I would not advise it with JUST a wb......

    most of us that already have some equiptment still have invested 10 to 15,000.
     
  3. mekan

    mekan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I realize that there are additional hardware needs, trimmer, edger, blower, push mower etc as well as trailer and truck.
     
  4. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    For myself, my Customer base kind of dictated what equiptment to purchase.

    I quickly discovered I needed this and that TODAY.

    If a person wanted to jsut cut 1/4 acer lawns he could do so quite cheeply. line trimmers are like 300.00, blower, mower and there ya go.

    HOWEVER, you will find that there is this and that. and the main thing is INUSRANCE.
     
  5. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    No, the main thing is customers. I find it funny/insulting that people think all it takes is going out and buying a mower. Sure it could be done, but there is too much too it to explain.
     
  6. mekan

    mekan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Trust me, I meant no insult. I am researching. I threw it out there that I was a know nothing about the actual business which is the service. This is why I am here asking. The guys that build a business, one in a market as competitive and, at least to me, complex as lawn care/landscaping are to be admired.

    I know, well think I know, business practice from the book end. What I am seeking is actual doing the job...pleasing the customer service. Now, I know most if not all here went out there and did it, taking their lumps along the way. I am just trying to learn.
     
  7. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    in this business, there are several areas to go into,

    Landscaping is one, and JUST cutting grass is another, there is bed work. spraying, tree trimming, and such. most people dont go into all of it, not at first anyway.
    Myself all's I do is cut grass. as earlyer posted, your customer base will determain a lot of your equiptment, "if your just going to cut grass"
    exzample, if you jsut want to do 1/4 acer lots 21" mowers will be fine.

    Customer service, in this business is like most, there sometimes is NONE.
    I have picked up tons of customers simply because the customer cant talk to there lawn service co. simple call back go a long way,

    read the post http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=13339
     
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Best I can tell you is don't use it, clean it up real good and sell it as 'used once but don't need' for like 1-2 thousand less than what you paid for it, pay off what you have left on the loan or use the money to buy the right machine (I am assuming you paid 6g... If you paid different, take 15%- 20% or so off the price, and sell it).

    This lesson is one of those that repeats itself time and again until it sinks in one day. :laugh:
    Took me a long time, too, still fall for it somedays.
     
  9. grassface

    grassface LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    go to all your neighbors and tell them you are mowing you would like to mow there lawn charge roughly 60 dollars an hour get a couple yards and whammo your makin your payment:weightlifter:
     

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