1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

How much $$ is needed to get started?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by scott015, May 30, 2001.

  1. scott015

    scott015 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    I have another post about starting my own business...I am really serious about it too. But I would like to take a couple lawn/landscape type classes to get a little more familar before I really start. There is a great Junior College about 5mins from me if anyone knows of the classes I should look for I would appreciate it. Anyway....I dont own much of anything (only a push mower and weed eater) just for my own personal lawn... What all do I need to get to get started...and about how much do they cost? Let me know if I am close....also what are some good model/brands to get?

    This is my guess:

    1-2 Push Mowers ($300 each)
    1 Riding Mower ($1200)
    1 Aerator ($1000)
    1-2 Weed Eaters ($150 each)
    1 Gas Blower ($150)
    1 Sidewalk edger ($150)

    I am just totally guessing.....can you guys help me out....
  2. Administrator

    Administrator Administrator
    Posts: 865

    Here is my list.

    New Truck $30,000
    18' Trailer $1,500
    60" ZTR $9,000
    Bagger for ZTR $1,800
    36" WB $3,800
    Bagger for WB $250
    (2) trimmers $700
    Hedge trimmers $250
    Back Pack Blower$400
    Hand Blower $250
    Edger $400

    And some misc. equipment.

  3. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Like we said before, if you do a search on a specific piece of equipment, its been debated back and forth on here a million times, you'll find tons of info!

    If I were you I would rent an Aerator until you have the money (and the need0 to buy one outright. (Unless you have a ton of cash to blow!)

    Also, start off with a 36" or 48" walkbehind with a sulky if the properties you service are large enough. No need to jump into a riding mower yet. And when you say $1200 for a rider, I suspect you mean a garden tractor style? No good for commercial use in most of our opinions. Make your money with the walkbehind mowers first than upgrade/add on with a zero turn rider, or sulky's for your walkbehind. You'll find them much better.

    Stop down to your local equipment dealer and check out what they have in the way of commercial equipment.

    Try to stay away from the homeowner stuff as much as possible, it will cost you more in the longrun!

    Good Luck, and hope this helps a little bit!
  4. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,075

    As guido recommended rent the aerator, about $70 a day from Home Depot.

    Chuck listed all new equipment.

    I think you can start with:

    $3000 walk behind
    $100 push mower
    $250 trimmer
    $100 hand held blower
    $200-$1000 trailer (new or used)

    You can also get by pulling the trailer with a large car. A trailer hitch from U-haul is around $150. But you will need a truck soon.

    Dont forget advertising dollars and insurance coverage.
  5. Administrator

    Administrator Administrator
    Posts: 865

    Yea, I listed new stuff..... if you intend on starting out and don't have that kind of cash to throw out go with cheaper or used equip.

    Yea, insurance is a must.

  6. scott015

    scott015 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    Well what about a business loan? Anybody know anything about those? I am 21 with good credit, just not a whole bunch of it....is a business loan hard to get? I am thinking about $40k would be perfect with truck and all.....(F250)...how long can I pay it out over? 5years, 10years???? What is normal for intrest rate? Also, how much is insurance????thanks guys you have been great!!!!
  7. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 494

    I'd say a business loan from a bank could be hard. I have A1 credit and last year they were reluctant to loan me more than 5k. You may have more luck with the feds and the small business admin. Any well off relatives? That would be a plus. I started with a 21", trimmer and a truck in '86 and soon expanded my equiptment base in year two and three. Purchases were made with cash or a leasing company(lease to own). Back then there were no mid-size mowers that I was aware of and owning one now from the start is a plus. 36" with a sulky,21" 2-stroke mower,backpack blower and a good trimmer would be the least I would start with. Rent the areater but it is nice to own your own . I bought one in year four also a thatcher that year. Also budget for advertising. Good luck.
  8. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    Now I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble here, but how do you know you are going to like this type of work? It's one thing to like working on your yard, but to do it over and over again 8 hours a day 5 days a week, or more depending on the amount of customers, is another thing.

    How long have you thought about doing this? Is this just something you recently dreamed up, or has this always been your desire to own a Lawn Care business?

    Do you like working long hours? In the sun all day? Are you physically fit?
    Have you researched your market area?

    I'm asking all of these questions which is really just the tip of the iceburg, because it just seems to me that taking out a 40K loan is pretty risky, especially if you don't really know what you are getting into.

    Start with a used truck first.
  9. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    I suggest to go work for someone atleast 1 season .....go to someone with more than 1 truck & been in it for +5 (better to learn from someone who has made mistakes in the past ...learned & have developed good business sense ......so you can learn em).....take some night classes at a local com. college related to business .....start saving atleast 10k ...the #1 reason to business failure is ===>cash flow ....buy good "used" ...stay away form new for now (unless like under $5-300) ....good luck ;->
  10. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    I started out last year and it's good to have access to buy equipment. I learned that the hard way, by NOT being able to buy equipment. I'm only 14, which isn't old enough to get a loan and I didn't make a whole lot last year to buy new equipment so loans, if possible, are good. Here's what I would buy
    if I were you-

    Truck-$10,000-$20,000 for used truck
    36" or 48" Walkbehind-36"$2300-48"$4500 (prices may vary)
    21" Self propelled or push mower-$500-$700
    2)trimmers-$600 for both
    hand blower-$250
    backpack blower-$400

    Note that all this equipment is commercial, except for the trailer and truck ;). Depending upon how much you want to spend and how much demand for this kind of work there is, you can justify bigger mowers, ect., but this should work out until you get rolling. If you get a walkbehind, it should have sulky for more productivity and you won't be as tired from walking all day. It would be good to go take business classes at the college. There was a thread about trimming on here somewhere and it is harder to master than mowing so I recommend practicing trimming. Some guys might disagree with this but the more practice the better, right? Good luck!

Share This Page