TRex, Here is something I have learned over the past decade that might help. I started in this biz right out of college and thought that I knew all the answers, big mistake. So, now having placed my foot in my mouth numerous times I have learned lots. I do recommend buying out your friend if you can afford it. That will do two things 1) more customers with friends and relatives who all have work that needs done and 2) generate working capital. Now with the working capital you need to reinvest it in your greatest asset, your business. Get the truck lettered, trailer ect. Then you will want to advertise to a specific group of individuals or work your networking skills to obtain a solid customer base. I am Catholic and attend service weekly, I advertise in the weekly church bulletin and get at least 2-4 calls per week from it. As a matter of fact this Sunday I was the featured advertiser of the week so I know I will get even more calls this week. Hopefully you have an organization you can get your name associated with. I know this sounds like a lot but it will be worth it. Once that happens you will be able to generate business. You might want to check with your local larger companies who do only landscape and see if they could reccomend your service to the customers that they have. I have a friend that puts yards in and sells plants only. Almost every yard he installs he leaves a card of mine to let the customer know that once that grass starts to grow give me a call to mow. A large landscape company in town here concentrates only on landscaping, they are fed up with mulching and have started to refer all mulching customers to me. I am able to get more of them each week and know that once I have them I will do all I can to never loose them. These are a few ideas I can give you to get started. Remember that your greatest success will come from your own greatest failures. Trial and error. Keep me posted on your success. Good luck.