i need advice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by chadwhick, Feb 17, 2003.

  1. chadwhick

    chadwhick LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    I'm getting started in the lawn buisness. I am 18 and still live at home, I have just bought new commercial equipment and want to expand my buisness. What are some suggestions on how to do that? I'm also having trouble with what to charge people. How do I decide on what is a fair price? Another thing I've been wondering about is should I just stick strictly to lawn maintenance and should I find someone else to do the landscaping and fertilizing and chemicals and stuff like that? How do I get with someone that does that kind of stuff? Thanks a lot for listening.
  2. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,048

    If you have just started how can you be ready to expand? I would stay focused on the direction you are heading and do it as well as you possibly can for a while.

    Next, to find your pricing call some of the LCO's listed in your phone book. Get them to come to your moms house and give you a quote. Or just tell them how large the lot size is and their price. This will help you see what your market price is.
  3. brettmc

    brettmc Banned
    Posts: 63

    I'm a part-timer with 9 accts. Whenever I quote a yard, I try to imagine how long it's gonna take and then multiply that times the $40 per hour I want to make. Sometimes the homeowner says that's too much so I go down to $35 per hour. That usually gets them.
  4. polecat63

    polecat63 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,655

    What size are your mowers. The bigger the deck the faster you cut. You have to figure out how much you can cut with each mower and which mowers you can use on each property. If your charging $40 and hour using a 21" mower that could get expensive for the customer and I'm sure they won't pay. And no offense to Bret, but if you need $40 to cut the lawn then don't drop that price. Don't gouge, but be realistic. Don't forget to pay yourself either!
  5. deason

    deason LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    I have just bought new commercial equipment and want to expand my business. What are some suggestions on how to do that?

    Do Quality work. The one thing that will get the phone ringing is word of mouth. It is also the same thing that will make it stop ringing. Flyer's, calls, ads, all will yield you some potential sales. But he best way to expand is to satisfy just one customer and have them brag on you. When this happens, you don't have to prove your reputation when someone calls. They already know you do a good job, and you don't have to sell that anymore. The accounts will come easier.

    I'm also having trouble with what to charge people. How do I decide on what is a fair price?

    Know how much it costs you to operate. I know that this advice is given time and time again, but it is the most true. Equipment, Insurance, fuel, parts, oil, .... all cost money. You will have to figure out how much of that is spread out over the accounts you have and go from there. Like Crazygator said, get the input from other LCOs in the area. Learn what they charge and why. Compare it to your numbers and see what is different. You may even befriend one and he will show you the ropes. They (I) would much rather have someone, just starting out, ask me about pricing and learn what to charge rather than going out there and cutting every lawn 30% cheaper than what the LCO is cutting for. That is a good way to be labeled a "scrub" real quick.

    All in all you need to take it slow and concentrate on the accounts you have now. If you do this correctly, the other business will follow faster than you think.
  6. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    Concentrate on lawn mowing for now. Meanwhile, learn what you can from others (here on LS). Go to your state dept. of agriculture's web site and speak with a representative(chemical applicators lisence). They also have many brochures on different topics concerning lawn care. Learn what you can on business. Go to local SBA and speak with them. Many times they will speak with you for free. You have a lot to learn.....a lot. They also might offer free or low cost seminars. Learn everything you can on bookeeping, marketing, business plans, tax laws, insurance, turf care. If a question comes to mind, use the search feature here on LS to find answers. When I first found this site I literally spent 6-8 hours everyday reading. After a year and a half I am down to about 3-4 hours a day (in the off season). I feel I have made a lot less mistakes with my business because of site and all the people that contribute their expierences. Right now I would concentrate on marketing (you need to start a client base). Go to the "elements of business", there is a lot of discussions going on right now on advertising and business cards. One more thing, have fun doing this. If you don't want to have fun, go to work in a factory....haha.


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