If I was just starting I would ...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by petekief, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. petekief

    petekief LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    Hey folks,
    I'm starting slow and part time. i figured i need to make 30.00/man hour to make it worth while so far i'm on track and it is worthwhile. i've got an 87 F150 a got a Cub Cadet 4816f (hydro w/b w/floating deck) echo string trimmer/ both i purchased about 10 years ago when the company i was with was in financial trouble iwas cutting three large lawns for free at the time - mine - my mother in laws - and an aunts - 3 to 4 acres. i've borrowed a trailer and i was forced to buy a craftsman 4 cycle multi tool thing (blower/edger/trimmer) and 22" craftsman mulching mower. because of financial constraints put on me by my business partner (read WIFE). my personal experience is you buy a 59 cent screwdriver you've got a 59 cent screwdriver but...
    anyway i've got my own ideas but what would you do if you had some money and wanted to start a one man LC enterprise. "If i was to start today knowing what i know now i would ... (fill in the blank)
     
  2. KL Squared

    KL Squared LawnSite Member
    Posts: 113

    I would wait till the first of the year and obtain a business loan for $15,000. I would purchase a quality commercial zero turn rider, commercial blower, trimmer, edger, and have money left over for advertising. I would advertise heavily from Febraury - May. I would use direct mailing as much as possible and some local ads. Finally, I would concentrate my advertising in one zip code area, if possible. This would minimize my drive time. You would need to be willing to make a full time committment if the job started to come in. I did something like this this year. I took on a partner that I sold half of my business to for 10 grand. I did all of the things above and I am very pleased with the results thus far.

    Good Luck
     
  3. EastProLawn

    EastProLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,110

    First thing I would do is get rid of the business partner ( wife )
    just kidding:D
     
  4. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    I would spend more money on advertising.Lots of advertising using different methods and in nearby counties.
    All the new improved equipment in the world makes no difference if it's sitting in the garage.
     
  5. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    Lots of advertising, flyers have worked best for me.. But no. 1 GET INCORPORATED , I wish that I had done this immedieatelly when I started, instead now I'm trying to barter services with an attorney to do so.
     
  6. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 505

    I WOULD NOT go into debt to buy hi-dollar pro equipment for my first season. I would use the homeowner equipment I already have, or buy used or budget brands of what I lacked, and expect to take more time for the jobs the first season, and expect the equipment to not have much useful life after the first season.

    I would do the lawn care business on a part-time basis and keep my other job the first season. Everything I made on lawn care would go for business expenses, and in the bank for new equipment at the beginning of the 2nd season.

    THEN, if after one season of busting my a$$ at 2 jobs, I STILL wanted to get into lawn care full time, I would invest whatever was necessary to go pro.

    I would expect the first season to make a lot of mistakes: job bids, customer relations, the techniques of getting the work done. I would expect that having made those mistakes, I could corrrect them the 2nd season and become more profitable for my time. But having my other job to support my family while learning from mistakes, I would not end up losing my home, expensive new equipment, my marriage. I would not consider starting full-time until I had the backing/support of my significant other, unless you already consider that relationship to be reaching the end of its useful life.

    And I would check out the opinions of experienced LCO's on Lawnsite, but consider everything they say with an eye to regional differences in the markets, lawns, rates, etc.
     
  7. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    I have to disagree with TXlawn. Unless you have alot of cash or tons of unincumbered assets there is NO REASON to be an INC with just a one man part-time operation at all. The only real reason to be an INC is to protect personal assets and also with a INC the State and Federal Corp Taxes will eat into your profits big time and you will have to file Quarterly Fed Tax Reports, and pay additional taxes on your own salary that you may not have to pay as a Sole Prop and then also file a separate Buisness Tax Return plus your personal return. You have the very same business deductions if you stay a Sole Prop business and again unless you have tons to lose (which Liability Ins will cover anyway) there really is no benefit to being an INC. at this point at all.
     
  8. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    MMlawn, wait until you accidently injure some one, get sued lose everthing you own and possibly have your wages garnished to pay off a settlement. Think insurance will protect you in the event of a suit? Dream on. As far as becoming a Sole proprietor goes please explain what you would do if you built a large customer base, invested in a large ammount of equipment, etc and then decide you would like to sell your business so you can pursue other business interests. You couldn't find buyer one because as a sole proprietor or a general partnership you basically OWN A JOB. If you die so does your biz, there's no way to pass on the business to your children as well.. I could go on a long rabbit trail about this... Point is GOOD business charters were created for a reason, asset protection is only one of them. Sole propreitorships and a General partnerships are absolutelly NOT a wise idea, for any business. I'm sure there are those that will dis agree.. flame on
     
  9. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    TXlawn all respect intended here, I have been in business 20+ years and for 12 of those were a sole prop. I have a ton of liablility Ins and Yes the proper Liab Ins will cover you in most cases. I have also built and SOLD million dollar business that was a sole prop and that never, ever even came into play in the sale. This person ask about starting a small one person part time business and my response was to that and being an INC IS OVERKILL for that, period, and any lawyer or financial advisor will tell you that. All he needs is Ins at this point. Now, as to large companies as you've turned this of course a INC or LLC, but that was not what he ask.
     
  10. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    That's not true. Leaving a Sole Prop is no different than leaving a INC...a Will leaves control of either one of them.

    I also just saw your "flame" comment and that was not my intention at all. Only to nicely disagree with your advise at this time.

    Didn't you say in another thread today that you only had 4 accts? If so why in the world would you want the hassle of a Corp over that? Also check you state laws as being an INC if you are the only shareholder does not always protect your personal assets.
     

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