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

In over my head....

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lurch, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    Lurch... how did you become a Marine? Alot of determination and hard work! Unfortunately you have to start from the ground and work your way up. I fortunately started when I was younger, out of the trunk of my Mother's car! Today I run a full service Landscape company and offer everything from maintenance to installs, roll off service, masonry, etc.

    Believe me when someone tells you nothing in life is free, their speaking the truth. I have alot of respect for guys that start from the ground since I now what it's like. I will tell you like I tell everyone, it's a hard field to work in and to be successful in. If your a sit back and watch things happen type of guy, I would tell you to jump ship now. In this field you have to make things happen. Also don't believe all you hear about commercial. I can tell you that we hands down make more money on residential accounts than on commercial in terms of sqft, markup, or hourly breakdown. The only thing that makes commercial profitable is volume and full service. Honestly, I just don't think your ready for it at this time.

    Good luck. :)
  2. BCFLawnLandscape

    BCFLawnLandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 333

    There is no "One Way" that any of us have become successful. Hard work and a drive to succeed will be the ultimate way to make it! We started our business with a residential zero turn and alot of hard work. After two years in the business we service almost 75 accounts, about 60 of those being high end residential. If you charge the right price to make enough money it doesn't matter whether its residential or commercial, but rather, how much money your making on that one particular weekly maintenance. Keep plugging away at it. 20 lawns in your first year is great, I would highly recommend upgrading your equipment as quickly as possible. GOOD LUCK!
  3. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 753

    Determination, dedication to your goal, and the drive to succeed. Those are all things you already practice and believe in by being part of the United States Marine Corp. (thank you) ... and the same values that will help you succeed in the lawn care business.

    If you can, re-invest your profits from you 20 lawns back into the business, and in no time you will be running better, commercial equipment ... and pulling it around on the trailer you are currently looking for. What you put back into the business this year will definitely pay off next season in better profits.

    One question I have to ask ... are you legit, and do you have insurance? Part time, full time, whatever the case, you need to make sure you, your business, and your customers are covered by liability insurance.
  4. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,512

    Don't give up is the first word of advice. And with the money you start making from your accounts put that right back into your Business. Start running ads in your paper and then when you start getting more customers then start buying more equipment. People have made millions after starting a Business on a shoe string budget and thats because they kept putting back into the business to make it grow. Start off with what you have and build from that. Business isn't easy but it is well worth, all the hard work in the end.
  5. lurch

    lurch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 221

    I think I'll be fine....I've already gotten 5 more calls today....I honestly don't know what I did to get such an influx of business so fast....thanks for all the advice you guys....

  6. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    youll do fine, just buy commercial and keep your prices as high as your market will allow......welcome
  7. bushhogman

    bushhogman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    I started out by sheer luck. My buddy was a bar tender at Ruby Tuesday and they need someone to cut the grass. We thought we could do just as good as anyone else so we gave them a price and they gave us a job. I had a 66 for pickup, a wore out snapper comet riding mower, and a free stihl trimmer that my neighbor gave me (ha ha) I really laugh about it when I think about it,,, We loaded that snapper in the back of that truck for one solid year by hand everytime we cut. Hey, a snapper rider is heavy!! Looked like samford and son for sure. Today I have 16 ft trailer, 48in exmark, 48in scag, billy goat and parking lot blower!! Wow,,,I came along way but it took 10 years of very hard work,,,good luck,,
  8. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,157

  9. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Posts: 1,209

    I wish I was out mowing today I keep trying to will the calendar forward.

    One good thing is we finally had enough snow to plow here so at least that income should be here.

    Other than word of mouth try to upsell your existing customers. We are always renovating parts of our customers homes. It adds income and fills gaps between bigger jobs.

    If you want to make more money do plantings. The markup on plants will get you moving quickly in the right direction.

    As far as the commercial/residential thing. We do strictly residential, We have 3 associations that we do and take care of and thats as commercial as we get. Try to pick up a few of these they are not as price sensitive as commercial prop. are and with many people on the board you can usually shmooze one or two of them to give you a leg up.
  10. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,785

    my advise is if you dont have much or any overhead, get a bigger mower walk behind or better yet a ZTR ASAP, youll be happier when you finish what takes you 8hrs now in 2 hrs

Share This Page