Introduction and a few questions

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by AAR Lawn Services, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. AAR Lawn Services

    AAR Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    Hello everyone. I am thinking of starting up a lawn mowing service in the Riverview Florida area with a business partner. We both currently have full time jobs working Mon-Fri and would like to start part-time on the weekends. Eventually we would like to make this into a full-time business once we're able to obtain enough customers. In order to do that though we each would need to be able to a pull a $40,000 salary per year out of the company in order to cover our cost of living. Is this a reasonable goal? Would it take a long time to achieve?

    I'm also looking for some equipment suggestions. I already have a 00' Chevy S10 V6 with class 3 hitch we will use as a vehicle to tow with. I also have done some research on mowers on this site as well as others and I like the specs and price on the John Deere 727A w/ 54" deck. Most the residential yards in my area are only 1/8 or 1/4 acre so I don't want anything too big. I hear Husqvarna makes good trimmers and blowers but haven't done too much research into them yet. Also what size trailer is recommended? Would a 12' or 16' do fine?

    Thanks in advance
    Ryan
     
  2. AAR Lawn Services

    AAR Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    Anyone want to help the noob?

    Or did I ask too many questions?;)
     
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    If you are going to try this, try it alone. Say no to the business partner.
    That's step #1.

    If you are going to be sticking to just mowing, the best way to make money is to have the tightest route you can. Hard to establish in the first couple of years, but that should be your goal. Travelling here, there and everywhere to mow a lawn won't get you very far.

    Keep reading Lawnsite, every piece of equipment has been talked about on here. You will learn the pros and cons of the equipment, you will just have to use the search feature.

    Know what costs you will have to run this business. Advertising, fuel, phone, equipment, truck, maintenance expenses, office supplies, insurances, accounting fees, etc, etc, etc. The list goes on and on.

    Btw, just so you know, I don't advocate doing this part time. It's research, research, research, then jump right in.. sink or swim fulll time.
    Hard to get a real business up and running when you are working a full time job. You can only spread yourself so thin.

    Good luck.
     
  4. AAR Lawn Services

    AAR Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    Just curious, why drop the business partner? That would double my start up cost and he already has a little experience in commercial mowing, I have none.
     
  5. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Because partnerships are nothing but trouble. Listen to Jodi and anyone else who tells you NOT to do it. Likely they have been through the same crap.

    Yes once in a while they work. Most of the time, the two partners end up bickering, one's not happy cause he's doing "all the work", disagreements come up, one thinks he should get more pay than the other, etc etc etc.
     
  6. AAR Lawn Services

    AAR Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    I've worked with the same guy before and we've been good about equal work/equal pay. It would be really hard for me to cover all the start up costs on my own, if not impossible. I'll definitely take your advice into consideration though and look into the possibility.

    What do you guys do business as? Sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation?
     
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    The advice about the partnership thing is not only real, but it is absolute sound advice. You can do one of two things....You can listen to this advice, and be glad you did in the future (without actually realizing it), or you can follow the route that MANY others have on here, and o with the partnership, anyway. Then you can join the ranks of those many who write back in saying they should have never done it, and how they regret all the time wasted, and that they would be so much father ahead if they had just started out on their own. Do a search, and you will come up no less than than a few hours of reading of partnerships that went down after time. You can take this advice from me, because I learned first hand. Granted, this was over 20 years ago,...but the principle is the same.
     
  8. AAR Lawn Services

    AAR Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    After doing a search on here and reading through about 10-15 threads I've found completely mixed opinions on partnerships. I've found that about half have good opinions and success stories and the other half negative. It seems to me it all depends on who you partner with.

    In my situation quitting my job and jumping right into this full time is a huge risk especially w/o a partner. I would absorb 100% of the risk if I don't get the amount of business I hope to get and I also wouldn't have anything to fall back on. I have a mortgage and other payments that I cannot afford to miss. If I didn't have those type of financial obligations it would be much easier for me to leave my job and try this on my own.
     
  9. Your Lawn First

    Your Lawn First LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    I agree with everything here except the full time part time thing, you can start part time no problem that is what I did it I would say the smartest way until you build you customer base, you will have to leave you job a little earlier then you think but yiu can do it part time.
     
  10. AAR Lawn Services

    AAR Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    That's good news to me. The earlier I could leave the better. I know I will enjoy this much more than what I do now.
     

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