Jobless to Lawn Business??

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by moneyclass, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    This is the consistent problem with this industry. If someone reads enough they should be able to avoid those pitfalls that others consistently make. No one will tell anyone to charge this or charge that, but most will explain how important it is to know your costs of doing business (not just the money you use to buy equipment). Too many fall in the trap of "My overhead is low so I can charge less". They miss the boat completely. It should say this "My overhead is low so my profits are that much higher" But everyone is falls victim to the word "No". They go on a few estimates, especially for mowing, and get "No" to their estimates eventhough they crunched the right numbers. Instead of moving on to find the customer that fits them they go against their better judgement, and their numbers, and lower their prices. Why? So they can get that fuzzy warm feeling about getting a "Yes" and having customers. Then just like the other guy said, they lose their shirt on the work or barely scratch some pennies from it. Most continue this cycle and either work every minute of their life or fail. The worst part is it affects the rest of the industry.
     
  2. moneyclass

    moneyclass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    Lol sorry for confusing you.....but yeah you have it right. Im on unemployment and I do have a few rentals....and yes they pay cash....so yeah alot easier to hide if you know what I mean.

    The landscaping biz yeah I want some extra money and will be like a full time job for me in a way. Along with my rentals but there not to much work anymore.
     
  3. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,647

    I would just start out with what you have... You can put all that in the bed of the ranger until you have a need for commercial equipment. You can get a had blower to start out with as well, they are usually pretty cheap. I would just advertise like crazy with that $7k IMO
     
  4. moneyclass

    moneyclass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    What type of advertising would you recommend? I know for sure I am going to put my name on my truck.
     
  5. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    So you're defrauding the government. Not sure I'd be posting that on an open forum. Do you intend on just taking cash with the landscape biz? Have fun with all this when you get caught. I know a few who were doing the same thing you are and each got caught. Ended up in a mess and I'm sure they are watched every year. Sorry man a lot of us do things the right way because living here allows us to pursue whatever we like. Taxes take a lot but it gives us that freedom to do what we please.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. moneyclass

    moneyclass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    Good point.....I claim all my rent that I recieve.
     
  7. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284


    These two statements kind of go against each other.
     
  8. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,185

    LOL
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. facework84

    facework84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    This person has some good points. When I first started, I was so excited to get any calls, that I would take ANYONE as a customer, and tried to offer all services. But, this ended up being a headache in the end and not very profitable. Stick to mowing, edging, and trimming your first year. Maybe learn to prune hedges, and do small limb removal. But don't try to do it all, and be everywhere at once, because you will be broke and tired. Try to stick to a narrow geographic area, you don't want to have accounts all over the place, 30 miles from you on one side and 20 miles on the other side. Thats not very good business model.

    With all that said, DO NOT blow all your money right off the bat.
    I recommend doing it cheap at first to give yourself some time to grow your business and learn the different aspects like marketing, collections, scheduling,etc. You may end up hating it. You may end up being successful, at which point you can look at upgrading your equipment and maybe adding a second crew.

    Since this is the offseason, you could get a decent used rider or walk behind for a couple grand or less. For a trimmer, buy new. You can get a brand new Echo PAS 225, or a Stihl for less than $300. The Echo PAS is just a power head that can accept different attachments such as a pole pruner, edger, and hedge trimmer attachments. The Stihls usually have detachable shafts as well. Be sure to get a STRAIGHT trimmer shaft, they are more functional.

    For blowers, again, you can do it cheap. I don't have anything fancy, I use a $70 weedeater blower and it works fine. I can't see the justification in a $300 backpack blower to save 2 minutes here and there to blow off some grass clipping.

    As another way to cut costs, starting off, try to get away without using a trailer. You have a truck, so unless you are doing mulch or hauling debris, I don't see the need for it. You should be able to put a 48" walk behind and a smaller push mower in most pickup beds. I found that for most of my accounts, due to their size, it was faster to mow with my push mower, so I just put the mower and trimmer in the back of my wagon and get 35mpg instead of 15mg with my other vehicle towing a trailer.
     
  10. moneyclass

    moneyclass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    THANKS!!! Good info there. Thanks alot!!!!
     

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