Just need a few answers...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Howie's Lawn Care, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. Howie's Lawn Care

    Howie's Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 512

    I have a few questions i need answers to before I can become a legit business. If you look at my profile you will see I've just started this year and won't be driving until September because I didn't get my permit until this past March. I have 20 full time lawns and 2-3 part time lawns. I am a scrub for the most part, but how can I not be considering I am just starting out. I have big plans for next year, atleast compared to this year. I just got an 1989 Ford Ranger and plan on buying new equipment next year. My main equipment will hopefully be as follows.

    2 - Toro Proline, 6 HP Kawasaki
    2 - Shindaiwa T350 Trimmers
    1 - Shindaiwa LE261 Stick Edger
    1 - Shindaiwa EB630RT Backpack Blower
    1 - 5 X 10 Trailer

    I want to get around 40-50 yards and have a friend work for me during the school year and I will handle all the work in the summer. Our mowing season starts in March - April and ends in September - October. I would like to do leaf removal, lawn clean-ups, and snow removal also. Here are my current mowing accounts. Let me know how big of a scrub I am. I also work for a local newspaper on Saturday mornings for about 8 hours(6:00 A.M. - 2:30-3:30 P.M.), so that's a little extra money.

    $10 - 20-25 Minutes
    $25 - 40-45 Minutes (2 YARDS SIDE BY SIDE)
    $20 - 40-45 Minutes (2 YARDS SIDE BY SIDE)
    $15 - 35-40 Minutes
    $45 - 50-65 Minutes (3 YARDS SIDE BY SIDE)
    $10 - 20-25 Minutes
    $15 - 55-60 Minutes
    $12 - 30-40 Minutes
    $12 - 30-35 Minutes
    $10 - 20 Minutes
    $10 - 15-20 Minutes
    $15 - 45 Minutes
    $12 - 40 Minutes
    $15 - 35-40 Minutes
    $25 - 90-120 Minutes (USE HOMEOWNERS EQUIPMENT)

    I'm only using a 22" push mower though. I mow, trim, and edge each lawn. I would like to get a ZTR, but would rather pay for equipment in full and get a FORD F-150 + FRONT MOUNT GRASSHOPPER after next year. The Grasshopper would be great for snow removal plus it has so many other attachment. Their dealer support is awesome around here. Let me know if my plans sound good. Anyways, here are my important questions.

    1. Where do I go in Ohio to get information about and get a business license? Do I just need a business license or a business license and lawn contracter type of license? How much do these items cost on average.

    2. Where should I go for insurance? What type of insurance is it classified as (for lawn maintenace)? Will I have to go through my parents for licensing and insurance since I am sixteen and if not, should I anyways because of prices? What should I expect to pay for insurance that pertains to my needs?

    3. How do you get a license for applying fertilizer? Where is the best place to purchase fertilizer after doing so?

    Thank you very much in advance for any advice you can give me. Please don't tell me to work for a lawn maintenance company to get experience and learn about the industry. It just isn't an option in my mind. Besides, I'm learning plenty about the business through LawnSite.
     
  2. redoak77

    redoak77 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 291

    WOOOO Your pricing is way over complicated. You can micromanage ur minutes so just round up or down. Determine your hourly rate and price each job on how long it is gonna take and make any special considerations such as extra distance to travel and such. Also u need to have higher prices for the sake of the industry. You wont be able to cover all ur expenses in the long run, trust me i know. And also, never, ever, ever use the homeowners equipment. Other than that good luck with ur new venture
     
  3. Eho

    Eho LawnSite Member
    Posts: 205

    Sounds like you have a plan, but right now your prices seem VERY low. When I first started my rates were a lot cheaper tho b/c you had to get lawns somehow, gradually I was able to do better work, get better equipment and charge more. Might want to find out what people in your area are charging for an average lawn. I do mostly small residentials here and my prices range from $25- $40. Good luck with your business
    EHO
     
  4. marionlandscape

    marionlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    Try speaking with a score counselor in the off season to develop the business for next year.
    http://www.score.org/
     
  5. Howie's Lawn Care

    Howie's Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 512

    I went to the site, but wanted to know of it is free help before I fill out the form. Thanks.
     
  6. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Posts: 867

    First, your prices are very low, once you are ready to take on new accounts aim for $1 a minute ( to keep it simple) if you have to go down a little from that price it won't kill you, but what you are charging now will. Second, Very Important, Insurance. You can get general liability and be insured for theft, etc. for a reasonable rate(maybe). Next, you are a minor, so you will need to license and insure your business in a guardian's name until you are 18. Just call around to some insurance companies until you find one that will insure you(your parent) for lawn care. You will need to register and become licensed with Ohio, here's a link. You will find all you need to know about licensing, etc. here. http://www.odod.state.oh.us/onestop/
    Yes you do need to be licensed to apply any fertilizers, weed control, etc. This means anything (even Round Up). You need a Custom Applicators License AND a Pesticide Application Business License. Contact the Ohio Dept. Of Agriculture about these. I am not sure about age requirements. The first one is $100 annually, the second is $20 annually, and you must pass an exam or two and carry liability insurance.
    Other than that, I say go for it, good luck, and be an information junkie. Learn as much as you can about what you are doing, read books about business ownership, finances, lawn care, etc., anything related to being an entrepreneur or being self emloyed or business management will enlighten and envision you. Also, you will learn a lot on LawnSite!
     
  7. marionlandscape

    marionlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    score is free and they even have offices you can visit for free if you chose not to use the online method
     

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