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Just Thinking About Starting My Business

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by extremelawnandlandscape, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. extremelawnandlandscape

    extremelawnandlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Hi All! I Just Joined This Board Today, Although I Have Been Watching It For Advice For A While Already. I Am 17 Years Old, And Would Like To Start A Lawn Care In The Future, Now For The Questions. 1. When Is The Best Time Of The Year To Start A Lawn Care? 2. What Can I Do In Preperation To Start, Like As Far As A Good Home Course Or Training? 3. What Form Of Advertising Did You Find To Work Good In Beginning Your Business?

    Thanks For Your Input! Just So You All Know, I Am Talking Small Money, I Do Not Have A Large Sum To Throw Into This, Neither Am I Going To Go Get Some Big Loan, That Will Take All My Profit For 20 Years! So I Do Not Need To Hear All The Expensive Ways Of Starting, I Am Looking For Good, Effiecient, Ways To Spend My Money!
  2. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,164

    Have you ever done this before as a job? If not i would suggest going and getting a job with one of the companies in your area. You will get good experience on the equipment, how some customers are, and other aspects of running a lawn care bis. Good Luck.

    If you have then i can answer a few of you questions:
    -get a used 48" WB, 21" WB, try for a new trimmer and new back pack blower.
    -Advertising i use fliers and tape them to peoples doors.
    Good Luck!! Welcome to the site!
  3. extremelawnandlandscape

    extremelawnandlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I was going to write this in my first post but i forgot! Yes and no to the quuestion of working for someone else. I worked for my uncle for one summer, he lives about 3 hours from where I plan to do Lawn Care. So yes, I do have some experience in Lawn Care, but I do think I could use MORE! My only problem is that I am ready to get my own business. I really do not want to work for someone else yet, but if I have to I will. My uncle that I worked for will be available to give me advice or help, he has been in lawn care for 8 years now, and has a good, happy customer base, with more people wanting him, but he is as big as he wants to be. He is also a Walker and a Redmax dealer, so I suppose I could get I good deal from him, if I was looking for that equipment. Right now though I am thinking I will probably get a Wright Stander to begin with. I plan to start my business in Liberty, MO, which is part of Kansas City, is there anyone here that has advice on starting in a big city, or is it no different than starting in a smaller town?
  4. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    If what you say is true about your uncle then pick his brain a little. Like someone else said get some more experience, you said you could use some more. So it sounds like to me you have some doubts about your skills and I personally wouldn't start a business especially this type of business with doubts about your skills. Just be patient and have all of your ducks in a row before you jump in with both feet. :waving:
  5. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 903

    I don't mean to blaze on you kid, but let me give you a piece of my mind.

    I started my biz this year and had to put over $1,000 into advertising (mainly flyers). I got 60 lawn clients and 30 small jobs. This may be a larger return than what you want, but you need to understand that you gotta spend money to make money.

    I also dropped $7,000 on all my equipment and a trailer (42" ZTR, 2 - 21" w/b, edger, trimmer, blower, gas cans, etc)

    You said you are ready to have your own business? You're 17 and you don't have any money. My suggestion... have your parents/uncle co-sign a loan or a 0% intro-a.p.r. credit card and go drop a wad on equipment. You NEED start-up capital.

    Sure there's the argument that you can start with just a 21" push mower... but c'mon now guys! Look at me! payup

    Start early in the spring/winter (2-3 months before mowing seasons starts) and pass out 10,000 flyers door-to-door. This should get you a small return to start with. You better make a damn good flyer!
  6. GGlandscaping

    GGlandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    Part of me agree's with bigjeeping and part of me doesnt. No disrespect jeeping, but here's what i think:

    Droping a couple grand on nice equipment is a great idea, but only if you have the means to pay back the loan.

    I'd say start small- of course i'd say buy some equipment because you cant use homeowner stuff for more than a day without having problems. Build up your client base with what you've got until you've got yourself a steady client base, which equals income. Once you've got that you can swim with the big fish and get that loan to grab a Z and take on bigger accounts.\

    There's really nothing wrong with using a 21" self propelled bagger to do small lawns, as long as you're not doing them for close to free, and as long as you're doing a good job.

    but i do agree with what was said about working in the industry before starting your own service. It will help you learn many important things, and probably get you some jobs here and there.
  7. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    I beleive if you read the how i got started threads, you will find many very successful companys that have guys on this board that have been in business many years.....
    have started out with homeowner equipment , and then upgraded as the money came in......
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    1. Spring! Start advertising in march but depends on your part of the country, I am in virginia and a good time is anywhere between mar.15th and apr.1st but NO later than apr.1st. Earlier than mar.15th is a bit pointless around here but if you're further south it may not be, same applies if you're further north - You need to study this for your area but this is a guideline.
    2. Get a FEW accounts local to you so you can gain experience then expand on this. This will 'teach' you the basics while you earn a little, call it a paid education and so long you realize that education costs money meaning you won't make a fortune the first year (or 2), that should help.
    3. Flyers are ok but if you can afford it, newspaper ads are a LOT less work for the money.
    Peace out and nevermind the spammers and the nay-sayers,
    Best of luck to you.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I fully disagree with buying brand-new commercial-grade equipment when you have NO experience. Don't get me wrong, I think a 300-dollar weedtrimmer and a decent blower is a must but for the mower, a 1000-dollar used wb will do while you learn. To put it another way, think about putting the 1000-dollar wb in a ditch a few times then once you learn how NOT to put it there THEN you buy a new one (I haven't ditched my '05 once yet - not to say it can not happen but it is LESS likely). You will do some damage to the machine while you learn and this is no big deal with a used mower but with a new one it kinda is...
    As for the money, if he's 17 and say he's living with his parents then he can afford to spend 2-3 years learning the ropes and expanding his clientele and by the time he's 19 or 20, he should have enough money to really get going (so long he saves it). However, it is the hard way.

    Maybe he can find the start-up cash but maybe he can't, and if he can't then a 21" mower will do because I know a full-grown adult who operated for 2 YEARS with nothing but a 21" and he hated life but now 20-some years later he's got it going on so yes it can be done... Of course you can also work someplace and save up about 10 grand, that much I will concede and on that note, consider that idea as well - Go work someplace full-time and do the dirty and put aside as much as you can, THEN start out with some serious cash and you'll be a dozen steps ahead.
    Now is this the easier way?
    No, neither way is.
    So long that is understood then is no problem.

    There is one other thing I just noticed:
    Would your uncle let you work with him? Don't ask this part right away but if he says no then offer to work for free so you can gain the experience with his equipment, that would help.

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