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Little Nervous

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by DaveRave07, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. DaveRave07

    DaveRave07 LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 69

    Hey everyone, this is going to be my first year on the job, I am going to begin to run ads in the paper and pass flyers out this upcoming week as it is my spring break. My question is that I see in peoples signatures a boatload of big mowers and lots of tools and I really don't have the money to spend on all those things just yet so I am unsure if I am ready. I am really only going to have a 21" or 22" push mower, trimmer, and blower. I figure I can transport all of that in the back of my Jeep with the back seat folded down. Is this enough to get started? I have always used a push mower on my property, even though it is draining, which is as big if not bigger than most of the properties in my area. I plan on investing a lot of the money I earn this season back into my company with plans on upgrading for next year. Am I getting myself in trouble or does it sound like a decent start?

  2. theturfsurfer

    theturfsurfer LawnSite Member
    from mtka,MN
    Posts: 102

    I often wonder why people listed their equipment. You will do fine with the stuff you have. If you can keep your costs under control you will be able to have more profit. If you find yourself losing clients or having to say no to potential customers because you don't have time than you might consider getting a larger mower. Good luck.
  3. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    Some advice Dave. NO, you do not have the proper equipment to perform lawn maintenance for a living. Nor do you have the experience as you yourself said it is brand new to you. Lawn maintainence is not rocket science but cutting your parents or your own lawn is not the same as doing it as a business is either nor does it require the same equipment and knowledge. You would be doing not only any clients a dis-service but yourself as well trying to maintain lawns properly with just a 21" push mower. Plus unless it is a Commercial $1200 push mower and I bet it isn't, it isn't going to last 2 weeks using it everyday commercially, esp if it is a discount store mower. If you only service VERY Small yards you may would be okay for a while, but bigger yards and you could not maintain the pace needed with just yourself and a 21" mower to make any money. Also the only way you will probably get any customers running a 21" mower out the back window of your Jeep is if they don't see you coming or Heavens forbid you become a Lowballer doing a $35 lawn for $15! Also don't forget, esp since you plan on advertising in the paper and using flyers, you'll will Legally Have to have your Business License, Commercial Liability Insurance, Commercial Vech Ins, and in NY you'll also have to have a State Issued Sales Tax License.

    You do not see me throw or use this word ever and I would challenge anyone to find any post where I have ever called anyone a Scrub and I ma certainly not calling you one. But if there was a LCO Guidebook and you looked up the term "Scrub" in it what I have underlined in bold print in your post would be the very picture beside that term.

    With all that said I admire your drive though and would suggest a little more time and training before you tried it on your own. So, if you are truly 18 as your profile states what I would suggest is that you get a job with a Real LCO, learn the work, save your money, then buy the proper equipment and strike out on your own then! I'm sure you probably won't listen but it is good advice I assure you and is not intended in any way except to help you.

    Good luck.
  4. jjvvdd

    jjvvdd LawnSite Member
    from kansas
    Posts: 26

    :) I think you will have to invest in equipment first then worry about profit later if you want to make it. Upgrade to the Toro 21" at Home Depot for $600.00. It will be good for this summer. Just read on here and ask in the start up threads to avoid the ego maniacs from discouraging you by telling you that you need several thousand dollars worth of equipment. They get greedy and don't like young guys with no money taking their business.
    Good luck again. :waving:

    Dodson Lawcare

    CUTNTIME LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    try to target small lawns,with the houses packed in real close.
    save as much money as possible and i stress the save part,then buy a used commrcial grade walk behind in good condition,tailer,edger,and gas hedge timmers,and blower.
    this will be good enough to get you buy,then start upgrading from there on eqiupment and yard size.working for another
    lco for about a year is a good idea to get a feel for the business.good luck.
  6. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    That's what you need alright, another new comer to the business that has 0 years of experience tellinh you what you need to do and buy. ;)

    FORGET the Toro mower at Home Cheapo! It is a HOMEOWNER mower and WILL not stand up to everyday commercial use. That same $600 would be better spent finding you a used Commercial 32-36" mower.
  7. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

  8. cuthis

    cuthis LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I find it funny that so many people put so much emphasis on what sort of equipment they own or type of truck they drive. We service mostly residential accounts with the odd commercial account thrown in. We use 21'' Honda push mowers with the steele deck. Costs under $500 and lasts, change the oil regularlly and you re laughing. You dont want to cheap out on equipment but you dont need to have the sexiest mower on the block either. Its all about making money, the lower your expense the more money you make. My advice, get a good Stihl trimmer, back back blower and a Honda 21" push mower. Spend some more money on getting those clients that will pay for any upgrades to equipment.

    Good luck

  9. cooksjr537

    cooksjr537 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 116

    Let me guess cuthis you must not be insured licensed or anything. Use what you got and make the customer pay for the upgrade equipment, you have people that are trying to make a living at this that have to pay taxes insurance and etc and they can't make it because some person out there with a 21" push mower does for half the price.
  10. DaveRave07

    DaveRave07 LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 69

    Thanks for the advice guys. I am deciding to move forward with my business and begin to advertise. Mike, I truly respect that you have been doing this for a long time and I don't doubt a word you said. But the thing is that's what I've got and this is what I want to do and I anticipate working properties where it should not be TOO much of a problem. I know I need to upgrade and as soon as I can, I will. Thanks again everyone.

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