Looking to go Part-time

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Black95gt, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. Black95gt

    Black95gt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    Hi all. Im looking at going at this part time (nights and weekends). My goal is to make roughly $200-$300 a week whether im doing 2 accounts or 10 accounts. I really dont need to buy anything to start out as i have a blower/Vacuum, trimmer, small tiller that can be adjusted to an edger and a 1 year old Toro walk behind mower and a 4'x8' golf cart trailer. I also have access to my dads riding lawn mower (tractor style). So i am pretty well taken care of there and if i get to the point, i could look at getting the bigger walk behinds. Anyways, i am looking at doing this a couple nights per week and a partial day on Sat/Sun. I am not going to carry any business insurance at this time, but if i feel the need, i could possibly do it later. For the times that i have availabel to do this, residential is probably not going to work the best as most people probably dont want to hear the mower going in the evening when they are trying to relax after work. So i am probably going to focus on smaller commercial accounts, like the McDonalds, strip malls with islands ect. Im not looking to spend any money on advertising other than printing up some fliars and mailing to properties that i would be interested in obtaining. I will also run an add on craigslist as well as in the newspaper for a month or two. What is the best way to get these accounts? Do i call them and just ask to put a weekly bid for their lawn maintanence? Or would it be better to send a flyer to them, and if so, should i already have my bid to them? Any suggestions or comments would be great. Like i said, this is just to make some extra money and more/less give me somthing to do . Thanks
     
  2. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    OMG, is it that time of year again?:laugh: All I can say is dont waste your time with your well thought out business plan. "no insurance" and you want to do commercial accounts? Good luck with that. This post just proves you have no clue as to what your getting yourself into. I don't know of ANY commercial business that won't require you to carry at least 1,000,000 worth of liability coverage. You just cant walk into places like McDonald's and "throw in a bid". You will need general liability, worker's comp. insurance to start. I don't know how old (I'm guessing high school) but do your self a favor, quite while you ahead and leave it to the professional's or go to work for a legit, professional company. Its not as easy as throwing Dad's mower and trimmer into the ol' truck and BAM! your a landscaper. Sorry to be so harsh but in reality it's the truth.
     
  3. Hoots

    Hoots LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Posts: 327

    There are too many issues to really go into detail.

    I would recommend working the nights and weekends at McDonalds or delivering pizzas.
     
  4. CLARK LAWN

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,526

    thanks NOBAGGER i was about to say the same thing. at 200 a week how many weeks is it going to take you to pay for the 5X12 window that you threw a rock through while trimming?
     
  5. Black95gt

    Black95gt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    I think your response was a tad bit uncalled for. If i cant do commercial accounts without liability insurance, then yes i will have to rethink this process, as it would not be worth it to spend $1500 or whatever it costs to carry liability for the amount of work i would like to do. As i stated, i have what i need to go cut grass (for small push mower type jobs) as it doesnt take a genius and a Masters degree to run a small lawn business. I would be willing to bet that 75% of all the small companies that first started their lawn care business started without insurance and looking at some of the companies driving around, im guessing they dont have it either. But you made some valid points in there and i appreciate that and thats why i asked the questions. But also in some cases, it is as easy as putting an ad in the paper and having a couple people call you, throw the mower in the truck and Bam, i am making money cutting grass. All I am trying to do is get a handfull of accounts to make a few bucks this summer and wanted to know a few things to help me get the ball rolling. Not some discouraging remark to tell me not to persue something.
     
  6. CLARK LAWN

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,526

    his post is because evry year about this time everybody and their brother is going out to just get a handful to make a little extra cash, most of you have NO idea what you are getting into. my GL costs me about 500 a year but i guess you would rather roll the dice on a what if happens.
    What happens is you are all gung ho right now, come july and august when it nice and hot most of you quit showing up. it makes us all look bad.
    check the laws in your area you may need a license to operate and you will probably have to collect sales tax. Also be sure to claim what you make on your taxes at the end of the year. at 200 bucks a week figure 20-30 for fuel and about 70 for taxes so that leaves you with 100 bucks. do you really want to go out and bust your rear for a lousy 100 bucks a week? thats if nothing breaks down or gets damaged.
     
  7. Black95gt

    Black95gt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    I know around here we dont collect sales tax on services. But i will re-check that as we dont collect tax in the engineering profession in this area. I am aware of how hot and humid it gets and i know its not fun sometimes. I have 3 rentals that i mow right now after work. I am a Land Surveyor so i work out in the scorching heat in weeds up to my chest being invaded by ticks, spiders and mosquitos, usually in a ravine with no air movement so no, the elements are not a problem at all. But to answer your question a lousy $100 a week amounts to $400 extra per month which will go a long way in this economy. I as well can look at GL and if it is only a few hundred bucks, then maybe i'll go ahead with it.
     
  8. RollTide11

    RollTide11 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 83

    I didn't even bother to read the other responses but I'm sure I'll be repeating what ya'll have already said. Look man, back when I was just starting out and only cutting family members yards I still had insurance. These companies will not even let you put in a bid without proof of lisc. and insurance. And how are you going to cut grass in the dark come on.:hammerhead:
     
  9. MileHigh

    MileHigh LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,466

    This right here my friends.....





    IS JUST THE PLAIN OLE TRUTH....
     
  10. MileHigh

    MileHigh LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,466

    Looks like we have an illegitimate non insured lowballer in the making taking food from our kids mouths....lol
     

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