Looking to start up part time

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Herrick, Jan 27, 2007.

  1. Herrick

    Herrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 506

    Looking into starting up a part time lawn mowing business. I've got an 8-5 job that pays most of the bills, but my wife is expecting (twins!, plus a 4 and 5 year old!) and will be taking some time off. I'm hoping to make enough that she may not have to go back to work(she works at wal-mart now). Mowing was a high school job for me, and I loved it.

    I'm hoping to have 15-30 lawns this year, mostly residential, from 7500sf up to an acre. I have a truck and 18' trailer, plus a 21" Lawn Boy. I'll be looking at a Sthil trimmer and blower from a local retailer. He also carries Ariens, Gravely, Ingersoll, and Toro. I have another local place that carries John Deere and Exmark. I'd like to stick with one of these places, so service is not far away.

    What should I be looking at for my first mower? I'll be financing whatever I get, so I'd like to start off as cheap as possible, and still have it work when I need it. My thoughts are either a high-end residential zero turn, a commercial walk behind, or a high end tractor style rider. Looking at something with a 48" cut.

    Also, for advertising, I'll be making some business cards, and fliers with tear offs for the local grocery store and gas stations. I was thinking about door hangers and/or fliers to deliver door to door, but I'd like to target the most likely customers. What is most of your residential customer base made up of? Retired people? Wealthy dinks? or is it pretty well diverse?

    Thanks in advance for any help, and props to the creators of the site, it's been a huge help already! :clapping:
     
  2. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,742

    Get accounts first!!! No point in dropping a few grand for a mower and not have any buisness

    Advertise Advertise Advertise!!!!!
     
  3. Matts lawn care

    Matts lawn care LawnSite Senior Member
    from MD
    Posts: 829

    First you need to do some advertising. You might want to try door hangers they are pretty cheep and they get your name out there. For your mower Q something in the middle of a walk behind and a rider. You might want to demo the new gravely stander.
     
  4. MattsMowing3535

    MattsMowing3535 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 386

    For the mower I would suggest a Exmark Viking. Love mine there not to pricy either. I would talk to your dealers about anything used they have. 3 months ago wouldv'e been the best time but they might be getting some used in for new equipment soon.
     
  5. ribbie78

    ribbie78 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 150

    If you're leaning toward financing I'd go with what mattsmowing3535 said with the exmark viking. New they shouldn't be too bad; and sound like they'd be good for the size yards you'll be going after. 48" would knock out pretty much any of those w/out being too big or too small, and use your 21" for the postage stamp lawns. After the first season or two if the wb is paid for and your accounts allow, then step up to a ztr (commercial). It won't be a financial burden or too big of an investment at first, and you'd still have an excellent wb as your small lawn or backup mower.

    I picked up an 05' viking on ebay for $2300 including shipping with just over 700 hrs; and it was in very good condition. My local exmark dealer is giving it a thorough check up just to make sure everything's good for spring. He even told me "You must crawl before you can walk" and wasn't the least bit hesitant to take care of it despite me buying it used and not from him. I told him I'd love to be able to walk in and drop 5K down on a new unit, but I'm just not there yet.

    Good luck and don't fear a new or used commercial wb. It's worth it, and worth the workout you can get from it!!
     
  6. MattsMowing3535

    MattsMowing3535 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 386

    The viking you got off ebay wasn't a Brickman viking was it? Aperently there are alot of them out there, I got mine for a steal at 1900 after tax 300 hours . Sounds like you got a great deal too.
     
  7. ribbie78

    ribbie78 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 150

    mattsmowing......Brickman? is that a seller? I got it from maryland...I think the seller was lawnboy or something to that extent.

    I had also picked up an 05' lazer z 60" from cincinnatti (seller bobbio something) with a little over 1200 hrs for 4K in great shape. Just over $6000 total for two good exmarks, I think I'll be better prepared than if I went and financed that much for 1 brand new mower. I'm solo so at least i'll always have a backup. My accounts were given to me from the company I worked with for 5years through college and before i was teaching full time. they moved from the area and were very generous to give me the top 25 from their routes and sold the rest. The best part is I've dealt with all of these customers and they know me and the work I do.

    *If any of you are buying used from ebay just make sure they have lots of good feedback, and check some of their recent auction results to compare...and don't be afraid to ask if anything needs to be done or looks neglected.
     
  8. MattsMowing3535

    MattsMowing3535 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 386

    Brickman or maybe its brickmen? Is one of the largest lawcare companys in the US they sell there stuff every 2 years. you can usualy get great deals. Anyways im hijackin this thread so back to the point. Buy used, its usualy much better deal if you shop around.
     
  9. Herrick

    Herrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 506

    I plan on using my lawn boy until I can't keep up.

    which audience should I target with my advertising, and how soon is too soon to start?
     
  10. Matts lawn care

    Matts lawn care LawnSite Senior Member
    from MD
    Posts: 829

    with a 21" mower i would stick to small residential properties or whatever you feel you can handle. Send your adds out 2,3 weeks before the grass is getting ready to mow. Thats what i do.
     

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