My first thread, and full of ?'s please help :)

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jhmohio, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. SouthernCutter

    SouthernCutter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 108

    Im only 16, and most people would look and say oh he is 16, no clue what he is talking about. but i couldnt get a loan to buy my scag when i was 16 due to not being of age, so i had mow with what i had for a couple months until i could save the money i had to buy a used walk behind. You could lay mulch, and in the beginning, it was hard for me to turn down jobs cuz i needed the money, but as i expanded, i got to where i could turn down jobs, and drop the yards that sucked (leave toys out, rocks in the yard, dirt mounts, dog crap, etc...) Make sure that you can get the 60 accts or more before you completely quit your other job, cuz that would suck if you could not get all of those after you thought you could. And i have a commercial account and i have been cuttin for 3 years now, and they didnt try to rip me off....i basically told them, this is the price i will do it for, if you dont like it, then im not doin it. you may have heard this already, but if someone says " do you lay mulch, and i am lookin for someone to mow for me next year" dont give him a good deal on the mulching just so you can get the mowing job, i got screwed over bad doing that, and the guy lied to me cuz he knew i was young, and didnt know that trick. You could get some hedge trimmers if you dont have them already, and you could trim hedges, get a back pack blower, and do leaves, i have taken baby steps to get into the business, and now i am cutting almost 50 a week and going to school. I have a friend that helps me, but before he started helping me, i was cuttin all of them alone during summer. So if i was you, and you had 60 accts, i would not hire help until it is absolutley neccessary, employees beat the **** out of equiptment becuase they dont own it, and it is just another expense. start out offering small landscaping jobs, and if you like them, get into them. If you have a pressure washer, you could do that for the accts you have for some extra money. There is always extra things you can do.
    I'm not sure if you wanted a reccomendation on equiptment or not, but i know around where i live, you can look in the newspaper right now and find some GREAT deals on mowers because of people thinking that this drought is going to be every year, and its goin to suck this bad, so they are gettin out of it. and during the winter, you can always find good deals on mowers. I would look for a 48 walk behind or something of those sorts....i would go with a hydro if you can afford it,i used to swear by Shindaiwa, but with all of this new tree hugger stuff they are starting to be way underpowered. I like Stihl a good bit, they make good trimmers. Some of the new shindaiwas are ok, but if you get one, go with a big one. I love my shindaiwa EB630 blower, i have a new one and a 4 year old one, the old one is still blowing as hard as the new one if not harder. Stihl FS45(i think) hedge trimmers are amazing, i would look into getting some of those. A belt drive mower is perfectly fine (dont get going fast down hills, it sucks!) i hope this helps out some, and if you dont read it cuz im young, oh well. Good Luck, you sound like a great guy/father. Welcome to lawnsite.
  2. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    I looked you up on the map. You're in God's country, all right! But it's beautiful there! I used to ride horses a lot in Wayne N.F. years ago with my dad. But I think you'd agree with me that your area of S Central OH is not exactly economically 'thriving'. Do you go into Chillocothe?

    What other type services can you do?

    Right now, if there's a 'high end' market around there to support it, installation and take down of Christmas lights can be a BIG money maker!
    All you really need to start is an agreement with the customer on rate / hour, and the equipment includes sod staples, special plastic clips, a couple of good ladders, and maybe a tree trimmer type extension pole with a special type of hook for dropping lights (google 'wolf garten' for ideas on this).
    There is a national franchise called 'Christmas Decor' that may be worth looking in to for you if you think the market would support it.

    Also, mold removal on roofs is becoming BIG business, and you can do this kind of thing even NOW when leaves are still hanging on (or cleaned up, depending) I do this a little, not so much because I like to, but more so because its requested by people who know that I'm such a rock climbing fool!
    If you have a Porter Paint store, or a Sherwin Williams around you, talk to them. They can talk to you about what you'd need material and safety
    equipment wise.

    Have you considered getting an Ohio pesticide license so that you can legally do 'Roundup' work, or do broad leaf weed control in lawns? And later you could add categories to do tree and shrub pest control, bare ground veg control in parking lots. Some things to think about for the future.
  3. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,834

    I have several john deere 48" walk behinds in perfect working order and needing nothing. I could let one go dirt cheap if you need help getting started I have no idea what shipping would be I can strap one to a pallet I have no idea what they weigh that info might be in my service manual i have for them though i guess around 300lb.?
  4. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,834

    "Wolf" they make some cool stuff don't they!
  5. NewHorizon's Land

    NewHorizon's Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 690

    A friend of mine called around to potential clients and said "Hey this is so and so with So-so Mowing. We would like to take care of your property. This is the equipment we have and blah blah blah. If you pay in advance yopu can take a % discount off the month." He did this till he had enough work to buy the mower (used) and then once he got going he bought a new one. Thats how he got started. It might work for you.
  6. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

  7. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    you missed a couple of things...

    you have to file for a vendors license with the state, lawn care is subject to sales tax, so you must get the license, and collect the money and send it to the state 2 times a year...

    also, you have no mention of insurance..... if you a doing commercial accounts with no insurance now, get rid of the customers they are cheats... they know you have to be insured and legal to perform these tasks in ohio......if they are looking the other way, they are bottom feeders and using you because your prices are too low....

    really stay away from the commercial accounts for a few years, along with topsites reasons, mine would be ... establish yourself, and when the time is right, the commercials will come to you.....
  8. jhmohio

    jhmohio LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    I have my service vendors license, i know all about it, my cpa directed me in all the paths of being a state legitimized business. And when i had my previous business i had just went to the auditors office and obtained it, however the service vendors license was much diffrent, but I do have one. I'm aware of all those things, sorry for not putting them in with the list of things I have.

    Currently all i haev is a 42'' rider, and 3 push mows, and 3 weedeaters. To the person who used to ride horses at wayne n.f. its awesome down there!!!! If you ever get the time go to Tar Hollow !!!! You also asked if I was going into the chillicothe area, yes I would be going into the chillicothe area. I would actually be targeting a 5 county radius, I know people from all around, from my previous business venture, from my dads company, as well as just getting out and being politcialy involved and a nature nut. Sooo yea, i'm sure of the amount of success I can have in this industry, it's a matter of someone being a little more on the positive side and offering advice that directs me to the solution i'm looking for rather than trying to put me 2 steps back.

    Topsites i'm also aware of the bank not caring as to why my credit is the way it is. I guess my question is, is it possible to go with a business plan, a little bit of business credit and run it completely off that? I've read this site for a long time before posting, i have read willretires credit thread I don't know how many times now...............and it's much appreciated.
  9. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    now not all cases, but usually, you need three schedule c's from tax time to get a business loan....which means you ahve to have been in business for three years....

    this is a low barrior to enty business, score may help but most likly need to start with some capital usually
  10. jhmohio

    jhmohio LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    Also before I forget to ask, is there anyone here that knows if the Veterans Affairs is able to help do such things? I'm a veteran of the United States Army, but havn't had any time to get to the local Veterans office to check on anything?

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