need advice!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by T SCOTT, Jan 14, 2000.

  1. T SCOTT

    T SCOTT LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    Hey guys, need some advice. In the last month I have decided to start a business in lawncare. I have been reading all the posts in this forum everyday for the past three weeks and have been blown away with all the information listed here. Heres my Question.<br>I can go out and buy brand new equipment and send out some fliers and knock on a lot of doors, and be in business. But it seems to me that it would benefit me greatly working for someone established in the business for a year. Learing as much as possible in every aspect of the business. I would think this would put me far ahead of anyone just starting out. What do you guys think?<br> Thanks
     
  2. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,446

    That really is very good advise. Very good. I know of a dozen examples I could point out in our local area. The guys that used to work for the good contractors know how to make things work.<p>With the labor market the way it is, you should be able to get a job with the best local contractor in your market and learn all the good habits, the little things that make a big difference.<p>It also gives you another year to save money to capitalize your new business.
     
  3. accuratelawn

    accuratelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 922

    Here is my story...<br>I had wanted to be in the lawn business for a while. Working outside and for myself sounded great. <br>I worked with a guy I knew for a day. I ran an ad in the paper and flyered a couple areas. I was in business. Part-time at first only 10 accounts, but that was all I could do. My other job was 55 hours per week. Within two months of starting in lawns, I quit the full time job, bought a guy out and was mowing 47 accounts. The next year it grew to 60+. At that point I needed help. This past season went from 60 to 112+- with one employee.<br>I was determined to do it. Do not keep the what if I fail in the back of your mind. Keep reading this forum, decide if you are really determined, make a good business plan, and go for it! Good luck
     
  4. tim

    tim LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    112 accounts within a year or two? Not that I want to grow that fast but how do you guys grow like that and get GOOD customers?
     
  5. accuratelawn

    accuratelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 922

    Referrals and flyers. Keep the accounts close together. Travel time cost $.
     
  6. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    T--working for someone else for a year will teach you most of what you need to know about the green service buisness, ie. how to run the mowers, and which ones you like, which cuts are undesirable, etc. however, it is doubtful that you would learn about the buisness management end. the paperwork, insurance, taxes, licenses, bookeeping, etc. are as much a part of the buisness as grinding the blades for that first cut of the day. I didn't know about this forum when I started a few years ago. with the good advice posted here, you're already better prepared to start a buisness than I was.<p>my advice: buy GOOD equipment, new or used, buy what will continue to serve you as you purchase additional equipment with out wasting function, and buy what you need. you will learn quickly that time is money.<p>good luck<p>GEO
     
  7. Kenr427

    Kenr427 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    When starting out, do yourself a favor, do it leagally. This means have the proper insurance and Pesticide license. Don't &quot;*****&quot; yourself out, which means get your price. There are too many out there that think they can go into the business just by undercutting everyone else's prices. This not only hurt you get price increases in the future, it harms the entire industry by cheapening it. Remember, your costs of doing business will never go down, only up. Materials, equipment, insurance will rarily get any cheaper.<p>Good Luck<p>Ken
     
  8. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    I don't know how old some of you guys are that are wanting to start a lawn care business but if you are still young and energetic, unmarried, little debt, and have any common sense, go for it! I have worked all my life for somebody else and believe me, if you procrastinate very many years you will be in your mid 30's, in debt, have children, married, all of which is not a bad thing but I wish I would have done something when I was in my mid 20's instead. I will not regret the years I spent &quot;down at the factory&quot; because I was in management and it taught me well how to deal with people. People are what will make your business or break it. You will make it or break it also. Spend some time analyzing you!!!!!!!! If you have an easy going personality and see yourself as being somewhat of a salesman, can back up your claims of good quality, and can take being bitched at by the best of the 65 year old ladys, you'll be alright. If you want to hit the ol' lady, find something else to do. This is just like any other business, it fits some types and some it doesn't. I have had people work with me that couldn't understand why I didn't tell customer x to go to h...! You just have to prepare yourself to take it when it comes flying at you. The point is, after a while anybody with a brain can figure out a mower, trimmer, blower, but you have to have the right attitude towards the public to really last.<p>Homers 2
     
  9. accuratelawn

    accuratelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 922

    Great points Homer!<br>My earlier post was too brief. It was not as simple as buying the business and equipment. I spent the previous 15 years in the restaurant business. 10 of those years in management. That experience taught me how to run a profitable biz and to deal with PEOPLE. My help also can't understand how I don't tell some customers to go to h...! You must take the comments from your customers (good and Bad) and learn from it. The ones that complain are doing you a favor. They are educating you as to what is important to them as a consumer. When I have a complaint, the first thing I do is thank the person for telling me. Then work to resolve the problem. Sorry to get off the point.<br>Again, buy good quailty equipment, promise great service, and live up to it.
     
  10. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,866

    To be truthful. If I had it to do over again. I would not go into the lawn service business. Being self employed in a business whereas your are not going to be generating $500,000+ gross revenues is long term scary.<br>I mean out of what you make in yard work. You have to pay your operating expenses plus your retirement, health insurance etc. to significantly lower your health insurance you have to have a large group of people. When you reach 45 and 50 health insurance will start really start taking a financial toll on most of us. We also get no paid vacations. I don't mean to be so negative. But why sell someone thinking about getting into this business a pie in the sky? This is reality. The reality is that you need to marry a spouse that either has alot of money or a good job with good benefits that will cover both of you and your family if you have one. Just becauseyou are young doesn't mean that you should plan way ahead.<br>Charles
     

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