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need some support guys

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Schwartz, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. Schwartz

    Schwartz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I want to start my own lawn care business in 2008, my wife thinks its not such a good idea. She is mostly worried that I won't bring in enough money. Where we live there are a lot of people that have their lawns taken care of by other people, and there is a high volume of city people that own houses up here that only really come on the weekends so getting accounts really isn't going to be that hard. Plus I have friends that are genral contractors that can help get my name out there. Any support you guys can give would be greatly helpful... Thanks
  2. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    yes there is potentioal to turn a profit, but not in the beginning, ... the homeowners equipmnet you are planning on using wont work, you need commercial grade equipment,......

    getting clients, not as easy as you think./...... your not the only one doing this and some companies have been established for years, so it will take time......

    legalities....you will need to get a business license, from state, maybe county and city, possible vendors license, file a dab, get a company checking account....talk to a lawyer and an accountant.....

    you will need to have liability insurance, 2mil worth....commercial insurance on your vehicles , and commercial plates....

    this is not an easy endevor...

    you will probably have to have another job for a couple of years until this works , if it works...

    Good Luck
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,204

    I agree with your wife.....get a higher skilled job if you are starting out. Mowing grass to make extra money is fine but tough as a full time job.
  4. HeartOfTexas

    HeartOfTexas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    I disagree with Ed2Hess, although I'd have to say that he has a wealth of experience and I've only worked in the lawn business part-time. As an example, I'm a guy who did go for the skills. I have a masters degree and have worked as a consultant for years. Some would look at that as a success but I can't stand working at a desk all day and would rather be outside.

    Truth be told, I wish I had gone just for a 2-year degree and developed a business.

    I would agree that it would be difficult to cut all the lawns yourself and do well. But, like most businesses, it is not the goal to do everything yourself anyway. If, after awhile, you have several employees it seems that you could be doing better than the guy who works for someone else.
  5. Schwartz

    Schwartz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I plan on buying a used ex mark to start off, and a smaller walk behind for smaller areas. I forgot to mention that I will still be working a full time job from 3pm to 11pm every other weekend off as well as every other monday and friday off. Starting off it would be part time to see how it goes, and the first thing i did was look into the legal stuff, insurance won't be to hard to aquire and I already checked with the county about a DBA and license. The hardest thing is to get my wife a board.
  6. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,505

    It is hard to get the buy-in from Command Central.

    I made sure I had 10 customers before I spent $$ on equipment. That way I could say to her (and myself): "Look Honey, I can bill these ten customers $450/week, that's $1800/month. So I am going to drop $6K on a trailer and mower, and it will be paid for in 14 weeks." Then you explain that you are shooting for 30 or 40 customers.
  7. Schwartz

    Schwartz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    thats a good idea... did you tell the customers that you still had to buy the equpitment or did you keep that to yourself? i'm pretty sure i can get atleast 10 accounts, I think I may try your idea. Thanks
  8. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,505

    I didn't mention that I had no equipment, that may have caused a little bit of confusion. heehee.

    I said that I was just starting out to some that asked, but that I did it a few years ago for another company. I pulled up in my pickup with magnetic signs, handed them a card, and then gave them a written estimate. It isn't a question that people ask.
  9. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    If I were to do it all over again from scratch, I would focus on one aspect. Mine personally would be hydro-seeding. It seems if your into mowing only your business will be very limited. Your customers will expect you to be able to handle all of their needs then comes all the headaches....more equipment, more labor (if you can find any!) keeping them happy, going after more jobs so you can make the payments on the equipment you will need, hoping you have enough guys to do the job, unhappy customers who will lie,cheat and try to steal from you ("can you do this little thing" then they b!tch when you try to charge them for that "little thing" that took you an extra 1/2 hr to do) Should I go on? Every one says they are only going to do it on a smaller scale then we all seem to get sucked into the black hole of lawn care/landscaping. My wife thinks I'm nuts. I work f/t 7-3 Mon-Fri plus we take care of 50+ properties and a 52 unit condo complex all after 3pm AND we are still able to squeeze in the usual spring clean ups, landscaping,fall clean ups and then some. Its time to hire some one or sell out.
  10. SOMM

    SOMM LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 426

    -if you can DO IT BETTER than the core 75% that are competing with you in your area - we mean with product knowledge, niche marketing, superior fertilizers and equipment, etc - then by all means DO IT (as an LLC to reduce your own liability) - and never f*n look back!

    -don't be afraid to even do part time work in the winter at a big box store (while discreetly passing out your business cards!) if there's zero snow and ice to manage (office depots, office max's, staples Biggest season is Nov-Feb), then get BUSY in late January & early February advertising with limited-time coupons signing up customers when the other 75% sign theirs up in February-March.

    -always "cut to the chase" and appeal to your customers "what's in it for me" - benefits-benefits-benefits- (customers do not buy features!) needs and wants by giving then no room to go elsewhere when they choose you instead of the rest. Read up on some Brian Tracy sales books this winter.

    You CAN do it and support your family in this great business !

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