Hello all. I decided to start my business this upcoming spring. After plenty of researching and learning i believe that i have everything planned out. The reason i come here with my plan is so you can critic and possibly lead me into the right path if something dose not sound right. I will be a solo operation for as long as i can handle. By the way im 24 and will still be holding onto my current day job. Mowers: Starting with a 42" Exmark walk behind that i already own, aswell as a 21" push mower. Neither have any catching system for clippings etc, is this something i should initially invest in or what? Handhelds: I currently have none. Thoughts on buying some from big box store to keep costs down since i'm only just starting out, Then replace by next season? Or just start with commercial quality? Also any advise on brands/models that would be good firsts would be helpful. (need trimmer, edger, blower, hedge trimmer) Trailer: Going to start with a 6x10 i already own, then upgrade to an enclosed when the times right. Website: I've been playing around with squarespace a lot, really like how its looking so far. I'll most likley be using squarespace since i'm not very computer savvy. Advertising: (my budget will be low, $500 possibly) -website -tshirts -craigslist -facebook -door hangers -direct mail -register for yahoo/google etc businesses -vehicle/trailer magnets (12"x24"?) -word of mouth -when i do someones lawn, and i see a neighbor outside ill go up to them, introduce myself and leave a card. "hey im jon, i have been taking care of your neighbors yard. if you need anything let me know". Short, sweet and now they know me, who i am and what i do aswell as the quality of work. Vehicle: Dont laugh, its all i have. Buick Rendezvous, its only temporary and pulls the trailer fine. Definatly at the top of my list would be getting a truck, but again when the time is right. Insurance: I got quoted $442 for 12 months of general liability. Im obviously trying to keep all costs relativly low, without being too cheap. I just dont want alot of overhead and feel like im working just to keep the buisiness going to pay for itself to keep going. I will be taking out a small loan to help buy handhelds, advertising. The loan will be under $5k, but probably around $3k (again trying to keep costs low, dont want huge payments) Overhead estimates: (im going over estimate for wiggle room) -Loan payment - $5k/48 months ( $105/mo for 48mo. aprox.) -insurance - $442/year -fuel - $800/mo -extras (oil, repairs, trimmer line etc.) - $300/mo So i broke down the numbers from above, is it wise to divide my loan and payment into 5 months instead of all year? Because now in the beginning i will be seasonal for 5 months and not be snow plowing until the future? Example: loan payment - $5k/48 months (105/mo. for 48 months) i could pay monthly payment (year round) of $105 which is $1260 per year. or i could pay monthly payment of $252 for 5 months, and not have to worry about another payment during the off season. If i calculated everything as i explained in the example above my total overhead per month would be approximately: Loan: $242 Insurance: $89 Fuel: $800 extra: $300 $1431 per month. Im sorry how unorganized that was, and i hope its not confusing. Everyone please give me your advise and let me know how you think everything looks. Thank you for reading, Jon.