new in Arizona

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by nephilim0167, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. nephilim0167

    nephilim0167 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 144

    Hey guys,
    As of right now I do not currently own my own lawn care business, and there are a few reasons for it. I've got around 5 thousand saved up, but I'm really striving for 10-15 to startup. My first question is, would it be wise to ask my father for a loan? I would much rather deal with him than a bank, and he's already offered some help. My second question is, I live in the desert. Phoenix arizona, baby! Just finished with school and I'm looking for the best location to start my business. I have considered relocating to Flagstaff due to the fact that there are more lawns there than here. My second question is, how hard would it be to relocate like that? Would it be worth it? I'd rather do it before I start because I wouldn't want to work at gaining accounts just to up and leave them one day. What do you guys suggest? Thanks!
     
  2. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,690

    nephilim0167,
    I am just starting out here in Phoenix as well. Ive lived here for 23 years minus 3 I spent in Flagstaff for school. I would have to disagree that there are more lawns in Flagstaff, especially when you consider the 12 month vs. 6 month mowing season in each town. When considering starting your business, I have found it rewarding and easy to start small- 1 lawn or install job at a time. This way you dont have to dive all the way in at once, have less risk and overhead all at one time, and can learn specifics to the area and business while you go. Pick up a few lawns, buy some equipment, then down the road when you land the bigger ones that are maiking you more money, buy the bigger and better equipment as it is needed. Dont buy cheap to save money, just dont insist on buying the absolute biggest and best of everything if it will not be utilized or won't pay for itself. When do you plan to get the ball rolling? I think 5k would be a pretty good start (assuming you have a vehicle) and fall rye installs are a great time to land some work and make some new clients.
     
  3. nephilim0167

    nephilim0167 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 144

    Thanks hoskm.
    If you don't mind me asking, how well IS the business here in Phoenix? I've done some marketing and find that theres really about a 50/50 split between those with lawns and those with rocks. That has me somewhat skeptical, but then I think of all the new housing projects going on in the valley. I also don't have a vehicle.. we'll, I have a motorcycle and a mustang. Though UHaul claims to have a universal trailer hitch, I'd rather get a truck :) I've been selling most of the unused items in my closets and garage to get money for my business, though I seem to have somewhat plateaud. Any helps' appreciated!

    chris
     
  4. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,690

    I find that many people do have lawns and I certainly try to market to those people in particular. However, for every yard without a lawn, usually has xeriscaping, and it is probably filled with plants that need to be trimmed sometimes monthly, depending on the season. These jobs are fewer and further between, but are easy to do, not time consuming, and even the people with just xeriscape need their yard cleaned up to keep from looking like a dump. I started out with the intention of doing design and installs, but found that after you install it, they want you to maintain it as well. I started simply with people that I worked with (city government) and still maintain most of my customers as clients. Ive only grown by word of mouth, so I can't speak for any marketing techniques other than that. In my situation at least, word of mouth is the absolute best and hopefully the only marketing I'll ever have to do. I am out in the far west valley where they put up houses faster than you could pass out flyers to new homeowners. Last year Phoenix built about 68,000 new homes, so there should be plenty for everyone. As for the vehicle situation, I would definitely go for a truck, and I certainly commend you for saving up for that and your equipment. I financed a bit of equipment when I started, but paid it off as fast as possible, I don't like working for someone else, thats why I love this job. Look into the new installs with all the new houses, there is plenty of money there and lets you be creative and cater each job to the customer. I like the weekly maintenance aspect, but enjoy the large projects as well. What kind of bike do you have?
     
  5. nephilim0167

    nephilim0167 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 144

    Yeah, this city is growing like a weed! Unbelievable. Thanks for the advice.. I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to get any bank financing, I just was debating taking my father up on a small loan. I guess like you had said, it sucks working for someone else... hence the reason most get into this business. I ride a Yamaha Virago 1000 - love it to death. Going to be going on a ride next weekend to benifit Hurricane Katrina victims.

    chris
     
  6. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

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    Hi nephilim0167,

    Where do you know the most people? Starting out is always tough but it is easier when you can network with people you already know.

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  7. MowingInAZ

    MowingInAZ LawnSite Member
    Posts: 79

    Try Scottsdale, more lawns here than most other parts of the valley. I absolutely love the green grass, and golf courses, that's why I live here! But you also might be able to make a large amount of profit due to the amount of wealthy people that spend money like it's water.
     
  8. ArizPestWeed

    ArizPestWeed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,457

    Flag , HA , what would ya do in the winter .
    Please don't come to Verde Valley , we enough here .
    We've more rain and weeds here , too.

    Buy a Ford F 150 long bed .
    Cheap mower .
    Echo of Stilh trimmers .
    Rock rakes .

    You'll love winters in the Valley
    Are you hooked on meth like every one else down there ??

    http://www.pest-weed-free.com/
     

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