New to business

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TUCCI L&L, May 16, 2001.

  1. TUCCI L&L

    TUCCI L&L LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Hello everyone I am new to the lawn maitenance business, but have been taking care of lawns, and yards all my life. I am currently employed in the medical field but have recently been unhappy with the way things operate in that particular field. I have a few ques.
    1) As of right now I have 3 clients and want to get more but with my current job I am oncall and do not have set days, I am trying to get more clients before I completly quit what are some ideas.
    2) I am about to buy a exmark 21 metro commercial wb, is there any other mower that is up to par with that model, but not as pricey($949)? I am only doing residential as of now and will be for a while until I get growth.
    3) I am getting a business license for the city I base my co. in but do I need a license for every city I do work in?
    4) Should I get insurance right off the bat or should I wait until I build my client base? If so what do I need basic liability, or more?
    I appreciate all responses and help, thank you.
     
  2. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Posts: 940

    Yes get insurance and business license for th eareas you work in. Pay your taxes too. Buy good equipment . But most important is to keep that day job you'll need to eat while learning how tuff it can be out there.
     
  3. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Mower: You could get by with less but thats a very good machine.
    License: You will need one for every City, it's that way here anyway.
    Insurance: The mower price would be nothing compared to a few windows or worse yet a kid with a head injury.......don't go without it.

    Lots of good info here. Be sure you do a search on old posts concerning starting up. Ask a lot of questions. Do top notch work and price your work competitively.

    Lastly.....................Good Luck.........your gonna need it.:blob3:
     
  4. TUCCI L&L

    TUCCI L&L LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    The problem is how can I expect to keep clients if I can't give them a set schedule of maintenance I am suer they wouldn't appreciate a weds. job and then have me not be able to do it until the following friday, get my drift. I am going to go to my boss though and see if I could have set days off. Thanks for the info.
     
  5. turfguy33

    turfguy33 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 121

    Starting up takes alot of energy to do it right....Liscenses and insurance is a must. Homer is right, it only takes one mishap to ruin the business, whether it be breaking a window or hurting someone. In any case, always remember to cover yourself, because even though I hate to say it, accidents do happen.
    There's alot of information that gets passed along in here. Get involved with Lawnsite, ask questions, but more importantly, listen.
    as far as your mowers, Considering the amount of business you currently have, try to keep overhead down low, or as low as possible. There's no reason to be in debt starting out, and have it hanging over you. In this business, I have found out it's better to grow slow, Buy Something a little cheaper, and reserve your money to expand your business next year. The first few years, I did not actually profit a dime. All of my profits went to expanding my business. Even today, About 50% of my profits go back into the business. I do this part time, only working about 25 to 30 hours a week with 2 people so I'm not totally dependent on the income, but take the business side very serious. Keep good records and do everything legit. do quality work, and people will notice.
     
  6. Esby

    Esby LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 662

    If you are looking for a good 21" mower, look into an Airen's. I started out with one and used it alot, beating it alot too, and it still goes strong. I only use it twice a week now, but its still a good mower that gives a nice cut. They run about $600.
     
  7. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 632

    Keep your job and grow your reputaion.

    BTW I stated w a craftsman 21" homeowner/scrubman deluxe!
    I know that is not up to par to what you are considering, but I was vigilent about changing the oil and filters. It did right by me.

    Definately insurance! Basic business liability is a good place to start. It's expensive! Make sure your pricing covers your expenses!

    Check w/ your local and county gov. It's diff everywhere. It is possible that each city may require something. You may have to consider limiting yourself to one or two cities. I do one and try to keep my customers close. I try to charge the distant ones a bit xtra if deemed necessary.

    Continue learning. Use the search feature, If you find what you are looking for, reply to that thread so the rest of us can learn. Click on all links. Check out everybody's website. Click on all sponsers.

    Action speaks louder than words. Break over. I gotta go cut grass.

    My $.02
    Good luck.
     
  8. jcoat

    jcoat LawnSite Member
    Posts: 112

    Listen to these guys and you'll be okay. a) Become licensed; b) get insurance; c) incorporate your business; d) buy the best commercial equipment you can afford; d) differentiate yourself from the others and advertise what makes you better; e) and this one's your call, but a word to the wise: Keep the day job until you break-even, UNLESS you have provisions to maintain your current lifestyle w/ savings, 401k, etc. and go both feet into professional lawncare. I'm sure I speak for all here when I say good luck!
     
  9. casey

    casey Guest
    Posts: 0

    DON'T BUY 21" EXMARK. Heavy, bad side discharge.
    For residentials use only Lawnboy Commercials. Light, excellent side discharge. You will save soooo much time with L.B commercial over 21' exmark. Get side bag for tall grass, not rear.
     

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