New to the buisness

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rameigh, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. rameigh

    rameigh LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 70

    Well here is my situation. I've been working as a small engine mechanic for about 5 years in a local shop in my area. I've been researching lawncare for the last year or so trieng to get a buisness plan togeather. I've got plenty of savings for my basic trailer and equipment to start with, and I already own a 98 F150 pickup. Ive decided on a 1500z 52" Ferris Zero turn along with a Toro 40" belt driven walk behind. Theres a company out of TN that offeres a package deal. It comes with a 6.5x12 Dove tail trailer, KAW Weedeater and blower, Racks and the 2 mowers described above for a little over 10,000.00. Also its out of state so I won't pay any sales tax and its close enough to pickup. I do have one commercial account i've got access to its about 40 duplexes about 1/2 mile from my house. Its a little over 2-3 acres of land all on the same road. He's been a client of mine for years ( I work on his cars) and he's willing to sign a contract for the season for his rentals. My biggest concern is learning on how to come up with pricing for the jobs. I've noticed the average in my area is about $30-35 per half acre (Trimmed and Blown). How do us new comers know whats reasonable to charge? Also what software besides quickbooks is available to this industry specific? Ive been looking at gopher but im not sure its much more efficient than quickbooks. Last concern is knowing how many jobs i can handle for a 6 day work week. Starting out im going to be a 1 man operation and if buisness grows ive got a family member willing to work as well. Any advice/tips would be great i'm still a bit hesitant to make the jump and go get my equipment. Be honest and harsh if need be any good info from vets would be great!
     
  2. creatived

    creatived LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    TO CHARGE FOR MOWING YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT ALL THE ASPECTS OF THE JOB MORE TRIMMING MORE BLOWING HOW FAST THE GRASS GROWS HILLS CONDITIONS ACESSIBILTY FOR EQUIPMENT ETC. I PRICE BY THE JOB COMMERCIAL IS DIFFERENT THAN RESIDENTIAL I TRY TO MAKE A 1$-$1.25 A MINUTE ALSO CALCULATING COMMUTE. QUICKBOOKS IS THE BEST FOR BOOKEEPING. AND TO BUILD A BUSINESS MARKET EFFECTIVELY TALK TO NURSERY OWNERS DROP BUSINESS CARDS EVERYWHERE GIVE PEOPLE DISCOUNTS SENOIR CITIZENS AND MOST IMPORTANTLY FIND A NICHE WHERE YOU ARE DIFFERENT FROM THE REST. I FEEL IT IS NECESSARY TO DO LANDSCAPING NOT JUST CUTTING GRASS BUT CUTTING IS THE DOOR OPENER. SELL YOUR EXISTING CUSTOMERS WORK. I LOVE DIRECT MAILING TO HIGH INCOME RESIDENTAL AREA'S AND ON THE MAILER GIVE THEM A REASON TO CALL YOU. YOU ARE WAY AHEAD OF THE GAME BEING A MECHANIC FIXING EQUIPMENT IS EXPENSIVE. GODD LUCK AND BE AGGRESSIVE.:weightlifter: :weightlifter:
     
  3. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,785

    id start by asking this question in the forurm that says "starting a new business"

    but adressing your ? this isnt something you just start wide open on with 60 accounts, as you grow you will learn how much you can handle, if you will need a helper, how much to charge. the min pricings you reffer to are also relative to where you live. my min is $35, but i will break my min for a lawn that is postage stamp size that i can fit my 61" ztr in and out in 2 mins. i do one like taht for $25, unloaded/loaded done in under 5 mins. also, some give prices of $15 by professional companies but they too are doing lawns the size of a 2 car garage, 10 in a row, in and out in hour. this might not be right for you but i gauge prices by how long i think it will take and how much i have invested in equip. if i were using a 21" walmart push mower and it took my 2 hrs how much cna i charge, likewise, the same lawn might take me 15-20min with my Z but the equip is much more etc. look at how many trees, schrubs, cars, mulch beds, trimming, and other things that will slow you down. price accordingly, i try to get $85/hr for one machine mowing. goes up from there, but my overhead is most likely more than yours, as is my effiency

    next time look into this forum better and list this in the right cattagory, more pepole will probably respond there
     
  4. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,785

    excuse how rude i am, even more, excuse how clueless i am to what thread i was in. man am i stupid
     
  5. rameigh

    rameigh LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 70

    This is posted in the starting a lawncare business. If i posted it in the wrong place then i appologize but i thaught thats what this forums is for..
     
  6. rameigh

    rameigh LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 70

    LOL its all good man. I even triple checked myself =P Well as I said before i only have one account right now but its just 40 duplexes or so as i stated before. He's not too picky and understands i'm going to be new to the business so I figured it's a good place to start. Im just having a hard time or maybe im thinking about it too much and can worry about prices...etc after i see the property and figure out how long it will take me. Being as I havent picked up my equipment yet I dont have a clue how efficient I can be with it. I guess ill wait until the equipment is here and practice on the family members yards and time myself from start to finish...etc.
     
  7. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,785

    you did right, my apology
     
  8. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,785

    once you learn how to use a Z efficently, you can do alot quickly. advice on running one, never try to drive down a steep hill or along one if its wet or if there is no "landing zone". once they let go and loose traction they are gone. you are right in my calculatoins about 1/2 acre for $35 range
     
  9. CkLandscapingOrlando

    CkLandscapingOrlando LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 652

    Alot of guys have said 60 or so an acre.I think about time not land.You also want answers on how much to charge from people in your area.It will change a lot from place to place.I do 22 zero lot lines in about 4 hours with a 48 gravley.Thats edge,line trim,mow and blow.The trick is round up or the like.You can almost rid your self of line trimming,broken ac lines and wires,screens,irg parts, and so on.I would stay away from the belt drive if you can afford to.When its wet you wont like it.
     
  10. rameigh

    rameigh LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 70

    Yea I didn't like the idea of the belt drive but i would only use the walk-behind if i couldnt get the zero turn into where ever im at. I also purchased a small commercial toro push mower so I will probually use it instead and use the walk-behind as a backup if anything happends to my zero turn. Its a package deal so they wont break it up and ive already put my deposit down on it.I already own a quick 36 walk behind as well so I may just use the toro for home use or resell it if i decide i dont need it. But hey its always nice to have a backup mower. ANyone have any ideas as far as ways to advertise from the start? How many jobs can a 1 man operation handle in a days work without killing himself? I just dont want to take on more than i can handle from the start which im sure the first season is usually slow anyhow for a new business. Thanks for the great responses guys forums like these are better than any book you can read.
     

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