Newbee please read and help.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by radracer, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. radracer

    radracer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    I recently lost my job and I want a career change. I would really like to start a lawn service but I am unsure of where to start. I am no stranger to hard work and love being outdoors although I know that it isn't going to be a picnic I still look forward to starting. Also I don't want to be a cut-throat to any existing companies so tips on ettiquite and professional courtesy are welcome. At first I would like to start small (just me ) and then grow to be a reputable and professional lawn service specialist. Will someone please help me and give me some tips and information? I would like to start as inexpensive as possible, but I dont want to have junk or look like the Fred Sanford of the lawn care business. I don't have a lot of money to start with but I want to buy the best that I can with what I have and upgrade as the work picks up. New home sales are at an all time high in my city and I don't think that there will be a problem getting work. I have a few questions if you have any tips or suggestions that I don't ask about please feel free to give them as all help is appreciated. What would be a minimum list of equipment that I will need to get started? Do you place fliers on doors or do you attatch them to mailboxes? What is best to go after homeowners or commercial accounts? If you see another tradseman in a neighborhood do I assume that the neighborhood is "his" or can I go after accounts there. What is the best way to find used equipment? What services should I offer to make the most of my business? Thanks to all that took the time to read this thread. And thanks in advancefor all help.

    Thanks
    Harold
     
  2. DavesLawnCarePlus

    DavesLawnCarePlus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    Harold,

    First of all... welcome to the board... I'm still considered really new but you're newer.. so Welcome. You will find all the knowledge you need on here. Just be careful to keep track of reality because some of these guys that post on here are running fleets with hundreds of properties. It's really easy to lose sight of reality. Everyone will tell you to start with a big walkbehind or a Zero turn mower, they'll all tell you to get the biggest and the best but keep in mind your goals and your finances. You can start up in any neighborhood you wish. Start with residential properties to gain experience and cash flow. A 21 inch Toro commercial mower is a great starter mower because you can pick up a lot of the properties that the big companies won't bother with. Just make sure to pick up a decent straight shaft trimmer, a handheld blower (to start) and some hand tools. Then Poof! You're started. Get the proper licenses and insurance for operating in your area, register your business, and start the door to door racket. It's the easiest way to pick up some customers to start out. After that, encourage your customers to tell others, offer a referral bonus, do what you have to do... It'll work. If you wanna chat about this, you can reach my contact details in my profile. I just started this spring in a very competitive area and my business is growing... bit by bit.

    Good Luck,

    Dave
     
  3. The Grass Amputator

    The Grass Amputator LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    Harold:

    Seems that there are a lot of us who were laid off and are now seeking new careers.

    My story is actually pretty comical, in a sense....

    April 22nd, my wife was in the hospital having our 7th child (and 5th son). She and one of her nurses struck up a conversation. The nurse commented that her husband ran a lawncare service, and was looking for some dependable help. That lead to my going to work for him. I showed up, mowed dawn to dusk, and proved myself a reliable worker. When it came time to rebid contracts for the school system, he didn't get any of the contracts he bidded on, so decided to drastically downsize his business.

    This lead to my leasing a ZTR from him and going solo. (I do have one paid employee.) In addition to lease-purchasing the ZTR, I am paying him for insurance ($2 million liability and $1 million on my vehicle, as well as workmans' comp) He's been good to throw incoming business my way, and has helped in building my customer base. I currently have 3 commercial contracts and 17 residential customers, and I've officially been "in the business" for just over a month.

    On the one day where I have nothing to do, I drive through residential neighborhoods and go "door knocking" to drum up some business.

    My truck isn't the newest, and my equipment is old. But I keep it clean and present myself in a professional and courtious manner.

    This is all in a town where everyone and their brother has a "mowing business"... That didn't deter me from trying to make a living for my family. If you have the desire, you can make it if you're willing to work at it hard enough.

    -Scott
     
  4. radracer

    radracer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    Thanks for the advice. Please keep it coming. Dave I will get in touch with you.

    Thanks
    Harold
     

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