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Part time only - is this a good plan?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Exact Rototilling, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,362

    Sorry slightly long winded :eek:

    My Lawn & Garden business will be a part-time venture since I already have another business that provides my anchor income and keeps me busy 2 days out of the week and pays my core bills. I don't see that business growing much and since it involves staring a computer screen for hours on end it really becomes a serious negative for me past 20 hours a week. Remember when you were a kid and you watched too much TV and you felt like you wasted the day indoors? That's how my other business feels - I need to go outside and play now. :)

    I had a fairly decent income from spring & fall rototilling and I did mow for a few clients over the summer. Last spring I made the mistake of jumping for the greater income of Rototilling jobs over establishing weekly or bi-weekly mowing clients - live and learn.

    Anyhow my plan for the spring is to purchase a 6 x 12 single axle enclosed trailer that I can tow with either my 85 Toyota or with my 91 4runner. The 6 x 12 loaded down to roughly 2900 pounds is the max I can reasonably tow with my Toyotas. Both my Toyotas are paid for. My other purchase will be a Quick 36 Samurai and a decent backpack blower and a few more hand tools. I have no intention of buying a riding mower at this time because I would need a bigger trailer and bigger truck etc. For a part time venture it would be a tough sell. I have no intention of buying a different truck unless my business income rockets past $4,000 gross per month working 20 or 30 hours per week. Could happen but not likely at first. I plan on marketing with flyers & door hangers in mid March through April in higher end neighborhoods in my area and a few commercial clients. This will be a solo operation with the possible rare exception of my wife helping me on occasion. No intention of hiring anybody.

    I am considering adding Christmas lights, power washing, dog poop pick-up and light snow removal to my list of services.

    I DO NOT plan on EVER :nono: offering application of chemical pesticides - makes me physically sick. As I learn what works - I plan to offer organic methods of pest control.

    I DON'T know squat about sprinkler systems so I can't sell or offer sprinkler turn on and blow out as of yet. :confused:

    SO I figure I will spend $6,500 on equipment and I will carry 0% on the debt due to creative financing and I will have it all paid off buy the end of the season.

    Any Input?
  2. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    look, your starting a business... go to the library , or search on line and do a business plan, it really is the best place to start...

    good luck :)
  3. TomberLawn

    TomberLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,299

    Exact, that sounds pretty good. Like dave said, write out a full business plan so that you know where you're going. Project your expenses and make sure your income will more than cover them. That size trailer will be plenty large for a Quick 36 and hand held equipment. To keep your costs down, you could probably just haul the mower and stuff in the back of your truck, using ATV ramps to load up the Quick. Of course, you would have to unload this at the end of the day if you used your pickup for personal use and didn't want all your gear exposed. I'm considering buying a Quick 36 next year if I can get some more small accounts in a neighborhood near my college. The yards are too small for my zero turn, and the driveways are too small for my trailer, so I'll probably just get some ramps or a tailgate ramp.
  4. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,362

    Tomber Lawn,

    I have every reason to believe my plan is solid, despite the fact of not offering chem application and my ignorance of sprinkler systems. Basically a Mow ,Blow & Till operation with spring and fall cleanup offered at extra charge. The biggest challenges will be competing with lowballers, childcare during the summer & most of all a tightening economy.

    Rototilling is a brisk business here in the spring April / May and I plan on pulling in over $3,000+ gross just from that alone. This year I started late in the spring season, due to other distractions and pulled in over $1800 just in Rototilling in 5 weeks. That will pay for half of my equipment expense for 2008.

    I'm pretty much stuck with a 6 x 12 single axle trailer with my Toyotas. Ramp weight capacity on the trailer I've picked out is 1,000 pounds. That pretty much eliminates using a riding Z turn mower with this setup. If I'm pressed for the need for a riding mower due to explosive growth I will need to get a bigger tow vehicle and different trailer. I just totaled the aprox weights of all my equipment in my signature plus the an additional 21 Hi Vac mower and a Quick 36 and it's just over 1,100 pounds and that puts the trailer weight at just 2,200 pounds which is really the max weight for my Toyota 4 cylinder. All the floor space is pretty much taken up on the trailer with a Quick 36, Troy-Bilt tiller and possibly two 21" mowers. Just leaves a bit of room up front by the side door for 3 trash barrels etc. After the spring Rototilling season is over that frees up over 340 pounds and the floor space.

    Looking forward to next Spring,
    :weightlifter: payup
  5. TimTim2008

    TimTim2008 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,772

    good luck... sounds good

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