Planning to by Sean's program but.........

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Ecoscape01, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 375

    I'm planning to buy Sean's program very soon. I'm getting a late start already I know. I am very unsure about one thing right now though - are there concrete formulas for estimating different types of jobs or will it come down to learning through experience.:confused:
     
  2. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 375

    I know for estimate advice you guys need to know my situation. Here's the deal. I'm solo for now but I'll have help if I need it come spring! I got two clients from networking but I haven't actually started the company yet which means I haven't advertised at all yet either. My area of Pennsylvania, at least the area that I will focus on, is very wealthy and very liberal. People look pretty highly on being eco-friendly around here. When I decided to start a landscaping company I figured the only way I could enter the market would be to do something completely different from everyone else until I get my foot in the door. My area of concentration is composed of many 500 - 750 thousand dollar houses on quarter - third acre lots. With that being said, I decided to look into using Reel mowers and elecrtic or manual equipment to pitch my eco-friendly approach and focus on small properties. I looked into a 16 in electric model from Sunlawn that uses 12v bats. I also found 24v weed whackers and trimmers. I know it sounds pathetic but I will be using my '05 Hyundai accent to transport my equipment. I also looked into getting an AC Converter to hook up to my car so I can charge my batteries while I drive. This is obviously my abbreviated plan but I have only about $1500 in start up capital and no truck so my options are very limited. I also have to keep costs down extremely low and make do with what I have. I figured slow and steady wins the race and I won't really depend on the income to live as I will have my Montgomery GI benefits and support from my girlfriend so I will be able to reinvest into the company and grow steadily. With that vague picture in your head......what do you think of the idea and my capabilities as far as estimates are concerned - Thanks for all your help.......you guys and this site are awesome and I wouldn't stand a chance without you:waving: :usflag:
     
  3. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Posts: 1,209

    well this is a very interesting idea to say the least. I have never heard of a commercial company using battery powered mowers and trimmers. reel mowers are more expensive to maintain, and with battery power you will need to invest in a lot of batteries to mow in a commercial application. as far as estimating it will no doubt put you in the higher end niche group for customers. Therefore you should charge a premium for the service. I would say you need to be around 15 dollars per thousand square with a minimum of $45. and you are not too late to start it's 7 degrees out now :) no one is mowing yet.
     
  4. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 375

    Did I make a mistake and post this in the wrong thread?
     
  5. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 375

    From my research, the Sunlawn mower is rated by the manufacturer to last about 1.15 hours and customer reviews reflected similar times. I would keep extra bats and constantly be charging when I'm driving
     
  6. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    there is no way that will last a season, its just not designed to be used that much, most people will cut there grass once a week for about an hour, around 30 times a year.... you will be using it more then a years worth of use in a week, .... it WILL NOT LAST.... sorry but that is the truth of the matter.. if your doing any quantity of lawns at all, you will need a good commercial mower...
     
  7. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 375

    You might be right.......I don't have a truck so my options are limited..worst case scenario......i make my money back after ten lawns and then buck up and by used truck or van and a commercial walk-behind
     
  8. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I'm sure a lot of people would go with an eco-friendly company if there was that option...however...I doubt many of them would pay much over the going rate there to justify your going that route. I mean I would guess most of those potential clients in those expensive homes are driving big gas-sucking vehicles themselves :laugh: I mean you will spend a lot more time on each lawn with that mower vs. a commercial mower, so unless they pay you accordingly it's not worth it.

    I'd really try to get some more money to start with...doesn't have to be a whole lot more, but some decent equipment to start and a small truck would be nice.
     
  9. Willofalltrades

    Willofalltrades LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,000

    Have you got a business plan?
    Advertising plan?
    Do some income projections for the next three years.

    Point: get the materials and develop a strong Plan. Take that to the bank. Get a solid loan to advertise and purchase quality equipment.
    (Opinion below, other will disagree)
    I think you have a real idea that could appeal to many people. This idea also is good because i don't believe there will be a lot of noise from all electric equipment (new parents do not want the mower waking the kid, and you can start at sunrise and not worry about waking the neighborhood up). Now do some intense research. Can you modify a gas reel mower with a INDUSTRIAL electric motor and industrial batteries? I don't know if this can be done. I think you have a good approach and if you push hard enough you can and will get a good client base. Or, get an electric mower and get a few clients who want that specialized type of service... then get that gas hoggin productive walkbehind for those who don't care and do the two in harmony? Just shouting Ideas and procrastonating on working on my own business plan. lol

    As far as prices... Figure your expenses for the entire year (this is hard). Next develop an hourly rate you need to make to pay the bills and be comfortable. Know your times to do certain things. I figured I (myself) can spread 1 yard of mulch per hour. I want to make $60 an hour to cover expenses and make a profit for myself. So I figure $20 for a yard of mulch and $40 to spread it = $60 a yard. Do a search for rates people are getting for services on here and see what there getting locally. There are no concrete prices just regional averages that nobody knows because it varies from the low baller to the established high reputation companies.

    Oh you have the right thread. Post in this one for a little bit while you moniter all the others.. Some people just get all confident and go to the commercial lawn mowing forum with questions like "Has anybody heard of Exmark lawn mowers..." lol
     
  10. Willofalltrades

    Willofalltrades LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,000

    Oh haha I keep on talking... I used my Ford Escape my first two years in business. I'm upgrading this spring to the truck so don't sweat it. just keep up with the maintenance.

    I'll give my props to Sean though, it wasn't the most helpful (no offence) but it serves as a good referance and I feel it was a good investment. Def. a Mr. Landscaper (my business name) recommendation (I can't spell).
     

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