Questions To All Solo's

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by djjaymo, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. djjaymo

    djjaymo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I want to get started solo by spring of next year and would just like some info on how each of you solo's started so I can get a clear picture of what I need to do. Also, things to avoid and where your at now. Thanks!
     
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Well read the New in business / just starting out forum.
     
  3. BJH Lawn Care

    BJH Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I just started this year. I work part time for an organization and I plow the snow for their parking lot in the winter. Last year they asked me if I would be willing to put in a bid for mowing also. I purchased a craftsman mower (42", 19hp tractor) and weed trimmer and put in the bid. At the same point and time I ran 3 ads in the local paper and picked up 8 more accounts (residential). In addition, was offered a job to work with a seniors program to mow for 10 seniors at an hourly rate. I have been at it for the past couple months and already picked up a couple more residential accounts. In addition, sold my craftsman and purchased a Lesco 48" walk behind on ebay and picked up a toro 22" walk behind. I had alot of luck with the ads I ran and with word of mouth from the people I have mowed for. I have already been able to pay for all the items I purchased and rest of the year is profit unless I break down. (minus the gas, oil and etc)

    BJH Lawn Care
    Apple Valley, MN
     
  4. NCLawnMedic

    NCLawnMedic LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    Started with a 48" W/B due to the versatility, truck and trailer. I started working with realtors, home buyers would retain me to continue caring for their lawn. Advertise....Advertise....Advertise and word of mouth can grow a company quickly. Just make sure that you treat each and every lawn like your own. In college I was taught one happy customer will tell 3 other people about you. An unhappy customer will tell 10. Do the math.
     
  5. Andersonlawnscape

    Andersonlawnscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    Advertise Advertise Advertise o yeah and advertise. What you really want to do is to learn to price correctly. This is key don't try to undercut people it will only hurt you later. You want to build a buisness where you can make more and do less work. You would rather have 30 customers that pay between $30-35 dollars instead of from 40 of those same sized yards that pay 25 bucks. Remember to work smarter not harder. You might not say its that big of a deal right now when you are trying to get customers but when you get 50-60 lawns 5 bucks a lawn will add up very quickly. Good way to figure out what yards cost is to pose as a customer have other companys bid on your lawn, your friends lawn, your parents lawn anybody you can think of in your area. Good Luck
     
  6. DR. Lawns

    DR. Lawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Djjaymo,
    I started my business 3 years ago, and I would say the most important thing to do is start the business side of things ie, license, insurance, LLC, cards, advertisements. Basically a business plan. When it is 100 outside, the last thing you will want to worry about is all the paperwork. Don't think of lawns as side job. Treat it like your professional business. Believe me, the way you treat your business is the way you will be treated. And then buy good quality commercial grade equipment, and have fun.
    Good Luck
     
  7. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,504

    Start to study for your herbicid/pesticde liscense before you go full time.
    1- when you start to do lawncare full time you still have book work and maintence on your equipment.
    2-that way you will be able to offer a full service package to your customers.

    Im trying to work solo and study and find time to do all of this and its hard to do.
     
  8. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,583

    yes yes, these are all good but i think the first thing i would do is make sure there is a market for it in your area.

    possibly sneak in a conversation with one of the local guys and see how busy they are. chances are if they are really slow then it's likely that you will have a tough time getting started.

    if they say..... well i'm pretty busy right now but maybe i would have room for you on the schedule. then it may be a little easier for you to get in on the "green"
     
  9. ClippersLC

    ClippersLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 130

    One piece of advice I live by not only when I go solo, or if I have small crew helping on occasion is..."Under Promise and Over Deliver" I dont mean like go out of your way and like do free tree work or gutter cleaning. Example. If you have a customer and there is a tree or two that has a few small low hanging limbs that need to be cut/trimmed just take a few extra minutes and do it no charge, or if there are a few small weeds in the back of a flower bed that arent in the line of trimming/cutting. Take a minute or two to go through quickly and pick out a few of them. not only over time does it make the customers property look better, it helps to build up a quality reputation also !
     

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