Start small, or start BIG?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Weslee, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. Weslee

    Weslee LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Dear lawn pros,
    I am 28 and a Sophomore in College. I am going to start mowing some lawns(PT during school, FT in summer) soon and seriously need some advice on equipment. So far, I've looked at a Craftsman GT5000 Garden Tractor, Toro Z400 and an Exmark Lazer HP. The difference between these machines is obvious: one costs less than half of the other two, with the bagger.

    My question is this: I can afford any of the machines I've listed, but is it realistic to think I can make enough money in my first year to justify the purchase of a commercial Exmark or Toro?

    Lawn Pros in the area say there is plenty of work to go around.
  2. cclllc

    cclllc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 903

    You need to ask yourself is this what I really want to do for a living.You could buy a good used zero turn to get your feet wet the first year.
  3. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    how are you going to do this, in the spring when your in school, the lawns are grwoing full speed and will need your full time attention, how are you ging to ell the customer that youu can only do there lawns in the summer

    maybe only take on a few yards, that you can handle when school is in session, what about fall, th lawns still need serviced...
  4. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    Sorry, but WRONG. The difference between the machines and the reason one is half the cost is because one is a homeowner piece of junk and the other two are quality professional grade commercial pieces of equipment.

    So the real question for you should be, whether you buy new or as suggested maybe used, can you afford NOT to spend the extra money for quality equipment?

    You also need to remember that the mower is not your only expense. You will need a truck, trailer, mower, trimmers, blowers, insurance, license, etc.

    Also if there is or is not "plenty of work to go around" as you say the other LCO's have told you may or may not be the case. Alot of guys on here from GA would strongly disagree with that satement probably. Also don't base your decision on that alone, cause believe me even if there is you are not the only new young buck in the Douglas, GA area that thought, "hey I think I'll buy a lawn mower and make some cash cutting grass". As a matter of fact newbies come out of the woodwork from everywhere this time of the year, if you don't think so just look at all the new threads on here in the past 30 days saying the same thing as you.

    So just amke sure you do all the research. You can also use this site and it's search features to answer a lot of those questions.

    Good luck.
  5. dumb question on my part but how do you start big ?
  6. Weslee

    Weslee LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Start big as in buy good commercial equipment at high initial cost or buy non-commercial, less durable equipment at a lower initial cost.

    Mowing lawns isn't exactly what I "want" to do, but I want to have the flexibility to work around my school schedule.

    I'll take on jobs as time comes available. I'll have to work less when school is in session.

    Is the biggest difference between comm and non-comm equipment durability, or speed?

    Thanks for all the advice!!!
  7. no the big difference is whether you'll be working with it making money or working on it spending money.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    What size lawns are you planning on mowing? That should play into what size/type of mower you buy.

    Commercial equipment is more durable than homeowner stuff. It's built to be used everyday.

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    go big or go home
  10. Weslee

    Weslee LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    I'd like to have the flexibilty to mow everything from small office type lawns to large, 4 acre "out in the country" type lawns. I thought I'd use a push mower where the 48" deck won't go.

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