Starting Out Part-Time

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by akalew, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. akalew

    akalew LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    I would like to start out in the lawn care industry part-time for at least my first season. My main goal will be to secure a small number of residential properties in my neighborhood and surrounding areas. Having decided this there are a few questions I have.

    1) As a part-timer, is it still in my best interest to register my company?
    2) Is it worth the money to obtain liability insurance in case I damage a property?
    3) For equipment, would a mid-sized riding mower(looking into the Toro Timecutter series), a trimmer, and a blower be sufficient? Or, should I invest in a small push mower also? Is a bagger for the riding lawn mower something worth getting?

    Any assistance on these questions would be much appreciated. Thank you for time.
     
  2. columbia

    columbia LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    I would get licensed because if you aren't what puts you above all the other illegals. As for liability, definately. I am working on mine now with briggs. Pretty decent rates but a lifesaver in a lawsuit. As far as the push mower goes you'll get mixed opinions. I say yes because with residential lawns you may have tight spots to get in and out of but others on here may dissagree
     
  3. akalew

    akalew LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Thanks for the quick reply. I'll definitely begin to register and look into liability insurance. I really appreciate the feedback.
     
  4. Mowinforaliving

    Mowinforaliving LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,258

    Hey Akalew, if you're in the Wichita area I'm 45 miles South of you. 12 miles South of the state line right off I-35. About your equipment, I would go to West Street in Wichita and about 1 or 2 miles North of Kellog there's an Echo dealer on the West side of the road. Get an SRM-210 trimmer for about $250 (by the time you pay tax). That's an entry level commercial grade trimmer and they work great. I have 2 on my trailer as we speak. I never upsized because personally I think they work great, have plenty of power, and they're super light weight. Get a PE-260 edger and a PB-620 backpack blower. The edger is going to run you about $400 and the blower $450 after tax. After that, get back on West Street and go South, about a baseball throw away from Kellog on the East side of the road there's a place called Maximum Tractor/Equipment. They've got some nice commercial grade push mowers in there (Husqvarna I believe). They also stock trailer accessories such as lockable trimmer racks, blower racks, cooler racks, etc...
     
  5. Mowinforaliving

    Mowinforaliving LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,258

    I personally use a 21" Lawnboy Gold Edition (Honda engine). I gave $500 for it. It's self propelled. If you're going to do residentials you're going to need one to get through small gates, mow the alleys, etc... That's my opinion. I only use my 21" on one account and that's at the library. There's a 16" curb in the front that I have to get over in order to mow an area that's probably 60'x20'. Other than that I can get my ZTR anywhere on my list. This season ive too picked up some residentials due to an LCO moving out of town. I bought a Scag Tiger Cub 48" because of this and am also shopping for a walk-behind as we speak.
     
  6. Mowinforaliving

    Mowinforaliving LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,258

    Definitley get a liability policy. I've got 1 million liability and $25,000 equipment coverage. It runs me about $950 a year. I have to carry a minimum of 1 million liability and workman's comp doing what I do. It was part of the criteria in my city contract. I do the museum, library, associated charities center, senior citizen center, nutrition center, a 4 acre lot, and a 29 acre roadway. I've also got alot of commercial too, like Sonic, the Napa Auto Parts, Cannon's Auto Plaza, etc... Then some stuff out in the industrial park, like Cool Rush Water Bottling Co., a foundry, Concrete Plant, etc... Plus 2 truck stops out by the interstate.
     
  7. Mowinforaliving

    Mowinforaliving LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,258

    That 25K equipment coverage covers fire and theft, driving down the highway and trailer tongue breaks and my machines do kart wheels in the ditch, stuff like that. It's good peace of mind when you spend that kind of money for equipment.
     
  8. akalew

    akalew LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    LDH, I can't thank you enough for all the input you've given me...great advice. I'll be sure to check those places out. The liability policy and equip. coverage, would definitely, like you said, offer peace of mind. Thanks again for all your help!
     

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