Starting Out

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lickity, Feb 12, 2000.

  1. lickity

    lickity LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I want to start a lawn care. Cut, trim, blow, leaves, areate, thatch, etc., no landscaping. I have no experience but feel this business is the perfect match for me.<br>My family would not be dependent on this venture but I still need to keep cost as low as possible. All I have is a new truck (making payments) and not even a hitch on that. I MAY be able to get a loan up to 20k. but right now don't have cash enough to buy one of Nillsons' books. Used equipment around here is hard to find so here are my thoughts on new after following this fourm and others simmular to it...<br>Grasshopper 725 w/52&quot; conv. deck, snowthrower,cab,collector,__$13800.<br>7'x 12' trailer (used)______$ 800.<br>used 48&quot; gravely walk behind w/ 40 hrs. on it____________$ 1500.<br>used Honda 21&quot; wb, shindiawa <br>trim/edger,bp blower aprox._$ 700. <br>Misc. tools/blades,pressure<br>washer, etc.________________$ 2000.<p>That leaves $1200 for insurance and not much for advertising or office equipment if any not to mention legal/accounting. <br>I live in the mid-west and need the winter work but I don't think I could make enough my first season to purchase the snow equipment. <br>I know many of you are thinking I'm totaly off my nut, and others will say if you can afford it go for it. I plan to get into the business regardless if I can get 5k or 20k, take some classes, read evrything I can, listen to you all for I may not have alot of money but I do have alot of time at the young age of 50.<br>My question is... Can I grow into my equipment this way or should I rethink and take another approach? <br>Sorry for the long post, but you need info<br>before you take a shot. Thanks everyone.
     
  2. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,851

    I am 39 now and at age 50 I am going to start slowing down in the lawn business and rely more on stocks. I would recomend you have a complete physical. This is very strenous work. I mean to do the volume business you have to do to make real money. Riding, weeding, walking for hours and hours in the hot sun. Carrying heavy equipment. Even at 39 I feel it more than I used to. And it is harder. You are talking about making a big investment. It will take a few year to get a good return. Plan on having to hire helpers.<br>Good luck!
     
  3. mountain man

    mountain man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    I would not consider any huge expenditures without the insurance (general liability, workers comp, and comm. vehicle), legal, accounting, tax prep, etc taken care of. <p>You also mentioned getting a loan. It will be almost impossible to get a non collateralized loan for the blowers, insurance etc with know company work history. Normally the lenders are pretty liberal when it comes to a truck or big mower loan. They know they can repossess the equipment if you do not make payments, but it is much more difficult to get cash for the other costs.
     
  4. AB Lawn Care

    AB Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 585

    Hey Lickity!Do you have a Walker dealer in your area?
     
  5. MRPLOW

    MRPLOW LawnSite Member
    Posts: 88

    Whooa, slow down there. You are starting out too big and with too much upstart money. One of Two things will happen you'll be widely succesful or you'll be bankrupt in a couple of years. Start off small and you can still be huge in a couple of years, but if you decide you don't like the lawn care business you won't go bankrupt and lose your life savings.
     
  6. pro cut

    pro cut Guest
    Posts: 0

    I agree with mrplow. Youer talking way to much overhead for just starting out. I was at my dealers demo show last month and started talking with this guy who was starting his own company this year.He bought over 8,000 dollars of new equipment(aerator, power rake, small walk behind, ect)from the toro dealer(who took him too the cleaners).He lived in a small town bout 2hrs away probably has 10,000 people living there I asked him how many clients did he think he could get? He had no idea. He said that there was some other guy's in his town with a lawn service but he wasnt sure about how many lawn companies total.So my point is that hes got over 8,000 of new equipment and no idea of what he is getting into.I think just about every new buisiness will take a loss the first year if not two years. If this guy has 8,000 of new equipment and is paying 15% intrest on this loan( I Know he is )He will Probably be bankrupt by fall and calling me to see if i want some used equipment.So start small with good equipment, if it doesn't work you'r not up too you'r eyeballs in debt. <p>----------<br>Greg Fleming<br>Greg Fleming
     
  7. lickity

    lickity LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    thanks guys. Points well taken and I'm working on plan B right now. I feel better already. I'll be bugging you guys now and then for what might seem petty (like, How much gas does a 17hp walk behind burn in a hour?). Hope you don't mind.
     
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    Ive been doing lawns for 5 years now and wish I had the opportunity to learn as we can now by these posts. There are no stupid questions especially when you are putting your money and back into the business. I started out by calling lawn care service owners in a town 30 miles from me and out of 8 calls I talked to 2 that really helped. This forum gives you hundreds at your convenience.<p>By the way my Toro 44&quot; hyro with a 15hp Kohler will mow all day on a 5 gallons. My Walker 25hp kohler gets me 4 hours at best on about 4 gallons. Good Luck. ed
     
  9. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,209

    Charles,<br> At 39 you'r still a young pup in this business.I went commerical at 44,now 12 years later I have your thoughts. Keep a chuggen.<br>
     
  10. cjcland

    cjcland LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 278

    i agree dont go all out at first i have been in business 2 years this june and i still have the same stuff i started with <br>1200 for a used 48&quot; snapper hydo<br>300 new shindaiwa weedeater<br>&quot; stick edger<br>600 8x10 trailer(new)<br>100 red max backpack plower from pawn shop<br>75 16&quot; chainsaw form pawn shop(almost new)<br>300 new hedge trimmers<br>25 sprayer<br>115 2 1/2 gallon round up<br>25 spreader<br> total 3040 my summer months monthy income is about 2000 so i guess i did pretty good<br>hoping to gain another 1000-1500 a month this summer, i have re thought my whole advertising strategy before i was using a ad in the local paper and that is all i have learned alot from this site and i thank everyone for the help
     

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