Starting up for 2013

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by michiganmower10, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. michiganmower10

    michiganmower10 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 190

    Well time has come and i need to finally go full time on my own, working for others is done haha ill never make it over the rank of foremen. Ive done it on the side for years and looking for imput how to expand myself, my situation is a little different this year for quite a few reasons. To start off im in a halfway developed area, mid to large residential and same for commercial, i do about a dozen accounts on my own. My father who is getting older has brought up the idea about passing his also small operation but bigger then mine down to me. Difference is his accounts are about 45 minutes away and are more small city houses and small commercial. That being said i dont know which way to go, i dont have enough money to buy a huge fleet of mowers to handle both companys, so the question comes what should i expand, my fathers existing company or my own, i feel since hes being doing it for 20 years that he is much more established and before he downsized was of considerable size. I dont feel i will get rid of any accounts i just wonder should i expand in my area or his. At the moment i only have a 48" walk behind and not a whole lot more to play with. Ive always used cash so it would be hard to get any type of loan. So kinda of in a hard place, if anybody can give some advice or direction to this mess it would be appreciated. :cry:
     
  2. jsroda

    jsroda LawnSite Member
    Posts: 89

    Why not do both? divide up your week, first half of the week at your place, then Wednesday or Thursday, head down to the fathers place and do his. If its only a 45 minute drive then it will be well worth your time. Are you able to get all of his knocked out in one day?? or would it take you 2 or 3 days??
     
  3. michiganmower10

    michiganmower10 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 190

    the issues is the mowers i have at my disposal, near me its okay to run a little mower for just a few houses but with the size of propertys other companys do circles around me with 60s, around him a 48 and a push mower gets **** done, his accounts would take about a day and a half, mine take a day or day and a half, im just kind of in the middle because a 36" would help for accounts by him but a 60" would help on houses by me, on top of all of that my truck looks like **** and id like to try and explore my options with that.
     
  4. jsroda

    jsroda LawnSite Member
    Posts: 89

    hmmm, that is a curve ball. My personal opinion would be to try and do both for now. This way you can make twice as much money. Yes you will be less productive on your end due to the smaller mower but making up for it by doing your dads properties. Then you can upgrade to a bigger mower with a larger deck once youve made a little cash. They say you have to spend money to make it. (check craigslist twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, I drove almost 3 hours to pick up my walker mower, but it only had 500 hours and I got it for cheap) Start there and see what happens, you will never know till you try. If you dont you will always have that doubt in your mind saying what if I chose the other set of yards. This way you get to work both sites and see which one is suited best to your needs.
     
  5. SIRKY

    SIRKY LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    I would definitely do both cause you said your dad downsized which means he probably kept his best clients and good solid paying clients sometimes aint all that easy. Especially if your gonna be a smaller operation and you gotta have that money, and dont wanna chase it around. Good luck on whatever your decisions are.
     
  6. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    There is no problem.

    You use your dads equipment M T W on his accounts

    You use your equipment on your accounts T F S.

    So you drive 45 minutes to do dads route. Once you get there they are all close.

    You have the ability to not only build up both routes but areas in between as well. With good luck and hard work you will have enough business to expand to a two truck route.

    Do you and your dad work solo?

    Team up and you will knock out both routes in half the current time then solo. Then more time will be open to add more customers.
     
  7. Monroe74

    Monroe74 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 322

    If it was me id keep the 48 and push mower and buy the 60" your mowing on your route will be less. Giving you the time to do your dads route.
    Then see where you are mid season get a truck then or wait till next year.
    Your gonna have your hands full taking on your dads route and yours at first.

    Good luck!!
     
  8. Vanderhoff Landscaping

    Vanderhoff Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 386

    What about your dads mowers? If he was going to pass the operation on to you would that also include his equipment as well? Im sure you could run both operations. Maybe you can hire a part timer or something to help with the labor!
     
  9. Wayne's Lawn Service

    Wayne's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    Pro-Mower & snow equipment in Warren, MI is having a seminar on Thursday, March 7 on Positioning your company for success. This seminar is being offered by Wayne Volz / Profits Unlimited. Call him and make plans now to attend. This will be a great day and an awesome learning opportunity for your company. You can make your reservation by calling 586-754-7009.

    Look forward to seeing you on Thursday.
     
  10. rbljack

    rbljack LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 702

    yep...id do both. Combine whatever equipment you and your dad have if possible, and run with that. It might not be the best set up, but you can raise cash in the meantime to purchase the equipment you will need. As you work those properties you will learn what your next purchase will need to be instead of having to guess. Also, but keeping both areas I agree with the others about picking up customers in between the two areas.

    its a great opportunity in my opinion.
    good luck
     

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