Starting Up, Quick Questions

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Complete Ground Pros, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. Complete Ground Pros

    Complete Ground Pros LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    So after a month of making several pro and con sheets on my future, I've finally decided to start a landscaping business. I'm going to open in the spring of 2013. I am in the process of making a business plan and could use some help on some questions I have. I know these questions will have a huge range of answers, but I am just trying to get a general idea of what to expect.

    1) I will have a 48-52" mower. I will be the only employee to start. I will have a 3/4ton or 1 ton pick up, plow, and maybe inserted dump bed. If i was working 15-25 hrs a week to start, what would I expect my weekly revenue to be?

    2) My ideal company (5-8 years down the road) would focus most of it's attention on installs, designs, hardscape, and snow removal. I would only have about 4 full days of mowing? Is this a good model to have or would you go a different route?

    3) Knowing what you know now, if you could start over, what things would you do differently?

    Any help would be appreciated. I am really looking forward to taking the leap on becoming a business owner. Something I've dreamed of since I was young. Thanks!
     
  2. ToddH

    ToddH LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,184

    How are you going to mow in places where your mower will not fit?

    Size is good for productivity but only if you have places to use it.

    I think a 32 to 36 WB is key as well. I might save the money for the larger mower but only buy it when you have the accounts to support it.

    It will take some time but you should be able to gross 2K per week fairly quick.

    If I were you I would future plan more how to transition from the solo to the guy running a crew.

    I like the 4 day schedule for routine maintenance
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    It's all a matter of taste how you'd like to be in 5 yrs. and that's fine, but I'd look at starting now as Fall Cleanup is most lucrative for income and most productive for building customer base...
     
  4. Complete Ground Pros

    Complete Ground Pros LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    Thanks for the answers. I forgot to mention, I already do have a 36" WB. It isn't commercial grade but it does a nice job. The reason for the 48-52" is because my area is filled with 1/2 acre+ lots. My parents have a 1/2 acre lot and it takes me about an hour to do everything with the 36" (mow, trim, and blow). I use to work for a landscaping company and he would let me take the equipment home to do my parents yard. 25 minutes tops with a 48" Walker. That's why I was thinking the 48-52, but you are right, no sense on buying equipment if I do not need it.

    And that is a great point about fall clean-ups. I should advertise for that now and make a little money going into the winter and spring months. Thanks for the advice!
     
  5. Complete Ground Pros

    Complete Ground Pros LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    So I am really into numbers and I started running some numbers this morning. Obviously I do not have exact numbers, but I was able to guess pretty well. My main question is, is anyone making any money in this indusrty? My numbers were "worst case scenario" numbers, but still. I didn't even finish yet and my hourly cost rate is around $70. That means I would have to cut 3 lawns at $45 each in an hour to even come close to making %50 gross profit. Are these the numbers you guys are coming up with or am I missing something?
     
  6. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Posts: 2,556

    If you're doing mowing for a solo, in my opinion a 3 mower system is ideal, a 21", 36" and 48"-60"

    You haven't mentioned a trailer, but 16'-18' tandem... also do you already have, or have thought out all the "small" equipment and tools you need? Trimmer, blower, shovels, rakes....
     
  7. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Posts: 2,556

    I don't think I read you stating this, but... are you planning on doing this full time or part time? Just that you're starting a business. If you're going full time what type of job are you giving up, what's your current situation (life/family/financial...). That factors a lot into what you are going to need for your gross profit.
     
  8. chuacro

    chuacro LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 597

    I guess I will call all of my customers and increase their prices. I did not realize that I have been loosing money the past 6 years. I guess if half go for it I will work less. I thought $1 a minute was a tough goal.
     
  9. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    $70/hr are you going to be full service or mow and go. at that price mow and go is about all you will be able to do. We're full service and spend an hr on each property.
     

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