Startup Lawncare

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Ruman, May 26, 2006.

  1. Ruman

    Ruman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    I'm in the process of starting up a lawncare business. I am currently doing 16 yards bi-weekly for bank repossessions and my lawnmower just went out on me, and it's old and a cheaper rider. I have now decided to hire an employee and expand to residential and commercial mowing too. I currently range from normal city lots to 3-5 acre lots. I am curious what others would recommend as a mid-priced startup mower that would be able to cut areas un-obstructed by fences/gates/etc. I am looking to spend roughly $3k-$4k to startup, which I know is a bit low but I believe can get me what I need. I already have a 6'x12' trailer and vehicles galore. I do not plan on doing much detailed landscaping at first, just a general mow and weedeat. I will eventually expand into landscaping, etc and am unsure what the fees typically run on that.

    Any help or advice would be much appreciated!
     
  2. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,307



    Apparently you're not the only one.

    My advice to you is to NOT drive mowing prices any lower than they already are. This means that you must learn to bid properly. NO LOWBALLING or else!
     
  3. Ruman

    Ruman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    If you knew what I charged for the 16 bank repossessions, you would see I definitely am not in the business to lowball.
     
  4. Splicer

    Splicer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    Contact me please... OSPLawns@adelphia.net
     
  5. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Glad to hear you are charging correctly. The thing that makes it hard to say which mower to get is what size & style you are looking for. You said "gate," so what is the smallest gate you will be using? I would get at least a 48" mower. If you have smaller gates, try to get by with either a cheaper 36" walk behind or even a 21" if you have to. I always push for people to put in a wider gate because it will save them money long-term because I can charge a little less for my mowing time (this may not be an option for the bank lawns though). For residential lawns, I would recommend a Wright Stander. While I have not used one yet, I really admire their quality of cut and are much more efficient than walking all day. You might be able to find a used one close to your price range if you look hard.

    I personally use a 61" Ferris riding mower all day long. W/ exception to 1 steep lawn, all of my lawns are pretty much flat and free of very many obstacles. I really push hard for customers to mention my name to their neighbors so that I can be on a street for at least a few lawns. Then I can mow, trim, blow, & GO! I also leave the invoice on the door w/ a piece of tape so that I don't have to stop to chit chat w/ some of my more vocal clients. I always figure in some time to spend w/ my elderly clients and the ones who give me more than mowing & chemicals. I also try to keep in contact w/ everyone at least one time a month just to make sure they are doing okay & to see if they needed any additional work done.
     
  6. Initial REO Service

    Initial REO Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9


    In my Case the "Bank" sets the price based on the H.U.D. pricing guidlines for this area and only pays for bi-weekly service.:hammerhead:
    The initial services that pay a premium is only where I can do OK!
     
  7. Ruman

    Ruman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Thanks carcrz, kind of what I'm looking for. I will check into those today. Some bank repos let you charge different, as not all are regulated by HUD guidelines. I'm guessing you're working for Safeguard, or one of the national companies? I can typically charge weekly but of course not all repos need mowed weekly.
     
  8. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    I just bought a new Ferris 48" walkbehind. Dual hydros, full floating deck, and it looks to be very durable. You can look into the Scag or Exmark WBs but I found them to be 700-800 more in price for the same deck size. Dixon makes a 48" "commercial" hydro WB for around 3K new but I don't believe it has a floating deck. I looked at it but it just doesn't have the appearance of durability/quality that you see with the higher end brands.
     

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