Suggestions Please!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by hunlimo, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. hunlimo

    hunlimo LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 24

    Hi Guys!

    I just found this forum today and I'm really glad I did. I'm trying to start a Lawn Care company but I'm not sure If I should wait until the winter is over and grass start to grow again. Down here in Florida during the winter most of the companies mow every two weeks and I'm not sure if it is a good time of the year to start a company. With Christmas around the corner and Thanksgiving Day I'm not sure how many people are looking for new accounts. My fiancée has a cleaning company and about 10 of her accounts would will to give me their business but it is still not enough. I would need about 15 more just to try to keep the same salary I'm making now (which is a joke BTW . So my question is how hard to find new accounts in Florida during the "winter" season. I thought that I would give 10$ off for a month for existing accounts referring to new ones and also advertising in the local paper. Also would like to get your expert opinion about a "Package" I put together. I use to work for a lawn care company about 5 years ago and I do have some exp. in equipment and I like Stihl and SCAG , here is the list:

    Please help me decide if I overshoot my list of equipment or I need to get stronger tools, my ultimate plan is to have about 45-50 accounts.

    Blower: STIHL BR380D
    Chain Saw: STIHL MS170
    Edger: STIHL FS75
    H Trimmer: STIHL FS 90K
    Trimmer: FS 55RC-E
    Trailer: 5X8 WOOD FLOOR UTILITY WITH EQUIPMENT RACK
    Mower: SCAG FREEDOM Z 48" WITH KAWI 19HP ENGINE

    I appreciate your help in making my decisions easier!
     
  2. loom-gen

    loom-gen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 150

    I started out with an evening job to make ends meet and made a four or five year plan. You can grow faster but it sucks, I tried. I started out with three yards and an mtd. Now I make over $100k anually and still growing. Only been doing it six years. The key is to follow your plan. Mine was in my head but my new one will be on paper because I never thought I'd get this big.
    PS: still have the evening job and that is in addition to the hundred k.
     
  3. CuttingEdge LLC

    CuttingEdge LLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 132

    To be honest, now is the best time to get everything you will need to get started: insurance, license, and anything else you can afford. Start doing your advertising for next season, this way when it starts you will at least have some customers. Some may even want you to start right away. Keep in mind some people get their lawns cut every week here in the winter, all depends on the fertilizer that is put down if any. Most of my lawns are treated by the same company, and the fert they use keeps me busy all winter.

    Back on track. I would go ahead and get started now, because if you wait until the spring you may not get to many clients until the end of the summer because you started when everyone has already decided on an LCO. Good luck and make sure to stay legal.....
     
  4. grassnazi1

    grassnazi1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    I agree with the past 2 posts.... Now is the time to start planning for the spring. Start putting together your busienss plan and start working on your advertising campaign and attracting new clients. It's always a good idea to start advertising, in most cases someone will need to see your name/logo/flyer etc 3 or 4 times before it clicks in their head, so it's always good to continue advertising even when your busy.

    Also, I think i would come up with a different referal program, $10 off is a big chunk of money your missing out on, I would reccomend going with something different.... The whole idea here is to make money, giving discounts at the start isn't a great idea for your primary service. Maybe offer an additional service at a discounted rate, but NOT off your lawn cutting. (I.E. pwr wash, shrub trim, driveway sealing, holiday lighting, something)

    Just my .02 cents..... hope it helps.
     
  5. hunlimo

    hunlimo LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 24

    Ok guys!

    I would need your expertise again. I went to the SCAG dealer and they told me that the Freedom Z is not really a commercial grade mower and they would not suggest using it every day. I'm confused ...on the SCAG website they state that it is a commercial grade mower. I do understand that you get what you pay for, so I do not expect the freedom Z to be as robust and durable as a higher end (tiger cub etc.) mowers, but I certainly hope that 4.800 bucks buys you a mower for at least a year :-/. What do you folks think, would that be a good starter mower or should I pull out :).
     
  6. Sweet Tater

    Sweet Tater LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,123

    I don't know about in Fl but here is Ms for about $1000 more you can get a Exmark 46" commercial. mine is a 48" (they no longer make the 48") and its 10 yrs old, I'll be getting Exmark again...
     
  7. Clear-Cut

    Clear-Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 481

    if u can get 10 accounts right now then that is 10 accounts that you will have in the spring...word of mouth will get you some business too if u do a good job
     

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