Tell me how crazy I am

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Mowin4Dollas, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. Mowin4Dollas

    Mowin4Dollas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    Ok, So I am looking forward to next year. I currently have a 6x10 trailer that is ok, but will not last me much longer if I expand. I have a 2012 48 inch Snapper Pro s150xt and an old as dirt 21 inch ariens push mower. I also have a redmax back pack blower and a FS 90 R trimmer. So next year, I am planning on expanding. I will be 18 in February so this will allow me to get my business completely set up. I am going to have to take a risk and take out a loan to get some equipment, but I believe it will be ok, and it will allow me to build my credit score. Would it be completely stupid of me to buy a larger trailer, preferably 7x16, a 36 inch walk behind, and a few newer handhelds? I figure it will run me around, 5k. I currently have 9 accounts and I plan to have around 20 next year. maybe 30 if I can pull it off. I need advice. You guys have it. Haha! Thank ya'll
     
  2. GrassGuerilla

    GrassGuerilla LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,437

    If your smart you will save your money, work with what you have (which seems adequate for your work load). Try to stay out of debt in these first couple years. Build the client base to the point you are struggling to get the work done before you reinvest. Keep what you have in top shape in the mean time.

    If you spend a little on marketing, and grow your client base a bit. An equipment upgrade may make more sense. Improving production when you only have a couple days work as is seems a waste.
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  3. Cody S

    Cody S LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 753

    Keep what you have now, don't try and get anything more that you don't "need". I financed because I absolutely had to, and had no help, but now I have monthly payments along with my other expenses. 20 accts is no reason to take out a loan. You already have a 48", so you're pretty much set. You'd be much better off to buy as you expand, not buy before you expand. Especially at 18, you have 0 credit history, so you will need a cosigner. And no bank will give you a loan for a business plan with 20 accts signed up. I'm not trying to be mean, just sharing my experiences. If I were you, I would go to a credit union and try to open up a credit card with a small limit. Something for emergencies. Use it for gas here and there, and pay it off every month. After a year or two that will significantly establish a good score. Unfortunately business wise, you really won't be able to get to far without a proper business plan, or a cosigner with a hefty FICA score.
     
  4. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,007

    Don't finance just to build a credit score. One way for youngsters to build a credit score quickly is to get added as a joint account holder to one of their parents credit cards. Since the joint account holder is equally responsible for the debt, this is only a good idea if your parents have great credit, and you know they will pay their bill. Joint account holder is different than just having an authorized user. Its not right for everyone , but it is an option to consider, since it is very hard for anyone under 21 to get a credit card these days. If you are added as the joint account holder, you will get the history of the card that you are added to.
     
  5. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    You do not need to go into debt. The nine accounts you have should allow you to save the money needed to buy whatever you need to grow your business.

    I see a 6x12 trailer a better fit. Can load a rider/ztr, 36 WB, 20 SP. And not spend as much money. I see too many LCO's pulling a 16' + trailers with two mowers and three large green barrels, and the trailer is not even half filled.

    More weight you tow the more fuel you burn. Easier to save money then make money.
     
  6. monoshock

    monoshock LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,311

    Work with what you have, and plan on going to collage.
    If I had it over to do again that's what I would have done.
     
  7. Mowin4Dollas

    Mowin4Dollas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    College is a must for me. I have no other option. I will obtain at least a masters degree. I plan to have my business all through college. Could a 6x12 hold misc. tools, a trash can, gas cans, etc while still holding the equipment.
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  8. monoshock

    monoshock LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,311

    I work out of a 6x12 most of the time. I can get two stand-ons and a walk behind on there. I did extend the front about 7-8 inches to get three mowers loaded, Most of the time I just take two mowers. Take your mower and park them in a line front to back and see how long a trailer you need. If you can find a single axle 14' I would buy that over a 12'. I'm glad you have a plan to go to collage. maybe get a business degree so if you want to go in to lawn care later that would be a big plus.
     
  9. Vanderhoff Landscaping

    Vanderhoff Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 385

    I work out of my 8 ft bed pick up. I have 26 accounts and I cannot for the life of me even entertain the thought of taking on debt of any kind. Between insurance and other operating expenses there's not much $$ left to play around with. Personally I am growing slowly and I get equipment as I need it. Would I like a trailer and new mowers etc? Sure I would but right now it doesn't make any sense to do so!
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  10. Mowin4Dollas

    Mowin4Dollas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    If you have 26 accounts and struggle that bad , you either need to pay yourself less, or charge more. Not trying to be a butt, but to me that doesn't add up.
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