I just wanted to thank all the folks on this forum who made my first season a good one! The advice and information on this board was A1. I took the advice of several pro's (Clay was most helpful) bought an Exmark hydro 36 mower, other quality equipment, and a 5 x 10 trailer, and pounded the pavement with flyers in March. I started with 0 accounts but at one point last summer had about 35 going working alone. I followed the advice I heard on this site constantly. Buy quality equipment (no matter how much it hurts!), do good work, and the rest will take care of itself. Did it ever!! By the end of the year I was swimming in good customers including 3 apartment complexes and a couple of other smaller commercial accounts, and expect near 100% retention to start this season. I saw the fly by night guys working in my neighborhoods, underbidding, doing sloppy work. Don't be one of those guys. There is a temptation when you are starting out to bid low when you are desperate for accounts. I avoided that for the most part, but the few I did bid too low I ended up just hating by mid summer. (By then I was in a position to drop a few anyway, I found that the people who are the cheapest are usually the biggest pains in the hind end and you don't want to be working for those people) There is plenty of business out there for the person doing a good job, and soon enough I was able to pick and choose my customers. I left my full time job before I even started because I knew I was going to make it. You must have that attitude to succeed I think. And let me tell you, there is no greater feeling in the world than to have the luxury of picking and choosing your own boss. Pretty tough job physically for a 40 year old with a walk behind. By the time October rolled around my feet were toast from the daily pounding. This year I bought a Proslide and I imagine it will be the best investment in equipment I could make at this point. I could easily grow this business, take on a helper and double my accounts if I tried (or as I found out last year-even if I don't try the business will find you) but I have other business interests and am not particularly keen on completely destroying myself physically. Oh, if only I had started this 10 or 15 years ago.............. thanks again Lawnsite!!!!!!!!!!!