Been reading some of these threads, and it is obvious that even though this site has THOUSANDS of members and twice as many vistors, a large majority of the posters here are just kids, most of them just starting out in this business or doing this as a semi hobby / alternative to working at Pizza hut etc... Have to say.... I am not sure what the best words are to use.... But I shake my head reading some of these kids posts here. Almost like they are experts and they are listing every darn rake and shovel and craftsman tool they stole out of dads tool shed in their signature line! So look, maybe todays world is different in 2006/2007, but let me share with you guys my experience starting in this business back in 1994 when I was more or less a kid. I was a highschool dropout, and would not respect my parents curfews and wishes, and was booted out of their house at age 18. I had to grow up very fast and learned really quick to provide for myself. I worked doing Pizza Delivery at night and off and on during the days at the local car wash. I made enough money to pay rent on a cheap apartment - maybe 350 to 400$ - pay for power and phone, and paid for my truck - 170$ per month for a brand new 1993 Toyota pickup - and insurance, and I had a little change left over to go " Party " on or take trips to the beach etc... I had worked at Pizza Hut for a few years, and one of the day shift managers quit his job and started a lawn mowing business. He came in one day and asked if any of us wanted a day job working for him and myself and one other guy jumped at the chance, as he was paying around 250$ a week. I worked for this guy for 2-3 months and saw how we as a crew of 3 guys were going out and knocking out 25-35 lawns per day with just a cheap old rundown Scag 48 inch and Encore 36 inch walkbehinds and the various 2 stroke stuff. I ran some numbers and thought even if I just did 10-15 lawns by myself I could make what I was making working much harder for him. I talked about this with another guy who worked with us off and on, just thinking outloud and this employee went right to the owner on the next yard and told him I was planning to quit and steal all of his customers - totally untrue - and as we were riding to the next lawn, the owner confronted me about it, was a prick and said I was fired, that this would be my last day. I will never forget that day as it was our last day working before the 4th of july weekend in 1994. I spent the whole weekend deciding if I really wanted to go for it and finally decided why not... I already had a little pickup truck and my dad had a old homemade 5x10 flatbed trailer he said I could borrow. I didn't have much credit, but did have one ace in the hole in that due to my making payments on time with my rent and my truck payments I had recently gotten my first credit card and with a 3 grand credit limit. That next monday, I went to a local lawnmower shop and bought a brand new Encore 48 inch walkbehind and velkie, and then went to homedepot and picked up a echo trimmer, edger, hedge clippers, and handheld blower, a cheap chainsaw and some rakes, shovels, tarps etc... Basically I maxed out my credit card, but had everything I needed to go cut grass and trim bushes etc... I sat down and put together a flyer on a piece of notebook paper, and took it to office depot type place to have it typeset and copys made. I then took my flyers out and stuck them in paperboxes in a few neighborhoods near where I lived and worked. I still worked evenings at Pizza hut and gave out flyers when I delivered pizzas. Before till summer was over I had a good 15 or so accounts. I cut my accounts during the day, worked at the Hut at night, and then afterwards went to the clubs till the wee hours of the morning - but that is another story not related to lawn cutting! I did this till winter when obviously I ended up having almost all my accounts put me on hold till spring. Well to side track, by that fall I had gone back to the dealer I bought my Encore from, and traded it in on a new 48 inch walkbehind, this time a hydro.... and also got a matching hydro 36 incher, a pair of backpack blowers, a bigger trimmer, edger, and hedge trimmers, all on credit I was somehow able to secure from a finance company through the dealership. So that winter I used what moneys I had to have thousands of flyers printed up. Then in Febuary I started hitting those paperboxes hard and must have put out 5-8 thousand flyers, maybe more..... And slowly I started getting calls off my flyers. I was earning the business of about 1/2 to 2/3rds of all the estimates. By the end of March when the lawns here really start growing I was over 80 weekly customers and several bi-weekly customers. I had to hire help, and had friends work for me, and we jammed that whole summer! Of course, I really didn't know squat about lawncare, and I was cutting way too low, was tearing up lawns with my tires in the quest to put in stripes, and just overall didn't know what the heck I was doing other than I was doing what I did with the guy I used to work for... mow, edge, trim and blow for 20-25 bucks a pop. Over the first few years I had a high turnover rate. I would loose many customers over the course of a season, and pick up new ones each spring. But averaged 65-80 lawns a week, most on a per cut basis till 1999 when I sold my accounts and moved to Florida to start up a lawn business there.