THinking?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by paul3251, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. paul3251

    paul3251 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    I have been doing lawncare a little over 5 years.I have done every sort of commercial and residential.I've always thought about buying a 48 inch walk behind,stihl weed whacker,and blower etc.thats to start out slow.there are alot of lawncares around here as you know of anywhere,i guess what i'm asking how could i make it.can i do it.do i undercut people,or what.please respond.i have a passion for lawn care,and i am very picky.how could i start a business and make it?
     
  2. wski4fun

    wski4fun LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 323

    Buy good used stuff. If you live in a neiborhood that you can walk you're equipment around start there. Maybe after work or weekends. pay everthing off and see how it goes. If you have a truck work out the back of that for a year or two. Or like me spend 35k on truck equipment. Luckly the praying is for free since I do alot of it having no customers yet. Good Luck
     
  3. paul3251

    paul3251 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    I have a 150 and a landscape trailer.so im set for now on that.just wondering how to go about on getting jobs.
     
  4. wski4fun

    wski4fun LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 323

    I have a full page insert going out to all 11500 house in the weekly paper in my town on thurs. 750 bucks. I'll let you know how it works. Also, every cust or potential I talk to, I offer a 50 referral bonus for each weekly cust. they refer. Every time I bill I'm going to remind them.
     
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    You can get work all over. the above suggestion is a good one, and a good reputation will sell you some good work, too Not like it used to, but it can. Also, I am going to be right frank with you. The lawncare industry is not what it used to be. There are numerous upon numerous posts reinforcing this. It is the only industry I know in this whole world that while everything has gone up in price, including ironically, fuel cost that is a MAJOR part in making it work, and the income level has not only risen at a slower rate, and in many cases has not only stayed the exact same, but has ALSO in some cases actually gone DOWN. There are so many places that are actually paying less today than they were up to 20 years ago. There are just so many people in the business now, and so many people have gotten into it with an easy entry level (let's face it, this doesn't get people who have made a tough decision between cutting grass and going into astro physics). And with today's economics, it is only going to get worse.
     
  6. Dunn's

    Dunn's LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,546

    I dont think that it is getting to over run I just think that there are alot of people in Michigan and Florida cutting grass. I mean look at this website half of the people are from Michigan or Florida. This is our second season last year we started in late june so we didnt get a lot of customers but we did get a few. This year so far we've handed out 500-600 doorhangers and it was really windy most of them blew off before I got two houses away, and I still got nine customers from it already. So my suggestion is if your in one of those areas go into something slightly different small tree service,hauling, go by the local realty places and find out if they need someone to clean out houses they bought cheap because they where in bad condition and the owner died or didn't pay there bills and tell them you could clean them out and haul away the debri plus you find all kinds of cool stuff. When I worked for a guy doing this I found two 1909 cigarette baseball cards a buddyL truck from 1960 lots of others cards old comics and other collectibles and the guy was so cheap I made more selling the stuff I found than what he paid me and he wondered why I was always digging threw boxes and crap.
     
  7. wski4fun

    wski4fun LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 323

    It is true that there are more co. out there but that's because there are less homeowners willing to cut grass. In my town there are about 9000 houses. lets say there are 1/2 that have a co. Each co. has 100 accts that's 45 co's in one town. Many co. work in more than one town so it's not uncommon to see tons of different names on the trucks. As this area gets more affluent the less people will mow their own yards and the more lco there will be.
     
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    The 48" rules, I've been running two Toros (model 30197) exclusively since my 2nd year. The only other mower I will ever buy is a Z, but for everything else there's the 48" fixed deck gear-drive 15hp Kohler T-bar.

    Don't undercut, you'll only hurt yourself and everyone else, including the customer. Charge a fair price, don't over charge either, price what you price at going market rates and you'll do fine.

    I would highly suggest you save about 5 or 10 thousand dollars, you need spare cash in your first year and the skill of saving is something you need in business for when times are slow so you still have money. It will help you considerably if you can go 6 and 12 months without an income (or with less than usual), if you have no money during slow times you will likely find yourself doing crap work for cheap. Staying at home isn't that much more fun, but it beats working for free just to survive.

    Buy the basics but you will also need a trailer and on that note, I highly recommend at least a 6x12 single axle, for which you'll need a 3/4 ton pickup truck (250 / 2500 series) - Nothing less, the transmissions don't last on smaller trucks when you're hauling mulch.

    In my experience, you can not survive on grass-cutting alone but there are a few businesses who do only that, and they're still around... But they are few, the vast majority of us do other things. As for me, grass-cutting is 90 percent of it, but there are still several thousand dollars in mulch, aeration, hedge trimming, and what I call 'general cleanup,' probably 6 or 8 grand a year total for all that, and I need this extra.

    hope that helps, and good luck.
     

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