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TIPS, Do's and Don'ts tips for the new guy

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Eric ELM, Apr 16, 2001.

  1. Littlered

    Littlered LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    -Do what you say you're going to do when you say you're going to do it!
    -If you make a mistake, tell your customer. don't try to hide it or cover it up. Honesty really works.
    -Give your customer the same quality work as if you were paying someone to work for you!
    -Do not low ball your competition! There's enough lawns for everyone to get their share, you can't mow them all!!! Plus you're setting yourself up for higher scrutiny. You make one mistake and "I should have known this guy sucked because he was so cheap" and next thing you know your short one less customer on your route and their telling all their neighbors!
    -If a customer wants bi-weekly service, figure your weekly rate, double it and add 10-20%.(Depending on size)
    -Sign up for every free lawn care, landscaping, nursery, plant and design magazine you can get your hands on.
    ***READ THIS FORUM***: I have gotten so many useful tips on here from business to equipment to just a place for comic relief to remind me I do love owning my own business even though some days I wonder why.
    -Last one and in my opinion the most important: Know why you want to go into this business! If its money, it takes time. It sounds easy, buy a mower, cut grass, make money. Something as simple as bidding a yard can get complicated quick: how bigs the yard? Easy enough. Okay, are there areas of the yard that are severely sloped that you will have to push or weed eat? Does it have a fence? That's going to add extra time for weed eating. Will your rider/walk behind fit in the gate to the back yard? (Typically largest part of job)How many trees are in their yard(more weed eating)and almost as important, their neighbors 'cause come fall that neighbors leaves inevitably seem to end up in your customers yard and your going to be sucking "em up. How many flower beds? Unless you're just a "mow,blow and glow" you're gonna be weeding them. How many hedges and how tall? You're going to be trimming them. Will need a ladder? Slow process even with extended trimmers. Do they want aeration and over seeding done? What kind of grass, how many sq. ft? Do they want mulch in the flower beds? How many cubic yards will it take?
    Yes, eventually you will be able to look at a yard and figure that out in less than 10 minutes but I cringe when I think about how much time and money I lost my first year for not thinking of simple questions like those above.
    Didn't mean to put up a novel, but hope this helps.
    Good luck, be safe and God bless
  2. mikegreen

    mikegreen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    your right bro when you abide in jesus he abides in you!!
  3. JF660R

    JF660R LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from SW MO
    Posts: 266

    Bam, just read all 52 pages and really impressed with the advice.

    My main newb question right now:
    I'm hunting and buying equipment to start out. Wishing I had a commercial WB to start with but already bought a Hustler ztr a few years back for personal use. Gonna use it at least to start, even though it's a lower end hustler.

    Is a bagger setup and mulching kit a must have? I side discharge all my personal yards, but I'm able to move vehicles around and do whatever needs done.

    Seems many paying customers would expect little to no clippings left visible regardless of recent rain etc. Not to mention avoiding customer vehicles and such with the discharge. Do you mostly bag / mulch and not discharge?

    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. copperlovers

    copperlovers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    Great points!
  5. ManuelMowing

    ManuelMowing LawnSite Member
    Posts: 162

    We have been is business 10 years and have almost never used a bagger. We have one property that we used a bagger on just because there is a lot of landscaping and nowhere to blow the clippings. If you are mowing the correct frequency you should almost never have a lot of clippings. The clippings should be dispersed throughout the yard and you shouldn't be able to tell. If you are seeing a bunch of clippings you need to mow more often, if there has been a lot of rain it is a different story.

    If you bag the lawn you will need to start adding fertilizer to the lawn because of the nutrients you are removing. If you think you need a bagger you might look at getting a small push mower with a bagger.
  6. burtle

    burtle LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 317

    Love this thread! I am working on my business plan now. I've wanted to do this for a very long time.
    MarktheMower likes this.
  7. Treeguru

    Treeguru LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    Hey all,

    I've been in the industry for about 5 years now. I have a Hort degree and am an ISA certified arborist. Started out working for a large Lawncare company and have worked for a local arboretum for the past two years. The whole time I've considered starting my own landscape company and doing some tree work.

    Just curious, how do you guys bid your jobs? I've done side work and typically just shoot what I think is a fair number. Usually just mulching/pruning but I'm looking to do much more.
  8. NCHustler

    NCHustler LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I have a brand new Hustler Super Z HD. It has the 35HP Kawasaki engine. I was told by the Kawasaki dealership to always rev the engine to wide open when cutting the engine off. I was told this would keep it from ever backfiring. That sounded a little weird, but I'm not a Kawasaki guy. Is this the proper way to turn it off? I would have thought that I should turn it down to idle before turning it off? I've only cranked it and turned it off twice so far. I did what the Kawasaki folks said??????????????
  9. V & C Lawn Service

    V & C Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    Check oil levels on tractors and vehicles daily before operations in the morning. clean/blow air filters and check tire pressures daily also.
  10. clearcutlawns508

    clearcutlawns508 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    good info guys thank you all

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