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to expand or not to expand?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by greenn1001, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. greenn1001

    greenn1001 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    This summer i did about 12-15 lawns a week alone and for the most part only mow, edge, trim/weed eat, and blow. The season has come to a close and I have a wimpy part time job bussin tables at a restaurant. (they only give me 10-15 hours a week so i'm making no money and have a fair amount of free time) i am already thinking about next season and what i might be able to do now. i have a few questions.
    1. is the leaf clean up biz easy to find business for or hard to hustle up work?
    2. would it be profitable to hustle up leaf work and rent a lawn vac?
    3. can leaf clean up be done efficiently with a walk behind mower, rakes, and a hand held vac?
    as for spring i have had some clients ask me if i weed and/or redo flower beds but do to inexperience in that area i declined. I think i could get a fair number of my clients to allow me to do that kind of work for them. Is this something that you can pick up on easily? also what kind of hourly rate do you charge for weeding, putting in new mulch/flowers things like that? lastly what time of year is best to do that kind of work?

    Anyway all answers, comments, and suggestions will be much appreciated and considered thanks a lot guys i love this site and enjoy reading and learning from everyone.
     
  2. nograss

    nograss LawnSite Member
    Posts: 116

    Go to work for a large landscaper and learn the business. Keep your eyes open and volunteer for everything. Learn irrigation, plants, trees, trimming, etc. You can learn mulching and everything if you put effort to it. This will be the foundation for starting your business in 3 years or so. Instead of your wimpy job. Work full time for a landscaping co and do your 12-15 yards on Sat and Sun. I do 65 yards 7am to 4:30 pm mon-fri only. (by myself, no help)
     
  3. green acres lawns

    green acres lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 362

    Good advice.
     
  4. greenn1001

    greenn1001 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    i can see how that would be a good idea working for a landscape company but i was already planning on doing lawn maintenance full time this coming spring. my wimpy job is just a winter job. Most landscape guys are doing Christmas lights and things like that right now that wouldn't help me learn.summer is a different story. Also i cant/don't work Sundays so thats a bit of a problem for the do it on weekends idea.why would i need to wait three years to start if could expand sooner than that because i've already had most of my mowing clients for 2-3 years now. well i like the idea and appreciate the comment, but i hope to hear more. and i still have some unanswered questions. :confused:
     
  5. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 631

    You just stated in your original post that you have no experience with the things that will allow you to go from yard boy to a landscape maintenance man. Experience is priceless get a job with larger lco get some knowledge then if you can hack it with them for a whole season then try to start something if thats what you still want.
     
  6. salandscape

    salandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 168

    You need the expereince an established company can provide. You could try to find a company that would be willing to take on your customers for the year while you learn their business, have a contract stating that you will work for them for x amount of time at the end you will retain your customers, during this period they will get the profits. This may be impossible but it is worth a shot. Your orginal comment on is it hard to get leaf clean ups is silly. Learn this right NOW, everything about going into business for yourself hard if you are afraid of hard work, go work for someone else indefinetalty, and I don't mean back breaking hard work, that's the easy stuff! I don't know about your area but in NE it is really to late to be trying to load up on cleanups, We are almost done with them, and would be is it would stop raining!

    As far as the equipment goes it depends on the amount of leaves and area and how much time you can spend on each. If you have the time you can do it it will just take you a long time.

    Good luck, take as mant classes and semiars as you can on the work and business management, Read, Read , Read!
     
  7. Oxmow

    Oxmow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 376

    Hey...back to the real world now...lol.

    I'm not sure any company owner worth his weight would "take on" you and your lawns just to let you go in a year or so and compete with him. And frankly i wouldn't want anyone else doing my lawns. If you are to be able to do as you have been told on here you wouldn't have the time to do those lawns and learn the things you need to from other areas of the business.

    I suggest that you take some classes from community college or get as much literature as possible. Read from posts here and other forums. If you have had some of your jobs for several years ask them to let you take care of some of theirs (landscape areas) and learn the hard way. Also you have to have a little bent towards knowing what needs to be done.

    As for having alot of time on your hands, drive around and find someone doing the things that you are asking about and just watch. You can learn an immeasurable amount from just watching.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
     
  8. greenn1001

    greenn1001 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Thank you nick. i think that sounds like a plan. just curious what kind of classes can you take?
     
  9. huh

    huh LawnSite Senior Member
    from Lubbock
    Posts: 251

    http://www.osuokc.edu/agriculture/

    http://www.osuokc.edu/courses/cons.htm

    http://www.osuokc.edu/courses/hrt.htm

    http://www.osuokc.edu/courses/span.htm

    http://www.mntechnology.com/images/pdf/MNT_JAN-MAY_2007.pdf

    Business Strategy

    Human Capital Management

    Market Planning

    Entrepeneneurship

    Brick Masonry

    Concrete Staining: Decorative

    Maintenance for Small Gas Engines

    Welding: Home, Farm & Ranch

    Spanish Everyday

    Spanish II Conversational

    Drafting

    Land Development Desktop, Intro

    Maintenance for Small Gas Engines

    Welding

    http://www.metrotech.org/full-time/cd-cte.html
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    1. I don't know how to answer this in few words...
    2. No.
    3. No.
     

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