Little backstory... Past couple summers I've spent doing carpentry with my uncle. I graduated highschool in 2010 then spent the summer doing carpentry again until I went off to college. After a year of that I realized it wasn't for me and there was no way I would ever survive in a cubicle. April of 2011 I start the year with 2 yards and a job with a landscaper. By the end of April I had picked up another 6 full season accounts, 7 that were only springtime, and another 10 that were only once in a great while. Quit my job with the landscaper. Picked up another couple through the season. Also did a bunch of landscaping and carpentry. That brings us up to now. 2012 I want to go legit. Currently my inventory consists of: Two Craftsman 21in FWD mowers (both can bag and mulch, both run great, purchased in '03 and '04) Craftsman 4 cycle gas trimmer - purchased in '06, runs ok, has blower and edger attachements Stihl HS45 hedge trimmer (just purchased) Stihl MS-180 chain saw (just purchased) A whole ton and a half of carpentry tools. Vehicle wise I have a '08 Toyota Matrix given to me by a awesome aunt, 35k miles, worth around 15g. Problem is I'll get disowned if I try to sell it. '78 Dodge Power Wagon for my work truck. I spent the winter restoring this thing and finally got it on the road in early July. Only has 22k miles and a great plow. Only problem is the body shop ****** up my hydraulic pump, screwed up all the electrical, and did god knows what to my carb. I now realize the old Dodge was a stupid idea for a work truck, I need reliability. Problem is I have more invested in it than I can ever sell it for. I will do what ever it takes to have this thing working perfectly by next spring, even if that means missing out on plowing this winter. I'll be happy if I get 5 years out of it then buy a new F-250. At this point I have a brand new 4 barrel carb on it and sorted out some of the electrical. Plow and winch are still ****** at the moment. Also down at the moment for a ****** up front axle. Its hurting me this season but I'm getting by. Shopping list for next season is the following: Trailer Hitch for truck Exmark Turf Tracer S-Series 48in deck with bagger and sulky (not sure which engine size yet, help on that is greatly appreciated) Stihl FS-90 trimmer Stihl BG-86 blower Small trailer, not sure what size yet. Need to fit 48in walk behind and one of my 21 in pushers on it, plus rack for trimmer, not sure what to do with gas cans and blower yet(truck is for grass). Wondering what you guys think regarding those purchases + any tips or recommendations. I'm sure a couple people will be saying don't bag. I bag. Period. No matter what. I like have the best damn lawn on the block, not a leaf anywhere, best stripes, best edges. That is how I make my money. I have a property that is 2.5 acres, subtract the house, driveway, flowerbeds, sidewalks and I'm still cutting at least 1.5 with a push mower, and I bag it all, and I get paid for it all. The previous jackass raped his yard double cutting the same stripes all year long, turfing on the corners, and zipping down the rows at 7mph on his ZTR. This spring I had to actually fill in the ruts. Every lawn I picked up has been one stolen from another company, not because I undercharge, in most cases I'm getting more, but because I over deliver. I remember that, because someone else could easily do it to me. My philosophy on this business is to buy the best equipment, do the best job, and when I have enough accounts, hire the best people. This is why I'm purchasing everything new. Insurance wise I do not have any. I plan on probably dropping a few of the people I work for just because they aren't worth the trouble. With the accounts I pick up this coming spring I do not plan on having more than 30 accounts. Leaves time for other work. Question is do I need to get insurance, if so, should I be going through my car insurance company or somewhere else. Records wise... I don't have any. Hopefully the IRS doesn't try to hit me. Should I use Quikbooks or what? My equipment... right choices? Where do you guys dump your grass? I had been going to the town recycling center but they started to notice that I was coming pretty often. Not allowed there anymore. There is another place to go but they charge 10$ for a pickup bed my size. Same thing with tree branches. After the stupid truck I'm down to 3k in my bank account, god knows what I'll have after I'm done dumping more into this truck. I have a credit card and pay it off in full every month. I don't like loans because I don't like interest. Whats the recommendation regarding financing? I don't have a legal business. I want to start one but I honestly have no idea where to start. How to I apply for the name, and what else do I need? I can not store the plow, mowers, or trailer at my house. I live in the suburbs and the neighbors would kill me. I don't think I can afford a garage. I heard some people talking about storage units. Is that really recommended? I don't need a shop, I have one of those, just no storage space. Plow is currently at the previous owners house, and hes cool with that. I know Exmark has a deal right now where there is a 0% APR for 24 month when you buy a new mower. Problem is then I'd have to find a place to store it all winter long...which means renting a storage unit for it and the trailer I guess. I'm not worried about missing the financing deal. What I'm worried about is when March comes around and I try to purchase a mower will I have to worry them being back ordered? I should have written down all the questions, those are just the ones off the top of my head. Any help is greatly appreciated. I'm sure I'll think of more questions.