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What is needed to start up??

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Necroshine, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. Necroshine

    Necroshine LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    Hey guys. :)

    I've been tooling around the idea of working for myself, and Lawn care or landscaping came up. I've read the " How to Start a Home-Based Landscaping Business, 5rd Edition " yesterday and was quite impressed. However, I don't have the drive to start an empire. Still quite helpful though.

    I live in Florida, and noticed a bunch of you guys are from there as well. I'd like to know what kinda liscenses , insurance I'd need to get this rolling. Also, pesticides, herbacides, ect... any special permits? I'm also confused on the differences between a landscape contractor and a landscaper.

    I'm sick and tired of working for somone, tired of not being able to bowl in leagues, go to fishing tourney's ect.

    I just want to know what my options are here...
  2. cpritch

    cpritch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 77

    Okay, I'll bite. I'm a newbie and just starting out this season. I don' t live in FL, but you have to have licenses to apply pretty much anything. Check with the Dept. of Ag. in Florida and they'll be more than happy to tell you what you need to do.

    If you don't have the drive to build an empire; do you have the drive to build a business?? It's a lot of work, a lot of reading, a lot of learning, a lot of studying, everything from Business management to finances to taxes to marketing, to insurance, and that's not even getting in the bulk of what you need to know/learn just to do landscaping or even mowing yards. There's so much more to it than just showing up with a mower.

    Working for the "man" definitely sucks and I've been doing it for a looooonnnggg time. But working for yourself is much harder, more time consuming and 100x more responsibility. As long as fishing season is in the middle of winter, you should be cool. :) If vacations, days off in the spring/summer (outside of rain days) are what you're looking for, I would definitely stick with the day job for awhile. I'm really not trying to bust your rear end at all, I promise. :p And I am a newbie, so the seasoned vets would maybe say something different. . .but my advice is take your time, think it through. I've been planning this for over a year and I'm still freaking out. Mostly in a good way. lol.
  3. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    where the heck is endura, ks?

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Each state is different on pesticides, herbicides, but I believe FLA is one of the hardest. It also is one of the most competitor as far as pricing from what I have read on here, and as such has a lower price point. As cpritch has stated, don't plan too much free time to start.
    Options are endless, So is the income. (remember that peoples idea of what "good" money is can be very different on here, someone making 20K could be happy as a pig in s**t while the guy making 50K is not even coming close to supporting his family and working a second job). If you have no equipment, No experience, and no start up money, plan on working very hard the first few years building the business while putting most of the money back into it. Many will keep working their full time job and do this part time. Only you can develop you business plan.
    You are off to a great start by being here. Use the search button a lot Read between the lines when people talk about money as this is the Internet and anybody can say anything, including that they are making great money with all sorts of free time, (and they never sweat doing it:p ) As you come up with questions, ask them one at a time here and you should get some good answers.
  5. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    alright here is what you need
    a business plan
    some money
    and the desire to work in hell (well it feels like that from May - Sept)

    you need a county and city occupational license for each municipality you work in just to cut grass
    to apply herbicides in bed areas, you need a limited applicators license.
    take a 3rd party class that has the test attached. $150 for the class
    $150 for the test and most have at least a 90% pass rate.

    Just forget about pest contol on turfgrass. You need a full CP license and that isn't gonna happen. Trust me. Minimum requirement, work for another applicator for 3 years or have a 4 year entomology degree.

    However, you can apply straight fert as much as you want, just no turf pest or weed control.


    backpack blower
    string trimmer
    edger (stick type)
    36" walkbehind with a sulky
    various hand tools like rakes and shovels

    expand into long bar hedge trimmers
    pole chain saw

    once you get your round up license
    a backpack sprayer

    A full-sized pick up truck
    a twin axle trailer of atleast 14 feet with electric brakes (its the law)

    some method of advertising
    at least magnetic logo signs for the truck

    but most importantly, a solid work ethic, the ability to take the heat, a solid contract, the ability to sell yourself on something other than price, the ability to learn from mistakes, and the restraint to try to take only profitable jobs.
  6. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,510

    If you like your time off on nice, beautiful sunny days when folks are going to the beaches and the parks, most likely there is a rude awakening waiting in the wings.

    What I hope for is no time off at all from early March to late December and find a way to stay maxed out in winter. I'll have plenty time off when I'm dead.
  7. cpritch

    cpritch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 77

    It's between Lawrence and Overland Park. 6 miles East of Lawrence off of K-10.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    I have to ask, With an outlook like this, why do LCO?

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