What to add w/$12k?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by BrandonH, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. BrandonH

    BrandonH LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    I am working part-time right now, but am planning on going full time in the Spring. I already have a truck, 16' landscaping trailer, 36" scag wb, stihl trimmer, stihl edger, stihl chain saw, stihl bp blower, and stihl hedge trimmers(I guess you can see that I like Stihl). I already have a large church that takes a while with the wb, so I am definitely leaning towards a ztr. I also plan on targeting some larger accounts where I could utilize the ztr as well as my wb.

    My question is if you had the equipment I do and had an additional $12k what would you spend it on? I definitely will put some into newspaper adds around here and possible some other advertising. I haven't really priced ztr's yet, but I'm pretty sure I want to go with the Scag since I love my wb and they are the best dealer in my area to deal with. I'm open to any and all suggestions. I'm asking this because I don't want to miss something that should be obvious that I need.

    -Brandon
     
  2. Zach76

    Zach76 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    Hey Brandon, I'm a new guy as well, but this is the approach I would take if I had $12k to spend. Figure 6-7K for a Scag ZTR, 2k for advertising, 1k to buy additional equip (a second trimmer and blower in case of one not working), and bank the other 2-3k for future purchases, paying your help (if you have some), paying for unexpected repairs, and income in case of slow payers. Just my opinion.
     
  3. Cutters Lawn Care

    Cutters Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 314

    get the ztr. Invest in advertising. this can be newpaper, flyers. lettering truck and trailer, and invest in nice looking shirts and hats with your logo. The shirts and hats will have 75% of your competition beat.
     
  4. BrandonH

    BrandonH LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    I'm planning on having my truck painted and lettered and getting some shirts and hats with my logo as well. I've always been impressed with any business that has there employess looking presentable. I also know I will need a good 21" mower. The ones I've looked at in the past have been anywhere from $600-$1000. It's amazing how fast stuff can add up.

    -Brandon
     
  5. TXLAWNBOY

    TXLAWNBOY LawnSite Member
    Posts: 220

    Brandon
    I think you're on the right track. I would get listed in the yellow pages even if it's just a one liner. Go w/the ztr, one that is medium sized like a 60" that you can use in alot of diff. apps. Get a good 21" mower I would spend the money on a Toro. Look into back-up 2-cycle equipt. then put anything leftover away for a rainy day.
     
  6. BrandonH

    BrandonH LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    I also need to purchase scheduling and billing software. In the past I only had a few clients so there was no problem keeping track of accounts.

    -Brandon
     
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Here is a new idea...DON'T SPEND IT ALL. Just because you plan to go full time in the spring doesn't warrent a ZTR at this point. Get a sulky for the w/b to start the season off. As you grow over the 1st month or 2 then you will have a better idea of what your properties REALLY are. Not what you want them to be. You have enough equipment to get you started, use it. Use what you have to its maximum effeciency as you start and see where the business takes you. Its a lot better to buy something as you really need it than to buy something now and not have any work for it.
     
  8. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932

    I agree with 65hoss.

    If you always run your business as if you only have $1000 to spend, you will always spend it more wisely. Sounds like the money is burning a hole in your pocket. I would agree that you are pretty much set for now, see how the season goes, and learn what you need, instead of asking others what they think you need.
    What I mean by this, is if you see you are running the most efficiently that you can with what you have, then look into a larger wb or Z if you can fit it. Also, try to get some more jobs, and then you'll have reason to upgrade.
    I would say be happy to be in your position, I would love to just have $12,000 in the bank to fall back on, just in case. I wouldn't buy anything with it until I needed to.

    Good luck, and let us know what you do.
     
  9. BrandonH

    BrandonH LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    I definitely see where you are coming from as far as saving the money until really needed. I could really use the ztr, right now I have one account that is 50k sq ft and some others just a tad smaller. With a ztr I could cut my mowing times by a lot.

    I also look at buying new equipment as a motivater. If I have the new equipment and know I need to make money with it I will be more motivated to go out and acquire these new accouts I need. I know this isn't the normal way to look at it, but in the past with my other equipment it sure did work. I had several more accounts than I do now, but when I went off to college I had to drop them and now I am starting over.

    -Brandon
     
  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Whatever it takes to motivate you I guess. Seems to me if you really want to do this job there wouldn't be a motivation problem. If you think you need a Z, great. I love them and think they are one of the best things you can own. Just don't go trying to spend all $12k because you have it.
     

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