Will I be a joke?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by CF Lawn Care, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. CF Lawn Care

    CF Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    I am just starting out in the lawn care business and plan on getting a push mower, trimmer and blower. I don't want to invest in commercial equipment because i don't know if my business will succeed. I plan on buying all brand new medium quality equipment. I have a small 2 door 4 cylinder car that i will have to pull a trailer with to fit all of my equipment. Do you think that this is so unprofessional that my clients will think I am a joke and not hire me? Won’t this first impression of my business hurt the amount I can charge to cut a yard?
     
  2. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,540

    please dont tow a trailer with your car...yes you will look rediculous,buy a cheap truck if you want to look even alittle bit serious!!
     
  3. ncls

    ncls LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 441

    that might just be the angle to get a lot of customers. Advertise how enviro friendly you are. No wasting gas, etc. :rolleyes:
     
  4. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 2,994

    Don't waste your money on crap equipment. At least get entry level commercial. For example you can get an Echo 210 trimmer for $200. If you buy homeowner equipment, you might as well throw your money out the window. I am speaking from experience. When I started I bought top of the line homeowner trimmer and edger. They didn't last but maybe 2 months (and around 10 accounts)before I had problems and had to repair. About 2 weeks after that both of them quit and that is when I went to top of the line commercial handhelds. I spent about $200 a piece for the good homeowner trimmer and edger, only to throw them away after a couple months. Then I spent about $700 on a trimmer and edger they are both still running like new. Do what you have to do, but I hate to see someone lose money. Yes, it will be a little more up front, but in the long run it will be cheaper.
     
  5. M&SLawnCare

    M&SLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 304

    Yeah buy a cheap truck and you wont need a trailer then to start. Towing a trailer around with an economy car will get more laughs than clients if you really want to be serious about this.
     
  6. WJW Lawn

    WJW Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,330

    I have to agree with the masses here! Trade the car for a small truck, or you will probably not be taken seriously. As far as equipment...I dont blame you for wanting to work your way up, but it may cost you some in down time if or when the stuff breaks.
     
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I tried the car bit, I think I did all of 2 jobs before I quit.
    At that point I knew I had to do things as everyone else says, so if you have to do the car bit then go ahead but...

    As for being a joke I just don't worry about what anyone thinks, because that's not your problem, but I would see about saving a little more money and getting a truck. The problem with the car, well, it's hard enough with an old truck but cars just don't make it, I ruined the transmission in my T-bird pulling my 6x12 and I didn't even go far with it, empty!

    A 4x8 was too much mickey mouse, I tried that, too.

    So, work hard and save yourself about 6g, what I would do.
    Or do as you plan, see how it works out, but remember this in case, for later.
     
  8. DaveinSWFL

    DaveinSWFL LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    I am sorry Topsite, I disagree with you. He should worry about what other people think. This is a profession, at least that is the way I run my business. In order to be professional you have to look, act and speak professionally. Your potential customers will be judging you and the first thing they will be looking at is the initial appearance. If you make a bad first impression chances are you will be passed over for the job. Sure, there will be some that hire you, but they will expect a cheap price for your service. Invest the money in your image/equipment and you can expect to be taken seriously and you will pick up more desirable accounts. I realize that not all have the finances to start out with top of the line equipment but I think most would agree save and work for someone else until you have the resources to buy good commercial equipment.
     
  9. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 25,539

    Gotta agree with this guy. Its the hacks that make this buss seem unprofessional and not worth the money everyone should be earning.
     
  10. crazymike

    crazymike LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 454

    I didn't realize all of you people drove around with all your equipment when you are signing up accounts...

    Do you bring the trimmer to the door and show them how it is "professional" grade.

    I get jobs by the quality of my work, not equipment. When I first cut lawns I was 15 years old, I would have atleast looked somewhat decent with a car instead of pushing my mom and dads mower around the block.

    When I got my license I got a Jeep and a trailer.

    Fast forward to 12 years later. I've got bull dozers, backhoes, pickups, dump trucks.

    Guess what is going to be pulling the lawn trailer to service 120 accounts this year... the same Jeep that got me started.

    Although using your car might cost you drivebys from asking for your number, it won`t stop referreals. When the neibour says, your lawn looks nice, who does it this year, she won`t say ``oh, it`s Ted, but you don`t want to use him, he drives a car``

    It might make things trickier, but it won`t make anyone laugh but other LCOs.

    I know a guy that does 40 accounts with a car and small trailer. Sometimes he doesn`t use a trailer and puts the mower in the trunk.

    If you`re starting out don`t run out and buy a new truck. A good trimmer is worth the money and a nice mower would be nice too. But if you already have stuff, use it until it breaks and then buy new.
     

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