13 Years mowing for someone else..Its my time

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jedMeister, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. jedMeister

    jedMeister LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Well, after doing all aspects of grounds maintenece for 13 years for a large company, ive decided to go out on my own. I think I have the knowledge and expertise to run a great grounds maintenece company, but I think a few pointers from all you old pros would be great! Is there anything that I should definatley DO, or not Do when trying to build my business? Any equipment pointers from different points of veiws would be great. Ive run mainly Great Danes and Toro Prolines for the majority of my career. Thanks for the input!
  2. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    too general a question...

    but, i must say. I worked for years for others also, then went on my own. you can know all aspects of lawn care, do a great job, be great with people, etc..... make sure you price right. don't sell yourself short, on purpose or not. I underpriced cuz i didn't know how to price, not to low ball. i spent years bringing my prices up on those customers... and the ones i got through them.

    good luck.
  3. gramps

    gramps LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    first and most important. capital to keep things going for a couple of years.this could be cash or another source of income. good luck :)
  4. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    You didn't say what type of properties are going to be your focus?
    Residential? Small, med, large?

    Are you starting with just you(solo) for now or planning to start with a helper?

    Do you already have truck and trailer?

    Do you have any equipment currently?

    One thing I will say about equipment and a mistake I sorta made. Don't have to buy and re-buy the same equipment. What I mean is don't buy something only to have to spend that money again to replace it.

    I bought good Stihl trimmers that are still in use today. Good investment.
    I bought a Stihl bp blower. It was new and good, but to save some dollars I didn't buy something stronger. I was soon buying a stronger blower to get more work done during leaf season. The Stihl would get it done, it would just take twice as long. Time is money.
  5. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    Get yourself a book called "THE E-MYTH" and read it. Before you start your business.
  6. captaingreen

    captaingreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 471

    After working for years as a commercial applicator for two other company's, I started out on my own, much like you. You have got to have a balance between buying the best equipment and buying what you can presently afford. I started out with a 36" Exmark Metro (small but the best I could afford), a Stihl FS 85 (paid for it with a large cleanup job), a craftsman blower(yes it was the best I could afford at the time), and a set of ramps( couldn't afford the trailer neither). I grew dramatically my first and second years. Now I have a 52" Tiger Cub, 48" Exmark TTHP, 36" Exmark Metro, Shindaiwa T2500, Sthil FC110, Stihl FS85, Sthil blower, Stihl hedgetrimmers, 77'x16' tandem trailer, and numerous hand tools. Start out small, do a GREAT job, have excellent customer communication skills and you will do just fine. Good luck buddy!
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Have a business plan down on paper. Period
  8. battags

    battags LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 607

    You have already made one of the best decisions to launching your own business by joining Lawn Site. Use the search function on the site and spend hours in front of your computer learning from others what could take years of learning the hard way on your own.

    Weclome to LS and good luck!

  9. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    Welcome to lawnsite. It wounds like you have a lot of great experience already. Did you work on one large property or several? were you in charge of all aspects of the grounds or just one part? YOu wont be in charge of all aspects of a customers property. They will over or under water. They will hire someone else to do something that will get in your way. They will blame you if something goes wrong though. Just be ready. MOst days the lawn care is the easy part, it's the customers that can make it tough.
    You are already used to commercial quality equipment so you know the difference. Try to match the equipment with most of your properties. A big rider is great unless it sits on the trailer because it won't fit on the lawn. Pay attention to detail and be on the lookout for added services.

    good luck.
  10. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    Welcome to the site, a wealth of info here.

    As for the business side,
    How much of the business side were you exposed to over the 13 years? Accounting, profit and loss statements, do you know how to do taxes and payroll or will you sub that out? Do you have any experience with marketing? Do you have any accounts lined up or jsut jumping straight in? What stuff do you have to begin with? How about estimating? Lots of variables in this biz. Most answers you can luckily find here. Read and read, got a question, throw it into the search box and you won't even have to wait for anyone to respond because it's probably already here. Instant responses can't ask for much better than that. Good luck! :waving:

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