19yr old with new Lawn buisness, growing and growing..

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by bigjeeping, Aug 7, 2005.

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  1. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    This is my first year mowing lawns and I've aqquired 60 residential accounts soley by handing out flyers door-to-door and putting them on mail boxes. Before expenses I bring in about $5,700 a month. I send out itemized bills at the end of each month. I don't have any contracts or anything for my clients to sign. I don't have ANY insurance whatsover. So far I'm 3 months in, and haven't had any significant problems. I have 1 team, consisting of myself and one other worker. I put in about 25-30 hours a week of mowing, plus regular maintainence on the machines which I do myself. Besides my trailer I bought all my equipment at lowes. To get started with equipment.. here's what I have: I bought a 12x6 single axle trailer, Z4217 42" husqvarna mower (YES I NOW KNOW ITS NOT COMMERCIAL GRADE AND I PLAN ON SELLING IT NEXT SPRING), 2 cub cadet push mowers, husqvarna trimmer and 125BT blower, and a bolens edger. The equipment is holding up fine, however I wouldn't purchase a non-commercial ZTR mower EVER AGAIN. I am planning on selling mine and replacing it with something of commercial grade for next year's mowing season. Anyway.. I have 60 clients and I am hoping to double, if not tripple that number for residential accounts next summer.. possibly expanding to 2 teams. I just made a huge decision and I'm not sure if it will be good or bad.. I got into the yellow book for plowing and lawn care. I currently own a V10 F-250 SUPER DUTY with a 7.5 WESTERN plow, and I am most likely going to purchase another plow truck (I am assuming that the yellow book is going to get me plenty of plowing business). I am looking for any input whatsoever on the decisions I have made.. yellowbook, plowing, 2 teams, contracts, billing, insurance.. anything that could help me!! Things have been smooth sailing so far but I'm thinking that the yellowbook might bring in a lot of business and things could get stressful. Any input on commerical ZTR mower brands would be good too... I'm looking at the Cub Cadet Tank models and also at the husqvarana commerical line. Also... what are some thoughts on commercial accounts? Do they bring in more money per hour than residential? How do you estimate them if they're so big? I'm running into this business head on and I feel like I might be taking on the world here...... so any input at all would be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. MrFangs

    MrFangs LawnSite Member
    from Zone 8
    Messages: 119

    This is a joke, obviously. I hope. Right? Someone. Guys? *Deep swallow* Funny.. Someone claim up to it...



    Oh, God.
  3. exmark72

    exmark72 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    i wouldnt plow without insurance b\c someslips and gets hurt after u plow u get sued there goes ur business and equipment.
  4. Patrick.B

    Patrick.B LawnSite Member
    Messages: 249

    Glad to hear someone just started out with 60 accounts in three months and gross $5700 a month and with No Insured and Lic,,,,,well Let see,,first you should get a business lic and insured before you break a window or blade might come off your mower and swing and hit someone ,,,,
    i've been in Lawn busniess for 6 years if not more and i got about 67 accounts and i have a part time guy help me two to three days a week with my big account..this is not a easy business to get into cause is so much work in this business and alot other lawn busniess around ..i live in a big city and i bet i see about 35 to 50 lawn service a day ,,,,,Now you said you just started in three months and got 60 accounts ??? come on dude ,,,,joke right ??
  5. green thum

    green thum LawnSite Member
    Messages: 162

    60 accounts in THREE months ,come on!!!! you ARE joking right?? ;)
  6. arborist-28

    arborist-28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    big smiles it must be nice ...c
  7. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    My original post is accurate.. no joking, no exaggeration, no bull ****. Damn folks, I'm looking for some advise. Do you want to know how I got 60 clients? During Feb, Mar, and April I slaved my ass off.. sometimes up to 10 hours a day passing out flyers by myself DOOR TO DOOR... I passed out over 30,000 flyers in those three months. I would wake up on a saturday morning and go pass out flyers, I would be bored on a tuesday night and I would go pass out flyers... that's all I did for 3 months. So please don't F*cking tell me this is some joke. Maybe if you've been doing this business for 3 years and you only have 50 accounts you need to rethink what your talents really are... I got in a lot of trouble when I was younger and my attorney told me "If you only concentrated all of this effort into something legal and legitamate you'd be one hell of an entreprenaur." Well I took that advise and now I'm rocking 60 accounts. Before I started mowing in May, I did over 30 mulching jobs in April (two a day at some times) - grossing about $8,000 in that month.
    I'm not sure where I want this business to go, but I am going to stick with it here and see what the next few years bring.. If that means getting insurance, then so be it.. if that means going out BY MYSELF next spring and passing out another 30,000 flyers door to door.... then I'm game....
  8. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    I do have a DBA. Where do I go to get insurance and licensing? What companies insure for lawn mowing? How much do you guys shell out for insurance/licensing?
  9. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    Insurance varies from state to state, city to city, and most companies are different. Call you car ins agent and if he doesnt do business liability he will probably give you the name of someone who does. Open the yellow pages you will find hundreds of agents who sell it if you want prices to compare.

    I started part time in Jan of 95 and by mid june I had 42 accounts, not prime accounts but enough to quit my job and do this full time.
  10. jim d.

    jim d. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    I know what you mean about flyers. I had a friend once who was a sales mgr. for Encyclopedia Brittanica. He lost his job and for awhile he made ends meet by painting address numbers on curbs. He would hire high school kids to pass out flyers out and they could pass out about a hundred an hour. He would routinely have a thousand or so day passed out and almost always pulled a four percent response. Anyway, one young guy like you working a ten hours a day could easily pass out a thousand flyers a day (and by doing it yourself your only cost is your printing, roughly $30 for a thousand flyers). At just a one percent response, that's 10 new jobs a day! You could easily generate the number of customers you have by passing out flyers. I've always wondered why some people seem to have so much trouble drumming up new business when it's well known that passing out flyers will bring it in.
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