1st post: Want to provide a better service...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Camaross, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. Camaross

    Camaross LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    well to start off, I am 23 years old and currently in the testing process for police dept. but I am having severe second thoughts about it.

    I currently own a condo in san diego and got the financials today for my homeowners association and noticed they pay 75k/ year for the gardeners to mow the lawn and occasionally trim the bushes.

    Over the 6 years I have lived here I have noticed a steady decline in the landscaping and seem to think I can do a better job. I have started thinking about purchasing equipment and trying to score the account for my condo complex. Don't get me wrong I am not out to undercut the current landscaper but to offer a better service for roughly the same price. It would be great to have a gardener that spoke english, actually cleaned up the grass clippings, cleans up bush trimmings and fallen leaves, and also not to blow crap all over my car.

    Anyways I have 2 close friends that are interested in forming a business. Between us we have:

    2006 Dodge ram 2500 4x4 megacab diesel
    2005 Dodge ram 2500 quad cab 4x4 diesel
    2 car/ equipment trailers
    1 small untility trailer
    1 small enclosed trailer.

    Also have various hand tools, edgers and mowers but nothing commercial. Considering what I already have and that I have about 10k cash to invest what do you reccomend for someone getting started?
  2. Camaross

    Camaross LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9


    I am really bored so responses would entertain me :)
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    There exists this farking rule in this Universe lol, it is like Yin-Yang or something, and that rule has to do with the balance of things, not sure how to explain it. But it seems one always compromises one end in order to achieve the other, which is to say I used to think like you do, too, until I got tired of what I lost in the compromise, but I did have a good time trying and it was quite educational, an interesting experience all in all.

    Oh and I'm 40 and still haven't got it all figured out, but I'm working on it :laugh:

    Best of luck.
  4. Integritylawncare

    Integritylawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    Why second thoughts on policing?
  5. Camaross

    Camaross LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    well the whole reason I took the test was because my brother wanted to do it and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Now the more I think about it the more I don;t want to do it.

    I've always wanted to own my own business but haven't been sure what to do..
  6. M&SLawnCare

    M&SLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    First, as its been said 49783958734543 times before, don't go into a partnership with a friend. It might not break up the friendship or anything that severe, but more than likely it wont end up working out and one of you will get tired of it and quit. Thats what happened to me. He started missing days due to this practice, or that event and i ended up having to often times do double the work i originally planned for a given day. Ended up I just bought out his share of the equipment we purchased and went solo. If you still decide to partner up, make a complete and extremely detailed contract on paper of the expectations on each of you, how you will handle and manage the business, what happens if one of you don't hold up to said expectations, what happens if one of you want to get out of the business, and so on. Everything you can possibly imagine put on paper and do it with a lawyer so its official. Then if/when it comes time to split up you have it all covered and their wont be any fighting over who gets what or who did what.

    Second you have the trucks, it sounds like you have the trailer, now you need the equipment. A commercial trimmer/blower, commercial 36" W/B and a cheaper 21" residential will do you fine. Look for a second hand W/B to save startup money, and don't worry about a Ztr till you have the work to support it. Remember one thing, ANYTHING that ztr can do your W/B and even 21" can also do. The only difference is how fast it can get it done, which isn't a big concern when you first start out and only have a few jobs. Get yourself legit (if you want that housing complex and those other bigger commercial jobs, you'll need to be legal and insured), and now start advertising. My biggest advice, do NOT buy anything with money you don't have or can't afford to loose. Go into the business to make a profit right from the start and with nothing to "loose" so to speak. Don't go into it with the mind set "i need X number of jobs to sustain the business before i make a profit". That will stress you out and probably result in burnout and failure unless your very lucky and able to land enough jobs to reach that mark with a healthy profit immediately.

    I'd highly recommend you stay with the cop thing for now and build this up on the side. Use the cop job to pay you bills and put food on the table, and build the business in your spare time. Once you make enough from the business to cover your bills with extra left over, then your ready to move up to full time.
  7. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,283

    white boys starting a lawn biz in san diego:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    That is the funniest thing I think I have ever read on lawnsite.

    No way, with the amount of Mexicans working for absolutely nothing out there you wont have a chance.

    There is no coincidence that I have rarely if ever seen another LCO on lawnsite from CA. Only reason I could think of is that they all speak spanish and cannot read lawnsite or have internet access for that matter.

    I dont blame you for second guessing the cop job. That has gotta be the worse job in the world, I dont care what anybody says. Everyday you go to work could be your last. Take your $10k and open a Subway or something
  8. Camaross

    Camaross LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    thats the problem with the lawncare places in san diego...no one speaks english and they are unreliable and uninsured.

    10k won't get me much of anything in san diego and won't be anywhere near a subway
  9. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    What he said, and I'll make it time 49783958734544:)

    I understand your frustration with illegal, un-insured companies, but a harsh reality is that some people don't care about any of that. They just want their grass cut.

    Looks like you're setup with a truck and trailer. Get a good walk-behind in the 36" to 48" deck size, a 21" mower, a quality trimmer and blower, and a stick or walk-behind edger. Don't deal with the homeowner-grade crap for anything. Get commercial stuff from a good dealer who will take care of you. These will get you started.

    Remember that if you're serious, you'll need to set aside a chunk of that 10K for expenses such as insurance, business license, office supplies, and most importantly, advertising expenses.
  10. skinnydogz

    skinnydogz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    You're from FL?????? I have been there and it's not quite that different with all the foreign nationals, etc than it is in Cali. How do you survive

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