I was just reading through here and thought I would post a few thoughts for you new folks trying to get into this business. I recently took over an existing solo operation, retained about 85% of the lawns from the purchase and have doubled the customers in about 1.5 years. Here are a few things I've learned along the way. Don't take Pain In The Azz customers for the sake of just getting another lawn to mow. PITA's will take up a ton of time and if you mess up the slightest thing they will drop you, expect a free mowing and/or bad mouth you. They have had 5 lawn service companies in the last 3 years for a reason. You own lawn mowers, not magic wands. Don't go cheap on handheld equipment. Seriously, If you can't afford $300 for a nice trimmer and $400 for a serious back pack blower this might not be the business for you. I've done it, its not worth the couple hundred bucks you save once you get a couple of parts fixed on used handhelds. Commercial mowers are a different story. This is a business, it will take an investment. You need equipment you can rely on. Charge a rate slightly below the major outfits in your area. If you go cheap on your prices just to get business your going to end up with a bunch of customers who's goal is to spend as little as possible on the lawn. This won't get you very far. Figure out how you want your org to run in 5 years, start operating that way now. Tell your customers how things will work, don't let them decide for you. You can only mow soo many lawns on a Friday. If you want to grow to a full weeks worth of mowing, don't take Friday only customers, at some point you will get a lawn around the corner and you will be going to the exact same neighborhood twice in one week. If you only want to be a solo operation and mow 20-25 yards a week than this can work. Don't let your customer dictate to you how your business will run. Piggybacking the above thought, if you want to grow, back sure your business is scaleable. Don't force customers to make you call them before you come or knock on the door once you arrive. You won't be able to do this if you have 2 crews and 150 lawns per week. Tell them you mow in their area Tuesday afternoon's or Thursday mornings. Get some insurance and a license. A lot of guys worry about how cool their truck and trailer look but don't have general liability insurance. This can be a dangerous business. If you hurt someone with a flying piece of debris or damage something with a mower it could not only put you out of business but could bankrupt you. Don't be afraid to charge A LOT! This is a business, you are doing this to make $$$. If someone has an emergency and you can take care of it right away, throw out a big number quickly and let them know you can start working on it 4-6 hours. I just cut an 1/8 acre lot (lot includes house and driveway) for $105. The tenants were moving out and it had to be done in less than 24 hours. They gasped, I quickly told them that the lawn should have been cut atleast 4 times this year, it now needs to be bagged and we can do it asap. I called my crew, met them there that afternoon and we were done in 20 minutes. Customer was super happy. I may sound stern about dealing with customers, but in my area we have to. Customers will try to walk all over you if you let them. Stand your ground. This is a hard business no reason to sign up for more headaches than you need. I hope this helps.