A new upstart in MN

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by MikeSanders, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. MikeSanders

    MikeSanders LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Hey everybody, thanks for taking the time to check out my post, so here's the situation, after much pondering and thought I've decided to start my own lco, I had one when I was 19 and really enjoyed it, but partner issues kept me from being able to continue, so I'm giving it another try. I'm planning on using my contacts in the industry, a fert/squirt outfit (about 3000 customers), an irrigation company (about 1800 customer), and a local nursery that sells fert and such (about 2000 customers), to aggressively market their customers with a flier mailed to them with my info on it and the other company's info on it to establish the association with them.

    I have a few questions I'm hoping you guys can help me out:

    I plan on only offering mowing, trimming, edging, for now and subcontracting out any fert/squirt request to the outfit I'm working with so I was wondering if there's an approximate amount per 1000 sq ft that you can charge as a general guideline? I know all lawns are different so it's difficult to lump them all into one category, but I don't want to slit my own throat by under or over bidding so I just want to be sure I'm at least in the neighborhood price wise.

    I plan on doing mostly 8-15K sq ft lawns residential, mostly residential, I don't really have an "in" with any commercial, so it'll be up to me to try an dig those up, what type of mowers would you suggest, originally I was thinking I would go with a 40"-60" ZTR and a 36" WB, but after reading some posts here I was thinking that I might be better off going with 2 wb's if I'm mainly doing smaller residentials since it seems customers sometimes have issues with having a big ZTR on their lawn, I plan on having a two man crew at first, so I definitely want to always be able to have both of us mowing and I'd hate to have one ZTR and one WB and not be able to use both on all lawns.
    I'm leaning toward the Lesco WB since I have a connection at the local dealer who will give me a good deal, plus there's the prospect of them blowing out their Lesco inventory now that JD bought them. So what do you think?

    Also do you think it's critical to get commercial accts? I know that it's nice to be able to get out and do them earlier than residential, since most communities have regulations about how early you can mow.

    That's about all I can think of for now, I'm sure you'll be seeing more questions from me as they come my way, and I just wanted to say that you guys have made a great, informative and helpful community here and thanks for any help, also if you have any critical tips for success for us new guys, it would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
  2. loom-gen

    loom-gen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 150

    Don't bite off more than you can chew. Stress will make the job suck. If you haven't purchased mowers yet, 52 is ideal and 33 or smaller will get through those old gates. Buy the meanest blower and the lightest trimmer. Don't be greedy but do be patient. The customer is your boss; don't forget it. Spend the money on good (new) equipment, you will make it back. Year one $5000.00 ... year 5 $100,000.00. still growing at 8 years. Didn't spend a dime on advertizing. Have fun and make friends.
  3. IMAGE

    IMAGE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,134

    I want to say I think thats a great idea associating yourself with the other companies.

    I have friends in other construction fields and I am talking to them about starting a "Better Living Professional Network" to refer customers to each other and send out newsletters to our customers, with little stories and adds for the different businesses. Same idea as yours, trying to convert customers from similar businesses.

    Also, all our trucks and cards would say "Member of the Better Living Professional Network"

    We are both in MN btw. GOOD LUCK!!
  4. verant

    verant LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 484

    good luck, i'm 19 operating my own biz in Alexandria, Mn and going to college at UND. There's a lot of competition here in Alex, it must be crazy there in the metro/suburb area.

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