I am brand new to the field and will be launching my business within the next 2 weeks. For the past 2 months I have been going on the road with 2 friends that have been willing to mentor me. Their wives watch my son and I give them a full days work. In turn, I get a full load of knowledge as to how to edge beds and line trim without scalping and mow on banks in retention ponds, repair irrigation as well as how to bid while you are starting out. If you have the time before starting your own business, or if you have started your own business, and can swallow your pride, it has been the best experience I could ask for since I truly had no clue that I needed to carry sprinkler parts with me or that I would be running through an edge blade every couple of days or so. Nor did I know that I would need to keep an extra set of blades with me the day I leave the dealer along with a belt for each mower. They won't probably tell this info to you but it will either be trial by fire or get some much needed info before you are set up for a lost day of work for a dumb belt or a broken sprinkler that you have to go to back and forth to the hardware store for each part. I hope this helps, and I hope that some of the new guys that are already out there working that have had some set backs will share them here so that those of us that are also either not yet out there or are just starting out can prepare for the same. As far as my gear, I will have by the end of this week: John Deere G15 36" WB gear drive 717A 48" ZTR (Used 21" Honda harmony HRT) XT140LE Straight Shaft Line Trimmer XT140SELE Stick Edger XT140SBLE Split boom: pole saw/hedge trimer BP45LE Back Pack Blower 5x14 tandem trailer open Green Fleet package from our local John Deere Dealer in Dade City.