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Any tips/tricks for someone who is just starting...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mhubert123, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. tlc1994

    tlc1994 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    First off, you should be insured with liability insurance especially for a commercial property; this will cover you if you break a window or worse, and what's more, most will not even bother to hire you if you don't have it. These policies can cost anywhere from a few hundred a year to upwards of a thousand. I personally am all residential, and it is usually better for a few reasons: there can be more money involved for customers who want to spend extra to have nice lawns; customers will refer you to other neighbors if they like your work; customers can be more loyal and won't dump you for the next better thing. As far as finding a 36" WB w/ Sulky, I can't really help you as they are virtually non-existent in my area, although I know you can find one under $800-900 and I wouldn't go over that. For properties that size, I would definately get a B.P blower, at least 400-450 CFM. As far as a truck, I would suggest at least a V8 f-150 or Chevy 2500; a four cylinder won't even start with a 36" in the back, and a v6 will probably fail trying to get up a hill. I found a good 6x12x4 trailer for $800 on CL, don't spend more than necessary.

    Hope this helps.:usflag:
  2. mhubert123

    mhubert123 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Thank you for this information, I am going to take your advice along with your suggestions and keep them in the back of my mind @ all times. I was wondering where exactly you found the trailer (what city) on CL, and I think I should be able to find a 36" for under 900.00 within a reasonable distance from Cincinnati bc i am also looking in close by major cities... Louisville, KY, Indianapolis, IN, and Dayton, OH.
  3. superdog1

    superdog1 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Lebanon, PA
    Messages: 218

    I have found that sending letters AFTER you are done and have the check in hand is a good thing. You can use a form letter, just make sure you sign it with a pen. Put in the letter things like "Thank you for using our service, I hope you are happy and word of mouth is our best form of advertising. Please tell all your friends about us and if there is anything you are unhappy with about the work I/we just did?, please call me right away and I will fix it ASAP etc......"

    Doing this has increased my referrals by 100% and it REALLY makes a good impression on the customer. Good luck and I hope this helps you!
  4. mhubert123

    mhubert123 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    @superdog1: Thank you for the advice, I will definitely be using this as a reference for the letter.

  5. superdog1

    superdog1 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Lebanon, PA
    Messages: 218

    No problem!, Get out there and make some $$!!!!!!!! :clapping:
  6. mhubert123

    mhubert123 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Thank you for the information everyone, keep it coming and I have been looking
    @ other threads on here and their have been some encouraging and some that would probably discourage people... I was wondering though if I needed to get a loan for example, to start out my biz., what do you think I would need minimum to start my biz with? :confused:
    I also am considering having my dad help me start up my company, does anyone recommend this or should i not even think about it...? (I would probably need financial support... Or I would need someone who can help me out with the paperwork and such, <he owns a small business> i think it would help to have him explain certain things to me if needed.
    We, my dad and I, should be able to do this together if we tried right?
    I do plan on working by myself for a while. :usflag:

    And what kind of advertising has worked for you? And i know word of mouth is a great thing for Lawn care companies. Any company really...
    Ohh and before I forget, if there are any suggestions you have for me or questions to ask me feel free to ask and suggest away...
    I could always use any suggestions or comments on what equipment to buy, how to mow efficiently, or any general comments. :help: :help:
  7. billythekid

    billythekid LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    I'm 17 and in the same boat bud and like people said keep your stuff clean, watch your mouth, don't spit while you're working, keep your shirt on. I disagree with tlc, i have a 4 cylinder ranger and i was hauling my lesco 36, gas, steel catcher, trimmer, blower, ramps and a bin with all my tools, jack etc. and i drive all around pittsburgh with that. now i pull a trailer too. Do i recommend a 4cylinder? no not if you can afford a bigger vehicle i plan on a dumptruck in the near future.

    what tlc said was entirely untrue you can do plenty with a 4 cylinder unless it's an s10. i carry more **** in that truck then any of my friends with a fullsize so i take it he's never driven a 4 cylinder for an extended period of time.
  8. maynardGkeynes

    maynardGkeynes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 411

    Good for you...very industrious and impressive. But....I hope you will use the money to study MBA, agronomy, crop science, law, biology...you will find the good things come to those who believe in investing in themselves in education and always using what you learn in school to be the best in the business. You will always make a good living and there is always a job for that person, I don't care what happens in the rest of the economy. The cream rises to the top. That is doubly true in the lawn care business.
  9. airsoft1779

    airsoft1779 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    I don't have contracts, but I also make every single customer pay in advance before I start any work. Only exceptions is my trustworthy clients that I have had for 4 years plus that have never missed a payment or complained about payments either. But for the most part, I charge in advance for everything.

    And honestly, I would just try and stay as cheap as possible till you get going. Use a residential 22" mower/blower/trimmer and the bed of a truck. No need for an expensive WB mower or trailer just yet.. Get insurance once you get like 5 or more clients. I would hate to have a monthly insurance payment with no clients.

    Also NO DEBT. Pay cash for everything.

    Plan ahead. Have a goal in mind when you start your business. Like where you see yourself in 2 years and strive for that goal whatever it takes. And what kind of customers do you want? But biggest thing is have a business plan/strategy/goal going into it.

    And the best advertising is word of mouth. In order for that to work, you must do the best work possible. Do not leave the property unless you know there is nothing more that you can do to make it look better. You need it to stand out from all the rest. Do not leave if anything is not done, and don't skip out certain things that you normally do, ever.

    I think that's all, didn't read the thread so some of this may be repeated..
  10. tlc1994

    tlc1994 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    ^Thumbs Up

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