Are my startup costs too high?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by TheLandscapers, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. GreenerSolution

    GreenerSolution LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 84

    keep a paper trail on everything you do buy for the end of the year. also, you may want to buy somethings before the end of the year. there are alot of bush tax breaks that will expire. But I'd talk to an accountant about that process
  2. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,251

    Maybe get a snow blower and shovel to go after small driveways.
  3. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    Whats the levels and chalk lines for?
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  4. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,251

    Building walls
  5. shane-pa

    shane-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 338

    what I didn't see on the list is clients. do you have a base yet? I would start advertising now and see what you come up with. start with winter services and inform those clients that you also do mowing.

    as for equipment, try to find good, used equipment. search graigslist for power equipment and yard sales for hand tools.

    you mention walls. do you know how to build walls or have any other knowledge of hardscaping and plantings? since you are just starting-up, take the time to study, study, and study more. maybe a pesticide license while you still have the time.
  6. rbljack

    rbljack LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 731

    This is exactly what I suggested in another post about starting up. I recommend buying a Poulan Pro Trimmer that will allow you to exchange the attachments. Get the edger, get the Blower, and get the trimmer attachment. Use that initially, but IMMEDIATELY start saving up for a dedicated commercial grade trimmer. As soon as get the dedicated trimmer, edger, and blower, the Poulan pro becomes back up to all three of those pieces of equipment.

    Oh...and to answer your question about what you might be missing in your list...I didnt see an edger listed, so thats one add you may want to have. It makes ALL the difference (In my opinion) to getting nice clean lines on the curbs, driveways, and walkways. It can be done with a weedeater/trimmer, but I just feel that it looks more professional with done with an edger.

    ...everyone must decide for themselves what will work, and what wont so take each persons inputs, and evaluate them for your needs. Good luck.

    GARRETTWOOD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    Take out loan for main pieces of equipment, Truck, trailer, mower, blower, weedwacker and buy new. Work hard and make payments.
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  8. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Messages: 3,274

    hey buddy, congrats.
    the good thing you are doing is keeping track of your expenses.
    the stihl kombi is another option. it has a commercial grade. many attatchments, like blower, string trimmer, edger, hedge trimmer, pole pruner.
    craigslist is good for advertising (atleast here)
  9. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    It is a hard business in the best of times.
  10. gladi8r

    gladi8r LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    Forget the 'homeowner' type equipment such as the Bolens trimmer and $80 blower- you will rep[lace them twice a year and spend 2-3 hrs downtime each time trying to replace broken crappy equipment. Believe me, I know- I started with a 'good' Echo trimmer and 'good' Husqvarna blower my first season- they didn't last 3 months.

    A good professional straight-shaft trimmer costs $350-$550. A good professional handheld blower is $200-300, and a good pro backpack blower (which is the only way to go) is $450-$600 new.

    Also, you haven't listed any maintenance costs- I've found that, on average, I spend $8 to $9 per every running hour on each piece of equipment (averaged over a season) for maintenance, depreciation, and/or replacement. This includes oil changes, filters, repair parts, belts, fuel line, 2-stroke oil, etc etc.

    Take your figures and double them. Then you'll be much closer to a realistic starting point.

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