Business plan review. Please Help (Long)

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mjninc1, Jul 3, 2004.

  1. mjninc1

    mjninc1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Hello, I am new to the site and this is my first post. This is a great source of information. Thanks for viewing.
    Below is my business plan.

    My situation:

    I’m 26, with a family. I have a good government job with great benefits and I want to start a lawn maintenance company on the side to supplement my income and possibly do full time. (I have a remote chance of being layed off.) I go to school 2 nights a week. (Except summer) and my major is economics. I get off work pretty early at 3:30 so that will give me time to do yards in the evenings and on Saturdays. I enjoy lawn maintenance and that is why I want to start in this field. I live near many $200’s+ to 850’s homes. My goals of the business are for the 1st year,

    1. To make a profit.
    2. Learn business systems
    3. To be professional, legal, do it right, and to further the profession of lawn maintenance.
    4. To have the business pay for all of the equipment.

    Here is a breakdown of my business plan. Please review and give advice, thanks for your time.
    It is July3rd and I don’t plan on starting until next February/March. I have a lot of planning to do and it gives me plenty of time to get things in place. All of the following figures are very close; some may be higher/lower.

    Business expenses:

    Incorporation: $900
    Business License: $250
    Insurance (BOP): $1400 per year.
    Insurance Business auto: $1300 per year.
    Certifications: (Certified Turfgrass Professional, Certified Ornamental Landscape professional.) $550
    Membership: PLCAA: $295
    Online service, website: $260
    P.O.Box: $68
    Office Supplies (business cards etc.): $75
    Tax Return Fees: $450
    Quickbooks: $250
    Gopher Software or equivalent: $400
    I have all needed computer equipment.
    Advertising: $250

    Total: $6,448

    Equipment: (Yes, I am a JD man.) JD has a financing plan that cuts the price of everything if you get a certain amount of points at once. Here are the prices with the discount. I might negotiate it a little lower. I have a great dealer in my area.

    JD 757 60” with lights and 3 bagger $7150 +$1300 =$8450
    JD GS30 36” Walk Behind $2300
    JD XT140SBLE Split Boom Trimmer $305
    JD XT 140LE Line Trimmer $315
    JD Bp 60 Blower $410
    JD H20DLE Hedge Trimmer $370
    JD XT140SELE Stick Edger $290
    JD EH2659 Extended Reach Hedge Trimmer $495
    JD Tow behind spreader $210
    Tow behind core aerator, don’t know what kind yet, JD had a 40”, I want a 60” est. $300
    Trailer 6’x14’ with all the trimmings. (I may go with the 12’ if my equipment will fit on it.) $1500 or less.
    Miscellaneous: (Spare parts, etc.) $1200
    Clothes/Boots/Safety equip: $315

    Total $16,460

    Total of both: $22,908 $14,645 of which is finance able.
    Total out of pocket. $8,263 (est.)

    I roughly have to do 12 yards a week @$30 a yard for 30 weeks to cover all expenses. I added up all finance charges and what it would take per month to equal yearly expenses, maintenance, and fuel costs. This doesn’t include what I could get for aeration, hedge trimming, fertilizing. From my calculations, it looks as though I can do it and make a profit. What do you think of my plan and is there anything here I am forgetting or am oblivious to? Oh, I forgot to add the license for fertilization. I don’t know how much that would be in Georgia. Thank you for your time and please share this with anyone that could shed light on my plan. Thanks again.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    12 x 30 x 30 = 10800 " Total of both $22,908 How does that pay off in first year???

    Your goal to be profitable in 1 year is more than likely not do-able.
    I am in my 3rd year and I will turn a profit this year but only a small one and 06 will be the first year that I can take a dividend out of it (I do pay myself).
    Don't jump in so big at first. the overhead will kill you. Only buy after you have the work. Get a 36" or 48" and a 21" and a trimmer and blower and start selling. See if you like working your butt off in the heat for little money at first. Do it a year and than rethink it. Not trying to rain on the parade but this is not easy work and making beer money is a lot easier than showing REAL profit. Spend a lot of time reading up on this site and ask questions. Go slow--Good luck.
    Do this to your business plan and see if you still like it.
    Add 50% to your costs- Subtract 25% from you income. This might be closer to reallity in your first year.
  3. gunner27

    gunner27 LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 243

    I agree with PMLAWN, you are starting with way to much overhead. Start with equipment to meet your workload. As you grow, so should your equipment.
  4. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

  5. Trevors Lawn Care

    Trevors Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,180

    i say if you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything. I would make sure that you have the jobs to pay for all of those expenses though. I myself did similar to what you are thinking this year. I purchased everything new and have very high overhead. I have more than enough to pay everything off this year though. You will want to spend more money on advertising than you have allocated for it. I spent $450 this spring, without hitting any newspapers or billboards or anything.

  6. MJD75

    MJD75 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    In my opinion the biggest mistake in starting a small business is to over finance the start-up. I started with $5000 and not a single piece of equipment, not even a truck. Start as small as possible until you build a solid customer base, and build from there. Good Luck!
  7. mjninc1

    mjninc1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Thank you very much! This is what I needed to hear! I am in the process of revising my plan to cut my overhead. Thanks again, God Bless.
  8. straightlinelawns

    straightlinelawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    i live in the cobb area, so if you have any questions about lawn care in this area, email me at i've been doing this for a couple of years now its going great. its a good location to make some good money
  9. Lakeside Lawncare

    Lakeside Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Iam going to Start part time...All i have is a 1971 chevy GREAT condition. Father is giving me his old trailer..which I believe is at least 14 ft, he is also giving me a 36 inch 12 year old exmark mower..needs a new engine, but for $500 I can get that done. All Im going to need to buy is a blower, and trimmer...Have a gas powered edger avaliable to me.
    Anyone know about the 12 year ol far as I know..its in good shape, besides needing a new engine..belongs to fathers friend...will give it away, he is moving, and dosent feel like hauling it away

    thanks for any help
  10. Four C. Landscaping

    Four C. Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    Here in the northeast I get about 32 wks or so of lawn care season not including clean up season spring and fall. the summer sun can make cuts from 7 days apart in the spring and fall to 14 or more days in july and august depending on rain heat ect.Do yourself a favor and count on a lull time.Thats the time when you have lots of lawns but no grass is growing and lots and lots of bills to pay.
    good luck.

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