Desperate for advice...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by johndeeregreen, Jun 26, 2004.

  1. johndeeregreen

    johndeeregreen LawnSite Member
    from Memphis
    Messages: 34

    Things have been going great for my Lawn Care Business so far this season. Me, a buddy, two push mowers, one weedeater, and a back pack blower. Yesterday both of our main push mowers broke down. We fixed my craftsman but his Toro is still down. The point is we can't go on like this. We need something commercial, bigger, and faster. We have no money saved and were on the edge of financing a new Gravely walk behind, but I want to see what my other options are. We can't get any help from our parents on loans due to money situations. We want something new, because if we buy something used that is someone else's POS, then were really out of luck. What do you guys recommend we do? We are a very small business, and we only have about 15 accounts. Something needs to change.


  2. gramps

    gramps LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    How are you going to finance? You need to keep your costs down and work at building your customer base.Discipline. Good luck.
  3. rrhonda

    rrhonda LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I hear you, We're in the same boat. Can't afford any new equiptment. I tryed the s.b.a. but they just send you to banks. My credit isn't good enough to get a loan cause my mortage is always late. I have no clue how these guys are making so much money. I'm going to have to get a real job soon. But I love working outdoors.
  4. chuckers

    chuckers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 657

    i would stay away from gravely and look at exmark scag soemthing like that then to answer your money question are you guys charging enough?
  5. johndeeregreen

    johndeeregreen LawnSite Member
    from Memphis
    Messages: 34

    Most of our small residential homes we charge anywhere from $40-50. So yeah, we make out okay, even though it is our first season. My partners father is loaning us $1000 in 3 weeks. My parents may add in another $500 after we get back from vacation. Don't you think we could get a mower in good condition, used, for $1500, or is this too low?
  6. gunner27

    gunner27 LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 243

    you should be able to get a good used walk behind for $1500. i would start looking now. sometimes you can find one a homeowner used only once a week. once you get your walk behind your productivity will encrease, so you will be able to add more accounts. good luck.
  7. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    chuckers, why stay away from gravely? gravely makes a great machine. i bought my first gravely 50" WB 5 years ago for $1200 used off a dealer. it was a solid investment, payed for it self probably 25 times over by now. i now have a 60 ProMaster Z too, and that is one badass machine.

    Gravely will stand up to scag and exmark on any day. not to mention be easier to manuever over objects (stumps, etc) and easier to change the deck height.

    Johndeeregreen, i wouldn't lock yourselves into a new machine unless you're 110% positive you want to stay in the business. Look for a nice used machine, hydro is great, but it may be out of your price range. you could get virtually any belt drive for $1000-2000 used. If you take care of a used machine it will make you money faster than if you buy a new machine. Call up some dealers and see if they have anything in stock.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Contact some other lawn companies in your area, see if they have any used mowers to sell. Some people actually buy new equipment every so often rather than run everything into the ground. So you could get a decent walk behind for a good price. Also, ask at some of the repair shops. Sometimes people drop mowers off and never pick them up, and the repair man will sell them cheap just to get them out of the store. I know a guy who bought 2 walk-behinds this way, and he only had to pay for whatever the repair charges were.

    Anyhow, best of luck to you.
  9. johndeeregreen

    johndeeregreen LawnSite Member
    from Memphis
    Messages: 34

    Well I definitely want to stay in this business and expand as much as possible. Eventually become fully ligit by this next season because I will be graduated high school and it will be the perfect time to make good dough.

    -Good name brands to look after:
    What about Toro?
  10. johndeeregreen

    johndeeregreen LawnSite Member
    from Memphis
    Messages: 34

    whats the difference between kawasaki and kohler engines? which is better?

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