Watch craigslist everyday. Good deals pop up often. I started with a 21" commercial mower, commercial trimmer, commercial edger, and homeowners blower. I do mostly small to medium yards so I dont need much else. You can get all of this for under 3k dont buy cheap crap. I had a truck already though. I didnt buy things till I needed them, for example a hedge trimmer. I had a customer ask how much to trim her hedges, gave her a price she agreed and off I wen to the store. That job paid for half of the hedge trimmer so I didnt have a tool sitting around unused for months. Same deal with my pole saw and trailer. I worked out of the back of my truck till I needed the trailer to complete a job. But I could have rented one. I started in April and all my stuff is paid off and mostly new. This type of plan doesnt really work for the guys that have to buy big zero turns, trailers, etc.