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First Post and a few questions?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by hillibilly, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. hillibilly

    hillibilly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    Just want to say hey. I have been looking over these forums latley and have gotten ALOT of good info on the bussiness. Thanks everybody.

    I have been mowing yards for the last two years ( this is going to be my first real season by myself) one of them being with my cousin in law. I have about 3 regular yards around my house and since my cousin is quiting, and selling his trailer to me, plus giving me his 10-12 customers I helped him mow last year. But I am planing on getting more yards this season. I really want to go at it in terms of starting up a bussiness that can last me all the way through college(I am 16 now). I despertly need a new riding mower. I have a Craftsman that has been through alot, so I will be buying a new one soon, any suggestions on a "not-to-cheap" "not-to-expensive" one that will be good for the amount of work that I plan on doing?

    I also plan on creating flyers to pass out and maybe advertise in the newspaper. This is a big question I have about them. I plan on just making black and white ones because my dad can get them photocopied for next to nothing at his office. Will this be good? I mean to go for the plain black and white one's? In my area there is only about a pop of 22K, and most of these people live in large subdivisions and have pretty nice yards(other words that rich). The other half mostly works nights and such? These are the customers I want to go after. Most customers now are these types. They either sleep during the day, or spend time doing other stuff and don't want to mow or of course there elderly. What way should I go about advertising for these groups?

    What about realators? I have been think of calling these up and asking if they need a few yards mowed, but I have heard these are a lousy customers. Is this true? I do plan on looking in the classifieds for "Houses for Rent" and call them about thier yards to see if they need me.

    So bascially any help would be appriecated. I am really willing to go for force to get this ball rolling and to do well. Thanks in advance.
  2. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    First, welcome to Lawnsite...you have no idea the great information that you will find here, it has helped me a lot.

    Per your questions, start looking for a good, used commerical mower. These are going to last you a long time and give you a better cut. I was able to find an Exmark Metro 48" with about 50 hours on it from a guy for $1400.00 recently.

    As for your advertisements you are going to find a mixed reaction to that question. Personally I only use Black and White but I print them on Florscent paper, I get a really good response from them. Sure color looks great, but for me B&W works well. I run an ad in the newspaper but more often than not they are jobs that I end up giving away since they are farther than I really want to go. Just depends on your personal needs I guess.
  3. hillibilly

    hillibilly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    Thanks. The idea for the florscent paper is nice. I will defanitly do that. Accuatlly I am working on the flyer right now.

    I want to do the thing where for every recomendation they get a free mow.
    Has anybody else had sucess with that method? I plan on mowing,weedeating, edging, and maybe some other misc. stuff. I have alot of experience in yard work, my parents my whole life, have done landscaping projects every year, so I can possibly get my feet wet in that.

    What about insurance and liscences? Do I need it just starting out, and being this young?

    Also on the mowers. What would be a good riding mower. Most of the yards I have a fairly large and straight, and I have a stand behind for the other places. The one I have now has been through alot since it was bought a couple of years ago, and the tire pressure gives us problems, so that sometimes it cuts to deep and looks crappy.
  4. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    No problem. First, you may want to look into commerical walk behinds with a velke. This would allow you to stand and ride the mower and still spend a lot less than you would on a zero trun riding mower. Lawn tractor-wise, I don't know if those things are good or not.

    I also offer free mows for all recommendations and it works well. Sure you take a small hit at the very beginning but it turns out to be great business. For lawn maintenance we normally have a 10 day cycle. We mow, trim, blow and edge the first 10-day section and then mow, trim and blow the next two ten day sections. Works well with us.
  5. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,335

    Welcome to lawnsite! I would look at a 36 or 44 inch Dixon. You can look at them at www.dixon-ztr.com. I would not get a lawn tractor, as they are no where near as maneuverable as a ZTR. I think you would be better off with a smaller ZTR than a larger lawn tractor.

    Good luck!

    LHLAWN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Hey KS how do you like your dixon .....quality....depenable.....price..?

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