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First year, is residential mower good enough?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Brian997, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. Brian997

    Brian997 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Hey guys!
    I have been perusing lawnsite for a bit now, and I have a question. I am starting my business this summer, and my startup cash is low <$1000. Can I get away with a residential mower, instead of the commercial mower? I know they break down faster, but could it last doing 30 lawns a week for 16 weeks? I can replace it next season. My first year at Uni was a little more expensive than I thought, so by next summer I should have more money for equipment. I was thinking of the Toro 20070 Personal PaceĀ® Electric Start ($440). For my trimmer, I'm thinking of the Echo GT-200R ($220). Should I buy a cheaper trimmer? Maybe a Toro trimmer? Or the home depot special? That would probably be about $150. Then the rest of the money (~$300) I need for advertising, a second phone line, insurance, and business registration.

    Let me know what you think, negative or positive.

  2. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,463

    man, its hard to do with homeowner stuff...it may last you a season, or it may last you a month...you may want to try and save up more money before starting. im not tryin to discourage you, but just trying to help. your more then welcome to try tho, but i just dont think that mower will take that much abuse, for that long.
  3. Brian997

    Brian997 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    I was afraid of that. It is just that my opportunity to save is limited. Because I go to school fulltime 8 months of the year, I need to make all my money to live in four months. The previous year, I worked retail and made about $7,000 and my tuiton and books and living was $15,000, which used up all my savings. So, I have about $1,000 to my name right now, and I will be working full time (Nights) and lawn care at the same time. The time is not an issue, I can do that, it is just financing. I will probably make about $7,000 again working retail, but I need additional income (about $6,000). So basically, I need to get into the business this year.
  4. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,463

    well i wish you the best. if your really serious about it, then go for it. im just concerned you may get that stuff then half way through the season it breaks, then what? theres alot to think about. just weigh your options, and go from there.
  5. Herrick

    Herrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    All you can do is try. Get the best you can afford and upgrade as quick as you can. I'm starting this year with a residential lawn tractor and an older lawn boy. First Goal is to get a nice commercial walk behind, then a zero turn... build the business. Not all of us have the capital to start out big.

    Good luck!
  6. Brian997

    Brian997 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Yes, I was planning on using the residential mower, if business really picks up, then I will upgrade (as my profits should exceed my requirements)

    Good luck to you too!
  7. greasy_gun

    greasy_gun LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 334


    go with what u got

    most folx start without the frills n bills

    most started with non-commercial equipment

    many that started with the best equipment had it given to via their mommies,cause my lil boy cant hold a job....

    most mow to buy their beer...

    go for it
  8. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    Don't waste the money on an electric start. It just costs more to fix when that part wears out, and it will surely wear out that little starter using it on that many lawns for that many weeks.
  9. Brian997

    Brian997 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Thanks newz7151!
    I hadn't thought of that, but know that you say it, I totally agree.
  10. palawnman

    palawnman LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 159

    Like everyone else is saying, make do with what you've got. Just make sure that you have a plan if things break down. The way I have always thought, is prepare for the worst that can happen, so that if it does, then you are ready. Hopefully, you are good with small engines and can make repairs yourself...also make sure you take EXTRA care of your equipment and do all needed maintenance. Because you are going to be using them more than they are meant for....good luck with it.


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