First year Lawn Service

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ztrguy, Feb 1, 2003.

  1. ztrguy

    ztrguy LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE FL
    Messages: 466

    Hey everyone. This is going to be my first year in the Lawn Service business. I have a Exmark 52" HP. I'm working with one other person. That person will mainly do the trimming. I live in a city with the poplulation of about 17,000. I was wondering about how many accounts you think would be good for the first year?
  2. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,117

    17,000 in the town? How many other lawnguys are there? Why in the world do you need an employee? What is local economy like? What are other LCO's in your area charging?

    I'm going to give you your first lesson - IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW MANY ACCOUNTS YOU HAVE!!!
    I could have 500 accounts and be losing $$$ on each one. Or I could have 9 and be making $10000 net on each one. Sorry to get so worked up but I just don't understand why anyone cares about how many accounts you have.
  3. ztrguy

    ztrguy LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE FL
    Messages: 466

    Why are we worried about accounts? I don't know how it is where you live, but if you live in this small town, you have to have as many accounts as you can. Because people here aren't going to pay very much for someone to mow their yard. And if you want to make anything, you have to mow a lot of yards. There aren't very many competitors out there. I know of maybe 3 diff ones that have a lawn service here in town.
  4. GraZZmaZter

    GraZZmaZter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 740

    than open a lemonade stand for all those other LCO's during the summer...
  5. RX7

    RX7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    Do you have any experience doing lawn maintenance?
    Do you have a trailer and other equipment yet? If so what kind.
    Does your buddy have experience?
    If you can give more information about your plans, people can give you some good advice. I already think it would probably be a good idea to start the business by yourself. If there are two of you at the beginning, there will be too much expense and not enough income. Wait till you have enough business to keep you working full time and then bring in your buddy. Start him off part time until you get enough business so that both of you can work full time. You have to charge a customer a reasonable amount to make a business work. You can't do work for less than what it is worth. Find customers that want a professional job and will pay for it. You are using a professional piece of equipment and you have to make enough money to pay for it, and yourself. I don't know what people charge where you are from, but I would say that you would probably need to make atleast $30 per man hour to pay for expenses and yourself. If you became very efficient and knew what you were doing you could make $60 per man hour. If you are paying your own rent and food, it will be difficult starting out, but if you are living with your parents or somebody for cheap, it will be a little easier. You could maybe sacrifice the price of your services a little just to get your foot in the door. Have you made any advertisements, or do you have plans to do so? Give us some feedback, and we can try and help. :) RX7
  6. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    I also live in a small town, about 13,000 year round, increasing to about 25,000 during the summer. I work by myself and have 15 regular lawn customers. I also have 25 other customers that I do landscaping work for, mostly Spring and Fall. I make a good wage working,as I do it mostly part time. I do not have enough customers to hire an employee full time. I do hire a laborer when needed. If I were to hire an employee I think I would have to be mowing at least 50 properties per week, plus extra work. If you are just starting out it may be easier to keep it smaller for the first year and stay by yourself. As i have learned in the past three years that there are many mistakes to be made.
  7. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,909

    ZTRguy you just answered your own question! said you have to have as many accounts as possible due to a small city...well there is your answer how many accounts should I have is the question and you answered it " as many as possible" expand quick of expansion will only put you in the shitter quicker than you can think. You dont need an employee untill you cant handle the work load if your not doing any work yet why do you need an employee? Its a waste of his time
  8. fatboy5803

    fatboy5803 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 330

    I agree with ffshuter, I started late summer of last year, getting one here and there, some one timmers, I have 12 clients for sure, and probably more as I charged a fair rate and did excellent work.
    Most of the clients gave me more than I asked for as they were very pleased with the work, whitch made me happy. I gave everybody my card and before I could say anything they were offering to tell their friends, not everybody did this but a few ! I'm
    doing it part-time and a one man crew.. Like ffshuter said, "keep it small the first year". And the mistakes you will learn from. Before you know it you'll have your hands full :) of clients !

    Good Luck
  9. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,445

    year 2 is the good one. if you get 40-50 lawns in the 1st season something is gonna go wrong. working by yourself is good advice too.
  10. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    on your first year plan for the worst make sure you have a back up for everything believe me . my first year i had 42 weekly lawn accounts it was going great but did not plan ahead. in the middle of summer my trucks transmission gave out an took 2 weeks to the 2 week waiting period i lost all my customers sorry to say. believe me people do not wait ,so make sure you have all the basics an beyond covered. its all what you make of it ,have fun an get busy!!

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