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Full Time up and running

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by fulltime, May 10, 2007.

  1. fulltime

    fulltime LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    First of all I'd like to say what a great resource this site has been for me over the past year or so.

    I've been in the car business now for about 5 years and have had great success in the business. For about the past 2 years I have set aside as much money as possible so I can pursue my dreams of owning my own lawn care business. I'm at the point now where I have the money to do so but won't go at it full time until the spring of 2008 most likely. I haven't decided yet exactly what equipment I will go with but I have the cash to purchase a used truck, a couple nice used mowers as well as everything else that I will need.

    I plan on spending about $15,000 on a truck, $2,000 on a trailer, $5,000-$6,000 on a ZTR, $3,000 on a wb for the yards with gates and about $500 a piece for a good blower and edger. I plan on buying a Walker mower as well as the areator and dethatching attachments so I can make more money in spring and fall.

    My initial business plan calls for 50 weekly contracts. Most of these lawns will be billed at a rate of $30-$45 per cut depending on yard size and obsticles on the property. I feel that with efficent equipment I should be able to hammer 50 properties out on my own while doing good qualtiy work.

    I'm not a total newbie to the business as I worked for a company in college and mow som neighbors and others that live near me. I also do installs for cash on the side...usually only 3-5 per summer.

    Anyways I feel that with the right marketing and almost a year to work at it I can get reach my goals of 50 contracts by next cutting season. On top of cutting I will also do the other jobs that most owners do as well as snow plow in the winter months to supplement my income.

    To live comfortably I really only need about $40,000 a year to survive and I don't plan on changing my lifestyle at all until I can afford to put another crew or 2 on the road mowing

    The reason for my rambling is simply to get tips and advice from some of the guys that are full time and doing what they love. If you see anything in my plans that is crazy let me know...i'm open to all ideas and critics.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. WJW Lawn

    WJW Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,330

    Good luck to you!! AND...Kudos to you for going out of pocket on your venture! It's so nice when equipment is paid for!

    You should have no problems knocking out 50 a week solo. If you do...then ya better charge more than 45...cause those would be some big yards!
  3. fulltime

    fulltime LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    The yard sizes are all fairly small postage stamp lots in neighborhoods with hundreds and hundreds of homes so i can focus on a few of these neighborhoods to keep my drive time down.
  4. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    Good luck.........

    it never goes that way..... but good luck anyway
  5. grassmanak

    grassmanak LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 792

    what about the 5K it will cost you to obtain 50 clients.
  6. prosperity

    prosperity LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    That's what I was thinking.....I didn't see advertising costs in your list..

    But anyway, I applaud you with taking the time and thinking everything through. Sounds like you have a sound plan - the best part is saving up and buying your equipment outright.
  7. fulltime

    fulltime LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I've got about 10 that are for sure accounts without even trying, mostly family and neighbors but they are charged the same as Joe Blow is. As for the other 40 I need, I will get them. Wheather you are selling cars or selling a grass cutting service its all about networking. To be honest I've had 100's of flyers stuck to my mailbox from other companies but I never seem to see their trucks in the area. I will obviously have to spend some money on advertising but I plan on getting most of my business by going out and asking for it. If by mid winter I'm not where I need to be I will try new things.

    I am also working on a website to draw traffic to my business. I've already created one that gets huge numbers on a national level so focusing on a targeted area should be no problem. Feel free to check out my other site. www. used boat yard .com (NO SPACES..i did this so the link from this site doesn't appear in the search engines.
  8. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    5K to get 50 residential accounts? Are you gold-plating the flyers?

    I have at rough count 23 weekly accounts, 2 bi-weekly and one commercial.

    Spent 350 bucks on a 5x2" ad in a phone book.

    Passed out probably around 2K flyers. Printed them myself, at a cost of roughly 200 bucks or so(printer ink is ungodly expensive).

    Gained 3 of those accounts by word of mouth or the client being someone I already knew. One is my accountant's house:)

    My time/gas to distribute flyers, who knows... But those don't total 5K by any stretch of the imagination.
  9. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,674

    Fiveoboy01 why would you waste your time printing your own flyers? I came up with my design, carried it to Staples and had 1000 made for les then $40 on colored paper.
  10. M&SLawnCare

    M&SLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    Best part is you thought ahead and saved up enough to buy your equipment outright. I don't know how some people can keep this up knowing they need 20 some whatever an hour just to break even after paying for equipment. Then tackon cost of living and so forth. Going in completly paid for is an incredible comfort and advantage.

    Sounds like you've been putting a lot of time into this. The plan looks good, and i assume you did your research in the area as to how easy you'll be able to land those 50 accounts? Some areas that can be done with almost no advertising costs, evidently some people live in an area where they spend 5k to gain that. :dizzy: 50 yards a week for a solo guy is very doable with decent equipment.

    And yes, don't print your own flyers lol, much much cheaper to have it done for you.

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