Getting Started : 2014

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Stars & Stripes Landscaping, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. Stars & Stripes Landscaping

    Stars & Stripes Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 246

    Good evening folks! I've been playing with this idea of starting a side business doing landscaping, I am not looking to make it my full time career as of right now. I currently work full time evenings which leaves my days open and usually 2 days during the week to plan for larger time consuming jobs. I have a Chevy 1500, purchasing a Echo SRM-266 shortly and I also have your general hand tools (rake, shovels, ect). I plan to ONLY finance my mower which I would love suggestions on, I was thinking a 52" deck. I've noticed a lot of manufactures are doing 0% interest for 36+ months which would be great!

    I've done some searching and couldn't find much good information as far as where to get information for insurance and what to get covered, also information as far as quoting jobs for mowing and a suggested break down on profit & business costs. Any helpful information would be great, I would LOVE to set a bit of money aside for advertising I've read a lot of people highly suggest doing door hanges & sending out direct mailing fliers which actually don't seem too too expensive. Thanks in advanced!
  2. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    52" mower.

    How are you getting that through 36" gates?

    What is the most common size properties in your area?

    How open are these properties?

    A 48" maybe a better fit. A 54", closer to a 60" and should get through a 5' gate.

    Takes time to build a route. And working PT, you finance a mower and all your income may go to paying off your mower. Meaning first three years you will not draw a salary.
  3. Stars & Stripes Landscaping

    Stars & Stripes Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 246

    Good question on the gates, there are a mix quantity of gated & non gated properties and honestly I would be okay if I made no profit till the mower was paid off as long as my revenue was paying ALL of my business costs. I'm spoiled right now with my full time job with local government benefits and retirement, this is sort of going to be my retirement savings plan on top of what I'm already doing - at 22 years old I want to pay more for my future then ever.
  4. TML

    TML LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    If your that young and don't need the income immediately try working part time for a local reputable LCO or assist someone that you may know in the industry. That way you can see what equipment works good for what and get an idea on how long jobs and mowing will take. You will also get exposed to some pricing in the area although many LCOs don't share that with employees.
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  5. Stars & Stripes Landscaping

    Stars & Stripes Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 246

    I work full time 40+ a week right now and fill in for the LCO per diam doing side jobs, I did 8 months working for LCO doing all sorts of stuff. I am ready to do it myself and give it a go for a little extra income. I cannot afford to leave my current position to start a job for a LCO unless the expect to offer more then me & benefits with retirement lol
  6. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,724

    8 whole months is extremely light in the experience dept. 5 years including time in a foreman position would be a much stronger resume. But its your life and you will inadvertently walk into some very expensive mistakes from lack of experience.

    The size mower for this state sounds fine a 60 would likely be the better choice. As far as gated lawns go you won't be able to do them at first with out a smaller mower. But a main mower is a far more important tool here than what I would call a secondary mower. We run a 52 with a 36 and a 60 with a 44 but if we had to be down a mower we would always pick a small one. They just can't cover the ground the big ones can. You could do the gated yards with a 21 but your soon see it is less than practical when your use to a 60. Bottom line is you have the ability to pick and choose who you work for and many guys in this are pass on the gated bs. The advantages for doing the gated lawns is few landscapers here compete for it so they are easier to score.
  7. Stars & Stripes Landscaping

    Stars & Stripes Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 246

    Thanks. In those 8 months I actually have done a lot and learned quite a few different aspects of the job, the best part is the networking I have begun with fellow LCO's in my area all in which are friends. I ran a few job sites, operated skid steers, dump trucks, mowers and a few other things.

    I learn well by doing, hopefully by doing won't mean an expensive screw up. I will start with a 52, then purchase a 36 walk behind to do gated areas. I would love to be in a foreman position, it's not financially nor career orientated if I drop a full time career with a town entity to become a foreman for a lawn company.
  8. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,053

    Find something else to do and leave the lawns to people who do it full time to feed there families.
  9. Stars & Stripes Landscaping

    Stars & Stripes Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 246

    Bold statement. Who's to say I won't make this my full time to feed my family, with little experience in the business before I dive in I will tread water. I'll be sure to let you know if I let you know if I need to sell my equipment so that way you can increase productivity to feed your family.
  10. beargins

    beargins LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    If I were you I would discount what wildstarblazer 100%. I'm starting soon too (Lord willing), and I'll be starting with 21" mowers because I don't expect to start out with large accounts/commercial accounts. Food for thought. Its your life, I sincerely wish you the best of luck! We need more 22 year olds who are motivated, independent and have strong work ethic!

    Do your research and knock it out of the park man!

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