Green to the business...couple of ????'s

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Penpro, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. Penpro

    Penpro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    To make a long story short, i started last Thursday with one helper and 3 rakes from Wal-Mart. My helper has the car, i have the tools. We were both working at a Temp. agency so we were getting paid daily. I made a deal with him that i would split the $$$, basically i was using him for his car. First lawn was for $30 !! ( I know what your thinking ) Anyways, in less than a week we've made $485.00 split two ways. $242 isn't that much if you think about it. The last job took about 4 hours and we charged 120. So my first question is : Should i charge by the hour or by the job. Oh yeah, i just bought an electric blower, ( hey, it's a start ) so that's helping alot. Second question: What are some other jobs that we can do in the winter. ie. roses, gutters, planting, seeding...... any and all advice is appreciated. Thanks.
  2. medimac

    medimac LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    either go work for a legitimate company for a year or so to learn the basics of the job to see if this is something you really want to do or start off on the right foot and go get licensed/insured and buy the best equipment(preferably commercial equipment) you can afford and set up a legit business.
    If not don't be out there giving low ball prices because in say 6 months when you decide to say (the hell with this) then the only thing you have done was drive down the prices of lawn care. This ends up hurting the guy who is legit and in this business for the long haul.
  3. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    A 4 hour job with 2 people in Virginia beach for $120 ?

    I've got some good advice for you, and I'm not being a smartazz either...............Educate yourself on the business and its needs first before going any further.
    Lawnsite is a good place to start, but please educate yourself.
  4. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,170

    Penpro, I think it's a great thing that you are doing. Everyone has to start somewhere. I don't agree with some of the things medimac had to say (nothing against your opinion medimac) such as getting licensed and insured just yet. It sounds like to me you are out there trying to make a little extra cash and I don't see why you would need to be fully legit to be raking leaves, the season is going to end soon and quite honestly you aren't gonna make enough raking leaves to report taxes. Another thing, seeing that you don't have a car, I wouldn't suggest buying all the latest commercial equipment putting yourself in debt by thousands of dollars if you can't even get it to the job you are doing, that would be crazy. I think you should concentrate on making a little extra money right now so that you can afford a cheaper car and then you can get rid of your help and keep all the money. Another thing, keep in mind you really can't get much more for getting up leaves then you are charging because someone else with all the professional equipment can do it much cheaper and faster because they have the equipment, but it isn't in your best interest to go buy that stuff right now just to get up leaves. I know this is long and confusing probably but hopefully i made since. Good luck to you, and remember, if you do decide to start doing more things such as cut grass and prune shrubs, then you do need to be insured!

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Your prices are a bit low, but, you're out there with rakes, its hard to do as good a job with rakes vs. a blower. If you stick with this you'll definitely need to be licensed and insured, but as for now, sounds like you're just trying to get by, there's nothing wrong with that. In a large area like Hampton Roads, 2 guys with rakes aren't going to drive down the price of lawn care.
  6. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    my best advice would be to just read the posts on here over and over again. Educate yourself by reading the different threads in all areas (business, lawn care, landscaping, etc.)
  7. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

    Hi Penpro,

    How about holiday lighting? Gutter Cleaning etc.

    Here is a free flyer you can use to help promote your business. Click image for link.

  8. mow2nd

    mow2nd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 603

    I think you should go work for a Professional Company, for a year or 2 and learn as much as you can
  9. Penpro

    Penpro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Thanks for all the insight. First of all, i'm not trying to low-ball. That's why i'm asking questions. But i don't want to hand a customer an estimate for $250 just for raking leaves.....or do you guys think i should. The neighborhood is decent with more than a handful of the women stay at home moms.... i know they have money and want the stuff done.....after Hurricane Isabel.....i knocked doors for a tree cutting company and made them 200,000 in 2 months.....should i just make the first offer pretty high and drop from there......or should i charge hourly....if hourly how much is too much.....i was thinking $75 an hour.............oh yeah.....thanks for the lists of other jobs....i never even thought of holiday lighting.
  10. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    i second the work for someone else first.

    you don't want to dive in and then realize you hate your work.

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