Help/Suggestion to re-establishing my busn. next year

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bballv20, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. bballv20

    bballv20 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Please Help

    A friend and I started a lawn business this summer during break from school. Business has been slow and hard to get for us and now he won't be around for next summer so ill need to buy new equipment. We only have 8 regular accounts which sucks but I must note we only spent $2,600 for equipment.

    We bought a Cub Cadet z-force 50" zero turn with a bagging system for $2,000. I know its not comparable to an exmark or anything but it was a really good deal and had only 330 hours. I know we only have 8 regular account but I gotta say i really do like it.
    we bought a tandem axle 5x12 foot trailer for only $600. Very narrow but it was an excellent deal

    Everything else we needed we got from our parents garage. We have a homelite trimmer/edger which I really like, a ryobi 33cc hand blower (it kinda sucks), and a 33" troy bilt walk behind thats an excellent back up.

    now that I have told you everything we have now ill start by saying were selling the zero-turn and trailer everything else ill keep since its from my garage. Im planning on starting over next season. I plan on getting an enclosed trailer probably 7x14 because I hate keeping my equipment outside under a tarp. I'm looking for some suggestions on making my business bigger next year and some suggestions on a zero turn and other equipment. I'm pretty good at finding deals and I plan on buying in cash but will consider payment plans from a dealer (which i don't know is a good idea.) Any help would be appreciated!
  2. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    I'm don't have near the expertise of many on this board in this business, but I'm old enough that I hope I've gained a little insight into life in general.

    First off, let me congratulate you for having a work ethic at an early age. Way too many don't. Secondly, everyone wants to start at the top, but in reality, very, very few people do so. Most have to scrimp, save, and scratch their way to the top in their chosen field. Don't apologize for only having 8 accounts. If they are bid reasonably, and you are dependable, and do good work, you have a good foundation upon which to start.

    I am not sure why you are considering selling your equipment from the information in your post, but I gathered that the partnership didn't work out, which is not all that uncommon. I have a suggestion. Rather than sell out and purchase what will probably be more expensive equipment, which you really don't need at this point, why not agree on a price for the equipment with your partner, and buy out his half? Doing so would keep you in the business with minjmal additional outlay. You might even be able to work out a payment schedule, or take over all the mowing right now, and pay him his half to retire the debt.

    Best of luck. Neill
  3. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I like what MOturkey suggested, "buying out" your partner's half. It should be much more economical for you to do that, rather than have to shell out a bunch more money at the beginning of next season. Figure out what your partner's half/share in the business is and pay him that amount.

    Like stated previously, everyone wants to start at the top and have all the great equipment. I've been in this industry commercially for a few years and I am still not near the top. I'd love to have 8.5x20 enclosed trailers, new duramax trucks, and a ton of equipment....but those things all take time. Start out small and upgrade/replace as you get more work or as things wear out. I know you don't feel all that "professional" when using residential grade mowers or having to cover your equipment with tarps overnight, but we all had to start somewhere. Like I said, just give it time and build up your business as you gain it.

    Your young and in school, DO NOT get into payment plans. Save your money, pay with cash.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    You plan on half-assing it the second time around or you want to do it right?

    Why it is that the hard way is usually the right way, however you decide
    but your choices today affect how things will go later down the road.

    Go find a part time (or full time) job and while you're still living with your parents
    save your money as much as you can put aside, keep doing that until you have
    6-7-8000 dollars, might take a year (or three) but don't look back and no regrets.

    And I'm not trying to talk you out of anything but that enclosed trailer new?

    I believe for my 6x12 single axle regular trailer I paid $1,500 new.
    I'm in my 9th year and that trailer is all I have ever used, I cover things with tarps,
    didn't even realize there existed other ways.

    You'll also need some decent hand helds, that will run you a grand.
    Plan on spending 3-4 thousand on lawn mowersss.

    You're going to need a 3/4 ton pickup truck, they cost at LEAST a grand but
    if you can spend 1400-2-3000 that would be better.

    Then you still need a shovel, a rake, a tarp or two, oh you have all that, a wheel barrow,
    loppers, shears, pruners, a hand saw, and a set of tools like sockets / wrenches / a hammer / etc.

    Well that's 8 grand.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
  5. cujrh10

    cujrh10 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    Get a game plan for what you want to do. Set some goals and stay focused. Some guys like Topsite here will try to turn your situation into crap regardless of which route you choose. Just know that guys like him are always out there (and on this site) and they will always try to drag you down and run you through the mud. If you can rise above all of that and keep getting back up when you get knocked down then you will do just fine. Best of luck parnter!
  6. bballv20

    bballv20 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    thanks for the advice so far! I'm still looking at my options and not sure what im doing for sure yet. Once I figure everything out ill be sure to let everyone know!
  7. dougdm

    dougdm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 143

    Ok, you have $2600 worth of "new" equipment. If you are able to talk with your partner reasonably, at best the equipment is now worth $2000. Speak with him to see if he would split it for a $1k by out. If your parents can help go that route, they should have no reason to say no, if you are a good worker (also if they have the money). This will keep you in the business, and you will know what you have (equipment way). So you are not out looking for new/used junk just to get started all over again.

    I have leaned on my parents, and have repaid them with interest. I have really learned alot about business by working with my rents over the years, which is now paying off very well. I applaud you and wish you the best of luck.

    Also, tarping equipment is protection for that equipment-not a shameful act. NEVER be ashamed of what you have, or have to do to keep your business going. Just try to better yourself every year!!!

    Your success will come, if you plan and save

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