How Did You Start Out?

Discussion in 'Industry Surveys & Polls' started by MJS, May 4, 2008.

  1. MJS

    MJS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,316

    So how did you guys start out?

    #1 Borrowed or given equipment?

    #2 Bought your own small stuff at first (21" etc)?

    #3 Started big, with zero turns and tons of commercial stuff?

    #4 Or had a similar business - irrigation, landscaping, handyman, etc. and grew from there?

    #5 Or anything else?

    Just curious.

    P.s. decided to not take the traditional poll route, as hardly anybody does anything but vote. Here we can get some real responses.

    I'm not aware of any poll like this being around for a good long time. . .
  2. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

  3. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    15 dollar Stihl FS 66, early nineties. Needed a fuel line.
    85 dollar craftman back-pack blower from e-bay.
    15 dollar sidewalk edger, old school wih a briggs 2.5 horse motor, works like a new one, and I edge beds with it.
    Cheap hand tools.
    Reasonbly priced 01 S-10, high mileage, 4 wheel, with 4.3 v-6
    Cheap simplicity 34 inch mower, with bagger. Stripes like a baseball diamond.
    166 dollar hedge trimmer attachment for the FS 66, from e-bay, one power unit to repair.

    Hand labor instead of using expensive exuipment. Cheaper to feed the labor than to make costly payments and repairs.

    Small operation= lower liability insurance payments.

    I have done all the repairs on my equipment. More than what I would like if I had new. But, had the time.
  4. MJS

    MJS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,316

    I started out like #2 - bought some cheaper stuff - worked my way up to commercial equipment finally.
    But there appears to be a pretty good chunk of guys who started out with all the right stuff - nice trucks, trailers, equipment - all at the beginning.
  5. NOOB

    NOOB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 188

    #3 just starting out now in the real world
    I had used a next door neighbors mower and did my grandmother Park she lived in now I still do that but with my own stuff
  6. elite lawns

    elite lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 363

    #2 here i started with a lawnboy troy belt weed eater blower from lowes those were the days lol
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I have a feeling that with the current market, that some of these guys that have invested substantial amounts of money to buy new equipment, might be SOL if the bottom falls out.

    Sure, you have all the stuff you need right away, but what happens when you can't make the payments on 150,000 dollars worth of equipment. I see new home construction droping off, customers droping mow services to pay for fuel, and booming business expansions coming to a screaching halt.

    It's going to get harder to find new accounts.
  8. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 2,412

    Who buys $150k worth of stuff to mow some grass?

    #1 here
  9. JFF

    JFF LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    Well, I needed a "I went to work for another company for 7 years" option.

    As far as starting out for myself, option 3 is the closest. People knew I had experience, so I started out doing some consulting. Before I knew it, I was a landscaper again.
  10. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 1,291

    Started out with a Steiner 61" ZTR , Sthil 110 Weed Eater, and Push Mower.

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