How do I start?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by wanabe, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. wanabe

    wanabe LawnSite Senior Member
    from So. IL
    Messages: 943

    I have worked in the service industry(lawncare, construction, and landscaping) for the past 6 years. I recently had a disagreement with my employer, and am now looking to go into business for myself(hardscape/concrete). The main problem is how do I get the work? I live in a small community, know a lot of people and have a good reputation. This may be a good thing, but I am too embarased to place a add in the local paper. Should I be? I guess I am afraid of failure, and what people will think of me if things don't work out? In the 6 years, I had very few complaints, and very few call backs to fix any thing. All the customers were very satisfied when I was done. But the fact is that my former employers went out and got the jobs lined up, and I just did the jobs. I am more of a worker/foreman than a "people person".I have thought about fliers, but I always think "scam" for some reason when somone puts one in my mail box. I don't know why, but it looks cheep and not up to par to me. Word of mouth is ok, but that will not help when I have not done any jobs on my own yet. Any sugestions on what I should do? I am open to any ideas. I Thanks!
  2. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    Find another employer to work for. if you're thinking you're just going to be able to jump into it, the paper work is going to bury you.
  3. 2 clowns mowing

    2 clowns mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 566

    find another job and do this in your spare time until you feel you can make it on your own. but i always say buy a pickup, trailer, zero turn 48" mower , a trimmer and blower and by your self you can bring in $100,000.00 a year and pay off all of your equipment.
  4. wanabe

    wanabe LawnSite Senior Member
    from So. IL
    Messages: 943

    I already have another full time job, but it is a job that pays a salary and I have a ton of time off. But I am not interested in lowballing, so don't think that. What kind of paperwork will I need to do? This will only be a one man operation, so I will not have a payroll, ect. I have already talked to my insurance guy, and that seems pretty straight forward. I know I will need to file taxes every 3 months, but what else? I also help another guy as needed, but would like to go on my own this year. Thanks!
  5. thefed

    thefed LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 350

    just do it. get an ad in the paper. get some NICE postcards online.....I pay less than $.05 each delivered to my door -- color on both sides, glossy,professional appearance

    get the insurance, talk to an accountant. maybe goto your states website and file for a business license.

    then go get some work!
  6. instyle

    instyle LawnSite Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 380

    Here is how to start.....

    Go shopping without buying anything. Find out what your equipment is going to cost you, don't forget to factor in all the small things you need.

    Then figure out how much money you have. Can you afford it? if yes....continue.

    Figure out what liscencing is going to be, cost of insurance....blah blah blah. Can you afford it?.....if yes...continue.

    Think about how much money you now need to make to pay back what you spent, and then make a living on top of that. Don't forget that taxes will need to be paid. Be honest in this part. Weather you will acctually pay the taxes or not, remember that it will catch up with you and you will be forced to pay it. If you never factored that in to the equation, now you have a lump of money to pay. And you will look back and say....**** i never made any money. Once you know how much money you need to make, figure out how you will make many accounts you need.

    Then figure out what will happen to you if you can't make enough money in your first year. Do you have a family? kids? Will mom and dad help you out when things get tough?

    If you have made it this far......Ask your self...." Self, do you believe this is what you want to spend your money on and gamble with? Do I really want to do this? Am I willing to work 7 days a week for the first year?"

    If you answered yes.......Go buy your equipment and start.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Not to pick on you because they all say that, even the lowballers. :laugh:
  8. BravoMow

    BravoMow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    get another job. ON THE SIDE: start mowing. Mow what you can handle. Talking to people, advertise in the paper, and print flyers and business cards... it IS worth it. Mow what you can handle and slowly 'quit' the other job and before you know it you will have employees calling you while you drink lemonade in the mountains of Colorado. Good luck! just take a gamble, but don't bet anything. The WORST that can happen: door shut in you face, and you lose $40 with the paper ad. I bet you get atleast one to pay it back anyway. It is SO SO SO worth it. Good Luck!!!
  9. wanabe

    wanabe LawnSite Senior Member
    from So. IL
    Messages: 943

    Thanks for the info. As far as equipment(truck, trailer, hand tools, skid) goes, I pretty much have everything that I need, and it is all paid for(all but my trackhoe). I make enough money at my other job to suport myself, so if it don't work then I am not really out of anything. I know the cost of the insurance, have been to the courthouse to talk about regestering my business name, have good accounts set up at the material supliers that I would use, and have taked to my tax person about this. What else is left other than finding customers? And I do not lowball. Equipment and fuel is way too high to do that. Thanks for the sugestions and keep them coming!

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