How should it be done?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by thenewone, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. thenewone

    thenewone LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Hi, im a new member to I am 17 yrs old and i did landscaping as a side job over the summer. I had 6 yards to maintain. They ranged from half an acre to 2 acres. I am a one man operator who uses a 1998 John Deere HD45 walkbehind mower. It has a 48" deck. i also have an echo string trimmer and a craftsman blower (more like crapsman). I know my equipment and i know im not using the best. Landscaping for my self treated me so well last summer i want to do it again. Although, this time i want to make it my full time job. I read in the book How to earn at least sixty dollers per hour mowing grass... and still be the low bidder that you should start passing out fliers around the end of Febuary and keep on doing it till you are booked. Do you think that is a good idea or will people get agitated? Also, i was talking to one of my customers and he suggested putting quotes on fliers so people didn't need to call for them and that all they need to do is schedule me to start. I am marketing to a development where house prices range from $350,000- $1,100,000. There is also a ton of other developments i can and will market to that are cheeper, but i want to focus my attention on that one development. Along with getting more yards to do, next year i want to buy a Walker mower. They have the versitility i need as a solo entepreneur. With the walker i hope to get my stihl or redmax bower and edger. Please i am open to suggestions and comments. Tell me if somethings stupid or if you have any better marketing ideas. All comments are appreciated.
  2. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    the flyers constantly being put out is a good idea, putting pricing on them is not, do a search on this subject....

    make shure you have insurance and all requred licence, in ohio you must register your business with the state,and many countys and towns, you may meed a licence for each town you live in... and you HAVE to charge sales tax if you make more then 5000 for a year, which isnt much

    you can get all the paper work here
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,588

    I would take a long look at buying a Walker unless you must bag the grass. With the Walker you have to buy special decks for bagging/mulching/sidedischarge. You would have over $10K in that unit pretty quick. Don't get me wrong they are good units, we have one We use 48" Scag ZTR with mulching devices to do all our mowing and I have never had anyone who didn't think that was good enough. But maybe the grass in your area is different.
  4. Reliable Lawns

    Reliable Lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    Dave, you have to "Charge" sales tax if you make more than $5,000 a year? Here, I believe there is an amount where you would have to Pay income tax over a certain amount. Also here we don't have to charge sales tax, unless putting down pesticides ie: Grub control. Not saying you are wrong, I just haven't heard of that. have a good Christmas everyone!

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Yes the passing of fliers is a good idea and yes i would keep doing it. I no longer advertise that way but used to pass them every month. Even when you get full, keep them out for a while. Bid all new work at a higher rate than your present stuff and start to drop your lowest paying.

    My guess is that the hood you are targeting is wanting 1st rate work and FULL service. Are you set up for that.

    Also look at the size of the yard rather than the price of the home.
    $1,000,000 homes have a lot of fancy landscape to mow and trim around. Cheap homes are mostly square and just grass.
    Most areas will have a general price for cutting. So if people think cutting should pay $10.00 you want homes that take 15min to do rather than homes that take 35min. (numbers just example)
  6. thenewone

    thenewone LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    The main reason i want to get a Walker is because i can switch cutting decks, attachments, and catch the grass when the client asks other than that i was thinkin about leavin the hatch open or buyin a side discharge deck. I thought the attachments could ease the work during fall and spring clean-ups because the dealer i buy from rents them. I need to put morethought and research into the possibilities.
  7. Lawn Masters

    Lawn Masters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 850

    IMO, any mower that you have to swap decks to discharge bag or mulch will become quite counterproductive very fast. I'd look for something a little easier, that can do all of that with one deck. save your money, and use it later to buy a nice mower later
  8. True Cut Lawn Maintenance

    True Cut Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 418

    get a hydro walk behind and throw a ocdc on it and get a pro catcher youd have 3500 or so in it probably.
  9. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    its a state issue, has nothing to do with income tax....thanks to govener taft, all services in ohio are subject to sales tax....

    if you follow the link i posted all the information is there
  10. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,619

    My advice is use the "Search" feature on this site and start researching what others have said on this site about "Walker" and other items you may buy in the future.

    Don't take all posts as true. Some people will troll and say some pretty crazy stuff. Some people will put down a brand but have never used it (i.e. the silly Chevy vs Ford macho thing). I suspect there are some people on here that are are dealers pushing certain brands that really talk it up for the brand and don't identify themselves as a dealer.

    Be careful that you don't get all excited about a product that is being talked about on this site and now you want it but ask yourself do you really need it yet.

    I don't know anything about Walker other than what I read here but I do own several Stihl products and there are real good for me.

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