How Sound Is My Plan?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Total_Lawn_Care, Jul 11, 2004.

  1. Total_Lawn_Care

    Total_Lawn_Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Ok guys, I plan on starting out with a small mowing business in the Spring of 05. I'm looking to grow my business in future to include landscaping, snow removal, etc. Heres the plan

    $1500 for a used commercial 38"-52" walk behind
    $ 200 on a 21 inch push mower
    $ 300 on a good blower (echo?)
    $ 150 on a weed eater (again, echo?)
    $ 800 on a 6.5' x 12' trailer for equipment
    $ 100 month on rental of a storage garage
    $ 50 on some gas tanks

    I'm looking at starting up for around $3500 including some business cards and accounting software. I want to run the business going into any debt, so I plan on starting small, spending the next 6 months or so doing research, getting about 10 accounts in the spring and learning on the job for a while. I've already got my first 4 accounts for next year, and they're all next to rental houses next door to each other.

    You guys think a 97' S-10 with a 4 cylinder is going to pull a loaded 12 foot trailer?
  2. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,676

    With that small a load on it I don't see why it wouldn't pull it. Some of the numbers seem a bit low are you planning on buying used for the 21-inch mower or the weed wacker. Also as far as echo goes if there is no other brand with in 50 miles of you I would still have to think about it.

    When you do buy often what you think saved you money may infact have cost you money. Say you did what I did last year I could have bought a digital brake module for my truck that runs the trailer brakes it would of cost 100 dollars. Instead I bought the cheap one for 75 dollars well you guessed it it doesn’t work well and now I have to buy the 100 dollar one any way. So instead of saving me 25 dollars that move cost me 75 dollars. Be careful when you start not to buy total pieces of crap your only regret it later as you get to buy it all over again. Another example I did a sod job my first season that completely went to hell the grade just wasn’t coming out and the customer was all over us had I had just one 3 foot grading rake I could have cut 4 man hours off the job. The rake cost around 30 dollars the men cost quite a bit more then that. So much for savings it sometimes cost less to spend money then to hold on to it.

    As for starting cash that’s a real shoestring budget and I wish you the best of luck with it when I started in 03 we started with 65,000 and that was tight I would have preferred 100,000. I would want more then 3,500 just for your first years advertising come spring you got to do an ad blitz and it has to work or your dead. You need to get a cash flow started as soon as you can your first year 10 accounts are great but it wont generate much working capital.
  3. EastProLawn

    EastProLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,110

    Alot of the local LCO's that I know started out with about the same and some of them are huge now with plenty of work. Stay true to your plan and everything will fall into place although I would definitely try to get a bigger truck than a 4 banger Chevy S-10.
  4. Husky03

    Husky03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 432

    Your numbers are low. I would not get echo. The only thing they have that impresses me is there blowers, the rest seems to be built flimsy and cheap IMO. I recomend Husqvarna for all of your 2 stroke stuff. It is not extremely expensive and it is built well. Also, do not forget to get an edger. Edging, trimming, and cleanup are what make you better than the rest. Anyone can use a mower. Hope this helped a little.:)
  5. Team Gopher

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

    Hi Total_Lawn_Care,

    Could you get started even sooner with less equipment to get a jump start on next year? Just a thought.
  6. JandRLandscape

    JandRLandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I started with a 48" bobcat wb, shindaiwa trimmer, echo blower, and got a good deal on a year old 6x12 open trailer for $800.

    I still only have 6 account but the two bigs ones I get $75, $55 per cut the other are 45 and 25.

    Someone else mentioned buying better equipment and I agree but you gotta bargain shop look and look all over the place, and try to buy used from a homeowner because their stuff is usually in new shape.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Here's what I started with in 2002-

    21" John Deere self propelled- $470

    Shindaiwa T-230 trimmer- $270

    Shindaiwa stick edger- $330

    Stihl blower (handheld)- $160

    Ran this out of the back of a 2000 Nissan Frontier, kept all the equipment in the shed in my backyard. Since then I've added an Exmark Metro 36" ($2,309) and about $30 for homemade ramps to get Metro in and out of the back of my truck.

    Good luck to you!
  8. MJD75

    MJD75 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    It could be done with your prices. Can you cut the storage fee? Store your equip elsewhere, or cheaper storage.
  9. TEG

    TEG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    6x12' trailer for $800? Thats the best price I've ever seen. Where did you guys find that?
  10. JandRLandscape

    JandRLandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I found my trailer by looking around a lot. It was a homeowners who used it for hauling quads. Its a single axle.

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