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how to put together a supply yard? any insight greatly appreciated

Discussion in 'Nurseries and Growers' started by mcwlandscaping, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    im new to this section but want to start thinking of the future ahead of me. I have always liked going to my mulch suppliers yard and seeing all the giant bins of the different kinds of mulch, stone, soils, and other neat things. and then on top of that they have bagged supplies, and plants, i want something i guess like a nursery where people can come and look at things, not just a supply yard for me.

    so i guess my question is really, what are the steps to start something like this, as i know that in the future this is something ide really like to do, where do you buy the massive amounts of mulch and other things from? what is the current upsell rate that you guys put on your products. also things like what things like the blocks for the mulch bins cost (ide put those together, by that time ill have the equipment to do that im sure), are there specific ways to set up a nursery? what equipment is good to have at the yard (like loaders for filling trucks and such)?

    what are some problems people have run into in setting up and running your own yards?

    any insight would be greatly appreciated as i have been thinking more and more about this lately but is deffinatly something ide like to plan for in my future

  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Well you need a whole lot of money for one thing because you'll need a semi truck with piggyback forklift.A backhoe with several size buckets,a forklift
    large and a small dump trucks.A scale for weighing
    stone ,and or a drive-on scale.Computers,yard crew and office person,Land to lease and material to set up your stock.and money to supply your yard for at least a year.That's to start.
  3. nocutting

    nocutting LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 530

    Hello, I've seen a few very small to start op's that have grown over the years......and still dont have a 1/3 of that equipment?...........seems a good used forklift & loader are mandatory, and at least a 2-3yd dump for local deliveries.............:usflag:
  4. Mr. Vern

    Mr. Vern LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    The first thing you need to do is to determine what market you are going to target. The equipment listed above (perhaps with the exception of the backhoe) is some of the the stuff you could use, but is by no means all required at start up. You can get away without having a business plan(although it is not recommended) when you start a lawn mowing business, or maybe even a landscape installation business, but you should not even entertain entering the retail materials business without a very carefully developed business plan. Once you know and understand your target market, the equipment, staffing, and capital requirements will become much more clear to you. If you are serious about the business you can PM me and I will be glad to give you some advice. We have a 6 acre yard where we grind and color our own wood prodcuts, screen and amend soil, and carry most bulk materials that are used in our area. We focused our business on being a wholesale supplier for the first four years and now that it is established we are targeting the retail sector. We are working on the plans for a design center with large scale landscaping displays; our vision is to become a one stop shop for high end landscaping needs. We are in the process of opening another yard about 50 miles North of us, as well as a multi-acre composting facility. I have learned an awful lot of lessons over the past few years (most of them by making mistakes). The most important advice I can give you is to know the market you are seeking to enter - is there a NEED for the services or materials you plan to supply. The issue is not whether people use them, the question is whether they have a good source for them.
  5. beautifullawns

    beautifullawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 313

    You can start with a one ton dump and a backhoe or loader with a one yard bucket. Don't sell anything by weight. Sell it by the yard. The blocks you need to make the bins with only cost $20 per block. If you need forks get a set for the backhoe or loader. You can do it by yourself while still landscaping. Just have people call a cell phone number when they want something and then you can deliver it or load them up.

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