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I need HELP, and fast!!!!!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by JerseyJay, Jun 11, 2003.

  1. JerseyJay

    JerseyJay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to help me out. Let first start off by telling you a little bit about myself. I am 25 years old, and I have worked for a telecommunications company since I graduated high school. I have gotten used to making really good money, and all of a sudden (like a usual telecom company) they have decided they don't need me anymore. I used to work for a friend who owns a lawn care company, and i was just brainstorming today about starting up my own gig. I will be employed for another 3 months or so, but I don't have to do any real work for them. I am looking at buying new equipment, so let me give you the list. I am looking at a new Wright Stander 61" mower, a John Deer self propelled (not sure of the model, but it's around $800.), a shindiawa trimmer and a trailer. I figure I can get all of this for under $10,000. I am hoping to have a little left over for advertising and such. In any case I need to know the best way to get customers. I am open to suggestions. I am primarily after residential work, I don't really think I can tackle commercial with just me, and I don't want the headache of employees right now. Also, how do you guys estimate pricing? I am thinking I will search for most of my work in nicer developments in the area, but I am not sure what to charge for regular cutting/trimming, and what to charge for fertilizing and such. I have done this type of work before, but like i said I never did the running of the business. PLEASE HELP ME OUT HERE.
  2. Lombardi

    Lombardi LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 538

    Since you have 3 months of full pay left, save as much as you can to make it through winter. It is very difficult to get new accounts after the season has been going for 2-3 months. Start advertising now. You will get some calls ,but not many. Go slow on the new purchases at first. Buy only the basics that you will need to get started, then wait until your business grows until you get more equipment.
    The pricing varies in all areas. My minimum price is $35.00. There isn't much profit in small accounts, but it is a starting point. Good luck.
  3. JerseyJay

    JerseyJay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks for the input Dave. What are the most effective types of advertising?
  4. Rhett

    Rhett LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,071

    What Lambardi said. Figure out what kind of accounts you will be servicing and purchase the MINIMUM amount of equipment you will need to service them. Believe me you will have more time than money at the beginning. Tough to get accounts right now, but now that it is getting hot a few of the fly by night companies are getting out and some home owners are giving in. Don't think I would go out and spend 10,000 right off the bat as believe me the first year will be really tight. Started last year this time of year and finished with 10 regulars and did a bunch of one time and crappy cleanup jobs just to keep things going. Hang through the winter and things will get better in the spring.

    Good Luck

  5. Lombardi

    Lombardi LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 538

    Yellow pages are good, but it is probably too late to get in them now. I would start with local newspapers. Run a small weekly ad so your name is seen every week.
    Put your company name on your truck. Both sides and tailgate. It will pay for itself.
  6. NYRookie

    NYRookie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 240

    Like everyone said, start slow and buy only what you need. You can buy more expensive stuff after you make some $. I had to pull my ad out of the local paper because I was getting swamped. You will almost for sure start out with small accounts, but do a good job and others will follow. Ex: I mowed a small $30 property last year. Picked up his daughter later in the season when her mower broke, snowplowing also. I now have the business were she works and her bosses house. The business and her boss both have diesel ztr's, but they just don't feel like mowing anymore. Fine by me.
  7. JerseyJay

    JerseyJay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Well, I met with my accountant today, and I think I am ready for the leap of faith. I am going to decide on a business name, and I am going to get ready to purchase equipment. I expect to start out slow, but by next year I hope to be in it full swing. In the meantime I will work on paying on my equipment. I think for simplicity sake I might just use my last name as a company name. I hope this works out!

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