!!!!!! I Want To Learn !!!!!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Garry_E, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. Garry_E

    Garry_E LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Ok here it is. In high school I mowed lawns all summer and all school year for about 4 years. The thing is now i am in college and i need a summer job and think that this is the easiest way for me to go. So I have a couple of simple questions that I need answered. I tried looking at other threads so i wouldn't be asking the same questions over and over but i didn't find the answers that i needed. So here are the questions:

    1. How much money do I need to get started?

    2. What are good machines to have for a start up business?

    3. How much do I charge? Is there a formula or guideline to how much I charge?

    4. How to I get my name out there? Being there are so many people thinking about the same thing i am, how do I make myself stand out?

    5. As a start up do I worry about paying taxes, or anything to that extent?

    6. Can I start in a weeks time or is a business plan needed to get out there?

    7. Is it wise to offer fall clean up, and snow clean up also as startup, so that i can have business year round?

    8. Is going door to door a good way to get clients, or is make posters acceptable?

    I thank all of you who view my thread and leave responses. Every bit of help that can be given will be appreciated. Also if there is any good reading material that is useful please let me know.

    Thank For Your Time

  2. jazak

    jazak LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 843

    1- you can start with as little as $1K or as much as $100K depends on what you can afford. To really get good equipment you will nedd the following find the cost on these plus insurance and advertisements and that what you should spend take a loan out for.
    2- A good machine to get first would be a new or slightly used 36" walkbehind hydro. Even though hydro will cost more it is worth it. Its faster and has less wear and tear.
    Also get a commercail weedwacker, edger, and backpack blower.
    3- I charge by the size of yard and when they want it cut. There are some formulas that help which some other guys will probobly post.
    4- Put out LOTS of door hangers, business cards, and get magnets for your truck and do a good job and your name will get out there. If you do hardscaping or do big jobs, new lawn, retainer wall, ext put up a sign thar has you company name, phone, logo, what you do, ext.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    5-10K should get you a good start Plus about 4-5 months living money as it will take a while to start making any.

    36-44 hydro walk would work here, but it really depends on the size lots you do

    Enough to pay for tools -- gas and overhead-- labor---profit---

    Wear pink or lime green

    YES, YES, YES--- or move to another country- If I pay, so do you!!!

    Today with a plan

    Do you want to eat all year

    do anything---do it now!!!!!!
  4. Mrk'sLawn

    Mrk'sLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
    Wear pink or lime green
    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
  5. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    A lot. 1K is a laugh to get started, if you're serious about it you'll need a bunch more than that. You need a mower, trailer, at least one trimmer and blower and mabye an edger. Sure, you can get a 21" push mower and a weedeater and blower for cheap and throw them in your truck, but it will be time-consuming to do jobs.

    Then you've got to register a business name. Here in WI it costed me $155 to file the articles of incorporation which made my LLC/company name official.

    Insurance. I'm paying about 1400 per year. This covers my truck, my brother's truck, trailer, both my mowers, misc equipment, and covers my rear if I damage property or someone gets hurt, or if anything gets stolen.

    There's misc stuff, too. I've got an accountant to pay, I bought an invoicing program for my computer, a new file cabinet, a rolodex, a big calendar, and the list goes on and on. You don't HAVE to have all the stuff, but if you're serious you should.

    I think everyone's given pretty good answers. A 36-48 inch walk behind, preferably hydro drive. I'll go against the grain here and say that if you can afford a new one, buy it. You get a warranty, and with a used one you don't know how well it's been maintained. But it's not going to be cheap. I saved a fair amount of cash before I went buying my equipment.

    If you're going to finance a mower, be sure you can afford to pay for it, and don't count on the business to pay for it for you. If I get zero business or lose every account I have now, I can still afford the payments on the one mower I financed.

    Answers vary wildly. I find that the most generic answer you'll get here is "find out how much you want to make, and charge accordingly". Well, I think that's vague and a lot of people purposely skip around the question.

    Residential up to 1/4 or a half acre, 35.00 to 50.00 depending on the amount of obstacles and trimming.

    A full acre, with few obstacles and limited trimming, I could see charging around 50-65 bucks depending on said factors.

    Get business cards made up. Make flyers and/or door hangars, and distribute them. Put an ad in the local newspaper. the yellow pages is an option, but expensive. Get your truck and/or trailer lettered up with your logo. Keep your equipment looking good. Search this site. There are a TON of advertising resources here.

    If you're legit, then yes. A good CPA helps here. They really aren't that expensive.

    You should have a plan. Figure what you want to charge and write it down. Figure out where you want to be working at, target certain areas, and write those down. Make a list of everything you think you will need, and write that down.

    Sure, just make sure you have the proper equipment to do the work. And don't go in over your head, IE if you're solo, don't go bidding on a 20 acre leaf cleanup.

    I can't answer that really. I'd think that door to door would be a good way to introduce yourself, and explain what you're offering. But, many people(myself included) are annoyed by "door to door salesmen". Personally, I'd just go with distriubting door hangars/flyers etc.

    Good luck to you. As I said, search this site. There is a TON of info here and it'll help you out a lot. I know it helped me.
  6. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,510

    You didn't mention your major or technical field or occupational field, but you might want to go after a summer job that is related to the career you are preparing for in college. Maybe lawn care is the right thing to build your future with, maybe not.

    If you are in the same town, you might be able to keep or get back a lot of folks you mowed for in high school. If you have moved, it will probably be a whole lot harder to build a customer base quickly.

    There a thousand variables that only you know about your situation. If there is a job available that pays fairly good, and you would not then have to shell out or borrow a bunch of cash to buy equipment with, you would have to at least consider the job.

    Will you be asked (that really means "ordered") to intern with an employer needing people in your chosen field next summer? You really have little choice but to take the internship if you want to break into that field. Then you might have to sell all the lawn stuff.

    Like everybody, you have to try to find the answers that will get you to your future the best way possible.

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