If ya had it to do over again......

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Needadayoff, Jan 27, 2007.

  1. Needadayoff

    Needadayoff LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    What would you start with? In terms of marketing and equipment.I've always done this type of work on the side. As I would do a few jobs, get a few referrals and it just kept going. Now I am in a position to start a full time biz and not cut corners. I have about 20k cash to start with. I am just starting to look into equipment. I didn't want dump a bunch of money into a part time gig.

  2. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    What is your target market ( residential or commercial ) small or medium to large size properties? $20,000 will give you a very good start in this business.
    My personal preference is Toro Proline mowers and Echo blowers, and trimmers. With $20,000 you could purchase a Toro 553 60" 25hp kohler ztr, $7,500 at Alamia.com, Toro T-Bar 48" 15hp walkbehind $3,200, 2 21" commercial Toro Proline self propelled w/BBC $1,200 each. and a good 16" tandem axle trailer for around $1,500. Echo PB403 backpack blower $375 Echo trimmer $225 and you will be up and running for years to come and $6000 to spare.
  3. newbomb

    newbomb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 391

    If I started from scratch tommorrow I would market exclusively to town homes and use fliers. I would buy 1 32" walk behind, a couple of decent 21" self propelleds and a decent blower and weedeater, Put it all in the back of a pickup and roll. Get about fifty accounts this year and the evaluate the next step this winter. If you have a truck, you get up and running with all new stuff for about 5-6K including insurance. You will need part of that 20K for operating money. I would hold on to as much of it as possible.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Oh there's a simple answer:

    At least DOUBLE the initial advertising, but really four times what I did would not have hurt at the time.
    I would've also never hired any help.
  5. Needadayoff

    Needadayoff LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    It will be residential for the most part. My wife's job allows her to meet some of the local power players. That should help along with a massive (expensive) advertising campaign.
  6. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    You'll hear this a lot, but failure to advertise was our #1 mistake. It wasn't MY mistake, but that's how I got my part of the company. Team Green was a side job from my uncle's home for 4 years and showed little to no real growth. I came aboard in 2004 and we have tripled in growth and project 46% growth in 2007 and 38% in 2008.

    Bottom line is that it is hard to pay for advertising when that new Bobcat is sitting beside it, but the guys that have been around for awhile will tell you that it's better to buy the ads at first and rent the machine.

    Also, payroll will MURDER you!

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I'm glad to see someone else realizes how profitable townhouses are....depends on your area but around me there are thousands of them with owners that make a lot of money.

    I would first think about what size props to target...then pick my mowers accordingly.
  8. Needadayoff

    Needadayoff LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I appreciate you guys taking the time to respond. I always look to learn from other peoples mistakes, It tends to be cheaper that way.

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