Im 16...Where Do I Start?!!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by SheltonJMac, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. SheltonJMac

    SheltonJMac LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm Shelton and I have been here for almost a year but never really paid to much attention to this, but now that I am 16, I am looking to start a business for the summer and possibly carry it on throughout the year depending on my football schedule. I live in California and there is grass that needs to be cut year round. School will be getting out in about 10 weeks or something like that. My best friend and I really want to start our business by the beginning of summer BUT I have many issues:

    1. We have no money
    2. How do we transport our things such as mower,trimmer,gas,blower,etc. with no vehicle? We will be walking a lot to different neighborhoods and its too much to carry. And our parents work so they cant take drive us. (Plus no permit)
    3. How do we set prices to pay for our stuff but still split a profit?
    4. What are the best ways of advertising?
    5. What services should we offer?

    As you can see, we don't have the best situation. I love lawn care and cutting grass, i started learning about it when I was 9-10 from my grand father. My friend enjoys it but not as much as me.
    Any tips, guidelines, and ideas would really help my friend and I out A LOT. Thank you all! (In advance)
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013
  2. rootytalbot

    rootytalbot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    I would suggest a clean well mannered appearance.
    Polite and confident conversational skills.
    Work close to home. Get gas in big cans. Work hard, stay focused.
    No headphones. Limit your calls and texting to business while at work.
    Do not allow friends to "drop by" while you are at work.
    Stay hydrated.
    Learn how to get mulch and supplies delivered.
    Put the customer ahead of your self. Give a little more than you promised.

    I have always tried to look at myself and my work through my customers eyes.
  3. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,096

    Hey buddy, I would suggest adding a partner who has a vehicle (preferably a small pick up like a ranger) that you can carry mowers, etc. in. Advertising, I would knock on doors as long as there isn't a "no solicitation" sign or ordinance in your parts. Play the "I'm a high school kid saving for college" if indeed you are. There should be people who will hire you for this reason.

    From the start, offer mowing and mulch installation. Minimal tools required for these. As well as leaf clean ups, this should help you get a start with a few services in mind.

    Advertise on craigslist, it's free and you never know what could materialize from it.

    Good luck...
  4. SheltonJMac

    SheltonJMac LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Thank you guys for the help! I really appreciate it! :)
  5. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,115

    Hey Shelton, for you limited resources, you pretty much have to do what every other 16 year old kid did. Limit your range of customers to those who you can walk to, or ride to on your bike. If you are only cutting a few months out of the year, and you have a 12 month growing season, its going to be hard to get customers becasue they will want their grass cut all year long. Therefore, approach people in your neighborhood that cut their own grass and want a break every now and then, or people who need the grass cut when they go on vacation.

    Good luck
  6. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    Great to see some of the younger generation still has a desire to work. Here is my $0.02.

    Being yall are starting with nothing and may not be able to service lawns all year due to school etc.. I would start contacting local lawn/landscape companies and see if they are hiring summer help. That way no money out your pocket for equipment and you gain some experience in the field. Will give you a chance to get the feel for the industry.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Mowin4Dollas

    Mowin4Dollas LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    Start in your neighborhood! Those are pure money customers! Do a great job and you will have all the work you can handle. I'm 17 and started this year. I have more work than I know what to do with. Pay your bills, do it right and do a good job, but don't spend your whole life working! Remember to still have fun!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. SheltonJMac

    SheltonJMac LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks guys, I will definitely take all your advice into account starting with finding someone with a truck :)
  9. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,017

    LOL @ the no headphones suggestion, though.

    Wear headphones and rock on.
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Headphones are really no different than hearing protection,,, but the use of the phone needs to be limitted to zero when working on site... When I started out I worked for people who had their own lawnmowers and even used their tools when they wanted something else done...
    Hard to have a partner when mowing lawns though... perhaps having help with cleanups is doable...

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