Im new to Landscaping or Mow&Go and need some advice.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by boostnm3, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. boostnm3

    boostnm3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Ok im wanting to start a little side business to do a few lawns every saturday to help pay off the new gravely zero turn i bought. Im not looking at making a full time business out of this. I bought the zero turn mainly for my lawn which is about 1.75 acres. I basically would like to do a few lawns on saturdays only since i work full time during the week so i can help pay off my mower. Its a 50" with 25hp v twin. As i said i am new to this and dont know really what prices to charge. I have a straight shaft trimmer as well as push mower if needed but dont have a blower. I live in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. I dont want to go out and underbid anyone either as i know that wont help anyone out. Thats why i came on here to ask and see if someone that knew my area could help. Im planning on advertising on local papers or some websites. My main goal here is to pay off or at least make the payment on my mower. Can someone shed some light for me please. Im not sure what a going rate for a acre would be. Also if you go to 2 acres would the price drop slightly? Thanks for any help.....
  2. tyler_mott85

    tyler_mott85 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    OK, in short, here's what I would do.

    1.) Ask any friends or family how much they pay to have their yard's cut. You may be able to "match" the price they get now and get in the door on a few that way.
    Friends are always the easiest way to get work, anyway, but they will always want special deals so be prepared!

    2.) Ask several companies to come out and give you a price on mowing your yard. This will give you an idea on what to charge for your own size lawn. Just don't tell them why you're having them bid and make sure you're polite but just politely say no thanks if they call back. Most companies don't like to just be jerked around but just consider it "market research".

    3.) Your trimmer and push broom will work. I would seriously consider a small gas blower though. Even a cheap-O one from the Home Depot or Lowes would be better than a push broom. But I understand that you're just wanting to help with the mower payment.

    4.) Just ask all your neighbors, you may be surprised. The best way to get new jobs is by word-of-mouth and once you get a couple yards to mow make sure you ask them to spread the word!

    Good luck.
  3. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Why not find some little old lady, perhaps a widow, who can't afford a landscaper? I'm serious. It's not like you need to go out and make a killing, and an arrangement like that would mean you would not have to offer edging and meticulous service. Get a stipend from two or three accounts like that. Perhaps if you are a church goer, you might find two or three accounts like that? Through the church?

    Maybe offer a discount to a family where the father in serving in the military? You could do something good, and get some cash to help pay off the machine. I think it is a slippery slope to try and be at market rates for a couple of houses. You aren't running a business.
  4. boostnm3

    boostnm3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks a lot for the responses. Yeah im really only looking for saturday work. Not a full time business. I was just asking rates so i could keep the market the same instead of slashing it and making other companies mad. I guess for me considering im just doing it on saturdays wouldnt really matter if i charged less since its not really a business. Im just excited i got my new zt mower and want to pay it off even though i they have awesome financing.
  5. DillonsLawnCare

    DillonsLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,100

    Usually, an acre runs like $50-$70. If there's extra weed-eating, then you would charge a little more. A two acre lot is around $85-$110. It's hard to quote your area without seeing the yard.

    Im sure someone on here will tell me those prices are either too low or too high....

    But hope that helps...
  6. boostnm3

    boostnm3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    thanks, it gives me a good starting point. like i said i just want to know so im not lowballing the market and making people mad.
  7. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    You are talking about 2, 3 properties. If you can find a few accounts that simply can't afford the full time service (and cost) that an established LCO offers, you do 3 things. You help the people you cut for immensley, you have no headaches and you really are not competing with full time legal LCO's. Just cut the lawns. No edging, no pruning... and if anyone gets mad about that, screw 'em.

    Now, if you want to go full service, edging, blowing, bed cultivation... then you be treading on the market. You have no overhead, no insurance, and would be stealing accounts. That would be a different story.
  8. boostnm3

    boostnm3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    yeah 2-3 accounts or yards on a saturday would be the most i would want to do. Im not looking at anything full time. Just mow and trim, thats it. I need to try to advertise now and see what i can do. Just free advertisements or word of mouth should do me fine. Then i can make my mower payment and pay it off early if possible and have a nice mower for my yard....

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