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I'm planning on being new to the biz

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by xxxbockxxx, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. xxxbockxxx

    xxxbockxxx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Figured I would post and hope to get some feedback as I see that there are many helpful people on this site. I have been researching on starting a lawn mowing business within the last 6 months or so. I thought about going out and buying a truck, trailer, new mower, and equipment but it sounds like it may not be the best idea. I've refined my approach and am thinking about getting a couple of 21 inch push mowers and start with that. I bought a new residential 42 inch rider last summer however my wife doesn't think I should put the wear and tear on it. I tend to agree with her. I've got a weed trimmer and a blower. I plan on getting an edger and buying a truck to haul things around in the bed. Right now I plan on dealing with just mowing yards.

    As for accounts, I have none right now. I plan on putting an ad in the classifieds and hope to hear from someone. I don't plan on having too many accounts this year as I want this to be a trial run before I invest much more money into this. I currently have a full time job and am looking at this as a way to earn some extra income for vacations. Any feedback would be appreciated
  2. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,169

    first thing you need to do is get insurance.
  3. BTLS

    BTLS LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 109

    I did what you're planning to do. The 21 in mowers are tough on you. If you live in an area where the cutting season is long (like i do) and you're prices are good, and you advertise strong, you'll get the accounts. I got almost 30 in half a season. I upgraded gear as quick as I could afford to- but I decided pretty quick that I wanted to do this full time. Part time- not sure what i'd invest. 5-10 accounts- I'd keep it cheap. Too much more than that, I'd upgrade to commercial gear. Your question is kind of a judgement call. the better gear you buy, the faster and better you can do your job- but it's expensive. Part time- I'd be comfortable with a 32 in walk behind, a small trailer, a trimmer, blower and edger and tow it with a cheap, reliable truck. At least in my case, that set up would be fine. Full time, a rider, a 32 walk behind, an extra trimmer and caged or enclosed trailer would be great. Just my opinion. Good luck. Also, the more you advertise, the more accounts you'll get. -Ben
  4. Steve's Mow & Trim

    Steve's Mow & Trim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    I don't know how much it costs you to run an ad in your classifieds but here its about $75 a month for like 3 lines and a pic, "Postage Stamp Size". Classifieds don't give near the return as door-to-door postcards, door hangers, etc. You cna get 5000 post card sized flyers at GOTPRINT.COM for under $150...I just had them done, and plan on increasing my account size by about 30-40 this season, so a total of around 50-60 accounts, im 19 and go to school full time at a community college
  5. Rufscape

    Rufscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    I did the same thing your doing and now I am full time. 1st....start slow and easy and test the waters. You may not like it at all. Do not go nuts on investing rediculous amounts of money. If you truly want to make just a few extra bucks on the weekend this is a good way to do it but it grows on you and if you like it you will be doing it full time before you know it. Good Luck


    FIRESCOOBY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    I started PT last Spring. I had some money to invest and put that money into commercial equipment (Mini-Z - which is marginal, BP blower, edger, etc). I used the 5X10 open trailer and truck I had at the time (Toyota Tacoma). I got 10-12 residentials and good friend landed a large and lucrative school account. I was content with what I had as far as money in.

    I upgraded trucks in September because I knew I wanted an enclosed trailer for all the right reasons.

    I established my LLC, business license, credit card, and business checking account. I'll be honest and admit I did not get insurance last year, but I am this year.

    My enclosed trailer is on order, and I've done a little advertising (direct mailing professional looking brochures to target areas). I've done a lot of riding around, written down addresses, and mailed them myself.

    One thing I realized in my area/ area I choose to work in. IMAGE and PERCEPTION is VERY important. I feel I lost a few accounts for the way my "rig" looked. The first impression is usually all potential customers have to go on. Most of my accounts came from word of mouth, but you have to get those initial jobs first. This year I will have a nice enclosed trailer with professional graphics, t-shirts/polos/sweatshirts with company logo, and some experience.

    Good luck.
  7. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,674

    If you got a rider use it. Don't go and buy a pair push mowers you'll have to walk the whole time, maybe one for trimming but thats it. Use the equipment you have now, buy a small 5x8 trailer if need be. Use what you have and since it's your first year you'll be ok. Then save some money, then if you want to get more involved next season then you can look for TRUE commercial grade equip. This is just my personal opinion. Good Luck

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