Is my equipment enough?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Austin Mullis, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. Austin Mullis

    Austin Mullis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Right now I’m starting with just a 21” Troy-built push mower and a ryobi string trimmer. These are what I already owned. I also recently acquired a 50” cub cadet riding mower that come from a small lawn care company with almost 400 hrs on it. Unfortunately I don’t have a trailer and can’t get it in my truck. Can I realistically start with just these? I also may be able to borrow a Dewalt battery op blower until I can save and by my
    Own gas blower.

    Also what things other than mowing could I do, like mulching, as a 16 yr old 1 man op?

    And how to get first non friend/family customer?
  2. LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,353

    It's a start as far as equipment goes.
    If you do a great job for friends and family they will give you referrals.
    That is a great place to start.
    If you could borrow a trailer the cub cadet would be a huge improvement over push mowing. If your in a small town/ rural area put up some flyers at gas stations etc. Talk to neighbors.
    If your on good terms with some of your teachers talk to them, tell them what your doing and would love some referrals from them.
    Biggest thing is be dependable and do what you say your going to do.
    Build a great reputation right from the start.
    hort101 likes this.
  3. LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,353

    As for other job's. Clean windows and screen's, pressure wash decks and restain. Pressure wash sidewalks.
    You can rent pressure washers. Try to line up 2 or 3 job's and rent it a full day.
    Weeding and mulching is always good $$
    hort101 likes this.
  4. Austin Mullis

    Austin Mullis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I actually already have a pressure washer but it’s electric. And obviously I have shovels and rakes etc.
 likes this.
  5. Mumblingboutmowers

    Mumblingboutmowers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    It doesn't really matter what equipment you have as long as you can get a good end result on the lawn, might just take longer with one piece of equipment over another. I've never once had a customer concerned with what equipment I used, they just care about the job they are hiring you for. Keep an eye out on craigslist or your other local classifieds, you will likely find a cheap used trailer. If you need a hitch too, those can be had cheap at ebay or Walmart.

    Put up some flyers, some ads on your local online classifieds, get some business cards made up and hand them out. Talk to people, ask if they know anyone looking to hire out lawncare. There are many things that you can do in addition to offering mowing, many older people simply need someone with a strong back to do general tasks around their property.
  6. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,848

    Just dont expect it to last forever. Homeowner equipment lifespan is calculated on 40 or so uses per YEAR. If you have a community paper you should post a business card ad in it. See if your community is on the Next Door app. Thumbtack, Task Easy, Task Rabbit even CL can get you a few gigs. Stick to small enough lawns you can do with the 21". Save up for a trailer next. 500 will get you a 5x8 or so.
    hort101 likes this.

    GRANTSKI LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,666

    W low grade equipment is so as others say and learn/ start on friends & family. Then you can learn the limits of your equipment and how long it takes you to do certain size lawns. Spend time perfecting’s where a lot of guys fall short. But anyway The issue w homeowner equipment is not that it can’t cut’s that it’s not made for the abuse of mowing 20+ lawns a week. So if you commit to new customers- your equipment breaks and now you are in trouble. With friends family & neighborsyou hopefully have some slack so when things go wrong you can explain without loosing the acct.
    For newspaper ads and poster boards those ads usually attract a certain customer . Yea You will (hopefully) get the occasional customer that wants to help a young guy out & hire you & pay you well . I have a few that stuck w me over 10 years while I did it on the side & gave me raises without asking. But you will also get the opposite....ppl see a young kid w cheap equip & may be looking or hoping for cheap rates.
    hort101 likes this.
  8. Austin Mullis

    Austin Mullis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Thanks for all the replies. I have another somewhat unrelated question. Can you edge in sandy soil?
  9. LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,353

    Are you talking about edging along sidewalks, or digging out a edge along beds ?
    If doing bed edges in sandy soil you'll get some sand that creeps down but shouldn't be to bad, unless its powder-dry sugar sand.
    hort101 likes this.
  10. Austin Mullis

    Austin Mullis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Both actually, and it is powder dry. Digging in it is a nightmare. It’s kind of sticks once you get down a good bit where it’s moist but it’s very dry, beachy sand

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