Just Getting Started, HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by BeeCreekLawns, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. BeeCreekLawns

    BeeCreekLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    Hello. Man this site is awesome. I have learned a lot from this site. Just wanted to introduce myself and tell my situation and see what yall think.

    History: I did land surveying for 10 years and got laid off a year ago because of the economy. Since then I have done misc construction jobs that don't provide much income or stability. I have always loved landscaping and have been told by many people for a long time that I should start my own company(just from them seeing what I have done at the house). I have considered many times, but never pushed the gas on it until now. My goal is to end up as a full service landscaping company, but I figure I must start out mostly maintenance and work my way up.

    My budget to get started is about $7,000. Current equip.: Chevy Silverado 1/2 ton 4.8Liter truck, Echo PB-230LN blower, brand new Echo 14" chainsaw(never been used, got for my birthday), Echo SRM-210 trimmer, and a (are you ready) Craftsman Briggs & Stratton 6.75 21" mower(with a leaking gas tank that I need to fix). As a homeowner, I always heard Echo was good so thats what I bought. I basically know nothing when it comes to maintenance on equip. I have never changed the oil on a mower, the only service I would do was clean the filter. I know this is bad, but I obviously now will be learning and doing a little more.

    My plan is to buy a good commercial mower and use the Craftsman as a back up or to fit in tight spaces. I live in the out skirts of town so the yards tend to be a bit bigger. I am thinking about getting a walk behind with a "sculley." From what I have read, the 34" is a good size to make sure I can fit into gates. Any suggestions on a good starter mower that will be easy to learn to maintain would be appreciated.

    My other major expense will be a trailer. It will just be me to start out, so I was thinking about a 5 1/2 x 12' landscape trailer with the cage, trimmer holders, ramp, single axle. The links below show you the ones I am looking at. The 16' one is the one I am considering, but its single axle, 12', and $1600. I keep thinking about double axle and no caged sides because of my wanting to landscape, but I am trying to convince myself that will be down the road. "I need to focus on maintenance??" Anything bigger than 12' seems like it would look silly with just me and my limited equip.

    My marketing plan is to send out a mailer for the area I plan to work in. I will be getting magnetic signs and business cards. I have also started a website, but its still under construction. I am struggling with the "About Us" and experience thing. I really don't have "professional experience", but I am confident if I can get in the door I will earn the trust of my customers. My plan for bidding is to guess amount of time and multiply by $25. I am sure I will misjudge and lose but I have to get started some how (when I was a kid, I mowed & edged everyones yard for $20).

    Damn, I could go on forever. Sorry about that folks, but there is so much to starting a business and I usually overkill everything. My head is going crazy. I have my ups and downs about this whole thing, but I know I can do this.
    Anything, please let me know. Don't hesitate to speak your mind. Hopefully one day I'll be posting my equip. pics and website and following yalls lead. Thanks.

    Rudy Bombick
    Bee Creek Lawn & Landscape
    (gotta get a logo!!)
  2. BearWise Landscapers

    BearWise Landscapers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    Rudy, welcome to the website!

    Let us know when you get the website completed.

    Also, feel free to run any insurance questions you may have by me. I will be glad to help provide practical information about coverages and limits and anything else.

    Good luck!
  3. catch640

    catch640 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Sounds like you have a plan Rudy. I also am just starting out with the equipment that I use on my own yard for now. But I did buy a small
    trailer, that I got a great deal on Craigs list. I to am not sure how to price
    the work & am sure I will lose money on my share. But this seems like a good place to get advice & support from. Good luck,
  4. BeeCreekLawns

    BeeCreekLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    Hey catch640, appreciate the response. Man I am quickly becoming addicted to this sight. There is so much info. Being that we are in the same boat, lets keep in touch and help each other out. I have pretty much decided to get a 36" walk behind to get started. I am trying to figure out which one, but its gonna have to be one thats gonna be easier on learning the maintainence. What kind of trailer did you go with? Do you have any previous experience in the industry?
  5. catch640

    catch640 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I lucked up & found a 4 x 8 tilt trailer on craigs list in tennessee for only $300 bucks.
    It will work for now. As you can see it is big enough for a 43" riding mower plus my push mower. No I have no business experince, but I am pretty good with people & like you I will learn from my mistakes. What part of the state are you from. I am from Blount county.
  6. SchnabelLawnCare

    SchnabelLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 709

    Buy a nice used 36" WB with a sulky. Start off with a small trailer, 5x12 sounds good.

    Ideas: Scag, Quick, or Exmark (if you can afford it.)

    About the pricing per yard: I didn't quite follow what you meant by multiplying by 25 dollars. You can price by the sq. footage/ by the acre, or you can estimate how long it will take you and multiply it by your man hour price. Feel free to PM me (you get 10 posts first) if you need help with anything.

    Take what some people on this site say with a grain of salt; many on here will help, but some just try to tear people down and criticize. Welcome to the site and have a good first year!

  7. g21

    g21 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    Welcome Rudy,
    I think we can help you with many areas of starting your business off on the right foot!
    Good Luck and let us know if you need anything.

  8. BeeCreekLawns

    BeeCreekLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    I appreciate the response guys. I am near Austin, Texas. The multiply by $25 was my man hours way of coming up with a bid. Is that way off? I haven't had the opportunity to use any of the commercial equip. yet, so maybe my judgement is off. I would have no idea what to charge per sqr.foot or acre.

    From reading around the site, I have pretty much come up with getting a 36" WB. I have no idea about the different kinds. From what I have read, it seems like belt drive or hydro is the way to go. Is there a difference on which one is easier to maintain?

    Anybody want to offer what they did for marketing in their first year? Was it successful? Any suggestions? I am thinking about doing a mailer. I have no idea what to expect???
    Thanks guys.
  9. Outdoor_Maintenance_2010

    Outdoor_Maintenance_2010 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    maybe call another lawn cutting company a ask for an estimate on your lawn,then start from there
  10. SchnabelLawnCare

    SchnabelLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 709

    36" Belt drive wb is your best option. It will give you superb reliability. Hydros are considered better by most, but they have much more for a newbie to maintain.

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