Just need some answers and advice...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Howie's Lawn Care, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. Howie's Lawn Care

    Howie's Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    I have a few questions i need answers to before I can become a legit business. If you look at my profile you will see I've just started this year and won't be driving until September because I didn't get my permit until this past March. I have 20 full time lawns and 2-3 part time lawns. I am a scrub for the most part, but how can I not be considering I am just starting out. I have big plans for next year, atleast compared to this year. I just got an 1989 Ford Ranger and plan on buying new equipment next year. My main equipment will hopefully be as follows.

    2 - Toro Proline, 6 HP Kawasaki
    2 - Shindaiwa T350 Trimmers
    1 - Shindaiwa LE261 Stick Edger
    1 - Shindaiwa EB630RT Backpack Blower
    1 - 6 X 10 Trailer

    I want to get around 40-50 yards and have a friend work for me during the school year and I will handle all the work in the summer. Our mowing season starts in March - April and ends in September - October. I would like to do leaf removal, lawn clean-ups, and snow removal also. Here are my current mowing accounts. Let me know how big of a scrub I am. I also work for a local newspaper on Saturday mornings for about 8 hours(6:00 A.M. - 2:30-3:30 P.M.), so that's a little extra money.

    $10 - 20-25 Minutes
    $25 - 40-45 Minutes (2 YARDS SIDE BY SIDE)
    $20 - 40-45 Minutes (2 YARDS SIDE BY SIDE)
    $15 - 35-40 Minutes
    $45 - 50-65 Minutes (3 YARDS SIDE BY SIDE)
    $10 - 20-25 Minutes
    $15 - 55-60 Minutes
    $12 - 30-40 Minutes
    $12 - 30-35 Minutes
    $10 - 20 Minutes
    $10 - 15-20 Minutes
    $15 - 45 Minutes
    $12 - 40 Minutes
    $15 - 35-40 Minutes
    $25 - 90-120 Minutes (USE HOMEOWNERS EQUIPMENT)

    I'm only using a 22" push mower though. I mow, trim, and edge each lawn. I would like to get a ZTR, but would rather pay for equipment in full and get a FORD F-150 + FRONT MOUNT GRASSHOPPER after next year. The Grasshopper would be great for snow removal plus it has so many other attachments. Their dealer support is awesome around here. Let me know if my plans sound good. Anyways, here are my important questions.

    1. Where do I go in Ohio to get information about and get a business license? Do I just need a business license or a business license and lawn contracter type of license? How much do these items cost on average.

    2. Where should I go for insurance? What type of insurance is it classified as (for lawn maintenace)? Will I have to go through my parents for licensing and insurance since I am sixteen and if not, should I anyways because of prices? What should I expect to pay for insurance that pertains to my needs?

    3. How do you get a license for applying fertilizer? Where is the best place to purchase fertilizer after doing so?

    Thank you very much in advance for any advice you can give me. Please don't tell me to work for a lawn maintenance company to get experience and learn about the industry. It just isn't an option in my mind. Besides, I'm learning plenty about the business through LawnSite.
  2. iluvscag

    iluvscag LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 743

    Your prices seem to be a little low to me. :)
  3. Howie's Lawn Care

    Howie's Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    :blob3: Wow. :blob3: Thanks for all the wonderful advice (SARCASM!). I will definitly price higher and approach jobs differently next year. I wish I would have checked out LawnSite much sooner.
  4. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    I agree, your rates are too low.
  5. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

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    Hi howie'slawncare,

    A valuable service available to potential business owners in Ohio is the Ohio One-Stop Business Permit Center. A call to 1-800-248-4040 or (614) 466-4232 will provide information about Ohio permits and regulations pertaining to your business. The more explicit you can be about the type of business you are considering, the more complete the information provided will be. At the minimum, be prepared to explain the type of business, proposed business structure (sole proprietor, partnership, etc.) and if you intend to hire employees.

    I hope this helps.

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  6. betterlawn

    betterlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 426

    And based on this, your prices are too low and your attitude sucks. 90 minutes with one response and that's not good enough for you? :rolleyes:
  7. Howie's Lawn Care

    Howie's Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    I was just joking around because that wasn't the response I was looking for, but it did sound pretty rude. I didn't intended for it to sound that way.
  8. OMG

    OMG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    Howie....at first I thought your prices were too low, but then again, you are using a 22" push mower. My question is, when you 'go legit' how are you going to raise their prices to enable yourself to make money? Also, how can you legitimately get a ZTR, spend 1/4 of the time on a lawn and charge them more?

    If you're doing a good job, your customers probably don't care if you are legit or not. Doubtful they would be willing to double/triple their payment just because you need it. IOW, you've already spoiled them.

    Personally, we don't stop for less than $35 unless we have 2-3+ in a row and then the minimum is $25.

    Good luck to you. It's good to see someone your age with this type work ethic and determination.
  9. Howie's Lawn Care

    Howie's Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    I think I'll be able to raise the prices. I do a really nice job on them all pretty much. I never really have any complaints. I was think about charging about $70 per month next year for some of the small yards I am mowing. I could be in and out (mow, trim, edge, blow) in 15 minutes if I get a 36" or 48" walk-behind. That wouldn't be too bad. One lady had a stroke in the past though (medical bills, lives by self), so I'll have to do something about her. She right beside another lawn I mow. It wouldn't be fair to charge the ladies beside eachother with basically the same yard different amounts of money. Thanks for your help.

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