1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Just starting. Need some help.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by stevenf, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    Ive done yard work for people in the past as a side job. Now that I am graduating high school, I want to get into the lawn business full time while attending school on tuesdays and thursdays.
    I will be starting with a simple cheap push mower, A zero turn 42inch cut Lawn boy, Industrial powered weedeater, backpack blower, and a few other things. I believe I have good enough equipment to get me through 15-20 yards a week untill I have to upgrade.
    My question is, What is the best way to obtain 15-20 yards a week in the shortest amount of time possible. I plan on making this a business but with the equipment Im using, I dont want to go with the phone book just yet. What have yall done in the past to obtain yards like im looking for?

    Also, I was thinking a minimum charge of $30.00, and an acre charge of $60.00. Tell me what yall think.
  2. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    Any takers? I would really appriciate any response as summer break is coming soon.
  3. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    being in highschool you should have NO problem getting help.... FLYERS FLYERS and more FLYERS... pay some of your buddies or the guy in school that noone likes and go pass out fiyers.... take out an ad or twon in your local newspaper.......try to have an edge........
    you can even bend the truth a little....Like tell customers I'm earning money for my school prom.

    your flyer doesn't have to knock someone's socks off, just EXPLANE what you do...dont quote prices on flyers. or freebys.....dont have a headline like
    JOES LAWN CARE.......noone gives a crap who you are... But put what you do.

    and remember the public in general is stupid... you have to tell them what to do...... CALL THIS NUMBER.... NOW.... and they have to be told 3 times....

    good luck... and have an angle......
    here's a question for you that you might run into...

    " Why should I let a kid like you cut my lawn instead of the lawn company I see down the street...they have 4 MEN working ?

    Answer this question with an angel.......

    Good luck
  4. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    lol, I dont have an answer to that question. I was hoping noone would ask something like that.
    Does $30.00 minimum and $60.00 acre sound good?
    Also, do you use an edger to edge or a weedeater? Ive seen both done, what do you recommend?
  5. DaughtryLC

    DaughtryLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 739

    I used my trimmer the first yr. until I had the extra $ for an edger.
  6. SSS 18734

    SSS 18734 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    I'm in high school and have been doing this for a few years. Depending on whether your neighborhoods have lots of chain link fences, I would go with a 34" walk behind. You will be able to pick up more clients because you will actually be able to fit into their yards. And you will spend less money on the mower.

    Also, I wouldn't suggest having any "minimums" or a flat $60 per acre. Go and check out each job for yourself and price it accordingly.

    I also wouldn't bother with an edger. I use a trimmer and leave just as nice an edge as any big company around here does. You can skimp on a backpack blower for now. Get something cheap. When you get the number of clients you want, and you know you'll be doing this for a while, then yes, get a backpack blower.

    As far as picking up clients quickly, pass out lots of flyers and don't charge too much at first. Or offer to give away the 7th or 8th cut free on your flyer. Lower prices will attract more clients, but don't give yourself away. Also, whenever you see someone in their front yard, go up and talk to them - if they aren't interested, ask them if they know of anyone who might be. They can sometimes point you to a house and land you a job that way. Try asking all your friends and their parents for references. This gets me more work than any other method.
  7. DaughtryLC

    DaughtryLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 739

    I'm not SOOO sure about this PART!!!;)
  8. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    Im starting with a Lawnboy 44inch cut 16hp zero turn mower. Its only 12 months old and still has a year left on warranty and Its costing me $500.00. i just couldnt pass it up.
    I have seen people around here use riding mowers for yards that were extremely small. Seems to get any job done quicker.

    How do you go about raising prices? do you tell them before you cut? Also, Do you expect payment before you cut or after?
  9. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    Its very hard to raise prices....

    due to fuel prices you can raise $ 5.00 or so.... But you had better have had that customer for a while. it's LIKE a contract. and when you go to change it. Proplr dont like it very much.

    I have used a weedeater for several years now, BUT am concerding getting a stick edger. simply because of NEW customers that havent edged in a while.

    your equiptment is Just fine. jsut starting out smoetimes you may have to turn down work just because of your equiptment... menaing. your mower may be too large or too small to do the job.
    sometimes its just NOT worth it to unload a ZTR to cut a home. you can get it done faster and berret with a push mower....

    You will get screwed. dont worrie about it. Just dont let it happen again. you will lowball your self. get a mesaring wheel and calculate square yards. and such. this will help you in the future.

    Dont worrie about raising prices right now. " this statement scares me"
    sometimes people will want you to call before coming over to cut. you can discuss this with them when giving bid. also payment plan....

    I have a customer that's a simi retired Gentleman he a CEO of a smelter plant.
    he allways wants his lawn cut on Monday. and he wants me to call him b4 comming over. he wants to watch and he allways gives me bottled water.
    we plan on 10:00 AM. but once I was about an hour late it was NO problem.
    this day he brought me lunch.....

    when you go to your 1st bid. you take control of the conversation. WALK THE LAWN... LOOK AT GATES... can I get my rider in the back yard... IF NO... then charge more... pushing it will take longer.
    ASK then do you want a weekly, Bi weekly. if they say biweekly tell them " I RECOMAND A WEEKLY" and charge more for BIWEEKLY....

    you'll be just fine..... NOW GO PASS OUT FLYERS,,,, AND TALK TO PEOPLE.
    dont be afraid to go right up to them and say I was wondering if you had someone to do your lawn work ?

Share This Page