Just starting out - HELP!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 2Sam2233, Feb 28, 2002.

  1. 2Sam2233

    2Sam2233 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    I am making some career changes. I have done lawn work off and on since I was about 14 yrs old(22yrs). Last year I started doing some residential jobs and also my church/cemetery. I want to move into another level such as commercial. I LOVE to do lawn work. It has always been my passion, but I really don't know how to break into the industry, especially with all the other lawn care service companies around. Any tips on getting in the door with commercial, and how to add to existing residential?
    Any and all help appreciated>.
  2. dlandscaping

    dlandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 835

    in the top right corner of this site there is a search button. do a search on getting clients or commercial accounts etc. and you can find loads of information on the questions you asked.
  3. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    For commercial properties, call them and/or send a open invitation letter for a bid. Although, most likely commercial jobs have already got there people lined up for this season.

    Residential you can put out flyers, ad in paper, ask current customers for referrals, and etc. Residentials are usually pretty easy to get.
  4. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    Read the posts from those in that end of the business. But realize that its usually easier to start-up on the residential end. Commercial is very price sensitive and competitive. You'll need labor to do all the little things required (spreading mulch, weeding, pruning, etc, etc) since they want turn-key service. That means workers comp and more investment.

    Realistically, in many areas of the country (perhaps most) it also means you'd better speak spanish, because the rates are so competitive that you might not be able to compete paying wages Americans will work for. As for illegal labor.....based on the experiences of a now bankrupt guy my family knows who was big into commercial, don't let em know where you live. He got threatened a few times when they didn't get what they expected out of the arrangement. People who aren't legal and don't have ss numbers or ID's or fixed addresses rarely fear the law. They know they can just fade away and move on.

    Not my idea of a dream job. I prefer being around people I enjoy dealing with.
  5. proline32

    proline32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 98383
    Messages: 278

    Some other things to consider with commercial, you may need to carry a larger bond and liability insurance to do business with some accounts, It is also tougher to get into because many comercial sites only put out to bid once a year and generally will call a company in the phone book. You are better off starting with residentials offering basic good services and building your accounts fast and your cash flow, commercial accounts many times have a set schedule of when to pay and it could take up to 45 days to see any money, with residentials you can be paid on a weekly basis. You may want to start out small with only a truck, a good 21" mower, a pro grade trimmer, edger, and blower and some trash cans and a few hand tools, estimate your yards by the sq footage and you can't go wrong, and you may make a profit by the end of the year. Also purchase a good book on lawn care and read it inside and out so you can bambozzle your custmers with your knowledge of lawns..... And look professional when you do estimates, I don't mean wear a suit, but some form of uniform.

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