Just Starting Out

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by HDLLandscaping, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. HDLLandscaping

    HDLLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Hello Everyone,

    I have some experience in lawn care and maintenance and am looking to start going out on my own. For now just a weekend job since I am in school Sept-Dec and Jan-April. So I figure if I can get 10-15 its a good weekend job and will help me get the experience needed to expand.

    My question is how did some of you start off? Right now i have 2 Push Mowers, 2 Nice Echo String Trimmers, 2 Blowers, etc. I should have enough to be able to cut lawns as well as do spring/fall cleanups. I realize that with the equipment I have I will take a little longer than most companies to get the lawn done, but after a year I hope to be able to upgrade some equipment and get a larger mower.

    So for now I will be just going out of my pickup truck, full size 6.5 bed. Did anyone else start out this way? And for spring/fall cleanups I will be using my fathers trailer to give me the extra room needed for transporting the leaves and everything.

    Thanks ahead of time for any input.
  2. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,049

    I can tell you one thing when I started in 1978 I didn't have a trailer or a weed waker
    So you starting better off already. Good luck on your 2013 season :waving:
  3. HDLLandscaping

    HDLLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Thanks, you too. I always get told the biggest company in my area started off with a pickup a mower and a rake. So it's possible. And it's a job I actually like doing (crazy right?) 18 and gotta make money
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. jones68

    jones68 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    started off with a 4x6 trailer behind my chevy impalla, push mower weed wacker and a blower all hand me downs. gotta start some where. i was bagging leaves and putting them in the back seat, passenger seat and trunk of the car, piled on the trailer anywhere i could get them. believe me people were laughing but it got the job done. and gave me the start.
  5. Sprinkler Buddy

    Sprinkler Buddy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,185

    It's great your wanting to get your feet wet. Remember to keep school priority #1 until you finish.
  6. HDLLandscaping

    HDLLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    School is always number one. My mom would kill me haha. Anyone know if you can turn a blower-vac into a leaf loader? Or would the suction be to little?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. HDLLandscaping

    HDLLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Anyone have a contract I would be able to use to write mine off of? I am in MA.

    Also looking to see if anyone knows what I will have to pay taxes on at the end of the year. I heard it was net profit, does that include anything after fuel/payroll/maintence or would I be able to buy equipment before. (So net profit is after i buy everything for the year including new equipment?)
  8. TeamYardsale4

    TeamYardsale4 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    I started last year out of the bed of my pickup with 1 21" push mower, an old homelite curved shaft trimmer and a rake and broom haha granted 2013 is only my 2nd season but I've already grown a decent amount and got some more equipment! Good luck to you
  9. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    A full size bed is an 8" bed. Anything else is a short bed.

    Outside of that one mistake you should add a hedge trimmer.

    Yes you will technically be losing money when you take twice as long to do a lawn when a competitor does the in half the time that you can do it. And you can't charge more then him.

    But that is ok because you will have more time then work when you start out. As money comes in you will be able to get better mowers.

    Best to avoid buying on credit at this time.

    Good luck.
  10. HDLLandscaping

    HDLLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Ok, people like you are why I hate working for others. I made a mistake saying full size. My bad. Telling me I should add a hedge trimmer, sorry I didnt name every piece of equipment I own, I have 3 years of experience in the field, I am not an idiot.

    Also, saying I will be losing money because I am slower than another crew is technically wrong. I am losing out on a higher profit margin, but am not LOSING money. I have a pricing plan that allows me to still make a good profit on every yard and have very competitive prices. I can also still do 15 lawns in a 8 hour day, so I may only be doing half the yards, but I would rather do less at first, build a good reputation, and then be able to expand.

    As for needing to buy on credit, I wont have to. My current pricing, as well as not being stupid and over paying myself will allow me to upgrade all my equipment and buy a trailer after one year, while still having more money left over.

    And yes, as money comes in I will be able to get better, bigger, and faster mowers. But I will wait until my mower dies, or I need a larger one due to expansion. Why upgrade to equipment that wont be used to its potential. Im not doing this to have the shiniest equipment, the newest, or the fastest. I am doing this to run a business, and a good business wont spend its profit on something that cannot be used to it full potential.

    So considering this is a part time job for me, and I have another job and college I dont think i need to start upgrading every piece of equipment I have.

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