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Just Starting some questions for the pro's

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by pa1n, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. pa1n

    pa1n LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    First off heres the list of equipment I'm planning on purchasing
    - 2x John Deere 777 ZRT 60" deck
    - 1x JD HD45 walk behind 36" deck
    - 2x T105L Straight shaft trimmers
    - 2x BP50 JD back pack blowers

    Would you guys recommend the maintenance plans on the ZRT's and walk behind?

    We are aiming for large commercial properties and/or larger residental properties. We are gonna start off with 3 workers 1 truck and 1 trailer and maybe hire a few part timers as needed.

    I've searched the site and found a lot of you started with just one mower. I don't wanna start that way as I am not afraid of failure.

    Really all I need are comments and suggestions, I'll even take a few flames. Anything just help me out a bit.

    Thanks alot
  2. jphag

    jphag LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    What's wrong with starting small and working your way up. That's what Bill gates did. Do you have any experience when it comes to the lawn business? I think your doomed for failure trying to start big unless you have a lot of work already lined up. Good luck anyway. :dizzy:
    CamLand likes this.
  3. DiscoveryLawn

    DiscoveryLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    The equipment will come with service manuals. I recommend just going with the manufacturers maintenance plan.
    As far as you starting out with 3 employees... I admire your courage and I see nothing wrong with your approach (I started with 4 employees and twice the equipment). You said you are not afraid to fail, that is good as long as you can afford to fail. The only thing you may want to do different is to hire employees and purchase the equipment as you pick up the work to justify it (I'm assuming you were going to buy all that stuff weather you have the customers or not?). Idle equipment does not make money and idle employees will cost you a lot of money. After all, you are in business to make money aern't you?

    Good luck to you. I hope you find great success in your new venture.

  4. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    Maybe Im old school and too conservative but I would start small and add equipment as needed.Dealers keep mowers in stock all the time during the growing season and if the need to purchase a second z comes then purchase it.
    As far as the maintence plan goes, I wouldnt but I am able to do most of the regular maintence. If you are not mechaically inclined then you should get the plan.
    Another thing to consider with the number of employe's you have named have you checked in to workmans comp insurance? It is very expensive in my opinion and be sure to insure your buissness also
    I have to admire your positive attitude
    good luck
  5. sgl41377

    sgl41377 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 191

    I just started last May and have learned a lot from this website. This business is not easy. It takes a lot of time to pick-up customers. I read some posts on here about advertising and the percent of customers you get from flyers, etc. it is staggering. Some things I learned. 1)Make sure you have liability insurance. IF you DONT have it and someone gets hurt by your equipment, your toast. 2)Talk to an accountant, learn what is needed for taxes and how to organize your invoices etc. You can usually talk to someone for free for 1/2 hour and pay for any time further. I paid $75 to continue and it was well worth it. 3)Get your business license 4)Get your Tax Identification # from the IRS. 5)Where I live, if you have one employee, you are required to have workers compensation insurance. These are just some things that need to be taken into consideration. Good luck.
  6. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    I'd much rather start with 1 guy and half the equipment because for the first bit of your starting you aren't going to be swamped so if you have 10 big accounts who cares if it takes you alittle longer, as your account base grows i'd say make the business grow too.
  7. pa1n

    pa1n LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    You all have good points.
    We are liscensed and we will have insurance, but what about the fact that i am saving ~$7,000.00 by buying all the equipment at once? Also 2 of the employees are in fact partners and the other employee will be an independent contractor.

    We plan on advertising through out the winter with flyers, newspaper adds and mailers (about 2000 piece). We figure if we don't have enough accounts lined up by season start, we will have to go door to door. If we still can't find enough accounts we may just have to start selling equipment.
  8. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702

    Is that the "Green Fleet" program?

    I looked into it, and it seems like a bunch of BS to me. Dealer works everything out at retail, then gives 7% discount for purchase of multiple units.

    I'm talking with him now about a stander and we're at $6,050 for a 54" stander that lists for $7400. Take 7% off that, and it's $6,900????? :confused: :confused:

    Your plan is obviously very ambitious. I'm sure if you work as hard as you plan, you'll get business, but I would approach it a little slower.
  9. boxoffire

    boxoffire LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    You are pumped I can tell. I'm no expert just jumping in by myself. Don't think I'm as ambitious or as much courage as you. Maybe it's because you mentioned "partners". If they know the business probably not a bad thing to have along to run things. If not, well, every time I hear people talking about partnerships, it seems they always end miserably. I'm sure there are some that succeed and work well together too. I think friendship and much mutual respect is needed from mature people who are not the jeleous or greedy type. Good luck. Funny you mention the JD package deal, I went to my dealer today and he was talking about their startup business package where you buy many pieces of their equipment to qualify. I think he said you need to earn 18 points. The Z Tracs could earn you 6 points for example for the 48 inch deck, the walk behind 48" another 6 points, and the small walk behind mowers and trimmer, edgers, blowers, etc... only 1 point each. Then I told him no way by myself would I want all that, maybe just a Z Trac and a small push mower and maybe a weeder or edger but that's it. Then he said we could probably work something out on that kinda purchase as well. Anyway the 48 Z Trac was list $7600 and he said if I had cash I could get for $7000 maybe. Said they average 6-9% increase in price each year and they are now set for next year since these are the new models. Deal did sound a little hokie like other poster said though. One thing he stressed about a Deere though was their "Stamped" decks are very unique and you won't find a better "cutting" mower out there to make the lawn look that good. I don't know about that, I'm not experienced enough. I'm not a smart man, but I do know that stupid is is stuped does.... LOL... I feel like Forest Gump.
  10. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Go for it! the more your azz in on the line the harder you will look for and do the work. Mortgage your house to make the purchase if you know you will be sleeping under a bridge and eating garbage you will find the work. The more important question is how are you gonna feel about the business in 5 yrs?


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