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Lawn mowing/snow plowing business

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Joel B., Jun 3, 2002.

  1. Joel B.

    Joel B. LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 458

    Well, it's been over a year now since I lost my job and the only work I've had is a 6-week temp job. I am thinking about starting my own lawn mowing/snow plowing business. I already have a truck and lawn tractor. I know I won't get rich but I need to get something going. I would like to get the "inside scoop" from someone in the business.

    Wondering if I need special insurance, what to charge, if I also need to de-thatch, aerate, and fertilize, etc... I would like to do lawn mowing only, but am wondering if most people want all the above services. I don't have a aereator or de-thatcher and really don't want to get involved in fertilizing.

    Also, when someone says they charge "x" amount for a 1/2 acre lot, does that mean 1/2 acre of grass, or 1/2 acre lot minus the house, garage, driveway etc...? I assume you would charge more for fall leaf pick-up, but how much more? Do most of you in the business have people sign a "legal" contract so everyone is "protected"?

    Hope you don't mind all the newbie questions, but just want to feel out the business before I take the plunge. I appreciate any advice, thoughts or ideas,

    Joel B.
  2. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 949

    Is this something to hold you over or are you seriously thinking about doing this for a long time? If you are thinking short term you probably won't make too much. I am just a small biz and I average $400/week of expenses for my 32 week season. If you were making good money at your last job it will probably take years to match it. Depends on you situation. What line of work were you in?
  3. Joel B.

    Joel B. LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 458

    Thanks for the reply, Scott. To be honest I don't know right now if this will be long or short term. I just know I need to get something going since the job market is not panning out for me. I was (am) an electronics technician. I realize I won't make nearly what I was, but at least it's work.

    Joel B.
  4. maple city

    maple city LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    We do lawn care and plowing.

    Yes, you need special insurance, especially for plowing. I carry insurance for mowing that is 200.00/yr. I can't remember the price on the plowing ins.

    I don't have a lot of call of aerating, dethatching, etc. We did a little this year, but it was because I suggested it to the customers.

    I don't make my customers sign contracts. If you think you may find another job, I wouldn't suggest it. If you are not able to mow because you find another job, it may bind you to mow. I'm not sure because I don't mess with them. I have never had a problem with not using contracts.

    We do spread granular fertilizer, which assures that you have healthy grass that needs to be mowed.

    In our situation, we could not make a living with only our business. My husband also works full time as a firefighter. I don't know if I would count on this if I were you to pay all my bills. Also, it is late in the season to try to start, most people already have their mowing set up for the year.

    Good luck.

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