Looking to start in 2013, any help would be appreciated!!! Thanks!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mhubert123, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. mhubert123

    mhubert123 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    @TheBetterDoorhanger: I would definitely like a sample packet. That would be wonderful! Pm me for my mailing info.
  2. fgwalways

    fgwalways LawnSite Member
    from texas
    Messages: 9

    Like everyone says, don't buy anything on credit. Be patient and you should grow. Make at least a rough business plan. How much money will it take for you to start out ? Consider advertising, uniforms for sure, pricing and work on creating your brand.
  3. ryde307

    ryde307 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    Similar to what others have said.
    Its easier to come up with a plan knowing what amount of capital your starting with but some basics in my opinion would be:
    decent walk behind mower you can pick up one here all day for $500-800.
    I would skip the 21".
    Get almost any trimmer. New is better will save headaches but you don't need top of the line anything. It will only be working 1-2 days a week I am guessing.
    There are some decent handheld blowers but I would really try for a backpack.
    various hand tools shovels, rakes, pitchfork ect.

    As for work hustle for anything. When starting out you don't have alot of choices to say no. It's important to do as much as you can. Do it well and get your name out there.

    Alot of people say get shirts I disagree with them being priority but if you have some extra cash the do help build a brand and help give you pride in your company. If not buy a 5 pack of a color t shirt and use those. It will have the same effect in terms of building a brand.

    Advertising: Like others have said get out do flyers they are cheap.
    get involved in the community in some way.
    Ask friends and relative for work. Its a great starting point.
    Join a BNI group or refferal group if you can.
    Then spend your spare time with all of the free advertising out there. Facebook,myspace twitter, craigslist, google, yelp, Lots of cheap ways to get websites and so on.

    Most important reinvest your money into the business. Don't take more out than you need and remember the difference between wants and needs.
  4. mhubert123

    mhubert123 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    @ryde307: as of right now, I'm planning on working in the afternoons (mon-fri) after school, from about 3:00 to whenever. I'm also thinking about getting like <20 accounts for my first year if more come, I'll fit them in, but I want to start small and grow slowly.

    The picture I attached is the general area of where I'd cut. The YELLOW box is my subdivision, we have a HOA and the have a company cut our lawns.

    The RED area is where I would start from and work my way outwards from there. In the red box there's approximately 70 houses. From what I've seen... only 2-4 use a company to cut their yards.

    Google Maps.png
  5. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    Before I spent a dime, I would sit down with a pen and paper and write a business plan, you need to do some market research as well, get family and friends to get quotes from some of the local companies to get an idea of the pricing for your market, get pricing for everything you can think of IE: shrub work, mulch installs, regular maint plans, clean outs, as these are the things that you will start out doing. You will need to decide what is going to be your specialty, not just cutting either anyone can do that. Take on some small landscaping jobs they will create a quicker profit and get some cash built up for you. You will need some operating capital get as much as you can, I put 15% of every job back into the operating account so there is always money there to work with, trust me you'll need it. Once you get some cash flow going, build as much of a cushion as possible, set small goals, say a thousand dollars then go to five then 10 and so on and so on. Never and I mean never drain your bank account down to zero just to get a job in, I've made that mistake it almost proved disastrous. There is much more, but just some things to think about! Your first step is to create cash flow, then worry about profit and as you go you can create more profit but without cash flow your dead in the water, I've taken on jobs that weren't great profit wise but they created cash flow in the short term and that's how you pay your bills.
  6. jbungard1856

    jbungard1856 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I started out 4 years ago with a push mower I found sitting on the curb in someones trash. Started mowing a few neighbors. Didn't even trim at first cause I didn't have a trimmer. One of the neighbors gave me an old weed eater. Started ads on craigslist and walking flyers up and down roads and by the end of my first season I had 12 customers a 48" walkbehind($800), a small enclosed trailer($550) a blower($40). 4 years later I now have 110 customers, plow truck, 3 zero turns, 3 walkbehinds, 2 leaf loaders, 3 trailers, multiple 2 cycle equipment...ect, ect....Everything paid for with cash. Dont do credit!! Still to this day i only buy 2 cycle equipment new. I have went through about 10 zero turns and just keep selling and upgrading used ones. you can buy 2-3 decent used ones for what a new one costs.
  7. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    I hear so many people say don't do credit, I've bought one mower on credit and it is now paid for two seasons later and now I am buying another also on credit but with 0% financing, credit has it's place, if properly managed. In the beginning you have to preserve as much of your cash flow as possible, and if you have calls coming in everyday for work you have to be able to perform the work, customers aren't going to wait for you to save up enough money to buy that mower you need to be able to service their property, I wasn't going to wait to buy a commercial grade mower so I would be able to service 40+ properties every week when I had the work coming in to cover the cost of the mower and then some. Cash is fine, but credit makes things go faster, and I want to grow fast not at a snails pace.110 accounts can be had in one or two seasons if your marketing properly.
  8. acculawnsystems

    acculawnsystems LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    I would do door hangers and drive customers to your website. I would offer a special discount if they sign up through your website by using acculawnsystems.com. This is a great way to start a business, look professional and pick which area of town that you would like to focus your attention on by simply choosing your zip code. It is an incredibly effective method that will help your business grow while staying very efficient.
  9. dstifel

    dstifel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 928

    What marketing is used to get 110 customers In two years I will give it a shot if you explain it
  10. mhubert123

    mhubert123 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    I have been doing some research and thinking on what everyone has said so far and I think I'm going to get a commercial walkbehind or a ZTR on credit and pick up a new weedeater that has different attachments along with a handheld blower. Once I get that far, I will still need a trailer only, I have found several that I like.

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