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Moving business from michigan to florida

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by platinumservice, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. platinumservice

    platinumservice LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    So im going down to MMI in Orlando for school and im thinking of bringing my lawn equipment with me to start a business down there while im in school. Are things done differently down there or is my equipment going to work down there. Also is the licensing any different ? Any input would be greatly appreciated thanks
  2. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Equipment...mowers are mowers...just make sure your mowers can mow at least 4 inches for the St. Augustine which will be your primary turf you are cutting...unless you are are in a much older or less wealthy or rural part of Orlando.

    Make sure you have a edger....edging with a trimmer is not how we edge here.

    Other than that...equipment wise nothing strikes me as much different. Other than you can most likely sell your leave collection gear before you come. Not much of a call here for it honestly. If you can not sell it...bring it...it will come in handy hear and there but not enough to warrant the expense in my opinion of repurchasing while down here.

    licensing....pretty simple in most areas for Orlando for lawn care alone....go to your city ...pay a small fee each year for city and counties you plan on working in....done. I would guess dependent on area less than $200 a year.

    Insurance will most likely be more...longer work period ..full year vs a couple of months. I would guess almost everything will be more expensive than you are used to in the midwest...not always but most likely. Housing is expensive even though it is much cheaper than say 7 years ago. Dependent on the part of Orlando you end up in....renting may be very expensive...everyone wants to live in Florida ...including college kids....areas close to schools will equal generally higher rent with less actual home for your money. If you have kids...you will pay a lot more to be in a area say where you kid can go to A rated schools from say 1st through high school. No kids...that leave more options for cheaper rent/homes....just remember that often means higher crime areas in part because if the tax base is not there for schools...it will also be unlikely that it is there for law enforcement in full force.

    Welcome to the devils arm pit...you will sweat more here I bet in March than you do in July and August in Michigan would be my guess. By the time July gets over your skin will look weathered and old. You will look in the mirror and be amazed at how much the Florida sun has aged you. You will pull up to a traffic light daily...look to your right, left and straight ahead and see at least one lawn rig in each direction. Chances are if you look in your review you will see one there too. :laugh:

    It is not horrible...but it is not easy. With all that said you can make a profitable living here, you can create a good business here..but just a little bit more than everywhere else...you have to want it more and be will to put in the work. Half ass efforts will get you the same results here.

    Read up on the florida forums as much as you can....learn how we roll with level billing etc. Do not be that smuck that comes here...opens up shop...offers by cuts and then wonders what you are going to do for income in the winter because your client base for the most part is likely very $ conscience.

    I wish you luck
  3. billslawn89

    billslawn89 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,365

    In Sarasota county, about two hours south of Orlando, the heat index was 112 degrees around 2pm. I couldn't take it no more so I went home for a few hours to cool off and went back out to work around 4pm. It was smoking hot today.

    And everything Landscape Poet said is right on.
  4. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    I second what landscape poet said. The market is very saturated down here. Lots of low ballers. You can't throw a rock through an intersection without hitting at least four lawn care trucks. That being said, if you choose your customers wisely and do the best work in town, you can grow into a pretty profitable business. Most people are still charging the same rates they were charging in 1994 and you have to do a fair amount of explaining to customers as to why you are charging so much more in some cases. You're going to hear a lot of "well the other guy was doing full service for $60/mo."

    As far as equipment, like Landscape Poet said, grass cutting stuff is grass cutting stuff for the most part. You probably wont need much in the way of leaf removal stuff and you will need a stick edger. Blow all the grass out of the edge too, makes for a really clean look. A lot of guys don't do that down here.
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    OK so you bring your equipment. Where are you going to store it and what are the chances it gets stolen?? Orlando is a very big market area and as a newbie you won't get jobs line up in a row in the same area. Orlando also has a Horrible traffic problem IMHO. Traveling from one place to another takes time. look out for all those traffic jams.

    If you want to work, try the Tourist service industry where you can make tips with no out of pocket expense and Air Conditioning.

  6. platinumservice

    platinumservice LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    Thanks for the info everybody I plan on having an enclosed trailer to keep everything in at the apartment complex I will be living at. MMI set my friend up with a job making 8.40 an hour at 25 hours a week. I figure it wouldn't take long to pass his $160 a week pay check up in less hours
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    I do hope your apartment complex has razor wire and an hot fence for security.
    Your trailer will be real easy pickings and than you will be in business with no equipment. Find a secure lot to leave your trailer over night.
    easy-lift guy
  8. platinumservice

    platinumservice LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    No matter what the enclosed trailer was coming with me to help me get my things down there, so I should defiantly find a storage facility or somthing along those lines to store stuff at?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    I would. Your setting up shop in a REALLY SATURATED LOCATION. Your out of state tag will also not help in the short term. Be very aware of your surroundings and keep everything secure as possible. The number of pawn shops in your neck of the woods may be slightly lower in number compared to the number of LCO's but not by much!
    easy-lift guy
  10. platinumservice

    platinumservice LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    So it sounds like I'm better of working for minimum wage
    Posted via Mobile Device

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