Need Some Advice how to start

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by PoketFullaStones, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. PoketFullaStones

    PoketFullaStones LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    If anyone could give me some advice on starting out i would appreciate it
    i m looking to supplement my income and start out part time when i have days off and after work or before work on some days,im not sure how to estimate and how much to charge for mowing trimming hedges ect
    i dont want to be doing the work for pennies....and what is the minimum equipment i should be using mower,blower,ect ect i not looking to do a whole lot of buisness right off i want to start off and see what i can do
  2. kleankutslawn

    kleankutslawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    what is your budget?
  3. PoketFullaStones

    PoketFullaStones LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    well i want to keep it as low as possible round 1 thousand or 2,000
    not much i now but my job is really bad right now...i live in california by the way dont know if that matters at all for bidding jobs
  4. Mike2212

    Mike2212 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

  5. MJS

    MJS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,316

    Don't forget about good commerical equipment - buy used if you have a small budget - just don't go get cheap junk - it won't hold up.
  6. Reliable Lawn Care

    Reliable Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    Good information above, I think that will help out alot of starters and some vets possibly.
    I started pretty much the same way as you are describing. Then grew to where I was comfortable maintaining my accounts and adding equipment along the way. I started with a truck I already had, my home mower, my home weed eater and a broom. Since you are still working, try starting out debt free with the business and add and upgrade equipment as you go.
    As far as quoting jobs, you will get a variety of opinions here, but I really do like the " Dollar a minute " type quoting. Figure out what it cost you in expenses to do a job and go from there. Don't sell yourself short. Check out liability insurance also, it is an expense but well worth it if something were to happen. Good Luck

    RECESSION PROOF MOWING LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    At first, IT WILL seem like you're working for pennies. Everybody who starts at the bottom makes less than the professionals. Get used to pennies for awhile. We all did that. There's no shame in working for lower wage than the next guy. I really believe a lot of guys look at mowing short-term instead of long-term, and thus, miss out golden opportunities. Don't turn down work for $26/hr just because the guy over there charges $50/hr! You aren't that guy...yet.

    You are in the first phase of what may well become a lifetime of outdoor prosperity. But don't blow your budget on equipment before you've got client one. Get a used 36" or 32" commercial mower off of CraigsList or ebay. Get somebody who knows equipment to size it up for you. Pay attention. I get deals on equipment in my sleep, they're everywhere! In your situation, some of it not too pleasing on the eye, but it cuts!!! Get a cheap gas blower, keep the receipt, get a cheap weedeater, keep the receipt, ramps to your truck...bada-bing...YOU'RE IN BUSINESS! Get clients, build it up. Size up a yard and figure how much time it takes to complete. Then ask yourself how much money would get you out of bed to cut that yard. $40 bucks? $65? I've got lawns that take me 15 minutes to complete with two guys, but with me alone might take 45 minutes! I'd make more if I did everything myself, but how long would that take? Could I possibly do all the work I have amassed, by myself? Is it smarter to hire two other guys to knock out property after property, bang bang bang, right down the line...but having to pay a couple hundred for this privilege? This is where you really learn what it's all about. You'll underbid some what! You think we all, at some time in our lives, haven't worked for less than what we're "worth"? Dip your toe in the water, test the water, then wade out to the middle. Don't do a cannonball in the deep end without swim lessons...
  8. JFK

    JFK LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 1

    Dude, I'm right there with you. Been contemplating put a Lawn Maintenance Biz together for the last few years. Looking at retiring from the military and it's something I'm ready to do. Just still got really {{COLD}} feet. All the hows and whats boggle me sometimes. I think it's just a matter of doing it, and doing it smartly. There's always that "what if", maybe it's human nature.
  9. gandk06

    gandk06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 509

    Be careful following some of this advise. Most of it will make you fail quickly.

    ie. hiring 2 employees, working for $26/hour.
  10. S L C

    S L C LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Wow!! Straight 'lowballer king' if you ask me!!!!:cool2: In my first year last year, I would have NEVER even thought of following your advice!!!!! :dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:

    Gee, let me guess....?? You have NO insurance and turn ZERO income into the state??

    This is for all of you lowballers and illegals that wreck this profession.... Get F,,, well.. you get it!!!!!!!!!!!! :hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::clapping:

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