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Need some Pro advice


LawnSite Member
Phenix City, al.
My partner and I think that you are a great group of men to take time from your schedules to give advice to those of us just starting in the business. Ya'll deserve a round of applause! Our small company has big dreams and we are excited about going to work for ourself. We have been laying our foundation with some of the advice that we have been reading through this site and feel confidant that we will be a success. But we still have a few lose ends to tye up. My question is this " When you guys started what was the biggest obsticle you had to overcome? "

Thand you in advance,
Dave Exterior Creations


LawnSite Bronze Member
Spring Hill, FL
I think the biggest obsticle that I had to overcome was the stigma of becoming a "lawnboy". Friends and family alike just could not believe that anyone could make a living mowing grass. After the first year they were mildly amazed that I didn't fall flat on my face. After the second year they started wondering if it was just a coincidence. After the third year I started getting some respect. Now I sit back and laugh at the fact that I probobly make more money than any of them and more than most of my customers. But to many customers, I'm still that "lawnboy". That's OK though, 'cause I'll laugh all the way to the bank. Don't get discouraged, you'll have many obsticles your first few years in business, but if you do quality work people are willing to pay dearly for it. Don't ever sell yourself short by underbidding a job. It's better to walk away with pride than to do a job and lose money on it. Act professional, and you'll be professional.


LawnSite Member
Cash flow was our major problem starting out. Buying equipment, then finding the work for it, then waiting for the money to come in for it. Keep on top of things and don't stretch yourself to thin


LawnSite Bronze Member
Pittsburgh, Pa
I think what kills a lot of guys starting out is they look at other company's and want what they have. THey see the Lasers, hydro walk behinds, big blowers, and want that right away. The one thing you don't want to do is get yourself into a huge debt right off the bat. I started small and worked my way up. You can always buy better equipment, be patient!! Look for good reliable used equipment that will get you started and will last a year or so. YOu can always upgrade. Keep your overhead as low as possible the first year or so, or until you feel you can take on a debt like a new truck or a ZTR. Be different than everyone out there, make yourself stand out among everyone else!!
Make sure you set yourself a budget for operating that allows you to run a business, not just create cash flow for a paycheck.

Be legal, pay taxes, buy insurance and don't do anything to jepordize your chances of success. Treat your customers like gold, give them a good value and retain them for as long as you can. Don't let yourself be used by a client and take car of business.

Most don't fail in this business because of not know how to mow a lawn, or prune, or whatever on the tecnical side, they failbeause the busness side of things was not organized and taken care of.

Good Luck.


LawnSite Senior Member
SW Missouri
In response to the above post. The way to get around the cash flow problem... Get out NOW to find customers. Commerical accounts will be more reseptive to this now, but down South you mow year round, right?
Bust your butt to set up new accounts, then go out to purchase equipment. The potention customer doesn't need to know you are new. Act professional!
Alot of the manufacturers offer no interest no pay for six months on 2000 models. Or purchase used to get up and running.
As was said before...Don't cheapen what we do by selling yourself short just to get work.
Good luck


LawnSite Member
Sugarland, TX
my biggest problem was myself. When I first started out I thought I knew it all and cut myself off from the learning process. After struggling for the first little bit I woke up to the fact that I didn't know it all became a great learner.

Seems like you won't have this problem due to the fact alone that you are already asking questions.

Good luck.

Premo Services

LawnSite Bronze Member
For starters, you are at the BEST place to get info and help,I sure wish I knew about this site when I started. I think my biggest obsticle was believing that I am worth the money I charge, my customers are not as critical of my work as I am, my biggest competetor was myself, I would make a price and then under bid myself, but now with experience and steady growth from referrals I set a price and it is firm and a lot of times the price is higher than someone else, & don`t get the job, but I believe that quality work gets quality pay. I think the most important thing is to do quality work and build your business this way, also flyers,and other things will help.grow at a pace that gives you the oppourtunity to learn the business, start with good comm. equipt. if possible and as you grow aquire the equiptment you need.It would be nice to have ztrs, and all other toys(that is what my wife and brothers call mine), but you just can`t do it this way. Good Luck To You Both!

[Edited by mow money on 11-26-2000 at 08:45 PM]


LawnSite Senior Member
All very good advice above. Have enough cash to get by for at least a couple months minimum. Don't let your customers pay you late! Charge them late fees or cut off service if they don't pay, they will see how far they can push this, believe me.