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New Business Questions

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by RollTide22, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. RollTide22

    RollTide22 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    My friend and I plan on startin a lawn care business this season. We both have our own equipment, push mower, edger, weed-eater, blower. We plan on targeting garden homes since we don't have riding lawn mowers. At what point if ever, should we upgrade to better equipment and target larger accounts? Also, is insurance necessary? We are both 16 years old and cannot decide whether insurance and licensing is going to be necessary.

    My dad is going to let us use his truck on the weekends until I save enough to buy my own work truck. Do you think it would be possible to make around $1500 before this summer so I could get something cheap?

    Also we plan to offer free service to first time customers to increase our calls and create opportunity to prove ourselves. Do you think this is a good idea?

    I'm open to any and all advice, criticism, and opinions. Thanks.
  2. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    to make this little you would have to try very hrd at it.

    more around 30 to 35,000.00

    Remember to LISTEN TO THE CUSTOMER. if you lwt them they will tell u tooo much.
    hints. " KEY WORDS" the last guy we cant find him... BAM CHARGE MORE. there's a reason. WE just dont have the time to do i. BAM charge more.
    Were having a party or a family gathering this weekend BAM BAM and BAM.
    introduce your self, then say WOW, you have a beautifull place here. then SHUT UP and LISTEN.
    IF ANYONE and I mean anyone says I know it's thursday But could u fit us in by FRIDAY.
    SURE for 50.00 extra.
    best of luck.
  3. John Deere Mann

    John Deere Mann LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    One thing is offering them a discount is a better way then offering them free survice.
    Insurance is very importmant! What are you going to do when you hit jr in the head with a rock and you get a bill for $35,000. How are you going to pay for this when u dont have insurance. Your still 17 they can sue your parnets. Get Insurance!!! Good Luck!
  4. SchnabelLawnCare

    SchnabelLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 709

    I will help as best I can as I was in your position too a while ago.

    1. Don't do a partnership with your friend! It just won't work. Trust me. It usually ends up that one of you does more of the work and the other still gets half. It ends up badly, and you could lose your friend. But you know him better than I (obviously), so do as you will.

    2. You can make some good money just doing residential lawns. No need to try the large lawns for a while as they take longer with the equipment you have.

    3. As for expanding to bigger and better equipment, try Craigslist.org. They have good deals, and you can pick up a good, used garden tractor for ~500. If you find it not necessary, then stick with your push mower and do quality work.

    4. Advertising. If you live in a neighborhood, go around to your neighbors and tell them about what you do. Hand them a business card, and tell them the can call you for anything you offer. Business cards are a must! www.VistaPrint.com has excellent deals. Get 250-500 to start off.

    Any other questions, you can email me. JPSchnabel@comcast.net

    Hope this was helpful for you. Peace.

  5. joel29m

    joel29m LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 658

    i wouldnt do the " free service to first time customers now, i would wait a season for that, reason why is that some will take advantage of that and tell you never mind for services and you lost profit just like that, you might feel overwhelmed about this business, and think its hard to get true customers. how about 1/2 the price for first time customers, and you should make more than $1500 for the summer if you start when the season begins, so welcome to the business and good luck!!
  6. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    Being that you are new to the lawn care industry and being younger, you will probably have a hard time getting people to pay a "premium" price for your services. In order to get customers to pay you the amount you want, do good work and be professional. If I were you, I'd keep the type of equipment you have (maybe upgrade to more commercial grade equipment eventually), the smaller equipment are much cheaper to run and repair, thus increasing your profit margin.

    As far as working with a friend, that can turn out really bad or good. It just depends on how you both work things out and how well you work together.

    The amount of money you make will greatly depend on how much you advertise, how much time your willing to put into this, and how good of a job you do. Its not out of the question for you to earn $10,000+ if you work at it.

    Advertising will play a big role in getting you business. The best type of advertising is word of mouth, which is when your customer's refer you to their friends/family. Also, go get plenty of business card printed up. I get most of my stuff at staples. I usually get 200 business cards for around $40 (not the cheapest out there, but they are very good quality). And then, you can get flyers printed up for pretty good prices too. When I do flyers at staples, I do black and white flyers on colored paper. Usually I can get 1000 flyers for around $70 or less. So for about $100, you can get business cards and flyers to start passing out. And like I said, I get all my printing done at staples and usually I can go submit my print job in the morning and pick it up in the afternoon, so pretty quick service.

    The main thing is just do good work and advertise. Then the jobs should be rolling in.

    Good luck to you.
  7. PestPro

    PestPro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 114

    You start out cheap, you are going to get just that cheap customers, who will want something for nothing, and penny pinch you to death.

    Get some insurance, lots of business cards I order 1000 at a time, and they last me about 3 months. Think about getting a LLC ...EIN....dont spend lots of money on advertizing, if you want to spend your money, join something like a local networking group, Chamber of Commerce. Stay away from BNI. If you have any other questions you can call me or e mail me. I have been in the Pest Control Business for 25 years, and my own company about 3 years. So I have seen the.....good, bad, and ugly.
  8. BearWise Landscapers

    BearWise Landscapers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    I recommend doing both of these things. Let me know if you have any questions about the insurance coverages.

    Good luck this year!

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