New Company: Review please?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by NC Moose, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. NC Moose

    NC Moose LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I just completed what I hope is everything needed to at least start my business and I was wondering if some of our more seasoned business owners could take a glance and tell me if I have overlooked some major legal or business related item.

    1. LLC formed and filed with the state
    2. Privileged Business license to operate out of my City
    3. Home occupancy zoning permit to operate business out of my home
    4. GL coverage of up to $1,000,000 per incident and a max of $2,000,000
    5. Domain Name registration
    6. Web Hosting and Email services
    7. Phone services
    8. Business cards, logo work shirts
    9. Business Management Software - Lawn Pro Professional
    10. Landscape Design Software - Real Time Landscaping Professional
    11. Small ZTR - 2010 Hustler Sport 42"
    12. Commercial ZTR - 2010 SCAG Wildcat 52"
    13. Backpack Blower - 2010 Echo PB-500H - I realize these Echos aren't commercial units but hopefully they will hold up through a season or 2.
    14. String Trimmer - 2010 Echo SRM-225
    15. Push Mower - 2009 John Deere JS45A - already had this for my own yard.
    16. 5x8 Curahee Trailer with wood floor - Small I know but I am pulling it with my car for now so a large trailer wasn't an option.
    17. Residential Contracts created, Commercial Contracts created
    18. Estimate forms for both Res and Com
    19. Billing options include: Pay Per Visit, Due upon Receipt, Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Monthly and Yearly. Also offer level billing.
    20. Met with CPA to cover taxing for employees, services and sales for materials.

    What I dont have is workmans comp, which I am not required to carry unless I have 3 or more employees but I kinda feel like I need to offer this. I would feel horrible if someone was hurt working for me and I couldn't offer assistance.

    I also need to get a truck but my wife is in panic mode with everything done so far and I want to give her some time to see the business working before springing another major expense on her.

    Basically with my current accounts, the aerating I have scheduled so far, 14 jobs and the fall clean up I know I have for sure, I am only $50 per month shy of paying for everything I bought as well as the ongoing expenses. Ok, now its time for some tough love from you all. What have I left out? What mistakes have I made on equipment? Please be honest with your posts. I have thick skin so I want a true opinion not a politically correct post ).

    Thanks in advance guys.

    Don Muse
    Moose Lawn Care, LLC
  2. kilgoja

    kilgoja LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 944

    wow sounds like you have more than anyone when just starting out lol...i don't have most of the stuff you mentioned
  3. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    not sure you have fences or not, but most mowing crews need a 36 inch mower to get into gates. dont get me wrong, if you pick up 1 or 2 accounts just use your 21 until cash is better, but keep an eye out for a good priced used 36 inch, maybe sell the 42 in lou

    consider selling the trailer and upgrading, im not saying over night, but maybe post it up and see what kind of responses you get....if you sell it for a good price, the upgrade to soemthing that will hold both machines will be minimal

    get a customer managing software. not just QB that handels numbers... one that handels customer notes, and tracks their contracts, reminders, things like that

    dont spend more than you have to, do more with less
  4. Georgia Lawn Works LLC

    Georgia Lawn Works LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 365

    Looks good
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. Georgia Lawn Works LLC

    Georgia Lawn Works LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 365

    Hey who made ur web page and how much did it run you?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. NC Moose

    NC Moose LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I purchased the template but had to add the content myself. I work in IT so it was lazy of me to purchase the template honestly. It would have taken me weeks to create it all though and it was done in about 3 hours using the template. The template was $135, hosting is $6 a month, domain name registration was $1.99 for first year with godaddy, after that its around $8 a year I think. Overall pretty inexpensive to get it going.

  7. Hell on Blades

    Hell on Blades LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    Check your personal auto policy. If you're using a personal vehicle for business use, most personal policies won't apply. You may need a commercial auto policy.

    Sorry for the next $1100 / yr.
  8. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,140

    looks like you have all the tools you need, what you got for skills?
    Tools count for a lot, but without the skill to use them it is hard to get the jobs done right and make money.
  9. NC Moose

    NC Moose LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I have my business insured through my auto insurance agent so he is aware I am using my car for business. I will follow up with him because I honestly hadn't considered that, I feel like he would have said something though so it may not be an issue.

    The trailer upgrade is something I know I need to do but until I get jobs that require both riders I am going to try to make it work with what I have. The walk behind is something I agree I need too but again budget is limiting me at the moment and I still need to get workshop built in my backyard so I can reclaim my garage for cars again. I also need to look at a truck soon. Do you think I need a full size truck to pull a 16' trailer carrying up to 2500lbs? I have a friend selling a 2003 S-10 but it only has a 4 cylinder engine and I am not sure it will be enough. Right now I am pulling with my mercedes E350 sedan which gets me some snickers driving down the road but its all I have at the moment. The cars power is more than enough to pull 3000lbs but I admit I look ridiculous pulling a mower with that car.The real kick in the nuts is I had a 2007 F150 last year and sold it because the gas was killing me commuting to downtown Charlotte everyday at 12mpg. I wish I had thought about the business then and I would be set but whats done is done and the wife will kill me if I trade cars again so soon.

    As for the skills, I know I have a ton to learn yet but this forum holds a wealth of knowledge and I plan to lean on you experts as much as I can to help my business. I also purchased Seans guide which I must say is worth way more than he charges for it. Taking care of my own yard and my parents properties, including Dads rental properties has been a hobby for years and I truly enjoy working outside. Everyone has to start somewhere and currently only offering lawn care, not landscaping services I do feel confident to deliver quality service and my 9 customers so far have been very pleased. My helper has been a crew manager for some larger LCOs in the area too so his knowledge will go a long way. Thanks for all the tips guys. My hope is to build this up to the point I can make IT my side job and run this business as my full time job. On that note, since you all have been so helpful for me I would like to extend advise on IT services if anyone needs help setting up a webpage, email, dns management, etc. Wish me luck!
  10. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,140

    Best wishes, keep us updated!

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