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New & Green

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by NewBe, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. NewBe

    NewBe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Hey folks,
    I've got a lot of questions and don't know where to start. I'm 55, layed off 2 months ago and have been considering this step for a month or so. I've got 2 residential 21" walk behinds, a Ryobi combo edger, trimmer and blower, electric hedge trimmer and some gardening tools. I've got no real money to purchase any commercial equipment. And, wondering how I can compete, when the competition is charging $25 a cut, in & out in 10-20 minutes?:confused:
    Also, the business includes interior house painting, because we can't do much with a lawn, 5 or 6 months out of the year, here in Colorado.
    Would appreciate any & all advice.:waving:
  2. Mow2nd-2

    Mow2nd-2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    i hate to say it but i really don't think you will be able to compete. your home owner equipment won't last, not to mention how much slower they are. with the 21" mower(s) its gonna take you 40-45 min or more on the same yards its taking 10-15min for the guys using commerical equipment.

    Good Luck anyways
  3. NewBe

    NewBe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Don't be afraid to tell it like it is. That's pretty much what I was thinking too.
    Thanks for the reply.
  4. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Messages: 0

    Sorry to hear about your current situation.
    I would say if you are considerering interior painting 6 months out of the year why not pursue the painting gig full-time. The startup costs and general overhead are going to be alot less in the painting business and you don't have to worry about slowing down in the winter months. You'll also have the capability of requesting upfront money in order to cover your costs.

    If you do decide to persue the lawncare business be prepared for a uphill battle based on your limited budget and current equipment.

    Another business to consider is window cleaning. I started a window cleaning business several years ago and the best part was it had almost no overhead while earning considerable profits. I haven't pursued that business for a while because I had a hard time juggeling two businesses at the same time.
  5. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,510

    Keep your blades very sharp, there are people who only want a guy with a 21 who does pretty work. If you know how to repair those 21's you can go for a long while with them if you have to. Tough way to make a living for sure though.
  6. lurch

    lurch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    Currently I use two 21"ers and i'm doing fine....I sharpen my own blades and I'm really good mechaniclly...I took a broke Echo SRM2100 off my stepdad for free and got it back to life (broken gasket)...Keep your head up and work faster than you ever worked before....BTW i'm only 22 and this is my part time gig when i'm not playing Marine...
  7. NewBe

    NewBe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Thanks gentlemen for your input. I have thought about doing just painting, but I enjoy being outdoors. And have considered adding window cleaning to the mix as well. Oh well, we shall see.
    By the way, do you all have workmen's comp insurance? If so, what does it cost?
    Again, thank you all for your insights and encouragement.
  8. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Messages: 0

    If your working as a solo operater and don't have employees you will notbe required to carry workmans comp ins.
  9. CkLandscapingOrlando

    CkLandscapingOrlando LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 652

    I started with someone eles push mower but as soon as I had enough houses to pay for a 36 I was done with that.I dont even own one now.You can do it if you dont mind working your ass off.Good luck with what ever you do
  10. edhuffman777

    edhuffman777 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    there are plenty of residential yards that have so much stuff in them like flower beds, trees, decorations, etc, etc, etc. (what im really trying to say is way to much stuff for that small of a yard) which makes it impossible to mow with a mower over a 36 inch cut, so your walk behinds would be perfect, and i really dont think the customer is going to matter if it takes you 45 min or and hour longer as long as you do a good job. good luck, remember everybody has to start somewhere.

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