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New guy: I need advice for start up cost

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by sadavion22, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. sadavion22

    sadavion22 LawnSite Member
    from ny
    Messages: 5

    hey guys, I am in the planning stages of my business i need some advice on start up cost i have $2,000 for my initial budget. I have 8 acct now for the spr/summ mowing and trimming only nothing major can u guys tell me which channels should i go to get started with the budget i have any advice would be great...thanks
  2. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 952

    I would go buy 2 21" Toro mowers. The high end home owner model or light commercial use. they have a cast deck which is sturdy. get 2 for about 1200.00 for both. in case one is broke you r still working. Then buy a good hand held blower, Echo, Sthil, redmax and a great string trimmer and go for it.
  3. Tom c.

    Tom c. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    Im also just getting started .If you have8 accts I would look to get a mid size walk behind mower,alot of the manufacturers are offering promotional deals like no interest or very low. That way you can work the mower and pay it off as you use it. Take the 2 thou and get yourself a trailer it will make life alot easier You canget a decent trailer for about a thousand use the rest for a small trim mower and a quality string trimmer like echo etc. good luck!!!
  4. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    If you are really serrious about this ide go for a 36-48 inch walk behind, just my opinion though

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    How do you plan to advertise your business? After your initial equipment purchases, you won't have much left over for advertising.
  6. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    spend 100 bucks on flyers and start beating the street. try to have 20-30 accounts by feb. This will dictate what you need.
    No one but your self can tell you what you need. I.e. are they 2000-7000 sq ft or are they 2-3 acre? I would not want to mow a acre with a 21" nor would I want to spend 4 grand on a new hydro to mow ticky tacky 2000 sq ft lawns.
    I would start out with a back pack blower and a good trimmer. maybe a husky 145 bt blower and a fs 85 or husky 123 or better.
    That should cost you right at 5-6 hundred.

    Advertise, advertise, advertise. beat the street and get more accounts as that will let you know what mower you need.
    Don't forget about the 2-4 hundred dollars of mis equiptment you will need such as fert spreader, miriade of rakes and shovels.

    Trailer. as big as you can afford.
    Truck as much as you can afford
    To many varibles as to say what is the best way to be set up.
  7. Adamma Landscape Group

    Adamma Landscape Group LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    After Christmas many people always sell a lot of stuff. If you look in your local weekly newspaper like Thrifty Nickle you will see people selling trailers and mowers. Usually brand new ones that people just gave them for Christmas. You can buy a $800 for $400 if you negotiate.
  8. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    not to rain on your parade, but $2000 is not enough of a budget to do much if you want to be legit. Minimum $200 for a commercial line trimmer, $200 for a commercial handheld blower, $500 for a 21" mower that will die within a few months or $200 for a mower that will die in a month. And you still need advertising and insurance.

    Personally I would evaluate if you are serious about this. If this is a do or die thing or just something that you think might be fun. If you think if might be fun or a quick easy way to make money. Just do yourself a favor and blow it on the ponies.

    If you are serious, then look longer term. Figure out the equipment that is most important and spend your money there. For me, that would be mower and line trimmer. If you are looking at little lawns as part or all of your client base, I would get a commercial Toro 21" and be done with it. $1000 (4-600 used). When and if you get bigger, you can still use it on some yards and use your ZTR or WB on the larger ones. Line trimmer can be used for its designated purpose, edging, or even mowing some small areas. Good entry commercial unit about $275. Edger, I would skip for now. Blower, a cheap (disposable) gas unit <$100. Completely forget about fert spreader, round-up sprayer and the like, you are way out of your league for that and there are liscenses and big fines for not having them.
    Insurance. at least $300,000 -$600,000 general liability insurance. I have 1 -2 million coverage with an equipment floater and it is just over $1000 annually. So you should be less than $500.

    as I got working capital built up I would add a commercial blower then an edger (if that is even done in your area of NJ).

    Any money left over is your ad budget.
  9. yrdandgardenhandyman

    yrdandgardenhandyman LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 953

    And if you are serious don't forget that you will have no life and very little mad money for quite a while. If you're starting on a shoestring, ($2000 isn't much money), you will have to sacrifice for a while. Any extra money will be spent on more and better equipment. It can and is being done with success but it really is a lot of work. You CAN build as you go and to succeed you will build as you go. Best of luck to you.payup

    Since you won't be able to start till next spring, I'd get a couple of jobs and start saving money. That'll still be easier than not having enough money. It's a lot easier with the proper machines and a good ad campaign. Take it from someone who did it the hard way.
  10. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,711

    get a john deere 21 instead of a toro. 5 speeds instead of toro,s 3. better made too . you do not have to get a trailer for a small wb. they can go into the back of a long bed pickup using wooden ramps w/endkit.

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