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New guy needs advice

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by SomervilleLawncare, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. SomervilleLawncare

    SomervilleLawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    A little bit about myself before I ask any questions:

    My name is Chris and I'm a certified teacher in Michigan. I graduated college a few years ago and cant find a teaching job, the teaching market in Michigan is completely saturated. My only other true love other than teaching is lawn care. I have 4 years experience in the lawn care industry while I was in college and am one of those guys who mows his yard 4 times a week. I have an awsome wife who is behind me 100% about the idea of starting a new career in lawn care. She has a great job that she loves which will provide stable income and insurance for us. We also live in a county that has a population of 500,000 people so there are pleanty of lawns to mow.

    My Questions:

    1. I have around $2000 that I would like to spend on a new/newer 36" walk behind, is this realistic or am I going to have to dish out more money?

    2. What is the best marketing tool for finding residential properties?

    3. How do you guys find out about commercial bids like banks or small businesses?

    Thanks for any help you can give!
  2. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    Welcome to Lawnsite:waving: :waving: Check out a Thread called Michigan LCO's because there are lots of guys from your area. They should be able to help you a little more on a mower and getting accounts. It's going to be different in your area compared to my area in mid-Mich. Good Luck

    SLCINC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 110

    Ive noticed when I first started out that flyering yourself is the best way and least expensive to get clientele. You should be able to find a decent used mower in that price range. You would also need to get a trailer, trimmer and a blower to start out. Good luck!
  4. Leisure Time Lawn Care

    Leisure Time Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    I agree, start out small and build from there, Remember thet we are just about half way into the mowing season.

    I agree with LSCINC, Thats all the advertising I did. This is my first year back into the business and I have 53 commercial/Residential accounts that I maintain weekly

    Good Luck
  5. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    You can get a Quick 36 for a tad more than 2K depending on which engine you choose. I don't recommend them for commercial use but they are decent mowers. There are numerous things that will affect the price. New/Used, Belt Drive or Hydro, Single or dual hydro, construction, durability, engine choice. If you want a dual-hydro 36" with a 13-15HP engine, the likes of Scag/Exmark/Toro, plan on spending more than double of that 2K.

    Flyers, and lots of them. Also I have found that ads in local newspapers work fairly well. They're not overly expensive, example - I have a 2x4" ad in one and it costs me $39 per week. It hasn't brought me a ton of business, but enough to pay for itself several times over.

    You need to make contact with the business, either by walk-in or phone, find out who the person is who is responsible for overseeing the property management. You can then contact them and find out if they are accepting bids.
  6. SomervilleLawncare

    SomervilleLawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    Thanks for the help guys!

    I'm still looking for a 36" but in the meanwhile I've picked up my first weekly mowing client. Its a small yard I can do with my 21" and it will be a great yard to have going into next year.

    My wife is a graphic designer and has already made me some very nice looking business cards and started on my website somervillelawncare.com

    I cant wait to get into the swing of things next season. Thanks again guys!
  7. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,131

    Move here to Loudoun County VA. There is a teacher shortage and starting salaries are in the mid forties.
  8. SomervilleLawncare

    SomervilleLawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163


    Those are some great starting salaries. Most of the south is experiencing teacher shortages, but here in Michigan its awful. Job openings in my area are recieving 500-700 applicants per opening with salaries starting around $30,000 (which I would be happy with)

    The only problem is that my wife has a great job making good money that she loves or else we would be heading south. I love doing yard work though and hopefully can build it into a nice business over the years.
  9. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,319

    i would go for a used scag hydro walk behind 48'' or 52'' deck. this mower is small enough to get in tight areas but big enough to knock down some real grass . wait till spring and have about 5000 flyers made up by a print shop and smack em on doors. after that you will keep growing work gets work. get a hydro walker for sure.
  10. rfed32

    rfed32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Hatboro
    Messages: 680

    well if you have a truck perfect...if not get your self a trailer nothing to big to start out...if u can pick up something used and cheap get it what ever it is get it...if you have the truck dont get the trailer bild a nice set of ramps and get your self a nice walkbehind 48''...and get some a commecial trimmer and hand held blower....

    for gettin bussiness i put out flyers once you get costomers there will be word of mouth...but flyers everywhere....

    as for commercial i go out of the pcn...2000 bucks a year for a paper with all public bids...my cuz and i split it...he does demolition...i figure if its in there its a big job and worth it so i look and bid....

    but dont take on more than you can handel and good luck

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