New Lawn Care Business! Need Advice in NJ

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Patsy, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Patsy

    Patsy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I am new to owning my own Business, and would like any advice possible from you seasoned veterans. I have been involved in lawn care for some time, and I have finally decided to venture out on my own. This is a start from scratch company located in Northern NJ, around the wayne area. I am currently about to go out and purchase some new equipment which will consist of the follwoing:
    Exmark Metro 36" Exmark Viking 52" etc... I am most concerned with the models of the exmark. I know i will need the Metro 36 for smaller yards with fences, And I know I will need the 52" for those larger yards. Here it goes my dealer is trying to sell me a fixed deck viking. I am under the impression that an adjustable deck is the way to go. That would lead me to believe that the viking is not good. See i am a firm believer in If i am gonna spend it than it better right otherwise there is no point in spending it all. In this sense what do you think ????

    I am starting from scratch with basically no clientell at all , so what is your opinion on the best way besides door to door to picku p customers i nthis area. (for those that do not know it It is a very competitive area to say the least)

    Is there any Advise or opinions you would like to give on equipment/adverstising or even just plain old startup?

    I am looking to incorporate into an LLC, And carry up to 1mil in insurance a year. I guess this whole post is about equipment and advertising.

    also if you are from the area and know it , Gimmi an idea if you would please on your pricing and advertising methods.

  2. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Yes, I beleive if you do something do it right. However, 'right' doesn't always mean more moeny (i.e. floating deck)...don't go overboard...If there is no need for you to have a floating deck...then why pay the extra money when you are starting out?

    Some advice...instead of purchasing multiple mowers why not try and get ONE mower that will do everything well instead of different mowers that excell in certain areas?

    My advice for starting up...go down to the local book store or library and pick up some books on how to write a business plan. Trust me...
  3. Patsy

    Patsy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Ok i understand about writing a business plan and that is a fantastic idea, but beside that what do you suggest on equipment? what do you suggest on pricing? what do you suggest on advertising? These are all questions that I will have to answer. What do you think?
  4. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Don't take said you had been 'involved in lawn care for a long time'...well, how long if you are asking equipment questions?

    Before I (well, you) can answer that you need to know who your target customer is...what size yards, mostly gated yards, wide open lots, commericial/residential/industrial parks...

    Like I said, trust me, look into writing a business will answer many of these questions by starting to write your business plan.

    As far as pricing, I suggest $75 per yard...HOW THE HECK DO I KNOW!!! How are you going to ask price questions if you have no idea what your overhead is going to cost (i.e. mower, etc.). :dizzy:
  5. Cigarcop

    Cigarcop LawnSite Member
    Messages: 197


    I have two 48" exmark hydro turf tracers with floating decks and would never buy another fixed deck machine. I agree its your money and you'll be sorry if you don't get what you want. The LLC and insurance are a must, one mishap could cost you all your earnings and then some!

    Without any clients to start and the grass to soon be growing I'd make up an appealing flyer, make copies and get them out ASAP. Your percentage should only be about 1% for calls but its better then what you got now.

    Good luck with the new venture
  6. Patsy

    Patsy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    LB1234, I just wanna say Thanks for the help. My questions were vague as you said but know that you are from jersey I thought you could be a little more specific. As you know For me to start a business from scratch it will be very difficult. I simply asked the question because I need the Average. See i know that the average lawn in wayne goes from 25 to 35 per cut. I am not figuring in costs. Like you said i need to make a solid business plan to figure out my exact overhead etc. Now for you to say 75.00? was that little sarcastic? Please don`t take this reply the wrong way as i am only looking for enlightenment into my situation from outside seasoned veterans.

    Cigarcop thanks for the reply.
  7. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    You should go cruise BOBBYGEDDs neighborhood, I bet you could get alot of work there. :p
  8. CelticGreens

    CelticGreens LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    hey patsy,

    where in the "wayne" area are you? I live in verona and can try to help you out. I too am fairly new to the biz, so i can shed some light on the do's and dont's. its gonna snow and rain for the next week, which will buy you some time. get on publisher or word and make up a flyer, you can even check old posts on this site to get a flyer template to use. make as many copies as you can and get them out the first day its nice out. that and newspaper adds are your best bet.

    as stated prior, definately get insurance. being that you're new, you're at a higher risk to screw up a lawn and your biz is short lived.

    I agree that you should make a biz plan, but i would hold off on it until you get your foot in the door. you only until around the beginning of may to gain clients, so focus on that first, than when things settle, worry about your biz plan.

    If you're looking for a good place to dump grass, leaves, brush and to get mulch, go to Environmental Renewal, its literally behind Best Buy on 46. there mulch prices are $22/yard. thats the best i've found.

    You said you were in the lawn care biz for a while, can you elaborate on that. You're the first person on this site i've found that lives around me, so maybe we can help each other out and save some money, and of course make it too
  9. Patsy

    Patsy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    def can help each other out. i did construction for a long time and basically It was all property management for my boss. His property`s that is. Pm me for my emai land maybe we can chat on the subject and exchange info. I am a firm believer in one hand washes the other.
  10. wally world III

    wally world III LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    < 1/4 acres ~~~~~~~~~ $25
    1/2 acre ~~~~~~~~ $35
    1 acre ~~~~~~~~ $45
    1 1/2 acre ~~~~~~~~ $ 55
    2 acre ~~~~~~~ $ 65
    2 1/2 acre ~~~~~~~~ $ 75
    3 acre ~~~~~~~~~~ $ 85

    i'm using Gravely pm 260z 60" cut period......

    mulch triple & double ground, red, brown, black cost $ 22/ yd
    express blower $ 19/ yd installed
    i always use express blower.........

    dethatching ~~~~~~~~ $ 20 / k ~~ $ 25/ k

    core aeration ~ 5k == $85, 10k == $ 150, then, $12/k after

    bed edging ~~~ $1.00 / sqft, new edging $ 1.35 == $ 1.65 / sqft

    if, want prices on fertilizer, grass seed, lime, corn gluten meal.
    let me know........

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