New Startup

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mr.bean, Aug 27, 2002.

  1. mr.bean

    mr.bean LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2

    Hello all!!

    We (my father and myself) just got into the lawn care business a few weeks ago. I guess I should start off by thanking all those who contribute to this forum. Over the last month I have spent a great deal of time reading this site, and I came away with a lot of valuable information.

    Like most people here, we decided that it was worth a risk to start our own company, rather than work for someone else. What is life without risks, right?

    Before we even made a decision to buy any equipment, we sat down everynight after work and worked up a business plan to see if owning our own business would be feasible for both of us. By the end of our talks, we were both convinced we had the desire, work ethic, and capital to give it a go.

    We honestly feel we are prepared for a lot of very hard physical work in undesirable (hot) climate conditions here in Florida. This was one of the things we spent a bit of time pondering. It seems too many new LCO's just can't take the heat (literally). We both currently work in manufacturing environments where the temps are no cooler than 95 degrees, and often reach 100 degrees. Granted, this is indoors, as compared to outdoors, but like I stated, we honestly think we can hack it.

    We decided that we would use some of our savings to invest. We had $25,000 saved, but decided to only budget for $11,000. No sense throwing all our eggs in one basket, sort of speak.

    So off to get a business license, insurance, and equipment we went.

    Equipment required a bit of research, which is where this forum became a valuable source of information for us. After a bit of research here, we decided the three ZTRs to look at were Dixie Chopper, Exmark, and Hustler.

    We went around to various dealers to get a feel for what kind of service they would provide to us. We visited four dealers before we decided who we wanted to do business with. As we learned here, dealer support is just as important as the equipment they sell. The dealer we chose sold all three of the aforementioned ZTR brands. After demoing all three mowers side-by-side, we chose the 60" Hustler Z w/25hp Kawasaki engine. Nothing against Exmark and Dixie Chopper (they are both excellent mowers), but the Hustler Z seemed to be better built. At $7200, the price was definitely comparable.

    We also picked up a Shindaiwa EB630 backpack blower; Stihl FC75 edger, and FC85 trimmer. Since we bought all the equipment at the same dealer, he gave us discount package deal. We walked out of there with the ztr, trimmer, edger, blower, 4 sets of extra blades, extra trimmer line, oil and filters for $8100 before tax. Not too shabby.

    I guess I should mention that we already had a 6' 1/2" x 10' trailer to haul all this stuff with. Hopefully by next year we can look into getting a bigger trailer, but we will make due with what we have for now. We also have a 21" mower and hedger that we will replace next year also.

    We plan on working at our current jobs until we can both afford to quit and go full time. Two weeks since we got our business license, insurance, and equipment, and we already have 12 accounts. We are bidding on 6 more next week. Not bad, considering we started this late in the season.

    What's the best way to go about getting a license to apply fertilizer? Approximate cost?

    Any and all tips and advice for our new startup company would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again

  2. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    im not really familiar with fertilizing, but after reading your post, it sounds to me like you really planned out your business. Just remember to charge what you can afford to charge, and dont let customers walk all over you. Good luck! Sounds like youve done your homework.
  3. Floridalandcare

    Floridalandcare LawnSite Senior Member
    from Tampa
    Messages: 314

    Where about in florida, Im in tampa .
  4. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    hey bean

    love to hear about well planned ventures.

    i guess some good advice-get an accountant and start writing off stuff.

    you mention about it being late in the season, but really how much of a break do you guys in FLA get? i figured it was essentially year round.

    what do you haul with?

    and do you let dear old dad ride, or trim?:D
  5. mr.bean

    mr.bean LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for the support guys!

    We are located in Lakeland.

    *scrub alert*
    Currently hauling with a little Nissan pickup truck and a 97 Chevy Blazer.

    */end scrub alert*

    Hopefully, a decent 3/4 ton is in our future :)

    Unfortunately, I do all the trimming. Dear old Dad rides the mower while sipping on his ice-cold lemonade. We were going to use an old John Deere trimmer that we have, but I insisted on getting the Stihl and Gator line for this very reason, hehe.
    By the time I am done trimming, he is right behind me with the blower. On two of our accounts, he is done mowing way before I am done trimming, so of course he gets stuck with the old JD trimmer. Needless to say, we will be picking up another Stihl very soon.
  6. sprout

    sprout LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    :blob3: In Florida you don't need a license to apply straight granular fertilizer. I'm in Orlando area, what else do need to know? good luck
  7. Floridalandcare

    Floridalandcare LawnSite Senior Member
    from Tampa
    Messages: 314

    Where did you get your hustler ,was gulf coast tractor in plant city I got ours at Gulf coast in LOL not laughing out loud but Land O Lakes. If your close to us maybe we could help you out ..........How about the rain today?
  8. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

  9. P&J Lawncare

    P&J Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    You picked the right mower now all you have to do is work,work,work,work.

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