First let me say that this is the first post I am making on this site. I discovered it while doing a search and was impressed with what I found. I have many questions and in order to help you folks answer them, I will provide some back ground information for you. I will be 30 years old at the end of this year and have done many different things with my life. From retail jobs while younger, to a fishing guide in Canada during college, to a sales job now, however, I have always wanted to work outside and for myself. After working for a few small business owners and even managing their business for them, I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing quite like being your own boss! More headaches.....yes, more satisfaction.....for sure! After contemplating my options, I have decided to begin a career/business in this industry. The plan is to start on a part time basis while continuing my current job (to keep some money coming in) and then hopefully transitioning into a full time business. I understand that it is late in the year and I want to do this right, so I am currently researching, planning, etc. with a plan of being up and running in the spring of 2009. Most of my questions revolve around pricing, learning and education. I have been in professional sales for the last 8 years and understand that this really is another sales/service career. I am fortunate in that my significant other is the director of marketing for a national company, so I will use her expertise in that area. However, I am contemplating school and getting a degree in Horticulture with an emphasis on landscape design and construction as well as turf management. Pointless or helpful? I want to start with the basics of lawn care and eventually move up to include landscape design and construction. What type of equipment would I need to start (ie: size mower, trimmer, edger, hedge clippers, blower, etc.)? What is the proper way to charge, by the hour of by the job? I am not worried about over pricing since my general area of suburbia contains a lot of wealth. How long did it take most to establish themselves as a reputable company and begin utilizing the income from their business to support them and their families full time? What types of insurance is required (if any) and what are its costs? Do I need legal advising or a lawyer? I understand that there is a lot to learn and I appreciate all fed back that may be given. Given the length of this post, I will stop here and I look forward to posting with all of you! Thank You! Dreamin'