Newbie here. Is this a good deal?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Mighty B's, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. Mighty B's

    Mighty B's LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Hi guys,

    I am starting a lawn care company. At first it will be residential mowing. One of my many goals is to bid commercial contracts next year. This is a part time job now but will hopefully turn into a full blown operation in the years to come. I have a full time job and can fully support myself and family without tapping into the revenues that the business brings in, which allows me to reinvest in marketing. I have bought a 6x12 trailer and next is the equipment. I like to buy heavy duty commercial equipment. I am looking at the Exmark Lazer z 52 inch with the RED Kohler EFi engine. The offer is you get a free 30in commercial for "free". I am buying this on the 48 month 0% interest offer (rather use someone else's money). I also looked at Scag but the dealer is about 30 mins away and not in my initial service area. The Exmark dealer is about 10 miles away. Is this offer a good deal? I got a quote for a Turftiger and it was a few thousand less than the Lazer. Would you buy the Lazer and take the 30in commercial or the Turftiger and just buy a smaller commercial mower? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

    I would step back and slow down. You don't have any contracts and are willing to take on a lot of debt. Get a used walk behind first. Some good hand tools and see how that goes. Prepare for the worst
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  3. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,568

    Two different decks for two different purposes.

    Take a look at gravely as well
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  4. Mighty B's

    Mighty B's LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I understand, but I have a REALLY good paying job (pilot) and even using these things for my personal use wouldn't make a difference. I know it's not how a lot of people would do it. Back to the original question, is it a good deal?
  5. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,568

    Lasers are good mowers. The 30" wouldn't be a deal breaker they are only $1200 I think
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  6. Mighty B's

    Mighty B's LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Problem with Gravely is the dealer is almost 40 mins away. I understand the value of having a close relationship with your dealer and maintenance shop.

    GREENWITHENVY1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    I think that sounds like an Ausome deal getting the 30 inch mower as an incentive. I say if you can afford it then go for it and enjoy.
  8. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,725

    I see scag has finally offered the more fuel efficient engines that exmark offers. You say the scag is less id be curious if thats with the Kohler EFI motor or not. I demoed scag cheetah and turf tigers and aside from the fact they have inferior cuts to exmark, the fuel consumption was a complete disgrace. Used both 29hp and 31hp scag's and was using 2 gallons per hour. Our 2 new exmarks have 34hp and 38hp Kohlers and use 1.1-1.2 gallons an hour. That amount of gas adds up quick.
  9. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,116

    yea… I agree.

    This sounds crazy.

    your gaol is to bid commercial jobs next year? With only a part time season and a few lawns under your belt?

    Are there drugs hidden under the shrubs at commercial jobs?
    what is the crazy attraction/race for newbs to run after commercial jobs?

    This myth about big money in commercials is exactly that myth.
    Sure the gross is more, but that doesn't mean you make more money.

    Commercial work is generally for larger, more established companies with employees.
    Commercial is easier for larger companies because they have a place to stick multiple employees for a while, rather than having them leap frog all over town.
    Also easier to spot check quality at a few rather than a few dozen.

    These aren't factors for new start up companies.

    So all you're going to do is go all wild bill hickock, shooting from the hip, and muddy the pricing waters and make a complete mess.

    How about a business plan?

    You don't even know if the exmark deal sounds like a good deal, but are ready to bid commercial work next year.
    IF you make a small error in judgement or estimate on a residential, it could cost you a few bucks.
    Same error on a commercial can cost hundreds or thousands.

    a five year business plan might include a major mower purchase like an exmark rider on year three.

    Everyone wants to run out and buy toys and 'legitimize' the purchase because they are just up and going into the mowing business.

    Why not just stay a pilot, retire a pilot and hire someone to cut your grass? OR if you have free time and want to learn the business… hire on for a reputable company and work for them to LEARN the business.
    Can I just buy a jet and start flying passengers around?
  10. Tn2317

    Tn2317 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 89

    Yes, it's a good deal. Don't nickle and dime this business. Let's say you spend 15K on a piece of equipment. That's about as much as a basic car; which you make no money on, and loses value every day. Whatever you spend 15K on in this business, will make you 10 times that amount in return. People spend no time at all thinking about buying a product that will produce no income and drop in value like a rock. Your considering a purchase that will produce an income for years. It's a no brainer.

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