Newbie here - need some advice (starting own business)

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Johnson1999, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. CoachLinz

    CoachLinz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 126

    I started with:
    '85 GMC Sierra Pickup - $2100 + $800 in repairs
    Used 48" Bobcat w/b - $1000
    21" Craftsman mower - I already had
    Echo Trimmer - $249
    Echo Backpack Blower - $299
    Wheelbarrow - $50
    Shovels, etc - $75 + had some already
    Hedge trimmers - already had
    Ladder - already had
    Printed flyers myself and went door to door- $10

    I do this part-time - teacher full-time - and have 6 weekly lawns plus about 1 landscape job per week. Also have a few lawns who call occasionally when they are on vacation or having a party and want it extra nice. I know most guys won't do those one timers but I have the time and money is money so I do them. Plus, one of my weekly lawns started out that way and then decided I did a much better job than they did and signed on for weekly mowing.
  2. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    start out very small and build you customer base with quality work. I wouldn't worry that much about buying all the tools that you need right out of the gates. Really step back and look at what you are REALLY going use, and need. Don't buy things just for show. Sit down and figure out the number of times for example that you might use an aerator doing the year. Figure out whether or not you will make a profit from it, and how big is the market for it.

    All I can say is research, research, research.

    Also I would have to agree with the offers, go on your own
  3. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

  4. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 833

    Your first question says a lot!

    I would rec. working for someone else in the field of lawn care for at least a year. Then consider jumping in on your own.

    Meanwhile your buddy can work for a landscape biz. In a year the two of you will be able to answer those questions.
  5. capescaper

    capescaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    buy used if u can good equipment is available for reasonable prices save some of that money because the 1 and 2 months u will be fronting most of the money by the time bills go out and come back 2 you
  6. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Messages: 1,647

    Go to a couple equipment shops. You and your friend do this together.

    Talk to the guys behind the counter. You might not get to talk with the mechanics, but that is OK for now.

    Talk to them about the equipment. Talk about the kinds of accounts you will be doing. Refer to size, guess at the amount of lawn area. Measure your own lawn and use that as reference. Discuss the option of used equipment, see what they have there.
    Now while you are doing this, look around. Is it a shop that deals mostly with commercial clients? or mostly homeowner?

    If they deal with commercial GREAT, your in the right place.

    Get a feel for the guys there your talking with. Do you feel comfortable with what they say and their recommendations.

    Go to another shop that deals with mostly commercial clients. Go through the same process.

    Now the 2 of you decide what shop will get your business. Remember one thing. Who ever you chose, they will ultimately become your best resource.

    Also many of the shops have a board where other LCO's post equipment they want to sell. Ask the guys at the shop about those as well. They should know the person selling them and might know of the equipment they are selling.

    Anything else you need to know regarding the business. Just have a look through the threads in the forums that you are interested in.

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