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Newbie to Central FL Market has ??????'s

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by TierOneLawnCare, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. TierOneLawnCare

    TierOneLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    I am in the process of getting together a Lawn care business for the 2007 season, I thought I'd get started early...I do have some questions though, maybe you can help, maybe you cant.......

    I beleive when I get into the business I shouldnt have much overhead to begin with, I recently purchased a 2006 Craftsman LT3000, 20HP B&S 42 cut, Ryobi 32CC Straight Shaft trimmer (Beginner equipment, being I own this stuff, I dont want to start out in debt too much) 98 Chevy S10, (Paid for) will need to get a trailer.....I need some advise on a Blower, and Edger, and Will need some advise on where to buy a trailer, I plan on attacking this solo to begin with, and I am in the central FL Market

    So my questions are as follows:

    Advise on a medium grade blower?
    Medium Grade Edger?
    where and what size trailer to purchase? (I plan on buying a ZTR,Push Mower,Trimmer Rack, blower) I would like something I can grow into.
    I need to pull about an $800 a week salary from this company to afford my current household bills. I plan on attacking small residental homes for now due to my equipment. If you can tell me, Approx how many yards can a solo do with my equipment mowing between 1/4-1/2 lots in one day? I am thinking
    probably 8, So if I gather 40 Customers, Mow once per week, and charge an average of $35.00 per Week (start at $25 for 1/4 or less $35 from 1/4 to 1/3
    $45.00 from 1/3 to 1/2) so take 40 customers x $35 average = $1,400 a week, Pay myself $800 a week Ill have $600 a week for expensies, Is this a good plan of attack

    How do you go about getting a business license, insured, and what else would you start to do if you were in my shoes? I currently have until next mowing season to organize all of this....Any advise will be exremly apperciated and welcomed (good or bad)
  2. TierOneLawnCare

    TierOneLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

  3. turfwrangler

    turfwrangler LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Hey, I am just getting started myself, I am located in Central Florida as well, I am in the Marion County area. I am looking for a trailer as well, I think I am going to get a 16', maybe a little big but if I ever need the space I have it and won't have to buy a trailer in the future. I am going to get a Skag Cub to start out with. I have went with Echo for my edgers etc. I spent about $300 - $375 edgers etc. My suggestion is go talk to some of the guys and gals mowing in your area, I stopped and talked to a man the other day and he was great. I am going to meet up with this guy in two weeks, he is going to give me all the info I need to get started, he is also going to take me around and we are going to look at yards and talk about how much we would charge, then he is going to start referring jobs to me. So look around and don't be scared to talk to people. By the way, where in Central Florida do you located.
  4. TierOneLawnCare

    TierOneLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    Winter Haven, Polk County, right smack dab in the middle,

    thanks for the info
  5. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    Ok, you are a fairly misguided soul here but I will do my best.

    1st off, dont expect a garden tractor from sears to hold up very long especially if you do larger than 1/4 acre lots. Same applies to the ryobi trimmer and pretty much any piece of equipment with an engine that can be bought at home depot, lowes or sears.

    The best thing you can do at this point is find a commercial equipment dealer in your area who carriers either stihl, echo, redmax or shindaiwa equipment. Now, for my recommendations on equipment:

    Trimmer -- stihl FS100RX around 350$
    Edger -- stihl FC100 around 400$
    Handheld blower -- stihl BG85 around 160$
    Backpack blower -- stihl BG350 or BG400

    I will admit I am biased toward stihl equipment mainly because I have had great dealer support and performance out of their stuff.
    Dont stick with craftsman infact get away as fast as you can. If you think it is easy getting parts for their equipment then you need to visit a local equipment dealer. Much different atmosphere. I understand that this stuff is expensive in the beginning but wait until you have burned up 3 ryobi trimmers, could have had a commercial piece to begin with and you would be using a more powerful piece of equipment.

    As for a commercial Z, stick with the good brands. Most of the big brands are sponsors of this site and have links at the top of the page. To name a few:

    Scag, Exmark, Hustler, Gravely, Toro, Wright, Deere in no particlar order.

    Good luck to ya. BTW, good job on the prices you have listed for the lots you plan to mow, least ya aint gonna lowball.
  6. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 677

    Raise your prices $5-10 Fuel, Fuel, Fuel Good Luck!!!!
  7. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    Just wondering if your jumping in full time or just on the side? I only ask because of the 800$ a week NEEDED to live. I know 40 accounts dosnt sound like much but unless your very lucky it usally that takes months to gain that many regular clients. Really reconsider the residental eqimpment, I pretty much have same mower and wouldnt even consider using it for a biz. As for information go to www.sunbiz.org has some good info.
  8. 29 Palms Property Management

    29 Palms Property Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    www.sunbiz.org for the fictitious name and registration, and go to your city website for all of the necessary licensing you will need. Pretty simple.
  9. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    O.K you have paid for the craftsman and ryobi trimmer, i would suggest you buy another commericial trimmer before the season starts and use the ryobi as backup my favs being shindy, kawasaki.( mind you my ryobi lasted years), not sure what you can do about the craftsman, mow lawns until you can afford to upgrade to commericial machine, the trick is to buy the best machines you can afford and they will be more reliable and last longer and do a better job, quicker. :)

    Anyway good luck with the $800 a week, some people take years to get this, but it depends on your area i suppose good luck :usflag:

    P.S start on the weekends now and build up a customer base so you have plenty to start with when you go full time
  10. Rhinox29

    Rhinox29 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    I am from your area and I must warn you it will take a while to get 40 accounts. LCO's are like weeds around here, every day a new one pops up. Most of the people in this area are cheap. So put together a business plan and stay with it and your prices and you should be ok. Buy only what you need and what you can afford till you get money coming in. Do not try to keep up with the big boys and all their equipment till you get established. The majority of the folks around here could care less what you cut their lawn with. A good place for a trailer is Emersons on Hwy.92 across from the flea market in AUB. You will need a county and city license and Insurance depends on what you want and are covering, call around for the best price. Yards solo? I can't help you with I run a 2 man crew with my dad. You will need to apply for a ficticious name. When you have the money get commercial equipment. Start spending your free time going around to all the dealers and get to know them ask questions check out the equipment. Get a flyer printed up and make copies and start going door to door. When ready buy a ZTR that you like and can afford with good dealer support. Everybody has opinions about which is better but get what works best for your operation. Majority of the major brands are all good. Good luck and keep the grass flying.:waving:

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