Question for ya

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Stihl036pro, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. Stihl036pro

    Stihl036pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 232

    Whats up guys, I took on so much mowing this year is was hard for me to do anything but that. I cant complain because it paid all of my equipment off and I have some really nice pieces of machinery. I am getting sick of the mowing as being 75% of my income. I do want to keep certain mowing jobs for next year. How did you people out there get started in the landscaping end off things. Did you go to school or did you just learn it on your own. I did'nt have time to do anything but mowing and I want to offer a landscaping service next year but I dont want to jump in blind even know sometimes thats the best way to learn. Towards the end of the Sen I was getting kinda burnt out cutting grass. I love to landscape but I just dont know how to break into it. Anyone have any Idea on whare to get started. Any advice is welcomed. The winter months are coming soon enough and when I'm not plowing snow I will looking information up on lawn site. com Thanks Mike
  2. troblandscape

    troblandscape Guest
    Messages: 0

    I am in the same boat I am sooooo sick of cutting grass, I had a cutting crew up to sept., but the guy went back to college, and I don't trust just anyone to take my stuff out............
  3. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Messages: 1,557

    I went to school and learned alot of info about landscaping both book learning and hands on learning then went into business right away with mainly landscaping and a little lawn care to the point of 95% landscaping 5% mowing. The main thing is knowing where plants thrive, their culture, and names, planting them correctly, and design work.
  4. Stihl036pro

    Stihl036pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 232

    Yea, I have a hard time rusting people with my Eqipment my-self. I got burned once cuz I'm a nice guy. It will never happen again I'll let you that.
  5. Stihl036pro

    Stihl036pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 232

    I have a hard time trusting people with my equipment. Sorry about the last post.
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    I started working for a landscaping co loooooooooong time ago and paid attention to what was being done. As I took on more resposability I was allowed to do more IE run equip. I went with the owner when he bid jobs and learned that. It got to the point that I was bidding the jobs, doing the work, collecting the money and handing it over to the owner and he was giving me my tiny little pay check. I got tired of running the co. so I started to do it myself 1st by renting equip then purchasing what I need. The co that I was working for went out of biz. becouse some low life was stealing all his customers HaHa. I started mowing as part of my services in 1995 quit in 97 you guys that mow have it rough, to much work for to little money. New residential install on approx 18,000 sq. ft. of lawn $2160 6 hrs work 3 guys plus beds plants etc. And unless you want to be doing this till you die start trusting some one on your machines. And I know what your thinking about how I started but I know that 2 of the guys I taught own there own co. and are competing against me LOL Mac
  7. Stihl036pro

    Stihl036pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 232

    I worked for a landscaper when I was 17 and I wish I paid more attention to what was going on. I started my business out of high school and I'm now 22. Sometimes I wish I worked for a landscaper more and was able to get a feel for the landscaping end of things. I am talking classes at Uconn for turf grass management. I want to go back to school to learn but I cant do that just yet. I have worked way to hard to give up some of my accounts. As far as trusting someone with my Equipment, I'm working on it. I cant grow unless I rely on other people helping me.
  8. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,369

    Just get out there and market your business like hell.
    Sell the mowing run or part thereof until you get comfortable
    with your place in the market. Best thing I ever did was sell off the mowing side of the business.
  9. newleaflandscape

    newleaflandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 348

    I took classes in the fall to get an associates. I worked for a very large landscape only firm for four years while I did that. I recommend that to anyone. For two reasons; 1. You learn the tricks of the trade. 2. You can learn the mistakes of the guys you work for, and not make them yourself. It was hard when I started my company though. I went from being a foreman with a four man crew everyday, getting around four grand worth of work done per day, mostly hardscapes like retaining walls ponds and patios. To working by myself, taking crap paying work like grading, seeding, and mowing lawns just to get the bills paid. I dont know anyone that was able to start a landscape only business without first mowing lawns just to get there name out there. The hardest part about being a landscape only business is getting your name out there, not learning to do the work. Thats juat because when you mow lawns you deal with alot more customers, and your name spreads faster. Right now though I am finally at that point where I dont mow anymore, although I do still grade and seed lawns. You can make a hell of alot more doing landscape construction the mowing from my experience. I would say you are already ahead of the game now though since you have had your business established mowing. Its always nice to fall back on if you cant do the actual construction. Also my advice is to not turn down any work. Wether you know how to do it or not. If you dont know how to do it, there is always a way to figure it out or someone that can help you. Only way to learn is by doing it. And I will say that having the degree is nice for advertising, but I didnt learn to do landscaping through college, I learned it by doing it. I will say college training was really good for the business aspects though like estimating etc.

    ALIMAR LAWNS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Hey NewLeaf in Mich. Can you be more specific on what kind of classes you took to get your assoc's and to learn estimating,etc...
    Any help would be greatly appreciated,Thanks.

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