Questions fow those in Florida

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by daq076, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. daq076

    daq076 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Hi there. I am new to this site but not to the industry. I am 29 and have worked in this business for 8 years. I have worked for companies big and small (1truck-13trucks) in Florida. Mostly in Gainesville and for awhile in Jax.

    I also graduated from the University of Florida in December of 2005 with a BS in Turfgrass Science minoring in environmental horticulture. I feel I am well educated, book and OJT, and am ready to start my own business in the G'ville/Ocala area. I already have a few accounts lined up but I will not be able to start until this spring. (I'm currently in Indiana and am moving back in March)

    My questions for you are:

    1) Is it best to meet with an attorney/CPA to set up a S corp or sould I just do it online?

    2) What legalities do I need to take care of? What is required to hit the road?

    3) Is it best to get a small business loan from the SBA or try to outfit it myself?

    4) What is a reasonable growth rate (goal) for a starting business?

    5) Is there anything tips/advice you can give?

    Like I said Ive done this for awhile and am comfortable with the estimating/bidding end of the work. I have used all types of equipment and know what I want to get started with. But I am at a loss on the start up side of doing business.

    Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.
  2. daq076

    daq076 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I meant "for" not "fow"

    How do you edit your own posts?
  3. daq076

    daq076 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I guess nobody has any advice:confused:
  4. Hard Worker

    Hard Worker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    We're small, been at it for 3 years. We want to pick and choose who we service. We have turned down several jobs for the simple facts that they were not in areas that we wanted to service, did not want to pay our rates, seemed like they were going to be problems.

    In our area there is one business that I have watched closely, he's a friend of mine. I have learned so much what not to do by doing this. He turns down absolutely nothing, charges bare minimum to get the job, works 7 days a week 12-16 hrs a day, need I say more.

    I like him and have tried to advise him, but this is his sole source of income and has the idea that he cannot turn down work, so basically he's working a lot of the time for nothing.

    The employees he has are crap and I wouldnt trust them sweeping my sidewalk. He pays them nearly nothing, so he's basically getting what he's paying for.

    Within my business plan I have set a minimum amount that we should make per hour, so that when we do get to the point we need more help we can afford to pay someone better than anyone else, thus getting the cream of the crop. I want to be able to afford to tell someone no if they do not fit into our plan. I do not want to feel obligated to take everything that comes in front of us.

    This is probably the best advice that I personally can think of. Hope it helps, and good luck to you. Sounds like your definately on the right track with the education and work experience. Just don't get into a big hurry and wind up burning out.
  5. The Ripper

    The Ripper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    I am just south of you in the Orlando area. Yes, you can do everything online when it comes to your corporation. It is not difficult and it will only cost around $200.00. Just do a search and several companies will come up. You will also need a business license (from your county), and at the least you should start out with liability insurance, and commercial car insurance. Also you should look into getting certified as pest control company. With your degree you can get one if you past the test (you should get something out of those four years). I don't know how easy it is to get an SBA loan, but if you are going for one you need a solid business plan, not just an idea in your head. The growth rate is relative to who you are, where you are, and what you are going to do. In the last year alone we have grown 300%, but that is not a realistic growth rate for most, and we don't expect to have that happen again this year. As for advise always be honest to yourself, put your finances above any employees, and walk away if you don't like the feel of the job.
  6. daq076

    daq076 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for the info and advice. I really do appreciate it.

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