rdy to start apps bus. need help please

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by mark2, May 27, 2004.

  1. mark2

    mark2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    O.K. I want to start an applications business. I have an applicators license. I have some good ideas for programs to offer. I have read post on this site for about three years and it has been very informative.
    What I need is some advice on equipment selection and sales techniques.
    There is no one in or near my area offering this service. I need to start out on the right foot. I can't spend alot of money on start up cost.
    If anyone could share their start up story or give any advice it would be greatly appreciated. If you want to send me a pm I could call and talk to you if you prefer.
  2. MrBarefoot

    MrBarefoot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    Check out the "elements of business" , "Just starting in business" and the "Tell your story" chapters of this forum.

    One other thing, here in Michigan, there are two licenses to get, one for the applicators and one for the business. Check out whether you need both.
  3. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,217

    "There is no one in or near my area offering this service. I need to start out on the right foot. I can't spend alot of money on start up cost."

    These two things would concern me,

    Why is no one in your area offering these services, maybe because many have tried and failed, lets face it even in Mass, there are some towns and suburbs of bigger towns where lawn care is not too important to the people living in that area.

    And the money, you need money to start any business, And you need to have a budget all ready together so you know where your money is going. I would contact a local bank and try for a SBA loan, of course there gonna want a 3-5 year business plan and you will have to sell them on your ideas.
  4. KLR

    KLR LawnSite Member
    from Zone 6
    Messages: 171

    personally, i started with a used pick-up truck ($3500 investment) a lesco spreader and back pack sprayer ($450) and I bought my first computer (obviously you already have one)

    doorhangers are inexpensive, but dont cut cost on them, make them look like you have lots of money

    Landscaper/mowing companies is another area to market that wont cost you anything but time. Call all of them, stop to talk to any that you see, give a business card to all of them. Take any of them that seem to have a genuine interest out for breakfast (everybody enjoys a free meal, and will feel obligated to return the favor, and its a tax write off).

    Landscaper/design/construction guys are also a great place to start. You got to sell these guys on the fact that once they install the lawn the average homeowner doesnt know what to do next. I know lots of design/build companies that are sick and tired of the homeowners calling them up once the lawn they installed begins to yellow in color and the weeds start getting agressive. Many ways to work this...one is to get the builders to give you their client list, another is to get the builder to add into their price your service....these guys HATE getting calls like this. Make it your point that YOU'LL be taking these calls, removing the burden off their backs.

    There you go, just a few ideas for you
  5. mark2

    mark2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    KLR thats some pretty good ideas.
    NO. Nobody has ever had an apps. bus. in this area. The tri county area has had huge population growth in the past ten years. Alot of the new residents are retirees from Atlanta and Northerners that didn't like Florida.
    These people are used to having this service and I intend to be the man to offer it.
    The problem I face it that this is a mountainous area. I don't think I can avoid pulling a hose. I really need help from someone who has had experience with an apps bus. in a similar situation.
  6. ArizPestWeed

    ArizPestWeed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,457

    Applying what ?
  7. lordohturf

    lordohturf LawnSite Member
    from SW OH
    Messages: 173

    The idea of a truck and spreader and small sprayer is a great place to start. Also the connection as a subcontractor with landscapers and design/build installers.

    A few other ideas to manage your business:

    Make a business plan which is very detailed with your product costs, equipment expenses and operation expenses. also for your own information, know how many customers you will need to support your expenses. Present this information to your bank to secure money for uncertain conditions.

    Make sure you are adequately insured!

    Perhaps consider doing as a part time business for a year or two
    until you determine if it will fly or not.

    Connect with builders, offering your service for new installations while homes are on the market and as a follow up for the new homeowners after the sale.

    If your business becomes successful, be prepared for competition to follow soon after!
  8. Etlawn

    Etlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Make sure you are aware of all the laws in y9our state. You may need to look into a storage area for the pesticides and also a containment area.
    I would suggest starting out with a reliable 2500 pickup and a small spray rig.
    Make sure you know the ins and outs of lawns and what affects the lawns in your area. Soon as a lwan goes dormant many customers think that you burned it. Make sure you educate your customers on proper care for the grass after you have done your job. If they dont do their part the lawn will not look to its full potential....Any other questions I would be glad to help...I work for a lrage lawn care company and have seen alot of different things....
    Good luck!

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