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Reoccurring Post

JodyG

LawnSite Member
Location
Cumming, Georgia
I have been reading these posts since 2004. I have occasionally made a couple of post myself. The reason I am adding this post is because of constant reoccurring themes. First of all there are several very helpful members on this site and the amount of knowledge buried in past post is astonishing.

One of the themes that practically blows my mind is from people looking to get a blessing from other members to get into this business. I think you would well served by already deciding to become a lawn care professional prior to coming to this site. No one and I mean no one can tell you should be in this business. This business like so many others is brutal. The work is hard, hot, dusty and most important will require some kind of financial investment. Unless you are doing cluster homes (1/4 acre / less) you cannot get any true production from a residential mower, unless you are charging extra for that kind of service. Commercial mowers are built for production. Do the math, a 36” mower covers 70% more ground than a 21” and a 48” covers over twice the amount of ground as a 21”. A good solo operator with a 48” Walk Behind does over twice as much work as his counterpart pushing a 21”. You make money by production. Look at it this way, if I can do a yard with a 48” in less than 45 minutes and charge $35.00+ and it takes you 2 hours then you are making less than $13.00 an hour. And remember that your cost of doing business is coming out of that $13.00 per hour. In other words you are not going to empty out you shed of residential equipment and be a successful full time operator and anyone who tells you can is not being truthful. You might be able to pick up and do a couple of yards a week to supplement your income or build up a cash reserve to buy commercial equipment but you are not going to make a living.
Another is the post from people wanting to know what kind of equipment they need. If you are serious about lawn care then surely you have noticed other people pulling trailers with equipment. If you plan on doing the basic mow, trim, blow and go then you need a mower, a trimmer and a blower. The brand you buy is strictly based on what is being sold and serviced in your area. If I lived in Oregon then I wouldn’t buy a mower only sold in North Carolina. I would buy equipment that I can buy parts for locally and get serviced locally. Also depending on where you live will determine how many pieces of equipment you need. If the local repair shop is a 2 hour drive one way I might entertain owning and carrying backup pieces of equipment. If you live in a large metro like I do then you not only have many choices on brands but can also get by carrying less equipment. I am not more than 30 minutes away from numerous repair shops. Seek out and visit some outdoor power equipment shops in your area. These people are a wealth of knowledge.

I really am not trying to be ugly, but this is a real business with real responsibilities. I honestly believe that if you are not making in an excess of $50.00 per hour you will not survive. Unless you have special circumstances and customers you cannot be successful without commercial equipment. If you are serious about this business then spend a few hours a week on the internet researching your competition. You will be surprised to see how many lawn care companies post rates. If you plan on mail ordering you equipment then at least find out in your area that can repair it.
 
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