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Sarting in Feb. '04

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Qdriver, Oct 15, 2003.

  1. Qdriver

    Qdriver LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    I have been visiting this site for a while now. I finally joined so I can get some advice on my own questions.

    I will be alone (maybe some help from a long time friend) working part time to start. (while holding a job in the mortgage banking field) I will start small (probably with a Toro) 36'' hydro/float, Murry 21" push, Stihl- trimmer,edger, hedger and bp blower. I have not decided on why type of hauler or trailer yet.

    I have and am still taking classes with the local SBDC.

    From the threads I have gathered that it is most important to start slow and learn to price jobs correctly from the beginning.

    What is the most efficient way to price a job? I feel that it is not wise to price by volume as there are only so many daylight hrs. But you must be careful not to "price for profit" yourself out of a bid.

    What brand would you choose to start with? Considering cost vs productivity. Toro or Exmark, Stihl Or shindaiwa.

    Thank You.
  2. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 476

    Figure out what your expenses will be for every hour that you are working (this includes drive time), then figure out how much profit you want to make per hour, add these two numbers together, and that is the amount you need to be making per hour to have a profitable business. Now when you go to do a bid you can do your best to figure out how long it will take, and charge according to your hourly rate.

    Most of my services I have a way of figuring the price out besides just hourly...for example when I do retaining walls I charge between $12 & $14 per sq. ft. (depending on the difficulty of the wall). This makes bidding real easy for me...there is very little guesswork. Some people don't like doing it this way, but it works really well for me.

    Good luck
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    Just starting out the brand that I would choose would be Toro and Stihl. Now if I was along a ways I would choose exmark and stihl.
  4. Qdriver

    Qdriver LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    Thanks for the advise.....

    I was told that Toro owns Exmark,. that Exmark was the lower brand. You can guess what distributor thats was I realize, but is there any truth to it?

    BOSS MAN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    yeah it's true toro owns the name exmark. it's just another way for them to make money. personally i would start out slow and then work my way into pricing bigger and bigger jobs. i've been doin this for 4 years and i'm still learning all of the time.
  6. Qdriver

    Qdriver LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    Ya Know,.. that is one of the reasons I chose this business....
  7. Qdriver

    Qdriver LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    I am going with a professional set-up as opposed to most of what I see around my town IE. beat-up-pick-up-with-old-sears-riding-mower-on-a-trailer.

    question to the guys that have been around a-while, have you noticed if the beat-up types stay in biz for long? They can't be making good money.... even with their small start-up capitol needs.
  8. WeatherMan

    WeatherMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 692

    Just Starting out I would go down to the john deere dealer and buy all my equip. mowers and 2 cycle " Nothing Runs Like a Deere"

    Good Luck
  9. Qdriver

    Qdriver LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    Thanks , I have not looked into JD yet.

    PS.... Which slogan sounds better.

    ...lawn stand out from the rest.


    ...lawn stand out among the rest.

    Logo will be some type of desert oasis scene.
  10. LongIslander

    LongIslander LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    I would say that standing out FROM the rest sounds best. The word among sounds like you are in the group, from makes you sound like you are in front of the group. I hope that helps, or makes sense!

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