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Soon-To-Be LCO!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by nachesebro, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. nachesebro

    nachesebro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Most of the rental houses are set up so that the tenants are responsible for the upkeep of the lawn. A lot of properties in town are attractive to the college crowd. A house or apartment certainly beats the dorms of the university here, and after four years of study, they can relocate easily. That said, most students do not own equipment to keep up the lawn and at times risk the attention of the ordinance officer. To start small, I was going to get a nice backpack blower, brush cutter/weed trimmer, and a push mower. (21 inch type).

    To start, it is all I really need.most city lots are small and could be taken care of quickly. It also allows me to do business without having to finance anything right off the bat.

    I will also be doing this part time while working another job to help keep a healthy source of income moving along.

    If things look good next fall, I will look into getting a truck and plow to take on winter operations.

    Because I will have a truck trailer plow brushcutter blower and small mower already on hand, the next logical step in my mind would be to upgrade the mower to either a ztr or a zero turn walk behind. I think it was on this site that I read that the walk behinds in certain situations are better than the ride on ztr... But that will remain for a different topic and thread.

    Obviously this is the general idea that I have to start with. I am sure there will be changes to parts of it as things get better or worse.

    So I guess the short answer to your question is small equipment - nothing extravagant. But each piece of equipment will have a purpose at all future stages of my lco. They will need to recycle well within the operation. I would hate to buy something and figure out that it just wasn't big or small enough for what I need and have to try to get rid of it and upgrade or downgrade.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,463

    Thats a real good plan.
  3. GreenerSolution

    GreenerSolution LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 84

    I am starting up as well. I'm going after a little bit of a different market and with a different niche. But small businesses are small businesses, and they usually start from the same place. The odds are definitely stacked up against us. I've never believed a get rich quick scheme before, I wont believe it now. But i know this, if I work as hard for myself as I have for other people, I think I'll be ok. So coming from another jr., maintain a strong work ethic and plan for the negatives. Another thing I've learned from this site in the past year that I've been on - they have a friend's list, but they need an assholes list. There's a couple out there. :laugh: p.s. I'm a GMC man myself
  4. nachesebro

    nachesebro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Thank you GreenerSolution,

    Your advice i think will stand in more situations than one. Are you just starting now or do you have a season behind you?

    I think life could use an ******* list. The nice thing I see on this site however, is that when one rears its head, the general membership seem to quickly dismiss it. :clapping:
  5. GreenerSolution

    GreenerSolution LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 84

    I have been formulating a business for the past month. I've been in the industry for the past 10 years, within my niche for the past 7.
  6. GreenerSolution

    GreenerSolution LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 84

    I have been formulating a business plan for the past month. I've been in the industry for the past 10 years, within my niche for the past 7. And next year plan to "go public" with my own co. where exactly did you find the census info with the reported lco?
  7. nachesebro

    nachesebro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Oh, you mean that "useless" information? ;) LOL

    It was on census.gov under American Fact Finder. I narrowed my search using my county (unless my city just isn't big enough, the smallest region to search for this particular report was the county level) and then the other filter was the job code for 'landscaping' (Trying to find the job code was a bit tricky, I found it using the search function).

    If you need any help with it, holler. Tomorrow when I get back in the office I can get the name of the report to look for.

    What state are you from by the way?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. GreenerSolution

    GreenerSolution LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 84

    PA but im looking to target NJ. It's where Im originally from. I have more contacts there and the competition isnt nearly as bad. I have some friends in Grand Rapids. How far are you from there?

    here's some interesting stats I saw. they are somewhat general but might aid in your marketing schemes a bit.

    Gardening and Lawn Care Services.
    Best customers:
    Householders aged 55 or older.
    High-income households.
    Married couples without children.
    College graduates.
    (Source: Best Customers. Demographics of consumer demand. New strategist.)"lawn+care+services"+demographics&hl=en

    According to a Gallup survey, Americans age 50 or older are the
    largest consumer group that purchases professional landscape, lawn and
    tree-care services. Their spending accounted for nearly 50 percent of
    the total household spending on household lawn-care services.
    Homeowners in the western part of the United States led the total
    spending on these service, accounting for more than one-third, or 38
    percent of all expenditures.

    Those with a house with a market value of $200,000 were twice as
    likely to use a lawn care service than those with a value of $86,000.
    Those approaching retirement were more likely to use a lawn care
    service than those under 40 years.
    Market value of house and percentage of homeowner that use a lawn care service.
    $86,000 - 20%
    $95,228 - 22%
    $124,000 - 27%
    $200,000 - 44%

    Homeowners age and percentage that use a lawn care service.
    35 - 21%
    44 - 19%
    54 - 22%
    60 - 27%
    65 - 34%
    70 - 45%
    (Source: Reaching Diverse Homeowner Audiences with Environmental
    Lanscape Programs: Comparing Lawn Service Users and Nonusers. Glenn D.
    Israel and Gary W. Knox. University of Florida.)
  9. CleanCuts12

    CleanCuts12 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37


    I like your approach to the industry. I have a similar setup, started small and paid cash for everything, and then worked my way up and grew the company. I started when I was 14, with a 21 in push mower. I now have a 36" Metro that I just bought this past fall--best decision I've ever made. It isn't as productive as the larger mowers but it works well for my operation. It takes a few more mins to cut a lawn but I'm not spending money that I don't have, its all profit.
    If you can afford it, I would highly reccommend starting off with a 36" walk behind. I always buy slightly used, typically off craigslist. Research and timing pays off. Just today I saw a 36" for a great price, good time to buy.
  10. nachesebro

    nachesebro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    I have been keeping an eye out for some of those on various sites online, however all my figures indicate that I will have enough only for the 21 inch at this time. But you are right. A 36 inch would really make things easier. If I do have enough on hand, I may look at taking out a small loan, one that I can afford using only my income from my steadier work to make up any difference. But if I go that route, I would want to pay 2/3 with cash and finance the other 1/3.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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