Specialized mowing business questions

code54

LawnSite Member
Location
WV - Charleston
I am retiring from my regular job later this year and have some interest in getting into some type of landscaping small business. Though college I worked for a school doing landscaping and field mowing for them. I am sort of interested in doing some field mowing, real estate mowing, brush hog work, lot clearing, etc. I was also thinking I could do driveway work (gravel washout, sloping, a little drainage work, stuff like that. I currently have a 50 hp Kubota with loader, box blade, brush hog, land plane, landscape rake, 7' blade, small 25 hp Kubota with backhoe/loader, mower, a Kubota KX91 with buckets and mower, a BCS with tiller, flail mower and power harrow. We have hand tools, chainsaws, Stihl trimmers, etc. I have a ¾ ton truck, dump trailer and 18'flat trailer so I think im good there. Everything is fairly new and low hrs and maintained so starting out Im figuring im ok.
Im not sure other than insurance, a business name, LLC what all else I would need. I would consider buying a CTL (track loader) if I think I can make a bit more with it. Also thinking it would be great for mowing and land clearing, perhaps better than a tractor in a lot of cases, especially paired with the mini ex.
Anyone do any work like this and have any advice? My biggest concern is finding jobs as I was concerned that unlicensed, uninsured Facebook "contractors" may drive the prices down below where it is profitable.
This idea appeals to me because I will be outside, I can see the result of my work daily, I would be active (I am not a person that sits a bunch), and if I want to take a week off to take the wife on vacation I am not stuck with a weekly schedule I have to follow. I am also not thinking this is some 250K a year job, If, after expenses I could be pulling 3-4k clear a month on average I would good with it. What is everyone thoughts, does this make sense?
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
VA
Specialized equipment and heavy duty work pays better than just grinding a mediocre mow route. If you already have the equipment and know how, you are ready to go. I have a long time friend that will do small jobs with his JD tractor for cash. He's built two parking pads for me and a coworker for our trailers, scraped a gravel driveway and brought in 32 tons of rock for my brother, and is doing a small leveling job for my pastor. In the last 2 months.

Be sure to price yourself right. Fuel costs have gone up so make sure to cover it. You seem to be on the right track.
 

JFGLN

LawnSite Fanatic
I have a long time friend that will do small jobs with his JD tractor for cash.
I don't know about where you live but this is the problem with this kind of work in my area. Lots of guy have a small tractor for thier personal property and use them for side jobs. They don't charge enough to cover their labor and the recovery cost of the equipment. Also need to have a minimum charge or a mobilization fee. You need to cover the time loading and unloading the equipment.
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
VA
I don't know about where you live but this is the problem with this kind of work in my area. Lots of guy have a small tractor for thier personal property and use them for side jobs. They don't charge enough to cover their labor and the recovery cost of the equipment. Also need to have a minimum charge or a mobilization fee. You need to cover the time loading and unloading the equipment.
I agree btw. Which is why I mentioned pricing yourself right.
 
OP
code54

code54

LawnSite Member
Location
WV - Charleston
Thanks to everyone that commented. With Subcontracting how do you suggest getting started in this? I like that idea so I am definitely interested just dont know much about the process (slowly learning the business side so I can get started next year)
THANKS
 

Mark Stark

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, NY
Thanks to everyone that commented. With Subcontracting how do you suggest getting started in this? I like that idea so I am definitely interested just dont know much about the process (slowly learning the business side so I can get started next year)
THANKS
You should start by emailing and calling mowing and landscape companies in your area. Create a "form" email that sounds personable and explains who you are, your experience, the basics of what you can handle, and an offer to meet with them whenever they have a few minutes.

When you meet with a company, it would useful of you hand a decent looking printout or flyer that has all contact info on it, starting rates, and all of the work you can do. Make it easy for companies to want to work with you.
 

sehitchman

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
West, GA
That's the work and equipment I have and like to do most at my 66 young years. I took on some mowing and maintenance accounts, it ballooned up to the point that I struggle to take on any of the tractor and mini skid work. So, as stated above, work with local maintenance companies, most want to mow and blow and don't have the equipment to do the tractor and skid work. My problem is I've let the maintenance side get to big, but it does drive the landscape, tractor and mini skid work. My retired life is not the kick back and work when I want like I thought it would be.
 

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