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Start Up Advice for a New Biz

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rsmith1002, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. rsmith1002

    rsmith1002 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I used to maintain 10-12 lawns approx 20 yrs ago while in HS & college. Now after being fed up w/ corporate sales gigs for the last 15+ yrs I am ready to jump back into the biz and do something for myself for a change. Interested primarily in Lawn maintenance for residential & eventually commercial customers. Initially will be doing this solo but eventually want to take on a helper. I know its late in the season and mainly this will be for next year, however, I am in central AL so there are still several months left to at least begin picking up a few customers. What advice can you guys give me in the following areas:

    What I would like to have & need: trailor, mower (ztm or wb), trimmer, blower

    Equipment to buy?- (father is retired & does lawns on a pt basis so he has some equipment). Buy used or new? What is a decent amount to spend at start up w/o going into a ton of debt since at present I have 0 customers. Do I take the "Field of Dreams" approach (if you build it they will come) and buy my equip, set up my biz and then advertise? whats the best way to handle this?

    Best advertising methods that are effective. What about a yellow page ad for next season?

    And what about all these "start up kits" on the internet? Are they worth the $50-$60 investment?

    Anything else to consider as I begin? Thanks a bunch.
  2. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    Don't over do your set-up to start with. You can buy new or used depending on how much money you will want to spend. There are some good used mowers out there, you just have to find them. Since you are just starting I would suggest going for a wb. The wb will save you some money over the ztr. You have to consider the size of your prospective lawns before you can decide on what size mower will be best for you. A 48" wb would probably be a good choice. Though if you will be having several smaller gates to get into a 36" or 34" mower might be better. But a standard 21" push mower can solve that problem too.

    As far as trimmers and blowers go, I would buy from the same company and same dealer. In any equipment purchase the dealer should be one of the deciding factors. Always buy from a good dealer, it will pay off. I do prefer stihl though over any other brand.

    There are several threads that answer your questions in this forum. Just take a few minutes and search for them. Best of luck to you.
  3. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    I would target the smallest yards possible with a push mower. When you upgrade your mower, thoughs small yards will be the most profitable accounts you can have( especially if more then one per street). Also, I would set a goal of 5-6 customers for this year and go after them. Thoughs will be your customers next year also if you do a good job.

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    dont buy too much stuff in the beginning or you may end up sorry you did
  5. browningv308

    browningv308 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    learn how to budget your money
  6. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

    When I started out, it was midseason also. Try to use your dad's eqiupment and donot buy much this year. I started out using res. equipment that I already owned for my 2 acre yard. You will have all winter figuring out what to buy and what direction you want go in.
  7. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,260

    I would agree with this. Just make sure you don't shortchange yourself. Figure out your costs, and charge accordingly.

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