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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What can i expect to pay in starting up my lawn care business? i have been plowing for years and decided that landscaping would compliment my winter business well! I am looking into starting out working alone or with a couple of guys! any information would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance guys:hammerhead:
 

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Let us know....how large are the properties? Can you do the intended work with a 21 inch mower with a transmission? Or, do you need a larger machine?

What is your business plan?

If you own a pick-up... a person could outfit a starting operation here for under two grand. (mower, trimmer, hand blower, gas mix, gas can, rakes, tarps, sequeters, loppers, safety gear and a few small tools) I always estimate higher at $2500 to outfit a new truck fully for lawn care and basic maintenance where I am located.

You also have advertising to get those new clients. I would get the work set up before the season starts and then buy the toys you need as you go along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The properties on average sit on a plot of land that is 80'x120' so a 21 inch mower would definitely do the job. on average how many homes do you think i can get done a day by myelf? or with the help of 2 workers? I am in the process of finishing my business plan and yes i own a pick up and trailer already! f-350 turbo diesel
 

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Time is relative to how long it takes to mow. One guy will usually be waiting for the other guy on the mower to finish up... Then the travel time between sites...
The guy trimming and blowing can hustle while the mower finishes, then you both load the truck like clock work and boogie to the next gig.

Properties the size you are looking at would take us between forty minutes to an hour to cut, trim and blow clean. Some may take less. It all depends on site conditions (hills, stairs, trees, how detailed they want the trim done, how often you have to empty the grass bag etc. ) I would probably only get between 8 and 10 done per day.

We can only work 8 hours a day, 40 hours per a five day week here. $32.50 a cut

A three person crew doing a cut trim would probably be tripping over each other. Two people would work well as a team once you have a routine down.
 

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depending on what eqipment you want/need will affect the price greatly. Since you already have a truck, your probably going to need a trailer, mower or two, trimmer/edger, and a blower for basic maintenance. If you have the funds, i'd recomend buying the handhelds new, and a used trailer/mower. For a decent 5x10 open trailer i'd say $1000, a nice 36/48 walkbehind $2000 for a belt, $3000 for a hydro. handhelds will be about $1000 new. All in all i'd say you could get a nice little setup for 5k
 

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You can buy a used push mower, a curve shaft trimmer and a broom and be mowing yards for $100 out of the back of your truck.

Or you can purchase a $12k Walker mower, $3000 worth of handhelds and extras, a $4,000 custom dumping trailer to handles the grass clippings and be mowing for $19,000 and change.

So you tell us. What do you want to spend to get started? :)

Good luck.
 

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All I can say is that these guys are right, you can outfit a business in the range of a thousand dollars, or you can go out and spend 20 thousand. Everything depends on just what capita you have going in, and how much business is available. Get yourself licensed first off, insurance is a good idea too, but this is where money will be key. Talk to some of the pros and the little guys in your area, find out some stories.

In addition, I'm not sure what sort of job incentives there are in the US, but I know up here in the great white north, there are a few different Grant options we have from the government ranging from 3 thousand to 45 thousand in grant money. I'm sure even in the US, there is something out there, you just have to find it.
 

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All I can say is that these guys are right, you can outfit a business in the range of a thousand dollars, or you can go out and spend 20 thousand. Everything depends on just what capita you have going in, and how much business is available. Get yourself licensed first off, insurance is a good idea too, but this is where money will be key. Talk to some of the pros and the little guys in your area, find out some stories.

In addition, I'm not sure what sort of job incentives there are in the US, but I know up here in the great white north, there are a few different Grant options we have from the government ranging from 3 thousand to 45 thousand in grant money. I'm sure even in the US, there is something out there, you just have to find it.
Are those grants Provincial or Federal? I haven't heard of them in B.C. We're still paying for the Winter Olympics (as will my great grandchildren) Our Provincial Government cut off alot of funding years ago.
 

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You first have to think of what all work you will want to offer.
Mulch,mowing ,cleanups,pruning landscape jobs.
trailer whip racks i would buy new whips stright shafts 2 of them about $350 each
exmark mower 48 or so $2500 or so could buy used one low hours
edger $350
back back blowers run about 350 to 600

Its endless you just have to know what you want to do and ware you want to take it i would buy a 48 inch mower and spend a little extra cash on it.
The mower will save you time and let you do more lawns per day

GOOD LUCK
 

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It sounds like you think you will be able to use a 21" mower which will help to keep your start up costs to a minimum. You don't need to go out and buy all these fancy commercial machines just yet. Start small and work your way up. Get the basics to start, a mower, trimmer and blower is what you NEED. Buy a hedge trimmer and dedicated edger when tou start having rrquests for those services. But you can run a basic lawn care company with just a mower, trimmer and blower, at least for the first couple months.

If you really can use a 21" mower, I would look for a used commercial model or buy a new homeowner model (one of the higher end ones) for somewhere in the $500-$700 range. Its tough to find good used handhelds so you may have to buy thos new. Expect about $250-$300 for a.commercial trimmer and $250-$500 for a blower depending on if you want a backpack model or handheld one. So for around $1500 or so you should have your basic equipment ready to go. Then once you start getting more customers and rrquests for more types of services, that is when you can add more equipment.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys, i have a lot of decision making to do. i have no problem buying the more expensive equipment if this Snow ever shows up. id like to keep my overhead as low as possible but still providing great service. Now would you guys suggest starting out on my own or should i hire a couple of guys to help me out? How do you guys pay your employees if you have any? I heard alot of contractors pay there guys by the yard, $3-5 per job. is this true or does this work? i would assume you would need to have 20-30 yards a day to keep your employees happy and pockets full.
 

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The properties on average sit on a plot of land that is 80'x120' so a 21 inch mower would definitely do the job. on average how many homes do you think i can get done a day by myelf? or with the help of 2 workers? I am in the process of finishing my business plan and yes i own a pick up and trailer already! f-350 turbo diesel
Since you have a truck and a trailer, and most of your yards are 80-120 if you have the money I would get a good quality 36 walk behind, I have the ferris hydro and love it, it will cut your time down, I 'll be 65 this summer, I work solo, I can easily do 10 a day and be home by mid afternoon.
For hand helds go redmax on trimmer and blower, light commercial on the trimmer and spend the money on the big red max or husqu blower (they are the same machine - 3500 mower, 500 blower 250 trimmer. 3 sets of blades 60 roll of line 15, ear muffs 15 5 gal gas can 20, 21/2 gal can 10. So your start up total about $4,500 - run solo learn the business and study your properties before you put somebody in shot gun.
 

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Do not start out with employees, you would be making minimal money if any. You will be able to handle quite a few accounts on your own before needing help. You will quickly find out how much you can handle on your own. After a little experience under your belt, you will know that once you hit X number of accounts, you will need to hire someone either part-time or full-time in order to do any more jobs.

Very rarely does someone decide to start a lawn care business and then have 50-60 customers by the beginning of their first season. It takes time to gain customers, sometimes it is easier than others. But I can almost guarantee you that you won't have enough customers your first year to justify an employee.

People are going to try to sell you on certain brands of equipment, telling you that you need to get a particular brand of handhelds or a certain mower brand, but when it comes down to it, get whatever brand has the best dealer support and parts availability in your area. Echo, Stihl, Redmax, ect., it doesn't matter, they all are top brands and will do you just fine. Same goes for mowers.

Like I said before, if you know that you can use a 21" mower to do your target properties efficently, then just stick with that for now. 21" mowers are easy to operate, cheap to purchase (compared to other mowers) and cheap to operate. A larger size mower like a 32" or 36" size are surely nicer and quicker to use than a 21" mower, but they also cost a lot more. You can get by with a 21" until you build up your customer base then move up to a 36" machine (or whatever size you deem necessary) to speed things up a bit. But if you are looking to keep your initial cost down, 21" mowers are the only way to go.
 
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