"Starting a Business" any advice pros??

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by vanessa, Mar 31, 2004.

  1. vanessa

    vanessa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Hey guys, I decided Not to buy the lawn care business, however I want to know if you guys can help me with advice on starting my own lawn care business, I am sure there are alot of things that I should know about the business,my husband says it cannot be hard since its just cutting grass, I agree but of course I am sure there is alot of other things we would have to learn, if any of you would be willing to share your experience, and also what mistakes to avoid when starting this kind of business,

    I stopped by a toro dealer and for a new toro tractor and 3 other items the cost would be around $4000, so I figure that would be better then buying a business, I would love it if you guys would share your experience and also if there are any websites with info let me know thanks so much
  2. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    The hard part isn't cutting grass, the hard part is running a successful small business. Good luck.
  3. vanessa

    vanessa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Hi, we do have experince running a business since we owned a carpet cleaning company, so that part wont be hard and with the advertising we already have experience also, so for me thats the easy part, the hard part is learning about the business, anyway any input would be appreciated
  4. KL Squared

    KL Squared LawnSite Member
    Messages: 113

    The first advice i have is to acquire good commercial equipment. It is tempting to buy a cheaper homeowner blower, trimmer, or edger but you will pay for it in time lost and breakdowns. Depending on how much you are willing to invest, the mower will be the biggest expense. A Zero turn mower is tempting but a good hydraulic walk behind is cheaper and frees up cash for advertizing, etc. Most major brands a good stuff so find a nearby dealer that has a good reputation for service. Finally, this business is time oriented . However, never sacrifice quality for trying to squeeze out another job. This is especially tru in the first year when you are trying to build customer loyalty. Spend the extra 15 minutes to blow off any clippings in the lawn or to speak to the customer if they are home. In the long run the best advertizing is word of mouth and these are some basic ideas to get that word of mouth advertizing.

    Hope this helps.
  5. Toehill

    Toehill LawnSite Member
    from georgia
    Messages: 23

    Vanessa call me if you like any lady who needs help I'll help. I would want somebody to help my wife. My name is Kelly cell 404-966-4808 not tonight but tomm. I'll tell you all about it........
  6. vanessa

    vanessa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Oh Thanks Toehill, I will definately call you!

    Ok now there is a dealer that sells New commercial toro tractors and mowers, and he told us that for $4000 we can buy the tractor, blower, and a few other items that we need, anyway is Toro a good reliable brand?? is ther any online store that woudl sell me a good starter package??

    by teh way KL squared- yes I definately think what you said is very true about speaking to customers etc.. we always spend additional time talking to our customers with our carpet cleaning jobs, and they were very happy since most people just go in and out and dont say a word, so that definately helps, and with this business we plan on doing the same, we also will offer referral bonuses and specials to them, anything to make a customer happy!

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    What is a "Commercial Toro Tractor" If this is a lawn or garden tractor you may want to rethink that. Go with a true commercial walk behind or ZTR. It sounds like you are out of the carpet cleaning business. Why? Please dont take this the wrong way (trying to help answer the qustion) but it should not be to hard It's just pushing a vacuum across the floor. As far as running the "Business" I think you will have the same problems -promotion-advertising-insurance-overhead-Lowballing!- and from what I see on Lawnsite- Low Low profit margins in FLA. As far as "mowing" , Very equipment intensive. Lot of maintainence of your equipment. It is Hard work and it is hot in FLA. Rain can really mess up your day. Do you have a place to put your truck and trailer(if that is how you want to be set up). I ran ( and still do )a home improvement/handyman business. Landscape maintenance is a new part of it and I'm going on 3 years now. I'm still learning. Your time is really all you have to sell so all your equipment decisions must be based on what will produce the the best product (a manicured lawn) in the shortest time. Go to more than one dealer and ask many questions. Test drive everything.
    I love my job, I love using my "toys"(my daughter calls them that-my trailer is the toy box) I love making a property look great. I do a lot of work for Realtors doing clean-up's for their listings and it's great to see people so happy with the way their homes look when I'm done. I love driving past one of my weekly clients and feeling good about the way it looks. Its great to have customers that are happy to see you and feel that you are an asset to their lives. Yes rain can be a bummer sometimes but I love this "job?".
    If this is what you are looking for than go for it . Search Lawnsiteand talk to people in the business. Again please dont take offense to the carpet cleaning remark, just making a point. Good luck with your decision and buy COMMERICAL.
  8. mtnlawn

    mtnlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I've done commercial carpet cleaning and commercial lawn maintenance- no comparison- it's MUCH more difficult to clean carpets!!! Moving furniture, mixing chems, keeping a $30,000 truck mount running, lugging hoses, wands, fans- I think you'll like the lawncare biz- you're outside, the mowers pull themselves- if you've got the small business acumen from the CC biz and can work at that level I think you'll enjoy yourself! Just like with carpet cleaning- get commercial equipment- you wouldn't buy a $100 bissel steamer to do carpet- don't try to get away with Wal-Mart mowing equip!!! What Toro Tractor do you speak of?
  9. lawnranger44

    lawnranger44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    My first advice for getting into this business...it's not JUST cutting grass!
  10. KL Squared

    KL Squared LawnSite Member
    Messages: 113

    The term lawn tractor throws a big question mark up for me. I started out witha riding lawn tractor. I got some good advice from a friend who ahs been in the business to get rid of it. He was so serious he let me borrow his Toro 44 inch walk behind for month until I could buy my own. A lawn tracotr causes you to lose time. You cannot cut back and forth leaving nice stipes without a slow use of reverse and J turns. The quality of the cut is poor to average at best. A high dollar lawn tractor is nearly as expensive as a good hydro walk behind.

    As far as Toro products go, I have a 44 and 37 inch walk behind. I have been well pleased and they have cut a lot of grass.

    Good luck

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