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starting a lawn service...from scratch

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by sedlmeier101, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. sedlmeier101

    sedlmeier101 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    so, I am 19 years old and from buffalo NY. Me and my good friend are going to start a mowing business this spring and we are startting from scratch.
    We have plenty of money to invest.. 1st thing we are doing is going to buy a 1/2ton pickup for around 6grand.
    then a trailer..
    a ztr mower..my uncle wants to sell me his 51" ztr mower with less than 100 hrs on it for 3,500$ which.i think will be too much to start out with even though its a good deal.

    We are going to buy a push mower too for small stuff.. and 2 weed wackers and some misc. tools for clean up.
    THe main thing I am worried about is getting our name out there!. We both are experianced with lawn maitnence. just need a few tips.. Ihave been reading on this site for about a month gathering info.

    any help is appreciated!
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    the quickest way to lose a friend is to go into business with him. You don't need a partner when it comes to a lawn business. Be the chief, build slowly, and hire yourself a few indians when the time comes.
  3. bkdlawnCo

    bkdlawnCo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    Jodi is right. Alot of friendships end due to business problems. My dad has had this problem...Also if you have 10 accounts your first year...you really not going to make much when you have to split it with someone. I'd say talk to your friend and see who is going to run the business as in a president and then one of you will work for him. Being the president may seem like the way to go, but if your going to work for him, you have less to worry about. You'll also get paid like an employee which isn't a bad thing. I think that is the way to go IMO, because as the business grows, the more hours you'll log as an employee and the more you'll get paid...If you go that way make sure your getting a good rate because it is also your money going into the business, this way you get some sort of reimbursement for the money you put into the business to get it going. just my .02
  4. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    I would have to agree, don't go into business with your friend if you still want to be friends. I would suggest that if your going to go ahead with your decision first agree on the direction you want to go in and then sit down and figure out an hourly rate you are willing to work at say $35 per man hr. I would also suggest to you that you both agree to work together for one year building the business and sit down again and evaluate your decision.
  5. sedlmeier101

    sedlmeier101 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I don't see why it would be so bad? We are planning on spliting every single cost down the middle. and what we have left over. (profit) we will split up evenly
  6. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,903

    sounds like you got a good plan, go for it. just don't come back later on crying the partner thing isn't working out.
  7. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    More than likely things may not work out, but he needs to find out for himself.
    At times all of us don't follow advice just to find out others really knew what they were saying.

    I say goodluck, sounds like you have your mind made up...:canadaflag:
  8. Military Lawns

    Military Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 323

    I have to agree with everyone else. Going into business with a friend is a recipe for disaster. In simplier terms: Business is business and friendship is friendship. Keep the two seperated. That is not to say that you cannot be friends with an employee. It just takes time for a mutual trust to build up with no certain timeframe.


    ED'S LAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    Been there, done that... do what you want but consider everyone cannot be wrong.

    When I started a couple of years ago I paid for everything and brought in a good friend as a full partner after 1 1/2 years we almost lost the friendship. Too many things wrong to list, to make a long story short we are no longer partners I own all the equiptment, we are still good friends, but now I am part-time.

    What ever you decide good luck.
  10. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    The main reason for not going into business with a friend comes down to who is going to make a dicision that concerns the company. At the beginning going into business with a friend sounds like the best idea in the world, you trust him, you hang out with each other what could be better? Its business not friendship! I'm not saying it won't work but I also dont think its a good idea. You both may have the same idea about how to start out and where you want the business to go, splitting the income and expenses but what about a year or two down the road your friend wants to do more landscaping and you think you should spend more money for lawn equipment these kind of decisions on where to take the business to the next step can strain a friendship or end it all together.

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