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Starting an Equipment Dealership!!!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Pat32, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Pat32

    Pat32 LawnSite Member
    from LA
    Messages: 2

    To all the dealers on this site - where can I find a forum that contains advice on how to become a dealer? I’m starting from scratch and will be looking for investors once I finalize my business plan. When I go to the many lawnmower manufacturers websites, I follow the “become a dealer” link on their website but they seem to only be interested in established dealers. I especially got this feeling when I went to Grasshopper website and filled out the “become a dealer” questionnaire. I am trying to break into the industry.

    Every time I search google for “how to become a lawn care equipment dealer,” or something of that nature, I get brought to this site. Very useful forum by the way and glad I found it. The reason is obviously because so many people here post the topic, “how to startup a lawn care business.” By the way, I intend to start up a lawn care business on the side as well to raise money for my future dealer business. Fingers crossed it all works out.

    Any information is greatly appreciated.
    zlandman likes this.
  2. Mumblingboutmowers

    Mumblingboutmowers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 936

    Not to be a debbiedowner, but money talks and bs walks. If you need investors to do this, you are not in the position to do this.
  3. MNLawns

    MNLawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from MN
    Messages: 1,451

    Imo most guys start as small engine repair shops, and eventually sell handhelds and from there the larger equip
    zlandman and TPendagast like this.
  4. rclawn

    rclawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,520

    If this works out for you please let me know. I’m going to start dealing cars
  5. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,634

    To be a major brands dealer you need money
    You need a store front a minion square footage to display their basic floor plan
    You need a shop to perform maintenance and service
    You need to buy your base order upfront or have the financials to be covered by a loan (called flooring costs)
    You need enough money to cover operations and costs for a few years.
    Do you have a quarter million?
    Then don’t bother.

    Repair and maintenance is where it’s at
    That’s where you make your money.
    Repair shops seek legitimacy by taking on a dealer brand but in a world where you can’t even FIND a repair shop that can even pretend to service equipment competently and efficiently, who do you need legitimacy against?

    You don’t really make money selling new equipment
    You make money selling parts and service not covered by warranty.
    Things like tires, belts blades and plugs.
    But since so many people but that stuff on amazon now, that’s a huge bite taken out of the dealerships
    People want longer warranties and mfgs do not pay well/ reimburse for warranty work,

    If you are good at what you do, buying/selling/trading and servicing used equipment and offering limited warranties on them (because you know your equipment) could be turned into a very lucrative business.

    But new mfg dealership isn’t a big money maker (service is)
  6. Charles

    Charles Moderator, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 11,804

    Dealer and lawn care on the side? I wouldn't do business with my competition. I have never seen that type combo here. I agree with others. You have to have deep pockets to be a dealer. You have to find good mechanics. Sell and repair. Not sell and cut grass
  7. m_ice

    m_ice LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 238

    I agree buy have seen 2 examples of this that were successful, 1 of which is a good friend. Both are in rural areas were its not uncommon to have 5 acre lawns and lots of homeowners doing there own.
    The 1 friend has 30+ employees on the lawn side, they travel further than I would, and they dominate the commercial work in the area. On the sales side he is a surprisingly very large volume dealer for being in a county with less than 20k people. It also helps that the guy is deeply involved with the community and gives back alot of time and resources.
    That said I wouldn't buy from a competitor but if you can do it more power to you.
    hort101 likes this.
  8. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,963

    I went from lawncare business, into starting up and owning a mower store. As mentioned, it takes a lot of money, or a big loan, to get started. Interesting you mentioned Grasshopper, as I started with Grasshopper, Gravely, and Redmax back in 2003.
    If you really have the funds to do this, call the factory and start your discussions there with people in the know. If you can convince them you are legit and have the funds, they will have their local territory rep get with you. I strongly suggest you go with a dealer direct company, and do not fool around with a company using a distributor. This way, you can cut out the middleman. FYI: Grasshopper is direct in many areas, and Gravely is too.
    zlandman and hort101 like this.
  9. OP

    Pat32 LawnSite Member
    from LA
    Messages: 2

    I meant do lawn care on the side of my current job as an additional way to save up. I won’t cut lawns once I open my store.
    zlandman likes this.
  10. eggy

    eggy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,325

    Might consider offering good used equipment.. pick up a ton of units in the winter.. build a good reputation for selling quality used units? Just a thought..

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