Starting father/son business

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Bl22619, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. Bl22619

    Bl22619 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Hello, I am new to this and interested in some feedback. My father and I are looking into purchasing a zero-turn, a walk-behind, a push mower, weed whacker, edge trimmer and backpack blower. I am personally fond of Scag for the mowers, Stihl for the whacker and edger and Echo for the blower. These do seem to be rather expensive options and was hoping for a less expensive alternatives. Also what size zero-turn would be best for small residential lots 3/4 acre and under. Should the baggers be purchased with the zero-turn mower? We have decided 32" would be best for the walk-behind to fit easily through gate doors. We have a 6x12 enclosed trailer and a full sized pick up for towing. We have decided to compete with local competitors at $35 1/4 acre and under, $60 1/2 acre and under, $80 for 3/4 acre and under. If any one has a basic guideline we could use to determine our overhead and profit margin. We both have landscaping experience and are both mechanically inclined and just want to start off with the best equipment that will last a few seasons. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. GravelyWoman

    GravelyWoman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    I wish you the best of luck! However, just a few things to think about. I would not "jump off into the deep end" right away and purchase "high end" equipment. A new scag brand new will be big bucks. Why don't you try to "mid grade" with something like a Gravely? A 48inch mid range mower that you will have few problems with yet gives a great cut? Look on Craigs list and buy used equipment for the hand helds. You will want to add some items over time, such as a bed rediner and other items that adds to your bottom line.
    If you do this correctly, you will have expenses, marketing, gas, supplies, lincensing, insurance etc.....and more that I am not listing. This is not easy work and "great income" that you hear people say so often. Especially, when you do this legally.
    You truly want to keep your monthly expenses to zero for the first 1-2 years. This way you will grow your business incrementally with your expenses.
    I started off this way, and today I only have one monthly bill for 37.00, all of my equipment is paid for! Now this does not include the expense just to "run the business." KNOW YOUR EXPENSES AND WHAT IT TAKES TO OPERATE!!
    Do a quality job and the pay will come for. To run a property like ants is nonsense, for me. I work for the "high end" customer and my minimum charge per lawn is $45.00 and I top out at $250.00 per cut. Now this is only for lawn maintenance. DO NOT LOWBALL JUST TO GET THE CUSTOMER! Be confident in your ability and do not give up!!
    Good luck!

    Gravely Woman
  3. cuttin-to-the-Max

    cuttin-to-the-Max LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,338

    If i could go back to when i was 19 (now 37) i would of NEVER pushed a mower unless it was for my own lawn. Gravely Woman said it right this is no GREAT income Job. you have to work for your money. I work Long hours and honestly dont think i get enough money for what i do...EVEN THOUGH IM THE BOSS!
    I have some nice equip and trucks..
    Legal workers... After i pay them their money pay my bills... Its really not the kind of money i was making when i was 19. That was when it wasnt a bad deal to get into this biz. Now low ballers are cutting for 10-15 bucks on yard that should definitely be 20-25 bucks.
    If i were you i would get used equip. try this out and if its not what you're looking for get out of it. Now im in this biz. i cant drop it so i am planning on opening a deli and party store which will bring in some good money. I dropped out of college for this and now regret it! Only problem while using used equip. is they are usually prone to breaking down and having problems.

    If any kids see this: STAY IN SCHOOL AND listen to your parents!......Wish i would of! But i guess now i just have to deal with it!
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  4. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,133

    Everything that gravely woman said! Except that I can never find good hand held equipment on craigslist, and I would be skeptical if I did. They are not that expensive new and if you take care of them they last a long time.
  5. A+Grounds

    A+Grounds LawnSite Member
    Messages: 158

    well it sounds like your off to a great start, price seem quite similar to ours. don't worry too much about pricing because quoting jobs becomes FAR easier as you get a feel to where the local average is. your equipment seems great too, i wish i bought a stihl before my shindaiwa! mowers are up to you scag john deere and exmark are all top dog brands that are all pretty similar, pick which one looks the best. baggers are up to you we have always bought baggers with our mower at the time of purchase, they won't pay for themselves but its nice to have them when you need 'em. i use a 60" on most of my accounts without a problem but i do use a walk behind if the lawn is wet. i have a father/son business also and having a dad as an employee is great!
    gravelywoman is correct though, starting with a mid grade mower is safe so if your business doesn't go to well you won't have a 15,000 mower that needs to be paid for
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
  6. C & T Landscaping

    C & T Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    I agree with what everyone else has said, and also have my own two cents...never do business with family. It may seem fine now, but their will be disagreements later on. Be a sole proprietor.
  7. grincon

    grincon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    If daddys got the bucks, why not?
    Posted via Mobile Device

Share This Page