Starting up 2020, need advice

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Trinity Lawn Care, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. Trinity Lawn Care

    Trinity Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    So I'm currently active duty Army and getting out in 2021. I'm about to move to Louisiana and looking to start up a lawn care business before I get out. My question is this. Should I buy my equipment now to use at my house and maybe an extra lawn or three on the weekends to get the hang of the equipment so I'm more fluent and comfortable with it prior to hitting lots of yards next year? Or should I just save my money until next year so the equipment is brand new when I hit the ground running? Thanks for any advice.
    Cam15 likes this.
  2. Mowing monkey.

    Mowing monkey. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 659

    My advice would be to move somewhere where it’s not super hot and humid.
  3. rclawn

    rclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 771

    Brand new is not worth it starting out. Think of it like a car depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot. Start used, but buy commercial never homeowner grade. Used commercial way better than new homeowner. Used equipment doesn’t depreciate as much... start now set the extra income aside then sell it at the beginning of the next year and upgrade.

    Stuff is cheap now people are starting to burn out and sell low. Can make an easy sale in April for a new guy starting out
    Trinity Lawn Care and Cam15 like this.
  4. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 11,807

    My advice would be first to scope out the area you plan to live and see how many LCO's are there. You will get some idea of how tough it is to start a lawn care business.
    If you are going to buy used then I would buy 2 of everything. Something is going into the shop for repairs then what will you do? Parts and repairs can be very expensive. Get a brand name that someone can work on.
    New--- at least you get a warranty and dealer support. Don't buy riding mowers from a box store.
    I would wait to see what type lawns you will be mowing so you will know what type equipment you need.
    I would also think really long about doing this. You could make just as much and work in Air condition instead of hot, humid, rainy Louisiana . Being a LCO can be like being in the military. Like carrying a back pack blower in Iraq with insects shooting at you:laugh:
  5. ShowCaseLawnCare

    ShowCaseLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    Learn a skill trade then open up that type of service business.
  6. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 11,844

    Lots of different thoughts. Consider working a season or so for one of the larger companies to learn the ropes about equipment, pricing, best practices, etc.

    Scope out all of the dealers to see who you want to work with. then, get your equipment from them. Used is fine for mowers but buying new handhelds is worth spending the extra $ for peace of mind and warranty.

    Scope out existing companies to see what brands of equipment is dominant and what style mowers they run. Z's, wb's, standers, etc.

    Nothing wrong with purchasing a mower for your property. Just use that until you have the accounts to justify another/different unit.

    And, like what was posted by ShowCaseLawn, there is a tremendous market for folks in the skilled trades.

    Best wishes and thank you for your service.

    You are appreciated.
  7. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,129

    My best advice is don't do it. Skip cutting for a living and just do landscaping and gardening work. Better margins and you can take a vacation or a day off every once in a while.
  8. MattZ28

    MattZ28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 83

    My best advice would be to use your military xp to help your civil service test scores and get on a fire dept...then start mowing on the side...
  9. Cam15

    Cam15 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,745

    First off thankyou for your service. I think buy used like some guys have said it won't depreciate in value, just make sure its lightly used. Good luck and have fun while your at it.:cool2:
  10. OP
    Trinity Lawn Care

    Trinity Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    First off, wow. Thank you all for the quick responses. I'll try to cover them all in one post. As far as living somewhere else, I'm from Louisiana, don't mind the weather at all and love the area. In regards to equipment, based on all my research from this site, I was planning to buy commercial grade equipment, be it new or used, even if I don't end up mowing for a living and only just buy for my own home. I intended on trying to get hired with a local company this year to finish out the season to get some hands on again (I mowed for a company for a while before I joined the Army). Lastly, joining the local fire department would be ideal as that was always my dream job but unfortunately I was never able to get hired anywhere I applied. I've heard it's a tough market because of the "good ole boy" system of not what you know but who you know. And with me being 38 years old already, I don't see being looked at by any fire departments at this point, even though I'm EXTREMELY fit even by military standards. I even got a degree in Fire Science previously in an attempt to do so. Lastly thank you all for the advice and ideas. I will definitely take them all to heart and into consideration. I'm not really sure what kind of other skilled trade I'd be interested in honestly.

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