Starting up at 15?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by swap01, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. swap01

    swap01 LawnSite Member
    from Alberta
    Messages: 4

    Okay, so here it is. I have just about no money when it comes to buying new equipment, I have a residential lawn mower (doesn't work very good usually, but it still cuts the lawn. I just can't jog like I would like to), I have a rake, basic gardening tools, and basically anything that you would find at an average persons home. I also have an electronic weed whacker (weed trimmer, grass trimmer, trimmer, w/e its actually called)

    If I had to invest I could invest around $200, but I really would rather not, because I want to make money with what I have.

    I am COMPLETELY new to the lawn care business. I have ZERO experience. I have never really been into lawn care that much. My extent of lawn care know how is mowing a lawn and watching my dad put on herbicide.

    I need money to fund another business I want to start, and I need business experience. Which is why I'm doing this.
    Right now I really am only trying to find a clientele close to me, as I can not drive and I know my parents will drive me to my work and a push mower would be less then ideal to push for kilometers at a time to get to a clients house. I have a good incentive for clients to get their services from me ;). I'm giving them free homemade cookies.

    Right now it is still cold though, grass probably won't be growing for another month or so. So I'm trying to find clients and rake their lawns to get rid of their dead grass.

    What's everyone's opinion on raking off peoples dead grass? It will all be small residential lawns. I live in a town and everyone's yards a small- medium for a house in a town. It's an older part of town with a lot of older people, although there are a lot of young people to (around my age).

    When I am 16 (in 8 months) I can buy a truck, and use it to drive to projects. Hopefully by then I'll have a decent clientele, and I'll be able to remove snow for them. here in Alberta winter months are long, so snow removal is a very profitable business. I want to run this business for around 2-3 years, and then sell it, or completely manage it, one or the other. That way I can focus on more profitable businesses.

    So here are my two questions:
    1.) Should I be raking peoples lawns? Or am I just wasting their money? and 2.) What should I charge for a residential yard to be mowed and trimmed?

    Feedback is appreciated, be as harsh as you want/can. But please leave constructive criticism. Criticism such as "you're an idiot, stop doing this" get's us no where. I am going to do lawn care one way or another, at least for a little while.

    Thank you for your time and your feedback
  2. albhb3

    albhb3 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    YOU said it not me or anyone else on here Im being nice:laugh:
  3. Hoy landscaping

    Hoy landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 836

    yeah. you beat everyone to that! go talk to a lawn care guy where you live. i don't know squat about canida. prices, sizes, grasses. all different stuff up there. talk to the locals.
  4. SangerLawn

    SangerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 736

    Hmmm,,,you want to open this business because it has no operating expenses so you can save money to open a business that does have operating expenses….yea, good luck with that. There isn’t a business in this world that doesn’t have operating expenses.

    Get a job working for someone else. Maybe not even doing lawn care. That is the only way you wont have expenses….and even then you will have some expenses just to have a job.
  5. Hoy landscaping

    Hoy landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 836

    think of a loan?
  6. SangerLawn

    SangerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 736

    he is 15.....
  7. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    no offense to you, but your like a lot on here in you would make more money working for someone else.
  8. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    wow, you guys are constructive. Ok, here is what I did. Find some people that you know, mostly older people. Use there mower. I had a old lady that I worked for. I spent 5 hours a week mowing her lawn, trimming, and messing with flowers. Just say I will work for you for minimum wage, which is better than working for someone else because you won't have taxes if they pay you cash. I don't rake dead grass. Personally I think its a little hard on the lawn, but I rake leaves twigs, and nuts. If you do that, then make it a couple of dollars more than minimum wage because its hard work. I am turning 19 now and I will have 2 ztr's in another month. 42 inch toro and 61 inch Diesel woods. I started where you are at like 14.

    and no loans. Bad idea
  9. swap01

    swap01 LawnSite Member
    from Alberta
    Messages: 4

    I have thought of a loan, but I do not want to take one out. When I start a business I want to have no debt and use all my own money. I want to do this more of part time, in the summer I work with my dad, he's a carpenter, and I make enough money. But I need more money right now so I can make enough money, with another business, for a vehicle by the time I'm 16. This will just be a way for me to make money on the side, and with this I can call all my own hours and stuff, where as with a job I'd need to go ask my boss for time of, and if I didn't get that time off I'd have to quit. Which is the main reason why I am not getting a job, because I can't be tied down. I'll be away a lot in the summer.

    The other reason why I'm doing this is because I want the business experience. Especially since I plan on starting other ones once I have more money. I realize that every business has operating expenses, but I can make some money doing this without too much operating expenses. And investment of $200 is a lot less than an investment of say $10,000 for start up.

    And actually I think I'll be buying a new lawnmower anyways, like I said I only have about $200 of money I can spend. So It'll be a crappy mower, but better than what I have right now. Right now I can't cut my own lawn without have to life the front p so that the rpm can go back up.

    So far everyone's said why my idea is terrible, but no one has answered my questions. It'd be wonderful if somebody could answer my questions for me. But either way I'm going to do this. I NEED the money, and I don't want to under charge all my customers.

    Although in Alberta, snow removal is better for getting money, considering our winter this year lasted around 5 1/2 months. If people came here now they'd probably think it's still winter, you can still see your breath sometimes. I am doing the lawn care business also so that I can have clients for the winter time, and not have to start all over in the winter.

    Swap :)
  10. beargins

    beargins LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    I'm impressed to see that 14 year old kids are wanting to work and even have business ideas of their own. Go for it mean, don't borrow money if you don't have to. You can do it, when I was a kid I mowed lawns in the summer with my home mower, worked out fine. This is not rocket science. You might want to look into getting legal though if you plan on doing this for a long time.

    I'm sorry but some of these posts are pointlessly negative. The kids 14 years old for crying out loud.

    What JCLawn_and_more said might work. Donno, but I wish the best of luck to you.

    Read books on small business, marketing, accounting etc, reinvest. Your biggest problem will be transportation though lol. Are you in a rural area or in a neighborhood that has lots of potential customers? Even if you fail, learn from what you did wrong, use it in the future, plan your steps etc. Constructive criticism is very good, but at the end of the day your going to have to learn things on your own.

    Goto this youtube channel:

    Watch as many of those videos as possible. Then come here and read all the cons as well. Balance it out, create a plan, set a goal thats realistically achievable. I'm 23, I have 2 jobs, both pay good, but I want to quit my less paying job because I figure mowing might bring more money for less time. I've been working on my biz plan for almost a month, I'm finishing up E-Myth revisited, and also working on Financial Accounting by Weygandt, just so I can have a clue as to what I'm getting myself into, as far as accounting, marketing, and management is concerned. GO FOR IT man, your young. Save your cash, don't get in debt. Theres no reason to, just take your time, and plan plan plan.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010

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