Starting up my first business!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Jlin428, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,017

    2 mil is a lot. We needed that high of coverage to get some commercial accounts. You won't need that much for residential accounts.

    In 10 years I've never made an insurance claim.
  2. Jlin428

    Jlin428 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Hah, sounds like you were in the same boat as I am in now! Sounds like alot of good advice, thanks for the help! I agree with starting out with a smaller customer base, I do not have a number but the 15-20 you suggested sounds like a realistic goal I would like to set for myself. I understand and dont expect to have a boat-load of customers right off the bat, but that the same time I am not going to sell myself short. Gotta have positive outlooks!

    Also, when you say lowball, you mean dont skimp out and mow a lawn for cheaper than I should, right? This is something that I think will definitely come with experience. I don't know pricing of lawns, for now I think I will try to judge a lawn based on time taken to mow based off how it looks, taking hilly terrain and whatnot into account as well.

    I also, agree that becoming "legal" is very important as well, and I will plan on having that all set next season. I have gotten an earful from various members on this site, and ill definitely put that into effect next year.

    Thanks for understanding where I come from about not being legit off the bat. Like I said, its something I would like to work towards but cant afford at the time. Anyway, I think you gave me some great advice, I will definitely keep this stuff in mind.

    Lowballing- In regards to lowballing, like you mentioned I dont know what I should be charging. I think this might be something that I need to learn as time goes on as far as what to charge people. I am going to try to value my time at around $30 an hour for now I suppose... If a lawn takes me a hour to do, Ill charge $30 minimum. Honestly I don't know if this number is too high or too low though but its a start.

    Start Building Credit- Just wondering if you mean this in direct relation to running this business, or through other things. Having good credit sounds like it really would be beneficial for financing new equipment and stuff, I didn't really think of this before. Good idea.

    Advertising-I agree completely about door hangers, they seem to be the best bet for now. I need to get some made up soon though, need to figure out what I want to advertise on them like what services I want to offer. I also think business cards would be convenient as a secondary form of advertisement in spontaneous advertising situations.

    "However if you want to succeed you need to look at 5 years down the road."
    This quote really stood out to me. It sounds very valuable and looks like a great idea in terms of forming a direction with the business. I will keep this in mind definitely.

    Ok, thanks for answering. Like I stated before I plan on getting all the legal stuff set after this year. If you can go 10 years (working with a crew I assume?) without a claim, I think I can make it 1 year on my own without running into trouble. I realize the risk. But really, thank you for the input I really appreciate it.

    :cool2: On a side note, I posted a couple threads, one seeking advise on Spring Cleanups (, and the other seeking advise on Selecting a Trailer ( If anyone would like to, I really could use some input on both of the subjects!

    Every bit of advise helps, thank you guys so much! I am getting a lot of input that will greatly help me in my efforts!:clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping:
  3. Set Apart Lawn Care

    Set Apart Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 192

    No problem, I am glad to help someone not make my mistakes. On that note, $30 is what I thought too starting out. Its not enough, in my opinion. But you only have a pushmower so that is probably your max until you can up grade to atleast a 36" walk behind. Also thinking about time spent at the yard can fool you, you have to consider driving time. Not counting driving time is the difference between $250 and $300 in a day and charging $30 and hour over $35 is the difference between that $300 and $350. I charge $40 per man hour today. So a crew with 3 guys needs to do about $1000-$1100 in a 10 hour day (taking off an hour for getting ready and unloading at the end of the day and a lunch break.

    However, your right in that this is just something that you have to learn over time. Its not the worst thing to price some to low at first, you'll get some where you get burned and some where you do really well. Man just stick it out, you win some you lose some.

    I was talking about building credit for the business, but having good credit benefits your life altogether. Trust me what you do now affects you in years to come when it comes to car loans, home loands, buying equipment, etc.

    The first year of any business sucks. Odds are against you. I had a second job waiting tables from October to February the first two years and my wife worked full time. I didn't know about lawnsite though and learned everything the hard way. So your already one up on me!

    Good luck! you can pm me anytime you have a question, glad to help if I can.
  4. Reflection

    Reflection LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Honestly, the experience you would gain by working for a real landscaping company for the summer will be just as valuable as the actual cash you will earn.

    Instead you're going to end up wasting an entire year struggling just to find the gas money to serve the handful of customers you will have and you'll be stuck in the same situation next year. No money to start a real business and no money to go to colllege.

    Take advantage of your living situation. Get a job with a landscaping company and save your money. Most of the questions you've asked in this thread will be answered and you'll also gain the skills to start your business off with a good reputation. You might even find out that this isn't what you want to do.

    Without capital and credit your business can't succeed. What are you going to do when your car breaks down? How many times can your parents afford to bail you out? What happens when your mower inevitably wont start? Who's going to fix it and how are you going to pay them?

    I applaud your ambition, but what you're doing right now is more like creating a summer job, not starting a business. Let someone else take all the risk for now and you can just worry about working hard, learning about the business and meeting people in the industry who could be a huge asset when you are ready to startup. With your attitude you should have no problem finding a good job in the field.

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