Starting Up

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by kingparsy, Jul 18, 2003.

  1. kingparsy

    kingparsy LawnSite Member
    from 63301
    Messages: 8

    i am thinking about starting a lawn care business up in my area...huntsville alabama, and need some tips on how to get customers, and what to do in the winter, or do you make enough money if youre good to stay off in winter, because there is no snow in alabama,,heh heh . What are my basic needs to start with,,i know riding lawnmwer, weedeater, blower, and what i need to be bonded?..and since its a service, do i need a business lic.?...any help would be greatly appreciated
  2. A1 Grass

    A1 Grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 330

    Welcome K P,

    I am still a newbie myself, but I hate to see your post go unanswered. Here's my 2 cents:

    Start out as cheaply as possible (to see if you like it) with the best equipment for your money. A 32" commercial walk-behind will fit through most gates and is a lot easier to maneuver than a rider, plus a better cut.

    I like an enclosed trailer because of the SCUMBAGS that like to help themselves to other peoples stuff.

    I started with a used SCAG SW32 for $1500

    an Echo srm210 trimmer (don't skimp on your trimmer) $220

    Craftsman handheld blowers (they work fine) $60 ea

    and a push mower for really small gates.

    Other than that Insurance is always good.

    Bus. lic. all depends on local laws - check the county courthouse

    Hope this helps - keep checking back, I know that there are a lot of really knowledgeable people here!
  3. kingparsy

    kingparsy LawnSite Member
    from 63301
    Messages: 8

    thanks alot, ive been wondering if anyone would take the time to answer my post,,your info has been well noted!!
  4. chefdrp

    chefdrp LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,384

    stay smaller for awile get used to your equipment and do a great job for a great price. Dont underbid because you need accounts, just bid a real bid and do a super job and lots more will come
  5. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,194

    In this 'Starting up' forum, look for a thread by Eric Elm, Tips, do's and don'ts ....
    Start here, then read every thread you can make time to read, make the time, it's a good investment. You will find an education amongst the b.s. here.
  6. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Messages: 1,647

    First you not going to mind working hard.

    Others in this thread gave you good advice
    Also, peruse through the other threads in this forum. Lots of good info you should look over.
  7. Ozi_Brisbane

    Ozi_Brisbane LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Hi KP,

    I am like you, just getting started. Very exciting and a bit scary but thrilling nevertheless.

    As for winter in Alabama. Note, that I am in Australia so not at all familiar with the climate in Alabama. You say no snow, that means it could be similar to the climate down under.

    Depending on how cold it gets and how this affects grass growth, you will probably still be able to mow, but a lot less frequently. Maybe just every six weeks. Use your own and other people's lawns as reference. How often do you need to do yard work around your house in winter?

    Here in Oz, in some parts, especially where I live, while the grass grows a lot slower in winter, there is still mowing to be done about every 4 to 6 weeks depending on various factors like prevailing temperatures, health of lawn etc.

    A lot of contractors will use winter to offer other services to their clients such as, pruning since there will be plenty of shrubs to prune at this time.

    The cooler temperatures of winter is also a good time to do the heavier work, like mulching to get the garden ready for the heat of summer, or some landscaping.

    Once you have a good customer base of 60 to 100 you should still be busy enough in winter given that the grass still grows and gardens still need to be maintained.

    No rest for those of us who are not snow bound :D

    Though I 've heard that snow clearing is also money in the bank.

    Thank heavens for the gifts from above weather they be rain or snow :cool:

  8. SUPERIOR Lawn Design

    SUPERIOR Lawn Design LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    Snow plowing is and always will be money in the bank for those of us that live in the north! However with the global warming that's been going on, the last 3 years have not yielded much snow. But still out of the 5-6 times that we had work we pulled approx $1800.00 in a 8-10 hour time period with about 6-8 contracts.

    -Tony C.-
    Chicago Suburbs
  9. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

    Hi Kingparsy,

    "do i need a business lic.?"

    I checked out this site and it doesn't seem you need a license for what you want to do.
  10. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    I'm just west of you.(Not in your service area though :D )
    To get insurance(and yes you're going to need insurance) you will need a business license.I'm going through the red tape now to start a lawn and landscaping service also.Got my business license for mowing,but according to state law,I have to pass a written exam to do landscaping.I'm trying to figure out how to do that now.Seems Alabama doesn't like the idea of small business entrepreneurs. If your going to be working in the county and city,you'll have to get a seperate business license for each.The county license is good throughout the state(counties),but you have to have a city license for each city you plan on working in.
    Start with what equipment you have and build from there.Put as much money as you can back into the business,so you can buy more and better equipment.
    Keep all receipts of purchases for tax purposes.The first year or so,I figure you and I are going to lose money,but we can right it off on taxes as a loss.Hopefully this will help ya some.
    Take care and good luck,

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