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Student starting a business... am I doing this right??

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by EGLC, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. EGLC

    EGLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    I need some advice and feedback about my business plan. Im pretty much confused but i'm putting in alot of time and effort into this. Im a college student and since college usually ends during early April here, I decided that it's a perfect time to start and operate a residential aeration business during my break. I chose to do aeration since its an important service that most home owners just don't do since renting is expensive and an aerator is heavy. I will be doing this in Ontario in the Greater Toronto Area.

    I used to work for a residential lawn aeration company and plan on having the same business structure. I plan on doing door to door sales while distributing flyers at the same time for people who aren't home and want to pre-book next time we service their area again. I will be working with 3 others that I plan on paying maybe 40% commission. Each person will be working on different routes in the area to be able to cover alot of ground in one day. I expect each person including me to service at least 6-12 lawns in a route in a day. So thats about 24-48 lawns serviced in total a day.

    I will be renting 4 aerators during the first 2 weeks until i can afford to purchase 4 aerators. And I already own a trailer.

    Also I would be charging at an average of $60 per lawn. And an average of $45 for the front only. Also Im thinking of offering fertilizer application for maybe an extra $10-$15 since their lawn just got aerated, but Im not sure if thats a good idea.

    I don't know if this plan is good or not... also let me know if there's something i'm forgetting. Thanks in advance.
  2. EGLC

    EGLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    hello? anyone?
  3. Young Lawn Boy

    Young Lawn Boy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    Also I would be charging at an average of $60 per lawn. And an average of $45 for the front only. Also Im thinking of offering fertilizer application for maybe an extra $10-$15 since their lawn just got aerated, but Im not sure if thats a good idea.

    do you have an applicators license to spread fertilizer?
  4. xtrim

    xtrim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    I concurred with Young Lawn Boy. I hate them bitches who do what they do w/o a license. Either sub it out like me, or get a license, like other people do.

    I don't think your plan is good enough for what you are trying to do.

    The BAD:

    #1: Make sure you have insurance, I don't think doing what you are gonna do w/o insurance is right. There are serious damage you can do when aerating.

    #2: The amount if time and money that you will spend advertising for just $65 a pop is not worth it, lawn maintenance is better, same fixed advertising cost, but you go back every darn week to do services.

    #3: If you REALLY want to do JUST aerating (and fertilizing - as long as you get a license) become a sub contractor. Lower your price a bit, network with local LCO's who can offer the services to their customers.

    #4: How are u having people cover different routes when you only have 1 trailer?

    #5: Do you REALLY need to rent 4 aerators, I started my lawn care company with 1 push mower, 1 2cycle with interchangeable edger, trimmer & blower. Start small, and get more onec business picks up.

    The GOOD: At least you are doing your research and coming up with a business plan, although you might follow the same structure as a reputable company who has done this before, the structure might not work for you. And with the ambiguity of the business, its good that you will be paying commission.
  5. mirrorlandscapes

    mirrorlandscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    Hmm...just aerating? That would be a challenge to specialize like that and keep enough work flow. Best time to aerate is late april to early June, depending on weather conditions. You don't want to be aerating in the middle of summer. Again, make sure you're licensed for fertilizing and trying to sub out with other LCO's isn't a bad idea.
  6. EGLC

    EGLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    thanks for the response.

    but yeah i'm thinking of omitting spreading fertilizer. also the reason i will need to rent 4 aerators is because i will need one aerator for each person i work with. since each person will be dropped off with an aerator in a neighbourhood to go door to door. that explains how i can cover different routes with one trailer. i will be dropping each person off at their routes and they will be going door to door selling the service. then they will be picked up after they finish their route and moved to another if there is time.

    i appreciate all advice and feed back. im new at this so anything is helpful.
  7. EGLC

    EGLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    also im just wondering how much do you guys think i should charge per lawn on average? what my minimum should be? and do you guys think that door-to-door sales is effective and at the same time handing out flyers?
  8. CoreyD

    CoreyD LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    how much does it cost to get a biz license and insurance...? reason i aint done none of that is because, i figured id need some weekly or bi weekly customers before i go about geting insurance and a license
  9. matt spinniken

    matt spinniken LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    For pricing you need to estimate your costs and your desired profit, its going to be different in different areas. Alot of people start out charging really low prices because they under estimate what there expenses are going to be and they quickly go out of business, be careful here. Door to door selling can be very effective especially if you have a likeable image and personality, wear a uniform. Personally, I feel that having four people out aerating in different areas of town with one trailer would not work. You would have to have unrealisticly tight routes. If it was me I would start out by myself, learn as much as I could about aeration (which you already have experience in) go door to door proffesionally and as much as possible. Get some work to start, gain a little experience and enough money to invest in growth for your company e. g. buy another trailer and truck develop your buisness image, do some direct mailing, newspaper, etc. Contact some people that might be interested in using you as a subcontracter and get some good networking going on. Just my opinion. If you feel like your ideas might work im all about trying something different, good luck, i wish you well.
  10. matt spinniken

    matt spinniken LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    Corey, get legit before you start.

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