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taking a loan. advise seeking. grab your package New Orleans.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by GOTLAWN, Jul 27, 2008.


    GOTLAWN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    What I have:
    wife in nursing school -finishes this december
    office with windows, nice desk and lots of travel to beautiful sunny places
    nice salary, company truck, company equipment and 401k
    lawn equipment that I use on my house
    Business plan that I have been perfecting the last 2 years
    Registered business name
    lawn website

    What I don't have:
    personal vehicle
    liquid cash - nursing school

    Currently I dabble here and there with post katrina lot clearing and landscape stuff that my neighbor needs help on.

    For me it's either jump or don't. The lawn season is also the busy season for my current job, so I have virtually no time to build a stable base and make a transfer - 60+ hours a week.

    I don't have enough liquid cash to buy the truck, trailer and extra equipment. MY goal is to be prepared for this upcoming season. My current plan is to continue building my business plan, advertising strategy and start an SEO campaign for the website.

    I have 5 different lawn companies that maintain my neighborhood. Each of them continue to offer lawns that they can't fit into their schedule or the customer wants 2 cuts a month. Somewhat of a good situation, HOWEVER, I don't have the time.

    I'm "guesstimating" a personal loan of 10k - 15k would cover startup legal expenditures and equipment, including the truck. Average price to cut a lawn is $40. I need $1000 a week for expenses and loan payback or 25 lawns a week at $40. Of course in the long-run 4k a month is not my 3 year plan.

    I'm open to all replies and would like to hear from the guys that just jumped, took out a loan and didn't look back.

    So I'm wondering how long do you think it would take and how did you progress.

    thanks for the time.
  2. progressivelawncare

    progressivelawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    my wife just got out of nursing school not long ago, i can't remember so i don't dare ask.....lol. i know what you've been through.

    i started my lco part time when she was in and i too was working 50-60 hours to keep the lights on with one income. and trying to mow anytime in between. my suggestion would be think long and hard about the loan, before biting the bullet, i am debt free but also useing some sub par equippment and upgrading slowly. but it would be nice to go get what i want to be more effiecient but i am still holding out.

    i know that is not alot of help for you just my .02
  3. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,642

    I planned for about 2 years before starting my business also, I also work a full time job, I worked a bunch of OT on my fulltime job to help finanace my lawn business...I started with residential grade equipment but quickly upgraded to commercial..paying cash for all of my equipment purchases. Now my business is growing and I am learning more and more each week. I am making some minor mistakes along the way but I am learning from them. I can really see the progress I have made since the early spring. Talk to guys that are already in the lawn business, but taking other peoples advice can be both good and bad because on one hand they do have experience, and on the other hand some will lead you to beleive that the way they run their business in the only way to do it. Only you know whats best for your business. GOOD LUCK!!
  4. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    Why not continue to work your job, save as much as possible, and wait for the wife to finish school and go in to the work force. Once this happens, you'll be able to rely more on her income to cover personal expenses while using the cash you saved to fund your business.

    Personally, I'd be careful with taking out too many loans to start a business. But, that's also coming from someone who finances all of his vehicles and large equipment :hammerhead:

    If you're looking to come on and learn the ropes, shoot me a PM; I'm looking to hire someone who wants to learn. Additionally, I'm in a position to offer a very nice incentive plan if you were to decide to stay with me long-term..

  5. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    not to be Negative. Now is not a really good time to jump into the market around here. Everyday i count atleast 5 new so-called lawn companies. Keep yur current job and save ya money. Let the wife finish school .

    Whatever you do decide I wish you the best of luck!
  6. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    Are you sure you want advice from guys that as you say just jumped?
  7. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    I think he wants to hear from the "successful jumpers".......

    For me, I jumped off the high diving board. lol It didn't knock me out but it sure did hurt. I'm holding my own and plan to come out swinging next spring. I just need to get past the winter and I think I'll have smoother seas to sail.

    GOTLAWN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    CAlanscapes - thanks for the offer, however I would be more dead weight than anything. I'm out of town the next 9 days. In the past month, I've slept in my house a total of 2 nights - no kids thankfully.

    Krayzee - Yeah, they are everywhere. I don't get it. My neighbor has been cutting a lawn down the street for 10 years. This "crew" from kenner came in and took the account for $20 a cut or $75 a month for 4 cuts.

    Really great responses and pretty much along the same lines I was thinking. Just needed a little help getting my head straight - ADD/OCD are not a great mix. THink I'll keep building and planning and be ready for summer 2009.

    BTW, I was looking to hear from the people that took a loan, jumped and failed, floated or succeeded.
  9. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    My advice is to do whatever you want to do, but DONT take out a loan.

    You want to see how many LCO's actually make it. Check out this thread from 2002 to present. (http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=32728) Try and see what websites are still up and running.

    You're gonna get yourself into a financial bind with this loan. I'd say 70% of new LCOs dont make it. Hell. I've had to start over twice myself.

    This really isnt the kind of business where you need a lot of startup to get going. Start small, save your money, do it part time, something. Otherwise I think you're wasting your time and you're going to give yourself a financial headache.

    In just the two years that I've been reading these forums, I've seen a bunch of guys come into this section of the site and talk about this new ZTR, and that new truck, and this 20" trailer to start up their business, loans, all this money, etc. I think it is just excitement and big dreams, but it doesnt really work out that way.

    I hope this helps and I hope you dont go with that loan man. Let me know if you do so I can keep track of you :)
  10. CkLandscapingOrlando

    CkLandscapingOrlando LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 652

    Brother your saying you need to make 52,000 are year your first year.I dont mean to put you down but I dont think its do able with only 15,000 loan.If your going to do a loan then make it one big enough to buy a business thats already got a solid and CONTRACTED base.If this is'nt going to work then use every extra $ you can to buy all your 2 cycle and once you got that then finance a GOOD mower or pay cash for what you can afford.I say good because you get what you pay for in this industry

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