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Things to start with?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Carolina Green, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Carolina Green

    Carolina Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Just starting up a Lawn Care buisness Part time to see what happens. I am in the process of buying the equipment. Right now I have on the list a Stihl weed eater, stihl edger, stihl backback blower, and trailer. The question is should I go ahead and buy the exmark zero turn, or stick with a walk behind to begin? I already have a honda push mower. I am hoping I will grow fast but will be cutting mainly new 1/4 acre lots. What would yall do?
    Thanks love this site.
  2. Carolina Cuts

    Carolina Cuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,152

    Personally, Id' stick with the walk-behind for now.... for 1/4 acre lots. Work the summer, bank some coin'... be smart with it... and upgrade next season. I've got two Z's... 52" and a 60"... (2) push mowers.... The Z's are overkill for some of my resi's... but I still use em'!
  3. Carolina Green

    Carolina Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    I was thinking smaller Zero something I could fit in backyards but a walk behind might be the ticket.
  4. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    As far as the zero-turn is concerned - make sure that you have the work to make the payments (or, if you're paying cash, to justify the investment). Sit down and run some numbers..

    I personally LOVE equipment, and am always anticipating buying the next thing; however, sometimes it's best just to wait (if only I could follow my own advice..:hammerhead: )
  5. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Stick with a WB for now, and see how it goes. You said they were mostly new construction? Think about what that kind of customer base might need in the way of additional services. Over seeding to help thicken the new turf? Over dressing with compost to add more organic material to the soil? pH testing, soil testing, to find out if the trace elements for a healthy lawn are available to new turf?

    Try to avoid this "what to buy next" sort of thinking.... think about what additional (and more profitable) add on services you might be able to get instead. Let that drive your new equipment aquisitions. Maybe a slit seeder would bring in more money than a bigger mower.

    I find that doing free soil pH testing, right in front of the customer is an awsome sales tool. No, Mr Smith, you don't need to spend $50 on lime this spring, your soil pH is 6.8. however, I do recommend.... I use this to GREAT effect! I use a pH meter that isn't some cheap RapidTest from Home Despot that only measures the pH of the water you used to make the slurry... I have two units, both with glass electrodes that cost over $100 a piece.

    You get instant trust and credibilty. When you suggest a service, they are willing to pay for it. Naturally, that trust should not be violated with bogus and uneeded services....

    Premium add on services is where the profit is. Plantings, soil ammendments, over seeding.... be creative, and to use jargon, think outside of the box. Find ways to be different and seperate yourself from the next mow and blow guy.

    And, just to be upfront, I am only in my second year. But, this is what is working for me, and working very well. I don't want to come off like some guy with 20 years in the biz, either....
  6. Dave_005

    Dave_005 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 359

    for 1/4 acre lots stay with the WB's a 21", 32" or 36" at the most for that small of a lot.
  7. J. Peterson Grading

    J. Peterson Grading LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Messages: 989

    business insurance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. Carolina Green

    Carolina Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Won't cut my first yard without it.

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