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Thinking about doing this. Should I do it?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ipdking711, May 2, 2008.

  1. ipdking711

    ipdking711 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Hello. New to the site. I am Tom. Friend approached me a few weeks back suggesting we try landscaping. My plan is as follows.

    I am going to buy a sit down mower, weed whacker, and push mower. Get a business license and advertise. Charge $30 a lawn. And hope for the best. I do not have the money for big equipment for ZTR's and alike. I have a GMC Sonoma, a trailer and a strong back.

    I am hoping that between my buddy and I we can work our business up and be as quick as the bigger guys(via better equipment):weightlifter:. It will take us a wee bit longer than some of the other guys meaning less money per hour but I hope to change that. I have tried a few business with little luck. Never tried a service business. Always selling goods.

    Do you pro's think it is a good choice or worth it to start as small as I can and have hope to earn enough dough to grow to a company with a good truck and bigger trailer. I am going to start with mowing then as I grow hope to do other things such as fertilizing, gardens, land clearing, etc etc.

    I see some of you guys saying you started small.

    Thanks for your advice and sorry for any noob like questions I may have asked.
  2. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,903

    Looks like you have put a lot of thought in in it, good luck.
  3. ffemtmcd

    ffemtmcd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 532

    Depends on the risk you want to take. I've seen a couple of guys start out by taking out a loan for thousands of $$$ and go teets up in a year or so. I'm starting out small - if I can't pay cash, I don't need it. Started with just mowing and trimming and working OT to get equipment paid for, now starting with fert. The less liability you have, the safer you are. $30 sounds a little low - but it may be average for your area. Check with others in your area, don't short change yourself. Good luck!!
  4. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    I dont recommend getting a sit down mower or a lawn tractor to start off with.

    Get a 21" mower of commercial grade if you can. Really any 21" with rear drive will do you well your first year until you get more lawns to afford a better mower.

    The reason I dont like the idea of a lawn tractor is because they are big and bulky when you are doing residential lawns... if you have large lots and I dont know what I'm talking about, then go for it, but I couldnt use a lawn tractor on 80% of my lawns. You're gonna eat up the turf if you turn to tight.

    I advertised on craigslist.org before I even had any equipment. I got 3 customers in my first week, got my old ford ranger back from Dallas, bought some cheap-o troybilt stuff from Lowes and went at it.

    This year everything is upgraded. I have my own website, advertise online, and sneaking up on 50 customers.

    You can do it. Work hard, read these forums for tips, and don't give up.

    Good luck.
  5. mikewhit1010

    mikewhit1010 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    If you think you can jump in this thing and make enough money to live on then your wrong. I think unless you have very little bills then this is something you have to grow and build up. When you start you will realize people are not loyal to you until they really get to know you. Meaning they will not want regular cuts, try and low ball you, not pay and so on.

    My advice is do this business get the 21" like the guy said above and get a good trimmer and blower. Keep your full time job if you have it and then work your tail off until the season ends. Take a break look at the mistakes you made and whether or not you want to do this.

    Next season make the investment for the larger equipment and better trailer. Only pay cash for these items. No point putting 3K on a credit card only for it to be worth 1500 after you touch your first lawn with it. They are all right if you cant pay cash you dont need it.

    On a lighter note I strongly believe if you do this right and you price your work correctly you will make some good money in this business. This is the 3rd time I have ran this business and I started it in a new city after 2 years of doing no lawn or landscape work and I am at 54 accounts. I am very lucky to be where I am. Good luck and I am sure you will do fine if you keep to your business goals.
  6. ipdking711

    ipdking711 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Thanks guys. When you say 21" mower is this a walk behind/push mower? Can you post a model # or a pic? I work in contracting right now for my father. I am 20 years old and my monthly bills total somewhere around 300 a month. For everything. No CC debt. Just cell phone, car insurance, and car loan. Living at home right now for free so no rent either.

    I refuse to take any loans out for equipment. That is my goal. Work my way up. Loving this forum too. You guys are a real help!

    And All tro why did you quote half of what I said lol.
  7. mikewhit1010

    mikewhit1010 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    Just look at a commercial Toro or Honda.
  8. ipdking711

    ipdking711 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Thank you!
  9. ipdking711

    ipdking711 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    What's making these "commercial" toro's so "commerical"?
  10. FinerCutslawnCare

    FinerCutslawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,386

    Name, quality of cut/mower. Toro for a 21 would be a good brand to go with, or exmark. Those are the only brands i will mow with but that is just me...

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