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Thinking of starting up again

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Swampy, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. DiSantolandscaping

    DiSantolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 345

    now for those of you suggesting a 21 in mower to get started with, then what about bidding commercial jobs? where i live its mostly business that are using lco's. there is residential as well, but in order to make it you really need to bid commercial as well. Now i have good contracts and all that plus flyers, and biz cards. can i make it using a 21 in to get started. All the money would get put away in my biz account because i have a full time job so id save for a walk behind or zero turn and a trailer first.
  2. UniqueLawn&LandscapeTN

    UniqueLawn&LandscapeTN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    Some guys can make money and do their work with a 21"...In my area however you definately cannot as most yards that I mow are 1+ Acres and hills which would take you ALL DAY on 1 yard!! If you are located in a City and dont plan to mow anything but City lawns that are .5 acre or less lots then you may be ok but location plays a BIG part of whether or not you can manage with only a 21"....
  3. DiSantolandscaping

    DiSantolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 345

    ok yea im in a city with surronding towns that are set up like the city. im just wondering say you pick up a bank that you bid on, will they care what you mow with as long as it looks good? and i mean they wont have the big wide stripes but the grass will look good?
  4. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    iMow, Thanks, I'll take a look into it, I am a avid reader, and right now I'm reading the "Pumpkin Plan" that ETW was telling everyone to give it a read. I do have WAREX coming up for the Army Reserve that's 3 weeks. I'm planning on picking up some more books before I send off to Cali in March.

    The restart up equipment I have is.
    98 Chevy 3500 6.5 Diesel
    Hydro Scag 48in Advantage deck walkbehind w/sulky
    Kawi 27KG(T????) string trimmer
    Brother's 5x8 w/rear ramp trailer that I can borrow till I get another or find a good used one.
    Still have all the mechanics tools, portable air tank, fuel cans (have what seems like 20 of them), grease gun with tubes of grease, straps, and all the little odds and ends that would be needed.

    The only real equipment purchase I would need is a blower. The last one I had was a Husky 125BT (like the 130). Worked great for blowing clippings off surfaces and out of beds.

    The 48in in my area is great, its a pretty much go anywhere type of mower. I barely used my 21in last year. But it should be in the equipment inventory, to allow more flexablity for bidding, my mowers over all width is actually 49in but will still fit in most service gates for backyards.

    Bidding commerical in my area is extremely cut throat, I will still bid on commerical, I might get it I might not get it. Is it needed to survive and grow, I don't seem to think so. Most commerical in my area are a decent size and using my current equipment list, normal turn around on servicing the property about 2hrs. I could do more residental sized properties in that time period for more pay.
  5. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,017

    The overwhelming majority will not give a darn if there are stripes or not. They want the job done and to not have to worry about you showing up. If they don't even have to look at you that's a bonus. That's what they want.

    Once you get a commercial 36'' or better the stripes will start showing up. I've never had a single customer tell me the stripes look awesome! They'll be there, though....nobody gives a darn. Seriously.
  6. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    SSHHH be quite therie are :dizzy: on here that swear about stripes, swear their customers come out and praise them for brand new equipment, praise them for their new trucks and trailers. I find most of customers work during the day when I am working and never see me. And that is they way I like it. :drinkup:
  7. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,017

    The picture in my signature is from a retirement community I USED to cut. The stripes are beautiful, aren't they? Looks fantastic! THEY COULDN'T HAVE CARED LESS. Another company is now mowing it for $500 less a month and it looks like utter garbage. It's chopped down each week, though. That's all they care about.
  8. UniqueLawn&LandscapeTN

    UniqueLawn&LandscapeTN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    yea, Ive never really understood why people make such a BIG deal over stripes? Yea they look good to us and other lawn guys but to the average person that pays to get their lawn maintained, they have no earthly idea about the stripes and the ones that do notice them have no idea how its done!!! As for the smaller commercial yards you are refering to (banks, store fronts, etc) a 21" is in most cases better than say a 60" ZTR because you wont disrupt the lawn as much turning around and maneuvering and in the end will make a cleaner appearance...thats just my opinion!!
  9. imow in NC

    imow in NC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    All you northern states guys are so lucky to have the types of grass that will stripe. 85% of my customers have centipede that is mowed at 1-1/2 inches tall, light green and barely visible striping to the untrained eye. the few I have with St Augustine, look really sharp and lots of them notice it too. especially their neighbors who always want to know how I did that. PAY me $$$, make yours look the same way
  10. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Just a little update. I've been searching for a good business plan template for a bit and everyone I found won't explain the sections really that well or provide a example of a section. I finally found a good one from score.org, http://www.score.org/resources/business-plans-financial-statements-template-gallery I've read through the template, all 31 pages of it, and looks to be a great start on it.

    Me and the fiance took a trip to goodwill today, finally got a new montior ($25) for my desktop computer. The Laptop was nice but for sitting on it and writing something up its just horrible.

    Next on the little to do list is clean out my personal office space, go through the bottom drawer of the file cabinet that I was using for my previous business and reorganise it. Now here is the question, should I continue with my old business name or change it over to something else. I still crap ton of marketing material (business cards, truck lettering, envolopes, letter heads, pens, etc.....) for the old business. Should I just dump it and start new or just keep with it, note I don't want a name that states my own name or part of it in the business name.

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