TIPS, Do's and Don'ts tips for the new guy

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Eric ELM, Apr 16, 2001.

  1. Big-E

    Big-E LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

  2. shaynes0

    shaynes0 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    How about the website, I am new to the business, and have so many questions and issues that i want to know about. I found this tool which has tons of topics and information for around $70. Has anyone used this or something like it? And if so, what do you think? Need some advice.

  3. FLAhaulboy

    FLAhaulboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    knowledge is everything in this business. go buy some lawn books on disease and plant insects. years ago, i had a ortho problem solver book. most nursery's used to have them. cost 250.00. the best book out there for our kind of business. it a huge book with colored photos of the lawn disease and of insects. once upon a time, i used to spray but eventually quit.
    Now adays, a potential client will be showing me around their property for an estimate on mowing and i'll stop and show them the spider mites that are destroying their azaleas. i'll explain what this insect does etc and that they need to let their chemical spraying company know so they can know what to spray. this kind of knowledge quickly gets you hired because the homeowner doesnt just see a guy who only cares about just mowing but cares about the healthiness of the whole landscape.
  4. waxhammer

    waxhammer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Hi folks! Im new to this site and I think its great. It appears to me that everyone on this site seems very helpful towards one another, it has a real community feel to it. On that note Im wondering if anyone can help me on some thing? I recently purchased a new 36" Wright Stander mower and Im starting to feel that I under size myself. Im new to the buisness so I dont want to make to many mistakes where it ends up costing me alot of money. I also bought me a new enclosed 8'*16' trailer. Im open to any advise you may have to offer. Thank You.
  5. jim dailey

    jim dailey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    OK, the trailer seems to be a nice size. Now the mower...why did you purchase a 36" machine? Are your yards all small, or was it a bargain price? You can make your customer list fit your can make your machines fit your customer list. Either is your business to run. Maybe keep the machine for awhile...get your money's worth out of it, then trade up for your next purchase. Hold onto is collateral for your next move. Remember...small backyards require a smaller machine.
  6. alar

    alar LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Well, as many people have indicated on this message board, I am new to this business as well. I appreciate people being straight forward about many of the do's and don'ts. I know that knowledge is very important, especially if you want your business to grow substantially. I have been looking into some information out there that goes over many details of starting and operating a landscaping company but am not sure which of them are really providing the best information. I wanted to ask if anyone had any recommendations? I have been seriously looking at the Phil Nillson books found at Again, I am looking for recommendations-help please.

  7. bzaspel

    bzaspel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Alright you guys. Everybody here is real nice and happy with each other sharing all kinds of nice information to help. This is really great stuff and I know all of us "newbees" really appreciate the great advice. But the first thing we need to know is, what are the pitfalls and mistakes not to make. What are the "look out's!" to watch out for? Ya' know, you guys made a lot of mistakes and paid for those mistakes with time, money, sweat, and in some cases blood. So, what's that bad news? What are the things that all of us new guys (and girls) should look out for?

    For example: 1. what equipment brand, size, and pricing 2. trailer size 3. commercial vs residential (both or what mix percentages) 4. and the mysterious stuff we just don't know to ask about.

    Let's have the dirt on this business as well as all the great hype about how much fun you are having working for yourselves. For example, I talked with one guy that I managed to stop while he was "on the job" and one of the things he talked about was hydration and diet. Some times the sun can be a killer if you're not prepared, and if you've not worked outside before, this might be a real dangerous issue to be surprised with when you come close to passing out.

    Let's hear about the rough times?:dizzy:
  8. waffletown20

    waffletown20 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 100

    When making an estimate, if you really mess it up, there is nothing wrong with giving a revised estimate after you've mowed it. I have done this a few times and there were no complaints. Customers understand it can be tough to come up with a price without seeing how long it will take. This is often the case where a customer forgets to tell you that a large area is part of there property. So if you give the wrong price, don't be afraid to correct it.

    Also, for bills get order some envelopes with the windows in the front so you don't have to do any addressing.
  9. compton3c

    compton3c LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I want to start in business, only have one client, 0ne push mower,weed eater, etc., not too much money, but I'd really like to start in my own small business, so I'm trying, seems as if blindly, to do so. Any help appreciated yet I come not empty handed:

    small tip, especially for the small ops--freeze either 20oz or 2 liter plastic soda bottles, and try not to forget to do so like I did this morning, to save money shelling out for bags of ice. It works really well, when the water is gone, or if they are in your lunch cooler, you'll have cold water to drink.


    Happy clippin's,


  10. scubamower

    scubamower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    What I did was(considering i was in ur position) is go to the people who look like they need it. For instance... fat joe w/ dinky mower and sweatin like crazy.. an older couple people like that. they see that ur a small businiss but want thier yard done. the reason i say small yards is b/c, w/ ur small push mower, work on small yards get money flow. Then after a month or two u have cash to by a big mower(buy biger than u think u need when possible but not somthin out of ur bugget). When getting your mower figure up what u are makin with what u have now. Then set a resonable goal(say an additonal 5-10 yards) if you are going to want to get bigger than u are. with that figure decide on what is best for (do u have the time to care for this mower/equitment, how big are ur yards, is the equitment up too the job, etc.). now ur ready for some big stuff. send out advertisments, (if u can afford it) flyers, door to door, and as an added bounus ur new equiment can bring custmers to u.(or not)

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