Trying To Go Commercial

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by STRINGALATION, Jun 21, 2007.


    STRINGALATION LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 777

    :confused: Hey everyone hope i can explain this correctly
    this is my third year and i have been all residential. i have run accross quite a few builders lately. one of them likes my price for grading , sodding and bed install. my first problem is insurance. i am waiting on a call back with a quote from a company. i asked for 1 mill in liability and wrk comp also my equipment what type of down payment could i be looking at.

    secondly i usually work with a 60% deposit on landscaping for materials and what not how does this game go with a builder. i have cut the money to close to even think about a 60% deposit. I do not have the capital to make these purchases and bill them later. it seems no one really likes builders but i say i gotta find out for my self i guess somebodies working for them maybe i can get some good ones they are building house here like they are free a whole lot of that buy the property for a dollar a long as you commit to build a house. some pro advice would be warmly welcomed
  2. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    If you're having working capital problems, I suggest NOT linking up with builders. I have heard from more than a few friends that you won't get paid for quite a while after your work is complete. Forget about up front stuff. But I could be wrong.

    One aquaintance of mine went OUT OF BUISINESS because he got too deep in with a builder.
  3. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    agree with Perfect....

    right off the bat reading your post I had to go back and read it again... .3 years and having money problems.... my friend somethings wrong....
    3 years and NO insurance...... My froend somethings wrong.....

    dont know about your area but when I was wireing houses,,, working directly with superenaintants they STAY a month behind all the time,,, simply because its a ton of money..... so you may NOT get paid for 2 to 3 nomths.
  4. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    Yea, as Bohiaa stated- THREE years with no INS??? I've been on my own for 3 months and insurance (along with doing EVERYTHING else legit) was first on my list.

    I've already had a small claim (theft). But again, I wouldn't tangle with the builders. You should be able to comfortably "front" a spec builder landscape on a small to average new construction without going broke. It's not fun to do it that way, but I'm just saying that at three years in, I would hope you have some decent working capital sitting in the ole account to back yourself.

    STRINGALATION LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 777

    Bohiaa i agree but the problems are not the business so to speak. ihave been cooking all my life and when my daughter showed i was looking for more money and a real future , so two years as side money and experimenting. I found last year i really enjoyed it and had a knack for it, this is really my first year i just kind jumped out in the deep water and said iam going to make this work. i never had enough money to start a business to begin with. just really tired of hells kitchen. i just got my license this year so i am trying to turn up the heat and do this thing corretly most people here who are licensed and insured have been at it a min of 15 years.
  6. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    ok that sounds better, 3 years part time,

    yea you may wanna stay away from builders, my 2nd month in Business Full time. I had 3 to 4 thousand working captial, Not a lot, But there were NO money problems.

    I'm in the Grass Cutting Business, nothing else, I wont even do beds.
    Sounds like you may need to throw some money towards advertisement,

    Hopefully you can take about 3 years and then you will NOT be in the field working anymore. ya might wanna sit down and get a plan togather.
    nothing fancy, Jsut where your going, like a short term goal, and long term.

    dont forget to PAY yourself First. then with the monies left over find out what kind od ad's work in your area...

    Good Luck

    STRINGALATION LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 777

    That is what i was thinking I cannot figure out how these guys here advertise
    it seems like its a friends and family thing like major word of mouth people here are so trendy you do the right house and you get a whole sub-division
    the landscaping competition is not major its here but alot of it (no offence to anyone) are guys who mainly cut. alot of the work i get is going behind those guys because its been two months and the bed is full of weeds or there is no edge so you cut mulch and grass all day. my short goals are to get completely legit and establish myself as a professional landscaper i feel there is a nice buffer between the big dogs who are mostly based out of town and the guys i go behind i plan to fill that as my niche sticking in that 1500 -10000 dollar market long term i plan to be a big dog full service company i like the term :clapping: design build firm:clapping: i try to be realistic and make baby steps along the way now iam shooting for 10 more cutting accounts res or comm and 10 more installs before fall sorry if iam rambling i just like to express it sometime to see how realistic it looks
    thanks for reading igeuss i was venting:laugh: :laugh:
  8. GreenS14

    GreenS14 LawnSite Member
    from Ca
    Messages: 10


    I currently work as an accountant for a big residential plumbing Company in Cali., We do work for local and national builders. I'm not sure how your market is, but it is like pulling teeth to get paid right now in our slow market. We have even had to threaten a national builder with a lien before receiving payment. We are big enough to let payment go out to 60-90 days out, but will a small guy be able to handle this?

    Also, if this is your first account with a builder, they will dilly dally months before executing the contract to hold payment. so they will be 60+ days late on their first payment!

    All builders really care about is price when you are bidding. If you do end up signing say a 300 house project, don't be surprised if they send it back out for re-bid in between releases. they are always shopping.

    Also keep in mind that they may nit pick you to death and back charge you also.

    All i'm saying is be careful playing with the big boys.

  9. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    VERY TRUE...... this is what I was saying in the early post,,,,

    working hand in hand with some of them it simply amazed me at the
    "dilly- dally" I mean come on 3 months to get paid...on a big job, maybe 5 to 10,000.... I CANT SIT ON THAT MUCH MONEY....

    But I feel your pain..... starting Just cutting grass. I got what the others didn't want. and all the PITA customers.
    It Just reminds me of what my father told me once....

    Boy. " He allways called me boy" they dont hire any 25 year old persidents
  10. monetland

    monetland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    to start -really try to diversify your company when you first start out -- doing alot of small jobs is easier and quicker to collect from. Lage customers equal large invoices, so if you cant float it now dont try it -- trust me there will be more opportunities to come.

Share This Page