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Want to start new lawn mowing business.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by corypavin, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. corypavin

    corypavin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I am a school teacher that has done many different jobs during the summer working for other people. I would like to start my own business and set my own hours during the summer months. How do I go about starting this business? I plan on mowing residential houses to begin with and work from there. Are there laws to starting your own business? What are some of the best ways to attract clientel? How much do I charge per lawn mowing? I would like to start as soon as possible as the lawn mowing season is now starting in Nevada. Help.....Thanks
  2. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    Talk to an accountant in your area about what to do to start a small business.

    What to charge per lawn? This can vary a lot from company to company. You have to figure out your own "overhead", including costs of buying equipment, fuel, insurance, etc. Then on top of that in theory you are supposed to make a profit. These are numbers you have to figure out using your own situation.

    Use the search feature on this site, and you will spend days reading threads!
  3. lawnranger44

    lawnranger44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    I just posted this on another thread about pricing...

    First consider how much you want to be making per hour...When I first started out my brother and I shot for $15 an hour each(that was a mistake), and we have now risen it to $40 an hour each. I would shoot for $30-$60 an hour if I were you. It may seem high but after deductions...it's not.
    Then try to judge how long the job will take. If you have absolutely no idea, try to give the customer a ballpark figure (for example, $50-$70) and ask if you can do the job once to figure how long it will take you, exactly.
    Finally, you may want to change your hourly rate depending on how many workers you will be working with. Are you working alone or with one or two workers? Then you would adjust the hourly rate accordingly.

    I am a high school student so we are in similar situations. Its hardest in the spring when you have school and the grass is growing so fast. I would consider getting some help, especially in the spring. Good luck and welcome to Lawnsite.
  4. corypavin

    corypavin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    What type of insurance? What is the pricing on the insurance to run a small business? Do you have any strategies on how to attract clientele? I appreciate any insight I can get as I want to become aggressive in this endeavor of mine. I think this would be a great summer job....
  5. Lombardi

    Lombardi LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 538

    Unless the grass there only grows from June through mid August, how will you handle the mowing during school time?
  6. corypavin

    corypavin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Would it be a problem to mow after school? I am out at 2:45pm and have till dark. I doubt if I will have a huge clientele till the word of mouth gets out and I was hoping there would be enough time to handle the work load till summer? When summer gets here, I would start mowing in the morning.
  7. cdawg12

    cdawg12 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I am a school teacher and I go right after school. It is possible to get through until summer break, but dont plan on seeing your family too much. When summer comes, I plan getting up early and knocking them out.
  8. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

    Hi corypavin,

    Congratulations on starting, no better time than the present :)
  9. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    Ok, here's how I would start. First figure out what kind of customers you want - small lawns - cut/blow/and go, large estates that require a fine touch, etc. Once you decide on what kind of customers you want, you can decide on how you want to compete - based on price or based on quality. My preference would be to compete based on quality all day long. If you compete on price you can always be underbid, and customers tend not to be loyal. If you compete on quality, customers will tend to be loyal, and you can charge what you want (within reason of course). Keep in mind this is just a general priciple, not set in stone rule.
    After that's decided, you can decide what kind of equipment you want. If your competeing on price, you can buy a cheaper mower as your not as worried about quality of cut. If you're shooting for smaller lawns, you could get by with walk behinds. If you're going for large estates, and competeing on quality, you'll want a professional quality walk behind, or even ZTR.
    Now you can figure out how much you want to spend on equipment. This will factor into your "cost of doing business". Figure out how much it's going to cost you to mow for each hour. You don't want to jump into this only to lose money. (If you need help on this, email me and I can send you a Excel templete.) Now you know how much to charge so that you're making money.
    As you can see there's a lot of brainwork involved in this. But if you want to be successful, it's well worth your time.
    On the other hand, you could buy a Craftsman mower, throw it in your trunk and run around mowing lawns.

  10. corypavin

    corypavin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I appreciate your help Randy. I am fairly new to starting this, I don't want to get too large. Maybe 20-30 clients for this summer if that's possible. I want to start slow and ease my way into this, probably starting out mowing, edging, blowing and your typical yard work. I live in a growing community just outside of Reno, NV. We have a golf course, plenty of new subdivisions, with many more in the process of going up. I don't want to overload myself, but yet don't want to have too few where I don't make any money. You mentioned something about a template? I sure would appreciate anything your could do to help....Any suggestions on how to get customers?

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