Wanting to Start A Legit Lawn Care Business

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by NKOTB, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. NKOTB

    NKOTB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Hi everyone, first time poster here. I'll cut straight to the chase. I'm 21 years old, I've worked in lawn care/ maintainance for 3 years now. I recently quit the company I was working for to venture off and persue doing it on my own. I'm not registered legit and all that as of now, but carry a few residential accounts on the regular.

    I'm being pushed by my cousin to go commercial with it, register a company, look for commercial/industrial accounts and get on my way to making more stable and better paying work.

    My questions to all of you are a few: when is the best time to start looking for commercial work, what is a standard way to price out commercial contracts and what these prices might be like?

    Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot, I look forward to being part of the community.

  2. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    Start by getting insurance. No commercial account will give you a shot without it.
  3. NKOTB

    NKOTB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Sorry by not specifying, this sort of stuff I'm already aware of. Registration,insurance, etc. It was more the actual business end of it I was inquiring about.
  4. BINKY1902

    BINKY1902 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from South
    Messages: 1,123

    On the business end of it, I don't think it's a good idea to start a lawn business mid-season.
  5. socallawndude

    socallawndude LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    I disagree completely...alot of crews cant handle the heat and start to lag this time of year, and its a perfect time to scoop up their accounts. I pick up more accounts in the dog days of summer than any other time of year simply because I carry on, business as usual. People are impressed by that.
  6. sdk1959

    sdk1959 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    I agree.

    Especially after there is a dry spell and heat wave. The volume players drop like flies when they can't cut for a month, their volume business model they relied upon just falls apart. All that equipment and big trailers they bought, storage space they rented, crews they hired, all for naught.

    The volume players using a 3 man crew and a 60"ZTR on a 1/4 acre lot, yeah ok buddy you do that, after a dry spell when your laying off your crew, selling your excess equipment and dodging the storage landlord I'll get your accounts for MORE money.

    Good time to advertise and get accounts after a dry spell.Thumbs Up
  7. NKOTB

    NKOTB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Well I actually wasn't planning on starting it until next season. I just wanted to get a head start on it just in case Winter would be a good time to get prepared. Thanks for the tip though, it makes nothing but sense!

    How about in terms of pricing? How do you guys go about it? If you could throw out an average price for average size commercial property?? ( I know it sounds vague I apologize)

    Do they usually go monthly? seasonal? yearly? if you do snow removal as well are you guys giving different prices over the winter?

    There are so many questions, I just need a bit of a lead in the right direction.

    Thanks again for any input, it's greatly appreciated!
  8. SkinnyVinny

    SkinnyVinny LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    Hey man, I can answer your questions on the snow removal side.. Its different everywhere you push. MOST of my accounts are on monthly payment plans and they are on a 2" trigger. I charge per visit and base the price on square footage. I know how long a certian amount of sqft will take me to plow, so I just figure out basic business math from there so i dont loose money and make a profit, etc. Sometimes you can get lucky and land a seasonal account, which is great because it doesnt even have to snow and you will make money. As far as cutting grass goes, I would go about it in the same mind set. Charge per visit and bid for size and amount of time it will take you.. Hope this helps, and if your looking to do snow plowing this winter, get your bids out now! I already started and have a ton of bites. Most people like to get everything squared away early, and the rest just wait till the snow is on the ground to call you back... Once again I hope i helped you out! and good luck!
  9. JCS Landscaping

    JCS Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from NE WI
    Messages: 35

    IMO starting mid season is probably better than being unemployed for the remainder of the summer! :confused:
  10. NKOTB

    NKOTB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Thanks for the tips man, I appreciate it tons. I was with a company but had no insight on the inside part of it although I was doing the work (during the summer anyways). Told the boss where to go and here I am! Im actually pretty excited to get started.

    What's the best way to find out about upcoming bids? or is it something you go to the company with? How does that work?

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