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Wanting to start from scratch

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jworkman, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. jworkman

    jworkman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I want to start from scratch. The only lawn care i ever did was at my mom and dads for my grandparents and most of my neighbors. Is there any way you all could give me some idea of what I would need (equip, forms, tools, ext.) bare essentials to start my own lawn care business. If possible a rough guess on what iti would cost me to get them.

    I have a 93 Ford Explorer a 20 " push mower and a really sorry weedeater.

    What would be the least amount of yards i could do and still get by.

  2. VMcNeill

    VMcNeill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    I'm in the same boat you are(starting from scratch), with that said I will tell you what I plan on doing.

    get yourself a better weedeater, and a blower(at least a hand held gas blower). Commercial quality if you can afford it, otherwise buy cheap and be prepared to buy another one a month later. You may be able to service it under warranty, but it will take probably over a month to get it back.

    as to how many lawns you can do well that depends how many hours you can put into the business. I believe one can legitimately do 20 1/4 acre sized properties in 15-20 hrs with a 20" walk behind, push mower is another thing. I say this because I can do my own 1/3 acre lot (mow,trim, and blow) in an hour and fifteen minutes using a 21" mower.
  3. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    Start with insurance, a business license, and a corporate structure, and then add equipment...
  4. VMcNeill

    VMcNeill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    What do you mean corporate structure? Does a solo operator need a corporate structure?

    As far as the other things, if you are starting out with a 13 year old suv, a 20" push mower, and a crappy weedeater chances are your biggest concern should be acquiring customers so that you may be able to afford the things mentioned above.
  5. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    i dont know about a corporate structure, but go to the library, get a book on creating a businiess plan..... follow the steps and you will have a much better chance of success...

    its running a business, not just mowing some lawns....

    register your business name with the state, get insurance and all oter thijngs requied in your area.... with the internet its not hard to find out what you need to do to be legal, and you will have started on the right foot...:)

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    You might do well to work for another LCO for awhile to get more experience.

    Sort of like, I've never worked in a restaurant, so I wouldn't dream of opening my own restaurant as I would be clueless on how to run one. Starting a solo op LCO is not as complicated as opening a store but same principal.

    Get some experience first. Or at least upgrade the sorry weedwacker :laugh: :laugh:
  7. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    Your first priority should be to protect your assets and your customers. Insurance will cover your risk and a corporate structure (s corp, llc,C corp) will protect your personal assets from liabilities of the company. To NOT start with these 2 bases covered suggests you are another complete hack or a child living with your parents...
  8. VMcNeill

    VMcNeill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    again, if all you have is a 13 year old suv, a 20" mower and a crappy weed eater you probably won't have enough money left over to buy gas for the items mentioned above once you go to a lawyer and/or accountant to get registered as an LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp etc. The first priority should be to bring in money(ie customers) so you don't lose your shirt if 3-6 months later you decide that lawn mainenance isn't for you.
  9. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    That is just backwards logic...perhaps if you don't have enough money to do it properly, don't start until you do...How many uninsured restaurants, clothes stores, plumbers do you see around? None. If you can't operate a business correctly don't start one at all. In the end after an accident it hurts all of us.
  10. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    I believe you need a job-- any job, but best to be in lawncare, to make money. So many come on and ask ---"what do I need to start my business?"
    There is a phrase-- It takes money to make money-- it is very true. To run any business you need to do things and buy things to do the work, provide the service, and protect yourself and the customer. Have the knowledge to do what it is you want to do and the knowledge to run the basic business. You may need business school; you may need landscape maintenance school.
    A Business is an investment-- nothing else, and it takes money to make an investment.
    I guess the question should be “Do you want to run a business or just be a kid cutting grass" if that is what you are asking than you are already there.

    What would be the least amount of yards i could do and still get by.

    Only you can answer this question as only you know what you need to "get by"
    And that is precisely what you need to know to start your business, the ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION

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