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Steve
10-20-2009, 10:37 AM
I like finding business ideas that can be started with a very low amount of initial capital. In a recent article (http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2009/09/20/4379847.htm) I read, it talked about a guy who started a blade sharpening business.

He started it small and it has been growing. He has different drop off spots around town and also offers a pickup and delivery service.

A lot of people either can't sharpen items they need sharpened or they simply don't have the time to do it. If you have the time and the skill, why not offer this service?

What's your view on it?

turfmaster
10-20-2009, 11:28 AM
I like finding business ideas that can be started with a very low amount of initial capital. In a recent article (http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2009/09/20/4379847.htm) I read, it talked about a guy who started a blade sharpening business.

He started it small and it has been growing. He has different drop off spots around town and also offers a pickup and delivery service.

A lot of people either can't sharpen items they need sharpened or they simply don't have the time to do it. If you have the time and the skill, why not offer this service?

What's your view on it?

Definitely a low cost start up. Like you said if you have the skill and the time why not offer this service. The hardest part would be to get your name out there and build up some clients. I guess it's not much different then launching any other type of service business.

turfmaster
10-20-2009, 11:32 AM
You could contact all the LCO'S in your area and offer this service.

Steve
10-20-2009, 12:24 PM
You could contact all the LCO'S in your area and offer this service.

If you were to pay someone to do this, what kind of range would you pay to have your blades sharpened and how often would you need then sharpened?

Also, would it be worthwhile to have the person take them off and install them?

turfmaster
10-20-2009, 02:11 PM
If you were to pay someone to do this, what kind of range would you pay to have your blades sharpened and how often would you need then sharpened?

Also, would it be worthwhile to have the person take them off and install them?

I personally wouldn't pay more than 2-3 bucks per blade. Actually I wouldn't pay that much because I prefer to sharpen my own. We change our blades twice per week. I have a sharpened set ready to go for all the mowers. That way we are just changing them. At the end of the week I sharpen everything up for the next week.

It may be worth it for some guys to pay $3-5 bucks per blade if they don't know how to sharpen and balance a blade and if they don't need them sharpened frequently.

SuperiorPower
10-21-2009, 01:00 AM
Well I know that there are shops around here that charge $5 if the blade is off, and $10 if they have to take the blade off.

In my opinion it would not be that cheap of a start up if you were to do it right. For example, a good blade grinder can cost HUNDREDS of $$$$... This does not account for a good balancer (not the cheat $5 unit). A good quality balancer can cost several hundred bucks as well. If you offer blade removal services, you need good quality tools since MOST blades have NEVER EVER been off the mower. You would need a good air compressor, good impact, good quality "6 point" impact sockets. And add a whole host of other tools to it.

I honestly had never thought about starting a business doing just that but I had thought about starting a mobile tune-up/oil change business.

Now this can get extra expensive, especially if you had a mobile service. You would need a good enclosed trailer that is cool enough to work inside during the summer, and warm enough to work in during the winter. Then you have to deal with ventilation and lighting. For all this (grinder, lights, ac/heat, etc.) you need a big generator. And don't forget that your trailer that you just bought for however many $1000 would need to be fireproof or at least fire resistant.

As you can see, this can get real expensive, real soon. But, once it gets going, and the business starts taking off, it would be a mostly cash cow I think. I have really thought about buying like an old bread truck or something and converting it to a mobile unit. But another issue is sales tax. Especially when you start doing the service thing, you have to charge tax according to the jurisdiction you are in. HEADACHES, HEADACHES, HEADACHES..... lol.

But if you picked up the blades, and sharpened them in your garage, you could have a low overhead.

So:

$2000.00, Trailer,
$1600.00, Blade Grinder (Grinders vary from $300-$1650),
$ 450.00, (up to) for a blade balancer,
$1000.00, for a generator,
$ 500.00, lighting and misc accessories,
$ 500.00, for tools if you intend to offer blade removal services.
$ 300.00 for air compressor and accessories,


So far the total is $6350.00. Now of course some of this may be available 2nd hand and save you hundreds of $$$. but never plan on that. It may break down... Just some thoughts.

Thanks for the idea though. I may just look into it some more. :)

Steve
10-21-2009, 01:22 AM
The article talks about how he services the following kinds of customers.

Wood workers who need things like shaper-cutters, router bits, and drill bits sharpened.
Saw blades and band mill blades.
He can sharpen and re-insert carbide tips.
Carbide tip circular and steel circular blade
pruning saws
split-edger blades
rotary mower blades
carcass & meat grinder blades
dado blades
sharpens planers
moulding blades
corn chopper blades
hay baler blades
chipper and jointer knives
kitchen knives
hunting and pocket knives
scissors
wood chisels
jack hammer
stump grinder and auger blades
hydro-saw chains
power and hand-held hedge trimmers
grass clippers
pruners


That is a lot of potential blades and customers to service!

If you could mix this with the mobile tune-up/oil change business, WOW that could really be something.

I know a lot of lawn care business owners might say, nah I do it myself, but what if they didn't have too?

What if at the end of the day they didn't have to go back to the shop and perform all this equipment maintenance?

A lot of times this kind of stuff gets old. You might just rather go home and sit down than continue to work on the equipment.

What kind of fee do you think the average lawn care business owner would pay for equipment maintenance like the oil changes or filter changes? What would the price have to be kept under to make it worthwhile?

If you don't perform the preventative maintenance on your equipment personally and instead have employees do it, is this an added skill they may not understand or be trusted to perform well?

LawnMoore
07-30-2010, 08:43 PM
Steve this list of items to be sharpened, thats like catering to every class in the industry!

Thats a lot of skill, especially the carbide teeth replacement, im sure that isnt easy!

WO@W