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lawn mowering
03-05-2010, 10:51 AM
My bussiness literly has 200$ and I dont have a penny more to invest. I know I need a truck And found a good deal for 9K doesnt sound like much but I broke it down to each day is $150 because I want it by the end of april. Im going to try to repair/spring upkeep peoples lawn mowers I have no idea what I can/should charge. if you have any ideas on how I could make 9k in 60 days PLEASE help.

JP Landscaping
03-05-2010, 11:14 AM
If knew how to make 9K profit in 60 days starting out, I would be in Hawaii right now..lol

I don't know how to make that much money, but you could finance your truck.

Do you have an SUV? if you do, you could rent a trailer from home depot for about $25/day and pull it with that if you need one for your equipment. If you went with this idea, get as many lawns as you can done in that day so you get the most from the rental.

CHEESE2009
03-05-2010, 12:24 PM
My dealer repairs my equipment for $90.00/ hour

SuperiorPower
03-05-2010, 12:59 PM
My dealer repairs my equipment for $90.00/ hour

But they have all the correct special tools, a lot of parts in stock, facilities to do this in and most of all, many years of experience.

I have 15 years experience and in 2010 I just raised my labor rate to $50. I would highly recommend not charging more than $20-30 per hour unless you know what you are doing.

So, lawn mowering, what experience do you have with lawn mower repair? Do you think you will be able to get enough customers to repair their mowers if you intend to do something else in 2 months? There is a considerable start up cost associated with lawn mower repair as well. I have been investing in my own business for about 5-6 years now and am no where close to having all the tools I need or having the parts inventory I would like to have. If I had $25,000 - $50,000 cash right now to invest I could have it all invested in my shop within 2 months (and this is all without investing in new equipment to sell). Just a simple start up with simple essential tools (with no special tools) would easily cost in excess of $1,000. At this investment level and with a reasonable amount of small engine repair experience (automotive repair experience really doesn't count) you may be able to charge the $20-$20 per hour I mentioned.

Personally, I think you would be better off investing your time in getting your lawn care customers lined up, getting a loan for the $9,000, and going straight to work repaying that debt. I don't see the purpose of trying to start 2 businesses at once (this essentially what you would be doing). You would have to gain 2 sets of customers (customers for both businesses) at the same time. Is it possible for you to start doing odd jobs around the area to start creating some cash flow? Perhaps spring clean ups, etc? These same customers may have you mow their yards, etc when you get your equipment and mowing time arrives. Either way, don't make any quick or brash decisions.

How do you feel about that?

Good luck,
Eli

Steve
03-05-2010, 06:15 PM
My bussiness literly has 200$ and I dont have a penny more to invest. I know I need a truck And found a good deal for 9K doesnt sound like much but I broke it down to each day is $150 because I want it by the end of april. Im going to try to repair/spring upkeep peoples lawn mowers I have no idea what I can/should charge. if you have any ideas on how I could make 9k in 60 days PLEASE help.

Can you find a cheaper truck or possibly get a loan? Even if you had 9k in the bank, you shouldn't spend it all on a truck. If you have that money you should keep hold of it and get a loan so you have that emergency fund.

SuperiorPower
03-06-2010, 12:43 AM
If knew how to make 9K profit in 60 days starting out, I would be in Hawaii right now..lol

I don't know how to make that much money, but you could finance your truck.

Do you have an SUV? if you do, you could rent a trailer from home depot for about $25/day and pull it with that if you need one for your equipment. If you went with this idea, get as many lawns as you can done in that day so you get the most from the rental.

I totally agree! I wish I could make an average of $150 per day!!

SuperiorPower
03-06-2010, 01:23 AM
I have to have a GOOD day to make $150 per day profit and it sure don't average out to that. Like I said in my previous post, I have been doing this for 15 years. I would like to think that I have a pretty decent handle on common problems and can pretty accurately diagnose most common problems within moments but still I can not average above maybe $20-$30 per hour, if that. Also, there is a constant learning curve. My dad has been doing this for 40+ years and still sees new things almost every day.

If I could make an average of $150 profit per day I would quit my full time job in a heartbeat! I would work 6 days per week, 52 weeks per year and make an additional $10,000 over what I currently GROSS......

What I forgot to mention in my first post is that in order for you to get any price break on parts you have to get them from a distributor. A distributor requires you to have a resale tax number. This is NOT something that your lawn care business will have unless you are retailing other products to the customers. Most start up lawn care business will not be doing this and especially in your case since you don't have the money to invest. To add to this resale tax ID #, you will most likely have to post a "bond" in case you default on your sales tax. In my state the Bond starts at $50.00 and goes up depending on certain circumstances. That leaves you with a total of $150 for tools, initial investment of parts for your first job, etc.

Your other option is to just buy the parts from your local dealer, or have your customers pick up the parts from the dealer and bring them to you. Now I am here to tell you, this business is NOT as easy to get started in as some people think. When you have a person's prized lawn mower in your care they will need to trust you..... And yes, some people do consider their lawn mower a PRIZE......

Small engine repair is NOT the business to get into if you think you will make $150 profit per day starting out. Its just not going to happen. Unless of course you overcharge and steal all the customers from your local service shop. From my perspective I would seriously and strongly suggest you invest your time, money, and energy into your lawn care business. Then if you have extra of all three (time, money, and energy) you might get into this.

If you insist on getting in the business, I will try to help you where I can. There is some good material here. There are some things that you will simply have to learn on your own though. That is just the way it works. I have done jobs where I broke things and I would not charge the customer for labor since it was my fault. I spent HOURS on one particular job that I never got back. It is just not a $150 per day business on start up.

Quick figures: $150 per day x 5 days per week x 52 weeks per year = $39,000. I could live off that if I could pocket all that....... lol





Oh, and if you were to ask me for advice, I would say, don't do it.... :D

picframer
03-06-2010, 04:28 AM
I agree with Eli, if you are building your lawn care and also venturing into small engine repair, I think something will suffer. I run a woodworking company and thelawn careÚlandscaping business, the woodworking gives me something to do in the winter however it does suffer in the summer as I just don`t have time, last year I worked for the most part seven days a week, there was a point because we offer so many services I was doing 10 to 12 quotes a week, that takes a lot of time so 14 hour days became the norm which is not good and I won`t repeat that this year.

At some point your company needs to establish credit, save a 25% down payment and finance the rest, vehicles and equipment are easy to finance and finance through the dealership, they tend to offer better deals than banks.

As for making $150 a day profit, you might have to look at other services to offer, pressure washing, fertilizing etc. as we all know there are a lot of new companies coming on, many do not know their costs so their quotes are far too low yet we have to compete.

Yesterday for me was a classic example, last weekend we had a wicked storm, very high winds, I lost about 20 roofing shingles, I googled my area and called the first guy, he and a helper were here three hours and he charged me $100.00 cash, honestly that way to cheap. I almost backed out when he showed up in an old truck, had no business cards and no lettering on his vehicle however I just wanted it done. He did good work, I didn`t want to do it myself as my house is a good 32 feet high with a 10-12 pitch roof, very, very steep.

StartALawnCareBusiness
03-06-2010, 12:58 PM
Andy, I have a question for you about that roofing job. Did you ask to see proof of insurance and workman's comp? I don't know the laws in Canada but if he or his helper had fallen off your roof, you may have been liable for their injuries. I know you are insured. Can you imagine attempting to do the work you do, for your current customers, without being completely legit?

Tying this back to the original conversation; I can't imagine starting a lawn mower repair shop without licensing and insurance...not to mention zoning approval and EPA compliance of "spilled fluid containment" regulations. The potential perils are numerous. I'm sure Eli can share some stories.

To the original poster: Spring is basically here. If you start pounding the pavement this very second and don't let up for two months (and price you jobs right) you have a decent chance of affording your vehicle. As others have already said, $150/day average profit won't come easy for a startup. You'll have to work your butt off.

Good luck:
Keith

picframer
03-06-2010, 01:15 PM
Keith, you only need workers comp if you have more than three employees, I asked if he was insured and he said yes, if something did happen, I would simply run it through my insurance but yes you are correct, I built houses years ago and they were not wearing the proper equipment.