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View Full Version : Essential Equipment 4 just starting out.....


SewellsLandscaping
07-29-2010, 10:55 PM
Hey everyone,

I just started mowing lawns and doing weeds removal, brush removal, mulch jobs, etc. all out of the back of my pick-up. I've been using an MTD Yard Machines push mower to do lawns that are 1/5-1/4 acre. I don't really have much money to spend but I want to buy an additional piece of equipment.

I can't decide what I should buy first.

1. Should I save to upgrade the mower? (is working fine never had any problems)

2. Should I get a leaf blower so clean up will be a breeze and this fall I can make some more $ from leaf clean-up?

3. Maybe a chainsaw since I do quite a bit of clearing brush and overgrowth.

What I'm asking is what's going to give me the most bang for my buck?
I've got about $300-$400 to spend right now.

Thanks,
Wil

picframer
07-30-2010, 05:14 AM
Which of the two will yield the greatest return to your company? Time savings and fall revenue generator with a blower or offering tree services with a chain saw?

IMHO the blower would come first as you need one for clean up cutting trees and branches anyhow, a blower in my case doesn't represent a big revenue generator, it is a time saver and also perhaps more important we leave a property looking top drawer.

MAKLawnCutter
07-30-2010, 09:27 AM
Anytime with buying a new piece of equipment, i thing "how quickly will this pay its self off?"

IE: a chainsaw will pay for its self on one job.

A blower will take upto a month to pay its self off but, will speed productivity so you can get out of jobs quicker and onto the next one.

Both are a good way to go. Personaly, i think a blower would be most functional for a new start up company

Trailer Basics (or back of pick up)

mower
edger
weed eater
blower (backpack or hand)

Matt

SewellsLandscaping
07-30-2010, 09:50 AM
Any advice as to which blower to buy? Brands? Strength? I'd like to keep the cost under $300, but I also want a reliable, good-performing blower. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Will

mburse1977
07-30-2010, 11:44 AM
I got a Maruyama. Main reason five year warranty for commercial use.It starts easy and blows good only down fall is the hose falls off easy but 5 year warranty is more than you can get on any piece of equipment and one that will back there products for that long will stand behind them. I look at it in the long run less equipment that will be sitting in the shop waiting on repairs the more i can make.

If you ever change mowers go honda. Great cut bags like you would not believe and if you can find a way of breaking it let me know been trying for a year so i have a reason to buy a new commercial unit but it just want die lol.

Weed eater are edger has to be a redmax,. You could not kill these things if you try. I have run mines for 8 hours a day all day none stop for a season and it still starts on first pull.


That's my break down on equipment and one know a good small 30 to 34 in zero turn and a price range on it looking for a zero turn that can get through small gates that will last for long term use,

LawnMoore
07-30-2010, 01:15 PM
This is my suggestion, anything you buy, make sure it is Commercial Rated!

You dont want to buy a blower from walmart and after 2 leave jobs or after 2 months of blowing driveways, it take a crap on you. The residential grade equipment usually will not take the every day, all day long, pace that you might be at.

Steve
07-30-2010, 04:08 PM
What I'm asking is what's going to give me the most bang for my buck?
I've got about $300-$400 to spend right now.

Should you even hold onto that money now and only buy something when you absolutely have too?

SewellsLandscaping
07-31-2010, 12:20 AM
Thanks for all the replies!

So I bit the bullet today and went to Lowes. I had seen some decent reviews of Husqvarna brand products so I bought their 150BT blower.
I've never used a blower in my life, so I had some fun today playing with it in my yard. It's the "GhostBuster" back-pack style which I found very entertaining.

You have a good point Steve, maybe now wasn't the best time to make this purchase, but at least I can clean up after mowing a lot faster now.
I was itching to buy an additional piece of equipment anyways, and I guess I really didn't know how best to spend the extra cash I had.

I'd like to continue slowly expanding my business. I refuse to use credit, so I'm determined to run my business debt free.

At this point what should my next step be?
Here is a quick summary of my business situation;
1. I've got a website up; SewellsLandscaping.com
2. I've got about 10 regular customers
3. I have the following for lawn equipment;
-F150 Pick-up (which is where all equipment travels in)
-MTD Yard Machines 21-inch 3-in-1 Push Mower
-Feather-Lite (Poulan brand) curved-shaft trimmer
-Husqvarna 150BT Back-pack blower

Should I be focusing on marketing my services? and if so what are some inexpensive ways to advertise?

The only advertising I've done has been reposting on Craigslist. I've been busy, working pretty much everyday. However, I am a one man show.

Thanks,
Will

mburse1977
07-31-2010, 07:49 AM
If Craigslist is keeping you going i would stick with that and get ready for next years advertising now.Some things to do for the winter to get ready for next year is.

Send all your current customers cards for each holiday. so they remember you.If you can afford it give them all gifts for Christmas. dose not have to be expensive.

Around march comb the neighborhoods and go door to door with door hanger and business cards. Visa print is a cheap place to get the cards the hangers i do not know of and place cheap don't think visa print dose it.

For know when ever you are in the neighbor hood doing a yard talk to the neighbors. Even as if just to say hello my name is and i cut so and so lawn down the street are what ever.If the neighborhood is upscale enough you can make a news letter with a little something about everything trick is not to talk about lawn care too much just talk about what would be a topic that that area wants to talk about tips on this are that. And you name and number will be on each one.

Next year are at least three months before the season starts you may want to think about getting a company to make you web site hit the top of the search engines should cost about 150 a month but worth it if you live in a heavily populated area.If you can afford it do some community events in your local area getting to know the people can make your business explode.Even if it is no more than planting so stuff for free at the local church school are where ever to get people to see your about the community.

signs for the truck is a must people see it they call if they don't then they don't so why wait free advertising space.I would not waste my money on the yellow pages are the newspaper as readership in them is going way down any way cost too much for not that much return on your money.

Ask customers if they would mind for a price break on letting you put a sign in the yard this works best on friends and family members houses.Get a llc its less than 100 bucks in most states you go to the secretary of states web site to file in most states.

Be out front with ever one you know if you talk to any one they should be getting a business card from you. Even if they cut there on they may give it too some one that needs it.

There are lots of other ways to get your name out there but that a list of the easiest to do and the low cost way of getting it done. i would not use a service to get leads its a waste of money and make sure you get insurance that way you can say you have it makes you look more professional in the eyes of the customer.

SewellsLandscaping
07-31-2010, 11:23 AM
MBurse1977 thanks for the advice. I keep forgetting about advertising on my truck. I like the holiday greeting cards also.


I'm looking into saving up to purchase a core power aerator. Is this a wise investment? How much do most people charge for core aeration? I would like to believe it would pay for itself rather quickly, am I right for believing this? Does anybody speak with experience aerating lawns?

Thanks,

Will Sewell
SewellsLandscaping.com