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SconsinJoe
05-24-2011, 01:28 AM
I want to start a lawn care business but all I have at the moment is a push power, string trimmer, and a hatchback. Is it advisable to start bidding jobs without a business license or insurance?
Im unemployed and just graduated tech school and there is no work around here but plenty of lawns. Also unfortunately my credit isnt the best and I would have a hard time getting a business loan.

How can I start small with little to no money?

Steve
05-24-2011, 04:36 AM
Welcome to our forum!

It sounds like you have everything you need. There have been plenty of members on here who got their start by having their mower in their trunk.

Depending on your local laws, you may or may not need a business license.

However, you will want to be insured. Although there are many that get started without insurance, if you wouldn't drive your car without it, why would you operate dangerous machinery on another person's property without it.

Can you get some flyers and business cards made and start handing them out?

SconsinJoe
05-24-2011, 12:44 PM
Depending on your local laws, you may or may not need a business license.

However, you will want to be insured. Can you get some flyers and business cards made and start handing them out?

I have been on the phone all morning with dept of licensing and all wisconsin requires is a sellers permit..$30. Insurance has yet to be tackled..can anyone give me an average cost for million dollar liability? Also I think I can handle flyers with a little investment. I'll probably need to set up a dba bank acct and operate as a sole proprieter as opposed to a LLC. LLC's pay more taxes from what I understand and I can file my taxes as doing business for myself.

Dragger
05-24-2011, 07:45 PM
I have been on the phone all morning with dept of licensing and all wisconsin requires is a sellers permit..$30. Insurance has yet to be tackled..can anyone give me an average cost for million dollar liability? Also I think I can handle flyers with a little investment. I'll probably need to set up a dba bank acct and operate as a sole proprieter as opposed to a LLC. LLC's pay more taxes from what I understand and I can file my taxes as doing business for myself.

mine is just a touch over 300 a year i think it cost me 100 up from and then a couple more payments spaced out over the year

Sprinkler Buddy
05-24-2011, 11:49 PM
With the equipment your starting with, I wouldn't worry about Insurance, etc... Not until you get a little bigger with the mower, etc... and start making a little. Uncle Sam is not going to bother you with a push mower.

I have NEVER seen them bother the bigger commercial guys. I know of several that I don't think have either or, yet they continue to work year after year, making some serious money. Hope it catches up with them one day!:D

Until you get a big mower, your not going to draw any concern from anyone. Unless you end up with a bunch of guys with push mowers working with you.:) Start making some money before you spend it all. Good Luck!

Steve
05-25-2011, 04:42 AM
I'll probably need to set up a dba bank acct and operate as a sole proprieter as opposed to a LLC. LLC's pay more taxes from what I understand and I can file my taxes as doing business for myself.

Depending how you name your business, you might not even need to set up another bank account.

If you go by the name Joe Smith Lawn Care and have checks made out to Joe Smith, you could get going today.

The down side to that is it can make a mess of your accounting and is not ideal.

If you have assets you want to protect then yea you might want to go with an llc, otherwise I would venture to guess most lawn care businesses start as a dba/sole proprietor.

SconsinJoe
05-25-2011, 03:26 PM
Are bid contracts a must have when just starting out? Or is a verbal contract sufficient just to get started? Also can I get by without a blower and still charge the same rate?

Done Rite Lawn Care
05-25-2011, 08:17 PM
You should consider taking the Lawn Care Business School (http://www.gopherforum.com/index.php?pageid=GopherHaul-Lawn-Care-Business-School) that is offered on this site. You can find it in the Lawn Care Marketing forum. I'm currently taking the coarse. It's really helpful!

Steve
05-26-2011, 07:35 AM
Are bid contracts a must have when just starting out? Or is a verbal contract sufficient just to get started?

Most new business owners tend to just go with a verbal agreement. Maybe you could have a bid sheet that the customer initials to agree to the price.


Also can I get by without a blower and still charge the same rate?

If you can sell it, sure. But the blower leaves a nicer finished job.

Keep us posted on how everything goes.

SconsinJoe
05-26-2011, 11:18 PM
Well today I tackled getting the push mower operational. I took the carb apart 3 times before I found out why it wouldnt keep running. Once I got it running I mowed my parents lawn with mulching bag attached.
3 problems:
1. When I went to empty it for the first time, the bag itself ripped open at the seams. I guess it's been sitting too long so now the mulching bag is out of the picture.
2. It took me nearly twice as long to cut that lawn than I had anticipated and its average size.
3. I live in a small town surrounded by small towns and I dont think there's any way i can get away with charging any more than $20 per lawn. People around here really dont have alot of money. That whole "$1.00 per minute" thing is way out of the question.

Reality is slapping me slowly..:confused:

On the plus side, I also got my chainsaw running again after 2 yrs of sitting:o

Steve
05-27-2011, 05:02 AM
These are all good things to know though! Experimenting on a smaller scale is a lot better than going out and blowing a lot of money on equipment and hoping to make enough to pay back the loans.

Keep experimenting and you will find something that works for you in your area.