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View Full Version : More advice for the new guy


eMCeeW
01-30-2012, 10:26 PM
So I am starting up this spring, I currently only have a 21' mower, echo trimmer, and a cheap craigslist blower. I am toying with the idea of getting a smaller walk behind such as a 32' toro or scag so I can get in gates if I have to. I like the idea of not much startup costs but I also think the cut would be better, i would look more pro, and it would be faster if I got the walk behind. What do you think, should I gopher it? lol:rolleyes:

thegroundscrew
01-30-2012, 10:39 PM
First off most homeowners that you will be servicing wont know what a good lawn mower is so all you have to do is make your old equipment look new. Also if you search online for a scag youll see the prices. I have two of them and they are not cheap. They are one of the most expensive ones out there but the best. So dont buy one of them unless you can find one on craigslist for real cheap. Instead of getting one spend some money on marketing such as door hangers and advertise online like crazy, there are tons of free classifieds. Good luck

eMCeeW
01-31-2012, 03:03 AM
Yes scags are crazy expensive but the best dealer here sells scag and toro and has all parts on hand. I am just worried about being taken seriously pulling up with a little push mower.

shadrach
01-31-2012, 09:28 AM
Have a vehicle/equipment/trailer that looks clean & well maintained - don't need brand new top of the line equipment. Having said that, walk behinds are good mowers for a start up. Maybe do a little advertising & see what that gets you before decide to go & get the bigger mower? There is nothing wrong with using a push ( everybody starts somewhere ) but if the demand for your services is there then don't be afraid to go get it . I have mostly scag mowers now, but when I started it was a craftsman push mower & an old cub cadet rider.

Steve
02-01-2012, 03:12 AM
I am just worried about being taken seriously pulling up with a little push mower.

What is it you are really worried about though? That your mower isn't big enough? That the customer won't want to hire you because you are using a 21" mower?

Well let me play devil's advocate here for a moment.

Describe to us your worst case fear when interacting with a new customer and tell us how you could spin it to make it look good for you and good for them too.

mcgreen1
02-01-2012, 08:11 AM
I started my business last year. Instead of going out and buying equipment and a trailer. I opted to put all of my resources into laying a foundation and building an infastructure to run my business smoothly. I just used a push mower and through it in the back of my truck. I don't think the customer will care how big your lawnmower is as long as you provide top quality service. Be on time and pay attention to detail on the property. I put the money I made into marketing,website,computer and all the software that I could find to help me run the business. Not sayin my way of doing things is better than anyone elses. That's just the way I decided to build my business. Hopefully it will give a different perspective on the options you have in front of you.

Steve
02-01-2012, 01:12 PM
Not sayin my way of doing things is better than anyone elses. That's just the way I decided to build my business.

With what we see is this constant rush to buy the bigger, better, stronger, faster mower, what got you to take a step back from all that and decide to focus on infrastructure?

mcgreen1
02-02-2012, 03:51 AM
With what we see is this constant rush to buy the bigger, better, stronger, faster mower, what got you to take a step back from all that and decide to focus on infrastructure?

Well I didn't want to start off in debt. I like the idea and challenge of building something from nothing. I would rather save up the money earned and buy equipment outright rather than finance. Keep overhead as low as possible. Also I feel without a strong infastructure your business will collapse.

USA Lawn Care
02-02-2012, 06:24 AM
Sounds like you have some business sense about you.
I started with a self propelled 21" mower about 25 years ago.
Never lost a customer because of it. As my accounts increased, it simply became too much work for a 21" so I used my earnings and upgraded to a 33" Troybilt. (I actually still have the mower and it still gets used in a couple spots.) Then went with Skags and a Bobcat rider later on.

Just do a real nice job, gain the customer's trust in you and you will be fine. Customers don't care about the size of the mower....it's how you use it.:D

Oh....and since you seem to be smart.....talk with your insurance agent and get insured.........like right now.

eMCeeW
02-02-2012, 09:16 AM
I suppose the idea of not looking professional is what concerns me most. I can walk behind any mower be it a 21" or a 32". My plan all along has been to start with my 21" personal mower, I came here looking for advice and it seems like everyone has started the same way. Thanks for the advice and encouragement. I am really looking forward to doing this for a living. My first job was helping a guy running his own lawncare business. I had another job later in highschool doing lawncare. Many people dream of starting thier own business and I'm taking a chance. Wish me luck! By the way I am insured! Steve, this site is amazing. I can find almost anything on here and if I can't I can ask. Thank you.

USA Lawn Care
02-02-2012, 02:38 PM
I always tell people that the reason I jumped BACK into this business (after being out of it for a while) is that it is one of the few businesses that I feel is recession proof. You want to be in a business that people either 1) don't want to do....or.....2) simply can't do.

Regardless of the economy, the grass will grow.
Regardless of the economy, my 73 year old mother who lives in a house which has a yard will need her grass cut. The older generation is getting larger and larger. Go find yourself a bunch of people like my mom. They are not hard to find.

While driving around, simply take a look around. What do you see? Grass everywhere. Do not make excuses like "well....with the economy...." to say why you are not working today. If you are not working in your lawn business then you simply have not marketed enough and if it came down to walking to every house in your city and knocking on the door or introducing yourself to everyone you can meet or emailing everyone to let them know you are in business to gain business then that is what you have to do.

Now...because you have a 21" push mower, that's not the issue. Present yourself as professional as you can....look neat...clean....and if you are the first one to knock on the door you can gain business just like the bigger companies out there. Just get out there and hustle and contact everyone you know (and I do mean everyone you know) to keep your business out front so they call you.

It's recession proof. Some might disagree. It's not drought proof. Work smart. Pay with cash (when you upgrade to the larger mower) that way when the drought does hit, you're gear is paid for.

Best of luck. Get out there and get some business because there is a crap load of it out there....it's February and the chaos is about to begin!