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LikeAPuma
06-19-2012, 05:19 PM
Hey all! First, thanks to everyone for the wealth of information you have all posted on these forums!

I'm currently looking into starting my own lawn care business with a family member, but since we're both new to this (besides our personal yards), I've turned to the Internet for some more info.

Currently, we have access to a scag & a trailer, for the low cost of keeping it a relatives lawn taken care of. I figure that gives us a chance to save up & purchase our owner mower rather than starting out in the hole (too much).

I'm in Northeast CT & am contemplating if we should dive head first into the remainder of the season, or save and plan to make a strong showing next spring.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, and I hope to learn more on here, and maybe even contribute where I can!

w0283767
06-19-2012, 06:07 PM
Hey welcome to the forum! I am kind of in the same boat. I am working on purchasing my equipment now and learning the ropes. I plan to hit it hard in the spring of next year and am going to try and get some fall cleanup jobs as well. In the meantime I am working on developing website, logo, flyers for next year, and other various forms that I will use to run business.

LikeAPuma
06-19-2012, 08:27 PM
Thanks for the welcome! Ya, my cousin wants to jump right in & go, but I'd rather have everything set & in place. And of course, there's leaf remove & snow removal to consider!

Steve
06-20-2012, 10:56 AM
Welcome to our forum!

Why not get your feet wet now and scale up as you go? If you can perform the service you want to sell, start marketing it to people you know, neighbors, and other members of your community.

stevef1201
06-20-2012, 11:56 AM
A faamous prcrastinator one said - Never start today what you can put off till tommarow. He NEVER GOT STARTED!!! Yuo have a mower, a triler, I hope a weedeater, edger, and blower. GET TO WORK. FLYERS, ADVERTISING, put it facebook (Your riends and family are a great scource for start up jobs) ask for refferals from them. JUST GET STARTED

w0283767
06-20-2012, 12:02 PM
That is a very good point. My problem is that I don't have a truck yet. I plan on getting a commercial mower and a truck this winter before spring. I bought a backpack blower and am going to start with fall cleanups.

Sprinkler Buddy
06-20-2012, 12:37 PM
I would recommend not having a partner. Just hire the relative as an employee and save yourself the headaches down the road when one of you want out of it.

krzys666
06-20-2012, 04:41 PM
don't have any partners. that is a bad idea.
start now!
you might not get a lot of clients for the rest of this year.
they will however remain with you for the rest of the year, and next year.
this will give you a head start over starting next year.

you will also have a few more advantages.
1) you will have some money saved up.
2) you should have tried some marketing to see what works and what doesn't
3) you will be able to estimate a little easier.
4) you should be more comfortable with giving proposals, selling, and taking with clients

Steve
06-21-2012, 11:21 AM
My problem is that I don't have a truck yet.
http://lawnchat.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/lawnmowerintrunk.jpg

w0283767
06-21-2012, 12:28 PM
Haha! True I just wanted to start out right and look professional. That is an option though.

Apex Lawn & Landscape
06-21-2012, 02:00 PM
You said your new to the field other than ur own yard... Maybe take the remainder of this season and work for another company and learn the ropes!!! There is a lot you can learn that will get you ahead and stay a float ! That's my advice, also , don't pass out flyers, waste of money!! Make business cards ( even magnetic ones ) that potential customers can put on fridges, tool boxes etc.. The flyer will be glanced at and tossed. The business card can be given face to face and tell them " I'll be in business next yr, call me for a free estimate, I'm looking to establish a customer base so my prices will be fair" . Don't take it the wrong way but if you don't have a truck yet, you don't need to be starting. Get some experience and save some cash brother! Best of luck.

w0283767
06-21-2012, 03:00 PM
I would work for another lawn care company if I could but I have a different situation. I have a good job in banking and want to do this mainly as a hobby and to make a few extra bucks on the weekends. I enjoy the outdoors and miss working outside sometimes. That is why I am holding off until next year. I could buy the truck and equip now if I wanted but am not in a rush. Thinking I can get better deals on a used ztr this winter.

I have a lot of contacts through banking and can get commercial clients from my network but want to make sure I am ready and comfortable with equip.

PineHillLawn
06-21-2012, 04:03 PM
Everyone wants to look professional right outta the gate. But no one, hardly ever, just walks into a full set up and has all the best of the best. Start slow and work your way into it. Start immediatly.
Do a craigslist ad for your area, and make two or three ads and keep reposting them daily. Make up flyers and door hangers and hand them out in your spare time. Get a couple of shirts made with a logo and name. These are all inexpensive ways to market yourself in the beginning.
Don't worry about the guy driving next to you in a $40k truck with 3 ZTR's and a walk behind on the trailer. Bet you money he didnt start that way. Focus more on the absoulute best quality you can do and it will pay off. Quality not quantity is key when starting. If you do sheit work, you wont have to worry about getting more jobs. Be smart and don't lowball, be competitive but not don't sell your efforts short. And by all means know your costs. Knowing how much you have to make to just break even is essential to staying on the road and not becoming a "fly by night" outfit.

w0283767
06-21-2012, 08:11 PM
Very insightful. Thanks for the info.

Apex Lawn & Landscape
06-21-2012, 09:26 PM
I agree with Pine hill on most points but I feel his info was somewhat contradicting . "focus more on the quality not quantity" how do you know quality when you have NO experience? " if you do sheit work you won't have to worry about getting jobs"...how do you know if your work is good? How short do I trim the gold thread? When should I trim the lace leaf maple? Why are my holly bushes dying off , not blooming? Your customers are gonna ask you questions as to why or how...gain some knowledge ( even though it's your weekend hobby) no you shouldn't go out and buy a 2012 Silverado 2500 and two riders, but you should atleast have a truck that you can utilize ....customers won't take you serious if your doin a mulch job out of your Honda crv. Please don't take offense to my comments as I am only trying to help. I started with a ford ranger and a 6x10 trailer 3 yrs ago, I now have a silverado 1500 -2500-dump truck- 2 trailers -2 ztrs and a walk with a customer base of over 100, but I worked for a guy learning what and what not to do for 6 yrs prior. Best of luck.

w0283767
06-22-2012, 12:37 PM
I appreciate your insight as well. I am on this forum to learn so I don't want or need any advice to be candy coated.

SECTLANDSCAPING
06-22-2012, 01:00 PM
I wouldnt start anything without a truck.

You mention snow removal. Even to shovel someones driveway you need 4x4 to get there. Theres no money in shoveling anyways, for that matter doing driveways.

And for leaf cleanups the blow it in the woods jobs are few and far between. The majority want them hauled off.

If I had a good paying office job I wouldve stayed there. This business is cutthroat. If you tell a client on tuesday you cant do it till saturday you wont get the job. If your working just weekends youll be lucky to cover your expenses.

Hedgemaster
06-22-2012, 10:25 PM
Who needs a truck? How about a Buick?

http://i1144.photobucket.com/albums/o483/OakLeafLawnService/Misc%20Random%20Images/WoodenTrailer.jpg


No, I didn't find this on the interwebs, I see this guy working when I'm out on my Friday route. I took the pic a week or so ago while at a stop sign.

That "trailer" looks like something you'd see in Mexico. LOL!

SECTLANDSCAPING
06-22-2012, 10:56 PM
That "trailer" looks like something you'd see in Mexico. LOL!

lol... If he had a truck he wouldnt even need that crummy trailer for the equipment he has.