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View Full Version : New kid is HUNGRY!!!


Cuttin' Up
06-21-2012, 08:30 PM
Ok, so I live in a well to do southern college town of maybe pop. 40k. Just outside of town there are many prominent estates and farms. There are maybe four or five small towns and two small/medium lakes within 30 minutes. I already work for some older couples who are struggling with their HUGE yards. I'm sure there are more out there. I also mow 3 yard for my landlord after work. I'm very charismatic and everyone I work with loves me because I work hard, give them respect and make them laugh. Heat index can be 105 like today and I will never complain just keep on workin' with a smile on my face!

Can I start in this business as a two man operation spending 20k+ right off the bat for equipment (used truck, used trailer, used mowers, etc)? Is that too much? I'm young and single (24) and live pretty dang frugal so I don't need to NET a ton. I have maybe 25k in assets I can draw from so I don't need to go into debt. I'm looking for a friend who already has something to bring to the table (truck, trailer, mower, cash). Can I even start 2 man? I'M HUNGRY!!! Thanks guys.

WorkForMySelf
06-21-2012, 09:11 PM
I started a little over 2 months ago with a s10 and a mower that broke on my first job so i bought my customers mower lol. I have made about 10k so far but I do tree work also and go door to door looking for work and I live right outside a major city. Its a little late to get lawn contracts but if you have a will then there is always a way.

Hedgemaster
06-21-2012, 09:51 PM
Man, I think you could make a killing if you find someone who works well with you.

I work alone and I'm seriously restricted by the time it takes to do lawns without help.
I started with next to nothing and a push mower.

WorkForMySelf
06-21-2012, 10:01 PM
Man, I think you could make a killing if you find someone who works well with you.

I work alone and I'm seriously restricted by the time it takes to do lawns without help.
I started with next to nothing and a push mower.

Yeah the margin for profit is really high when you are not paying a laborer. Even making the underbidding mistakes that all new people make are only as serious as wasting your own time (not the cash to pay another guy :eek::eek:)

Steve
06-22-2012, 10:44 AM
Welcome to our forum!

Are there smaller steps you could take where you don't have to commit $20k right off the bat?

w0283767
06-22-2012, 12:33 PM
I think buying brand new equipment is not a smart idea starting out. You should be able to get everything you need for around 5k Plus cost of truck. Going all in can be a huge pitfall for new businesses so just keep that in mind.

SECTLANDSCAPING
06-22-2012, 12:48 PM
I think buying brand new equipment is not a smart idea starting out. You should be able to get everything you need for around 5k Plus cost of truck. Going all in can be a huge pitfall for new businesses so just keep that in mind.

I agree... I have bought all used equipment for 3 years. I even bought a few real nice things off some guys that started out and couldnt cut it.

I'm on the way to look at a 2011 exmark lazer z with 43 hours. Same story as above.

shadrach
06-22-2012, 02:48 PM
Don't forget to budget for advertising.

Hedgemaster
06-22-2012, 04:51 PM
Regarding the "used vs new" thing...

If you HAVE money, you can buy new.

If you HAVE money, you can buy used.

If you DON'T have money, sometimes new is the more affordable option, as you can make payments. That's what I had to do for my walk behind.

As for all my other stuff, I bought NEW because I didn't want to worry every day that my equipment may die.
As I go forward, I may buy some used items, but when starting out, I wanted new.


If my man has twenty grand, he's gonna be able to do just fine.

Cuttin' Up
06-22-2012, 07:21 PM
Ok so I understand 20k is a lot but I think I have to buy a zero turn for the yards here. Some yards would take me FOREVER walkin. I'm just trying to figure out if lawn care business is profitable. Trust me I'm not gonna drop money without lookin at it from every angle.

There are smaller yards but I feel like I'd really cut myself off to some other opportunities and have stiffer competition from the all bajillion kids with push mowers.

Cuttin' Up
06-22-2012, 07:26 PM
Probably won't happen if I can't find someone to partner up with anyways. How cheap can I get a good used zero turn?

willshome
06-22-2012, 07:43 PM
Probably won't happen if I can't find someone to partner up with anyways. How cheap can I get a good used zero turn?

a lot of us are 'one man show'
ride or walk behind?
What size deck?
If your the one using it you could use a homeowners z-turn rider

SECTLANDSCAPING
06-22-2012, 07:51 PM
Probably won't happen if I can't find someone to partner up with anyways. How cheap can I get a good used zero turn?

A partner isnt a good thing.

You would have to look in your area for what mowers are going for. I just looked at a 1 yr old lazer that the owner wanted $6500 for. Even though he only put 43 hours on it. He didnt know how to operate it. This guy must have sideswiped and ran over everything. I offered him $4000 and he didnt take it.

I see them in good condition anywhere from $2500-$5000. Theres a lot of factors to consider.

There can be money in landscaping but its slow to start and time consuming. My first year I tried to do it part time and barely broke even.

Cuttin' Up
06-22-2012, 08:01 PM
a lot of us are 'one man show'
ride or walk behind?
What size deck?
If your the one using it you could use a homeowners z-turn rider

Rider maybe 48" deck. That's what I cut a couple with right now for the old man. 48" 20hp kawasaki bobcat. I like it but I'm not sure what the best size mower would be.


A partner isnt a good thing.

You would have to look in your area for what mowers are going for. I just looked at a 1 yr old lazer that the owner wanted $6500 for. Even though he only put 43 hours on it. He didnt know how to operate it. This guy must have sideswiped and ran over everything. I offered him $4000 and he didnt take it.

I see them in good condition anywhere from $2500-$5000. Theres a lot of factors to consider.

There can be money in landscaping but its slow to start and time consuming. My first year I tried to do it part time and barely broke even.

Why is a partnership bad? Do you have an experience? I understand that you need more work for 2 people but you can also split start up costs 50/50.

SECTLANDSCAPING
06-22-2012, 08:45 PM
Why is a partnership bad? Do you have an experience? I understand that you need more work for 2 people but you can also split start up costs 50/50.

Theres no way to insure both parties put in the same amount of time. Whether its paperwork, bidding, advertising, etc. Then at any giving time the other can cut your throat and steal your customers right underneath you. I had employees try this that didnt know nothing about the business end at all. Your partner can empty the bank account at any time and theres not much you can do about it. Running a business is a full time job even if you work a few hours a week. Theres so much to do behind the scenes.

My friends family owns a restaurant. The owner owed taxes and put the business in her sisters name and continued to run it. This lasted about a year until a fight over a employee. The manager tried to buy the restaurant back but the new owner refused. The new owner then trashed the place and threaten to take the equipment away. The former owner locked the business up from the inside and closed the restaurant for a week. Then reopened under a different name. Now there both fighting for control of the place.

At least with a restaurant you can physically occupy the place. You cant exactly do that with lawn accounts.

Friendships end, relationships, marriage, families, why would a partnership last?

Look at any other business or just even facebook.

ringahding1
06-22-2012, 10:32 PM
10 years ago I started my business with a mere $1,000(estimate..not much more if the case) Today that has changed. Now we have several lawn mowers, 2 of which are valued @ $9k....
I started with a John Deere lawn mower older than I was @ the time, a mini-van and a boat trailer....I suppose it depends on the individuals passion & drive to make it WORK....Flyers, website & trucks with company name have boosted business the past 2 seasons

Cuttin' Up
06-24-2012, 01:10 PM
Well, I need to do ALOT of thinking before I come to a conclusion on what will work best for me. All hypothetical till next season anyways.

Steve
06-25-2012, 11:46 AM
I need to do ALOT of thinking before I come to a conclusion on what will work best for me.

Keep us posted on what you come up with.