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Jayls
03-04-2013, 07:48 AM
Hello forum my name is Jay and I'm a newbe to the biz this year. My goals are realistic so I plan on a slow and steady approach. I know it'll most likely be a year or two before I see the fruits of my labor. I work a full time job that I don't plan on leaving till I'm comfortable with the lawn care business growth. I work Mon to Fri from 6 till 2, so I plan on working lawns from 2 til sundown and Saturday's. Every thing I read from the forum to the gopher haul books are saying I shouldn't buy box store equipment. I recently was talking to a local landscape biz owner and he said he upgraded his equipment, and he'd sell me his commercial mower for 600 that he said he paid over 3000 for. So I'm going to check it out this week and see if its worth it. But besides the mower I'll be buying every thing else from a box store (Edged, trimmer, hedge trimmer, blower etc) cause this is what my budget will allow.

I'm about to start my advertising campaign this week, door hangers, flyers, business cards and my web site should be up and running by tomorrow. (Www.myqualitylawn.com ) It's my first time building a web site so I would really appreciate any pointers and feed back that will help me improve my site.

In closing I'd like to thank you for taking the time to read my post and all feedback and advice is welcome and appreciated.

Quality Lawn Solutions
Jay

Steve
03-04-2013, 03:23 PM
Hi Jay,

Welcome to our forum. I'd just say get out there in the mix and start making things happen. Meet people. Hand out business cards and over time, you will grow. Work with what ever equipment you can afford to at this early stage and scale it up as needed.

LawnBoy0311
03-05-2013, 02:53 PM
Every thing I read from the forum to the gopher haul books are saying I shouldn't buy box store

If Steve's book and people on here told you to take a loan out for 10K for a new rig, would you do it?

Buy whats in budget for YOU. Just like your costs, only you know whats in budget. Buying a homeowner model may not be the best to buy after a few years in business, but it may be worth it starting out.

Heck, I bought one. I wouldn't think twice about doing it again if I started all over. I bought it brand new, got my feet wet, and didn't have to worry about breakdowns, etc. I also refused to buy some other companies old "backup" mower that could be filled with problems...not something I wanted to deal with after all the work I did advertising my business only to have that major setback.

Research, research, research. Do whats best for you. Not what others say is the best. Forums can have a lot of great info, but also a lot of misleading info.

jymie
03-05-2013, 07:43 PM
Jay,

Read through this thread for some ideas

http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=13299

Jayls
03-06-2013, 06:42 AM
Thanks lawnboy! That's something that I been heavily thinking about. Buying used industrial equipment and then having to worry about break downs. Or just spending 3 or 400 on something new from a box store,while having the sucurity of a warranty. I think for now I'll go the new route.

LawnBoy0311
03-06-2013, 06:55 AM
Like I said though, it's entirely up to you!!!! And what your wallet says!!!

Many people on here suggest buying a used walk behind to start off with. I agree with them to an extent. A used walk behind may last longer and hold up better than a new homeowner ztr. OR it may not. One mans junk COULD be another mans treasure, or one mans junk COULD be another mans nightmare.

I chose new homeowner ztr because I couldn't risk a nightmare. A new mower allowed me to start small, make sure this is what I want to do, and not break the bank or finance. My overhead was small and it allowed me to be stress free, and buy other equipment as needed.

Would I buy a used walk behind or ztr in the future? You bet I would. But at least now with the experience I have I know what to look for in them and a price point I can afford.

Billy Goat
03-06-2013, 08:51 AM
Good luck Jay, all of my equipment is used that I purchased from Craigslist. You can find some good deals if you keep looking on a regular basis. This is my second season in the business. My first season I didnt need any equipment because I was lucky to be a independent subcontractor for another lawncare contractor. I have experience on 72" ZTR's so they would call me when they needed help. Some weeks they needed me for 2-3 days.
Some ask me why dont they hire me, well they dont because I charge them too much but they need me because of my track record.

This season, I hope they will still use me as a backup. Inbetween calls, I hope to get a few small accounts of my own to fill in the gaps. Iam lucky to live in a area with tons of small yards so I really only need the basic equipment. I got two of everything so I got backup if one fails.

Becoming a owner-operator is a whole different ball game. You have to sell yourself and deal with the customers directly. Thats why I joined this forum. I asked alot of questions and got alot of answers, some answers were not actually what I wanted to read but some of these guys on here really know the business and will tell you how it is and you might not like what they have to say.

At the end of the day, if you pull a reasonable profit you must be doing something right. Do not cut corners and try to beat the system. Make sure you operate a legit business because it will catch up to you sooner or later. Make sure you have a license for any service that requires one, have insurance and pay your taxes.