PDA

View Full Version : New Member


Nikon
11-02-2007, 05:56 PM
Hello, My name is Tony I am 27 years of age. I just started this April with my Honda HRX217HXA 21" self propelled lawn mower. I had 2 houses now I got a good 18. Next year will bring me into a 36" Hydrocut Ferris 36" + a trailer. I aslo work full time at 9 mile rent all, where I run the counter and customer service, I have been in that business for nearly 8 years now and used to cut lawns with my father nearly 12 years ago. The money is a good taste so far and hoping to keep this as a part time situation to help pay off my debt that I aquired after inherting 3 siblings from my wife's side when her mother died nearly 5 years ago. " we were both 22 and 23 at the time. We also have 3 small children of our own. Here is a little information about who I am. I have not decided on a company name and just been using my personal name so far. I throw everything in the back of the chevy 2000 s10 and get the job done.

Steve
11-02-2007, 08:35 PM
Hi Tony!

Thank you for saying hello and joining our forum! What a great story you have! Could you post a picture of your current setup? I'd love to see it!

How do you like working at the rental center? How does that compare with running your own business?

Are you planning on going fulltime one day with your lawn care business? How many customers do you feel you would need to do that and when would you like to do that by?

pmblair
11-03-2007, 12:10 AM
Welcome! We love hearing other people's stories and such! Are you looking to expand your business if and when you go fulltime and hire people, or do you want to stay small enough that you can do it all on your own?

Nikon
11-03-2007, 02:28 PM
Ill get a photo soon of my equipment, waiting for the camera to charge http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif . I do feel that sometime I would like to go full time. I pull near 30K a year working at the rental store, sometimes its hectic dealing with theft of equipment and prosecuting people. In order for me to go full time on the lawn service, I would atleast need 60 or 80 houses to attempt going that route. I would probably would hire an addiatonal helper or crew so that the business can run its self. Although it is hard to find good people that you can trust with out being there. Most cases you can barley trust your on family wich is a sad thing.

The rental is okay like I mention before its hectic. I do like helping customers solving or fixing the situation they are in wether its with lawn care or other things, since we do rent out lawn equipment such as lawn mowers, 21", 48" walkbehind or 61" yazoo kees rider, other applications like lawn dethatchers and areators, lawn rollers and broadcast spredders.

We do a lot of construction rentals as well. *

We are also a STIHL product dealer. Wich I do 90% of the sales there but don't get no commision on the items I sell so lets hope I get a decent bonus "wishfull thinking again".

Steve
11-03-2007, 09:52 PM
Quote[/b] ] I would probably would hire an addiatonal helper or crew so that the business can run its self.
This is a fascinating point. Quite often this will come up but I dont think I have ever seen this actually happen. I do wonder if it is possible. It seems as soon as someone has a grasp on how the business works, they spin off and make their own business.

Do you have any good buddies that maybe you could partner up with and split the job load? Would that help the transition? Or even family members?

Nikon
11-04-2007, 10:13 AM
I do have my brother who needs his licsense to drive prior but I could always tag him along the route to learn the houses and maybe have him and another person to cut the route. If he ever got his license, he's nearly 25 now =/

I would have to give good pay to him at that point.

Through my time at the rental store I have seen many people come in working for someone else's service and a month later here he comes back in his own truck and equipment running his own business.

Looks to me as if this lawn care service is something very easy to jump into. Start small and work your way up just like I am doing.

My father owned his lawn care service nearly 12 years ago and had it going for a long time. Well he had given the company to my cousin about 8 years ago when he got remarried and moved out of state. at the time I was working at the rental store Button's Rent It, and I needed the security of a paycheck since my wife and I lived together and had one in the oven.

I am actually glad that I wasn't given the company because I feel much better that I am doing it on my own and my own way. Even though it would have been decent income business.
From what I understand he was ranking 10K to 15K a month I remember cutting 25 to 35 houses 5 days a week and if not more. My father had my brother and I and another older guy work for him, and evantually my cousin got in on the action.

Nikon
11-05-2007, 06:20 PM
Just incase everyone is wondering what state I live in it is Michigan and the season of lawn service just about up. Hoping to get some yard cleanups for some christmass shopping =).

Steve
11-06-2007, 03:17 AM
Well keep us posted on what is going on! I hope you are able to bring in a lot of fall cleanups http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

LOUROCK
11-06-2007, 06:12 PM
Hey Tony, I wish the best of luck in the business! I my self started my small lawn care business a little over a year ago and about to reach the 30 account mark soon. This year was great for me thank god! But next year things are going to be alot more serious. I recomend you get insurance, and get your self incorporated. That will help alot in the advertising aspect and will help you aquire new customers as well. Remember you will be paying taxes and you will be able to tax writeoff business expences such as fuel, advertising,ETC...Remember to purchase the GOPHER SOFTWARE, WICH I *WILL PURCHASE FOR MY SELF FOR CHRISTMAS !!http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif ;)

Nikon
11-20-2007, 11:00 PM
Can anyone help me on a how to come up with a company name , Tony Artan's Lawn Care Services is kinda well everyone else I suppose =)



help , tony

Steve
11-21-2007, 08:37 AM
Hi Tony,

How about "Artan Lawn Care Services"

Nikon
11-21-2007, 12:07 PM
Think my cousin took that name already =)
Thought about it =)

Steve
11-21-2007, 12:10 PM
What about "Artan Lawn Care of Your Town"?

Fill in whatever your town is. That could create the illusion that this is a big company with different branches in different towns.

Is that something that appeals to you at all?

Nikon
11-24-2007, 12:34 PM
Was thinking of doing , Artan Services.
or something I guess now I just need a fancy looking logo.

I can't wait till I get that new mower I posted about in the photos forum.

Apparently Yazoo Kees been around for a long time.

Mower Information (http://www.yazookees.com)

Steve
11-24-2007, 02:05 PM
We have a bunch of very talented forum members that I am sure could design the perfect logo for you.

ABurlison
11-24-2007, 03:50 PM
You mentioned getting Incorporated, what benefit besides seperating your personal finances wth your business ones does getting incorportated do for a small business of our type?? And, how would one go about getting this done, sounds expensive.

Steve
11-24-2007, 04:06 PM
Hi Andy,

Quote[/b] ]You mentioned getting Incorporated, what benefit besides seperating your personal finances wth your business ones does getting incorportated do for a small business of our type?? And, how would one go about getting this done, sounds expensive.

Good question.

What are the benefits of incorporating? (http://business-law.freeadvice.com/corporations/benefits_incorporating.htm) - The single most important reason people use the corporate form of doing business is to safeguard the personal assets of the owners ** the shareholders (or stockholders) of the corporation ** against potential claims of creditors. Sole proprietors and general partners in a partnership are personally liable for all debts and obligations of the business, such as loans, accounts payable, and defective products. Stockholders typically are not liable for ordinary debts and obligations.

You can incorporate yourself and I don't think it costs more than a couple hundred bucks.

One of the big reasons we see lawn caer operators incorporate is because they currently have personal assets they want to protect before they get started or their business has become large enough where they have acquired personal assets they want to protect.

What's your view on this?

AMW Graphics
11-25-2007, 07:01 PM
Welcome Tony, and good luck!

If you need anything let me know.

Thanks,
Tony W.

Nikon
11-30-2007, 07:34 PM
The longer I am at the rental store the more I want to go full time on the lawn industry I wish that I didn't have the debt that I have and need the job at the moment, I am disapointed on how things are being handling 99% of the time the rental job is fine but when you have a customer who has no respect for you and the service your providing and the owner/boss allows the harrasement because that person owes the company money and is allowed to take items on a pay on return order and has a balance already owed is really agravating. The way I look at it, if that person is causing a problem he's no longer welcome to come and use our equipment to make him money cut him off, make the person pay the balance or send him to collections and be done with.

I was ready to call it quits. Although I think my boss just realaized that I won't take that customers bull**** anymore and gave me the time off that I requested near 2 months ago now, maybe he really does need me, wich I know everyone is replacable but now I have near 8 years in the business and close the store monday, tuesday, wednesday, friday and every other saturday - yeah I get to open once.

Just getting some stress out to those who really seem nice and carring.


Thanks Tony

Steve
11-30-2007, 09:44 PM
Hi Tony,

I am sorry this is going on, but in a sense it does fuel your fire to do your own business on a larger scale.

It's also a great reminder of how to deal with customers in the future when they are abusive to your staff.

Have you thought of ways you can speed up the process of going full time with your business?

Gorilla Lawn Care
12-13-2007, 09:57 AM
Hey Tony, Hang in there dude.

I'm starting out kind of like you with little equipment and the hope of having bigger things in a years time. *Most of the time it's the crazist situations that propell us to bigger success. *By midsummer when your running you own business and all that money and effort is yours, you'll be totally laughing at those eight years. *Just keep plugging away at it and learn from their mistakes on customer service and how to run your business. Total freedom is just a few months away. Good luck with some fall clean ups

realhuntin
12-13-2007, 07:16 PM
Quote[/b] (Nikon @ Nov. 21 2007,12:00)]Can anyone help me *on a how to come up with a company name , Tony Artan's Lawn Care Services is kinda well everyone else I suppose =)



help , tony
Hi Tony and welcome to the Gopher Forum

How About calling your company:
"Full Spectrum Lawn Services"

with the slogan:
"Beautifing Your Piece Of Earth"


Just a tought.
Tim

Nikon
12-15-2007, 01:03 PM
Thanks a bunch I am hanging in here and doing some salt and snow removal now that the season is here, didn't get to much to do with fall cleanups but I still pocketed 320.00 from 3 jobs so it work out well, out of the 18 clients thus far. A few have requested salt and snow this year and I never done it for someone else for a fee and I am kinda wondering on what to charge. The houses are pretty small and only want the front and walks done. I was kinda thinking atleast 25.00 for both snow and salt no greater then 4" of snow and just for salt alone would be 10.00. I am anticapating that total time would not be longer then 30min at each job, the salting would probably take 10 mins at the most.

I don't have a plow or a salter since I'm not doing driveways, but I do have a salt spreader that I got to make my job a lot easier.

If you have any suggestions please feel free.

you can contact me on yahoo user nikon_n3 ( some other person stole my name) Nikon *http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif



http://www.saltdogg.com/Salt_Spreader/walkBehind.html


I also live in Michigan, Hazel Park if anyone cares to know.

realhuntin
12-15-2007, 01:32 PM
Quote[/b] (Nikon @ Dec. 15 2007,2:03)]Thanks a bunch I am hanging in here and doing some salt and snow removal now that the season is here, didn't get to much to do with fall cleanups but I still pocketed 320.00 from 3 jobs so it work out well, out of the 18 clients thus far. A few have requested salt and snow this year and I never done it for someone else for a fee and I am kinda wondering on what to charge. The houses are pretty small and only want the front and walks done. I was kinda thinking atleast 25.00 for both snow and salt no greater then 4" of snow and just for salt alone would be 10.00. I am anticapating that total time would not be longer then 30min at each job, the salting would probably take 10 mins at the most.

I don't have a plow or a salter since I'm not doing driveways, but I do have a salt spreader that I got to make my job a lot easier.

If you have any suggestions please feel free.

you can contact me on yahoo user nikon_n3 ( some other person stole my name) Nikon *http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
$25 is ok but I charge $35 min for 1/2 hour $1 per min after first 1/2 hour. Salt/Ice melt is extra $10.00 and leave a 5 gal. bucket of salt for them to use if you can't get to them right away on the next snow fall.

Equipment to use on resi customers is a medium 24" to larger 30"+ walkbehind snow thrower. This way if the car is in the drive you can get around it with out it having to be moved.

Larger jobs Long Drives a Quad with plow and spreader works real nice. Charge more for the quad jobs.

hope this helps

Nikon
12-15-2007, 02:44 PM
yeah that pretty much puts everything in perspective. I know I wasn't very far off with pricing. I was thinking just the 10.00 for salt though when we get ice coming and so forth.

I think next year my lawn rates are going to be going up to 18.00 a lawn, since thats pretty much the going rate. Some companies are even charging 28.00 dollars a cut for some of the properties that I am doing. I just didn't advertise since I work full time at the rental store as well.

Nikon
12-15-2007, 06:18 PM
Woot made a phone call and got snow removal job. 25 for the snow removal and 10.00 for salting.

job total will be 35 min max.


Thanks for your information.

AMW Graphics
12-15-2007, 06:31 PM
Quote[/b] (Nikon @ Nov. 30 2007,8:34)]The longer I am at the rental store the more I want to go full time on the lawn industry I wish that I didn't have the debt that I have and need the job at the moment, I am disapointed on how things are being handling 99% of the time the rental job is fine but when you have a customer who has no respect for you and the service your providing and the owner/boss allows the harrasement because that person owes the company money and is allowed to take items on a pay on return order and has a balance already owed is really agravating. The way I look at it, if that person is causing a problem he's no longer welcome to come and use our equipment to make him money cut him off, make the person pay the balance or send him to collections and be done with.

I was ready to call it quits. Although I think my boss just realaized that I won't take that customers bull**** anymore and gave me the time off that I requested near 2 months ago now, maybe he really does need me, wich I know everyone is replacable but now I have near 8 years in the business and close the store monday, tuesday, wednesday, friday and every other saturday - yeah I get to open once.

Just getting some stress out to those who really seem nice and carring.


Thanks Tony
Tony, Are you doing snow this season?
(plowing)

AMW Graphics
12-15-2007, 06:33 PM
Quote[/b] (Nikon @ Dec. 15 2007,2:03)]Thanks a bunch I am hanging in here and doing some salt and snow removal now that the season is here, didn't get to much to do with fall cleanups but I still pocketed 320.00 from 3 jobs so it work out well, out of the 18 clients thus far. A few have requested salt and snow this year and I never done it for someone else for a fee and I am kinda wondering on what to charge. The houses are pretty small and only want the front and walks done. I was kinda thinking atleast 25.00 for both snow and salt no greater then 4" of snow and just for salt alone would be 10.00. I am anticapating that total time would not be longer then 30min at each job, the salting would probably take 10 mins at the most.

I don't have a plow or a salter since I'm not doing driveways, but I do have a salt spreader that I got to make my job a lot easier.

If you have any suggestions please feel free.

you can contact me on yahoo user nikon_n3 ( some other person stole my name) Nikon *http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif



http://www.saltdogg.com/Salt_Spreader/walkBehind.html


I also live in Michigan, Hazel Park if anyone cares to know.
Sorry just read this...I have an old commercial customer that needs someone to plow.

Nikon
12-15-2007, 06:41 PM
Where abouts and how large ?


Remember I have 12" heighth and 20" width snow blower and well a new salt spreader " woot "

I got a few houses to do tommarow.

give me a call 248 721 9867

Thanks Tony



oh yeah check this out http://www.grandcentral.com


=)

AMW Graphics
12-15-2007, 07:43 PM
Quote[/b] (Nikon @ Dec. 15 2007,7:41)]Where abouts and how large ?


Remember I have 12" heighth and 20" width snow blower and well a new salt spreader " woot "

I got a few houses to do tommarow.

give me a call 248 721 9867

Thanks Tony



oh yeah check this out http://www.grandcentral.com


=)
They use a snow blower to do it them selves, its small...but you need a plow to do it..i did it for 8 years.

I will keep you in mind if i hear of anything else around you.

I'm off to check that my snow blower is ready for tomorow...lst year i got a new one and i have to keep reminding myself NO 2 cycle mix!
I also have a 20hp tractor w/ plow on it...but never use it, guess i should check that thats in working order too.

Nikon
12-15-2007, 07:57 PM
Well don't be shy give me a call even if you have nothing better to do. I have Verizon , Free nights and weekends please no calls after 10PM and that #er will relay to my cell phone =)


cya and thanks for the offer maybe next year I'll get a plow and tailgate spreader.=) I'm actually looking at one now a Trynex but sill don't got to much cash. =)

OH yeah you can give me a few lawns next year if you get them in Madison Heights, Hazel Park, Royal Oak or Berkley heck even in Pleasant Ridge maybe even in Ferndale .

AMW Graphics
12-15-2007, 08:39 PM
Quote[/b] (Nikon @ Dec. 15 2007,8:57)]Well don't be shy give me a call even if you have nothing better to do. I have Verizon , Free nights and weekends please no calls after 10PM and that #er will relay to my cell phone =)


cya and thanks for the offer maybe next year I'll get a plow and tailgate spreader.=) I'm actually looking at one now a Trynex but sill don't got to much cash. =)

OH yeah you can give me a few lawns next year if you get them in Madison Heights, Hazel Park, Royal Oak or Berkley heck even in Pleasant Ridge maybe even in Ferndale .
You do realize i dont cut lawns, do landscaping, snow, salt, or pressure washing...I USED to...Just a Sign & Graphics Biz now.

But i will let you know if i hear of anything, i still get calls for lawn care and havent cut in 3 years or so.

Do you have a logo yet?
(if so send it to me at tony@amw-graphics.com)
Along with a mailing address...i will send you something and you can let me know what you think.
(If you dont have one, send the address anyway and i will still send you something)

I have a tailgate spreader that i dont need anymore...needs some stuff...the hopper, cover, frame, are good.
I know it needs wiring, a new motor (about $100) and its 50/50 if i still have the control box or not.
(uses 2" hitch)

Nikon
12-15-2007, 08:48 PM
Check you e-mail buddyyyy!>

Nikon
12-17-2007, 06:57 PM
Have you guys ever heard or have used http://www.servicemagic.com ?

Buddy of mine has and using it for carpentry work and for this season snow removal seems he got a 5 or so calls within 2 or 3 hours.


I think its a service with a fee toward the job but it may help for those who are slow and need to get started.

I my self is well booked now for the year since I work full time at the rental store.

Steve
12-18-2007, 07:26 AM
Quote[/b] ]for this season snow removal seems he got a 5 or so calls within 2 or 3 hours.
Has he landed any of these snow removal jobs?

Nikon
12-18-2007, 08:12 PM
Yes he was working till 8pm last night finishing them off, Ron had claimed he had to turn off the service cause he couldn't keep up, he was by himself. I had helped him Sunday was easy with 2 people. I have not used service magic between my 19 customers now =) , 8 of them want snow and that keeps me very busy by myself. and thats an easy few hundred +.

Its amazing on how much work you can get with 8" to 10" of snow will do for you.

I really haven't thought of doing snow but when its here you can bank in some fast cash.

Steve
12-19-2007, 03:09 AM
Well I do thank you for sharing with us your insight. Let us know if you do use it in the future.

accesslawns
12-28-2007, 09:43 PM
I think you have a Great Name for your company already,
ARTANS LAWN SERVICE[B]

accesslawns
12-28-2007, 09:56 PM
Quote[/b] (Nikon @ Dec. 15 2007,3:44)]yeah that pretty much puts everything in perspective. I know I wasn't very far off with pricing. I was thinking just the 10.00 for salt though when we get ice coming and so forth.

I think next year my lawn rates are going to be going up to 18.00 a lawn, since thats pretty much the going rate. Some companies are even charging 28.00 dollars a cut for some of the properties that I am doing. I just didn't advertise since I work full time at the rental store as well.
you might want to think about a service call charge for salting, dont forget your time out to property, gas and so forth is also an expence. I charge $25 service call per residential properties + $10-15 for salt in an ice storm.

Nikon
01-04-2008, 08:50 PM
Since I have chosen a name thanks to AMW SIGNS.

wich is : Artan Outdoor Maintenance
I am filling out the dba form and its asking for a description of business : would I put " lawn mowing and snow removal" in that portion of the form?


Thanks Tony

Steve
01-04-2008, 09:00 PM
Property maintenance or management? That would be more generic.

Nikon
01-04-2008, 09:07 PM
Thanks that makes a lot of sense.