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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

Going Strong this year


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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  #1  
Old 02-04-2013, 08:51 PM
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Default Going Strong this year

Hello everyone. First post on here! I'm 20 doing my thing, I've been an outdoors person since I was little and came to conclusion that I love landscaping. Last year, I worked for 2 different landscaping companies. As bad as it sounds, I was fired from both. First one was in the spring from March to June doing residential landscaping. I had a very minor accident in a stake bed dump on some very high end property. Over the summer last year, I stayed busy doing random misc. landscape overhauls. I was getting too stressed at the end of summer because pay wasn't cutting it so I hit craigslist again for some job openings. Second company was from September to October doing commercial work. (In nice terms it was a crappily run company and terrible pay) While working for them in the fall, I slowed my work down to 5 yards a week one day a week. I stopped all landscape work because I didn't have time. Since being fired, I have gone legal with a company name of Kyle E. Taylor Enterprise LLC. Right now, I have a daily driver 05 F-350 powerstroke $15,000, a used early 2000's 7 1/2' by 12' trailer $500, a little wonder push blower scored at an auction for $650, my old at home Honda self propelled mower payed for years ago, a yard sale special Honda push mower, a crappy Ryobi weed whacker, a new Redmax Maxtreme string trimmer $410, Redmax 7150 backpack blower for $480, and currently no mower. I am working on getting a Scag Tiger Cub from a friend of mine. I did great in the fall wrapping up lawn mowing, aerating, and fall clean ups. All my equipment I have has been payed off by the more work I do slowing growing my inventory. I even went and got a new Fisher MM 2 off truck assembly for $4,000. The truck came with the wiring kit. I am from the seacoast of NH and this year has been the second year in a row of a bust. We have had 4 3" storms since Christmas. I did great building the right amount of snow customers but I just can't get the work. What I am having a small issue with right now is getting paid. It's taking some people way too long. Also, diesels are a money sucker getting fixed. I just got slammed with an $850 bill for the truck today. What's hurting me so much is the non consistant amount of work. You just can't rely on snow. Question for others is how do you stay busy? I was hoping to make enough to pay off the plow and then some for a nice used mower. I have started advertising on craigslist for the new year, but next year will be my official year. Any tips I greatly appreciate it. It's hard to run your own full time job!

Check out my work below:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=ea2f3c39f3
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Kyle E. Taylor Enterprise LLC.
Landscape Maintenance and Construction

Last edited by 02intlbluebird; 02-04-2013 at 08:56 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2013, 09:05 PM
SECTLANDSCAPING SECTLANDSCAPING is offline
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
You cant make it snow. So the next best thing is seasonal plow customers. This way they pay if it snows or not. Its harder to do this with residential then commercial but its possible. I try to get about 75% seasonal and 25% per push but the last few years I been at 90-95% seasonal.

You shouldnt look at it as running a full time job. Its a business. A business goal is to make money. A job is to work.
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2013, 09:16 PM
Cashin H&P Cashin H&P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02intlbluebird View Post
Hello everyone. First post on here! I'm 20 doing my thing, I've been an outdoors person since I was little and came to conclusion that I love landscaping. Last year, I worked for 2 different landscaping companies. As bad as it sounds, I was fired from both. First one was in the spring from March to June doing residential landscaping. I had a very minor accident in a stake bed dump on some very high end property. Over the summer last year, I stayed busy doing random misc. landscape overhauls. I was getting too stressed at the end of summer because pay wasn't cutting it so I hit craigslist again for some job openings. Second company was from September to October doing commercial work. (In nice terms it was a crappily run company and terrible pay) While working for them in the fall, I slowed my work down to 5 yards a week one day a week. I stopped all landscape work because I didn't have time. Since being fired, I have gone legal with a company name of Kyle E. Taylor Enterprise LLC. Right now, I have a daily driver 05 F-350 powerstroke $15,000, a used early 2000's 7 1/2' by 12' trailer $500, a little wonder push blower scored at an auction for $650, my old at home Honda self propelled mower payed for years ago, a yard sale special Honda push mower, a crappy Ryobi weed whacker, a new Redmax Maxtreme string trimmer $410, Redmax 7150 backpack blower for $480, and currently no mower. I am working on getting a Scag Tiger Cub from a friend of mine. I did great in the fall wrapping up lawn mowing, aerating, and fall clean ups. All my equipment I have has been payed off by the more work I do slowing growing my inventory. I even went and got a new Fisher MM 2 off truck assembly for $4,000. The truck came with the wiring kit. I am from the seacoast of NH and this year has been the second year in a row of a bust. We have had 4 3" storms since Christmas. I did great building the right amount of snow customers but I just can't get the work. What I am having a small issue with right now is getting paid. It's taking some people way too long. Also, diesels are a money sucker getting fixed. I just got slammed with an $850 bill for the truck today. What's hurting me so much is the non consistant amount of work. You just can't rely on snow. Question for others is how do you stay busy? I was hoping to make enough to pay off the plow and then some for a nice used mower. I have started advertising on craigslist for the new year, but next year will be my official year. Any tips I greatly appreciate it. It's hard to run your own full time job!

Check out my work below:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=ea2f3c39f3

Im just west of you. Im over in bedford. Nice to see some local guys on here.
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2013, 09:22 PM
Cashin H&P Cashin H&P is offline
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I should also add im also 20. Im going into my second year owning my company.
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  #5  
Old 02-04-2013, 10:50 PM
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02intlbluebird 02intlbluebird is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cashin home and property View Post
I should also add im also 20. Im going into my second year owning my company.
Cool! I saw your truck photos and did catch that your from Bedford.


I guess I should rephrase and say I run my own business and I can't keep it out of my mind 24-7

I have been thinking a lot about how I can achieve the best this year. One thing that came up was a Ford mason dump truck. I love mulching and can bang those types of jobs out quick. The only thing that slows me down it that I truck it in my pick up. I have since put in a tool box eliminating space. It will also hurt my wallet if I have to add a second commercial truck on my coverage but I was thinking just use the dump truck instead of my pick up. I also like hardscape work and stone dust and rock just can't be handled in the truck. A lot of people tell me to get a dump insert or dump bed on the truck but i'd have to give up my personal daily driver for an electric dump. It's crazy how many things you can thing about over and over. A friend of mine has a flat bed stake side on his 350. Another person I know has a Downeaster insert. I'd just hate trucking around with extra weight.
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Landscape Maintenance and Construction

Last edited by 02intlbluebird; 02-04-2013 at 10:52 PM.
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2013, 10:52 AM
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Hi Kyle,

Welcome to our forum!

Quote:
Last year, I worked for 2 different landscaping companies.
What lessons do you feel you learned from working at those two other companies that you can now apply to yours? Were there any do's or don'ts that stood out to you?
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2013, 11:23 AM
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Hi Steve.

Well I can say that I really do miss my first compamy that I worked for. It was high end residential clientel and our work was so precise. I was in the landscaping portion of the company planting lots of shrubs to huge Norways. We learned techniques such as preparing for our work, example putting down a tarp under the truck before raising the bed to scoop mulch. I learned a lot of quick tips of how to properly face the shrub and not to dig too deep. The neck has to be level with the ground. Before starting this job, I couldn't tell you how to turn on a Redmax. This company taught me a lot of quick pattern skills like how to quickly blow a yard in a grid line pattern. The second company I worked for was strictly doing commercial mowing property maintenance. I learned a lot of string trimming skills like horizontal trimming out garden beds. Also picking up trash and debris on properties. All of this knowledge I felt made me better at my work.

I can't pick out any negatives from my first job. But the second job frustrated me so bad because of they way it was run. You can break it down to never washing the dump trucks, to cleaning out the insides of the trucks, to having a junky and messy shop. The only on job site negatives from the second job was that their was no leadership, no one wanted to work together, which made things short fused and in term, have things be done more than once.
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  #8  
Old 02-06-2013, 11:47 AM
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With all those lessons learned, do you feel you can manage your business better because of it?

Do you have a top 5 do's and don't when it comes to running a business you could share with others who are just starting out?
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2013, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
With all those lessons learned, do you feel you can manage your business better because of it?

Do you have a top 5 do's and don't when it comes to running a business you could share with others who are just starting out?
I definately thing that because of getting a taste of 2 different companies and their approach, it betters how I can run my gig.

It has showed me how to be mature and responsible to my customers, be professional. Communication is key and it eats up the customers. Show commitment to your schedule and be there! They are always right and if their is an issue, do offer a different way to hit your goal. And most important, work like a horse and get it done! I have gotten a lot off comments on how my friends and I work hard and are dedicated.

Don't get behind on your work schedule. One thing that stressed me out was that I would got so swamped with work and couldn't keep up right with the schedule. Don't scam them. Some may be hard asses on you but in the long run, if all you do is scam the customer, bad word of mouth about your business will catch up on you. Don't walk away from unfinished work all messy. Clean up and make the work place orderly and safe. Spend a couple extra bucks for caution tapes and mark out stone dust piles and stacked bricks with cones for saftey of your product. Don't travel at a risk. Always secure down your equipment and do a quick vehicle inspection with all your lights and engine fluids. I have gotten bagged by my own employees in my town for a light out on my trailer. Best of all, don't let your frustration get a hold of you. Let it out once you leave the job site!
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:52 AM
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One thing that stressed me out was that I would got so swamped with work and couldn't keep up right with the schedule.
If you do get behind, how do you handle it all to get your schedule back on track?
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