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Introduce Yourself Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!

I need help


Introduce Yourself

Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!
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  #1  
Old 04-15-2008, 07:50 PM
TheDeco TheDeco is offline
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Hello guys, my name is Jason, I am 16 and I am starting a lawn mowing business in my local area. I need a lot of advice and stumbled upon this great looking site.
I decided to start one up because I have been mowing my neighbor's yards and loved the money that came from them.

Heres some of the things I need advice on,
1. I have a old walk behind mower that I can use but I am going to buy a new one.....What kind should i get? (price range:$0-800)
2. How should I charge my future clients?
-per sq. ft.?
-base price?
-difference in price every week to every two weeks
3. I am looking to employee 1-2 people to work with me (fellow students)**-I have told them $8.50-$9 an hour is this a reasonable price?
4.Since I am under 18 I can't apply for a business permit.**-Does this mean that someone can steal my name?
5.I got to buy a truck for the business but also as my first personal car.****Any ideas???
6. When it comes to advertising WHAT KIND OF PAPER ARE BROCHURES PRINTED ON?!?!(I have looked forever...Its the thin type paper not copy paper or thick paper)
7. Should I go door to door and personally pitch my business?

I am sure I will think of many more questions as time progresses...

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Sincerely, Jason
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  #2  
Old 04-15-2008, 09:07 PM
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Steve Steve is offline
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Hi Jason,

Welcome to our forum!

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Heres some of the things I need advice on,
1. I have a old walk behind mower that I can use but I am going to buy a new one.....What kind should i get? (price range:$0-800)
If someone wants to jump in here, please. Otherwise I'd just say use what you have until it falls apart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]
2. How should I charge my future clients?
-per sq. ft.?
-base price?
-difference in price every week to every two weeks
I think the easiest way is to figure it out based on a $60 per hour price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]
3. I am looking to employee 1-2 people to work with me (fellow students)**-I have told them $8.50-$9 an hour is this a reasonable price?
If you both can agree to it, why not!

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]
4.Since I am under 18 I can't apply for a business permit.**-Does this mean that someone can steal my name?
Well you could always go with using your real name like Joe Smith Lawn Care. Then I think you would be fine or have your parents register the business name for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]
5.I got to buy a truck for the business but also as my first personal car.****Any ideas???
I would say get a cheap one that will do the job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]6. When it comes to advertising WHAT KIND OF PAPER ARE BROCHURES PRINTED ON?!?!(I have looked forever...Its the thin type paper not copy paper or thick paper)
I would get business cards and flyers first before I went to using brochures. It's cheaper and you can print them out from home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]
7. Should I go door to door and personally pitch my business?
Oh yes. Let everyone in your area know you are running your own lawn care business. Hand out business cards to everyone and flyers. Tell all your friends, neighbors, family. Anyone and everyone you can.

Does this help?

Anyone else have other ideas?
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  #3  
Old 04-16-2008, 01:34 AM
gmoney55 gmoney55 is offline
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Hey congratulations on making the jump to start your own business. I agree with steve run your old mower til it falls apart. no need to spend money on a new one right off the bat.

I would definitely ask your parents to get the business permit in their name if possible. You want to do this right and legal so get the name registered with your local area and also check on business liability insurance.

With the price of gas i would go with a smaller truck to help save money on gas. I have a 2005 f=150 4x4 and i get like 10.5 miles per gallon. my truck drinks gas quickly so go smaller right now to start.

Steve is right again as far getting business cards and flyers made up to hand out. I just started my business this week and thats what i had made first to get my name out there and generate some business. Heck pay a few friends to go with you and put out flyers everywhere asap to get your name out there.

Also remember to do a good job for every customer. There will be people that are ##### but remember try to treat everyone the same way that you would like to be treated. Alot of your business can come by word of mouth and you want that word to be good. Sure there will be bad days but try to do consistently good work and it will pay off in the long run. You may also want to think about getting some signs made up to put on your vehicle for when you are driving around. Nothing beats free advertising. This site is awesome and most of the people on here are very helpful so don't be afraid to ask any questions that you are unsure about. Remember the only stupid question is the one you don't ask. good luck and let us know how things work out for you
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  #4  
Old 04-16-2008, 02:05 AM
FourSeasons FourSeasons is offline
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Actually # 1 should be to make sure you finish school!

1. I would recommend a Honda mower of some kind. The Honda brand not just a mower with a honda motor on it. I never have any problems or here complaints about them. They can be a little expensive but well worth it. Try to buy the best I can

2. Figure out how much it is going to cost to operate your business. Gas, Insurance, Paying employees, money for parts, saving for emergency break down, *etc. You need to know how much all the parts of running your business however small of big it might be.
Then figure out how much you need to make per hour to get to the profit margin you want.
Do some measuring and figure out how long it takes to mow edge and trim a given amount and you can use that as a base when giving bids. Don't just eyeball it and guess. You can lose money on bigger lots like that.
And have a minimum that you charge no matter what. Like mine is $30.

3. I would suggest working by yourself until you really need some help. Once you get a full schedule then hire someone. You can make more by yourself until then and even more with a helper when it gets to that point.

4. Talk to some one at the county clerks office or city hall as to what your options are concerning this.

5. If your just doing mowing then start with a small truck like a S-10 or something similar. You don't need a huge truck to pull around lawn mowers. Gas is to outrageous.

6. Like Steve said; just go with flyers and business cards and base it off of what Chestin posted in the other thread... Maybe Steve knows where the link is for it...For the sample flyer...

7. I here that works well. I've never done it myself though.

Thats all I can think of for now. Its late for me.
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  #5  
Old 04-16-2008, 04:00 AM
hotwired hotwired is offline
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I'm a bit rushed this morning so I did not thoroughly read the other answers, so please forgive any repetition:

Heres some of the things I need advice on,

1. I have a old walk behind mower that I can use but I am going to buy a new one.....What kind should i get? (price range:$0-800)

I PERSONALLY WOULD KEEP MY EYE OUT IN WHATEVER SERVES AS YOUR USED ITEMS FLYERS. WHETHER IT BE THE CLASSIFIEDS OR THROWAWAY TYPE OF PAPER. I WOULD BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR A 32-36 COMMERCIAL WALK BEHIND. I THINK YOU HAVE THE BEST CHANCE OF FINDING THAT IN THE PRICE RANGE YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.

2. How should I charge my future clients?
FOR MOWING, I'D SAY TO KEEP IT AS SIMPLE AS YOU CAN. $60 PER HOUR IS GOOD IF YOU CAN GET IT. USUALLY THOUGH SPRING MOWING TAKES LONGER, SO THIS CAN BE DECIEVING. WE MAKE $40 PER HOUR IN MAY AND PARTS OF JUNE AND $65 PER HOUR IN LATE AUGUST EARLY SEPT MOWING THE SAME LAWNS, SO KEEP THIS IN MIND. I PERSONALLY SHOOT FOR A $26 MINIMUM, $40 THE MINUTE I HAVE TO USE A PUSH MOWER. MY TYPICAL PRICES ARE 26, 35 - 40 AND UP. AFTER A WHILE YOU JUST GET TO KNOW A "40 LAWN" WHEN YOU SEE IT. THIS MIGHT NOT SEEM OVERLY TECHNICAL OR PROFESSIONAL, BUT OFTEN TIMES, ADDING FORMULAS AND DOING THINGS BY SQ. FT. CREATES MORE MISTAKES AND BIDDING ERRORS THAN JUST A GOOD GUT GUESS.

(I CANNOT COMMENT ON WAGES AS I AM NOT IN YOUR AREA)

4.Since I am under 18 I can't apply for a business permit.**-Does this mean that someone can steal my name?
USE YOUR OWN NAME FOR NOW ... WORRY ABOUT BRANDING LATER.

5.I got to buy a truck for the business but also as my first personal car.****Any ideas???
TOYOTA!! YEAR AFTER YEAR, TOYOTA HAS FAR FEWER COMPLAINTS THAN THE BIG 3. ALSO EXPENSIVE. IF YOU HAVE A SMALL TRAILER AND 36 INCH MOWER, YOU PROBABLY CAN INDEED GET BY WITH A SMALLER TRUCK

(NO COMMENTS ON MARKETING. I JUST WAIT FOR THE PHONE TO RING!) - THOUGH IF YOU HAVE A BUSINESS LINE, YOU CAN USUALLY GET A FREE ONE LINE YELLOW PAGES AD, WHICH IN AND OF ITSELF SHOULD ACTUALLY GENERATE SOME BUSINESS.
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