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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.

With out a doubt this is the Most important thing to do when you are starting out.


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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  #21  
Old 05-18-2011, 12:15 AM
LawnInc LawnInc is offline
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This is what I have found now that I have been in lawn biz for 3 years and snow biz for 15.
1. Know your cost of doing biz.... Anyone can just toss a price out but if you are only breaking even it's not worth getting out of bed.
2. Put in the hours!!!!!!! I mow 6 days a week and install mulch on the 7th. I get out at 5:30am and get home most days around 6:00pm. Not to mention the sleepless nights in the office billing, advetising, crunching numbers, keeping up on my turf care education, looking for the best price on materials, and read, read read.....Oh and the dreams and nightmares that come with owning a biz.
3. Don't think you have to buy the latest and greatest equipment. I started with a 48"WB, 1 Trimmer, 1 Blower (handheld) My pickup and a ramp to put the mower in the back....All of it was used. I put some time and money into it to make it reliable. I have never had a client ask what I have for equipment. (that goes for residential, Commercial is a different animal).
4. Always have money in the bank. This will cover breakdowns, small overhead(fuel, belts, oil, plugs, repairs.ETC) You can also save a bit for newer equipment.
5. Pick a price and stick with it. Figure what you need to charge per square foot and stick to it. Yea you have to be competitive but don't let the lowballers hinder your price structure. I have found that the lowballers don't last very long.
6. Network with others. If you see a landscape truck at Home Depot put a card in the window. Always look for opportunities to sell your self. i.e. I was at Subway and heard a group of people saying how much they hate cutting their lawns and how thier mowers dont start ETC. I walked up and introduced myself and handed each of them a card. Guess who has 3 new clients
7. Don't get discoraged... I have found that when knocking on doors if you get 100 no's and 1 yes....... You Win!!!!!!
Best of luck to you my friend. I hope you make gazillions of dollars and remember me when you do. I would make a great life coach. LOL!!!!!
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  #22  
Old 05-19-2011, 03:53 AM
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Great post!

Quote:
This is what I have found now that I have been in lawn biz for 3 years and snow biz for 15.
How do you feel your years in the snow plowing business helped prepare you for your lawn care business?
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  #23  
Old 05-24-2011, 10:38 PM
LawnInc LawnInc is offline
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Here is what I have found.
1. Know your cost!!!!!! Too many people go bid jobs blind. They have no idea what it costs them per square foot. Not just in labor but all overhead included.
2. Stick to your price. Again lowballers are everywhere and have been for years. Those are the guys that don't know the costs of running a biz. They just toss out numbers and find they are going broke. Either they just close up shop or don't pay subs or material bills.
3. Don't be afraid. There is always worry when running a biz but got out and bid as many jobs as you can. Don't shy away from the big jobs. If you have a biz sense you can service any size job. i.e. 4 years into the snow biz I had 22 smaller lots like gas staitions, small business lots, and fast food lots. I decided to bid on a major retail lot. (Target). I spent day and night figuring my costs and how much to charge. I had know idea what others were charging. I submitted my RFP and found I was right on the money with the other bids. I did get the lot. The manager told me the only reason I got the job is because "I had a good handle on my operation". Little did they know I only had 1-F350, 2-Jeep Wranglers, and an old *** Ford Loader/Tractor. Needless to say I still have that lot.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:51 PM
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OH..... Find a niche. Everyone offers the same service. Be sure to market yourself as to provide an extra service that nobody else thought of. My extra in the lawn biz is small engine repair. Even the folks that mow thier own grass will need thier mower or chipper fixed. Once I service thier stuff they keep me in mind when they need mulch, mailboxes, hauling etc. Just some extras that when added up can cover a business cost like insurance or a new trimmer.
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:44 AM
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What advice do you have for others just getting started when it comes to bidding on snow removal? Do you find it's best to bid per storm or per push or per hour or what?
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  #26  
Old 05-26-2011, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
What advice do you have for others just getting started when it comes to bidding on snow removal? Do you find it's best to bid per storm or per push or per hour or what?
It is hard to say one is best. I do it all three ways. and also add in there seasonal. It is up to the client. I do work for a few municipalities and they want it by the hour per truck and most businesses want it per push. Don't be afraid to ask. Most clients will not hold back from telling you what they want.
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  #27  
Old 07-05-2011, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnInc View Post
This is what I have found now that I have been in lawn biz for 3 years and snow biz for 15.
1. Know your cost of doing biz.... Anyone can just toss a price out but if you are only breaking even it's not worth getting out of bed.
2. Put in the hours!!!!!!! I mow 6 days a week and install mulch on the 7th. I get out at 5:30am and get home most days around 6:00pm. Not to mention the sleepless nights in the office billing, advetising, crunching numbers, keeping up on my turf care education, looking for the best price on materials, and read, read read.....Oh and the dreams and nightmares that come with owning a biz.
3. Don't think you have to buy the latest and greatest equipment. I started with a 48"WB, 1 Trimmer, 1 Blower (handheld) My pickup and a ramp to put the mower in the back....All of it was used. I put some time and money into it to make it reliable. I have never had a client ask what I have for equipment. (that goes for residential, Commercial is a different animal).
4. Always have money in the bank. This will cover breakdowns, small overhead(fuel, belts, oil, plugs, repairs.ETC) You can also save a bit for newer equipment.
5. Pick a price and stick with it. Figure what you need to charge per square foot and stick to it. Yea you have to be competitive but don't let the lowballers hinder your price structure. I have found that the lowballers don't last very long.
6. Network with others. If you see a landscape truck at Home Depot put a card in the window. Always look for opportunities to sell your self. i.e. I was at Subway and heard a group of people saying how much they hate cutting their lawns and how thier mowers dont start ETC. I walked up and introduced myself and handed each of them a card. Guess who has 3 new clients
7. Don't get discoraged... I have found that when knocking on doors if you get 100 no's and 1 yes....... You Win!!!!!!
Best of luck to you my friend. I hope you make gazillions of dollars and remember me when you do. I would make a great life coach. LOL!!!!!
WOW! that is some solid insights you have got there. Thanks for sharing this with everyone!

I'm sure if people follow this advise they will have a very strong Chance of increasing their business.
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