Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Lawn Care, Landscaping, and Property Management Forums > General Talk

General Talk If it doesn't fit anywhere else, post it here.

How many started with a lawn tractor?


General Talk

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, post it here.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #11  
Old 01-15-2010, 07:41 AM
shahoo80 shahoo80 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Kansas
Posts: 45
Rep Power: 7
shahoo80 is on a distinguished road
Default Thanks for the info.

Just wanted to say thanks for the input, I found this fourm a few months ago and have been reading and studying and have even put a few ideas that I found to work.

As far as the tractor, I have a tractor that I completely rebuilt beginning of last summer that I am planning to start with atleast for a couple of months and then purchase a walk behind. Right now I have been using my tractor for many things pushing snow off driveways that started as just my driveway and a neighbor but ended up doing the neighborhood all but 3 houses. And in the spring I have a tiller for the back and a plow for gardens. I also have several other attachments that I have used and plan expanding to customers this year too. I am wanting the business to pay for the new walkbehind. I also believe that you first should have the customers then the equipment. Even though we are melting the last of the 10+ inches of snow I have been working looking for bargains and just making contacts and getting things and ideas in line so when it does get warmer I am going to hit the ground running and have a little bit of head start.
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #12  
Old 01-15-2010, 10:26 AM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 11
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Quote:
Originally Posted by shahoo80 View Post
Just wanted to say thanks for the input, I found this fourm a few months ago and have been reading and studying and have even put a few ideas that I found to work.

As far as the tractor, I have a tractor that I completely rebuilt beginning of last summer that I am planning to start with atleast for a couple of months and then purchase a walk behind. Right now I have been using my tractor for many things pushing snow off driveways that started as just my driveway and a neighbor but ended up doing the neighborhood all but 3 houses. And in the spring I have a tiller for the back and a plow for gardens. I also have several other attachments that I have used and plan expanding to customers this year too. I am wanting the business to pay for the new walkbehind. I also believe that you first should have the customers then the equipment. Even though we are melting the last of the 10+ inches of snow I have been working looking for bargains and just making contacts and getting things and ideas in line so when it does get warmer I am going to hit the ground running and have a little bit of head start.
Great Idea, what tractor do you have? May be able to offer some suggestions on attachments that we found really paid off and ones that were not so great.
__________________
Andy
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-15-2010, 01:28 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,811
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Anyhow as I have said before, get the business then get the equipment, I do it all the time, just make sure you have the cash or some type of financing in place. If it won't pay for itself in 6 months, I don't buy it, that is just a personal rule of thumb.
So say for instance a new lawn care business owner wanted to buy a $10,000 ztr.

Say he was able to mow 10 lawns a day at $30 a piece = $300 a day

$300 a day x 5 days = $1,500 a week

$1,500 a week x 4 weeks = $6,000 a month

$6,000 a month x 6 months = $36,000

If a business owner would come to you with these figures, would you approve or deny the purchase?

Also, why is it that it should pay for itself in 6 months? Can you gives us a little theory behind that?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-15-2010, 02:42 PM
shahoo80 shahoo80 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Kansas
Posts: 45
Rep Power: 7
shahoo80 is on a distinguished road
Default Old tractor

My old tractor is a Yanmar performance, it was built by murray many moons ago. The funny story about my tractor is I bought a couple of years ago just to pull a plow and tiller in my garden. When I bought it it was all complete but the deck had some issues. I used the tractor for the plow and tiller and it ran great and if it could get the traction could pull a house,,, But last year was messing around and looking at the deck and was not all that bad so I completely rebuilt it and tried it a few times and it mowed as good as it ran so I used it full time last summer for yards and garden and now this winter plowing drives.

Next snow season I am going to buy a Gas golf cart and put a big block in it along with a lift kit and mount a blade to it. I was asked by 4 businesses this year if I could plow snow. As they do not have but a few parking spaces and a huge and wide sidewalk the golf cart is what I came up with. I can plow snow and salt all at the same time and never lift a shovel. I can stay in the enclosure plug in the heater and drive to my jobs. Since I am a small town and know several people I should be able to keep very busy close to home.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-15-2010, 07:26 PM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 11
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
So say for instance a new lawn care business owner wanted to buy a $10,000 ztr.

Say he was able to mow 10 lawns a day at $30 a piece = $300 a day

$300 a day x 5 days = $1,500 a week

$1,500 a week x 4 weeks = $6,000 a month

$6,000 a month x 6 months = $36,000

If a business owner would come to you with these figures, would you approve or deny the purchase?

Also, why is it that it should pay for itself in 6 months? Can you gives us a little theory behind that?
As a banker? No question done deal here is your cheque (it's how we spell check in Canada...lol)

I use 6 months because some of my gear is pretty expensive so I have to give it some time to pay for itself.

Maybe I will buy another pressure washer, the ones we use are around $900.00, now that thing can pay for itself in a week but if it's a spare and I keep spares of way too many pieces of equipment, I have to give it some time.

For example I have 7 Stihl Professional chain saws, do I really need 7, heck no but every crew (3) that is cutting trees has a spare saw as stuff happens and I don't want them calling me saying we need a saw and it happened a couple of times last summer where they flooded a saw and used the backup, but even the backup's are new plus I keep one at home for emergency and what I mean by that is sometimes a crew may need three saws going and that happened a couple of times but that would be a big crew, each guy running a saw needs three guys as helpers, one stacking the wood and two to three chipping. And some clients want the wood split which is fine as we have bearcat splitters, just means another person. I have had up to 11 guys at one site, now that is extreme and they were there for almost two weeks and we are going back this spring for another two weeks.

That customer has serious downfall and 11 guys a day with all the equipment is not cheap so that is what they could afford last year. However the guys split enough wood to heat their house for two years in two weeks so the client saved probably $3,200. there, and I remind clients of this, keep them thinking.
__________________
Andy
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-15-2010, 09:02 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,811
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

One thing I was thinking about with this is, say for instance you are buying a piece of equipment like a backhoe. Or some piece of excavation equipment where you are charging the customer $x per hour for it's use and for an operator. You know that without that piece of machinery, you couldn't get that job done.

But when you talk about mowers. If you are charging $30 a lawn, how much of that is money is necessarily being made by that mower?

You might also include in the price trimming and blowing off the lawn. So maybe for a half hour mowing job, the mower is only being used 15 minutes?

Should the lawn care business owner keep this in mind or is this too nit-picky?

Also, a lot of average sized lawns can be mowed with a wide variety of mowers. Just because one can potentially earn back that investment within 6 months for a high dollar mower, the question is should they? Could they do it with a walk behind instead of a ztr?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-15-2010, 10:21 PM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 11
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
One thing I was thinking about with this is, say for instance you are buying a piece of equipment like a backhoe. Or some piece of excavation equipment where you are charging the customer $x per hour for it's use and for an operator. You know that without that piece of machinery, you couldn't get that job done.

But when you talk about mowers. If you are charging $30 a lawn, how much of that is money is necessarily being made by that mower?

You might also include in the price trimming and blowing off the lawn. So maybe for a half hour mowing job, the mower is only being used 15 minutes?

Should the lawn care business owner keep this in mind or is this too nit-picky?

Also, a lot of average sized lawns can be mowed with a wide variety of mowers. Just because one can potentially earn back that investment within 6 months for a high dollar mower, the question is should they? Could they do it with a walk behind instead of a ztr?
I think that is breaking it down too far, if I were still a lender I would look at the bigger picture, this guy has potential because he has the accounts and he can generate enough revenue in 6 months to pay it off three times over so I will cut him a brake and finance it over three years to help him grow even more as he will be back in a few months wanting to expand again. I worked outside the box as a banker and at first had my knuckles wrapped a few times but that did not stop me, finally they backed off and let me loose and I blew their numbers out of the water, that got their attention.

But then things changed and banks started going back to being just banks and I was being put back in a box so I walked.

Steve, I will be straight up, I don't think there is a lot of money to be made in just mowing which is why I am dumping our ZTR and buying another tractor. The money is in what fewer guys are doing, Organic spraying, pressure washing, leaf mulching things like this, maybe garden tilling which is why I will take a tractor over a ZTR any day and the ride is night and day. My 749 on rough terrain is like riding on air.
__________________
Andy
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-15-2010, 10:43 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,811
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Steve, I will be straight up, I don't think there is a lot of money to be made in just mowing which is why I am dumping our ZTR and buying another tractor. The money is in what fewer guys are doing
I can totally see your point on this. What's your view on why it seems to be the starting point for so many new businesses we see on here? Is it simply because of this forum's niche or is it more because most new business owners just don't know any better and they see all these folks out there mowing so they figure there must be money in it and they jump in too?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-16-2010, 07:29 AM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 11
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I can totally see your point on this. What's your view on why it seems to be the starting point for so many new businesses we see on here? Is it simply because of this forum's niche or is it more because most new business owners just don't know any better and they see all these folks out there mowing so they figure there must be money in it and they jump in too?
Generally speaking pretty much every poster I have seen starting out had the same attitude as I did back in February, buy a mower, trimmer, blower and we are off to the races, put the flyer's out and look out.

But then I started reading and researching, why do I want to focus 100% of my energy on what everyone else is doing, that was when the company switched gears or I would be dead in the water today. And it was pretty clear flyer's and door hangers were not working, networking, website, local newspaper ad's were that is the direction I went and thank god I did.

I checked out the five largest yard care companies in our city and thought about what I have hired done over the years, asked my network of friends and business people I have met what they thought about some of my offerings, some were no go's and some the feedback was yes, yes, yes.....that is when I knew I was onto something.

From there is when I started asking clients what other services they wished we could do or offer or they were planning to have done, if it made sense, I would advertise on the website we could do it, an email to everyone we had done work for and if they did not need the service we would really appreciate the referral and on Kijiji which is something like Craigs List, once again some had no response, some lit up the Christmas Tree.

The one new service that shocked me the most as I would not have believed there was much of a market for it is Post Hole digging, OMG I bet we drilled 1,500 holes last summer, we now have three augers, two for tractors and one for the small excavator for the tough jobs, man the money in this is amazing, we average around $240.00 an hour while on a site as we charge by the hole and this service only requipres one employee, $20.00 a hole and the average hole takes about 4 min but you have to move to the next hole location etc. It's so simple to do I can train a new employee in less than an hour. And guess what I found, not one company in my city offers this service unless they build the fence, I am not interested in building fences so it is a win win. So now I have small fence companies calling asking for the excavator service as it can drill just about anything and it's super fast, massive power it will just not stop, but this was a very expensive investment and I worked up to it as the sticker shock blew me away when we first started.

Now you can rent these machines but, do you as a home owner want to take the time to go get it, do the work, return it etc. and can you actually tow one of these units (that is all they rent around here), once you get it home how do you move it around? Yes some people do have the ability, most would rather just pay us and be done with it as it costs $160.00 a day to rent the units that our tractors will do, same idea and power but the rentals are on a trailer, our attach to the back of the tractor and run of the hydraulics on the tractor and $350.00 to $500.00 a day if you want the unit the mini excavator runs. If you want the mini excavator unit rental, they have to deliver it to you and you must be trained, add another $200.00 for float (transposrtation) fee to the rental cost, you see the homeowner is thinking this doesn't make sense for me to do.

We were late in the season offering this service like many of our services, this year is different, we are going into April with all the gear in place, staff are ready and fully trained so it's going to be one heck of a ride.

The training really slowed me down in 2009 however because of the way I treat the staff and I pay them a lot more than they can make elsewhere and I am super easy to work for, every one wants to come back as soon as this semister is out which is mid April, perfect timing and I have enough work to keep 16 of them going for 6 to 7 weeks already.
__________________
Andy
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-16-2010, 12:36 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,811
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Generally speaking pretty much every poster I have seen starting out had the same attitude as I did back in February, buy a mower, trimmer, blower and we are off to the races, put the flyer's out and look out.

But then I started reading and researching, why do I want to focus 100% of my energy on what everyone else is doing, that was when the company switched gears or I would be dead in the water today. And it was pretty clear flyer's and door hangers were not working, networking, website, local newspaper ad's were that is the direction I went and thank god I did.
This got me thinking of a Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares episode I was watching the other night. A French business owner had opened this Japanese restaurant along the French coast and it was failing.

When Gordon walks in there, he looks out the window and say why isn't this a seafood restaurant? The chef knew how to cook seafood but had no idea how to cook Japanese food.

The owner was in love with the idea of owning a Japanese restaurant but that is not what the public wanted and it was failing miserably.

How often do business owners start a business and find that they are in love with the idea of __________ (fill in the blank). Whether it be cutting lawns, building retaining walls, working in gardens.

That is all fine and good but what if that idea just isn't going to work in your area for a multitude of reasons. What if there is too much competition? What if the service isn't needed?

Are you willing to let the ship sink because your initial idea didn't work? Or as Andy said, are you willing to ask your customers what they really like or need? Are you willing to take that feedback and alter your game plan?

It's very possible a majority of new business owners feel like, this is my idea and if it don't work, then I will keep trying it until I run out of time, energy, or money. We all have a tendency to get thick headed and to get focused on our one goal.

I think this kind of also falls into the category of why us guys tend to not ask for directions when we are lost. We get in our own way of success.
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Small Lawn Tractor swstout Community Assistance 7 05-27-2009 04:24 AM
Getting started - GopherHaul Lawn Care Business School Steve Lawn Care Business Marketing - GopherHaul Forum News 3 03-15-2009 05:10 PM
Getting started - GopherHaul Lawn Care Business School Steve GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show, Video, Book & Podcast Discussions. 1 03-10-2009 08:13 AM
What is the ideal age to get your lawn care business started? Steve General Business Discussions 6 07-22-2008 09:42 PM
New Tractor pnplawn Show Off - Picture Post - Photo Gallery 3 05-10-2008 10:53 AM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Best two stroke oil
Greg_TopYardServices
Yesterday 07:53 PM
Today 01:16 AM
by Steve
2 26
Help Spread the word...
Sprinkler Buddy
12-02-2015 08:41 AM
Today 01:07 AM
by Steve
14 1,195
back surgery
Bradcook21
01-28-2016 08:51 PM
Today 01:06 AM
by Steve
13 307
Finding open bids?!?
C&DPropertyManagement
02-07-2016 01:48 AM
Today 01:04 AM
by Steve
1 58
hello all
romanlandscape
01-29-2016 03:46 PM
02-07-2016 10:20 AM
by Bradcook21
6 192
Lawn Care Book Ranked #1
Steve
02-06-2016 12:36 AM
02-06-2016 12:36 AM
by Steve
0 76
Hi
Sellers Lawn Care
02-02-2016 01:48 PM
02-05-2016 08:03 AM
by Sellers Lawn Care
4 147
Collecting payments from...
Niagara Mowing
02-03-2016 05:21 PM
02-05-2016 08:00 AM
by Niagara Mowing
7 198
SMS assist? The good,...
jcurr33
01-27-2016 10:24 PM
02-04-2016 11:53 PM
by Steve
5 218
I need some help...
Anise
02-04-2016 01:39 PM
02-04-2016 11:51 PM
by Steve
3 111
Customers dodging the...
Rocky
11-06-2015 06:22 AM
02-04-2016 03:41 AM
by C&DPropertyManagement
7 1,473
Offering a "Trial"...
wybut076
02-01-2016 06:27 PM
02-03-2016 08:26 PM
by Just for Cuts
7 237
Iowa Caucus Predictions?
Steve
02-01-2016 06:31 PM
02-03-2016 12:40 AM
by Steve
1 93
Laying White River Rock
DiamondLawnCare
02-01-2016 08:27 PM
02-03-2016 12:17 AM
by Steve
1 113
Networking for a...
jcurr33
01-30-2016 09:26 PM
02-01-2016 06:27 PM
by Steve
4 182
Customer giving a 1099?
apmAkron
01-27-2016 07:22 PM
01-31-2016 08:55 PM
by Chilehead
6 245
happy to be here
redrobin
01-29-2016 10:45 AM
01-31-2016 08:44 PM
by Steve
1 130
Thought's on an "E-Z...
jcurr33
01-27-2016 10:48 PM
01-31-2016 08:38 PM
by Steve
4 211
Changes
Knaubone
01-30-2016 10:56 PM
01-31-2016 08:31 PM
by Steve
1 115
Thoughts on this Exmark...
googus
01-28-2016 04:24 PM
01-28-2016 08:09 PM
by Chilehead
1 140
1st year in
jcurr33
10-18-2015 05:07 PM
01-28-2016 07:49 PM
by Chilehead
6 4,133
Need opinion on zero...
Mr. Mow
01-24-2016 05:42 PM
01-28-2016 07:41 PM
by Chilehead
10 351
Opinion on liquid vs...
Bradcook21
01-25-2016 02:03 PM
01-28-2016 07:38 PM
by Chilehead
9 301
Finding property size
Gageslawncare
01-25-2016 11:08 AM
01-28-2016 12:05 PM
by Gageslawncare
10 305
Tiger TG 2661 Commercial...
lawnman1959
01-25-2016 08:12 PM
01-27-2016 07:57 PM
by Just for Cuts
5 234
Spouse as a dependent?
Steve
01-26-2016 01:51 AM
01-27-2016 10:44 AM
by Chilehead
3 194
Hello All
C&DPropertyManagement
01-23-2016 12:21 PM
01-26-2016 01:24 AM
by Steve
1 174
Credit Cards - What's in...
Shark1611
06-16-2015 04:04 PM
01-23-2016 03:43 PM
by C&DPropertyManagement
17 7,673
Start My Own Business?
mowandblow1980
01-12-2016 08:43 PM
01-19-2016 07:00 PM
by Steve
12 624
State of the nation 2016.
Steve
01-12-2016 12:05 AM
01-19-2016 06:57 PM
by Steve
6 371
little help? first big...
Brian3137
12-31-2015 12:39 PM
01-19-2016 06:54 PM
by Steve
23 1,073
Hi everybody...
Greg_TopYardServices
01-14-2016 08:10 AM
01-19-2016 02:47 PM
by SC93
12 447
What's your next...
Steve
05-15-2015 12:54 PM
01-17-2016 08:48 PM
by Homeland unlimited
25 7,911
Plow controller problems
scaypa
01-12-2016 05:49 PM
01-16-2016 10:46 AM
by scaypa
4 285
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 12:18 PM
01-15-2016 07:23 PM
by tannerduncan
1,244 428,050
Pricing issue
Mr. Mow
07-07-2015 07:15 AM
01-15-2016 11:20 AM
by djlandscaping06
23 5,401
New College Course
Dr. D
01-14-2016 01:45 PM
01-14-2016 05:35 PM
by Steve
1 207
Yelp
Shark1611
01-13-2016 10:00 AM
01-14-2016 05:32 PM
by Steve
4 266
New to the forum from...
Doug Green
01-12-2016 12:23 PM
01-14-2016 08:34 AM
by Doug Green
2 240
Facebook advertising
Just for Cuts
12-13-2015 08:49 AM
01-13-2016 10:20 PM
by Just for Cuts
12 920
Choosing local business
Doug Green
01-12-2016 12:29 PM
01-13-2016 06:12 PM
by Steve
2 404
4 Seasons Landscaping LLC
Doug Green
01-12-2016 12:56 PM
01-12-2016 12:59 PM
by Doug Green
1 263
2016 business goals
OxfordOS
01-09-2016 04:19 PM
01-12-2016 08:36 AM
by mowandblow1980
15 564
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:06 AM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:06 AM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy