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 > Just starting your lawn care or landscaping business? > Introduce Yourself

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!

Introduction


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!
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 11-08-2010, 01:44 PM
NewInIllinois2011 NewInIllinois2011 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4
Rep Power: 6
NewInIllinois2011 is on a distinguished road
Default Introduction

First let me thank the person responsible for creating this forum and any and all administrators and members who keep it running!

My name is Kevin and I have set the goal of beginning a lawn care business for the 2011 mowing season. One advantage that I have is that I recently inherited about $20,000 which I hope will me get started if I keep a tight budget. (i still need a truck/trailer and all equiptment). I may have additional out of pocket expenses but of course I hope to keep them to a minimum.

I plan to be a one man show for as long as neccessary. I have worked in the service industry for 20 years doing everything from tree climbing to landscapie/hardscape and of course lawn maintenance. I am also a certified pesticide applicator.

I guess for now I will go explore the forums. Will post when I find threads and posts that seem especially relevant to the questions I have. But basically I'm wondering....
What would your advice be as far as spending more in which directions? ex: get the best mower and sacrifice by getting an older truck/trailer if money is running low. Maybe you might recommend I get the best advertising (yellow pages?) above all else? Stuff like that. Thanks in advance
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


  #2  
Old 11-08-2010, 02:14 PM
The Cleaning Doctor's Avatar
The Cleaning Doctor The Cleaning Doctor is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Helena, MT
Posts: 927
Rep Power: 7
The Cleaning Doctor is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Welcome and congrats on deciding to take that first step.

My thoughts on equipment are

Truck - Used 30-40k is way too much to spend when you can get a great truck for less than 8k

Mower - It's up to you. You can find some great deals on mowers with low hours.

Trailer - Used will do fine. Some elbow grease and paint and it will look new again.

Save most of your money for advertising and other expenses. I would say that if you are frugal and take your time, you can get completely set up for under 10k. Winter is here and those that can not make it through the winter will be selling off equipment.
__________________
Pat
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-08-2010, 06:59 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 38,008
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Hi Kevin,

Welcome to our forum!

With all of your experience offering many services, have you figured out which services you would like to offer? Will you be focusing mainly on lawn care or do you want to apply pesticides? Maybe even offer tree work?

In the past with the other companies you have worked with, what kinds of marketing did they do that worked in your area? Was this something that you kept an eye on or talked to the owners about?

I bet the more you think about it, the more will pop up in your mind as far as what you have seen that has worked for others.
__________________
- 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
  #4  
Old 11-10-2010, 11:41 AM
NewInIllinois2011 NewInIllinois2011 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4
Rep Power: 6
NewInIllinois2011 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cleaning Doctor View Post
Welcome and congrats on deciding to take that first step.

My thoughts on equipment are

Truck - Used 30-40k is way too much to spend when you can get a great truck for less than 8k

Mower - It's up to you. You can find some great deals on mowers with low hours.

Trailer - Used will do fine. Some elbow grease and paint and it will look new again.

Save most of your money for advertising and other expenses. I would say that if you are frugal and take your time, you can get completely set up for under 10k. Winter is here and those that can not make it through the winter will be selling off equipment.
Thanks for the advice! getting set up for $10,000 would be nice!!

Do you recommend that I only shop for "commercial" grade used mowers? As opposed to a homeowner model like the Toro Timecutter with 200 hours on it for a fraction of the price? I was thinking it might be wise to pick up a cheap backup for emergencies/breakdowns. Probably a non zero turn like an older riding tractor or an older walk behind, maybe 42", whatever the best one is that I can find for around $500-$600 just in case my main mower breaks down and has to go in the shop for a week or two so I dont lose accounts when the mowing starts to get backed up.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-10-2010, 12:28 PM
NewInIllinois2011 NewInIllinois2011 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4
Rep Power: 6
NewInIllinois2011 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Hi Kevin,

Welcome to our forum!

With all of your experience offering many services, have you figured out which services you would like to offer? Will you be focusing mainly on lawn care or do you want to apply pesticides? Maybe even offer tree work?

In the past with the other companies you have worked with, what kinds of marketing did they do that worked in your area? Was this something that you kept an eye on or talked to the owners about?

I bet the more you think about it, the more will pop up in your mind as far as what you have seen that has worked for others.
Thanks for the reply! I don't plan on advertising as a tree service, mainly because I dont want to get inundated with tree jobs and also because the startup would probably take considerably more cash than lawncare and also because I would need employess right away...all things that prevent it. I will keep my eyes open at customers homes for simple tree jobs such as removing dead branches, "hangers", corrective pruning and offer those services on a case by case basis. As for the pesticides, I do not have a dealers license so that limits what I can do by law. I have a commercial applicators license (turf and ornamentals) and plan to offer to apply over the counter pesticides and fertilizers. But yes in general I plan to focus primarily on lawn care although until the business grows and the number of mowing accounts reaches a level that keeps me working every day I certainly will welcome most any requests including landscape/hardscape, fence installation etc...

As far as advertising, the tree service that I worked for was small but well established (20 years) and ran by 1 of only 2 "Board Certified Master Arborists" in the entire state of Iowa. In this community of nearly a half million people he had no problem keeping us busy year round just based on repeat clients and word of mouth (and of course drive by new clients). As for lawn care and landscaping advertising experience, everyone I worked for was in the yellow pages. Funny the way it worked, the bigger the company the smaller the ad was what I noticed. One guy I worked for had only been in business 1 season (I joined him mid summer in season 1). He had a half page ad and although his physical appearance was an eysore he had alot of accounts! Not to sound judgemental but it seems that common sense would lead one to believe that if you have tattoos on your neck, face and covering your forearms and wore 3 inch leather and studded bracelets that your appearance might hinder you when it comes to selling yourself but he was successful! He had top of the line eXmark equiptment and advertising so I think that speaks for itself. He told me that his original investment in the company came via a $35,000 loan. Not many have those resources including myself. He also had a cargo van with nice wraparound graphics and a nice logo.

One of the problems of doing business in this community is that it may be close to becoming "saturated". Im sure you are familiar with this term but for those who don't, it means that there are already enough lawn care companies as the community can sustain. A quick check of the newest phone book shows 143 businesses under lawn maintenace. Granted at least 30 of these companies are not mowing AT ALL but are just listed there because the yellow pages gave them a buy one category get one free deal, such as a tree service or landcaper. Even if there are only 100 of those 143 companies who offer mowing ther are probably another 50 (at least) who arent in this phone book. Using 200 as the number of lawn Care companies in the area and using the accurate population of 400,000 people you get 2,000 people per company....sounds saturated to me and sounds like I have to be better than them if I want to make it!!! And remember 2,000 people doesnt mean 2,000 households...probably more like 700 households per company. I guess you could equate that to being the only lawncare company in a town of 2,000 people.
Still another problem is that we have at least 4 different phone books that come out each year. Then of course there is the economy....alot to think about.
As I said before I think I have a couple things that will give me a "leg up" on the competition which is cash on hand for startup (as opposed to having a loan to repay) and of course my experience. Also, not that I am going to win any beauty contests, I sure as hell dont have any tattoos on my face and I have a good repoire with people in general. I have some experience with giving estimates as I was the foreman of the tree crew and bidding jobs was one of my duties. I do have some work to do in learning to bid lawn care though because I have no idea what other people are charging. I sure don't want to be the cheapest guy in town but I also dont want to bid myself out of jobs either.
Thats it for now...thanks again for the advice and also thanks for hosting this forum! It's a huge help for people like me who are maybe feeling a bit overwhelmed with getting started in the business.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-10-2010, 04:06 PM
xpertlawnman xpertlawnman is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 37
Rep Power: 6
xpertlawnman is on a distinguished road
Default

A used trailer and a low mile used truck will be fine. A 6X12 single axle trailer should fit all of your gear. Do not buy anything smaller or you be very limited with the equipment you can put on it. Do not buy a residential ZT. If the budget does not allow for commercial ZT, then buy a commercial WB. There are many good deals on used ones now. Stick to a commercial grade weedeater and blower. Echo is a good brand and won't break the bank. A high end residential pushmower should hold up. Snapper,Toro, or Honda are decent brands. A cheap edger should get you through for awhile, with minimal use. Avoid a tractor as a backup mower if possible. If you can find one of those residential 33" WBs that could be an option for a back up. It could also be used for fenced in yards where your bigger mower won't fit. Again, with light use and nobody abusing it, that mower will hold up for a season or two. Good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-11-2010, 12:13 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 38,008
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
I have some experience with giving estimates as I was the foreman of the tree crew and bidding jobs was one of my duties.
With the experience you have bidding tree work, where do you feel most newer business that bid tree work get it wrong?

Do you think there are 5 or so lessons every business performing tree work should follow when bidding in order to maximize their profit potential? If so, what would they be?
__________________
- 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
Introduction BobButler1 Introduce Yourself 4 05-21-2010 07:14 AM
introduction dnclawn Introduce Yourself 1 01-28-2010 10:13 AM
Introduction pbreedlove Introduce Yourself 9 11-21-2009 10:11 AM
Just an introduction castmaster Introduce Yourself 8 11-11-2009 03:23 PM
Introduction Anthonykiser1977 Introduce Yourself 4 10-21-2009 01:42 AM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Z246 Deck change question
JohnsLawnCare
Today 01:47 PM
Today 06:38 PM
by Steve
1 20
DIY Sprayer
acrajchel
Today 09:13 AM
Today 06:36 PM
by Steve
1 23
Hello Everyone
JohnsLawnCare
06-22-2016 11:14 AM
Today 06:20 PM
by Steve
15 541
How much to charge for...
jymie
03-31-2013 05:59 PM
Today 06:18 PM
by Steve
23 5,935
Hi from Long Island NY
Lori22
07-18-2016 02:01 PM
Today 06:11 PM
by Steve
10 184
Hi everyone!
greenwavemedia
Today 03:22 PM
Today 03:22 PM
by greenwavemedia
0 12
New Site Hows it look
Infinitelawn
03-16-2015 10:32 AM
Today 03:06 PM
by greenwavemedia
5 10,388
Needing a website built
burtle
06-17-2015 09:02 AM
Today 02:58 PM
by greenwavemedia
15 18,301
Looking for new host
Just for Cuts
11-26-2015 06:58 AM
Today 02:49 PM
by greenwavemedia
9 1,464
New Business Owner
danesdanglas87
07-20-2016 12:31 PM
07-21-2016 05:04 PM
by Steve
2 98
Hi! I'm Tony from Tampa
Lawnline
07-12-2016 06:47 PM
07-19-2016 04:45 PM
by Steve
5 616
Question about...
Bradcook21
07-18-2016 05:22 PM
07-19-2016 04:38 PM
by Steve
2 114
Hello from Watertown New...
lawnmanrick81
07-19-2016 03:57 PM
07-19-2016 04:11 PM
by Steve
1 63
Gutter Cleaning Tool
DanielThomas
07-18-2016 08:23 AM
07-18-2016 04:36 PM
by Steve
1 92
Starting on a lawn care...
Coco3465
07-16-2016 11:26 AM
07-17-2016 09:20 AM
by Steve
1 119
Aspiring Company Owner
TJ136
07-12-2016 05:12 AM
07-15-2016 02:52 PM
by SC93
6 219
Hi Everyone
JavelinaLawn
07-10-2016 07:29 PM
07-13-2016 02:01 PM
by Chilehead
5 754
Review of our lawn care...
Lawnline
07-12-2016 06:40 PM
07-12-2016 06:40 PM
by Lawnline
0 391
Custom Canopies
JohnsLawnCare
07-12-2016 08:38 AM
07-12-2016 04:14 PM
by Steve
1 265
Spot checked by...
Just for Cuts
06-28-2016 02:34 PM
07-11-2016 03:53 PM
by Steve
4 286
John Deere JS40 issues
Mr. Mow
07-06-2016 01:28 PM
07-11-2016 03:52 PM
by Steve
3 210
Start My Own Business?
mowandblow1980
01-12-2016 07:43 PM
07-11-2016 11:18 AM
by DanielThomas
15 1,760
Rubber mulch...
avetslawncare
06-24-2015 09:28 PM
07-11-2016 09:11 AM
by Chilehead
9 3,296
Firefighter gone Lawn...
Firehouselawn@hotmail.com
03-10-2016 04:50 PM
07-07-2016 05:07 PM
by Steve
11 10,537
I need some business...
Firehouselawn@hotmail.com
07-06-2016 05:42 AM
07-07-2016 05:00 PM
by Steve
4 253
Business Overload
Chilehead
05-06-2016 09:27 PM
07-07-2016 04:53 PM
by Steve
24 1,260
Chemical Applications
acrajchel
06-24-2016 06:44 PM
07-05-2016 12:38 PM
by Chilehead
6 369
Is it too late?
Cpadgett
05-28-2016 09:10 AM
07-05-2016 11:54 AM
by Steve
14 872
3 Applications or 5...
stansg1fresh
02-18-2013 12:02 PM
07-04-2016 09:19 AM
by LawnPerfection
9 1,702
Best Push Mower You Have...
markty
05-14-2016 03:46 PM
07-02-2016 03:41 AM
by markty
27 1,929
Great Arborist Ladder
SGL1
06-04-2016 09:56 AM
06-28-2016 08:04 PM
by mowandblow1980
11 691
Newbie
Jhoell
06-25-2016 03:28 AM
06-28-2016 02:11 PM
by Chilehead
2 266
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
06-28-2016 11:02 AM
by Brownieboy
1,253 440,281
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:53 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:53 PM.

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