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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.

Another start up thread


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 01-18-2012, 09:01 AM
tha5150 tha5150 is offline
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First off, great site. Found it from Steve's YouTube channel. (good advertising

Im 31, just moved to the central Florida area where i grew up, after Military i moved south and just got back up here. I have a john boat and a flats boat. Have the flats boat up for sale or trade on CL for a commercial lawn equipment setup. Lets hope for the best. If not, I am starting to set aside money to get things started / purchased.

Since I just moved back to the area, I landed a job about 40 min away from the house and hating the drive. Wife and 18 month old little girl are at home all day and I only get to see my daughter for 2 hours in the evening. Wife is a stay at home mom... "Home Maker" as she likes to call it.

After moving back to the area a fire has been lit under my tail, seeing all my old friends have their own business and doing well. So its back to my roots in the lawn business and getting out of the computer field which is my current job. As a youngin' i worked at golf courses as lawn maintenance, had my few local neighborhood yards i did, painted, pressure washed, etc. Anything to make a buck. Now that I am the sole provider for my family, I need to look at making more money and spending more time around town and closer to the house to see my daughter more. I hate not spending more time with her and the wife.

So I have the boat for sale or trade locally for lawn equipment. Assuming 2 months from now I have the equipment either way, I plan on getting some local yards to do on the weekends and growing from there. I have a close family friend who owns a real estate business in town and will give me all NEW business that comes in. Foreclosure clean ups, renting, for sale, etc etc. He has been using the same guy for over 10 years and would be wrong to fire him just to help. Sure that's what I would like but it isn't the right thing to do.

What I hope is to get a number from him in 2 weeks. This number would give me a ballpark of accounts I could count on during the weekends or evenings during the summer when it gets darker later on in the day.

From this information I just shared, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Of course, I am going to keep my day job until I get to a point where the income from lawn care meets or exceeds my day job income or I have the opportunity to get a bulk number of accounts from people I meet or know. This way, bills are not going unpaid, everyone eats dinner and i don't get in trouble with the wife for making a bad choice when all this is in favor of becoming more successful for the family and eventually hopes to have people working for me and being able to take time off work and still get paid.

Cheers guys and thanks for reading.
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2012, 09:19 AM
tha5150 tha5150 is offline
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Also, a friend in the business said that I could get a mower, edger, weed eater and blower and possibly a trailer ALL USED for about 2000-2500. sound about right? I am figuring 3k to save or get for my boat.

If these numbers seem right, what type of equipment would I be looking at? A walk behind with a wheel? brand?

After reading around here for a few days, I see a good size is 34 which will get into most back yards with gates. Otherwise a bigger would would be nice but I would have to push mow the entire back yard if I couldn't get the bigger one in. . .
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:57 AM
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CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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Commercial self propelled lawn mower: $1,500 (TORO HEAVY DUTY REAR BAGGER)
Box store and Commercial Trimmer: $200 - $500 (STHIL KM90 R)
Commercial Hand Held Blower: $250 (STHIL BG56)
Box store and Commercial Back pack blower: $250 - $900 (STIHL BR550)
Total: $2,200 - $3,150

Good Trailer: varies... $4000 (estimate) - good luck!


It's important to start with and have commercial grade lawn mower, everything else it optional.

Last edited by CHEESE2009; 01-18-2012 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:09 AM
tha5150 tha5150 is offline
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I would rather a non push mower though. I will get one of those for the sole purpose of getting into smaller gates or areas unable to with walk behind with wheel (what are these called???) or sit down type( what are these called?) but not wanting a personal riding lawn mower.

making sense? excuse my lake of proper naming.

EDIT** also what is BOX STORE?

Last edited by tha5150; 01-18-2012 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tha5150 View Post
I would rather a non push mower though. I will get one of those for the sole purpose of getting into smaller gates or areas unable to with walk behind with wheel (what are these called???) or sit down type( what are these called?) but not wanting a personal riding lawn mower.

making sense? excuse my lake of proper naming.

EDIT** also what is BOX STORE?


I say box store when I can't come up with a name for stores other than dealerships. LOL. For example, it's better to NOT go with home depot, hardware stores, wal-mart if they sell them etc..

Don't get a 'tractor' unless it's a 'zero-turn tractor'. I could go into detail, but a regular tractor functions like a car, and it's a waste of time.

THIS = CACA


Something like this = Acceptable



Note: I am just showing an example of a zero turn vs an old school rider, don't go out and buy what's above in the pics LOL.

Also, I wouldn't recommend a stand on mower. I higher center of gravity is never good, and maneuverability with sit on mowers are best (from experience, and common sense).

You can pick up a NON commercial grade zero turn mower at a BOX STORE, like have done. It works extremely well, and I treat it like crap. It only cost me about .... I forget... $3-4k without the attachments. 32" is best, I don't care what anyone else says. You can either be too big or too small, 32" is in between and I have been able to get through 90% of my clients backyards with a good squeeze.




ALSOOO the mower I have suggested is a self-propelled model, there is no pushing required. I would never suggest a lawn mower you have to push, that takes the fun out of the job! ahahaha

Hope this helps my friend, I am excited for you!
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:39 AM
tha5150 tha5150 is offline
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Thanks for the advice. So your saying this below picture with the wheel is no good? NO THIS MOWER haha. But i have used these types before and do not mind them at all. Of course i would rather the sit down type but i would assume they are much more, mainly because your sitting down.



i know what you ment about self propelled and your right, who wants to PUSH a mower that would defiantly take the fun out of the job.

so what are you suggesting for about 1500 bucks or so used for the type of mower you and i are talking about?

on a side note, i am so excited to get this going, just just dont want to get something to get something and have it break or a piece of junk or overheat, etc etc. so your suggestions are greatly appreciated.

32" is what i am looking for i guess since that is the perfect size to get into back yards and with the speed of these, i could still do a large front yard in decent time considering a larger mower for front and a self propelled type for the back yard. im sure you know what i am getting at here. and of course, later on i could end up getting a larger one if needed but would like to use 1 mower for everything in the beginning and it still be able to handle the 6-8 hours a day of running.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:56 AM
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You should try craigslist for a price range.

ebay as well for trimmers, blowers

I bought a 2010 trailer 6x10 with 24" mesh sides for 1,000

also bought my 2003 f150 2x4 5 spd for 1400 and 120 for the hitch kit so i could hook a trailer up.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:57 AM
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I suppose it depends on your area.

I find that I am able to do hills better while sitting down, and I don't have to duck when I come across a tree. I believe that you are able to see more when sitting down, then standing behind the machine.

Personally, let's say you have to drive a mower in between two cars. You know it's tight, probably a bad idea ... yet if you're like me you'll go for it anyway... I find that making little adjustments are soooo much easier on sit down machines, you really get a feel on the mower considering you are sitting on it, rather than standing behind it....

I wanted a stand on mower for fun... They are fun... I would still get one... but but but... that's all I see them for.

As you grow, maybe you'll hate standing?


****

Also, bagger attachments usually fit on the back of the sit down machines, rather than the side (stand on machines)... This means you still may have a good chance at squeezing into backyards without de-assembling everything over and over again. It's debatable... with sit down machines there is usually tubing that gets in the way, where as stand on machines are just bags that clip onto the side.... hmmm.... This calls for a poll.

Last edited by CHEESE2009; 01-18-2012 at 11:00 AM. Reason: I'm tired and forgot how to spell
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:10 AM
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Cheese,

thanks and all good points. Personal preference i guess. but generally speaking, wouldn't the stand ups be cheaper in comparison? Maybe the way to get to get started at least and then move up to a sit down.

Chaz,

how many miles were on that truck? geez thats cheap!!!


as for the trailer, i would not need one that is enclosed because i would keep my equipment in my garage for certain. This was it is safe, no need to pay for a shop. Only thing i would imagine an issue would be is the rear gate being too tale. i am sure i could figure something out though. Just remove it every night or something.. not sure but thats a small issue right now.
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tha5150 View Post
Cheese,

thanks and all good points. Personal preference i guess. but generally speaking, wouldn't the stand ups be cheaper in comparison? Maybe the way to get to get started at least and then move up to a sit down.

Good question. I have no idea, lol. Everything is pretty expensive for nothing in this industry. I suppose if you find something affordable and that can at least last you a year, go for it!

I have a special deal with my dealership, they give me a lower price of repairs if I promise to break something every week for them to fix ... I keep my end of the bargain... that's for sure! It's always good to know what your local repair shops can and cannot work with, or what parts they always have in stock. It would be a great place to ask around, and figure out what the competition is using.

Last edited by CHEESE2009; 01-18-2012 at 11:23 AM. Reason: raison
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