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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.

Beginner question. Lawn business no contract, just cash, comments?


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 04-21-2013, 07:38 PM
WarriorLandscaping25 WarriorLandscaping25 is offline
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Question Beginner question. Lawn business no contract, just cash, comments?

Hey guys, I've run a small setup during the spring through fall seasons for a few years now.

I provide basic lawn and landscape maintenance from my gained experience of being a grounds person at a cemetery for 6 years as well as cutting lawns as a kid.

I have two questions and would love to hear your thoughts!

1. Where is the best place to learn more about the technical aspects of lawn maintenance and landscaping; such as the basics of each season's requirements (Mowing, seeding, fertilizing, weed control, cleanup's, and the best tips and tricks to really maintain a super green and healthy lawn, and perhaps basic horticultural maintenance

2. I work full time as a personal trainer and retail associate's at Under Armour and would prefer running my business on a cash based income part-time. Everything is legit and registered under the Ontario small business guidelines. I would be happy with 10 clients on the weekend with a regular mowing and cleanup schedule. With 10 clients at 30-50$ a pop, I would pull in roughly 300 - 500$ minus the cost of travel time, fuel, gas/oil, line, bags etc. Any thoughts on this? Can a part-time cash lawn maintenance business sustain itself; I feel they may be looked down upon as not 100% legit or professional? In saying that, I do run a professional operation because I understand the importance from the customer standpoint, also I feel having a cash price for the customer can be a great alternative to a seasonal contract in which they may not want to commit to. I sell training for a living and I deal with contracts everyday :P



Thanks!

Tim
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2013, 09:26 PM
SNethercutt SNethercutt is offline
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Can it sustain itself is up to you. Are you happy with making that $500 minus the cost? If you can make that with $500 in equipment and are happy and can live with what your doing why wouldn't it be sustainable?

I see what your doing more as a hobby than a business. A business wants to grow and expand, you just want some extra money, like the guy who makes wooden trinkets and sells them at trade shows. He has a full time jobs but enjoys working with wood and tries to make a little money of of it.

As far as getting 10 clients, it may take a while, but people would much rather pay you to do stuff than a big business. They see you as a little man, and let's face it.... nobody likes big business unless its their own.

So can you do it... yes

Would I do it... no.I'm not gonna go mow just a couple yards. Did I start their yes, but I don't plan on mowing myself for the next 8 years. I want to be able to hire employees to do the work and I sit back and bass fish.

What are you gonna do if you wanna go on vacation? You have a yard to mow that weekend..

Are you gonna want to pay good money for decent equipment and take care of it? Those people depend on you to mow their yard, and you depend on your equipment to help you...

As far as becoming good at what you do... you have what people call resident experts in every area that know a lot of stuff about gardening and planting and all that. I would find out who the gardeners in your area listen to on the radio or read from online and do some reading. Also see what information an agricultural school in your area post online. We have Texas A&M and they do a lot of research and give good info.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:31 AM
stevef1201 stevef1201 is offline
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I have found that a good local expert can be found at your county extension office. It may called something different in your area. You have to find out who is the most knowledgeable and cultivate him as a friend. He will give you more information than you possible imagine. From when to fertilize, to what is causing specific problems an how to fix it.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:45 AM
WarriorLandscaping25 WarriorLandscaping25 is offline
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Thank you for your reply's.

As for your my equipment. I have top of the line tools, all maintained and ready to go. Spent 2000$ a few years back for a solid setup. Lawnboy mower, sthl trimmer and echo blower.

I would consider it a small business/hobby I guess.

I don't go on vacations during the summer
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
I work full time as a personal trainer and retail associate's at Under Armour and would prefer running my business on a cash based income part-time. Everything is legit and registered under the Ontario small business guidelines. I would be happy with 10 clients on the weekend with a regular mowing and cleanup schedule. With 10 clients at 30-50$ a pop, I would pull in roughly 300 - 500$ minus the cost of travel time, fuel, gas/oil, line, bags etc. Any thoughts on this?
Hi Tim,

Welcome to our forum!

With your skill set being in personal fitness, what are your thoughts on sticking with that and scale up a personal fitness training business where you go to the customer's house and train them each week? Why lawn care?
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:12 PM
Ryan's Lawn Care Ryan's Lawn Care is offline
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If you're trying to learn more about how to fertilize and stuff like that ortho makes a number of books. I bought one for a dollar at ollis and it has pictures of different types of weeds and tells you exactly what to get to get rid of the weeds also it recommends what type of grass to plant according to what part of the country you live in and whether or not it's a high traffic area or in the shade. btw thats just one book the other ones cover different lawn related topics.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarriorLandscaping25 View Post
Hey guys, I've run a small setup during the spring through fall seasons for a few years now.

I provide basic lawn and landscape maintenance from my gained experience of being a grounds person at a cemetery for 6 years as well as cutting lawns as a kid.

I have two questions and would love to hear your thoughts!

1. Where is the best place to learn more about the technical aspects of lawn maintenance and landscaping; such as the basics of each season's requirements (Mowing, seeding, fertilizing, weed control, cleanup's, and the best tips and tricks to really maintain a super green and healthy lawn, and perhaps basic horticultural maintenance

2. I work full time as a personal trainer and retail associate's at Under Armour and would prefer running my business on a cash based income part-time. Everything is legit and registered under the Ontario small business guidelines. I would be happy with 10 clients on the weekend with a regular mowing and cleanup schedule. With 10 clients at 30-50$ a pop, I would pull in roughly 300 - 500$ minus the cost of travel time, fuel, gas/oil, line, bags etc. Any thoughts on this? Can a part-time cash lawn maintenance business sustain itself; I feel they may be looked down upon as not 100% legit or professional? In saying that, I do run a professional operation because I understand the importance from the customer standpoint, also I feel having a cash price for the customer can be a great alternative to a seasonal contract in which they may not want to commit to. I sell training for a living and I deal with contracts everyday :P



Thanks!

Tim
That's an interesting combination you've got there. I can tell you that you won't be making $300-$500 per week right off the bat, you need to develop an advertising method to attract the number of customers you are looking for. Also are you really for sure that you want to be working during the week at your job and then working weekends with your lawn service? Most lawn services don't work weekends due to time with family, customers wanting to enjoy their weekends, etc. Are you sure you want this kind of commitment? You mentioned you have a Lawn Boy mower, what size mower are we talking about here? Also what size lots are you looking at mowing? You mentioned your prices, but didn't mention the size of properties. You want to make sure that your property sizes are worth mowing for the amount you charge, and also make sure that they are not far from each other to limit windshield time, so you can travel less and earn more. I've asked enough questions for now, so I'll give you time to absorb this and reply back.
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:22 PM
WarriorLandscaping25 WarriorLandscaping25 is offline
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Yes my main focus will definitely be personal training. Perhaps 10 customers on the weekend is a tad ambitious but its still none the less possible. The mower is a 23" deck I believe, top of the line push. I feel I could gain clients a bit easier by giving my personal training clients and prospects a business card and or flyer.

Thanks for the reply's!
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarriorLandscaping25 View Post
Yes my main focus will definitely be personal training. Perhaps 10 customers on the weekend is a tad ambitious but its still none the less possible. The mower is a 23" deck I believe, top of the line push. I feel I could gain clients a bit easier by giving my personal training clients and prospects a business card and or flyer.

Thanks for the reply's!
Are you planning on having business insurance? And are you just going to be mowing or offering other services as well? Because you'll need to be certified/licensed for fertilizing. You mentioned, but I'm curious how this will tie in with question #2.

Last edited by GreenBlue; 04-25-2013 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:01 AM
WarriorLandscaping25 WarriorLandscaping25 is offline
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No I do not plan on getting my fertilizing license. In all honesty I'm quite happy with just a mowing service and minor gardening. I enjoy cutting grass and I am in good enough shape physically to handle 10 houses on the weekend. I would like this service to be my main money maker.

I advertise with social networking, kijiji.ca, and business cards as well as advertising using my other business. I feel 10 - 15 houses with my city over a Saturday and Sunday is doable. Of course I will not start off there, not even close; I have 3 weekly clients right now, but that will change soon.

Another question I have is about business write offs and taxes. Is it possible to charge customers cash without tax and still have write off's on your income tax?
Would I just use invoices, have them sign off on the service completed and keep all of my business related receipts?
(Gas, equipment, materials, maintenance etc)
My business is registered and licensed under a sole proprietorship

I do not plan to make this my main source of income, however I do believe with the right attitude and customer service I can make profitable wages weekly, in the range of 300 - 500$ in my pocket after expenses.
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