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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.

Lots of beginner questions.. One man servicing


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 05-12-2009, 03:58 PM
tomustang
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Default Lots of beginner questions.. One man servicing

My own senerio: I live in the mid-atlantic (eastern,pa) moderate rain fall. I typically mow my own grass twice a week, 2" setting.

On average, my neighbors get their lawn cut once a week, so on figured 4 times a month, from what i can tell the other lawn services cut at 3-3 1/2in, is that the standard height?

Average height of cutting?

What should all be done in the mowing process: mow, trim, edging, pick up small debris?

When cutting should I cut the all the obstacles first then hit the lawn with the tractor?

What about the left over cut clippings? I have seen many other services let it lay and it makes the yard look like crap.

What tools should I bright just to mow: lawn tractor, 1 standard mower, weed whacker, lawn edger?

Pricing on just mowing: I've heard mixed numbers on this. $44/hr average, $1 per minute, .001 per sq foot.

Obstacles in my mowing path: is there more to charge per sq ft? hills/playground equipt/holes/gardens?

Charging a rate for non mowing: removal of dead branches, filling in holes, planting, filling in, etc?

Discounts: military/police, next door neighbors.. 5-10%?

Patterns, is there an extra charge for mowing diagonal?


What I have right now is : john deere RX75 she's relable, 2-6in cut, forget the cutting size, and quick. 2 push mowers: an older unknown with a good B&S motor with front drive, and a craftsman 6.5hp mower/mulcher. Have an older weed wacker. This is what I can start out with. If things can pick up after I start I wouldn't have a problem buying better/efficient/newer equiptment, if I knew what they were

More questions will come up at a later time.
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  #2  
Old 05-13-2009, 04:31 AM
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
First off, welcome to our forum.

Let me take a shot at some of these questions.

Quote:
My own senerio: I live in the mid-atlantic (eastern,pa) moderate rain fall. I typically mow my own grass twice a week, 2" setting.

On average, my neighbors get their lawn cut once a week, so on figured 4 times a month, from what i can tell the other lawn services cut at 3-3 1/2in, is that the standard height?

Average height of cutting?
That seems to be an acceptable range.

Quote:
What should all be done in the mowing process: mow, trim, edging, pick up small debris?
It seems there have been different views on here as to which is fastest or which saves the most time.
1.pick up small debris
2.trim
3.mow
4.edging

Quote:
What about the left over cut clippings? I have seen many other services let it lay and it makes the yard look like crap.
This depends on the business owner and the customer. I have seen this done both ways as well.

Quote:
Pricing on just mowing: I've heard mixed numbers on this. $44/hr average, $1 per minute,
Anywhere between $44 - $60 an hour would the average to above average.

Quote:
Obstacles in my mowing path: is there more to charge per sq ft? hills/playground
You have to keep all this in mind when you create your price because all of this will take more time. The more time you spend on the property, the more you need to charge.

Quote:
Charging a rate for non mowing: removal of dead branches, filling in holes, planting, filling in,
Ultimately you are going to have one hourly fee you will be charging no matter if its cutting or removing dead branches.

Quote:
Discounts: military/police, next door neighbors.. 5-10%?
If these discounts can get you jump started, sure experiment with them.
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  #3  
Old 05-13-2009, 08:26 PM
tomustang
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Thanks for the heads up, got a lot of useful info here and searching around the site yesterday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
That seems to be an acceptable range.
That would be 3" right?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
It seems there have been different views on here as to which is fastest or which saves the most time.
1.pick up small debris
2.trim
3.mow
4.edging
I guess this will really come down to location and terrain for me.
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  #4  
Old 05-14-2009, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
That would be 3" right?
I don't think you would go wrong with that setting.
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  #5  
Old 05-14-2009, 10:24 AM
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Lightbulb Mowing height suggestions.

Welcome to the forum.

What type of grass are you cutting? Proper cutting height depends on the type of grass. Many lawn grasses should be cut in the 2" to 3" range range...a little higher or lower depending on your circumstances.

A raised cutting height is normally better because tall grass keeps sunlight from reaching low growing broadleaf weeds giving a better stand of lawn grass.

Also, don't forget the rule of 1/3. Typically, you should only remove 1/3 of the height of a blade of grass with each mowing. Cutting too low damages the grass blade causing root damage and drought intolerance.

As a lawn care newbie, you have lots of questions. I think you will benefit greatly from my materials located at:

www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com

If you have any questions, let me know. I'm always happy to help.

Keith
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  #6  
Old 05-14-2009, 06:59 PM
tomustang
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I don't think you would go wrong with that setting.
I'll try it out on my own lawn if it ever stops raining I have always cut mine at 2"
Quote:
Originally Posted by StartALawnCareBusiness View Post
Welcome to the forum.

What type of grass are you cutting? Proper cutting height depends on the type of grass. Many lawn grasses should be cut in the 2" to 3" range range...a little higher or lower depending on your circumstances.

A raised cutting height is normally better because tall grass keeps sunlight from reaching low growing broadleaf weeds giving a better stand of lawn grass.

Also, don't forget the rule of 1/3. Typically, you should only remove 1/3 of the height of a blade of grass with each mowing. Cutting too low damages the grass blade causing root damage and drought intolerance.

As a lawn care newbie, you have lots of questions. I think you will benefit greatly from my materials located at:

www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com

If you have any questions, let me know. I'm always happy to help.

Keith
Residential grass, most homes in my area are 1/3 acre to 1 1/2. The tough chore I have is finding business real close to me when starting up. My township neighbors are all the hard working elderly folk, who won't pay to cut grass and don't need 'neat' looking landscaping. The widowed women are the target group and most of them are taken from other firms.
I'll create some flyers and see what they can generate. For now I can use my 21in walk behind and a weedwacker (fit in my SUV) for close work until I can get more biz, then perhaps a small 5X8 trailer I can haul a riding mower

I shown your site to my wife last night and was pondering the program. It this picks up for me I wouldn't have a problem purchasing it.


Only thing I need right now is a measuring wheel to do estimates.


Thanks for all the help already
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  #7  
Old 05-14-2009, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomustang View Post


Only thing I need right now is a measuring wheel to do estimates.

Just use your feet, it will save you money!

I also recommend picking up a handheld blower, just in case debris land on customers walkway, driveway etc' from using your weed whacker.
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  #8  
Old 05-14-2009, 07:22 PM
tomustang
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BREEZE2009 View Post
Just use your feet, it will save you money!
Never even thought about that!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BREEZE2009 View Post
I also recommend picking up a handheld blower, just in case debris land on customers walkway, driveway etc' from using your weed whacker.
Can you recommend a decent one as well?
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomustang View Post
Can you recommend a decent one as well?
Echo, Shindaiwa, etc. These 2 brands are both commercial quality. If you can find a Redmax, Maruyama, etc, they are good as well. I am not particularly fond of Stihl equipment tho many here swear by them. I tend to look at them from a mechanics point of view and consider the design of the machine. I sell neither so I have no stake in the matter from that perspective.

However, ABSOLUTELY do not buy a craftsman, poulan, weedeater, or other cheap box store brand. They are not worth your time or money. If you buy one and use it commercially, you are lucky if you get a year from them. Seriously, they are nothing but junk. Plus, I will come out there and personally kick your butt if you buy one (I was born in PA and I need an excuse to come visit PA again)!!!!

Good luck,
Eli
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  #10  
Old 05-14-2009, 07:41 PM
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Default I bought a Puolan

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperiorPower View Post

However, ABSOLUTELY do not buy a craftsman, poulan, weedeater, or other cheap box store brand. They are not worth your time or money. If you buy one and use it commercially, you are lucky if you get a year from them. Seriously, they are nothing but junk. Plus, I will come out there and personally kick your butt if you buy one (I was born in PA and I need an excuse to come visit PA again)!!!!

Good luck,
Eli
Eli,

I bought a Poulon with all the attachments - tiller, blower, edgr, hedge trimmer, and pole saw. I bought it all at a lawn sale for $25.00. If I get a year out of it - or even a couple months - I'll be happy.

P.S. I also have an Echo. The Poulon is a back-up

Steve
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