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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Going big time lawn business

Okay first the background cause I like telling stories .
First off I bought my T my summer after senior year of high school and started payments through a somewhat small time lawn care business. I had 10-15 customers per week and they payed well for what I was doing. I had a small trailer which was basically a couple of old pieces of metal with a wood bottom which carried what I was using at the time. All the stuff was my dads so I had no real initial costs. Me and a buddy did mowing, weed eating, cleaning off the cut grass and edging. We did it for pretty cheap because it was kinda a first time thing.

Now for the plans or idea. Okay so I plan on trying to start up again in Greenville NC over the summer. I already have some connections with people who can get me a couple jobs and I can get some cheap advertisement out of my fraternity brothers. I'm looking to try and get up anywhere from 50-60 per week customers because i'll be able to work everyday of the week instead of mostly weekends. I think a realistic number is 30 though. Heres the things that i'm going to have to invest in to start.
1. Mower......Depending on how many customers i'm getting I'll go with a riding or push or multiple push mowers.
2. Blower......Pretty basic, i'm going to have to have that either way and it won't be anything fancy
3. Good weed eater......One thing I learned is that from my dads ghedo rigged a$$ weed eater that gave me trouble out the ***.
4. Possibly a trailer.....This is a possible depending on how many customers, and depending on the mower.
I have basic other yard tools i'll need and such.

Now for the question. I know this is a stretch but I know someone will have some advice for me this forum rocks. Anyway, my thing is if anyone has ANY advice at all it'd be appreciated. Also if anyone knows anyone who needs alittle grass cut that would also be great. Lemme know what yall think. Also one last thing to add to this is i'm not going to jump into anything until I know I have customers so I've already started to look for customers. If I don't have the customers i'm not going to do it and its back to corporate america for the summer

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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 11:02 PM
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Youre in the wrong forum asking this. I been in the lawn biz 4 years now with about 30 yards but cut back to 17 this year due to a promotion in operations in my day job. I do it part time and love the extra cash to play with. I started with a 22in craftsman mower from sears with a echo blower and straight shaft weedeater. 6 months in I seen a little clientele and financed a residential toro z turn from conns. Payed it off in a year and took me 2 more years to upgrade to a hustler commercial ztr. I hustled my *** off, purchased a 91 gmc 1500 to take the strain off the titan for awhile but it all was worth it. Start off small and work your way up cause with good work the clients will come, picked up 27 yards in my first year and would not go over 30. I went from a push mower in the back of the t to a 6x12 trailer with two ztrs, 3 echo trimmers, blowers, walkbehind and stick edgers, and a extra truck. By the way become a member on lawnsite.com, Im a member on there also with the same user name. Its a damn good forum just like titan talk!!


Oh and the t will pull a trailer with no prob.

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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Going big time lawn business

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Originally Posted by joel29m View Post
Youre in the wrong forum asking this. I been in the lawn biz 4 years now with about 30 yards but cut back to 17 this year due to a promotion in operations in my day job. I do it part time and love the extra cash to play with. I started with a 22in craftsman mower from sears with a echo blower and straight shaft weedeater. 6 months in I seen a little clientele and financed a residential toro z turn from conns. Payed it off in a year and took me 2 more years to upgrade to a hustler commercial ztr. I hustled my *** off, purchased a 91 gmc 1500 to take the strain off the titan for awhile but it all was worth it. Start off small and work your way up. I went from a push mower in the back of the t to a 6x12 trailer with two ztrs, 3 echo trimmers, blowers, walkbehind and stick edgers, and a extra truck. By the way become a member on lawnsite.com, Im a member on there also with the same user name. Its a damn good forum just like titan talk!!

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I'll check them out. I'm doing this as a summer job and I referee on the weekends. I'm going to go look at the site now. I work my *** off when it comes to stuff like this especially sense I can do the job from start to finish and reep my own benefits. I know its not a full time job but I've seen it bring in money and being your own boss is the topping on the cake.

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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 11:18 PM
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I'll check them out. I'm doing this as a summer job and I referee on the weekends. I'm going to go look at the site now. I work my *** off when it comes to stuff like this especially sense I can do the job from start to finish and reep my own benefits. I know its not a full time job but I've seen it bring in money and being your own boss is the topping on the cake.
Oh yes it can be a fulltime job with a lot of dedication. I was about to jump in it fulltime but I figured it was too late cause ill be in a lot of damn debt if I did it now!!! Get you a few top dollar commercial accounts and you good to go. Yes check the site out just like tt it have just about all the info and opinons you need to start a business.

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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 04:58 AM
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Re: Going big time lawn business

My father was a teacher (just retired) and has owned his lawn business for 23 years (full time now that he is retired). I help him after work (I'm an engineer 7-4) and on weekends. We have about 40 accounts and do everything from lawn mowing to mulch applications. For hand held equipment, echo is your best bet. We've had a hand blower, purchased in 1999, I've run it over with the trailer, and it still runs flawless. Stihl is great but overpriced IMO. For riders we have 2 48" scag zero turns with Kawi motors.

Make sure after every yard you do, you blow off the walkways and driveways, patio's decks etc.. Even if there isn't grass on them. Also, blow off your mower after each and every lawn. It seems a little OCD, but grass on the deck can trap heat, and cause premature spindle bearing failure. Plus, customers like to see nice, clean machines when you pull up.

Edging all of the walkways and driveway where grass comes into contact, every time you mow also leaves a nice clean-cut appearance, simply by turning the week whacker on its side and running along the edge.

We have a tandem axle 16' trailer, and a tandem axle 12' dump trailer, which is perfect for spring and fall clean ups.

As for advertising, never have. Sign on the trailer and word of mouth, we actually have a waiting list for next season.

There is always money to be made and never be afraid to suggest certain services to your customers to make a few extra bucks. "Hey, if we trimmed the shrubs and threw down some bark mulch, it would really add to the curb appeal of the house. Would you be interested?" Worst they can say is no, but 9/10 times, you just lined yourself up with some extra work = extra $$

That's what I can think of off the top of my head, sorry if some of the info seemed like no brainers..

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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 06:08 AM
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Re: Going big time lawn business

Here's my two cents- for trimmers,blowers,chain saws etc. I like the Stihl lineup. Especially the Kombi with detachable heads. For self propelled walk behinds - Honda (commercial) w/zeon deck. Riders- pick up a Z-Turn. Scag and Gravely are great units. Trailers- I like Sure-Trac. (currently have one). Good luck in your biz adventure.

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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Going big time lawn business

Thanks for the advice on machinery, Also where do yall think would be the best place to look for the stuff? I've been checking the local lowes and tractor supply and all them. Most of the yards i'll probably be doing are going ot be in the 1/2 acre to maybe an acre in some cases so i'm still trying to decide if a Z turn is the best option. Also if I go with a Z turn I know I gotta go all the way with a trailer and such. I actually just talked my dad into letting me have his old blower if I pay for a third of his new one which seemed like a steal to me. so One thing down.

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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 07:30 AM
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Re: Going big time lawn business

Sounds like a lot to invest for just a summer job...

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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 07:40 AM
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Re: Going big time lawn business

Good luck sir, I've been cutting for 10 years. I've had to almost stop because soooo many illegals with trucks/trailers undercutting prices all over the Nashville area.

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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Going big time lawn business

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Sounds like a lot to invest for just a summer job...
Well it won't just be a one time thing it'll be something I start and continue for years to come. Seems like a justified investment to me

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Awesome congrats brother, it looks like your start up is going to take off. If you ever want to start selling landscaping LED lighting let me know. I am currently working with quite a few landscapers and designers retrofitting and mapping new setups. I just quoted and retrofitted a 23k lot yesterday. I would like to assist you in providing an extra service and saving your clients money at the same time. Call/text me if your interested 213-247-914nine
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Re: Going big time lawn business

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Awesome congrats brother, it looks like your start up is going to take off. If you ever want to start selling landscaping LED lighting let me know. I am currently working with quite a few landscapers and designers retrofitting and mapping new setups. I just quoted and retrofitted a 23k lot yesterday. I would like to assist you in providing an extra service and saving your clients money at the same time. Call/text me if your interested 213-247-914nine
That sounds interesting....i'll keep that in mind...

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I have a 42" hustler zero turn and love it. If you are looking at smaller ZTs its best to get one with a deck offset so you can still get close to walls, risers, trees, etc. One of the choices I was looking at had the rear axle a little wider than the deck width making it impossible. As for handheld power,, echo,still,husqvarna are all good options. You are more than welcome to come play with my mower but you have to weedeat my ditches when you are done

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Re: Going big time lawn business

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Originally Posted by tarheelmatthew1 View Post
Thanks for the advice on machinery, Also where do yall think would be the best place to look for the stuff? I've been checking the local lowes and tractor supply and all them. Most of the yards i'll probably be doing are going ot be in the 1/2 acre to maybe an acre in some cases so i'm still trying to decide if a Z turn is the best option. Also if I go with a Z turn I know I gotta go all the way with a trailer and such. I actually just talked my dad into letting me have his old blower if I pay for a third of his new one which seemed like a steal to me. so One thing down.
Go to an authorized dealer for such. Lowe's and Tractor Supply are good for applications in personal home use, not commercial. You get what you pay for. Hint- take notice to the construction of the mower decks, Lowe's, TS ,Sears etc vs a Scag, Gravely etc. You will notice the difference, hence the cheaper price.

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Re: Going big time lawn business

Way to go tarheelmatthew1! Keep motivated and don't let anyone discourage you! Before I went into the Army I ran a Chemlawn franchise, liquid fertilizer, weed and insect control, I think they call themselves TruGreen now. Anyway, we had almost 700 customers with an average lawn size of 7,000'. I always had folks that mowed lawns for a living ask me to recommend them to our customers. I told them to let me see a few of their lawns and if they did good I would put a good word in for them which usually got them the job. Get to know the guys in the big fertilizer trucks and you could do yourself a lot of good! BTW, we did a lot of commercial businesses too which would really help you.

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