Business Startup Equipment?

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  #1  
Old 04-09-04, 05:43 AM
Guz
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Question What Lawn Equipment?

Iím looking for some information about what will I need in order to start a small mowing
service.
What tools do I need?
I would like to start as small as possible, but if all looks fine, I could expand the
business in the near future.

What kind of permits do I need (if any)?
-Do I need a permit to cut the grass?
-Do I need a permit to fertilize the lawn?
-Do I need a permit to apply a pesticide (fire ant for example)?

-What kind of services usually cut lawn services use to offer or are expected to
perform?

What tools do I need ?
MOWERS
(side or rear discharge with bag, self propelled)?
-What power do I need , 4, 5.5, 6.5 HP?
-What brand? I have heard that Honda is the best for commercial purposes, but I need
to get those tools through my Sears card and they sell almost just Craftsman, so I saw
a Craftsman with a Honda motor
Craftsman 6.5 hp, 21 in. Deck Rear Bag Propelled Mower
Is that machine ok for what I intend to do? Can I get something cheaper than that but right for the
job?
BLOWER
-What kind of blower (bran if possible)?

-Do I need a TILLER?
-A SHREDDER?
-Line TRIMMER?
-Edge TRIMMER?

As you see, Iím really new on this but very willed to start the small business (I was laid off and I
really need to do this guys). Would you help me please?
I have made lawn work before, but just in my own yard and I havenít face many of the problems
that I see people post in these forums, so I ask. Iím still in the asking step, so feel free to add any
other tips, they will be large appreciated .... Oh! And the truck, can I use my Van? Any permit on
this?
Lots of questions I know, please excuse me.
 
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  #2  
Old 04-09-04, 06:38 AM
Sharp Advice's Avatar
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Location: The Shake and Bake State USA
Posts: 10,440
"Lots Of Variables"

Hello: Guz

As the header indicates, there are lots of variables to consider. And you will get plenty of "Opinions & Free Advice." Only "you" can decide what you can afford and need. Need is based on what startup services you will provide.

Just mowing and edging and or including minor hedge and bush trimming. Which than determines the intial equipment needed. Basic 5-6 items than needed.

For the initial startup business on a low budget, commerical quality is not a must have. Commerical grades will last longer and come with a warranty. Non commerical grade equipment used commerically voids warranties. Budget controls equipment choices.

Therefore, two considerations of prime importance. Equipment quality and budgets. Upgrading can be done over time but not too long a time span, since non commerical grades not likely to last as long.

Equipment needed? Again, varies.
Mower
String Trimmer
Hedge and Bush Trimmer
Blower
Hand trimmers, hoes, racks, etc.
Water Hoses (and Accessories)
Fuel cans.
Extra Blades

Optionals:
Blade Sharpener and Balancer
Edger...(Optional)
Grass seed and fertilizer spreader(s)

Equipment Brands:
Your choice and based on the budget.

Permits? Very likely. Inquire at local city offices.

Advertisement(s). Must have some form of advertisements. Can't have a going business if no one knows you are in business...

Expenses. All businesses have expenses. Advertisement is only one of many. Plan on having plenty of unplanned expenses.

Side Notes:
Not to be concerned with "Lots Of Questions."

Being prepared, knowing ones budget, knowing what serivces will be provided, hourly charges, expenses and general overhead, etc all need to be known and or considered prior to beginning a new business.

Planning is key as are several other important facts. Flexibility is also key. Not all customers have the same wants and or needs. Adapting to each is a key factor as well as having your limits, time control and management.

What you are providing is strictly a service. A highly competitive industry. Which makes the business more difficult to control and manage.

Moto:
Be dam if I will eat soup with a fork. Going home tired and broke is no fun at all. Broke means lots of work for very little profit. Buying oneself a job is no fun. Neither is no profits. Total daily hours spent, minus expenses, equals profit.

"My Two Cents"

Regards & Good Luck. Sharp Advice.
Master Small Engine Tech. Web Site Host, Forums Monitor and Multiple Topics Moderator. "Accurate Power Equipment Company." Small Engine Diagnostics Services & Repair.
Fast...Fair...Friendly & Highly Proficient Services....
 

Last edited by Sharp Advice; 04-10-04 at 06:33 AM.
  #3  
Old 04-09-04, 11:22 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Davenport, Iowa
Posts: 597
Having your own business is a pain. My advice is to hold off on starting your own mowing business. I say this because if you have to ask basic questions about the business at this stage you are putting the cart before the horse. In my case I had a going business before I retired (the first time) for over twenty years. But, before I started it, I worked for another guy in the same business so I could learn, and earn, on someone else's dime. If I were you, I'd be seeking a job with some outfit that does the same kind of work even if it's just a part time job. That way you can work for someone else and find out a few things. Do you REALLY love the work that's involved. What kind of equipment do you like to work with and can it do the job. You can also ask questions while on the job and find the answers to most of your questions. The best small business person is highly motivated and KNOWS the industry. Your best defense against the disappointment of lots of hard work with little profits is get yourself educated first. You will certainly have lots of hard times at the start and that's why it's necessary to really love the job. That's about the only thing that will keep you motivated. Failing means that you will have to work at something else you don't like as much. In my case I asked myself, frequently, do I really, really like what I'm doing, or would I rather be doing something else. If you can't answer YES to the first question, then you most likely won't make it working for yourself.

If you are laid off you have nothing to lose. You will be digging yourself a hole if you start your own business at this point and will be working cheap, or even free after expenses. The lack of money is probably the biggest reason most startup businesses fail. Save all the money you can. Purchase some of the needed equipment used and get it working well. Scope out possible business before hand. Try to time your entry into the "game" to your best advantage. Doing anything else is just stacking the deck against yourself and your odds of success are very long indeed.
 

Last edited by jughead; 04-09-04 at 11:53 AM.
  #4  
Old 04-10-04, 01:03 AM
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Posts: 16,814
Very sound advice, and I agree. There's not much I can add. I really don't want to discourage you, but if you are laid off, and go into debt on this new equipment, and it doesn't work out...then where do you stand? It can be done. I tried a time or two to start a business, but I didn't have any money to support me through the beginning stages. I couldn't find enough work to pay the bills because I hadn't been in business long enough to build a customer base. I got deeper into the hole and finally got a regular job. Then, I had to use all the money from the new job to try and catch up the unpaid bills I accumulated while trying to work for myself. I was blessed, and got a job with someone who let me have an informal time schedule. I could come in when I wnated, and leave when I wanted. So... I started the business I have now. I started off taking long lunch breaks to keep up my business. Soon I was working half-days. Then half-weeks, then one or two days a week, and now I don't need the other job.

I wouldn't have made it easily, if at all, had it not been for the fact that I was able to depend on the regular job to pay my bills while I got my business going.

Think long and hard. Don't let us scare you out of it, but take the advice offered by these guys with an open mind. It's not as easy as you might think. If you decide to go for it, we'll be here to help in any way we can, and there are other forums on this site that might be able to help with financial and business questions.
 
  #5  
Old 04-12-04, 01:42 AM
Guz
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Arrow Thanks

First of all, I want to thank all of you for your help, tips, information and advice.
I'm in the process of evaluating all of my resources and capabilities based on all what you have
said.
We are two working on this idea, the other guy has a friend in the business already, and he is
going to let us go with him to work a few days in order to learn. He has a small business and can't
hire us, but is willed to show us the way he does things.
The other guy has two Vans and accepted to share expenses half and half. That's what I have...
well I have a Murray 6HP mower that I use in my yard, but that's is a home machine right?
I have some cash, but I want to keep it until absolutely necessary, so I thought that the credit I
have...
I'm good designing brochures, flyers and web sites, so I think that might help a little.
My former boss told me that since he have had some business with the city before, he is going to
try to get something for me, but he can't promise anything.
Well, I used to be a musician too, but now days people can't held their jobs and can not aford
going to clubs any more, not as they used to, so there's no costumers at those places. No jobs, no
costumers, no money to hire musicians = no me.
I'm very very motivated and optimist, but I don't want to close my eyes to reality and make an
imprudential move. So I'm thinking very hard in what you have advice me and informed me, I'll let
you know how things are going once I have made my thinking.

Thanks again
 

Last edited by Guz; 04-12-04 at 01:54 AM.
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