Where can I buy lawn mowers at wholesale prices?
Even if we were buying 100 mowers at one time we would negotiate a deal with the vendors in our local market.
Every December we test the market to see if the price we are paying for equipment and supplies is still extremely competitive (we buy most of the equipment and supplies we anticipate needing for the upcoming year in December for tax reasons).
Over the years we have spent a lot of time looking around for the very best prices. The prices we can negotiate in the local market are generally as good as any we can find.
Note: If you want maximum negotiating power buy all of your lawn care equipment at once.
Even if we were able to slightly beat the local vendors we normally buy mowers, line trimmers, stick edges, trailers, truck beds, etc from by buying out of state or 100 miles away — we would continue to purchase from the local vendors we have relationships with.
I firmly believe that if we take care of our vendors and send them a lot of business they will take care of us in a hurry when we need very fast service. (Or need them to help us find a new employee.)
If not, we will find another local vendor next year when we make a very large equipment purchase.
We try to be very loyal to our vendors as long as they are good to us and remain very competitive on price.
How Can I Learn About Irrigation and Irrigation Systems?
The fastest way to learn the irrigation business is to locate the vendors in your local area – the guys that sell the parts. They can tell you where to get licensed. They can teach you a lot. Many of them run workshops and classes. There is a lot to learn about pipe sizes, flow rates, pressure, heads and the different controllers… they can advise you all of this and guide you on how to best learn it.
Remember… they want to sell you parts. Go visit them in person. Don’t just call them up and ask questions. Go see them. You will get more attention and respect from them in person than you will over the phone.
The state will require you to get licensed. So they provide books and manuals to prepare. This too will teach you a lot. My experience has been that you must also attend classes prior to taking your irrigators test. You will learn a lot in these classes.
Also, Google search irrigation magazines. Subscribe to every magazine you can find on the subject and start reading them. For example, look at www.igin.com.
There is also information that can be learned on forums such as www.lawnsite.com. Remember, forum advice isn’t always accurate but it can be very helpful.
Amazon probably has books on the subject. Search on something like… irrigation installation.
To learn about licensing in your state search on something like… irrigation license ‘yourstate’.
The vendors that sell the parts will be your very best initial source… they will be able to lead you to all of your other sources. If you don’t already have a business, consider working under someone for a short while and learning. Hands on training is the best way to learn the irrigation business.
1) Figure out your business name.
2) Register your business name with GoDaddy.com.
3) If you can afford it – register your business as an S Corp or LLC from day one. Budget $300 to $400 if you use a service like LegalZoom.com.
4) The same is true for your trademark. If funds are tight I would at least file the LLC or S Corp and hold on the Trademark.
5) If you register a different LLC or S Corp entity name than the name you plan to call your business you must file a DBA (use LegalZoom.com).
6) If you can’t afford to form an LLC or S Corp register for an assumed name certificate at the county courthouse. You can use your social security number. As soon as you can afford it… file to become an LLC or S Corp.
7) Setup your business bank accounts from day one. They are nearly free. This is very important. First file as an S Corp or LLC or Sole Proprietor or Partnership (Assumed Name Certificate at the courthouse) and then visit the bank and setup your business bank accounts.
8) If offered, take the credit card the bank offers with your business account but do not use it. File it away only to be used for emergencies. Debt (too many high monthly payments) runs more small business owners out of business than you would expect).
9) If you are starting your business with a partner consider a Buy Sell Agreement.
10) File for a sales tax permit. (you can generally do this online in your local city)
11) Look for a great inexpensive software tool that has the potential to run all facets of your business as you grow. Obviously we recommend Service Autopilot (http://www.LawnServiceSoftware.com). Regardless of which solution you ultimately chose this is critical.
12) If you are just getting started and you are not using Service Autopilot consider buying QuickBooks day one and getting your business off to the right start financially. By the way, at http://www.lawnservicesoftware.com/ you can get free software that when you’re small will allow you to delay the purchase of QuickBooks – it will do everything you need for now.
13) Create a simple file folder structure in a small two drawer file cabinet and keep all of your paperwork and files organized. If you wait until the end of the year to record your financial records in QuickBooks and organize your bank statements and paperwork you will be miserable come tax time. This is one of the easiest ways to minimize costly tax mistakes.
14) At year end clear all of your file folders from the file cabinet and put them in a box. Start all of your file folders fresh for the new tax year. Label the box. This will help keep all of your important paper work organized by tax year.Once again, if you are not using Service Autopilot consider setting up QuickBooks so you can use their built in credit card charging functionality. Service Autopilot automates the process for you but if you are not a Service Autopilot user QuickBooks has a fairly easy to use manual process. Accepting and charging your clients credit cards is a great way to speed up your businesses cash flow and get paid fast and on time.