This week, Nathan is taking you through his thought process as he is purchases the right equipment for his needs (and sometimes bigger than his needs). It's always wise when purchasing and investing in your company and brand. Here are some of the factors to think about before you buy.
When starting your lawn and landscape company, the main focus, in the beginning is to add accounts and grow your weekly mowing route. The equipment you start out with isn’t really that important and you will gradually add new equipment as you grow.
When I was starting out I had outgrown my push mower quickly and the cost of the repair wasn't worth the mower anymore. That started the process of buying new equipment and this is where I’m asked now how I made decisions like: “What mower & equipment should I buy? Should I buy new or used? Where should I buy my mower & equipment from? I think over the past nine years I have found myself asking these questions and I now have a better sense of direction when making these decisions. My number one thing when I am looking at upgrading or buying new equipment is the dealer support. It doesn't matter if the equipment is new or used, it doesn’t matter what brand it is — it will break down and you need to have a dealer that can not only service the equipment, but have parts available with a fast turnaround time.
Before buying, ask the dealer for a demo unit. Ask what the warranty plan is and if they have any service plan deals when you buy new or used. The second thing I look for is the deals, promotions, and rebates on the equipment. Over time I have noticed that when buying these discounts, it can almost add up to the price of buying used and in our current market the financing is almost 0%, so it’s very cheap to buy new.
The third and final thing I look at is where this piece of equipment will be in my company in five years and in ten years. Will I need to buy a bigger size or a different model in five years? If so, I try to take the “one and done” approach and buy the bigger machine now even if it is overkill for my current needs.
Find a good dealer
Demo different machines before buying
Compare incentives between machines
As yourself where this machine will be in five years and in ten years