ISO - Business Startup Advice / Possible Mentor


New Orleans, LA
I am relatively new to the business (I have been working as a "hand" for the last 6 months), but have quickly fell in LOVE! For the last 15 years, my career has been in corporate sales. Although the money is great, I have been very dissatisfied and I am tired of making tons of money for my bosses. I want to build something to call my own and I feel i have found a great opportunity in arboriculture. I am fully aware that i have A LOT to learn in order to run a safe and successful business. I have researched my local market as well as state requirements for obtaining a license. I am hoping to get some solid advice in this thread and possibly find someone who would be willing to act as a mentor.

What advice would you give someone who is wanting to start their own business? Major do's/dont's?


Well-Known Member
Atglen, PA
The first thing I would say is DON’T! If you feel like this piece of advice is not worth it, my next recommendation is to figure out how much cash you need to start up, and the double it and add 50% on top of that. If you have that, you’ll be close to what you actually need. The unexpected expenses are incredible in this industry.

Find a good accountant and a good small business lawyer and make friends with them. Take their advice, even if you don't agree with it.

Do the math, with the help of your accountant, to figure out what you need to bring in, and do your bidding based on those real numbers, don’t pay any attention to the tree service across town. There’s a lot of guys out there doing a lot of work for free, they just haven’t figured it out yet.

What else do you want to know? I’m happy to answer intelligent questions from someone who is interested in actually taking some of the advice of the advisor. I like to think I have an idea what I’m doing by now, I am on my third business now, and all three were/are profitable.


Well-Known Member
1) figure out what you know
2) if you don't want to start a business doing that, LEARN about the field you want to work in
--so for trees: do you want to get into care/pruning or removals? If removals, lots of rigging, load balancing, equipment, etc... if pruning: learn tree biology before picking up a saw. If you goal is to make a tree better, there needs to be a good reason for every cut you make.
3) do what you know, do it well, be honest, don't be a jerk
4) keep learning

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