Sounds very exciting Jeff. Can I offer some advice from my own experience?
First thing- if you can find a beekeeper in your area who runs around 250 hives, see if you can work with him/her for awhile. Even if it is just an occasional day on a weekend now and then it would be enormously helpful to you. Volunteer your time- the tuition you get will be priceless and could cut years off the learning curve for you. It will also help you to get a sense of the amount of time and effort that 250 hives require- then you can decide if you really want 250 hives or not.
I generally advise newcomers to avoid purchasing used equipment- too much room for error. You could wind up with pests/diseases you don't want to expose your other bees to. But, in my early beekeeping days, our state bee inspector (who, btw, is the one who first put the idea in my head that I could be more than a hobbyist and make $$$ at it) used to call me when other beekeepers were looking to sell out. On his recommendation I was able to buy out 3 retiring beekeepers- not only did he provide the info, but he also evaluated the bees and equipment (on his own time, not on the clock, lol) and helped with advice on pricing so I never got ripped off. Expanding through purchased bees/equipment can be a very expensive way to go about it, but if you can find good deals, I'd go for it. I wound up with a lot of boxes and frames which went right into the wood stove, lol, BUT, in those cases I also bought a honey crop along with the "kindling". So, if for example, I spent $1000 on equipment, I might have harvested $600 worth of honey, made enough $$$ to purchase new woodenware, and still had the bees as a bonus. It's work, but beekeeping generally is. So, make friends with your bee inspector and maybe he can help you out. But, DON'T go around buying used hives from people you don't know, at least not until you get some more experience under your belt. You might get lucky, but you might get burned. And unless you are getting a really good deal, it usually isn't worth it anyway.
If $$$ is a factor, and it usually is, avoid spending a bunch of it on honey house equipment. Join your local beekeepers association and use theirs, if they have it, or hook up with other members who have their own equipment. You help them with their harvest/extraction, then use their facility to do your own. It's a win-win. Plus, again, what you will learn from their experience is priceless. And IMO, there's nothing better than a day spent working bees, or in the honey house, with good friends- takes a lot of the work out of it and makes it fun.
Since recycling is another hobby of mine, I was able to save a whole bunch of money early on by scavanging wood and making a lot of my own equipment. I usually bought boxes and frames, but made all of my tops, bottoms, SBB's, hive top feeders, nucs, pallets, and I guess just about everything else made out of wood. Takes time, but less time than working to earn the $$$ to buy the stuff new.
Don't expand too fast- beekeeping is a hobby (addiction) that can get out of hand real fast!!! Keep it fun, and keep your numbers at a level where you can manage them effectively. Develop a market for your honey/hive products and sell direct to the consumer at premium prices. I used to help a friend of mine who ran between 300-500 hives. At the time I was running 80-100 of my own. I think that I always did better with my 80-100 than he did with his 300-500, and I had a whole lot less $$ invested and didn't work nearly as hard as he did, yet my bees were healthier, and more productive than his were. The reason I said he ran 300-500 is that he always lost a lot of his hives every year- sometimes as many as 50% of them. That gets expensive fast. Then, when I was selling my honey at $3-4 a pound, he was selling his to the packer for 80-90 CENTS a pound. Never made any sense to me. My friend was very smart, and an excellent beekeeper, and I learned a lot from him, but in the end he was a lousy businessman. I still have hives today, and he has none- he went broke last year.
Last advice- be conservative when you figure the income side of the equation. Figure what you think you will earn in an "average" year, but never count on earning more than half of that. Then, in the years when you lose a lot of bees, a drought hits and the bees don't make a honey crop, etc., you'll be able to weather the dearth.
Good luck to you, and I hope you will visit often and share your beekeeping adventures with us.