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View Full Version : How do you do it


sleona
06-29-2001, 02:45 PM
Lot's of you say you've got full-time, 40hr/week, 9-5 jobs & part-time LCO's ranging in size from just a handful of accounts to 55+ accounts. How to you find the time to manage them both? Heck, I struggle with 40hrs of work and part-time college, and at college I'm sitting on my butt the whole time so I really wouldn't call that work.

Sean

scottb
06-29-2001, 02:48 PM
If you want somthing bad enough you just do it. You just have to remeber that you have to make some sacrafices here and there. Plus if your doing somthing you enjoy it doesnt always seem like work.

sleona
06-29-2001, 02:58 PM
It's not a matter of how bad you want to do it I'm asking about. I want to know LITERALLY how you do it. Do you cut in the wee-morning hours and piss off the neighbors (maybe even the client) or do it in the evening? How?

I only ask because I've rarely seen an LCO out and about except in the morning to late afternoon hours. Reading about those of you who have corp. jobs AND a P/T LCO struck me as odd.

scottb
06-29-2001, 03:03 PM
Ok then I get off work at 3:30pm than work until Im done. Usally home by 7:30pm. Also I work on Saturdays for the really big stuff.I have a friend that works 40+hours a week for the post office but his hours are 4:00am to 12:30pm. He with the help of a full time employee maintains 50+ accounts.

Mowman
06-29-2001, 03:08 PM
Sean,
Hey it's tough to balance 40hr's in a factory and about the same cuttng grass and trimming bushes. I get about 3-4 hours a sleep a day. I try and catch up on my sleep on rain days and on the weekends. I feel this is the only way I'll ever get out of that factory. Work both till I build my customer base to exceed my factory income then tell them to KISS THIS!!!!!!!!!!! Losing sleep is tough but I think someday I'll be FREE from that 11:00-7:00 night job and do my OWN thing real SOON. The sooner the better.

Good Luck,
Mowman

HOMER
06-29-2001, 03:27 PM
Maybe you'll succeed that way. I didn't quit my factory job with matching income, I just quit. I knew there was no way to build this business trying to focus on the other and the wife and the kids and the bills and the.................something had to go.

If you know this is what you want then quit the day job. I guarantee you'll find something to do..........the day job will always be a crutch. If your gonna do it then do it. There ain't never a "good time" or the "right time". What there is is a ticking clock as time passes away and opportunities are missed because you can't juggle both.

Take a deep breath and jump in.

sleona
06-29-2001, 03:41 PM
That's pretty impressive, Scott. One things for sure...you're probably in pretty good shape with that busy schedule.

Hell, I'd love to dive into this full time right now, but you have to take into consideration the unexpected. Medical bills are tough without some kind of insurance. Unless you've got some serious cash flow with your lawn biz when you start out you could be financially screwed. It's smarter to keep the day job with benefits until you've established your LCO well enough to support yourself.

HOMER
06-29-2001, 03:53 PM
That's the crutch I'm talking about. Health insurance is a biggie no doubt, they sell it every day. Find a good policy and get prepared to pay for it. If you think about all the reasons not to do something you never will. You can continue your present coverage under the COBRA plan for 18 months..........mine was $460.00 a month. Cash flow comes from pounding the pavement and having the time to do it. There isn't enough time to pound it when your working all day and then trying to maintain the accounts you have in the afternoons. One more thing, if your waiting on that one big account that will set you free, you might be waiting a long time.

JLC
06-29-2001, 04:15 PM
I agree with you Homer, just can't convince my wife. I am confident I could make it FT, but there is always some doubt. This is a very tough decision and should not be made on the flip of a coin.

sleona
06-29-2001, 04:29 PM
JLC,
How large is your client-base now? Would the income from it <i>comfortably</i> support your family? That is a tough choice to make, I don't know what I'd do if I were in those shoes. That makes me glad I'm single and out-of-debt.......well not much debt anyway.

I know this is the perfect time to take the leap and start cuttin', but I've got an itch to finish college. That way I get to work my fanny off just to pay back those dang student loans! :p

cos
06-29-2001, 05:21 PM
Working nights helps me cut during the day.

Island Lawn
06-29-2001, 07:41 PM
I like what you're saying HOMER!
If this is what you want to do...
You can only spread yourself so thin!

BTW, paying off $30,000 in student loans is LIKE having health insurance...
Without the insurance part!

fejical
06-29-2001, 07:44 PM
what do you mean by LCO any other abbreviations that would be help full? thanks



Jeff

lawnman_scott
06-29-2001, 08:02 PM
LCO= lawn care operator. I left a job that was paying about $48,000/year that I hated with a passion, to run my pathetic lawn service that was bringing in $1600 a month. Had the junk homeowner equipment and everything. It didnt take too long to be making ok money, and a little while down the road i was doing great. Homer is right (as usual in my opinion) something will always come up, insurance, this, that...... just dont wait forever, or you will have 2 jobs for the rest of your life. I would guess in Houston you cut year round like here in FL, so that should be something to help out, as you have no winter to speak of. Your only 22, I would go as soon as you can get the nerve to do it.

1MajorTom
06-29-2001, 08:03 PM
LCO means Lawn Care Operation, or Lawn Care Operator

sleona
06-29-2001, 10:04 PM
Originally posted by lawnman_scott
Your only 22, I would go as soon as you can get the nerve to do it.
Every day I check out this site I'm getting more and more nerve to do it. :)

Thanks for the great advice, this site is a great service.

swn
06-29-2001, 11:38 PM
Sean, it is always easier for someone else to say, but I will anyway. Go for it! I assume you are not married and have no kids, that would make it easier.
I teach school, it is the perfect job to go along with lawn care. But if they go to year round school, I'm gone.:)

Runner
06-30-2001, 12:32 AM
Working 40 hours a week on a job that has full benefits really isn't that bad Especially up here in Michigan where we're only cutting about 7 months out of the year. On good thing, is that it is STEADY income which helps your credit for loans and such. It's hard to buy a new car or house when you are self employed, and your books really have alot of variables (of income and such). Unfortunately, for me, I have a full time job with EXCELLENT benefits, but it has the absolute worst hours you could imagine. I'm getting ready to ditch this one real quick because it just isn't fulfilling. These hours (now imagine this) are 12p.m. to 8:30p.m. and two nights a week we have to work 1:30p.m. till 10p.m.. This cuts the day right in half. These hours are basically for someone that has no life. Oh yeah, because it's retail, we get 2 weekends off a month - meaning we WORK the other two-Sundays included. This stuff is for the birds. I just got an inside line on a job (that has regular hours) that has excellent benefits and starts at 17 dollars an hour. Now THIS I can relate to. I just need that insurance more than anything.

lawnboy82
06-30-2001, 01:01 AM
sean, i know all about bein in college and having the business. that is what i do in the winter / spring. however i go away to school. about 2 - 2 1/2 hrs from home. the way i do it is i have good help. and i keep some form of communication system open while any work is going on. my guys know what to do. i am able to send them to the gravel yard for any small supplies and can pay for it when i come home. at the nursery i am sure i can get stuff, however i would have to call them up ahead of time, as for equipment. i can get whatever i want. when they work i keep my cell phone on and by my side, should any problems occur they can call me and things can be done. i relax up there, do any paperwork necessary, and have fun. i come home for tree work, and other hard to do things. that is how i manage.

bobbygedd
06-30-2001, 01:04 AM
i have a full time job working for a large company. i work an average of 50 hrs a week, i go in from 4 till midnight, get up at 7 am, cut till around 2, take a 45 minute nap, then back to work 4 till midnight. tend to be a little unorganized because of the lack of time. i basically do nothing and go nowhere, the money is great and im working towards what i want in the future, the sacrifices are enormous, for the first year this year im taking sundays off. i usually just lay on the couch all day to recuperate. and that , my boy, is how i do it.

jeffyr
06-30-2001, 06:37 AM
I have a 40 hour job, like runner the hours are strange (11am-7pm). I go out 2 or 3 mornings starting at 7:45-8 and work until 9:30-10. Go and shower and go to other job. I have off Friday and Saturday, so Friday I am out all day, and try not to work Saturday, but sometimes (like today) I have to. I have 25 accounts weekly. The only reason its manageable is because the are all withing 2 miles of my home and alot of groups of 2 or 3 together. In that 1 1/2 - 2 hours before FT job I can usually get 3-4 done if I move.
I was going to leave to go FT, but the job improved, salary and benefits got better, and I had a baby which scared me into staying.
How do I do it ? Thats simple. I enjoy it so I find the energy and (usually) the time.
Good luck with the decision.

jeffyr

script
06-30-2001, 09:39 AM
Sean a few years back when I started doing this part time, I had been at a job on the river down here for about 7 1/2 years, with great pay and benefits. It was all 12 hour shift work. For over a year I would put in from 36 to 72 hours a week behind a desk, some days and some nights. On nights I'd work from 7:00pm until 7:00am, get home and go cut from about 8:30am until 2:00pm, sleep for about 2 hours and head back to work. Dayshift from 7a to 7p didn't leave me time to cut because I didn't get home until 8pm, so I'd cut all day on whatever days I was off whether it would be week-days or week-ends. I was cutting between 30-40 accounts a week and it got old fast, but I really believe that where there is a will to do somehting, you will find a way. I just wish that I would have had this great site back then to turn to for the green advice. I quit my other job over 3 years ago and have no regrets. And like Homer said, if you know this is what you want, Go For It. You'll never know what could have been, if you don't risk it all and take a chance.

Bobby

Grasshog
06-30-2001, 10:27 AM
I judge two jobs for three years. Kicked the office job to the side.
Once that income wasnt coming in, I had no choice but to get out and find more grass. Sure glad I took the jump, I"m having a blast everyday.

Rodney Johns
06-30-2001, 11:28 AM
What you will find out is that once you quit your "full time job" and spend the extra time on your business you will replace that other income completely. I was a full time hort. student 18 hrs. Supt. of a golf course and had my own landscaping and lawn care business. I now have a garden center, several employees, landscaping crews, mowing crews etc. STICK WITH IT. There are days you want to walk away from it all. Get your education! If you know what is going on you will be here when everyone else is gone. I can remember 120 hr work weeks. I now do it 8-6 for the most part and Sundays are usually off.It will eventually wok out for anyone if they want it bad enough.