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harley79
06-15-2007, 09:54 AM
Hi my husband wants to leave his job and start his own landscaping company. His one worry is health insurance we have 3 kids ages are 5,3 and 4 months. We live in Massachusetts any advice would be great.

Thank You Tammy

Runner
06-15-2007, 10:31 AM
Do you have health insurance now? If you do, with three kids - that age, I wouldn't give it another thought. Stay with the benefits and pension. If he wants to do it part time, then fine. I'm not being a pessimist - just a realist. Now, if he is one of these lucky guys that you (the wife) carries the benefits, then that is a different story.

eauxkielawns
06-15-2007, 10:33 AM
I live in Oklahoma so this may not apply in Mass., but here is an option to look into. The local Chamber of Commerce offers health insurance for small business' called Chamber Blue Cross. You have to join the Chamber, prices vary depending on the size of your business, but this also opens doors for commercial accounts as well.

razor1
06-15-2007, 10:50 AM
Does he have any experience? Do you have plenty of money to get over the start up hurdles? If not maybe keep the day job and go part time with the landscaping for a while. How about working for one of the bigger landscape companies and earn while you learn and keep your benefits. The fail rate for new small business's is very high the first couple of years. Keep us posted and good luck.

harley79
06-15-2007, 10:52 AM
Thank You Runner and eauxkielawns

Runner- my husband is just so miserable in his job he fights everyday to stay there. We do have health insurance now Blue Cross Blue Shield it just kills me to see him miserable. I am hoping there is other health insurance we can pick up if he starts his own company.

Tammy

Ric3077
06-15-2007, 11:00 AM
I left my full time job and pay $450/mo for health coverage...I had a baby 3 months ago and it STILL cost me over $12,000.00 There is NO good health insurance if you are self employed...

BQLC
06-15-2007, 11:31 AM
I would (and I am) stay with the present job and get the other off the ground part-time and once it takes off he can find another job with benifits to take its place. Hope this helps and Good luck I truly know how it feels to be stuck in a job you hate.

harley79
06-15-2007, 11:35 AM
Hi Razor he worked as a landscaper for 15 yrs and this is what he loves to do. As far as money No the only safety net we have is his 401k and that is for retirement. He is also thinking of subletting through a very good friend of ours.

Hi Ric3077 that is what we pay now for health insurance a month through his job.

Sandgropher
06-15-2007, 11:38 AM
I left my full time job and pay $450/mo for health coverage...I had a baby 3 months ago and it STILL cost me over $12,000.00 There is NO good health insurance if you are self employed...

Gee it costs you guys to have a baby and you have health insurance, here you get a few thousand to help you with the babys expenses, some of you fellas must be doing it tough it you have just had a baby.

cgaengineer
06-15-2007, 11:41 AM
Let me tell you a little bit about health insurance...all you need to know actually.

For a small company it really eats into profits...what we have at our surveying and engineering company is United Health Care (Medical savings account) and is really expensive (About $4000 per month for about 13-14 employees). The deductable for our insurance is $2800 for individual, and $5600 for family...100% is paid after deductable...2 free visits to doctor each year and discounts on prescriptions.

What your husband might be able to do is get a job at Home Depot or Lowes (If he really cannot stand his job) and do landscaping on the side....these places have great insurance. I actually know a person who does this exact thing.

Prestige-Lawncare
06-15-2007, 11:47 AM
I have to agree with some of the advice here. I too know how it is to be in a job you can not stand to go to every day. I just left one ... but my situation was (is ) different. My ex has a job, and therefore will still provide the insurance on our two teens. I will be 55 in another month, and have left my previous employer of 31 years through early retirement. Though the monthly income from retirement is very very small if you draw early (at 55) ... I will roll over my 401K and keep on putting into an IRA (what I can) for another 10 years. My 16 yr old son can (if he likes) keep this going, and help ol' Dad along too. I can pick up my Blue Cross/Blue Shield through our retired program for myself for right around $300. a month. This works for me .... but not for a younger guy.

Maybe he can get a part-time job with benefits! Here in Indy, we have a very large FedEx air terminal (2nd largest in the US) ... most of their employees are part-time ... and they have benefits.

This can be a tough business ... but can be a successful one as well for those who make it. As with any new business ... it is tough at the start, so be prepared to skimp and save for awhile. And of course ... this year many areas are starting to fall into a drought already.

Roger
06-15-2007, 10:20 PM
Let me briefly review what has been said (at least as I understand). A man wishes to start a landscape business, and the motivation to do so is driven by not liking the present employment. The perceived obstacle to leaving the full-time job is the loss of health insurance.

While the pro-factors and negative-factors are important, the most important question is not being addressed. Does the man wish to be an entrepreneur, a small business owner, a man who is self-employed? Does he want to take the risks involved in starting a small business? Does he have the necessary skills to navigate the world of small business (e.g. financial backing, financial management skills, marketing/sales skills, etc)?

The issue of not liking present employment should not be a primary reason to start a small business. However, if the answers to the above questions demonstrate a positive environment for starting a small business, then the question needs to move to the nature of the small business (e.g. service, product, or what?). Landscaping is one of a huge assortment of possibilities for starting a small business. Perhaps the situation is ripe for such a business, but perhaps there are other kinds of business better suited to his skill set, his interests, and the marketability of the service or product.

My point in raising these questions is to expose a broader vision of the question, taking it beyond the bad employment and the need for health insurance. The tone of the discussion to this point has focused only on these two matters, and I believe the vision must get way beyond this point for a successful small business venture.

I cringe when I hear somebody wants to start a mowing business because "I like to cut grass," or "I like to ride my Z." Whoa!! There is trouble on the horizon if this is all that matters.

BPC
06-15-2007, 10:34 PM
Some of these are valid points. I hated my last job but I stayed long enough for my business to grow to the point were I knew I could support my family and not loose my house. I bitched and complained to my wife daily about how much I hated my job. Then the magical day hit when I could tell them I quit and now have all kinds of new stress but at least I am not bitching and complaining daily about a job I hate.

Uranus
06-15-2007, 10:53 PM
Here are a few options.

1. Stay at present job and have a paycheck and health insurance

2. Start a new landscape company and have almost no paycheck and no health insurance.

3. Stay at present job, have health insurance,and start a part time landscaping company until money levels out enough for you to live on.

4. Quit job, divorce you, start landscaping company out of his mom's house and then you and your kids can get mass health. YEAH welfare.

What aspect of landscaping does he want to do? Does he own any commercial equipment? Got a truck? If he quits now I don't see you having the income you have now. Almost everyone is slow out here in western mass. I got my weekly mowings and about 2 weeks of side work and thats it. Most of my higher priced estimates are not being accepted. One guy has a 2 million dollar house and wont spend 1500 for mulching his huge beds. Another mulch job was just over 1K. They are doing it themselves. 5 weeks later half the mulch pile is still in there driveway. At least the 2 of them get to spend some time together. Not what I call quality time.

I would really think twice before making the leap. There are a lot more expenses than you think there are. Do a lot of research.

DuraCutter
06-15-2007, 11:38 PM
Thank You Runner and eauxkielawns

Runner- my husband is just so miserable in his job he fights everyday to stay there. We do have health insurance now Blue Cross Blue Shield it just kills me to see him miserable. I am hoping there is other health insurance we can pick up if he starts his own company.

Tammy

It might not be so bad if he's the only one miserable right now. If he outright quits, it may take years before he can build a stable lawncare business. It's not the most profitable type of business so it takes a long time to make good money. Then, all of you will be miserable and that's no fun!!!

Keep the day job and start some other type of service business, any, and you'll make a lot more money... a lot. Choose any--- renovations, stucco, specialized flooring, landscaping installs etc... get my drift.

We do lawncare so we gain access to the property managers attention, then we'll do parking lot and parkade sweeping... we'll make more in 2 days sweeping than 1 crew mowing all month...!

Good luck.

:)

Runner
06-15-2007, 11:44 PM
Let me briefly review what has been said (at least as I understand). A man wishes to start a landscape business, and the motivation to do so is driven by not liking the present employment. The perceived obstacle to leaving the full-time job is the loss of health insurance.

While the pro-factors and negative-factors are important, the most important question is not being addressed. Does the man wish to be an entrepreneur, a small business owner, a man who is self-employed? Does he want to take the risks involved in starting a small business? Does he have the necessary skills to navigate the world of small business (e.g. financial backing, financial management skills, marketing/sales skills, etc)?

The issue of not liking present employment should not be a primary reason to start a small business. However, if the answers to the above questions demonstrate a positive environment for starting a small business, then the question needs to move to the nature of the small business (e.g. service, product, or what?). Landscaping is one of a huge assortment of possibilities for starting a small business. Perhaps the situation is ripe for such a business, but perhaps there are other kinds of business better suited to his skill set, his interests, and the marketability of the service or product.

My point in raising these questions is to expose a broader vision of the question, taking it beyond the bad employment and the need for health insurance. The tone of the discussion to this point has focused only on these two matters, and I believe the vision must get way beyond this point for a successful small business venture.

I cringe when I hear somebody wants to start a mowing business because "I like to cut grass," or "I like to ride my Z." Whoa!! There is trouble on the horizon if this is all that matters.

Now THIS is a great post. Great info, advice, and a very realistic view on the perspective as a whole.
The mentioning of the (as it was put) the necessary skills to navigate the world of small business (e.g. financial backing, financial management skills, marketing/sales skills, etc. is a great point. The words skim the topic, but THIS is what it is all about. Tere are many out there that do not abide by his, and just focus on the labor part of the program - getting lost and thinking this is the majority of running the business. It is easy to do, unfortunately,...these people do not have a clue. I know alot of people in this business, and I know alot of people who are REALLY in the business. I have also seen alot of them come, and alot of them go.

Stillwater
06-15-2007, 11:53 PM
Hi my husband wants to leave his job and start his own landscaping company. His one worry is health insurance we have 3 kids ages are 5,3 and 4 months. We live in Massachusetts any advice would be great.

Thank You Tammy

Hey Tammy,
Good news and bad news, july 1 with I think dec 1 as a deadline everyone in the state of Ma. will be required by law to have health insurence. the good news is the state will be contributeing to the policy if you cannot afford it in full their is a ton of details way to much to type out. the bad news is if you do not obtain health insurence by the dead line you will forfit your state tax return and loose any state deductions. you did not know about this? you should have received a post card. No offence intended to everyone trying to help you but given the new law about to take effect You should probibly ingnore all out of state advice you are getting and go hear, let me know how you made out. MAhealthconnector.org

ke5hbd
06-16-2007, 12:08 AM
This is the biggest and sole reason that I have have not taken the next step to go 100% fulltime in my lawn care business is because I cant afford medical insurance with my two sons and diabetic wife.

harley79
06-16-2007, 10:35 PM
Thank you Eshskis if you don't mind me asking how did you start out?

CustomKare
06-16-2007, 11:07 PM
I think most of us started our businesses because we were tired of the corporate grind. However, It is tough. Weather conditions, low ballers, taxes, insurances etc..all makes it tough in the beginning. I'm in my 3rd year as a part timer because here in the midwest (Chicago) I have had a drought 2 out of 3 years. Snow was weak also. If he can do this part time, learn the pitfalls and don't finance along the way he might set a goal of a couple of years before diving in full time. Either way, good luck, go after your dreams!

bohiaa
06-17-2007, 08:24 AM
Hi my husband wants to leave his job and start his own landscaping company. His one worry is health insurance we have 3 kids ages are 5,3 and 4 months. We live in Massachusetts any advice would be great.

Thank You Tammy


Tammy: if that the only worrie,,,, your in GREAT shape

jonim
06-19-2007, 12:50 PM
Tammy: if that the only worrie,,,, your in GREAT shape

I really didnt understand this reply. What is this supposed to mean Bohiaa?

Tammy, I can relate to what you are thinking! My husband and I have 3 children (small) and he, just this year, quit his full time job. He started mowing in 2001 and built up his clientale before he quit. He had health insurance through his full time job and when he quit I got it through my employer. He would have not quit if I couldnt have got it. It is so important to have health insurance AT ANY AGE! We are in our early 30's and thought we were invinsible until February 06. My husband was in the hospital for a week with A Fib and a very accerlerated heart rate. He just woke up with it one morning. He was always very healthy! If it wasnt for our health insurance we would have lost everything that we worked hard to get! Hope this helps!

WHIPPLE5.7
06-19-2007, 09:15 PM
Never fully quit the only full time job in the household unless you already have a major customer base. A couple years ago my wife and I started a business doing fireproofing and mold prevention. We decided to hold on to our jobs just in case and we worked our buts off marketing the business and beating on doors. One year later we had to cut our losses and give up on it. It was just costing way too much money and weren't making any. We lost $30,000 out of pocket but we didn't have to file bankruptcy because we bit the bullet and just paid it all off out of pocket. That was stressful and painful but we learned from it. Since then we have been doing lawncare and landscaping on the side but it does cost money to do that as well so just don't jump right in without really thinking everything out. I've been doing lawns for awhile now and I'm still at my other job. Next year I will quit to do lawncare fulltime but thats only because we have no kids, my house is almost paid off, and I have gotten some equipment and customers.