View Full Version : A question for the wise....

12-14-2001, 11:17 PM
I know you guys may have heard it before. But this is my situation; is the lawn care business worth going into, as a part time job? I currently work as a pool man, from 6am to about noon and thinking about lawn care as a second part time job.

Money wise for the next 6 months I will have saved for a new 36 wb and other new commercial equipment to start off. With no reason to finance anything and being a solo operator, would this investment be worth maybe 5 to 10 residential yards a week? Would it be too much of an headache being a part timer? I live in north Houston and during the summer months the heat index is near 105 degrees. Is it worth spending $5000 to $6000 ( I already have a truck and 6'X12' trailer)?

Also, what about pressure washing, do you guys think its a major source of income or just an extra service?

Thank you for any advise.


12-14-2001, 11:29 PM
Oh by the way, just to brown nose a little, this is the best website I have come across for lawn care.

12-15-2001, 01:14 AM
I wouldn't do it for just 5-10 yards a week. You could easily do 5 residential lawns after work in one day and be done by 5pm. If you did 10 lawns a week at $30 each and cut them 35 times a year that would only be $10,500 gross a year. That is before insurance, taxes, maintenance etc. If you did about 20 a week then I think it would be worth it. Just my opinion though. We get those hot days around here too. Make sure you get a sulky and have plenty of water.

12-15-2001, 01:44 AM
If all you want to do is work part time on say 10 yards then really you dont need the big WB. I have been doing about 7 yards a week on saturdays this year. All I use is a little 21 inch rear wheel drive that I got from Home Depot. I bought a stihl weedeater, a good edger, and a walmart blower. Having a lot of equipment for a couple yards is like having like having 100 lb test line to catch bream with. You just dont need it. You save on over all cost and repair is cheaper.

12-15-2001, 07:09 AM
pressure washing is better money than mowing. I have a business called Deck Doctor Pressure Washing. The biggest difference is you are constantly looking for customers where the lawn customer is a repeat customer. Some areas require you to get a contractors lisc. to power wash but the lisc. test is mostly about how to write contracts and pay fica, soc. sec. tax etc. It took me many yrs of trial and error to get my system down for profitable power washing. As a pool man you have access to potential customrs for both mowing and pressure washing so why not both? e-mail me for more details.

12-15-2001, 12:29 PM
How come you quit at 12 for pool cleaning. Pool cleaners around here work the same long hours the grass cutters do. The big difference is that pool cleaners are working on rainny days. Just get more pools

King City Lawns
12-15-2001, 12:59 PM
I agree with him. Just get more pool accounts, you already have what you need to do the job just expand.

12-15-2001, 02:58 PM
I work for a pool cleaning company, it's not my own company. They give each person app 8 to 12 pools to clean a day. I bust my butt in the morning so that I'm done before noon and was thinking about the lawn care biz as an second part time job, for the afternoon.


12-15-2001, 03:42 PM
Seems like thats a question only you can answer. Is it worth it? Anyone can by a mower and start cutting grass. If you want a profitable business do your home work first no matter what the venture is.

12-15-2001, 08:10 PM

Just my thoughts no real experience.

Does you boss have a pressurer cleaner. If not talk to him about a % deal. You buy the machine (a good one ) and let him market it to his customers. He should have a horizonal market that would offer you a lot of work. But get the deal in writting because I think he would be very unhappy when he sees how much you can make. I don't think it is right to cut him out and hit on his customers. But if he want no part of it then you can do it yourself. However you will need Insurance and be careful because the cleaning chemicals will kill shrubs. Cover them and wash them down after. I might be all wet so check in out for your self. Good Luck.

12-15-2001, 08:51 PM
Let me try a different angle here.
If you already have a truck and trailer, then I say go for it. You do have the contact with many people each day with the pool job. Plus you should be able to make back the money spent on equipment in the first year alone. And as far as the above post of only making 10k? That could be a lot of money to some people. If you feel it can happen, then it will. It would be an additional job to your other one, so any money would be good I think. Good luck with your situation and let us know what happens!

12-15-2001, 09:56 PM
The $10,000 I was talking about is not money in your pocket. If you read my post again you'll see that is before any expenses. You still have to pay taxes, insurance, maintenance costs etc. That won't leave much left over. Like with insurance, you pay based on the amount you plan on making. The difference between insurance for $10,000 and $30,000 gross sales is virtually nothing. The more sales you do at these low income levels the higher % you get to keep. Some costs are fixed. He could do 20 lawns in two days after work and make a lot more than if he did 10 in one day. The only way I could see it being worth it would be to not pay taxes and not have insurance, then he would get to bring home close to $10,000. I definitely don't recommend that though. He asked if we thought the investment would be worth it for 5 to 10 lawns a week. I don't. Just my opinion.

Albemarle Lawn
12-16-2001, 03:00 AM
If you already own the truck and trailer, get a belt driven 36". You could pick up a great used one for $1500, a decent new one for $2800.00. A weed eater and blower and you're off!

If nothing else you have a decent mower to mow your own yard, something you would ordinarily buy anyway.

And don't forget the tax advantage- your truck, gas, etc and other expenses are now tax deductible. If your lawn business loses money on paper you can use that to offset your other income and reduce your tax liability. (Check with a tax advisor).

I would advise against pressure washing. Don't become a jack of all trades- be a specialist, you will earn more.

I have a $5000.00 pressure washer that never leaves the shop. I bought it for my own use and it stays at the shop.

Best of Luck!!!