02-15-2009, 05:23 PM
Hey gang, Just a little bit about myself. I am a full time firefighter (almost 20yrs in the field) who is changing my side line a little bit. I had done construction since the early 90's. I did this full time until I really started to focus on a career in the fire service & then I would do small jobs on the side. Unfortunately, everybody with a hammer & a p/u thinks they are a contractor and the undercutting got terrible. A friend of mine had a landscaping business so I worked with him where we installed yards, drain systems, hardscape, everything but mowing. When I got a full time position, I got a part time job installing HVAC equipment. That last for about 5yrs until the owner went into "partial" retirement. Now he just does service work. I then took a part time job with a major landscaping company in the area as a truck driver. We supplied probably 60% of the area LC's with product. This company has all their own equipment to make mulch, dyed mulch, topsoil, rock, dyed rock, sand, fill dirt, hardscape supplies, you name it, we provided it. In 3yrs I went from truck driver to driver, yard operator, equipment operator, in charge of shop maintenance, electrician and more. I was working 40hrs a week at my part time job & never seeing my family. Now through most of this I was plowing snow in the winter. First for someone else & then myself. Last spring, just as my part time job was really starting to bang, I had an offer to be, more less, a grounds keeper for one of our retired firefighters who had just bought a new spread on about 5 ac. of property. Having the background, it came pretty easy and it was enjoyable. I could stay home in the morning & see my kids off to school. And I was able to be home when they got home from school. Soon, a couple of my winter clients heard what I was doing & wanted me to mow for them or do mulch or other stuff. With already having my name out there from plowing, I expanded my business into the landscaping end as well. This year, I'm looking to pick up 10-15 lawn clients. I picked up a used Cub Zforce from a local dealer I use for my trimmers & saws. It's only 2yrs old with very low hours on it. The price was right so here I go! I know a lot of the area LC from delivering to them & know the areas they have "wrapped up" so I focus on new businesses and my winter clients when they re-bid their lawn contracts. There's a lot of good advice on here & I hope to pick up some pointers along the way. Thanks for reading.