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superdoG
09-14-2009, 02:27 PM
I am in a pickle. I want to quite my full time job and do lawns full time. I have about 20 yards right now. The business is making about 12 k a year right now and I am needing to triple that in order for me AND my wife to quit our jobs. I can only do so many yards with working my other job and my schedule is getting full. I will have to quite soon if I want to keep growing the biz without hiring any one.
We thought about buying a biz but does anyone have any thoughts as to what they would do in this situation?


Thanks for sharing!

GraZHopA
09-14-2009, 02:42 PM
Keep both of your fulltime jobs for now. I am assuming that she is currently helping now. Two (2) people can do a lot of work in the evenings and on Saturday. Grow the business and decide over the winter if that is what you both want to do. Save every dime that you can this year and if you are for sure that this is what you want to do, then start next spring fulltime and fullbore. Just my $0.02 worth.

THEGOLDPRO
09-14-2009, 02:44 PM
how is it possible for you and your wife to both quit your jobs for 36k a year???

superdoG
09-14-2009, 02:45 PM
Keep both of your fulltime jobs for now. Grow the business and decide over the winter if that is what you both want to do. If it is then start next spring fulltime. Just my $0.02 worth.

But my lawns only bring in 12 k a year. Right now, we make about 50 a year. It would be a HUGE leap of "faith".
Unless there is some marketing idea that could get me a buch of yards real quick.

superdoG
09-14-2009, 02:46 PM
how is it possible for you and your wife to both quit your jobs for 36k a year???

That would just get us by....until it grew more.

GraZHopA
09-14-2009, 02:55 PM
But my lawns only bring in 12 k a year. Right now, we make about 50 a year. It would be a HUGE leap of "faith".
Unless there is some marketing idea that could get me a buch of yards real quick. I don't know where you are located, but mowing season is winding down for the majority of the country. Can you afford to throw ~50k a year out the window and live on 12k. Most of us can't do that. There is a hugh difference in ~62k now and the projected leap of faith income.

superdoG
09-14-2009, 02:58 PM
I don't know where you are located, but mowing season is winding down for the majority of the country. Can you afford to throw ~50k a year out the window and live on 12k. Most of us can't do that. There is a hugh difference in ~62k now and the projected leap of faith income.

The 50 k includes the mowing. So we make about 35 without the mowing.

fl-landscapes
09-14-2009, 03:02 PM
I agree with the other posts but I dont think you should give up on the idea of being your own boss full time. Save save save as much money as you can squirrel away this winter, get some advertising going late winter into spring and line up the work for next season. Why do you both have to quit your jobs? Why not just you jump ship until your business can support you both? Good luck, most of us have had to make that exact decision at some point in our careers.

GraZHopA
09-14-2009, 03:09 PM
I agree with the other posts but I dont think you should give up on the idea of being your own boss full time. Save save save as much money as you can squirrel away this winter, get some advertising going late winter into spring and line up the work for next season. Why do you both have to quit your jobs? Why not just you jump ship until your business can support you both? Good luck, most of us have had to make that exact decision at some point in our careers.

Well Said!

cphillips0053
09-14-2009, 03:12 PM
Get some commercial contract work lined up. Most of that is year round and a pretty secure monthly income. Not be confused with Guaranteed monthly income. A few big properties can take help you take that leap of faith.

superdoG
09-14-2009, 03:40 PM
I agree with the other posts but I dont think you should give up on the idea of being your own boss full time. Save save save as much money as you can squirrel away this winter, get some advertising going late winter into spring and line up the work for next season. Why do you both have to quit your jobs? Why not just you jump ship until your business can support you both? Good luck, most of us have had to make that exact decision at some point in our careers.

Thanks for the advise. My wife HATES her full time job AND she is going to school full time. I think she is going to kill me, the dog and then herself unless something changes and fast! Thats why I am panicking. :cry:

What about buying a biz?

GraZHopA
09-14-2009, 04:12 PM
OIC! Momma ain't happy - then nobody is happy!

Can you atleast give us some back ground info:

(1) Where are you located?
(2) How long have you been doing lawn care?

superdoG
09-14-2009, 04:34 PM
OIC! Momma ain't happy - then nobody is happy!

Can you atleast give us some back ground info:

(1) Where are you located?
(2) How long have you been doing lawn care?



Haha...for sure! :hammerhead: She is NOT happy!

Ya, I live in KC MO

and I ran a lawn crew for about 3 years and I have been in business for my self for three years.

Toy2
09-14-2009, 05:46 PM
Thanks for the advise. My wife HATES her full time job AND she is going to school full time. I think she is going to kill me, the dog and then herself unless something changes and fast! Thats why I am panicking. :cry:

What about buying a biz?
I think buying is out, why waste your money on accounts you might end up with in the future?

As for the job, I would not quit until you know you will survive on just mowing, you know you have lots of competition out there.........I would slowly grow it and then jump ship....

superdoG
09-14-2009, 05:54 PM
I think buying is out, why waste your money on accounts you might end up with in the future?

As for the job, I would not quit until you know you will survive on just mowing, you know you have lots of competition out there.........I would slowly grow it and then jump ship....

But thats the problem...I cant take on much more work because of my job. I am mowing everyday after work and untill one on Sat. I could fit 6 or 7 more yards in but it would be really tight. Not much wiggle room for rain days.

brucec32
09-14-2009, 06:58 PM
NOW isn't a great time to start full time, as the grass growing season is winding down and you'd have a slow winter to weather. Maybe wait till springtime.

Also rememeber that there is a distinct difference in doing a dozen lawns a week on the side and doing it day in, day out. Times are tough, replacing your job wouldn't be easy, so be sure you're into this before you make the jump.

I would also caution against going from 2 jobs to 0 jobs and one new business. I'd have the wife keep her job while you get established and are sure it's going to work out.

This is actually a very good business to be in part-time as a sideline if you do it right. Stick to the basics, don't get complicated, cherry pick your accounts so they're easy and profitable, and if it's too much to handle now maybe consider just scaling back and netting an extra $8K or whatever you can handle. Because we're in a doozy of a recession and jobs are hard to come by. Your job plus $8K beats no job and finding out you can only make $25K the first year or whatever.

The most recent data I saw showed a 6 to 1 ratio of job seekers to openings. Also, many unemployed will be jumping into lawn maintenance to try to get by, which doesn't make for an easy time getting established. Your more experienced competition has a big advantage getting accounts as well, as what can you offer they can't except a low price?

tracyalan
09-14-2009, 07:38 PM
With winter almost here, keep your jobs and deal with this in the spring. Then worst case you quite and grow this, that way with the Wife still working, she can keep that until you have this where you need it to be.

ED'S LAWNCARE
09-14-2009, 08:01 PM
There are alot of things to think about. There will be many answers from this board. It seems like the main concencus is bad timing winter is coming. Keep mama working. I'm more interested in knowing are you saving any money from the biz or are you living off that too. The reason I'm asking is 36k for 2 people is really low. If you both work full time that is aroung 8.50 / hr per person.

If you go full time your expenses go up also. Which means you will need more clients for that. I'm going to take a stab at this but 12k / 30 weeks / 20 clients equals $20 per cut. If this is what you are charging you better keep your day job. You will be in bankrupt unless you have some $$ set aside and a serious business plan. You also need to think can you get more clients in your area. If you are working for $8-10 hr and charging $20 a cut it sounds like you are in a depressed area.

Good luck don't make this decision to fast.

TKO Landscaping
09-14-2009, 08:04 PM
If one of your current jobs is giving you health benefits for your family then I would keep that job. You could try and work less days and slowly when you have the clients make the switch gradually. That way if things don't work out you still have your other job to fall back on.

clmllc
09-14-2009, 11:50 PM
I made the decision to quit my career job and do my business at the point when i had on contract what my salary was at my job.

superdoG
09-15-2009, 10:50 AM
Thank you all for the feedback! As for what I charge per mow..the lowest is 30, then 35, 40...and I just got one for 50.
We have been able to save a lot of the mow money....about 8 k.

E.L.Co
09-15-2009, 10:57 AM
beating a dead horse hear...DO NOT quit your full time job with benefits im assuming to get dusty mowing yards all day where your competition is every one from 12 year old jonny to brickman. its not as glamorous a business as you may think unless you do tree work and landscaping. land enough accounts to CONSTITUTE quitting your job, then quit not before though

tracyalan
09-15-2009, 11:45 AM
I would have to agree with this. I would not quit my job till I matched my income. + you have to take account for insurance costs. My Wife works and we have insurance through her place of employment.

lot0210
09-15-2009, 11:56 AM
I agree with waiting untill spring if you go full time spent the winter working on a buseniss plan. Also start looking at areas within lawn care to branch into that will make you more money per yard things such as selling fert and pest control programs to go along with the mowing and increase profit

lawnkingforever
09-15-2009, 01:06 PM
I quit my sales job of 10 years in May, during that time I mowed yards on the side for 5 of the years. My wife has a good job and we always lived way below are means so it was an easy decision to make. Also, with me just mowing our daughter is only in daycare 2 days a week instead of 5 and she will be pulled out completely for the winter. 8k sounds like alot, but you can burn through that pretty easily. But life is too short to be unhappy. I say keep your jobs through winter and give it a try next spring. Seems like your jobs are not paying that much anyway, if the lawn service does not work out you can always find other jobs in that pay range. Just do not go into debt to buy any equipment(pay cash). Good luck.

FLAhaulboy
09-15-2009, 08:28 PM
Grow slow! I had a good employee once who wanted to parts ways and start his own business. I said fine but take it slow and don't start out fast. He didn't listen! Three trucks, trailers, expensive ZTR's, bunch of employees and he is barely staying above water.

I could see you quitting and branching out w/another employee but not both of you. Let your wife keep working with benefits (health Insur) and since you don't have the income coming in currently, Then sit back and wait.

topsites
09-15-2009, 09:26 PM
I say if you can't quit your job while growing your business then your finances could be out of order,
if such is the case just get those straight and then quit your job.

Pietro
09-15-2009, 09:28 PM
You guys both work full time and take in 35K? So that means youre making $673 a week COMBINED? Thats $16.8 an hour combined. I just find it hard to believe that you cant get a job paying more than $8.41 an hour. When I started I used to wait on tables. Id make $500 between friday, saturday and sunday. Id mow 3 days during the week, and work the restaurant fri nite, and double shifts sat and sunday.

brucec32
09-18-2009, 11:33 AM
Let me re-emphasize what others said about health insurance.

It is very hard to get an affordable policy that will match what you get through a job. If you have any pre-existing conditions it gets even harder. A family might spend $400-$1,000 a month on a private policy, depending on how much it covers and how big the deductible and copays are.

The best setup it appears is you working full time at a job with benefits, the wife getting through school asap so she can earn a better wage, and you work part-time mowing lawns as long as that takes.

But do not be mislead about college degrees and the effect on wages. If it's not in a field that is in demand and has a distinct career path, it might be a huge disappointment, especially after figuring in the cost of it and the lost wages from working less while in school. At some point suspending college would be an option.

I can't see how a family can live on 36K. A single person, yes, but not 3 or more people.

Merkava_4
09-18-2009, 01:16 PM
I'd say keep you other job for now unless it's hazardous to your health. This economy is too unstable to be taking any unnecessary risks right now. My $.02

E.L.Co
09-18-2009, 01:22 PM
Let me re-emphasize what others said about health insurance.

It is very hard to get an affordable policy that will match what you get through a job. If you have any pre-existing conditions it gets even harder. A family might spend $400-$1,000 a month on a private policy, depending on how much it covers and how big the deductible and copays are.

The best setup it appears is you working full time at a job with benefits, the wife getting through school asap so she can earn a better wage, and you work part-time mowing lawns as long as that takes.

But do not be mislead about college degrees and the effect on wages. If it's not in a field that is in demand and has a distinct career path, it might be a huge disappointment, especially after figuring in the cost of it and the lost wages from working less while in school. At some point suspending college would be an option.

I can't see how a family can live on 36K. A single person, yes, but not 3 or more people.

before i turned 16 and started working my mom made 17 grand a year and supported us 4 kids, it was hard as you can imagine