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wteeter
10-07-2009, 07:24 PM
I make over 100k a year. i'm away from my wife and 2 daughters 13 and 8, anywhere from 10 to 31 days a month. Sometime I'm home 3 weeks, but the weeks away are killing me. My jobs not hard, they pay me to be away. I'm 38. Is it worth planning and saving for the next 2 years to start a lawn service business? I want to start myself and eventually hire more and more and make it grow right.

Hanau
10-07-2009, 07:33 PM
No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

Clear enough?

wteeter
10-07-2009, 07:37 PM
thanks for being brutally honest

Charles
10-07-2009, 07:47 PM
No way no how:dizzy:

Hanau
10-07-2009, 07:49 PM
For a single guy, I would have said go for it.

For a married guy this road will only lead to fighting over money problems, divorce, alcoholism, and suicide.

I saved your life.

Your first 2 or 3 years you'll be struggling just to make it. Let alone have enough money to raise 2 kids with.

Honestly, I would look hard at home inspections. Decent money, next to no equipment, you can work it in during weeks that you're home. Once you get 10 or 15 inspections booked a week, every week, tell your boss to take a hike. A home inspection (here) runs $675 to $875. The national average is closer to $500.

I'm currently working on the National Home Inspectors Exam. My profile has a link to my website. You can call or email if you have any questions.

wteeter
10-07-2009, 07:53 PM
2 to 0 on H#@$ no! Not getting encouraged. My wife and children are suffering from time away. Any family men out there???

mattfromNY
10-07-2009, 07:53 PM
Another vote for no. (From another parent of two, with a wife that only works part time) Personally, I would find a happy medium: A decent job with insurance and enough time off to start a small, part time (LEGIT, LEGAL, INSURED) business on the side. That would allow you to work and grow into a profitable business if things work out.

wteeter
10-07-2009, 08:04 PM
good stuff. thanks. my 'self starter' bubble is losing air, but the advice is great. surely don't want to become an acoholic or commit suicide. i'll check into the home inspection.

Charles
10-07-2009, 08:15 PM
2 to 0 on H#@$ no! Not getting encouraged. My wife and children are suffering from time away. Any family men out there???

You're home for 3 weeks at a time. Plenty of truckers who are away from home too. You need to pay for health Insurance and college for the kids etc.
$100,000, no hard work traded for hard labor, sucking dust in the hot Texas sun. I think I would get a divorce before doing that:laugh:

nmanley
10-07-2009, 10:49 PM
If I wasn't already working my Retirement job (flight simulators), I'd swap with you. :drinkup: I spent 19 years working away from my family 6 months out of each year a month or two at a time. It was very rewarding working on all kind of secret stuff for the government but it was at a cost to seeing my kids grow at times. If I had to do it over again I probably would.
Sometimes doing a good job that can save lives and pays you well is worth the personal sacrifice. :usflag:

christmas79
10-07-2009, 11:02 PM
Will trade? take my Landscaping business I will take your Job?

PTP
10-07-2009, 11:07 PM
You obviously already know this but your job is to provide for your wife and kids. That doesn't just mean financially although that is part of it. You also provide leadership, discipline, love, encouragement, etc. If you are not providing in one of those areas, that is a problem. Only you really know the answer as to whether something needs to change or not.

If something does need to change, lawn care is possibly a viable option. It is possible to maintain your present income as well. However, it may take a couple of years to build up to that again. Yes, it is hard work. You are not that old yet but it isn't an easy job. However, you can always hire a helper to do the stuff that you find to be disagreeable.

I walked away from a career as an airline pilot to do this work. When I finished school, I started this business. I have never regretted that decision. Maybe someday I will regret it but for now, I make more money, am home more often, and have the winters off. My friends in the airline business are not so fortunate.

This might be a really good move for you, but look before you leap.

LouisianaLawnboy
10-07-2009, 11:17 PM
Go for it. You obivously don't like your job. Do something you love and you won't work a day. If running a LCO is what you love. Do it. It won't be easy at first, but if you save and study the industry like you said for 2 yrs. You could have all the correct equipment and you could make that 100k a year again.
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KES
10-07-2009, 11:46 PM
I would start planning and get everything you could paid for before you leave your current job. Talk to some guys who do it around your area and look at what they have as equipment and ask lots of questions. Make a list and start getting everything in order.

You never know what may happen.

syzer
10-07-2009, 11:59 PM
I would take that 100k a year you make and invest in real estate! You can make all your dreams come true with real estate, but you have to be built for it, most people are not.

Unlike some of the others Im an optimist, if you want it to work and believe it will work, it will, know what is important to you and go for it!

Best of luck in what ever you chose!

chathamvahere
10-08-2009, 12:12 AM
Do not leave your day job, $100k is not bad pay my friend.

Hanau
10-08-2009, 12:21 AM
http://www.city-data.com/city/Eastland-Texas.html

Keep in mind that lawn care is a luxury service. Looking at the stats for Eastland TX I don't see a huge market there. Less than 4,000 residents. You're fairly rural.

Stick with what you got.

NEWFINISH
10-08-2009, 12:46 AM
Hey man if I were you I would really ask myself if running a business somethng that you really want to do. As you see the other guys are telling you don't do it. I understand why. This is my full time job, I have a family as well and my old lady don't work right now cause daycare is ridicoulously high and I dont trust no stranger with my son. This business is easy to get into and if you stucture your business correctly it can be very profitable. But it can take time, is it time that you are willing to sacrifice, is it time that you could have been making your CONSISTENT salary at your job with BENEFITS so that your family can CONSISTENTLY get adequate health care? Analyze the lawn care business talk with people on LawnSite, talk with LCOs in your area that aren't dicks and scared to give you some advice out of fear of more competition. Is your area affected by the recession, is there 1million and 1 out of work autoworkers buying lawn equipment and charging stupid low prices? There are alot of other factors drought, thieves trying to steal your s**t and on an on. Im not trying to discourage but these are the negative effects of being a lawn guy. Throughout all ths I still pursue my business and have goals of being succesful beyond my wildest dreams. Are yours big enough to consistently and persistently move on. Another thing that I would try to do is pay off as much personal debt as possible before getting into business(house, car student loans etc). You want as much of this stuff as possible eliminated. That would be way too much pressure on you. Get rid of that debt and dont pick up no more and whatever your expenses are per month multiply that by 2-3 years maybe even 4 and put that in a nice emergency fund. You need a huge safety net man. If your business fails and you need to get a job again, you have a nice cushion. If you still want to pursue this, just operate with as less debt as possible, stay simple, spend more money advertising than anyting else do good work and pray.

ZKSLAWN
10-08-2009, 12:48 AM
My dad did.. my dad had a job just like yours but was not home as much as you.. he was in new jersey on his last trip and they wanted to send him to michigan.. we were about the same age as your kids and he said no.. so he came home and got a job with my uncle and can be home within an hour at anytime of day.. i asked him the other day if he thinks he made a good decision. He said he doesn't regret any of it.. he said that being home with us makes up for the money.. ya he had a hard time the first year out of the business and going to his present job but thats only because its a completely different field.. so thats my example.. if that helps it helps . if not at least give it some thought.

Shasta Lake Landscaping
10-08-2009, 12:54 AM
If you make that kind of money then you may have some kind of education beyond a high school diploma, I assume.. If so what? What is your current career field?

PLS-Tx
10-08-2009, 02:07 AM
I have a wife and two kiddo's, 16 and 14. NO WAY would I want to be away from them for that kind of time.

Money is not everything, your a smart guy, you can provide for them and be home with them. You might not make 100k at first, but I bet it won't take you long and you will.

Anyone who loves their family as much as you do will find a way.

Best regards to you and your family my friend.

It's a shame there are not more MEN like you. :)

lawnjox
10-08-2009, 09:13 AM
PLAN! If you have a good plan you can do it. The thing about business is all the other things that need to be done. Business model, marketing plan, advertising, phones, scheduling, preforming work, billing, books, equipment maintenance, and a host of other things! If you miss one it will make your life hell. Surround yourself with good people and pull your belt straps tight and go for it!

clipperslawnservice
10-08-2009, 03:11 PM
I use to have a very good job in the oilfield but was missing my son grow up. i quit when he was two, no regrets! i've always said since then, your kids would rather have your TIME, than nike shoes. as far as 100k a year, noooo way will you make that kind of money in this neck of the woods!!!!

willretire@40
10-08-2009, 11:08 PM
How about you first look at changing your life style so that you do not need a $100k job and see where you as a family can cut back. It will take about a year to really change your lifestyle as far as telling yourself no you cant have it. Then maybe you can live on $70k a year and then start your lawn service and work a part time JOB. Before you do anything else read Dave Ramsey The total money makeover.

lawnjox
10-09-2009, 09:01 AM
Why lawn care?

PROCUT1
10-09-2009, 06:19 PM
Keep in mind something.

That 100k a year you make is equivalent to "profit"

Keep in mind a service companies profit margin is generally 20% or under.

You are going to have to do multiple hundreds of thousands in business to take home the same money.

lawnjox
10-09-2009, 06:40 PM
[QUOTE=PROCUT1;3222338]Keep in mind something.

That 100k a year you make is equivalent to "profit"

Keep in mind a service companies profit margin is generally 20% or under.

You are going to have to do multiple hundreds of thousands in business to take home the same money.[/QUOTE

You are so right! And the bigger you get seems like the less profit!

tropical breeze
10-09-2009, 10:52 PM
Well I understand how you feel I am a Chef and make $ 56,000 yr and I am seeing my kids about 12 hrs a week and they live with me. I am missing all the good stuff and watching them grow and being there for them. I am going to start a lawn care business in 2 weeks part time and hope it takes off so I can have a quality of home life. I have 6 people waiting for me to get going. Do a business plan and see what kind of money you will make 1st 2nd and 3rd year. If it works in your budget then go for it. But remember $ is the #1 cause of divorse. This is something you will need to do together as a team. Good luck in what ever you do.

Triplex
10-09-2009, 11:07 PM
Is changing companies within your field or even changing jobs within your company a possibility? You're definitely not happy with your current situation, but try something less risky before you chuck it all and start a landscaping business.

Another thing to ask yourself is, did you choose lawn care because you have some experience doing it in your younger days, or because you can't stand cubicles and like the idea of working outdoors? If you've never done this before, you might not like it!

QualityLawnCare4u
10-09-2009, 11:13 PM
:cry::cry: Gawd, what I would not give to trade places with you, a 100k job, away from the wife for weeks:cry: I have a clear title on my truck, 13k miles and along with all my equipment that is paid for, I will hand it over today to trade places with you! Sorry, don't mean to sound negative but their are a LOT of folks who would give their left *ut to trade places with you that are in the lawn biz.

JCLawn and more
10-09-2009, 11:20 PM
In these times I would save enough money so you could ride it out. If you save enough money for 2 years to live on then you can weather the storm of starting a business.

GXL2008
10-09-2009, 11:49 PM
I left a 85tho. year job to take over my old mans biz he had it running since 95 I would take my job back tmw. I work 7 days a week close to home and still don't see my two kids and seem to always be short on cash now. I left becuas i was traviling to Tx. 4 days a week and think I was home more then. Im also 38 my kids are 8 10.

baddboygeorge
10-10-2009, 12:38 AM
With the proper capital, good marketing techniques, building a solid company with solid clientel you should do well. I have been self employed for 15 years in the landscaping an lawn profession an it has provided me with a lifestyle that very few people get to enjoy. Its nice when you have the financials an the time to do for your family an enjoy that time together. I would never go back an work for a company again period .If you invest your earnings correctly an work hard you should be able to match your salary within the first or second year.Its all about what you want out of your business.

clipperslawnservice
10-10-2009, 07:35 PM
i promise you, there is nooooooooo freaking way your going to make that kind of cash around here. im 10 miles west of you, and the market is just not there. we live in podunk, these guys live in the CITY!!!!

lep
10-10-2009, 11:52 PM
Keep your day job!

milsaps118
10-11-2009, 12:10 AM
Keep in mind something.

That 100k a year you make is equivalent to "profit"

Keep in mind a service companies profit margin is generally 20% or under.

You are going to have to do multiple hundreds of thousands in business to take home the same money.

X2....100K gross sales is a HUGE difference then 100K W2. But, it's not always about the money. You have to do what is going to make you happy, and what you think is best for your family.

Good luck........:drinkup:

procut
10-11-2009, 01:29 AM
Walk away from a 100k a year job to go mow lawns? :hammerhead:

zturncutter
10-11-2009, 09:33 AM
Walk away from a 100k a year job to go mow lawns? :hammerhead:

Let me add to this reply. NO WAY, not in your market. :hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::ham merhead::hammerhead:

AI Inc
10-11-2009, 09:34 AM
Maybe leave it to set up a lemonade stand , but not mow.

EagleLandscape
10-11-2009, 11:39 PM
Depends on how aggressive you will be in growing the future landscape business.

I would leave it in a heart beat knowing what I know now.

I am 24, and after 6 years of aggressively building my business we are doing extremely well, and turning a personal profit of more than what you mentioned you are making.

Most days I spend 1/2 day at the house, (only as of late, because the employees are on auto-pilot finally) playing with our dog, surfing LS, or just working from home and relaxing. As an owner, I have had to learn how to "work on my business" rather "working in my business". If I am in the field mowing grass, and picking up leaves, I have lowered myself to the wage level of what I pay my laborers. I am worth more than $10 an hour.

If the hard work and dedication is fine-tuned and aggressively executed, you will wonder why you didn't leave your current job earlier.

Best of luck!

Exact Rototilling
10-12-2009, 12:10 AM
.... BIG snip...

I walked away from a career as an airline pilot to do this work. When I finished school, I started this business. I have never regretted that decision. Maybe someday I will regret it but for now, I make more money, am home more often, and have the winters off. My friends in the airline business are not so fortunate.

This might be a really good move for you, but look before you leap.

Wow. When I worked as an A&P mechanic years ago for a commuter airline I was considering pursuing the additional ratings to become a commercial pilot. I passed on the idea for some of the very reasons you have stated. Back in the day us lowly grease monkey aircraft mechanics had lunch in the pilots lounge. I keep hearing that to make it in the industry you had to put your piloting career first with deep personal sacrifice to advance ones career. Just didn't seem worth it at the time. Military trained pilot with transferred ratings different story but still away from home.

I really miss flying...:cry:

1wezil
10-12-2009, 12:33 AM
Stay where you are ..I know you didn't want to hear that but I would be glad to have a job that pays that well............:waving::clapping:

TheCleaningDoc
10-25-2009, 09:35 AM
Man what a lot of negativity about lawn care. I recently (this year) went from 85k to 0 in 7 days. now I didn't have any plans or capital so I started roof cleaning and pressure washing along with any dirty job that no one wanted to do. Am I making what I did before? NO. Am I happy? YES.

There are times that my kids work with me on cleaning projects. Getting close to needing to hire help. This is my first year so I expect it to be down.

You might need to relocate to a more metro area with more homes closer together. But if I were in your shoes I would get debt free first then cash for equipment. The ones that use credit to start are the ones that have the most trouble. You don't need a 40k truck to pull a trailer with mowers on it. Secondly your wife and kids need to be on board with you 100%. You will need to cut lifestyle to make it all happen sooner.

Good luck to you man and live the dream.

Exact Rototilling
10-25-2009, 01:14 PM
....Big snip....Secondly your wife and kids need to be on board with you 100%. You will need to cut lifestyle to make it all happen sooner.

Good luck to you man and live the dream.

This is the make or break statement fact here. Without full family support it is a real up hill battle. :cry:

g21
10-25-2009, 01:39 PM
Well as you can see, you really raised a lot of emotion with this question! But it's a good one and many people are facing it in all kinds of industries. It seems more prevalent in the lawn care business since it's a fairly easy business to get started in.

So here's my two cents from someone who had the exact same dilemma. I was involved in franchising for a landscape company and I was responsible for traveling around the country training and supporting franchisees. I too was earning around 100K with great benefits. But was also finding myself away from home 30-50% of the month. Having three boys, 6, 8 and 10 at the time, I just coudn't take it. It was robbing me of the precious time of coaching them in baseball, football and all the other things that was making us close as a family. It's in my opinion, "no money in the world, is worth missing out on that." So I left and went back into the family landscape business and started from scratch.

You have been given some good and not so good advice so far in this post. Even the not so good advice is obviously given with good intentions. First off, If you do decide to go into your own business, regardless of what business it is, it is not accurate that you will have to "profit" 100K to replace your current salary. When you get your paycheck now, you have to use that to pay "all" of your living expenses (minus what you might get as company benefits). But when you are in business like the landscape business, many of the things you spend money on now like gas in your cars, car insurance, clothing, meals etc. are costs attributed to operating your company (operating costs). So though your company might only be able to pay you $700 bucks a week salary, many of your day-to-day living expenses can be covered in your companies operating expenses. So yes, you have to have enough "sales" to cover those costs...but not "profits". There is a "big" difference. I have worked with many small operators who have pulled out (in one way or another) over 100K a year from their fairly small operations. These were operators who did most of the work themselves, were very selective about the work they took on and yes, caught a few breaks along the way with great accounts. But you can do it. Don't let anyone scare you out of doing this. Just have a game-plan and be willing to work your butt off!

Again, one of the respondents said that he lives next to you and that he thinks it's impossible for your area...he may be right? If this lifestyle change feels right in the gut, it may mean moving to another area? It does need serious consideration and you should do a market study of your area.

You didn't't really supply a lot of information, but the most important thing to consider is your current lifestyle. If you have a lot of personal debt, large mortgage, credit cards, car payments, etc., immediately leaving your job may throw your family-life into a tailspin - and that's not going to help anyone! If you do have a lot of debt, like some of the people have suggested, it may take you staying one more year to really get obsessed with paying it down before you make the leap. Most of us have some sort of debt - that shouldn't scare you. I'm talking about excessive debt.

If your debt situation isn't bad and you are having the ill feelings of being away from the family as I think you are, than I think you already know the answer to your question. Is the lawn business where you should land? I don't know. Some will tell you that only if you have a passion for working outdoors. I started when I was 19 and I lost my bar-tending job. I had absolutely no desire to work outdoors. But my little brother convinced me to give it a try and I fell in love with the business. 30 years later I can look back and tell you that it has given me a great life!

Oh, and the corporate job I left? Maybe the guys that are still there...do they have a little nicer car than me? Maybe a little bigger house? Not sure. I do know this. Cutting grass has allowed me to stay close with my family and be involved with every part of their lives. Vinny's a teacher, Frankie's a lawyer and Tommy, Jr runs the family landscape company. We all coach baseball together and have a great relationship.

The company car, the travel, the expense account...I never give it a second thought! If I had to do it all over again, I'd only change one thing...I wouldn't have taken the corporate job in the first place!

Do the right thing!

TGM
10-25-2009, 02:26 PM
Depends on how aggressive you will be in growing the future landscape business.

I would leave it in a heart beat knowing what I know now.

I am 24, and after 6 years of aggressively building my business we are doing extremely well, and turning a personal profit of more than what you mentioned you are making.

Most days I spend 1/2 day at the house, (only as of late, because the employees are on auto-pilot finally) playing with our dog, surfing LS, or just working from home and relaxing. As an owner, I have had to learn how to "work on my business" rather "working in my business". If I am in the field mowing grass, and picking up leaves, I have lowered myself to the wage level of what I pay my laborers. I am worth more than $10 an hour.

If the hard work and dedication is fine-tuned and aggressively executed, you will wonder why you didn't leave your current job earlier.

Best of luck!


good advice. you get out of it what you put into it.
...and thinking more like a business owner rather than an employee.


there's also a line between maintenance and construction which is often overlooked or blended together depending on your business (whether you're talking about time, income, labor costs, equipment costs, marketing, etc.)

Cboy7
10-25-2009, 07:21 PM
family is worth more than money . every time.

and yes you can make over 100k after a few years, but even if not , who cares!! your kids need a dad. period.

JCLawn and more
10-25-2009, 11:09 PM
Again, one of the respondents said that he lives next to you and that he thinks it's impossible for your area...he may be right? If this lifestyle change feels right in the gut, it may mean moving to another area? It does need serious consideration and you should do a market study of your area.


I wish more people were more serious about answering questions on here as you.
If you don't live in a populated area, just drive farther. I don't think taking out a mortgage and jumping into a new business would be a good idea. Seriously though, if you live 1hr away from a city then that would not be a bad drive everyday until you know your business is going to take off. Then you could move there once your business takes off.

JCLawn and more
10-25-2009, 11:23 PM
HOLY CRAP!!! you in a good place! Your only 1 1/2 hrs from Fort worth! You could totally make this work. I see 3 other good size towns around you. There is guys making it work in out county that has a 19% unemployment rate. I may be small, but I don't have a hard time finds lawns to mow in our area. We live out in the middle of nowhere!

clipperslawnservice
10-25-2009, 11:24 PM
o.k., how many guys on here are making any where near that kind of cash in a town of 5000. go ahead and humor me!!!!!!!!!!!!!:hammerhead:

QualityLawnCare4u
10-25-2009, 11:27 PM
There is some great advice here and as you can see a lot of mixed emotions. I would like to explain my situation as my not so encouraging comment.

I spent over an hour on the phone with the hospital, and several more Friday on why I could not pay my bills this month. Tomorrow my power bill is due and I can't pay it. My truck is sitting dead on empty and not a thing I can do. My son wanted to know why I could not buy him a .99 cent hamburger today and I told him why.

Do I not have enough clients to make a living, NO! I have over 3000 on the books that is unpaid at this time and these WERE long time good clients who hit hard times and had to be dropped. To you big time guys I know that is not a lot of money but to a solo op 3000 ain't pocket change, it means I can't pay my bills this month.

If I were offered a 50G job tomorrow that was halfway decent, I don't care if it were picking up trash I would have everything I owned lawn care wise on here for "make me a decent offer above free" for sale!

And yes spending time with your family is priceless. Its priceless when you sit at home with them because you are too d*mn broke to take them anywhere!!
If you live in an area that the market will bear it then I say for you to go for it!!

BTW, my offer still stands, will have the truck. mowers, washed with title in hand if you want to trade!:) I wish you the best in whatever way you decide and if lawncare is it then I hope you do 200,000!

Personally, I am so sick of this biz that I have no desire to even go to work everyday and that is not me! DOn't even care about trying to get anymore clients because its all the same here. Three phone call this week "can you not come do my yard until all the leaves fall" NOPE!. Translated, cheap SOB's I am on a fixed income, bottom feeders want it done for free!

JCLawn and more
10-25-2009, 11:32 PM
o.k., how many guys on here are making any where near that kind of cash in a town of 5000. go ahead and humor me!!!!!!!!!!!!!:hammerhead:

Fort Worth is a few more than 5,000.

Hanau
10-25-2009, 11:36 PM
Quality,

Check your PM's.

JCLawn and more
10-25-2009, 11:39 PM
there is a little of 500,000 in Fort Worth. Looks like Lake Leon is a good place to hit. Also a country club there, so some expensive houses maybe? If you could $400 a day in fort worth, it would be worth the drive everyday.

clipperslawnservice
10-25-2009, 11:40 PM
JC., he lives in eastland, 2 hours west of FW.

JCLawn and more
10-25-2009, 11:46 PM
On Google Maps it says 1 1/2 from center to center. He may live out of town. I would still do it until you know how its going to go

Fordsuvparts
10-25-2009, 11:58 PM
Hell no don't do it

Charles
10-26-2009, 07:12 AM
Looks like the thread starter has made up his mind and moved on