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JcoMow
11-11-2009, 09:50 PM
The last 2 summers I have worked with 2 different mowing bizs and both owners have asked when I would start my own (almost pushing me to start).
So I believe I will start solo this next season. The guys I worked with taught me alot about this business and basically showed me how to get started (roughly).

It is not my passion but the extra money can't hurt. I am more of an auto freak and I am building my shop as we speak. (about to pour the slab here in this week or the next){shop is 30x24}

I figure I will use my 50 gmc pickup to haul the trailer. (a good eye catcher!)

Also, I am 25, married for almost 5 years, and now have a 4 month old.

Landscape Poet
11-12-2009, 12:47 AM
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It is not my passion but the extra money can't hurt. I am more of an auto freak and I am building my shop as we speak. (about to pour the slab here in this week or the next){shop is 30x24}


If this is not your passion, then you will not last. You must have a desire to do this in the middle of summer, when the humidity is 100% and the temp is just as high, the belt on your mower breaks and you finally get it fix and start back up and discover that you just ran over something that blew out a tire. No I am not saying that you can not make a few extra buck, but I doubt that unless you enter into this venue wanting and being passionate about owning your own business that you will not last long. Think about that before you go purchase your first piece of equip.

JcoMow
11-12-2009, 07:42 PM
well, hello to you too!

I would be passionate about owning a business and making a name for myself but a new exmark mower doesn't fill my dreams as a 33 ford speedstar does. (still nice, but not on the same level)

Plus, I have already been out in the heat and been around when things go wrong. It's frustrating, I know, but it's not that bad when I would be making more money. Besides, I am pretty easygoing and can stay level headed when things mess up.

JcoMow
11-12-2009, 08:03 PM
I forgot to mention too that I would love to focus my time to building hotrods and an upholstry shop, but that doesn't stop me from building a lawn care business that I could leave in the hands of a couple two man teams ( or something along them lines).

Craig3
11-12-2009, 08:30 PM
I forgot to mention too that I would love to focus my time to building hotrods and an upholstry shop, but that doesn't stop me from building a lawn care business that I could leave in the hands of a couple two man teams ( or something along them lines).

That is a mistake imo. If your passion is upholstry then go that route. It's hard to keep up with 2 businesses (from current experience), even if both are just getting started and fairly slow. But unless you're out there mowing its just not worth it. Between paying the 2 man team, up keep of equipment (they are always harder on it than you would be), and the time spent dealing w/ all aspects of the business I dont think it'd be profitable or worth your time. Just my opinion. Then again you could build a business and sell it off. Good luck.

Stevegotcrabgrass
11-12-2009, 08:41 PM
I disagree with most of the above post. I think if you are fairly smart and know how to manage time and money you can do both. If you look at any extremely wealthy person, most of the time they have more than 1 business in the works. I am not talking either about the guy that makes $150k a year. That is good money but I am talking bigger than that. Look at Trump. Look at how many different businesses he has/had. I think if you can get the two crews profitable it will be fine. Even if after all your expenses you clear only $500 a month that is STILL $500 you didn't have prior. And YOU aren't doing the work.

procut
11-12-2009, 09:04 PM
Your heart has to be in it.... Not to sound like a jerk, but I've seen guys who sound similar to you. They think its a good way to "make extra money." They usually last 4 or 5 seasons before throwing in the towel.

Watkins
11-16-2009, 03:00 AM
Jcomow, I think anything is possible if you really believe in it and if you do not have wide shoulders about it, the weight of regrets will smother you but I think since you have been that guy working your butt off for a contractor and you feel your truly ready to take on the responsibilities of an owner of a business and be able to maintain the equipment and wake up at 5 or 6 am to head to the shop to sharpen blades and check belts and make sure all your pins and tires are properly maintained, well Thats a really great thing to see someone start a business and believe in themselves.
Make it work and as you well know your efforts are worthless if you quit believing in what you have created.
I wish you the best of luck on your business ventures, I hope you do great.

JcoMow
11-19-2009, 08:51 PM
Dang. Steve and watkins, appreciate the good words of faith!

I work 3 days and have 4 days open. Most people I know that started mowing gained around 10 yards their first season. That could easily be done in one day leaving me 3 left to do whatever. Almost can't wait for the next season to start!

Watkins
11-19-2009, 09:15 PM
The best way I learned was to have about 50 accounts and stop, hiring people was not the way to go, You will be living more then comfortable with just 1 other person and yourself with lawncare.
Only thing is, make sure your employee is 110% dependable pay him at least 400-500 a week after he has showed he is worth it, and make sure he does not abuse your equipment, that's a huge advantage if he knows trouble signs and can perform routine maintenance before it's breakdown time.
Just find someone who will be there though the good times and BAD, He will make you alot of money working together, in time show him what he is worth.

:)

jasonnau
11-19-2009, 09:30 PM
The best way I learned was to have about 50 accounts and stop, hiring people was not the way to go, You will be living more then comfortable with just 1 other person and yourself with lawncare.
Only thing is, make sure your employee is 110% dependable pay him at least 400-500 a week after he has showed he is worth it, and make sure he does not abuse your equipment, that's a huge advantage if he knows trouble signs and can perform routine maintenance before it's breakdown time.
Just find someone who will be there though the good times and BAD, He will make you alot of money working together, in time show him what he is worth.

:)

That's actually pretty good advice. I've been that way for the last 5 years until this year. We jumped up to 65 accounts plus or minus on some weeks. As a two man crew, I am burnt out. Not ready to quit or anything. It's been the best season ever. I am just plain worn out. Way, way to many dawn till dusk days this year. Especially with the rain. A lot more Saturdays too. The only problem is that I want more money. (Even though this has been the best year for that too). 50 is a really good doable number. The best guy I have ever had working for me quit to go back to school, and my help sucked from about August on. The last thing you need is unreliable help. I offered the guy I had $14.50 per hour as a helper to stay and a weeks paid vacation. I don't blame him for going though. I'm hoping for better next season on the help end of things. I'm at the point now that I need to either: A. Start another business (keeping this one too), B. Grow in number of employees and equipment, or c. Start turning things down. Any other options I'm open for suggestion.

jasonnau
11-19-2009, 09:36 PM
Dang. Steve and watkins, appreciate the good words of faith!

I work 3 days and have 4 days open. Most people I know that started mowing gained around 10 yards their first season. That could easily be done in one day leaving me 3 left to do whatever. Almost can't wait for the next season to start!

Good advertising (door to door) will go a long way. By the end of my first season I had around 25 accounts. Get to know other lcos. If they are too busy they will pass work to you. It happens all the time. You may get the stuff they don't want, but, you'll pay your dues and make money. After you get enough accounts you can start weeding the crappy ones out. The most critical thing I can say is that YOU have to be reliable. You have to do the job right, but most importantly YOU HAVE TO BE RELIABLE. If you are not reliable, you are gone. Most of your new work will come from referal in the long run. If you get a referal, it's the best way you are going to get a job. The new potential customer trusts the person that refered you. You'll also make more off of your accounts that way. If a person wants you, you don't have to try and sell yourself.

anders.ogren
11-24-2009, 08:08 PM
the belt on your mower breaks and you finally get it fix and start back up and discover that you just ran over something that blew out a tire.
Hey, those two things happened to me in a matter of a week, in that order. Are you spying on me?