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BobcatBoy06
08-24-2011, 09:51 PM
Is it really worth being in business for yourself. My father owns the company that I work for. We do well and have alot of nice equipment, toys I like to call them but at the end of the day is being self employed the answer. You have to pay your own health insurance and retirement plan and it is very hard to find good help. How are you really supposed to make over 40,000 a year in this business. It seems like you work countless hours working, then doing the bids, then you have to deal with customer complaints and then you have your dead beats that just don't want to pay. Do other owers go through this stress from time to time, or is it just me.

BradLewisLawnCare
08-24-2011, 10:03 PM
If you make $40k in real world that is before you have a phone car payments and tools that you write off but use for whatever whenever. Plus tou make your own hours and no one can just yell at you without u letting them
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JB1
08-24-2011, 10:10 PM
Is it really worth being in business for yourself. My father owns the company that I work for. We do well and have alot of nice equipment, toys I like to call them but at the end of the day is being self employed the answer. You have to pay your own health insurance and retirement plan and it is very hard to find good help. How are you really supposed to make over 40,000 a year in this business. It seems like you work countless hours working, then doing the bids, then you have to deal with customer complaints and then you have your dead beats that just don't want to pay. Do other owers go through this stress from time to time, or is it just me.



all the time, but I've been in the wild to long now.

topsites
08-24-2011, 11:48 PM
30, 40, 50, 100, doesn't matter.
At the end of the month it's all the same money.

BobcatBoy06
08-25-2011, 06:58 AM
At the end of the month it does matter you have to have the money at the end of the month to put back into your ira or other investments so that you are able to retire when you come to your desired age. I think that is the problem with some self employed people. You can't just work and not save you have to save for your future. If you are a younger fella live myself you will need to have several million to retire in your 60's and live comfortably for the rest of your life

nortonlawncare
08-25-2011, 10:47 PM
so if you have it all figured out then why ask the question? i thought i had everything down, then i lost a lot in the market and i had to tap into my ira, i'm 31. investing isn't a fail safe. i think owning and operating my own business is worth it, but i have friends who have tried and couldn't do it. i guess it comes down to how comfortable you feel handling your own biz and money.
I think it sounds like your dad has something going and you seem to be right in line to pick up when he leaves the biz. if you play your cards right it can be well worth it

PlantscapeSolutions
08-26-2011, 12:04 AM
There were times that just the help issue drove me crazy and made me wonder the same thing. In a span of 2-3 years we tried out about 200 workers with poor results. I only run one crew and could not staff it with people that were born north of the Rio Grande.

We tried to do the right thing and use work visas. I had found two guys working for another local company on Visas that were going to legally work for me the next year. I spent $4000 only to have the government botch up the work visa program back in 2007. I ended up getting no workers at all.

I had hired some guys from Mexico and Guatemala to be my temporary workers until my visa guys showed up. Four seasons later I still have the same two workers from Guatemala. They are the best and most loyal workers I've ever had.

I have documents that look legit and my workers pay taxes like they are supposed to. In this line of work you have to do whatever it takes to survive and prosper. If you have to depend on Americans for your crew members it's probably going to be tough going.

I can tell you that even the big companies often cheat and use some help with faux documents. One of the Valley Crest guys here told me that this year all the help was going to be Americano and the same is happening at Sunterra.

I'm pretty sure they had a whole lot of SSN's come back as problematic. Because of this they were probably kicked out of the work visa program. The Valley Crest guy told me all the foremen were stressed out because the Americano trabajadores weren't worth a crap.

Wayne 55
08-26-2011, 11:10 AM
Wow you really think that you will become a Millionaire over night? You think that money just falls from the sky without putting your time in working for it? You have to think some here. Most successful companies got that way because ONE person at the top spent countless hours putting together a plan then put the proper staff together and executed it. TIME, TIME, TIME is required to get ahead. Your father obviously spent countless hours building the business. Working at bids, overseeing the job, investigating the costs of materials and purchasing the proper equipment to do such jobs.

Yeah its a lot of work! Be a part of it for your own good! Learn from it this might free up some time for him! Split the duties. I have seen to many times that father, son businesses fail soon after the father relinquishes the duties to the son or sons as they know very little about the business. But yet they feel they can run it better than the "Old Man" can.

In this economy do you trust working for a company? Investing your time and effort only to wonder if for some reason your job is outsourced some day or go to work one day and the company folds? You think that your 401k is secure with these companies? I think you need to be thankful for what your father did and WORK harder at it to secure yourself and maybe a future family into this business. If you wish to earn more then expand. Take your time at it but expand into say Site work, or Paving or anything that your equipment might be able to handle. Think outside the box a little. No one said you need to be a one way street with your business. Landscaping is only the tip of the iceberg if you treat it that way. There is way more adventures out their utilizing the same equipment if you think about it.

Finding good help is always a issue with any company. Some obviously look south of the boarder and such for theirs. There is GOOD American help available here if you look for it and many of those workers are looking for work now as we speak. Find them and put them to work and pay them what they deserve. If you think paying a person 20 to 24,000 a year is big money well get real. That doesn't even get them out of poverty level. Coming from PA. you should realise that its a short season. 8 months at tops these people who you hire need to earn their living in those months. If they can not then they go elsewhere. You and only you as a owner must understand that the help you hire look to you to keep them working, safe, earning a living, and happy in the job they do. In return you expect a solid days work for the pay and still able to profit for that days work they provided. As you look to profit from this business and have the "toys" you wish. They also look to you to earn money to live and have "toys" too.

Owning a business can be very rewarding and as a owner I have had my shares of ups and downs this will happen. But to say its too much work? Never! I can always question myself about decisions I made and can say sometimes I wish I could do it over again. But will always be grateful for the opportunity I have had taking over a family business my father started years ago. You are in control of your destiny in life owning a business if you put nothing in you receive nothing. Its that simple.

dlonestar
08-26-2011, 01:10 PM
Spend some time studying successful business people. Let them tell you what they learned from their mistakes and successes and follow their direction.

To me, there is no doubt there is more upside to being self employed, as there is no limit on your income potential and you are completely in control.

Sammy
08-26-2011, 11:31 PM
Maybe ask your father ?

lawnman_scott
08-27-2011, 09:40 PM
There were times that just the help issue drove me crazy and made me wonder the same thing. In a span of 2-3 years we tried out about 200 workers with poor results. I only run one crew and could not staff it with people that were born north of the Rio Grande.

We tried to do the right thing and use work visas. I had found two guys working for another local company on Visas that were going to legally work for me the next year. I spent $4000 only to have the government botch up the work visa program back in 2007. I ended up getting no workers at all.

I had hired some guys from Mexico and Guatemala to be my temporary workers until my visa guys showed up. Four seasons later I still have the same two workers from Guatemala. They are the best and most loyal workers I've ever had.

I have documents that look legit and my workers pay taxes like they are supposed to. In this line of work you have to do whatever it takes to survive and prosper. If you have to depend on Americans for your crew members it's probably going to be tough going.

I can tell you that even the big companies often cheat and use some help with faux documents. One of the Valley Crest guys here told me that this year all the help was going to be Americano and the same is happening at Sunterra.

I'm pretty sure they had a whole lot of SSN's come back as problematic. Because of this they were probably kicked out of the work visa program. The Valley Crest guy told me all the foremen were stressed out because the Americano trabajadores weren't worth a crap.
So the average a guy lasts is 2 1/2 days? Seems to me you need to look beyond the workers.

PlantscapeSolutions
08-27-2011, 11:57 PM
My crew members have been working for me for the last four seasons as the post states. It's easy to manage people who have a decent work ethic. No amount of management skills can turn a deadbeat with no work ethic into a valued employee.

David Haggerty
08-28-2011, 07:43 AM
I've found that working for someone else you have less stress but also less control of your destiny.
For the first 20 years of my working life I worked for a company.
for the last 25 years I've worked for myself.
Nothing says you can't change your mind about what's right for you at any particular time in your career.

WenzelOSLLC
08-28-2011, 12:54 PM
Short answer; self employment is worth it.

At some point in time every company EVER was run by someone self employed. It might be more work to start off but after a while you can delegate the administrative side to other people and then they can find good workers and clients, etc.

PlantscapeSolutions
08-28-2011, 02:37 PM
My crew members have been working for me for the last four seasons as the post states. It's easy to manage people who have a decent work ethic. No amount of management skills can turn a deadbeat with no work ethic into a valued employee.

Let me expound even more on how things work in Texas and in many southern states. Down here you can preach all you want about Americans that need work blah, blah, blah. The reality is Americans want easy work in more skilled jobs that pay better. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

But thinking that your going to put an out of work guy who had AC and was making say 25-30K at his last job in a crew member job is laughable. My guys start the day as early as 6 AM and at times don't finish until 6 PM or later. It was 110 F here in Austin today. This is just is not a job anyone with any ambition and drive would want.

I have had African American, Hispanics, and even the occasion Anglo work for me in the past that was born and raised here. I used the local paper, Craigs List, and other channels to find legit workers. I spent lots of money trying to keep staffed. We tried out hundreds of workers over the years with a horrific success rate. We spent lots of time training workers only to have them flake out after 1-4 weeks almost 100% of the time. Multiple clients were lost and jobs were taking way too long to complete.

Many workers tried to get unemployment benefits because they knew how to try to work the system. They would lie on paper work and claim they had been laid off.

After getting a few $500-$600 paychecks the desire to work for most guys just seems to fade away. Once they had money to pay a few bills, for alcohol, or drugs they didn't want to work anymore.

The other huge problem is that people's true character flaws started to become apparent after a week or less. It became obvious why these people were out of work. We found guys were bringing beer to work because they were alcoholics and trying to sneak off and drink it. Guys would show up with drugs. Not good at all.

I am not saying there are no Americans who would make good crew members but the problem is they are a tiny minority especially down south. Most of us small business owners do not have the time constantly babysit workers and look for new ones. You get burned out very quickly when you constantly put forth a 100% effort only to get burned by new hires that flake out on you repeatedly. New York logic doesn't not work in the sunbelt it's that simple.

CurbGuyNC
08-28-2011, 03:31 PM
Is it really worth being in business for yourself. My father owns the company that I work for. We do well and have alot of nice equipment, toys I like to call them but at the end of the day is being self employed the answer. You have to pay your own health insurance and retirement plan and it is very hard to find good help. How are you really supposed to make over 40,000 a year in this business. It seems like you work countless hours working, then doing the bids, then you have to deal with customer complaints and then you have your dead beats that just don't want to pay. Do other owers go through this stress from time to time, or is it just me.

In my experience, you either have the entrepreneurial spirit or you don't. Businesses succeed and fail every day only because the person running the business does or doesn't have it. What I mean is, despite the incredible hurdles such as cash flow, capable workers and equipment failures, the owner has the DESIRE to make it work. Even with the DESIRE to make it work, many times that business will still fail. BUT, the entrepreneur still has that itch, burning desire or what ever you may call it to start another business. In the mean time, that person will go to work for someone else until they are in the position to start again.

By your remarks, I don't hear that "understanding" of being the entrepreneur. your dad clearly does, but you describe your business as having nice equipment and toys but don't make enough money. I suggest you talk with your dad and ask him WHY he started this business and WHY he continues the business. Read a book called the Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley. Read any book by Dave Ramsey. These books aren't just about money management, but good info on building wealth and the basic principles of being a self employed person. Most TRUE millionaires in this country are the folks that started businesses years ago and live frugally. They didn't inherit the business or assets from there daddy.

Talk to other business owners by joining your local business group and join the Chamber of Commerce to pick the brains of community business owners. Business owners are usually very generous with mentoring young entrepreneurs and you would hear some incredible stories.

If you truly want to continue your family's business, try to get an understanding of WHY your dad built what he did. Your dad will be proud that you asked.

205mx
08-28-2011, 04:38 PM
stay out of debt. Cash is king.

Exact Rototilling
08-28-2011, 04:56 PM
I have been self employed since 2001. Been working another small biz since.that.time plus started lawn care in 2007.

I belive self employment works best when it is a family team effort. Trust me.....it's much harder when other significant people in the household tend to.have a time clock mentality when it boils down to running a business. One person is working themselves silly running 2 businesses other person is slacking and doesn't work a job.

The best combo is get a job as paid full-time firefighter and on your off day mow Lawns landscape whatever ...? If you work for a good district and make good coin you're set. I quit testing for fire departments years ago. It seemed like I was alwwys being asked questions like: how.do you feel about female bosses ...alternative lifestyles.... and loaded PC type questions. I'm really bad at lying and in reality I grew weary pretty quickly of going the sick people's houses for ems.calls as a volunteer ff/emt.

Frankly if I had landed a good firefighter job I rather live frugally and enjoy.my time off and do fun.things to recharge my batteries and NOT mow lawns. The ft/emt job has.its hazzards ...you never know when you will be crippled for life, or burned to a crisp, or your better judgment tells you the LT or captain is incompetent when they tell you to ventilate a roof that you should not be on.
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