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slingingrass
11-14-2011, 09:35 PM
I started my lawn service 3 and a half years ago. Steadily its been climbing every year. Last year I created a goal for myself to be able to quit my job and be entirely self employed. My goal is sixty thousand per year. Last year I made a little over fourteen thousand before I take out supplies and stuff. I'm about to put in two commercial bids for some condos. Just those two bids alone bring me to sixty-five thousand. Is this a good move? I hadn't planned for it to be so quick but its here. Should I quit my job or should I hold onto it for a while? I ask these questions because it scares the hell out of me, not to mention how my wife feels. I've always wanted to be self suffecient and not have to rely on anybody or have a superviser breathing down my throat every five minutes. Anyone who reads this please give me some feedback because I know that most of you were one time in my shoes. Tell me what you think. If you want email me at smokincummins525@yahoo.com or if not just post on here, ill eventually get back to it.
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JDiepstra
11-14-2011, 09:45 PM
I would be worried that you would get the accounts, quit your job, and then lose the accounts the next year. Than you are back to $16,000 for the year, total.

slingingrass
11-14-2011, 09:56 PM
But is it a good move to go ahead and do the bids but keep my full time job?
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TriCityLawnCareLLC
11-14-2011, 10:05 PM
Just from the information you've given, and per your request i give you my thoughts. I think it's a bad idea. As mentioned you're putting all of your eggs in one basket. If you even get those accounts you won't be leaving yourself enough time to build your business in other areas. You didn't mention anything about your equipment, what kind of equipment are you running? What are all the different services that these condo's are or will be requiring of you?

Now regarding your "goal" of sixty thousand dollars. You've set it as a goal, but what else have you done? What i mean by that is, just because it's your goal, you cannot leave it to chance to make it come to pass. If $60k is your goal you need to figure out how many mowing accounts you will need to take on at your average mowing price. Then it would be wise to figure out how you're going to get those account (i.e. what types of advertising). Then set deadlines as to when you want thing to happen. For instance. You may need 40 more customers (residential) next year to meet your $60k, Say by the end of March 2012 you set a goal of 30 by. Then break that 30 down into four weeks etc etc.

Also, i think a lot depends on your desire and ambition for this line of work. You say you've been doing it now for 3.5 years, and trying to secure two big condo's and more than triple your income is a long shot (not impossible, but rare). "he who lives by the sword dies by the sword" you grow too quick you die quick. Because you asked for it, I say take your time, save lot's and lot's of money and continue to grow your business over time with a solid residential base mixed with smaller commercial work. And as your business grows and your bank account, then you'll feel more comfortable and ready to venture out on your own.

Following your gut man, don't do anything drastic make calculated decisions when it comes to business... I hope this helps.

I also recommend you search for a thread on here titled "how to fail in the lawn care industry, by someone who did it" or something along those lines.

-Matthew

slingingrass
11-14-2011, 10:16 PM
That really explains a lot to me. I'm running a 60 inch kubota zd21 and possibly a 48 inch ferris walk behind. Iv egot a toro full commercial trimmer and a full commercial husqvargna trimmer and blower. I also do basic landscaping. Shrubs,mulch, etc. But if I can handle all accounts and work full time, would that not be a good idea?.
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JDiepstra
11-14-2011, 10:18 PM
I would do it.

DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING
11-14-2011, 10:26 PM
Ok. Im gonna catch it for this response. That being said you hinted at the fact that your wife may not be 100% on board. If she is not don't do it! It is incredibly difficult to make it on your own period. The last thing you want is for her to in anyway not supportive. I broke out on my own six years ago and luckily my wife couldn't have been better. Good luck in your decision.
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TriCityLawnCareLLC
11-14-2011, 10:38 PM
Sligingrass, It sounds to me that you need a couple more years and experience to go full time in this business. BUT, you know what's best for you, not us. So, make your decision based on the facts. You know best, and one thing that I've learned, is my wife is usually right when it comes to her "feelings" on big decisions.

slingingrass
11-14-2011, 10:40 PM
My wife is on board with it. But she is just as scared as I am. And from what I've gathered from other people that I know who are self employed I should be scared. But what I'm figuring on now is if possible I'm gonna put in both bids and keep my full time job. I don't think either of the two accounts are large areas. Ill know more about them by the end of the week. Ill be doing a full walkaround of the propertys by then. Then ill truly decide on what ill be doing. If I can't handle both accounts and stay at my full time job ill only bid on one. Which will put me growing a little slower. But I would rather grow slow then end up in bankrupcy because I wanted to get rich fast. I understand it dosent work that way.
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JDiepstra
11-14-2011, 10:41 PM
Guys its not like he's quitting his full time job. There really is no downside other than his wife being mad.

DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING
11-14-2011, 10:51 PM
I think he is talking about quitting his job.
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slingingrass
11-14-2011, 11:01 PM
My wife isn't mad, she is actually trying to help me figure this out on paper. She is actually doing real good considering the circumstances. She is just scared of me quiting my job which I'm not doing now.
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larryinalabama
11-14-2011, 11:13 PM
Theres nothing scary about being self employed, fear comes from being BROKE. Just keep your current job until you feel more comfortable, most jobs are happy with a 2 week notice and that won make a difference in your business decision and may give you the opportunity to gain reemplou=yment if necessary.

Lawncare is a extremely expensive and competive business 60k net is very hard to acheive in your first year, second year, third year......

DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING
11-15-2011, 07:11 AM
Slingingrass,
Good luck in your decision. Keep your head in the game and work hard you will do alright!
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billpiper
11-15-2011, 07:49 AM
I used to sell printing. At one time most of my business (75%) came from 1 client, whom I evenually lost. My point is it's dangerous to have most your business come from one source - in any industry. If you haven't walked the properties and done the estimate, you don't know what it will take in terms of man-hours, additional equipment, etc. to do these jobs. Maybe you bid both & take one. If you make $60K off 100 accounts & lose 10 - no big deal. If you make that off 18 accounts with most of the revenue coming from 2 accounts and lose oneof the big ones - big deal.

Additionally, Im guessing those contracts will be reviewed or re-bid every year, and a $30K ayear contract will draw a lot of bidders, so will they actually be profitable accounts or will you just be trading money?

slingingrass
11-15-2011, 10:14 AM
The bids will be profitable. To anyone who gave me feedback on my problem, thank you. You guys have been a great help in my decision. What I will be doing is swingin it for a few more years and keeping my full time job as well. I will also be working on trying to get more residential accounts. Its hard not to just jump on it quit my job ang go for it because this is my dream to be self employed. My buisiness started out I was just going to pick up a few yards to help pay for my new mower three and a half years ago. But I fell in love with the buisiness. So I'm gonna keep going. Thanks guys.
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wbw
11-15-2011, 10:35 AM
Keep your job and bid the condos. You can then bank the money you make. You are going to need it when you do quit your job. Keep your job until you don't have a spare minute and are so tired at the end of the day you want to die. Then you should have enough clients and money to quit your job. Did I say to live off of your job and save every penny you make mowing. Every penny.

AI Inc
11-15-2011, 10:42 AM
My wife is on board with it. But she is just as scared as I am. And from what I've gathered from other people that I know who are self employed I should be scared. But what I'm figuring on now is if possible I'm gonna put in both bids and keep my full time job. I don't think either of the two accounts are large areas. Ill know more about them by the end of the week. Ill be doing a full walkaround of the propertys by then. Then ill truly decide on what ill be doing. If I can't handle both accounts and stay at my full time job ill only bid on one. Which will put me growing a little slower. But I would rather grow slow then end up in bankrupcy because I wanted to get rich fast. I understand it dosent work that way.
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does she work? Do you have kids? do you have any savings? Would you be smoked if you were to lose these accounts next yr?

slingingrass
11-15-2011, 12:33 PM
Yes she works. We have one child. No savings just yet, but it wouldn't smoke me if I were to lose it because I'm not quitting my full time job.
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jsslawncare
11-15-2011, 04:31 PM
Tri-City sounded good to me. Also the $16,000.00 you already have you can not count on from week to week or year to year. And remember you have only bid on this so, no don't quit your job just yet.

Glenn Lawn Care
11-15-2011, 05:21 PM
Why don't you want and see if you win the bids and them make the decision, try not to lose sleep over it now.

PROCUT1
11-15-2011, 05:38 PM
Search for a post i wrote on here titled "How to fail in the lawn business by someone who did it"

Its not really failing in the business but its a thread that I wrote which in pretty good detail shows the growth pattern of a lawn business from being a part time operation to a quite large operation and explains many things that you will experience and need to prepare for along the way.

A lot of people found it pretty eye opening and helpful.

PROCUT1
11-15-2011, 06:13 PM
http://lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=262189&highlight=how+to+fail+in+the+lawn+business

John_DeereGreen
11-16-2011, 09:47 AM
If....and this is a BIG IF...you can do the work required by the HOA's and keep your full time job and be profitable all the way around, I don't believe you have anything to lose.

But keep in mind, at least with HOA's around here, you get one shot...so if you have any suspicion you're not ready, DO NOT DO IT...screw up once and you probably won't get another shot at it...