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View Full Version : Were you hatched in the bermuda?


turfproinc
12-13-2002, 02:35 AM
Did most of you start your own lawn care business after working in the industry for someone else? Or did you just decide to do it? What was the hardest aspect of this business to pick up?

therainman
12-13-2002, 03:55 AM
I got in the biz after working in a factory for 5 years. I needed to get back out side. My family are all golf course supers, so I had the experience to start. It was that easy..... HA HA HA:dizzy:


shawn

brian mon
12-13-2002, 08:13 AM
15+ years in calif. doing tree & landscape work, mostly tree care. 5+ years working and manageing landscape here. Bought lco last august......and love it! Hardest aspect............???............keeping a straight line with the mower!

rodfather
12-13-2002, 08:47 AM
I just decided to do it after about 17 or so years in the corporate world. I was the Director of Training for Hertz and "lost" my voice to throat cancer. Kind of hard conducting training seminars when you can't talk like a normal person.

So I took a permanent medical leave and started my business 8 years ago...and I haven't once looked back.

SIG
12-13-2002, 09:19 AM
I worked for a Landscaping Co. from the time I was 16 to about 19 then started my business on my own. Then got out when I was 27, got a "real job". Started going part-time 3 years ago and will be back full-time starting March 1st. Wish this site was around 15 years ago, course I didn't have a computer back then either:dizzy:

Rodfather-- I don't know you, but it always makes me sad to hear "cancer" stories. I'm glad your doing good. My sister had cancer at age 41 and was very difficult for all of us.

bubble boy
12-13-2002, 09:33 AM
rodfather thats an amazing story that inspires...my dad had cancer (medically he is fine now ) and i love hearing how someone came out ón top.

did this for 5 seasons, three while in university. graduated and just started up. my old boss was a little miffed, me and my business partner were his "bread and butter " employees. he told me i was afraid of the real world. I agreed. :D

i always ask friends about their jobs. its the old seinfeld view: "i don't know what thats like, i never had a real job"

yourlawnguy
12-13-2002, 09:54 AM
I started in 1980 when I was 16, the local LCO came knocking on my door and asked if I wanted a job. I've tried many other things over the years cook, truckdriver, salesman. For a couple years I had a small biz doing office cleaning, floor waxing, and carpet cleaning. In 1995 I even bought a bagel shop ( bad idea ) my wife wanted it so I just said O.K. without doing a market analysis. That flopped within a year. But I've always gone back to lawn care. Owned an LCO in N.Y. for 3 years then moved it to Fl. ran it for 5 years. In 1997 my wife talked me into getting a regular job, I've been a nurse for the last 4 years now and can't stand being stuck indoors. During that time I got divorced and remarried. My new wife loves the loves the idea of us being self employed so here I go again. I started the biz in Sept. and this is the happiest I've been in 4 years.:cool:

Gene $immons
12-13-2002, 10:08 AM
I dropped out of law school and started a company. Best move I ever made. I worked for a lawn co. of and on throughout most of my school days, and learned the tricks of the trade. The hardest part about starting up was maintaining positive cash flow. No longer a problem.

Blessed 1
12-13-2002, 11:10 AM
I got started after a 18 year old dream came true. I got a brand new Craftsman 21Hp mower. Then I needed a storage shed to put it in ---then I had spent so much $ I had to cut 1-2 yards to supplement the cost--- 30 days later I "had to have" a ZTR.----then I decided to get legal and so on....all the while working full time for the Govt. 7:30-5:00 Mon - Sat. Needless to say I have burnt up all of my vacation time trying to keep up. But its a lot better than working at Sams Club p/t. The hardest aspect of business to me is giving good estimate's that I wont regret after cutting the first time. :D

Fvstringpicker
12-13-2002, 11:23 AM
I am a CPA and Engineer. I started last summer when I "inherited" the business from my step son after he decided he'd rather smoke grass than cut it. And yes I was stupid enough to back the original purchase of all his equipment. Hence, I had the inventory, so I decided to use it. I culled all his bad accounts and kept the few good ones.

AL Inc
12-13-2002, 11:59 AM
I started out by helping a friend of mine when I was 10 years old. He had an old 21" Snapper and a 21" Lawnboy. We had 3 lawns in the neighborhood that we cut and raked ( yes, raked) the leaves. Over the years, all through middle school, high school, and college, I have done lawn care. I was away at school in upstate NY for 2 years and they were my only 2 years away from it. After college, I took the so called "real job" selling swimming pools. I absolutely hated it. It just pissed me off so much that the owner was such an underhanded snake and we, the employees, were making money for him and making him look good.
So I said to myself " I might as well work hard and make myself look good." I couldn't stand the idea of working the rest of my life for someone else with maybe 2 weeks off a year. On the bright side, I learned how NOT to treat people and what NOT to do in business. I quit and started up the landscape business again. It has been almost 8 years now, I employ 5 people, and my business has grown every year and provides a comfortable life for my wife and I. I doubt if I will ever work for someone else again.
To answer the last part of your question, estimating has been the hardest thing for me to grasp. I even struggle with it now, at times. I believe estimating is the single thing that will make or break you. I just try to keep learning and ask questions as much as possible. Too bad I didn't have Lawnsite when I was starting out! Mike

southerngent
12-13-2002, 04:15 PM
alright lawnguy...^5

cajuncutter
12-13-2002, 04:21 PM
Been doing this since I got a drivers license at age 15. I am now 31. Never had a "real job". This is all I have ever known.

yourlawnguy
12-13-2002, 04:59 PM
Originally posted by southerngent
alright lawnguy...^5
Hey, there's nothin like working outdoors and sweating for a living.
I love it!:blob3:
BTW..cajuncutter. This is a real job and we've all had the headaches and body aches to proove it.:cool:

cajuncutter
12-13-2002, 05:34 PM
Originally posted by yourlawnguy
Hey, there's nothin like working outdoors and sweating for a living.
I love it!:blob3:
BTW..cajuncutter. This is a real job and we've all had the headaches and body aches to proove it.:cool:
Oh I know!!! however I said it like that cause many other people don't think so. :rolleyes:

yourlawnguy
12-13-2002, 06:50 PM
Oh, O.K.:D

griffin16
12-13-2002, 07:45 PM
Firefighters do not get paid enough, so I started last year when our chief cut the overtime to next to nothing. Working part time cutting lawns helps.

GroundKprs
12-13-2002, 07:50 PM
Started mowin' my yard when Dad went off to Korean Conflict. Didn't go professional(?) until '55 - started rakin' leaves for 25¢ and hour. By '58, was up to 50¢ an hour. Had some diversions 'til 1980, but all's been uphill since then.