View Full Version : Talk about starting young...

08-16-2000, 11:30 PM
Today I met this kid accross from one of the yards I was cutting. He was mowing with a Honda push mower. He said he had about 5 yards in the neighborhood. The thing is this kid was only 9!!!! He told me that his mom didn't want him getting any new accounts, but that he snuck a couple in a few houses in the neighborhood. Is that cool or what!!! I encouraged him to keep mowin because it is the best job a kid/teenager can have. I feel sorry for anyone that has to deal w/ a push mower. They are so slow! Anyway I just thought I would share that w/ yall.

The South rules!!!!
Rick Wallace

little green guy
08-16-2000, 11:41 PM
Did you tell him how to charge?

08-17-2000, 08:27 AM
Little Green Guy:
This kid was already charging the right amount.... I think. He was charging $30 for half an acre for just mowing and blowing.


08-17-2000, 09:13 AM
Smart Kid! I started out last year at 12, but I'd been mowing long before that. If I'm gonna push mow I'm gonna have one with the high back wheels.

08-17-2000, 04:36 PM
if you have to go w/ a pushmower make it the TORO PRO 21" 2-cycle. take out the governor and let 'er screem. It will cut as fast as you can run.

08-17-2000, 05:39 PM
9 years old with 5 lawns already. Thats great! He must not own a TV to be outside working. Try to encourage him evey time you see him.

08-17-2000, 06:13 PM
I was discussing the on going opinions of this Forum with some friends at work and they said we have a double standard because it seems we don't like when grown men go out and do work without being licensed, insured, having insurance, etc, yet we praise a young kid for doing just the same thing!

Now don't get me wrong, I think its great that there are a few kids left that want to learn to work with their hands and that have some kind of work ethic these days.

BUT!........... How come the guy with the mower in his station wagon with no ins., no license, no uniforms, junk equipment, and probobly wacked out pricing, brings our industry down as a whole, but a kid doing the same thing doesn't??

Any thoughts on this one??

08-17-2000, 11:09 PM
I guess one thing we have to consider is that the guy in the station wagon is ABLE to get insurance and can be held accountable for his negligence, the 12 year old kid, though not able to be held accountable for accidents, doesn't have the choice of being able to get insurance.

08-17-2000, 11:48 PM
I agree w/ runner on that one. Its so different to see a kid working rather than being lazy and they deserve alot of praise for that. This brings another issue to mind. I am 17 and want insurance, but if I get it I have to put my business in my dad's name. That kinda sucks. and my family insurance agent has to get insurance for my equipment through a broker. Does this sound right?

Rick Wallace

08-18-2000, 12:26 AM
Maybe I'm off base, but perhaps the youngsters should sign on with a licensed and insured company first, for the experience, and go out on their own when their 'of age'.

Might solve the problem of the 'neighborhood-kid'll-do-it-for-half-that' syndrome...


08-18-2000, 12:40 PM
TGC well said I have no problem with a kid cutting hell I did it! I like most kids grew up and lost intrest in it for a while girls,driving,fishing ect.. However after earning my degree in economics at ODU (go monarchs) I realized that I did not want to join the corporate hell which many of my peers jumped into Yeah I tried it and hated it. Love working with my hands no boss and taking on others who enjoy it, there are a lot of positive aspects of this work even if many of us myself included get tired,frustrated ect.. The biggest challenge for myself is constantly staying motivated and generating decent profits. What many customers fail to realize is how dependable is that kid? is he capable,responsible,and professional. What if a rock flies out of his mower and hurts somebody? or worse. Let him work for a proffesional outfit for a while he will get some needed experience and probably make more money. Shoot I would hire a kid like that in a second pay him what he makes now and take care of liability, proffesional, and equipment concerns. Though I dont know 9 damn!

08-18-2000, 01:43 PM
I agree with cummings. If you are not old enough to get insurance, tax id number, etc, you should think about being an employee until you can. Get some experience under your belt, then IF you still enjoy and think it can suit you, jump in. I worked for a company all through high school and into college. I am glad I did this and did not go out on my own. I might have nade more money on my own, but the experience helped.

08-18-2000, 08:25 PM
What the heck are you guys taking about? Are you scared of the younger generation? I think being an employee under another company is STUPID!! I put in half as many hours as other teenagers and make 5 times as much as they do, and I get just as much or more experience as I would be as an employee. Plus I am learning valuable business and social skills that will help me be successful in the future. You would think you guys would praise a guy who wants to get liscenced and insured, but instead I read this crap. You guys piss me off! Maybe yall should straighten this up for me or maybe it will be just more inspiration to take over the lawn maintenance industry in my area. When I am 18 I am going to get insured and licenced, and will proceed to be the best lawn care company in middle Geaorgia. Sorry if that sounds cocky, but that is my goal.

Rick Wallace

08-19-2000, 02:07 PM
I dont know what that was about charles but it was a little over the edge. Thier is nothing wrong with a young kid on the nieghborhood trying to work. Are you really threatened by this kid? If so you really need to raise your standard. Just remember You provide a quality service and this kid is just "cutting" the grass.

and one more thing; are you going to hire this inexperienced 9 year old kid? or would you rather hire someone 15 that has some experience in dealing w/ the troubles of the business? i.e. customers.

thats all i have to say

08-19-2000, 02:22 PM
Ah, Rick, don't get me wrong. I think someone who wants to work, at any age, is a good thing.

However, if the law stipulates that someone under 18 cannot get licensed for business or can't get the proper insurance then it creates a double standard, as Guido pointed out. If it's bad for the Industry to have adults skimping the rules and cutting corners, then it only stands to reason that it's bad for the Industry if youngsters do it, too.

I'd say get the business in your father's name and get insurance through a broker until you can do it all straight and in your own name. I know it "kinda sucks", but it also "kinda sucks" for us adults to have to get a license to spray roundup, or just to have to pay 15% social security tax, but that's what we have to do. That's just business, and if that's what you have to do to do it "right", then I say go for it.



08-19-2000, 05:33 PM
RICK WALLACE - Hey man, settle down. I have to mess with you a bit on this one. When you get to write on your trailers someday that your the best LMO in Georgia, make sure you spell it better than you did in your post!!


We were talking about 12 year olds that HAVE EVEN POSTED IT HERE that they charge $7 minimum for lawns! People look at a "real" LMO like they're crazy when they ask for $30-$40 a cut because "the KID next door only charges $5"

I don't think anyone should feel threatened by them but it comes down to a safety issue, and making our industry look profesional or not.

Sorry, it may not apply to everyone, but you should know where you stand.

08-20-2000, 12:43 AM
All I was trying to say was(before i was so rudely censored lol) Oh never mind. Don't won't to offend the wusses out there

08-20-2000, 01:57 AM
Well, I think its great that kid is starting young! Thats when I started, my dad got me going when I was 14 and I haven't stopped. If you guys are scared that he is going to take away business from you then it looks like you must have just started too. If you have a "name" in your community then you will get business. I'm 19 and have a 24 and 35 year old working for me. Funny huh, they are older, yet they work for me. I make way more than they do. Why is this, cause I started this business and I run it. I have put in the long days working it get it where i am today. They are only helping me grow and expand. I say "GO GET EM' KID"!! Any one can get into this business if they are willing to work hard for it and make wise decisions.

08-20-2000, 02:08 AM
Great post Esby, I couldn't have said it better myself

Tim :)