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View Full Version : How many part timers and how many jobs?


Smitty58
04-29-2003, 12:34 PM
I'm getting into the lawn care business part time at first. I would like to know how many of you do this part time and how many jobs do you do? I'm anxious to get into it ,but curious on how many I can handle. I'll be doing this by myself and have purchased a 36" w/b Exmark. I already had a trailer and push mower, trimmer, hand tools. I am also debating on just what all to get into. Do you pt guys just mow or what?
Thanks for the advice and comments. I have already learned a lot by reading this site from you PRO'S.

superman
04-29-2003, 03:58 PM
I am a part timer. I already have a full time job. I started this on the side because I enjoy mowing and being out in the beautiful weather. I also figured it was a good way to make extra money. I have a 60" Hustler with a 25hp Kawi, a 12ft trailer, and a 2002 dodge ram truck.

superman

NYRookie
04-29-2003, 10:06 PM
I was a part timer for 2 years w/a full time job. Just put in for a 30 day leave of absence. It would be permanent if my wife didn't tell me she was pregnant 2 weeks ago. I have more work than I can shake a stick at. I would suggest with a 36" w/b that you start with about 5-10 residential or small commercial properties. It is not about quantity, it's about quality. Do a good job on the ones you get and more will follow. I have picked up 3 big jobs this year from one yard I had last year. These are $100 and better per week jobs. Concentrate on doing a good clean job and your jobs will come to you. Good luck.

Smitty58
04-29-2003, 11:02 PM
NYRookie, thanks for the advice. I agree with you 100% about doing quality work. I'm not interested in seeing how many yards I can do ,I prefer doing quality work. Each job you do you are signing your name to ,why would anyone want to fly through it just for the money and then have your name drug through the mud. I believe you hit it right on the head about doing a good job and more will follow. Good luck with the baby.

tinman
04-30-2003, 01:34 AM
How'd you manage the leave of absence. Thanks

Firefighter Dave
04-30-2003, 07:48 PM
This will be my second season doing lawn care..... I am a fulltime firefighter and our schedual allows use to have may days off for lawn care. A co-work has been in bus. for 17 years and had been doing part time for the last 5. He has taken 10 hours vacation when he's on duty to do spring clean-ups. I am sure it's hard when your full time when you work a 7-3 or 9-5 job, but it can be done. Good luck!!!

Dave

:blob2: :blob2:

jeff_0
04-30-2003, 10:22 PM
i'm a part timer.. but it seams more like full time.. i work at night and in the day do lawns..3 hrs sleep a night is killing me. have about 25 accounts... and one townhome community... 18ft trailer that belongs to my dad.. 10 x 5 ft trailer.. 48 inch snapper walk behind, 48 inch z bobcat, 3 echo blowers, echo trimmer and hedges. 2000 2500 dodge ram 4x4..

Smitty58
05-01-2003, 08:35 AM
Jeff_O, I wouldn't classify that as part time ,that's a busy schedule. I work swing shift changing between 1st, 2nd, and 3rds each week with different days off during the week. I'm thinking once I get it set up I can schedule my jobs on my days off. The only problem I see is cutting a customers lawn on a different day each week. Do you guys see this as a problem? Is it better to cut a customer on the same day each week? Firefighter Dave, your schedule is probably closer to mine, do you cut on the same day each week? Thanks for the input ,I'm learning a bunch from this forum.

jeff_0
05-01-2003, 06:17 PM
that's hard to do, it could rain that day, customers sometimes want there yard cust 7-10 days.. yeah this is more like another full time job...

NYRookie
05-01-2003, 09:22 PM
Tinman, I am lucky I guess. I figured this to be 1 of the busiest months for me, so I asked and I was told it was a 1 time only deal. I don't work production, I work in maintenance with 6 other mechanics and it was kinda slow. Hope it is a permanent leave though.:blob3:

lawnbgone
05-03-2003, 08:44 AM
My son and I both have full time jobs and manage 25 customers.It requires cutting every night and Saturdays.QUALITY NOT QUANTITY.

Doc Pete
05-03-2003, 09:10 AM
I've been doing this P/T for almost 20 years. My full time job pays my insurance, vacation, sick time and retirement plan. The hours are a bit longer with two jobs:p , but without any kids, I'd just be watching too much TV. Now a days many of us are taking on another P/T job (the wife doesn't work) to make ends meet, so at least I'm making top dollar at a "My" P/T job. It keeps me in shape, out in the fresh air, and I get paid for it , too:D

Pete

GrassInPA
05-05-2003, 02:51 PM
Let's see......I'm a part timer at this I guess. I'm doing a little bit of landscaping for people I know but I advertise for just grass cutting. I'm a sophomore in college right now and have another job at Sears as a salesman doing about 30 hours a week.

I'm quite happy with the 7-10 yards that I have. Just a little bit of extra spending money. Sometimes the customers will ask me to do extra work like trimming hedges and so on.

I'm 19 now and started doing this when I was 15. I enjoy it because it gets me outside and I enjoy seeing the finished product once I'm done. It also helps with people skills at my other job and vice versa.

Well, I have to get back to studying for a political science final :angel: .

By the way, I'm just using a LawnBoy, Sthil trimmer, and Craftsman blower. :dizzy:

Smitty58
05-05-2003, 11:01 PM
Great response, I am in my 19th year at a paper mill working swing shift. My days off change each week so it affords me some time each to "moonlight". I have all the benefits (health ,dental ,etc) so I don't have to worry about buying those ,but the extra money moonlighting sure comes in handy. What kind of money can a person make (average) per week doing this. I've been building decks and fences etc for about 20 years on the side and the money is good ,but it is not steady income. Basically I do a deck or fence in a couple long days and then nothing sometimes for weeks. I'm looking for something a little more steady. Just curious what others are doing. I think I could do 10 jobs each week with my schedule. Does that seem about right?

Gr grass n Hi tides
05-05-2003, 11:18 PM
This is my 3rd year, but my first gearing toward full time. I'm neck deep in my full time job and have two young daughters. Still, time can be found if you want it bad enough. Once you start to line up your client base and establish a schedule things will get a little bit easier. That's where I am beginning to get right now, but still busting bottom building a good base.

I do the few small commercial accounts I have on the weekend because it's easier to service them then. I do the residentials in the evening after my full time job hours end.

I know a guy that has been working for the postal service for a very long time. He's just a couple of years away from his pension so of course he has to stick it out. The past two years he cut 20 accounts in 2 - 3 days - solo. His main mower at the time was a 36 inch wb. He would go out on Saturday and cut as many as he could & get the rest after work in a day or two, weather permitting. This year, he's got a crew in the field full time & he just uses banked vacation days to pick up the slack when he's booked. He's grown into Z riders & his business is starting to take off.

harpoonalt
05-06-2003, 03:29 PM
If you have a full time job and want to start part time, i'd advise starting slow and adding business as you feel comfortable. As everyone says, quality first. This is my first year in business P/T and it's been wild so far. I only have 4 properties, but the spring cleanups were time consuming as they are 4 rather large properties. I've turned down a few jobs (politely) because I'm rather busy and don't want to start off cutting corners just to get the work. With kids, my schedule can get screwed up, so on 3 of my properties I bid on yearly maintenance with the understanding the grass would get cut as needed. More in the spring and less during the summer as the grass grows. That helped by making my cutting days more flexible without the customer thinking I'm padding the bill. If I'm going away, I can mow the day before even if it's only been a few days. Might be a bit more work, but I can maintain quality and make my schedule more flexible. I've learned a ton very fast. Reading here helps,living it makes it makes sense out of what you're reading. Every time you do something you'll learn a little bit more about what works and what doesn't. Being part-time means you have to be creative scheduling your work.
It can be challenging, but also the best thing you'll ever do. I can't wait to get out of work and go do "my" work. My mental attitude has never been better. I just wish I had done this a long time ago. Good luck!

ffemt1271
05-10-2003, 12:36 AM
i have a full time job as a firefighter and a full time job in lawn care
we change shifts at 3 in the evening so i can cut till 2 or so and go to work--get off at 3 the next day and cut till dark--every 5 shifts we get 6 days in a row off and it's wide open then:D

drobson
05-10-2003, 12:52 AM
I'm Part time, with a full time job. But I sub out alot of work during the week so that I don't have to turn down too many jobs. I want to get the word of mouth advertizing going, but it doesn't work very well if you keep turning down jobs... Hopefully I will be able to go fulltime someday, and of course I hope it's voluntary :D

bscill
05-13-2003, 09:57 AM
I'm part-time also with a full time job. I have been doing this for about 3-4 years now. I eventually want to only be doing this, but I not about seeing how many yards I can get. I enjoy mowing and seeing an excellent lawn. My equipment, Bunton 60" ZTR, echo trimmer, lawnboy 21" push, 12' trailer, 95' Chevy...

UGA
05-13-2003, 01:04 PM
benefits, vacation, and a desk job so getting out on Sat's and after work one to two days during the week helps me to stay in better shape and service only 5-6 yards right now. As my job may be in jeporady(sp) within the next year I am trying to learn all I can with a handful of yards while perfecting my craft. Also I am slowly trying to accumulate the gear and equipment necessary for when I go FT. For instance for fathers day this year I asked my wife for some Quietunes ear muffs and for Christmas I will be wanting a MagnaMatic balancer. Hoping to pick up some blowers, hedge trimmers, ch saw, etc from parents that are barely used.

I can't begin to describe how much I have learned on LawnSite and from talking with a close friend that made the jump to full time 2 years ago. I'm trying to set up a day off to just spend it with his crew to pick up more knowledge.

6X10 tilt trailer
99 Great Dane Surfer 52" 22hp Kohler (w/ doubles and hmade stripe kit)
Robin trimmer
Stihl HH blower

Smitty58
05-14-2003, 01:23 AM
UGA, you pretty much described me. Full time job with all the benefits makes it hard to leave ,but I work swing shift which has it's ups and downs (mostly downs) ....so I'm slowly getting my equipment in order and setting up my trailor along with learning how to mow like a pro. It' amazing how your whole life you cut grass and really don't put a lot of thought into making it look real nice ,just get it cut so you can do something fun then you decide to do it for money and it changes the way you look at it. That's great if you can spend a day with a crew to learn some tricks ,I've trying to watch when I can and of course read everthing on this site which has been a HUGE help.

UGA
05-16-2003, 05:22 PM
I had the same thought go through my head last year about how I used to mow without a care in the world (although very slowly on my 1969 Snapper Comet; ie. Forrest Gump) and now I am constantly watching EVERYTHING.