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sodzilla
01-12-2004, 12:55 AM
This spring will be my first year in the business. I've been planning and making arrangments, getting pesticide certification, talking to local vendors and checking out equipment and a lot of research here on lawn site. I just got laid off from my full time job where I made $46,000 this past year so I'm glad I have everything ready for the lawn care business, just wish I could've stayed working until March. Just wondering how hungry were you guys when you first started? How far did you travel for jobs? Did you concentrate on one area or go wherever you could find work?

Thanks for your replies
Brian

kels
01-12-2004, 01:03 AM
i was starving, went anywhere the money was green.

olderthandirt
01-12-2004, 01:07 AM
I go where the work is. I live in a small town and the work starts at 30 mile away up to 50 miles. I would rather live in the country and drive to work than live in the citys where the works at personal preference and I've been doing it long enough that it seem normal to have an hr. drive both ways. If your just starting out you better plan on taking it where you can get it. Good Luck

Mac

AGLawnCare
01-12-2004, 01:36 AM
went far but remember the goal is to have an area thatís not to spread out so be careful where you pick up clients

promower
01-12-2004, 02:26 AM
Hey Brian since your doing fert/pest applications I need to get your number so you can do my customers I dont get into doing that stuff.

NCSULandscaper
01-12-2004, 02:27 AM
I went anywhere i could get work at the first year. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

mtdman
01-12-2004, 06:36 AM
Since I started very part time for the first couple o' years, I was not that hungry and able to slowly add work in the area I wanted to be in. Not that hungry at all, but compared to today, a lot poorer.

:D

o-so-n-so
01-12-2004, 08:00 AM
Same as mtdmaster. but still a P-timer

rodfather
01-12-2004, 09:14 AM
Within some justifiable limit, I went wherever there was work. I also took into consideration the size of the job(s) and future work in that area as well.

twins_lawn_care
01-12-2004, 09:55 AM
still running part time, I will pretty much take any jobs I can come across, and then as time goes on, I will decide to replace the longest drives or least money makers with new clients. But until I get to that point, there is no luxury in deciding, I will work wherever.

mtdman
01-12-2004, 11:05 AM
I guess now that I think about it, my very first try at doing this with the jack hole partner, we went everywhere and answered any call. But we also didn't make any money, and I learned from that it does not necessarily pay to drive all over hell to get work. Which is why I pretty much targeted certain areas when I started the second time and concentrated on those. But again, that very first try was part time and I didn't depend on the money to live. Not very hungry then either.

DFW Area Landscaper
01-12-2004, 11:52 AM
Sodzilla,

Your story is mine, only a year later. I was making good money at WCOM but they laid me off shortly after they entered bankruptcy in summer of '02. I started this business in January of '03.

This business looks like an easy business to jump into, but it's not. Not if you want to make a decent living, pay your taxes and sleep well at night knowing you have the proper insurance. There are a ton of part timers doing this for a little extra cash and I feel those guys are pretty detrimental to the full timers. I notice a lot more landscaping crews running around in my area on Fridays and Thursdays than I see on Mondays and Tuesdays, so that may be a sign of the way things are.

Here's my advice: If you're single with no kids, consider going for it. If you're married with children and you've got a big mortgage payment, consider this only if your wife makes good money and you've got enough cash saved up to not only fund your business plan but also to make up for household shortfalls. Don't plan on much income from the business the first year. But I'd say replacing your $46K per year is definitely do-able. My personal goal is to make $77K in 2005, which would put me back to what I was making when I got the boot.

Here's what I did my first year:

Gross Sales.......................36,061.33
EBITDA............................14,687.04
Less doubtful A/R..............-2,084.35
Realistic EBITDA.................12,602.69

I have absolutely no idea what my actual depreciation costs are, but I know they're significant.

I funded the business with a litle over $33,000 cash and that was pretty comfortable. I didn't own a truck, so I had to sell the Taurus and spend $15,500 on a new truck. That ate up a bunch right off the top.

I stay within a 3 mile radius of my home. I'd guess there are about 20,000 to 30,000 homes within three miles of my home. Figure out where you want to work because you will struggle to make money at this if your drive time is too excessive.

Hope this helps.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

Remsen1
01-12-2004, 12:07 PM
I'm still at the hungry stage. Still have my fulltime job, working towards getting into lawncare fulltime.

WeatherMan
01-12-2004, 01:31 PM
My first 2 years I stayed within 3 miles radius of my house. Now I have grown adn have several crews we have a 15 mile radius around my shop which is on the same property as my home.

It just depends how much money you want to lose traveling all around town :cool: