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scottb
01-24-2001, 01:16 PM
I will be losing my job of 10 years as of March 30th. I really would like to go full time lawncare but with my wife not working and a large morgtage another job may be necassary. Do any of you work swing shift jobs if so how does it affect your business. I only have a few accounts at the moment so full time is a big scare. But who knows when I start putting out fliers in Febuary maybe things will boom. Any way advice from the wise members of lawnsite is in need.

scottb
01-24-2001, 03:26 PM
Some of you who are or at one time were partimers please make some suggestions or tell how your day job effects you lawn care business.

kutnkru
01-24-2001, 04:49 PM
I started out my business five years ago when I was bouncing nights at a local club. I enjoyed the double income but as of last spring have turned in the gloves for serving up cold drinks as a bartender. I'm 30 now and have worked for nightlife for 10 yrs successfully without it taking a toll on my company. I suppose it all comes down to whether or not we are doing something we truely enjoy - or not.

Best of luck.
Kris

awm
01-24-2001, 06:00 PM
I dont know the full situation.But
it might be time to put it on the line.Get
Good quality cut and acredge mower.If
you work hard you can do well.
Dont try to do it , do it.I have come to
realise there is a different.

nlminc
01-24-2001, 06:08 PM
Scott, You should really look into equipment that isn't going to beat you up by the end of the day. If you can afford a ZTR rider, then go for it. You will have more energy left over at the end of the day. Good luck to you

mowerman90
01-24-2001, 07:40 PM
Friends, relatives, everyone thought I'd go broke when I went full time in this business 11 years ago. My favorite story about how I knew I'd be alright was when I was printing my statements one evening on an old Epson impact printer using fan-fold statements from Nebs. My Mother-in-law stopped by for something while I was printing. She was one of the most vocal to disapprove my new business venture. I asked her if she could help me for a moment. I picked up the first statement in the collection box on the floor in front of the printer and asked her if she would walk down the hall with it. Picture this - she walks through our family room, down the hall and to the front door trailing along a ribbon of statements. I then tell her to open the door and continue to walk until the statements are stretched half way into the front yard. I then asked her if she still thought I couldn't make a living mowing lawns. She replied that she didn't know. I then told her that she was holding "statements" (which she had not realized)and that each statement represented at least $50 of income for that month. Needless to say she is now one of my supporters. If you do a good job and treat your customers right you will succeed. Don't be afraid, go for it.

Runner
01-24-2001, 08:01 PM
I've had this business on my own for going on 18 years now. I worked as a campus safety officer for a local school district from '94 until June of 2000 while also attending school. While I had the entire summers off, it was hectic during spring and fall while I did both. I currently was just hired as and am in training as a store detective for a major supermarket chain. This has pretty decent pay, and EXCELLENT benefits. It is a 40 hour a week job OPTIONAL overtime, and I will continue to do both. The benefits are the main thing. The only REAL difficulty I'll have is when, soon, I'll be going into the police academy. At this time, while obviously having to let the store detective job go, I'll have to find SOME how to maintain the business - atleast for four months. I would like to do the academy during the winter months, so I wouldn't miss too much field work. This is only partially possible though due to the academy schedules.

scottb
01-25-2001, 08:28 AM
Thanks for the advice. I might have to work a rotating shift. So many days on day shift than so many on night shift. I know money cany be made but my wife is currently not working and i would really like some good benifits.
As far as a ZTR goes I cant afford one at the moment but am on the look out for a deal perferably an Exmark or Toro since they are the best dealers around here. I really do not want to work in a manufacturing plant again so Duke Power is on top of my list,as well as the Post Office as a mail clerk or somthing mundane just to help out.
Thanks for telling me about your sucess stories.

lawrence stone
01-25-2001, 09:13 AM
Work rotating shifts and run a part time biz?

Man you will be a stroke victim waiting to happen.

If you want to make this work I suggest you get your wife a job so you can concentrate working time on lawn care.

Could you tell us what kind of truck(s)and equipment you might already own?

Camman
01-25-2001, 09:50 AM
I started my company in 1994 while I worked nights, 11pm to 7am. I took any money I made and reinvested it back into the company. I worked like a dog for five years, working all night and then working another 8 to 10 hrs landscaping and sleep 3 to 4hr and start all over. It was hard, but it comes down to how bad you want it.

There will come a point when you just can do both, I realized it when I build the company to a size where I could not keep up with the work and I needed to start adding help. So last year was my first season on own. It was scary at first but I stuck to my plan and did just fine, but remember theres will always be room for improvement. Good Luck with your decision.

MOW ED
01-25-2001, 09:54 AM
I don't work swing shifts but I work 24's at the fire department but I don't have trouble doing my route of 25 customers in about 16 hours (road time included). It gets tough in the spring as well as the nights with little sleep.

Our situations are different but I know of a member named Bassman that is similar to you. Mayby you can search on posts by him or contact him on the new messaging feature. I recall him to be a very good source of information as well as an inspiring story.

scottb
01-25-2001, 10:23 AM
Mr Stone I currently own a 99Superduty F250,a 16' trailer,a Toro Proline 48" beltdrive with velke and assorted trimmers and blowers. My wife should be going back to work in August but the the Insurance they give teachers in the state of NC sux.
I know from reading some of you the people of lawnsite that it could be done that is I could make it full time. I just dont want to invest anymore up front than I have to would like to have ZTR but that can wait until the business will pay for it. And I wouldnt take on more than I could do if swing shift is best I can do`as that wouldnt be fair to my customers or my family.
MOW ED I will look up Bassman to see if he has any suggestions.
Thanks

cutting edge
01-25-2001, 10:47 AM
Scott,

Find you a good commercial account, set them up on a 12 month plan, and there is your Lazer payment. Then your Lazer will decrease the time spent at your other accounts, thus improving your profit margin on them.

jeffyr
01-25-2001, 02:02 PM
I am in the same boat as MowEd....about 25 accounts and 40hour FT commitment. After you get a routine down, it's not so bad. In the beginning, I had trouble doing 12 and my job, but now 25 doesn't seem so bad. Only take on what you can complete if you have another job or you will burn yourself out. But that's what winters are for as a part timer---catching up on sleep, chores, family and friends. Good luck with your decision.

jeffyr

awm
01-25-2001, 02:59 PM
I dont know how they pay now but duke power
use to be a big buck job.If you do that
it would be hard to handle an lawn care
to.You will be the gofor a while and that wont
leave much left in tank at the end of theday.

Bob's Lawn Care
01-25-2001, 03:57 PM
Scott,
I have a full time job and work on the 3-11 shift. This gives me about 5-6 hours a day to mow. It gets really busy in the spring and fall but during summer it usually slows down to an easy pace. With the full time job, I get health insurance, vacation time, personal time, a pension, and the security of a steady income no matter what the growing seasin is like. With the part time mowing business I get the satisfaction of doing something I really enjoy. Working outside, getting my hands dirty, talking with my customers, looking at a finished job and saying "wow, that came out great", and lets not forget about the added income to help pay the bills or new toys.

Mowman
01-25-2001, 08:30 PM
Scott,
I also run my lwan service part-time. I work 3rd shift in a factory driving fork truck. Works out great for me. I can either sleep in the morning when grass is too wet to cut or can get after it right away in the morning then go to bed about 5:00 in the afternoon. Some days in the spring&summer I might only get 3-4 hours sleep. Rain days are catch up on sleep days. There are weeks that I make more cutting than I make after being with the company I am for 24 years.
THAT'S TOTALY DEPPRESSING!!!!!!!!!!!!! Only 7 more years til retirement. 49 and out. Then the LAUGHS will be on them.
Good Luck,
Mowman

bob
01-25-2001, 08:38 PM
I worked 2nd shift(4:30-1:00) at Saturn and cut lawns 8-3 ,until I got layed off last June. Yea I was tired once in a while. After I got layed off I picked up more jobs to help fill the gap in. I'm suppose to go back to Saturn in April, but everything at GM is subject to change.

Nathan
01-25-2001, 08:46 PM
Think of it this way, You already know that the job is gone so it can't get any worse. If you truly beleive you have the knowledge and experience to produce quality work go out and do it. To do better than most of the average joes who work for extra cash you really need to commit. Go out and risk the money on advertising and equipment as well as setting yourself up properly as a licensed and insured company. This will automatically allow you to emerge as a pro outfit from the start and you can boast this. Customers react positively to having someone who is responsible especially if you let them know how many half-ass uninsured guys are running around doing mediocre work.
Go all the way or don't go at all.

Jason
01-25-2001, 09:47 PM
I work full time at construction. Work all day and come home and go back to work mowing lawns till dark. We have around 30 weekly lawns. If you set your mind to it you can do it. My wife helps out alot and she also has a full time job.. But I just think WINTER and it gets me through the summer.. This year will be different going to work at a golf course the construction company built. Can't wait.
Do good work and the word mouth will get around.

Jason

scottb
01-26-2001, 10:21 AM
Stop you guys are making me tear up,this is a very supportive group,thanks for all the advice.But still looking for people working odd hours. But like I said thanks for all of the support.