40 and looking to start a landscaping co.
Short history....owned a landscaping business for three years when I was 22-25. Sold it at the end of year 3. Worked for the last 15 years in IT (computers). Laid off two weeks ago. Looking to start my own gig doing what I love working outside.
I have a great wife who has a great job. Her job is stable and she receives all heath insurance that our family needs. Lets just say she is made for the corporate world and has accelerated at a quick pace. This gives me the ability to try something new.
I am 40 and my body is not like it once was in my 20's. I had a back injury that caused two bulged disks and fragmented two vertebra. From time to time I have issues....pain in the arm as a result of a pinched nerve. This concerns me as the landscaping field is labor intensive and demands a great deal from your body. Not to mention that I am 75lbs overweight....that does not help. I still don't want to throw in the towel with thoughts of owning my own landscaping business once again. Everyone has issues of some kind. Knees...back.....and so on.
OK...now I have spilled my life story out on paper, I have some questions I would be grateful if you all can comment on.
Do you think starting a landscaping business given today's economy is a good idea. The good majority of you are already established. If you had to start over today, would you?
Earning potential.....year 1...2...3 I am looking to clear 40K the first year. (not including snow) Is this a high expectation, or the sky is the limit if your are hungry to earn the cash.
Equipment....I have been reading the posts relentlessly only to come across mixed responses. New....used....some new....some used. Reliability?? I want to purchase a 8-9K ZTR 54" Scag as I want to maximize my time. One walk behind...say a 36" for the fenced in areas, a push mower for bs if needed, Echo trimmers and backpack blower, a trailer (16ft double axil open w/drop gate), and any other hand tools I need to get the job done. I know I am going to hear it about the new equipment...but starting out and being a one man band, breaking down is not the best thing one can have happen. Not to mention the 3-5 acre accounts I intend to pick up. The area in NJ I plan on servicing has some large properties. Chasing a walk behind would not be the most effective way to manage time in my own opinion.
Truck...well I just bought a Ford F250 CC short box. I wanted a long box, but the price was right and I said I would live with a 6ft bed instead of a 8ft bed. Not to mention that a crew with a 8ft bed has the turning radius of a school buss. Plowing would be a nightmare. Lets just say I am set with my truck. 57K on a 04....tight as can be and a nice truck to boot. 5.4 gasser.... I had a 05 6.0 F350 that was nothing but a nightmare. I got rid of the truck as a result of all the issues. Diesel is nice, but I don't plan on pulling down a house. At least not just yet. LOL
What are some tips and tricks in regard to registering my business, licensing, and forming a LLC?
I also plan on investing the time to obtain my pesticide license for the start of the 2011 season. Is it worth the time these days with those cheep "O" franchises running a muck charging next to fertilize.
Any other suggestions/comments would be much appreciated.