Ok, so I am sure this will probably get moved but not exactly sure where to put it so I'll start here. Here is my story.
I am 37, married with a 16 yr old girl and a 12 yr old boy. I have worked in the parts dept. at a Ford dealership since 1998 including a 2 year stint as parts manager at our sister store back in 06-08. My boss is retiring in about 4-5 years and I am expected to take over his position. I make decent money now, but that will be a huge raise. It really is a pretty cush job, but is getting more and more stressful as the car business changes all the time, and we have lost a lot of good help with no quality replacements in sight. I worked one season back in 96 for a lawncare company doing strictly mow blow trim and leaves, then another year for a city parks dept doing quite a bit of mowing. I grew up on a farm so hard work is not an issue. I have always wanted to be in business for myself, and this is the only thing I see as even a remote possibility for me to try. I have 2.5 acres I live on now. I have a Gravely ZT60HD mower I use for my own yard and a decent homelite weedeater. I would need to buy a blower. I think what I would like to do over the next couple/few years is try to find 4-5 lawns to service just to make a few hundred extra bucks a month to pay down debt and just get a feel for the business without sacrificing my job or my family time too much. I understand a 60" deck will really limit me on "lawns" in town probably but I am sure I can find a few. I have the mower payment regardless if I have a business or not, my truck and trailer are paid for so I won't have much in the way of equipment-related expenses. Now I have some questions.
1. Will I need some form of insurance policy for just doing 4-5 yards a week and if so how much can I expect that to run?
2. Can I write off all or some of what I am paying for the mower even though it is only a part-time business use?
3.What all will I be able to write off? Maintenance on truck? Fuel for truck?
4.Do I collect payment at time of service? Do I ask for a payment once a month? Twice a month?
5. Would I be better off to try and get just one job like maybe an apartment complex or something?
Anything else I may need help with feel free to chime in! Thanks in advance!!