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  #1  
Old 07-05-2014, 09:43 AM
TwoGuyswithMowers TwoGuyswithMowers is offline
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Realistic to leave my job

I've always been one of those guys that loved the idea of having a business and working for myself, even though I have worked for an employer most of my working life. Last year I started the lawn care business, but only part-time. I work at least 50 hours per week at my job, so I have only really had 15-20 yards per weekend.

So here is what I'm wondering... Is it realistic for me to replace what I have now with a solo lawn care business.

My yearly gross is somewhere in the mid-$80's at work. My wife stays at home with the kids right now, but they will both be in school starting in August, and she likes the idea of doing lawn care with me. I have a 401k that matches 6% right now, and will go up a percent when I reach the 10 year mark, and another when I hit the 15 year mark. I have dental and vision insurance, and health insurance in which my employer will put $2,000 into my HSA every year.

My job is pretty secure, which is a plus. But, I can't ever shake this feeling that I would rather work in my own business full-time. I don't LOVE mowing lawns, but I do love running the business. I like tracking the times that it takes me to mow the lawns and figuring out how to make it more efficient. I like tracking expenses and figuring out ways to cut back. I like finding ways to attract new customers and working on keeping the existing ones happy.

I'm 32 right now, and I'd probably be nearly 40 before I could even really consider switching. I have plenty of debt to pay off (which is why I even wanted to start the part-time business in the first place) and I'd like to have at least a years worth of living expenses set aside before leaving the job. By the time I'm 40 my 401k should be up to around $230k, according to the online calculators.

Is it realistic to come close to replacing what I'm getting from my job, salary plus benefits, as a solo operator (actually husband and wife)?
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2014, 10:04 AM
RussellB RussellB is online now
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Stay with your current job. You have a young family and you are doing pretty well. Why upset the apple cart? That said, I am thankful that I stayed and retired from a job I held for 32 years while working part time lawn business and restoring/flipping homes.
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  #3  
Old 07-05-2014, 10:17 AM
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Efficiency Efficiency is offline
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If you love doing the business end, then break out the spreadsheet and decide yourself. As an aside, my dad left a similar corporate job to start his own business. He struggled financially forever. My mom ended up supporting our family, divorcing him, and now we all hate him. Don't be that guy who throws away his life to chase a dream.
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Old 07-05-2014, 01:33 PM
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TPendagast TPendagast is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efficiency;5070711. Don't be that guy who throws away his life to chase a dream.
[size=1
Posted via Mobile Device[/size]


harsh much?

"do what everyone expects of you, so they can have what they want, don't be fulfilled, don't be happy yourself, just make sure the kiddies are spoiled and the wife has an easy life"

Do YOU think you'd be an entrepreneur if YOUR dad hand't done with he did?


Some ideas are get rich quick schemes, I call them "fred flintstone syndrome"

Fred spends nearly every episode chasing after some new scheme that's going to be a big game changer….only to end up back at the quarry on his dinosaur at the end of the half hour.

The Flintstones was a cartoon parody of "The honeymooners"
Jackie Gleasons character, Ralph Kramden, was a bus driver.

In the era which these characters lived (Which I believe was the 1920s USA) being a bus driver was a steady normal job that could support a family. Not like it is today.
But Ralph always wanted more, and he couldn't listen to his wife, who said "Ralph put your nose to the grind stone, do a good job and just get promoted at work"


Here's the deal for you, Ralph.
You've already been promoted a few times.
You make way more than the average 32 year old, you have benefits and a good life.

WHY did you chose LAWN CARE as the target of your business thirst?
Have you thought this out really good.
This sounds a bit like an early midlife crisis for you.

Why not run it on the side for a while, see if it goes anywhere, and if It does you can just hire some employees?
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  #5  
Old 07-05-2014, 06:45 PM
TwoGuyswithMowers TwoGuyswithMowers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPendagast View Post

Here's the deal for you, Ralph.
You've already been promoted a few times.
You make way more than the average 32 year old, you have benefits and a good life.

WHY did you chose LAWN CARE as the target of your business thirst?
Have you thought this out really good.
This sounds a bit like an early midlife crisis for you.

Why not run it on the side for a while, see if it goes anywhere, and if It does you can just hire some employees?
I'm about maxed out at my current job, unless I was willing to relocate. That is not an option, so I'm pretty much where I'd be for the rest of my time here. I'm not miserable at my job, but it's not very fulfilling. But, I know I'm paid pretty well and have very good benefits so I just tell myself "screw being fulfilled" and keep plugging away.

I really only picked lawn care because it was so easy to get started. I don't mind the work at all, but I definitely wouldn't say I have a passion for it. The fun part for me is coming home afterwards and entering everything into Quickbooks and my spreadsheets.

I'm so far away from being able to make any kind of switch that I don't have a choice but to run it on the side. The only thing that makes working 7 days a week hard right now is not knowing if the side business will go anywhere. I can make it fine on what I make at the job only, so thinking about how the business could become full-time one day is what motivates me to get out and work on my days off, instead of going fishing and spending time with the family.
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2014, 11:19 PM
PenningsLandscaping PenningsLandscaping is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoGuyswithMowers View Post
I'm about maxed out at my current job, unless I was willing to relocate. That is not an option, so I'm pretty much where I'd be for the rest of my time here. I'm not miserable at my job, but it's not very fulfilling. But, I know I'm paid pretty well and have very good benefits so I just tell myself "screw being fulfilled" and keep plugging away.

I really only picked lawn care because it was so easy to get started. I don't mind the work at all, but I definitely wouldn't say I have a passion for it. The fun part for me is coming home afterwards and entering everything into Quickbooks and my spreadsheets.

I'm so far away from being able to make any kind of switch that I don't have a choice but to run it on the side. The only thing that makes working 7 days a week hard right now is not knowing if the side business will go anywhere. I can make it fine on what I make at the job only, so thinking about how the business could become full-time one day is what motivates me to get out and work on my days off, instead of going fishing and spending time with the family.
And you don't even have a passion for it? And you want to quit a great job for it? You crack me up
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  #7  
Old 07-05-2014, 06:33 PM
TwoGuyswithMowers TwoGuyswithMowers is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Walker, LA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efficiency View Post
If you love doing the business end, then break out the spreadsheet and decide yourself. As an aside, my dad left a similar corporate job to start his own business. He struggled financially forever. My mom ended up supporting our family, divorcing him, and now we all hate him. Don't be that guy who throws away his life to chase a dream.
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My average yard right now is $40-$50 per cut.

$45 per cut x 60 weekly accounts = $2,700 per week
$2,700 per week x 35 weeks = $94,500 per year with a lot of time off

If I'm debt free except for my house with a very large emergency fund, I can't see having any problem contributing to my retirement and buying my own insurance.

These numbers looks about right?
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  #8  
Old 07-05-2014, 07:05 PM
larryinalabama larryinalabama is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ragland Al
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoGuyswithMowers View Post
My average yard right now is $40-$50 per cut.

$45 per cut x 60 weekly accounts = $2,700 per week
$2,700 per week x 35 weeks = $94,500 per year with a lot of time off

If I'm debt free except for my house with a very large emergency fund, I can't see having any problem contributing to my retirement and buying my own insurance.

These numbers looks about right?
Even if you could achieve those numbers, you can subtract 33% for expenses, and a additional 7% for Social Security Tax. '

You could keep your current deal going, your wife gets a job making 30k per year.

Add the numbers.

Current job 85k and 20k in benefits. Side job 20k.
Wife potential job 30 plus benefits.
Adds up to a minimum of 155k.

So if you gross 90k in lawn care you will make 60k and pay an additional 7% sp that puts you roughly at 55k.

Your making plans to cut your own throat so to speak
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  #9  
Old 07-13-2014, 12:41 PM
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inzane inzane is online now
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Location: Dallas, GA
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It all looks good on paper until you get out there and start doing it full time. There is no way i'd leave a job making 80K to mow some lawns, especially if it wasn't something I liked all that much. I don't care for mowing lawns myself. When i get enough lawn application customers and finally drop mowing completely as a service i'll probably hire someone to cut my own grass to be honest.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoGuyswithMowers View Post
My average yard right now is $40-$50 per cut.

$45 per cut x 60 weekly accounts = $2,700 per week
$2,700 per week x 35 weeks = $94,500 per year with a lot of time off

If I'm debt free except for my house with a very large emergency fund, I can't see having any problem contributing to my retirement and buying my own insurance.

These numbers looks about right?
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  #10  
Old 07-05-2014, 01:32 PM
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ringahding ringahding is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Stillwater, MN
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Keep your job. Find the right people to run your side gig & let it grow naturally, but smart.

If you are approaching 40 accounts, this is around the time you would quit your job. Unless you are able to get off at a decent time to go and handle these accounts.

But as much as you want to keep it small, it just will not happen.

This is our 12th season and we have ONLY 130 accounts. I have grown our biz LOCALLY & Slowly = Smart. My goal has been to be 100% serviceable and not take on more than I can chew.

What I usually tell guys when they ask me when did I know to quit my job is --- When the BELLS start ringing in your head. And that also goes for BUYING equipment.

Some that read this post will laugh, others will be envious. But for me to go from being HOMELESS, Making poverty wages to owning my own Biz---UNREAL. I mean doing something you love to do & make a good living at it--PRICELESS.

Started out with a mini-van, boat trailer & a John Deere older than I was at the time (32)...to 5 trucks, 4 commercial mowers, 4 employees (we have ACREAGE), shop, etc...Any business is a risk, but those that make it must have DRIVE....I use Michael Jordan's work ethic...1st on court & Last one OFF. Someone out there is trying to TOP me.
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