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  #21  
Old 10-23-2012, 12:28 PM
No Weeds Left Behind No Weeds Left Behind is offline
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I work 3-11 off wed thurs. works out pretty well considering im a cop and kinda work at my own pace unless we are just slammed with calls. I know the feeling on burned out I worked 7 days a week to pay for my wedding for like 5 months. If you have 17k in the bank in my opinion thats pretty damn good starting out. This is my first year and everytime I get money in the bank I have to fix my truck or buy something. But thats my fault for being cheap when I got equipment. I think you will be doing fine man just hang in there through the off season then I would definitily quit I am gonna keep my job for another season and through next off season then hopefully I can quit but we will see. Best of luck to you.
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  #22  
Old 10-23-2012, 08:14 PM
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inzane inzane is online now
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i'm definetly married with a 2 year old. funny thing is that when i mowed in 2004 i tried to make the jump, had a girlfriend who helped pay bills and we split mid season and it definetly prevented me from going full time. me and my wife have a good relationship and she has my back. night shift puts a little bit of a strain that i would fear that in the future can destroy a marriage. (everybody who has been at my job for 10 years is divorced, i'm reaching the 10 year mark soon)

the seasons in georgia aren't to terribly short, and i do offer lawn apps which helps. if i had the 5 more accounts to mow i would feel confident that i'd be fine, but its getting them which might be hard. i'm in a good area to be in this business, i'm in the middle of many residential subdivisions, upper middle class type areas. tons of competition, tons.. so its gonna be hard to stand out, offering applications will help, and getting back to people fast with estimates has helped so far, because one complaint i get is that other companies never show up or call back.

without the extra money from the night job it will be harder to put money into advertising, however i am gonna stay with that through febuary and put another round of post cards out for the spring.. and other than that gonna rely on google. i'm working on website SEO and i'm ranking higher and higher on the search for lawn care in my area every few weeks. this is how i've gotten most of my calls.. but i started so late in the season.. i made sure i was fully legit, fully licensed and insured before i even advertised. i print off some nice looking flyers on my own and will definetly have some days out on foot putting them out this spring.

i just think the worse thing that can happen is it doesn't work, i got some savings.. and i just take my ass to the temp service and work in a warehouse for 10 bucks an hour and mow part time till i can figure something out. having a kid and daycare arrangements to make always makes things a little harder.. my wife gets another promotion to office manager at her job soon enough, so thats gonna ease the pain alot too..

Quote:
Originally Posted by TPendagast View Post
The leap from employment to entrepreneur is a big one, IF you have a working spouse, Id say do it, but a girlfriend, hmmm that's not as solid of a deal.

It sounds like 200-300 more a month would be all you need to "make ends meet" with this 'side job'. But 300 more a month translates to an extra 1000 per month of lawns cut (factoring a short season and overhead costs)

Can't you just step up your volume and cut that much more grass if you were totally self employed?

$1000/mo is $250 per week, which would be 5 more $50 lawn cuts, is that really going to be that hard to get? Assuming you quit the job and just mow full time. Trying to hold on to a few hundred bucks from another source, other than yourself might actually be your stumbling block.

I don't know your area or what the opportunities are like, but heck 5 more lawns or no sleep and no time for family? I'd choose 5 more lawns, and marry the girl! edit: my bad, you already married the girl, good job!
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  #23  
Old 10-23-2012, 08:18 PM
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inzane inzane is online now
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good luck to you as well. i am lucky that atleast my truck is still fairly new, 40k miles on an 07 silverado (knock on wood) hopefully nothing goes wrong. my first attempt in 04, i had an older truck and i definetly know the frustration of having to get repairs all the time. thinking of buying a new belt drive because they have 3 year warranty on engine and stuff.. so mabee i can get through a season or 2 without to many major headaches. my 2 cycle stuff is 8 years old though, but its still kicking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by No Weeds Left Behind View Post
I work 3-11 off wed thurs. works out pretty well considering im a cop and kinda work at my own pace unless we are just slammed with calls. I know the feeling on burned out I worked 7 days a week to pay for my wedding for like 5 months. If you have 17k in the bank in my opinion thats pretty damn good starting out. This is my first year and everytime I get money in the bank I have to fix my truck or buy something. But thats my fault for being cheap when I got equipment. I think you will be doing fine man just hang in there through the off season then I would definitily quit I am gonna keep my job for another season and through next off season then hopefully I can quit but we will see. Best of luck to you.
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  #24  
Old 10-25-2012, 03:39 PM
acculawnsystems acculawnsystems is offline
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Location: Columbia, MO
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i already feel burnt out!

I worked two jobs while starting our lawn care company 16 years ago and it was tough. It is even more difficult to get the exposure to grow when you are focused on so many other things. Over the last 3 years our lawn co has seen incredible growth due to a software that we created which gives instant online quotes. Your customers simply go to your site, type on their address and receive an instant quote. They also can and will sign up right then for your services. Also, we have created an android app that will allow for you to email quotes to customers while you are working at your other job ( on breaks of course). It is very simple to grow these days if you do it the correct and most efficient ways. Check out AccuLawnSystems.com.
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  #25  
Old 10-25-2012, 07:10 PM
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TPendagast TPendagast is offline
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havent I seen that online somewhere for sale? It's like a website membership or something or else isnt?
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  #26  
Old 10-25-2012, 07:24 PM
yardguy28 yardguy28 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acculawnsystems View Post
I worked two jobs while starting our lawn care company 16 years ago and it was tough. It is even more difficult to get the exposure to grow when you are focused on so many other things. Over the last 3 years our lawn co has seen incredible growth due to a software that we created which gives instant online quotes. Your customers simply go to your site, type on their address and receive an instant quote. They also can and will sign up right then for your services. Also, we have created an android app that will allow for you to email quotes to customers while you are working at your other job ( on breaks of course). It is very simple to grow these days if you do it the correct and most efficient ways. Check out AccuLawnSystems.com.
seems like to give an instant quote you have to have set prices for everything.

guess its because I don't do business that way. you can have 2 properties the exact same square footage but yet one cost $10 more to cut because maybe they have more trimming required.

there are also unforeseen variables that can affect the time on a job like weather. maybe you go to start a fall clean up and the winds starts blowing. maybe you fell behind and were forced to prune some shrubs that were soaking wet from rain. maybe the leaves were wet and didn't move as well.

I can see where a person might wanna go this easy route on line but not for me. I need and want to see every propery with my own 2 eyes before giving a price and signing someone up. I've turned down business where the people wanted to hire me with the price I gave but I either didn't feel safe in that neighborhood or felt the people would rip me off. 2 things you can't control if people are allowed to sign up with your business over the internet.
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  #27  
Old 10-25-2012, 08:47 PM
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inzane inzane is online now
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i don't mind giving quote for lawn spraying without seeing it.. but mowing.. definetly gotta see the obstacles, hills, etc.. i use bing maps to measure, all the time.. if you are lucky enough to get a street view you can someimes see alot more.
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  #28  
Old 10-26-2012, 10:09 PM
TeamYardsale4 TeamYardsale4 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Herkimer,NY
Posts: 259
This was my first year of running the business, I work a full time job 1pm-11pm during the week and everyother weekend. My wife and I have our first baby at home and it was tough to be gone alot but I love doing the work and being outside and decided that running my own business would pay off if I did things right and start slow to build a better future me and my family. The wife tends to get aliitle mad every now and then when Im not around to much but she works 830am-430pm so our schedules already kinda suck but its working and im hoping to get around another 10 lawns for next year and show her that its all worth it. good luck to everyone hard work isn't for everyone but theres alot of guys on here that do it and do it well. Why not me
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  #29  
Old 11-15-2012, 07:55 PM
andyslawncare andyslawncare is offline
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Location: Palmetto, GA
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quit your job if you want to go full time. I worked 2 side jobs when I started, and shortly quit because my time was more valuable in business.

Spend the winter getting your marketing plan ready for late winter, and sell enough work under contract to quit your job.

You'll still work long hours, but its different when you are your only boss.
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  #30  
Old 11-19-2012, 12:54 PM
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inzane inzane is online now
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i don't mind long hours.. i just prefer them to be during the day.

what i've decided to do is put in a two week notice at my job at the end of december (so i can still get my christmas bonus). the overnight shift just isn't working out for me anymore with trying to get this business going as well as the negative effects its having on my family. 11pm to 7a.m. would be gravy, i would be able to handle it.. 11pm to noon the next day, its just not gonna work (no time to do anything..) i wanted to stick it out so i could use all the extra money i was making to put into my advertising for the upcomming season.. but what good is that gonna do me if i can't even answer the phone because i'm either working or sleeping.. i have been working on my website and seo to try to pick up customers that way. i picked up some customers in the fall that way, and i'm hoping i can pick up more that way this spring.

i took a few days off last month to spend with my family, and it is amazing how clear i was thinking and how better my outlook was and how better i could communicate with people.. just by getting a good nights sleep (6 or 7 hours) and waking up like a normal person in the morning. i rarley ever feel normal anymore working on the night shift. i think its gonna workout.. leaving that life behind is probally gonna be the best thing i ever did.. its gonna be a rough start, but i'll figure it out.. i got a good plan in place, and backup plan, and backup plan for that.. lol.

Last edited by inzane; 11-19-2012 at 12:58 PM.
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