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  #101  
Old 07-24-2014, 08:39 AM
32vld 32vld is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: LI NY
Posts: 3,135
For the OP

I had the opportunity to get a 2 yr Land/Hort degree back in the early 70's. Being I am in this business now I wish I had and started my business back then.

Though I do not regret not doing so because I went in other directions. Had the opportunity to make good money. Had it for a while though when the economy took a dump in 2007 it dumped me as well.

After going through 99 weeks of UEI. Low pay temp, part time jobs, I hung on till 2011. At that point when you hit 55 people do not want to hire you. They can get a person in their 20's for a third of what you were getting paid. They do not even say we will hire you for a third of what you were making. They also deem you to old to train in a new career. Though when most people change jobs every 2.5 years on average. So when that 22 year old guy quits, or I drop dead from a heart attack what is the difference. I did not want to work a minimum wage job. Did not want to be a greeter at Wal Mart.

I wanted to work for my self. For many reasons. So I am in my fourth year now and I am 60.

In 2011 I started out with already owning a 01 Suburban. That is my back up tow vehicle. A 05 Jeep TJUL, the LWB model. Roll Bar wind screen that converts the Jeep into a 2dr pickup cab. I removed the rear seat, carpets, side and rear curtains, and now have a pickup bed.

I had a 4x8 Harbor Freight trailer that was bought 06 because I did not want to get the inside of the Suburban dirty.

I had a 42" JD LT180, 20" Sears push, line trimmer, borrowed my friend Sears hand held blower. That thing had a hard time blowing out a candle on a birthday cake, electric trimmer, electric chain saw, and a load of hand tools. I started my business with the stuff I used to take care of my own property.

Still with the 01 Suburb and 05 TJUL though now the trailer, all of the mowers and hand helds have been replaced and added to.

No cash was needed to outfit me. So I am here because of that and very limited employment opportunity.

I enjoy being my own boss. Though I will make the same money if I had a full time $10 an hr, 40 hr a week job. Though I work half the time.

I would rather of started another business though I do not have the money. My son is looking to start his own business not landscape related in a year or two. If I had the money I would offer to be his partner and get things started by spring of next year.

Yes I would throw away my Landscape empire because it most likely will never grow large enough to support a management staff where I do not have to be there full time and can be semi retired. Also none of my sons want to come into this business so who am I building this for? No one. I am doing this for the income. If I had a better way I would not be here. Even though I enjoy the work.

Why? Because in Landscape when you have a lot of competition growth is slow. I need to make enough money so I do not need to collect SS when I hit 62.

I am running out of time and options. You , OP have plenty of both do not waste them. US Park Rangers (LEO) get paid $75,000. With your back ground you would get hired.

Many are here because we lack options. The reasons do not matter. Do not squander yours. Every year new people join LS. Most never come back. Because the statistic that most businesses fail in the first year. Yes they got in because they needed very little money. They did not make enough money with essentially no overhead.

They had no business rent because they worked out of their garage or mom's garage. Had no car payments. No rent because they lived in mom's basement. Just had to buy line, gas, 2 stroke oil. And they could not make it. Because it is not that easy to get customers that will pay well.

This is why along with your attitude is why people are telling you to forget about it.

  #102  
Old 07-24-2014, 06:20 PM
johnslandscapingservice johnslandscapingservice is online now
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Location: Southern New Jersey
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Just thought I would throw in some encouragement and advice as I was in a similar situation as you. I just started my business this year and it is part time with my business school. I mow 10 lawns a week, they take me about an hour each. Definitely keep in mind in the beginning it will consume a lot of your time but after a month or so it gets manageable. A couple tips on equipment if you didnt buy already-- Look on Craigslist! I bought a commercial exmark zero turn for $2,500 and it works pretty much the same as a brand new one. Just get a trimmer and backpack blower from lowes they work fine too. Since I mow 2 acre lawns, the ztr was practical, but I have looked on craigslist and see plenty of top line walk behinds for around $1500. Also if you eventually want to cut down time for larger properties, you could buy a sulky for about 100 bucks to turn it into a stand on mower. They're surprisingly very easy to maneuver. Granted, I did have 3 years of experience before starting my business, but browse around on here and on youtube for specifically how to do certain things. You will eventually figure it out after a month or so of experience. Most guys on here get offended if you want to start up a business and plan to not work too much. But the reality is that its not that hard to keep time under control. 10 houses a week takes me 10 hours + about 5 hours at home for management and equipment maintenance, that kind of stuff. I make about 80 bucks a lawn, have minimal expenses, do a few odd jobs like mulching, cleanups, etc (Theyre easy and pay well) and will make $25k for basically 10 easy hours a week. So far its not very time consuming or difficult...honestly you should be fine. Another tip would be if you have a friend who would help out (For me its easy because my college friends will do any work for 10 bucks an hour) Thats only $2500 for the year... not that much in the big picture hope this helps
  #103  
Old 07-24-2014, 07:20 PM
ed2hess's Avatar
ed2hess ed2hess is online now
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Austin Texas 78727
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[QUOTE=knox gsl;5080657]The best thing I can tell you is DON'T CUT GRASS! There are lots of ways to make money in the green industry and grass cutting ain't one of them. Landscape design and install, weed control and fert, trimming of schrubs, /QUOTE]
The guy who audited our HOA irrigation for the city got paid $20 per zone and there were 80 zones. It took only a few hours. He is an irrigator.
  #104  
Old 07-25-2014, 11:43 PM
D. R. Martin D. R. Martin is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 56
NO!!!!! I didn't! I was unsubscribed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcbailey View Post
I believe the OP has bowed out of the conversation...
I had NO idea that I was still getting feedback because I was somehow unsubscribed. At first AI was getting an email notification every time someone posted on this thread. I've no idea how or why I stopped receiving those. I want to thank everyone for their continued input. I'll try to respond to everyone individually.
  #105  
Old 07-25-2014, 11:50 PM
D. R. Martin D. R. Martin is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 56
Thank you for the advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 32vld View Post
For the OP

I had the opportunity to get a 2 yr Land/Hort degree back in the early 70's. Being I am in this business now I wish I had and started my business back then.

Though I do not regret not doing so because I went in other directions. Had the opportunity to make good money. Had it for a while though when the economy took a dump in 2007 it dumped me as well.

After going through 99 weeks of UEI. Low pay temp, part time jobs, I hung on till 2011. At that point when you hit 55 people do not want to hire you. They can get a person in their 20's for a third of what you were getting paid. They do not even say we will hire you for a third of what you were making. They also deem you to old to train in a new career. Though when most people change jobs every 2.5 years on average. So when that 22 year old guy quits, or I drop dead from a heart attack what is the difference. I did not want to work a minimum wage job. Did not want to be a greeter at Wal Mart.

I wanted to work for my self. For many reasons. So I am in my fourth year now and I am 60.

In 2011 I started out with already owning a 01 Suburban. That is my back up tow vehicle. A 05 Jeep TJUL, the LWB model. Roll Bar wind screen that converts the Jeep into a 2dr pickup cab. I removed the rear seat, carpets, side and rear curtains, and now have a pickup bed.

I had a 4x8 Harbor Freight trailer that was bought 06 because I did not want to get the inside of the Suburban dirty.

I had a 42" JD LT180, 20" Sears push, line trimmer, borrowed my friend Sears hand held blower. That thing had a hard time blowing out a candle on a birthday cake, electric trimmer, electric chain saw, and a load of hand tools. I started my business with the stuff I used to take care of my own property.

Still with the 01 Suburb and 05 TJUL though now the trailer, all of the mowers and hand helds have been replaced and added to.

No cash was needed to outfit me. So I am here because of that and very limited employment opportunity.

I enjoy being my own boss. Though I will make the same money if I had a full time $10 an hr, 40 hr a week job. Though I work half the time.

I would rather of started another business though I do not have the money. My son is looking to start his own business not landscape related in a year or two. If I had the money I would offer to be his partner and get things started by spring of next year.

Yes I would throw away my Landscape empire because it most likely will never grow large enough to support a management staff where I do not have to be there full time and can be semi retired. Also none of my sons want to come into this business so who am I building this for? No one. I am doing this for the income. If I had a better way I would not be here. Even though I enjoy the work.

Why? Because in Landscape when you have a lot of competition growth is slow. I need to make enough money so I do not need to collect SS when I hit 62.

I am running out of time and options. You , OP have plenty of both do not waste them. US Park Rangers (LEO) get paid $75,000. With your back ground you would get hired.

Many are here because we lack options. The reasons do not matter. Do not squander yours. Every year new people join LS. Most never come back. Because the statistic that most businesses fail in the first year. Yes they got in because they needed very little money. They did not make enough money with essentially no overhead.

They had no business rent because they worked out of their garage or mom's garage. Had no car payments. No rent because they lived in mom's basement. Just had to buy line, gas, 2 stroke oil. And they could not make it. Because it is not that easy to get customers that will pay well.

This is why along with your attitude is why people are telling you to forget about it.

Thank you for the advice. I appreciate your help. But, what exactly do you mean concerning my attitude?
  #106  
Old 07-25-2014, 11:54 PM
D. R. Martin D. R. Martin is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ztman View Post
Not counting you out. I think you will be successful at what ever you put your mind to. I think if this fellow read your threads he would learn alot. Its not all about cutting, thats only about 10% of the business. The hard part is getting and retaining work. The easy part is sitting on the machine
I realize that it isn't all about money. Thanks to you guys I now understand that cutting and maintenance is only a small piece of the pie. However, it is the only place I feel comfortable starting due to my lack of experience. I don't anticipate cutting, trimming, hedge shaping, edging, etc. will be easy, but the install stuff I find to be intimidating because of the artistic element of design. Also, I assumed that an apprenticeship and some even more expensive equipment would be necessary to become certified to chemically treat lawns with pesticides and fertilizers.
  #107  
Old 07-26-2014, 12:01 AM
D. R. Martin D. R. Martin is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 56
Proud to have been a part of it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 205mx View Post
This has to be one of the best threads lawnsite has seen this year
Posted via Mobile Device
Proud to have been a part of it!

"I'd like to thank the Academy, without whom none of this would have been possible!"

  #108  
Old 07-26-2014, 06:18 AM
AI Inc's Avatar
AI Inc AI Inc is online now
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 21,529
Do you enjoy being a cop? If so , get more education and go for your gold shield.
__________________
  #109  
Old 07-26-2014, 12:53 PM
oak branch oak branch is offline
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Location: central jersey
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Posted via Mobile Device
  #110  
Old 07-26-2014, 01:57 PM
D. R. Martin D. R. Martin is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by AI Inc View Post
Do you enjoy being a cop? If so , get more education and go for your gold shield.
I see you're in New Hampshire. That's worth low to mid 40's here in Georgia. Less in departments serving rural areas.
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