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  #1  
Old 04-23-2005, 10:50 PM
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quickcuts quickcuts is offline
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Location: Knoxville, TN
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Annual Income...

Hey all. I don't want to be rude at all when I bring this topic up, but since we are in this business I think we should know how much we're making. I have decided to not go to college and continue to work my lawn business. Most people have told me that I am basically an idiot and that I will end up going back to school after I fail in my business. I think, though, that I can make an honest living doing this thing and doing it well. My goal is to have 200 weekly lawn maintenance account by the time I am 21 (I am 18 now.) Right now, we have 38 accounts and I just hired my first employee. Anyways, what do you guys think about skipping college to work my business? Do you think one would ever be able to achieve a six figure income from owning a lawn and landscape business? Any advice/critism would be helpful. Thanks, guys!
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2005, 11:05 PM
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pjslawncare/landscap pjslawncare/landscap is offline
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Honestly, If I were 18, I would stay in college to better my chances. Its a big gamble if u dont. Some areas, u can do just fine, but some areas are so saturated with LCO's, you may not do so well even if your the best. I think its wiser to continue education since your still young.
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Old 04-23-2005, 11:08 PM
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pjslawncare/landscap pjslawncare/landscap is offline
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Oh yea, my annual income is 6 figures gross, but my net is only 46 k
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  #4  
Old 04-23-2005, 11:09 PM
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mower_babe mower_babe is offline
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Do you truly want an honest opinion? I truly think that you should finish school. At least get a 2yr degree in some skill. Do it while you are young and do not have spouse, kids, etc, etc, etc... OMG - I sound old. I could bore you with the details, but I won't do that. Remember that this advice is just a blanket answer, I don't know you or what would make you happy. And we can't look into a crystal ball to see what would be the better scenario. If you can handle school do it, you should always have a back-up plan. JMO
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  #5  
Old 04-23-2005, 11:13 PM
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rclay11541 rclay11541 is offline
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Chandler,

You need to go to school. I am 21 and have been an official LLP for a couple of years now. If your going to make it big you must have some sort of education behind you. I luckly have two very sucsessfull parents, they are both captains of industry, and as much as i learned from them i still found the need to go to Collage. Collage teaches you so much about business and how to suceede, some of it you must be born with, but some you have to learn. Its also a saftey net. Lets say (god for bid) you get injured and cant work manual labor anymore how are you going to earn a living? Your company isn't big enough yet where you can hire people to do your work for you and support yourself.

Im still in school im going part time and continue to grow my company. Do yourself a favor go take management 101, I guarentee you after you take that course you will see the need to go to school.

Landscaping is also risky there are plenty of guys on this site who make over 100K annualy but there are plenty others who have been doing it for practicly thier whole lives and they are still hovering around the poverty line.

Your goal of 200 lawns is admirable for me to make 100k a year with a partner i would need approximatly 275 lawns.
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  #6  
Old 04-23-2005, 11:26 PM
mkroher mkroher is offline
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200 lawn accounts requires a lot of overhead to mow. 2 trucks? 2,3 or 4 guys? how many mowers? How big are your lawns? You have 38 accounts and already need a helper? Are you in an area where people go with the low baller? Where I live, my customers pay the extra to get the service.

I myself dropped out of college to start my company. It's my 5 year. I mow 60 residential and 3 condos... by myself. I hire help to condense the mowing schedule to get side jobs in. I have my pesticide license and offer that service too. I have two kids and my wife is the "at home mom". Just remember that being self employeed can be hard at times. How will you support you and your family over the winter? Plowing? That's a whole different ball game in itself. Plowing sucks either way you look at it. Some people say "thats where the money is". To me.. I'd rather bust my butt in the summer when it's warm and make all the cash, and sit home during the blizzards and drink hot chocolate with the wifey. But... I plow. Because i have to.

My advice: Finish school. If you get hurt and can't do hard labor, then you're screwed. Make sure your wife (in the future?) has a job that provides benefits for both of you. I pay $800 a month in health insurance (sucks). Also, find your nitch (thanks Tony).. pick a service in the green industry and perfect it, be a pro. I found that i do too much, take on every job, and this increases the need for more "tools of the trade", and up goes the overhead. Stick with a few things you like, and be good at it. And as far as employees, don't hire white guys.

I don't know if my babbling and patheic story was helpful to you or complete garbage. Good luck with your decisions and grow slow!
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  #7  
Old 04-23-2005, 11:38 PM
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BALDEAGLE BALDEAGLE is offline
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get the schoolin while ya have the chance... as mowerbabe said...,and if that last post is what a COLLEGE education will get ya, i think i'd add a english
class or 2
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  #8  
Old 04-23-2005, 11:42 PM
nocutting nocutting is offline
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Hi, anything is always possible, but you should have as many options as possible too....I know plenty of guys who started out as you & today are in there 40's & "Burnt Out", sure they gross 6 figures, have 1 or more crews [ & equipment]2-300 weekly lawn accounts.....But you gotta have a niche, Me, I started out at 18, worked for "Lawn Doctor", than Managed a LCO for 3yrs [ At 22 w/ 6 service crews], it wasnt till I was 28till I went into Tree care, By a national company, got promoted to Sales Rep. at 30 [ but was at a severe disadvantage] compared to the guys that came from college w / degrees in "Arborculture", sure I was "Smart", learned Fast,took class's at nite, on weekends [ in Horticulture, perennials,insect / disease ID,IPM,,ect]....Now I'm 40's, considered a "Organic Specialist"by my peers, [ benificial releases, biological controls,native plantings,Arbor care/ Tree surgery, cables, rods, cavity & root care- speciality pruneing by hand / & power tools,Compost tea brewer, the works, I do it all]....run a part-time biz, gross the 6 figures, [ my net is my personal bizness] ....but how do I feel that my sisters kids [ after summering with me, graduate and get starting salaries of 6-digits?...."Woopie", [ & they have something to fall back on if the market crashes again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]...Hope you see my point, stay in school, learn something, that little piece of paper will take you to places only "Dreamed" about by some of us other guys....Good Luck, mowing will always be around after school.
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  #9  
Old 04-23-2005, 11:48 PM
mkroher mkroher is offline
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baldeagle i hope that english crack wasn't about my post...

this is just a forum, so who cares? lay off
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  #10  
Old 04-23-2005, 11:55 PM
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Jeff@SGLC.ca Jeff@SGLC.ca is offline
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Forget school, who needs it. LOL...I did 2 years of college without actually graduating but I had a couple things I knew I would be getting so I wasn't too worried. Best thing is run the business, take evening courses, nothing too busy just enough and continue school that way. If you find you can't make a go at the lawn care biz then you aren't starting from scratch in school again.
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