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Old 08-02-2005, 12:13 AM
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Runner Runner is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Flint, Michigan
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Originally Posted by mtdman
Don't do it.
I'm sorry, but here is another guy from Michigan who has some insight on this.... I think these 3 short words MAY be the best, sound advice you could hear.

Thank you, Dad - for always being the dad that you were. You truly are my hero. You always were.
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:13 AM
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daveintoledo daveintoledo is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: northwest ohio
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id think hard and long

, id say id have to go part tme, no way i could give that up

i started last year with the knowlede our shop will be closing at my regular job, so i have a year head start on my business
owner operator of lawn care, landscaping, and snow removal company
completely legal and insured
7 years in business
6 full time
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:42 AM
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arborist-28 arborist-28 is offline
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Location: cleveland ohio
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it all depends on you if you are willing to give up the security of your job and take the risk of starting your own business would be really hard for me to give up a 27 an hour job .. but then again I did give up a 13 an hour government job because I wasn't happy .. an old timer once told me .. the money doesn't matter I love the work ...c
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:55 AM
Toy2 Toy2 is offline
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Location: Waco, Texas
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28 hit the nail on the head, love the work....not the money.....I see the issues on pensions and retirement, but the way things are now companies are not holding up to the promises they make when you retire......and we might die tomorrow.....I'm not saying leave it all, but you can't be afraid of the you guys know your market better than I do......listen to your heart....God will take care of the rest!!! Good luck!!! Take some Tylenol PM's!!lol
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Old 08-02-2005, 03:48 PM
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smullen smullen is offline
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Location: St. Louis
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I'm kinda in the same boat your in as far as current pay and benifits and perks and exploring other options....

For me its not really trying to decide if I should make the transition, its more of When and how???

I'm currently 31 and I work full time 45-50 hrs a week (Salary) Plus on call 24x7... I work lots of overnights on top of my normal shifts... I've been in the computer/Networking industry for the last 12 years in some for or another...

Currently, I'm a Network Engineer for a for a company that has had serious cash flow trouble for years... I'm not even sure how they are still going...

Anyway they have been laying off people (in my area of expertise) and trying to centralize (get ride of a lot of the postions that are company wide @ the regional level and make them all at a cental point at the corp headquarters) and then they have outsourced some positions to contractors and companies that take on call center and IT functions....

So, I could be laid off or outsourced tommorow, prolly not, but its bound to happen in the next two to three years for sure... Maybe sooner...

Network engineering jobs are very far and few between in my area and I'd really like to get out of my line of work if I could find something else that I like and can make some money at....

So that is why I am looking at starting a LC... Within two years I'd really like to be working for myself fulltime... Doing this or something else maybe...

I figure while I'm working for someone else making good money, I should be looking at what I can do for myself and using my current income to secure the things I need to make a business happen... That way, I hopefully, won't have debt or as much to deal with, when start up...

I'm looking at a few options... I've already stated my own signshop and its slowly starting to take off.. I am making Car Club logos, Real Estate Signs, Magnetic Truck Signs, Banners, Yard Signs, etc.. etc...

AS I said, Its taking off a bit too slow for me and the profit per job is not as high as I'd like... Besides the equiptment, I've bought, I have to buy a lot of materials just to make one sticker...

I know there is not a ton of profit (high Margins) in LC either, but after I have my equiptment, the supplies (mostly gas and trimmer string) are fairly cheap - as compared to my other gig....

I worked for a LC (pretty much ran one) for 4 years and loved it... But I was only making about 8.50hr as an employee...

Now I want to try it as the owner not the employee...

I plan on sort of easing into it and getting all my equiptment and supplies ready and in place for the next season... Fall Cleanup if I can make it... But when I start cutting, all my gear will be paid for...

I have been reading here and a few other places as much as I can... Pricing all the stuff I want/need and talking to other LC owners...

I think Satuarday, I made a commitment to the plan and bought a brand new Trailer... A single axle, 6' x 10' with a liftgate, for 850.00 Tax and everything...

So, hopefully (depending on the cash) in a few weeks I can get a new Walk Behind...

Originally Posted by rb3771
I'm looking for advise or opinions on starting my own lawn care business. I've been a heavy equipment operator for the past 12 years making $27 and hour with benifits and good pension. I collect unemployment in the winters and plow snow to make extra cash. The past two years have been pretty rough in the construction industry and i've never really liked my job anyways. I'm tired of busting my butt to make another man richer. I've always enjoyed mowing lawns. My yard looks awesome and i've even mowed my neighbors yards just to help out so i thought maybe i'm cut out for it. My wife's job covers the family's health costs including mine so that's not an issue. What i'm wanting to know is would i be crazy to give up $27 an hour for lawn care? How does lawn care compare to that? I have enough money for the initial investment (mower, trailer, etc.) and enough money to get by 'til i'm established. I also have a good reputation in the area from plowing snow. There are four new sub-divisions going up in my area so i believe the work is there. Any advice would really help in my decision.
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Old 08-02-2005, 05:12 PM
r_snowrider r_snowrider is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Bountiful Utah
Posts: 102
Although my business is a hauling business not a lawn care business, they are fairly similar. I started last year and invested my money into a 12 ft trailer w/4 ft walls for $1900, a 91' f250 460 for $3900, and about a $1000 worth of equipment (husky saw, wheelbarrows, shovel, etc) And although I am still young and don't have as much riding on it as you, I still think you may regret not trying. I love what I do, but if I had to do it for someone else I would hate it. I enjoy running a business it is not really work to me, it's an ongoing project that I get paid for. Now you really have to enjoy all the aspects that come with a business. I don't get a whole lot of business right now. Part of the problem is I am the only junk hauler in my county, and people don't know this sort of service even exists, so I don't only have to get my name out, but inform people of the service. Anyway I am very happy I tried, and I think things will grow as referrals come in. But anyway my point is that you have to take some risks, but they must be calculated risks. Your at the right place, and your doing the right thing by researching. But don't quit your job just yet. Buy what is absolutely necessary first, and try to work on the weekends, build a base of customers, get a feel for running the business side of the spectrum. And if you see a lot of growth, then make a decision about your current job. You only live once, money counts for a lot, but enjoying 8 hours of nearly everyday of your life is damn important too. Go for it, but play your cards right. Don't jump in all at once, test the water first. Do your research on marketing, financing, and knowing how to perform your services efficiently and in a quality that folks will come back is very important.
And one thing I've learned with my line of work that I'm sure applies the Lawn care field as well. Is to take the time to do a damn good job. It doesn't take long to clean up after yourself really well and make the yard appealing to the eyes of a customer, and your business will market itself. Referalls are one of the most important aspects of any business. Bad word-to-mouth will spread 10 times as fast as good. Good luck with your business and make sure you calculate every risk and have a backup plan. Oh yeah, make sure you spend a little extra to get quality equipment it will pay for itself in the long run.

Last edited by r_snowrider; 08-02-2005 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 08-02-2005, 06:34 PM
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Lux Lawn Lux Lawn is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 2,296
Its a tough call on weather or not you should quit your job or not.Only you and your wife know what your finance's are and what you need to make to survive.It sounds like you know what you want and you have some contact going for you all ready with the plowing.New company's start and fold up in this business everyday.I had a job that I was with for 14 years when I left half way to retirement but just needed a change and people thought that I was crazy for doing it.I am just a little guy with one crew of 3 and 3 trucks plowing in the winter so its not like I'm getting rich like some of the guys here but I really do love what I am doing.I hope to expand a little bit each year to I get to where I want to be.
Luxury Lawn
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Old 08-02-2005, 10:04 PM
StealthDT StealthDT is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Yorktown, VA
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Quitting a job to start mowing is all fun & games until someone gets hurt. Then your picture & story ends up taped to the donation jar at the hardware store. Stick with being an employee with insurance, pension, and a steady wage. Let someone else worry about where next weeks paycheck deposit will come from.
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Old 08-02-2005, 10:22 PM
r_snowrider r_snowrider is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Bountiful Utah
Posts: 102
But I don't understand the harm of trying to get some work on the weekends to see what kind of work you can get. Not to make a whole lotta money but to test the water. Making 27 dollars an hour should afford you some good lawn equipment if you save and pay cash for em. If things don't work out you can sell your equipment and take the loss. But if you enjoy it I don't see the harm in making a little money in your spare time. But I'm not gonna argue with these fellas because they have been in the business a long time, I just started a few years ago and I am a hauler not a landscaper. But I know how it is to start a business. Just don't rush out and quit your job, play it as safe as you can. But sometimes you have to take some calculated risks.
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Old 08-02-2005, 10:29 PM
Steppenwolf Steppenwolf is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Cincinnati Oh
Posts: 403
Originally Posted by Runner
I'm sorry, but here is another guy from Michigan who has some insight on this.... I think these 3 short words MAY be the best, sound advice you could hear.
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