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  #121  
Old 03-19-2013, 11:00 AM
New2TheGreenIndustry New2TheGreenIndustry is online now
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As someone else said you will have to buy a company or accounts to be a "business owner" out of the gate. Otherwise it will take years to build the accounts.

My father retired from corporate life and had a buddy talk him into financing a lawn business. He put in over 300k to buy a business which already had crews mowing the yards. His buddy soon after bailed and he was left holding the business. He had no horticulture experience and the business tanked by about 30%. It eventually leveled off, but it was not something he wanted to continue with. The heat, the hassle, the pain in the ass customers, etc. it's not all gravy and a cash grab.

If you have 300k to invest, you'd be better off investing in another type of business.

I do this work because I really enjoy landscapes. I enjoy the freedom of being my own boss, but at the same time the business is the boss of me.
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  #122  
Old 03-19-2013, 06:49 PM
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precision8m precision8m is online now
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Consider your crowd. Most of the truly successful business owners are not blowing their time on here. There is tons of good and helpful info to read and share, but there are a lot of opinions as well that are just that.

I make more than 58 or even 65 a year and I keep a social life, but it took 5 years of hard work to get to a point that made it worth it. I'm only 26 so the future is bright and I plan to have crews, but I am limited with that as well. Customer loyalty is limited if they don't see you on site often, so commercial becomes attractive for the reliable income etc. If you don't know a ton about this business or about running a business and aren't willing to spend several years getting it set up, then keep your job.
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  #123  
Old 03-20-2013, 11:36 PM
dingybigfoot dingybigfoot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maelawncare View Post
You asked about crews. Crews are the bane of my existence. If I could get away with not having any employees I will. I am one the best bosses my employees have ever had, but I have still went through 27 guys in one year before.

This being seasonal work you will go through employees like you go through cheap trimmers from walmart. Every year your getting new ones. No matter how many interviews you give or how much you pay, you will NEVER find someone like you. You may get lucky and find one guy to run your crew, but then he also has to babysit the rest of the guys. And what if he gets sick or quits, yep thats on you then. I have 3 employees and still have to work 80 hr weeks because of them. If I had 3 like me, I could do everything in 30 hours. Multiple crews just increases your headache. It is nice having people so you do not have to do all the work, but it sucks. Have you ever been a manager at a retail store?? That will tell you how having employees sucks balls, people dont like mowing grass. You will not be able to find college educated guys. Some of the best ones you can find will be convicted felons with kids or high school dropouts.

Then there is the expenses. I have to have $10k in the bank before the mowing season even starts. So not only do I have to get through winter but I have to have enough money left over to run. You may start working in April, but you wont get any of that money will the middle to end of May. So you have 6 weeks of no money coming in but thousands going out. I give out $20,000 in loans a month to my customers and just pray that they all pay on time. Oh and then there is the commercials. They are good and bad. They tend to ***** a little more and are not very loyal. To top that off, a lot of them pay VERY slow. Half of my commercial properties are at 60 day pay. So instead of getting Aprils money it May it's June. If you think it wont happen to you, dont be so naive. It's the way it works out there. Be prepared to be a bank, no one cares about your problems. It is your responsibility to make it work.

A regular job with regular problems is easier than this. You think a corporate job is stressful, then try ours. When you get off of work at your regular job you are off. If you keep lingering on the stupid office politics that is your fault, it is not your problem. If you own your own business it goes everywhere with you. If you are having problems with office politics when they aren't your problem, wait till they are.

Stress of office politics is a LOT better than stress of wondering when your money will come in or if your employees will show up today. Your wife doesn't care about office politics, honestly she doesnt. But tell her that she can't take a shower because you didnt pay the water bill, then your gonna have problems.

^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^

What he said.
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  #124  
Old 03-21-2013, 12:02 AM
torquelandscaping torquelandscaping is offline
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That's when you let her get a good paying job also. Helps with slow times.
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  #125  
Old 04-01-2013, 09:09 AM
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I just quit my 50k+ job with free insurance,401k and profit sharing. Lawn Care is kind of like a farmer it gets in your blood and thats the life style you want to have. I started out in a Partnership 19 years ago was young and things went South quick. Ten years later i was unhappy with my career and started my own company and 1 year later i was full time with no regrets...until 2008. I had been doing full maintenance contracts with a hotel company. With the condition of the economy they dropped all outside contracts over 30k of my income came from them. For the last 5 years i have been working a 2nd shift job 12 hours a day and mowing the rest of the accounts while building my business. I finally made it i built my business back up and got my business back as my full time job. I couldnt be happier. I guess what im trying to say is only you know deep down what makes you happy and if you want it bad enough work hard and get it, but it takes time.
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  #126  
Old 04-01-2013, 09:11 AM
Paul's Green Thumb Paul's Green Thumb is offline
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Good advice, there.
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  #127  
Old 04-01-2013, 09:43 AM
lawnsbysteveRI lawnsbysteveRI is offline
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Personally, I think the level of stress that comes with the job all depends on how many bills you have outside of it. Everybody's situation is different, but mine is one I really love. If you constantly spend to your income, then it will seem like you can never make enough money. But if you can change that paradigm then all of a sudden landscaping can become fun. I have a great situation where my wife makes a modest income (less than 100K a year) and has the health insurance, but because we keep our debt down, we actually don't even need a single dime from my business to pay our bills. It allows me to do all the jobs that I like, hire help a few times a year to do the things that I don't enjoy or cant find the time for, and quit at lunchtime one day a week to play golf all afternoon. If you want to be happy with your landscaping career, whether you are a solo operation or aspire to have a few crews, my one advice would be to keep your debt down to as little as possible. All of this is IMHO of course.
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  #128  
Old 04-01-2013, 11:06 AM
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Exact Rototilling Exact Rototilling is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawnsbysteveRI View Post
Personally, I think the level of stress that comes with the job all depends on how many bills you have outside of it. Everybody's situation is different, but mine is one I really love. If you constantly spend to your income, then it will seem like you can never make enough money. But if you can change that paradigm then all of a sudden landscaping can become fun. I have a great situation where my wife makes a modest income (less than 100K a year) and has the health insurance, but because we keep our debt down, we actually don't even need a single dime from my business to pay our bills. It allows me to do all the jobs that I like, hire help a few times a year to do the things that I don't enjoy or cant find the time for, and quit at lunchtime one day a week to play golf all afternoon. If you want to be happy with your landscaping career, whether you are a solo operation or aspire to have a few crews, my one advice would be to keep your debt down to as little as possible. All of this is IMHO of course.

Congrats on the low stress.

Somehow I'm thinking this is not a typical situation for most on Lawnsite.
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  #129  
Old 04-01-2013, 12:46 PM
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weeze weeze is offline
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100k modest income?

dang man if you made anywhere close to that here you would be high class.

average income here is less than 30k a year for 80% of the people that live here.
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  #130  
Old 04-01-2013, 11:14 PM
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cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
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100K is not a modest income, the avg income in this country is 35-40K, most are below that, if your above that your not rich by any means but your above avg, of course your region will determine if it's well above avg or just above avg. I would tend to agree with Steve, if you keep your debt down it will keep the stress down thus making this a fun career and hell why do it if it an't fun? I can go back to corporate America and NOT have fun.
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