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  #31  
Old 05-01-2012, 03:45 AM
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chs1993 chs1993 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpllawncare View Post
To who ever estimated $800 for advertising thats funny I spend $1300 for internet advertising alone in a month.

WOW! that's some expensive internet advertising, I can easily get away with $800/month for advertising on avg, it kinda ebbs and flows throughout the year but $800 is a good avg.
Sorry for some reason I thought you were talking about a year.
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  #32  
Old 05-01-2012, 03:48 AM
MowingMowingMowing MowingMowingMowing is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoudonLawnCare View Post
I am in a very similar situation. While I enjoy my current job, I have always been interested in running my own business.

Trust me, I have crunched the numbers and the potential to make a lot of money in this business is there... if the effort is put in. You need to start working on a business plan, if done correctly, you will set expectations and have a clear understanding on where you need to be on a month to month basis.

I would also recommend starting slow. I am still working full time and mowing about 7 residential and 1 commercial lawns per week.

This example below may be dreaming, but its definitely doable!
Quick Math
8 Lawns per day at $50 = $400
$400 per day x 5 = $2000
$2000 x 27 weeks (rough estimate) = $54000


Expenses (Considering that equipment is paid for)
Gas - $6500
Insurance - $700
Advertising - $800
Misc - $5000
=$13000

End up with 41K
Don't forget about Uncle Sam, he'll take a nice cut out of that figure.
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  #33  
Old 05-01-2012, 07:13 AM
coolluv coolluv is offline
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Location: Atlanta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoudonLawnCare View Post
I am in a very similar situation. While I enjoy my current job, I have always been interested in running my own business.

Trust me, I have crunched the numbers and the potential to make a lot of money in this business is there... if the effort is put in. You need to start working on a business plan, if done correctly, you will set expectations and have a clear understanding on where you need to be on a month to month basis.

I would also recommend starting slow. I am still working full time and mowing about 7 residential and 1 commercial lawns per week.

This example below may be dreaming, but its definitely doable!
Quick Math
8 Lawns per day at $50 = $400
$400 per day x 5 = $2000
$2000 x 27 weeks (rough estimate) = $54000


Expenses (Considering that equipment is paid for)
Gas - $6500
Insurance - $700
Advertising - $800
Misc - $5000
=$13000

End up with 41K
Wow that's funny $hit right there. You forgot some expenses.

Dave...
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  #34  
Old 05-01-2012, 07:36 AM
LoudonLawnCare LoudonLawnCare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolluv View Post
Wow that's funny $hit right there. You forgot some expenses.

Dave...
Okay, I knew this would get some attention, but its really just to show that the business is out there and that you can make a decent living if you have a plan.

Question, do any of you run your own P&L's (profit and loss) or get statements from an accountant quarterly/monthly?

Matt
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  #35  
Old 05-01-2012, 07:46 AM
coolluv coolluv is offline
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Originally Posted by kse1221 View Post
True, and that would be great if I planned on dying on someone's yard in a few years. But you can't be doing hard manual labor in your 60s. Or at least I don't want to. You guys have to have crews. Am I missing something
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Yeah your missing the fact that it will take you about 4 years of busting your @$$ by yourself before you can afford to hire one guy. You will need about 10 grand a month gross before you can hire a guy. How long will it take to reach that? So now your at 120 grand a year and have no choice but to hire someone. Now take a $10 an hour employee and minus about $25 grand from that gross. Now your back down to 95 grand. Lets say your at 25% profit of that 95 grand. That leaves you with about 23 grand.

Starting to get the picture?

Here is a good quote from one of the other posters. Quote:In my experience, besides the physical exhaustion you experience it's all the detail stuff that wears you out in this industry. All the little things one can take for granted in a corporate job (finding customers, fielding 10 phone calls a day while trying to keep up with your maintenance route, customer relations, marketing, etc.) - you are responsible for everything in your business from A-Z

Then you have to expect to work half days, and by that I mean 12+ hrs. especially early spring and fall. How will that affect your family and social life? And you must consider your initial investment, plan on spending $50-100K to set up a rig capable of supporting that income level and instantly your first 1 or 2 years income are gone to pay for that. End Quote:

Working solo you may be at 30% profit after everything. So if you gross $100 grand your only taking in $30 grand. Trust me those numbers are really close to reality. Then as you grow you add more overhead and that 30% number starts to fall to maybe 20%. So if you gross $300 thousand your net will be somewhere around $60 grand.

How long do you think it will take you to gross $300 thousand? If mowing only......A loooooooonnnnnnngggggg friggin Time! Do you think these commercial properties are going to just give some new guy with no clue a job? They want references, they want to know how big a company you are so they can see if you are capable of doing the job and on and on. The outlay for equipment never ends. Just when you think you have everything you need something else.

It takes years to build a reputation and that cost money. 10% of gross goes for advertising a year. Its too early for me to write a book, I'll sit back and watch.

I just love these types of unrealistic threads from guys with no clue.

Dave...
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  #36  
Old 05-01-2012, 08:16 AM
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maelawncare maelawncare is offline
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Location: Rolla, Missouri
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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.
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  #37  
Old 05-01-2012, 08:26 AM
coolluv coolluv is offline
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Location: Atlanta
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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.
Very well said...

Your right about having cash flow. That is a huge problem. When spring rolls around and the phone is ringing off the hook from people wanting mulch and pine straw and you are starting your first round applications in February and your paying for advertising before the season starts now you are putting out thousands of dollars in materials before you even made a dime.


Lets not forget the fact that your trying to keep everyone happy and running on estimates between jobs and then come home after a long day and figure up quotes for hours and email customers back and spend Sunday running out looking at jobs that you couldn't get to during the week and lining up work and on and on and on and on......

Its a lot of fun....


Dave...
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  #38  
Old 05-01-2012, 09:11 AM
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Andy31 Andy31 is offline
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Location: Aggieland Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kse1221 View Post
My goal is to have a lawn business. Grow my business and have employees doing the back breaking labor. People do it everyday. There is a difference between being self employed (you) and being a business owner. Did Sam Walton still sack groceries at the super Walmart.... No. Does the papa johns pizza guy still deliver pizza? No. I am no stranger to labor, but I want a business not another job.
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Finally somebody I can relate to.
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  #39  
Old 05-01-2012, 09:21 AM
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Florida Gardener Florida Gardener is online now
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Location: Humid S. Fl. with sights set on San Diego
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Here is some of my .02: if you want to strictly do mowing, I think it will be tough. Maybe it's different in your area, but here a mow only guy would not do so well. It is going to take a good 4-5 years before you start seeing some nice returns. Have goals to have a couple crews. I def. don't want to be running the mower when I'm 40. You have to work hard wether you have a LCO or your working for someone. I doubt you work 9-5 given your current financial income and benefits. Buy only what you need at first. If you can get away with a 21" mower, buy that. If you need a 32", buy that. Don't be ashamed to use older stuff if you have to. A very prosperous guy on here started out by using his Camaro, but he had a great vision and drive. If this is really what you want to do, I say go for it. Money can't buy happiness. IMO no business just becomes successful overnight. Everything takes time.
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  #40  
Old 05-01-2012, 10:40 AM
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whosedog whosedog is offline
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Location: northern nj
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Where did the OP go? He hasn't responded to any comments since yesterday.I thought it was really funny that he wants to be "a business owner" but not a common laborer.Many of the responses explained to him that when one of his workers doesn't show up,the boss has to jump in and do the work.I'm sure that even the Walton family and Papa John ,had to do some sweating when they were first starting out,and it takes many years to grow a decent size business.
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