Any help for the newer than new guy?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Dillweed, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. Dillweed

    Dillweed LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Briefly here is my deal. I was just let go from my six figure a year sales job, after just being named rookie of the year (number 2 in the Country). I have $20,000.00 saved, and I'm at the end of my severence pay. Family, and baby on the way. <Corporate America, got to love it.> Cant find any work. Bad time of year I guess. Looking to go back into business for myself. At least then when I get screwed I will know whose doing the screwing.

    I had a small lawn care business while in the military back in 1990 in FL. Now at 36 I live in IN. Absolutely love the idea of getting back in to the business. Obviously not the best time of year to be starting. I know it wont feed the familt till Spring at least, assuming I line up a client base this winter. Any advice for a new greenie to this world. Where to get help bidding the jobs out, whats the best equipment, etc. I am a good salesman and will talk to anyone. Its all the other stuff I need. Any body in Central IN need a honest helper for the remainder of the year, as a working protozay.

    I am in a desperate situation, unlike I've ever seen (now with a family and all). I have owned my own businesses in the past (janitorial) But thought I would give corporate america a chance. Huge mistake. Anyway anything you could offer I would GREATLY appreciate it. If anyone would prefer to slide me an e-mail for a possible personal contact, that would be great as well. bdillman@insightbb.com

    I have spent a couple of days scanning this forume and I value all the great info I have been able to take away thus far, and look forward to any help you have to offer. Thank you folks...
     
  2. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Tough situation, really comming at end of season for your area. Maybe run a carpet cleaning service instead ? Holidays will bring in some cash, people will want their homes clean then you can plug a spring lawn service. You've got a family to think about so there are definately considerations to wheigh. Pick up used hand tools,good gas cans (make sure they don't leak) at yard sales maybe. Make some sort of trade deal for a trailer, doing taxes, accounting maybe. The Gopher software you see advertised here may reduce paperwork time. Getting a good mower and two stroke equipment is really important. Brands are really subject to budget and preference. MIght also be a good idea to Liscened for pest contol over winter so you have that comming out the gate in the fall. Check newspaer to buy things like spreaders. If you're just looking to get in on a budget you could use $ to set up a corporation, get some pre-printed contracts and several 21inch walk behinds that just need a replacement engine. Only problem with that is the man hours involved, want to cut as much grass as possible without spending much on labor. See if you can't find someone else with some equipment and form the corporation together. READ alot of lawnsite for pointers help etc.
     
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  3. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,766

    You were making 6 figures and only saved 20 grand? I would suggest that you find a job that has health benefits , and start working on lawn care on the side. I asume you have the regular life expenses and with a kid on the way 20 K wont go far .
     
  4. barnard

    barnard LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 618

    Get a steady job. Start lawncare on the side.If you've got a family on the way. you need regular paycheck.
     
  5. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,487

    Two good pieces of advice. I think starting out part time is the best idea. Even if you have to get a job at Wal-mart to bring in a little cash, then so be it. But starting in the fall is not such a bad idea. There is plenty to do: fall clean-ups, leaf removal, seeding, fertilizing, aeration. This could help build your customer base for the spring.

    Good luck
     
  6. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    so then you are eligable for unemployment benefits? take them, sit on your ass from now till they run out.
     
  7. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,332

    Wow, I really don't know what to tell you, man. A six figure income, net after taxes will be tough to provide even in a years or two's time starting out in what is / can be a really cutthroat business. You may sustain yourself and family going in this fall w/ 20K, but not at the lifestyle level you are accustomed to. I don't know about the wife's job, but is moving to a different area of the country for you to secure a job like your previous in the question? Or if you do decide to go all out into the lawncare biz, it may be time to cash a CD or two to give yourself some operating capital after investing in equipment/ advertising / insurances/ etc. Only you truly know the exact ramifications of the decisions you can make here. Assuming(you know what they say about assumtion.. :D ), your 6 figure job was in an advertising realted field, you already have a jump start on targeting your client base.BTW, saving 20K in your "rookie" year is very cool. I try to save / invest 8-10% a month..try ...
     
  8. Dillweed

    Dillweed LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Thanks for the input everyone. Yes you would think a six figure income would produce more in savings, but. When it is your first year at that level and you are all but debt free and 20K in savings it aint to bad.
    Again, I may have to get something now to tide me over till spring. I will have cash for my equipment come then. I will also have a client base by then. I have a lot of contacts, and soliciting the business should be no problem. Dont get me wrong I dont think it will be a walk in the park. :cool:

    I just do not want to come acrossed as anything but professional to potiential clients. I have a couple of months to brush up. But I would really like to know the basis on costing out jobs. :help: ANY RULES OF THUMBS OUT THERE? In the Jan San field I costed everything out on a time to square foot analysis. And no I do not want to go back into the cleaning field. I had 33 employees and I remember the nightmares. In fact that is why i went to Corporate America to begin with. To get out of the labor pool crap. Anyway, any help in this direction? And thanks again everyone... :)
     
  9. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    Forget that suggestion. I was out of work for 3 months in between contract programming jobs 3 years ago and unemployment is pitiful. You will be running through that $20,000 real quick just to pay for Cobra insurance, house payments, car payments, food,etc..

    It is hard to believe a company would get rid of their rookie of the year salesman. A salesman is the front line for a company to make money so I would think with your salesman ability you could find another similar sales job. What type of salesman were you and what company let you go?
     
  10. qualitylandscaping

    qualitylandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    This is starting to drive me nuts.. Sorry you have lost your job.. It seems everyone who gets laid off goes into the lawn care business. At least you have done this before, so you have some idea of how much work is involved..

    Start with flyers, or some other type of advertising.. Like everyone else said that $20,000 won't go far. My penny saver ad is $350.00 per week, so your money would run out quick.

    Just play it by ear and keep reading this forum..

    good luck :waving:
     

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