Any retired from a previous career and now operating solo in the lawn care business?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by RScapes, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. RScapes

    RScapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    Thanks Slinky-After this first year, I should be in a better position to evaluate how things are going and put together a strategy for 2014. I prefer to not work for someone, but, that is an option I will certainly not rule out for the future. I intend on trying this for 2013, then make a determination. Good thought, thanks!
     
  2. TPCLandscaping

    TPCLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    Working for yourself you find a lot of hidden expenses. Initial buy in can be quite a sticker shock. Great satisfaction in working for yourself also! Lots of pros and lots of cons but I find more pros. I'm not retired but I was layed off from my job and decided to turn my part time business into a full time career
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  3. J & D Greens

    J & D Greens LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    You could but you are at the mercy of your employer right? We have been there done that. It is so much better to work for your self. Because you control how much and how hard you will have to work. Been solo for six seasons going on seven and my wife and I love it.
     
  4. J & D Greens

    J & D Greens LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    When I say part-time I do use the term a little loosely. We mow mostly April-Sept. (clean-ups and first/last mowing in March/Oct.) I schedule my cutting Monday-Thursday. I either catch-up on Friday if some-thing unforeseen puts me behind or do the odd jobs customers ask me to do on this day and some times part of Saturday. (I do my best to never work on a Sunday Church also, but I do snow so occasionally I have to break that rule.) In the winter I work very little, we really don't get as much snow in the Denver area as the country would think. In fact we have more sunny days here than anywhere else in the country. But the temps are much colder but not like Michigan where the first snow on the ground is the last snow to leave the ground.

    During the mowing season I try to take Sat & Sundays (my wife works till 1:30 on Sat that is why I work half a day on Sat. some-times.) of most of the time. I also try to take three day week-ends once a month. So you can see were I say loosely because during the season you do have to concentrate on work a lot. But if you manage things right and have the right equipment you can do well may-be much better than me.

    Get the right size commercial mowers for your area! That is will also be key for success. If you have postage size lots use a 21" commercial. If you have larger lots get a 32" if gates are small. 36" or bigger if it will fit. Starting out I would stay with belt walk behinds on your deck mowers as they have less maintenance and cost less. I have run used equipment exclusively but I have a friend that helps me get them into tip top shape before I trust the equipment. Like I said earlier gotta control our cost.
     
  5. J & D Greens

    J & D Greens LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    By the way no offense to this but working for your-self once you get the hang of it is a pretty satisfying thing. I scratch my head wondering why I did not try it sooner. Oh I forget I was chasing that carrot they call retirement income. I would have been much better off 20 years ago starting up and running a crew. I pretty sure we would be way better off than we are with the two incomes I get. Oh well
     
  6. TPCLandscaping

    TPCLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    I love working for myself. Just pointing out its not all fun and games.
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  7. J & D Greens

    J & D Greens LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    I hear you there. The first few seasons are the toughest to get a handle on. I wish I knew of this site back then. It would have saved me (still does) Good thing my wife has been supportive and does all the books. She also reminds me when I am spending to much and says you know this is all the Biz has till next month and you have insurance due ect.

    Now I look forward to gearing up for each season. It feels better this year than it ever has. I'm not sure why.
     
  8. TPCLandscaping

    TPCLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    Funny my wife does the same thing. She will also come out and mow and landscape with me
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  9. J & D Greens

    J & D Greens LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    Mine won't touch lawn work, can't she would end up going to the Doc. with all her allergies. My kids hate yard work so I am on my own. That was a hard pill to swallow.
     
  10. Livefit200

    Livefit200 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I'm new to owning a company. I'm in the military and will be retiring in 5 years. I'm only 33 so want to get the business up and going so I can be running by retirement. I've done lawns before my military work and love it. Any one have any recommendation for getting new contracts? Any advice will help!
     

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