Anyone have regrets/joys leaving a decent full time job for starting a business?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by MDLawn, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    Adult response....thanks. I'm trying to say he could not afford those on his state salary alone with his wife not working and having 2 kids. All those things add up big time and $20 extra grand isn't buying those things.
     
  2. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    Great response, thanks... I agree with many points and the comical customer stereotype made me chuckle a bit.
     
  3. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Posts: 1,897

    You have an interesting post, Dave. It was quite long, so I would like to comment on two key points that you quoted above. Both of them go hand-in-hand, and are how I got started in this business ten years ago. Coincidentally, you and I both service the same market. I have found that being a one-man show has more perks than pits, but one has to develop systems to enable a business to run itself.....well, almost. I have spent much of my downtime marketing my business, and surprisingly it cost me very little financially. Today, online marketing is the way to go. I have a $200.00 web-building program and about $50.00 in signage on my truck. Whenever I mow, I usually leave a couple door hangers on the neighbor's front door. I get calls from 10% of these, and close on about half of them. I print the door hangers myself on card stock from a free online template I downloaded. I treat my customers like gold, and run monthly promos that go in with their monthly invoice. This generates plenty of extra revenue. I also don't lowball bid.
    All of these practices equate to a marketing system, a.k.a. my revenue building machine.
     
  4. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    Is your ultimate plan to stay solo? If so I'm just curious on a couple things. Can you keep this up in your 50-60's? Do you have a retirement plan in place? These are things that would be on my mind being solo.
     
  5. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    I think the hardest things to give up are the guaranteed paychecks with annual raise (unless I for some reason get let go), the VERY cheap full cadillac of plans family coverage health care package with a $1200 debit card to cover all the copays, and the retirement plan which is I give 3+% of my income and they put in 8% extra. Yes you read that right, I put in 3% of my salary and they "match" it with 8% of my salary.... I mean thats like free gambling money for me in the market with my average rate of return being 9.6% so far. Free money to make money. This is what keeps my planted at this career not to mention I'll have EVERY holiday off and very light summers, hence the part time landscaping. I guess maybe I've answered this for myself and will most likely stick to part time and maybe even part time with summer employees. Make extra side money and delegate all the back breaking work to summer help..
     
  6. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Posts: 1,897

    I will always be open to hiring people (just see my Employment link on my website), but am willing to wait indefinitely for the right candidate. The Roth IRA is maxed out annually. I have been a competitive cyclist for 15 years, so my stamina is pretty much conditioned for the future.
     
  7. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    Sounds good!
     
  8. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    Well I was downsized from a $70,000/year job as a electronics tech from the number one luxury automaker, does that count? I'm 47 single have my own place and pay my own way. After realizing I was never going to get back to that kind of salary working for the other guy I set out to do it on my own, it's slow and very challenging, but I enjoy it most everyday.
     
  9. DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING

    DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,343

    GOOD FOR YOU.
    I LIKE THE ATTITUDE, and with that attitude you will make it just fine.
    Good luck to all
     
  10. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    Thx, I've always said Attitude will make you or break you, I learn everyday and that's really what keeps me going, I don't worry about what the other guy is doing I just do what I have to do to be the best I can everyday. Unfortunaly Corporate America could care less about how good you are, you're just a number and when that number comes up your gone, I figure as long as I get up and give my very best everyday I will have work, and make money, seems there is always someone needing a GOOD LANDSCAPER because heaven knows there are plenty of BAD ones out there, and that's what makes my job easy, I seem to get a lot of WOW when we're done with a job, I figure I must be doing something right.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012

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