decisions...decisions FT/PT.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Currier, Oct 15, 2000.

  1. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    I've been running my bus. for 10 years and it has grown well in that time. This year I had a partner but it didn't work for a variety of reasons. I love the lawn mowing biz butI have to decide what to do. I also teach 6th grade. Mowing started as a summer thing but over the last several years I have seriously considered going full time. I suppose my main problem is I am chicken. I now have health ins. and retirement and also "cooped up in a room stress," and the opportunity to be the whipping boy for lots of public taxpayers.

    I don't worry about if I would like going full time, I know I would. I just don't know if it would work financially.
    How did some of you manage to "push yourselves" over the edge?

    How fast did the new accounts come? I currently have 25 and full time could handle another 25 or 30. I also aerate. Great money and I would imagine I could aerate lots more.

    What sort of things did you do before you went full time? I know about the business plan, ins, being all that.

    I would love to have just one job, but I would hate to look back in 15 years and think..."I wonder if I could have made it..." I also think I would resent being stuck in a classroom without the opportunity to mow...

    Thanks for reading my ramblings, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    This may offend some....................pray!

  3. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    You have to put the pencil down on the paper and figure out current salary and bennies along with the retirement plan that you have going and really compare to your lawn service income. I am not trying to discourage you.
    There are many personal questions that have to be answered. Are you suffering from career burnout? How long do you have until retirement? Have you thought about part time teaching? What will you lose in terms of seniority if you quit? Do you have a family? Do you have cash reserves to help when times get tough? Are you in good health? Can you take a leave of absence?
    If you are going to be a one man show, you know that its all on you. I have considered what you are thinking about. I also have answered the above questions and then some and I have come to a balance from that. I have about 15 years until retirement. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to do both things in my life and they are both fulfilling. There are definately times that I would rather be mowing than be working at the fire station but then there are times that I am glad that I am able to help people through my work there. Its a personal thing that is individually based. I do enjoy both jobs and they offer me different perspectives on life.
    Good Luck with your search its a hard decision. There are many others on this site that are successful full timers (that I greatly admire) that can help you more than I can but I just wanted to share my opinions.
    And yes I agree with HOMER too.
  4. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,446

    I would not quit a full-time teaching to work by myself in lawn care.

    6th grade? Maybe I would. :)

    I think you're in a nice position now, you've got income year-round, benefits, retirement and frankly I think a better job as a teacher vs. working by yourself in lawn care.
  5. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,886

    Ditto on the above post
  6. parkwest

    parkwest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 678

    Maybe you should ask yourself, 'What is it that you have always wanted to do with your life? Was it to be a teacher or to be a small business owner? Figure that out and then go for it.

    The only things in my life I regret are the things I didn't try to do.
  7. IMHO only 10% of lco make wages and bennys above a teacher who has been in the system a long time.

    If you quit know your learning curve to make as much as you are making now would be 5 min to 10 years.

    Plus you could be out in less than 15 if the change the plan to push the high dollar old bucks out the door.

    Can't you find any 16+ kids that want to work?
    I think they called that track when I went to school as
    co op.

  8. jasonp

    jasonp LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 147

    If your business could do more just hire more help and most teachers can retire in 20 yrs I think, so hang in there for a while and just find some good help to run it till then. But its your decision to make.
  9. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    Hey folks! Thanks for the great advice/thoughts! The end of the season is probably NOT the best time to think about how to make life simpler:)

    I'm thinking I will trim back a few of the longer travel time/less profit accounts. Also I am going to aggressively seek more aerating. I've aerated around 150 lawns per year but I'm thinking in a few years I can double that.

    The greatest thing!...probably because it is a change I did my first sprinkler blowout using a large tow behind comp. This is a great service, and pays very well! I must say using the right tool for the job really helps.
    Thanks again for the advice I surely appreciate it!
  10. jaclawn

    jaclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 490

    Are subustitute teachers in demand in your area? If so, then you have the perfect oppertunity. If you are sure that you want to go full time into LC, then go for it, and substitute during your building times. You can then sub less and less till your business is built up. You could also sub during the winter months.

    Personally, I'd rather be in the classroom.

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