From Owner to Employee Back To Ower

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Tuttle Landscaping, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. Tuttle Landscaping

    Tuttle Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I am 26 years old located in bucks county PA. When i was 18 I started my own under the table landscape business. I advertised with flyers and got approx 20-25 law mowing accounts. I also did a number of mulch jobs and clean ups. After my first year I decided I did not know enough to continue and be successful. So i sold everything and went to work for a well know landscape company in the bucks area. They serviced only commercial account (condo assoc. apartments and businesses.). I learned alot. I started off as a foreman running a 2 man crew and within the first 3 months i got a 7 man crew. and then the following year I moved up in management over 5 cutting crew and 2 misc crews. I love the job but the pay was not rewarding for the hours worked. We averaged 60-70 hour weeks in primetime and 40 in winter plus more when it snowed. and i was only making 40k before taxes. After the birth of my first son I got a job offer to become a union laborer which i took. More money and excellent benefits. Well I am currently still laborering and want to get back into the Landscaping again. I have seen people start out with nothing and after a couple years be more than well off. My question is how to I go about in the Bucks County PA in getting a business license and EIN number and insurance. I am purchasing a 1999 ford f150 ext cab 4x4 to start off with. I am going to purchase a trailer and small mower to start off then hopefully get a z-rider (regret selling my old one). I know all the equipment I need but I just dont know how to become legit. Please any help. I feel I have more than enough knowlege to be very successful and I am tired of bustin my a$$ for someone else to get all the benefits. :usflag:
     
  2. Bigray

    Bigray LawnSite Member
    Posts: 140

    well no doubt that kind of $ can be made in the green industry, but i have as yet to figure out the formula.

    you mention u have a child now, do you have a way to supply your family w/ health care ?

    if someone told me i could gross 40 k / 40hours wk. i would probally take it.
    with your exp. you can do well most likely, but are u capitolized to grow the business ?
    on this site you will find many solo's and several large operators.
    to obtain a lic. go to your local county gov. ctr. they can direct you to the right dept.
    the EIN. # you need apply for you may do a search on this site to find the revalant info. you seek
    for bus. ins. contact your local agent and ask about bus owners ins they may be able to help yu or give you a # of a fellow agent. / may also do a search regarding bus. ins. on this site.
     
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I am glad I'm not the only one to say it, and I will stop calling BS on the guys who make the big money claims, maybe it is I just haven't figured it out yet.

    But in 6 years my best year I grossed 37,000, my 2nd best was 32 or 34,000, the rest all fell below 30, to include 2007...
    Out of that 37 I made once, 25 thousand of it went right back out, brother I do not know what happened, but it's gone LOL...
    I don't do drugs, I don't go to bars and splurge stupid, I really think I have a tight budget and a firm grip on things, but gone it is.
    I did get a nicer truck (a 1995 model loaded slt), and a Z, but the Z is still being paid for, then the other 12k I got paid.
    Like lickety split and ooops, it just skeedaddled right outta my pocket, I still can't figure out where it all went...

    Such is life, and honestly speaking, I just don't see all that.
     
  4. MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,566

    I'll tell you were it went the cost of living and taking all the expense in running a biz.
     
  5. willretire@40

    willretire@40 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from VA
    Posts: 1,387

    Topsite you are so picky about the customers that you want but you are not making any money. You need to redo your business plan.
     
  6. markam70

    markam70 LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Posts: 223

    topsites...i see you're in richmond. i've spent quite a bit of time in richmond and there is plenty of money to be made there. after six years of working for nothing, i'd definitely rethink things. i think walmart greeters make more than that.
     
  7. Tuttle Landscaping

    Tuttle Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    my goal is to start off part time and continue the union work which hours are usually 6-2 or 7-3 to maintain my benefits for my family since i do have one child and another on the way. Once I get big enough i would have to find another source of benefits. But I am looking to get everything ready for next year. So i want to get my license and ein number. Last time I used flyers and had a good turn out. This time I am going to try post its and see how it works. I will also do flyers in areas but the cost of post its is less than flyers and you save alot of time handing them out then flyers. This way I figure I can cover alot bigger area than with flyers. Last time I only handed out about 500. This time I am going big with about 8000 post its. I am unsure of when I should start to hand these out though. I did it in Feb last time what do you guys recommend. Also what do you think of using business printed post its compared to flyers.
     
  8. lawnworker

    lawnworker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 899

    Tuttle, I would stick with the job, but if you are really set on this thing, I would try to set your self up in some kind of market nich.

    Top site I think we are in similar markets-Medium to large residential. It seems like you have to price them pretty high, cause they take longer, but in the end you don't make a killing. Am I right? I am seriously thinking of a major change. Maybe more installs- major cash investment though. It would take At minimum a small dump and a dingo.

    Right now, I hardly do any at all. I am not really set up for it. But, I can see it has more potential. This mowing with draughts and all can bite at times.
     

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