Full time?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by krupatex, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. krupatex

    krupatex LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    :confused:
    So this is my first post on the forum and I would like to start off by saying that I've really gained a lot of valuable information in the last hour of going through post after post. Pretty cool! The reason for my interest in the forum is that last year I started mowing lawns out of the back of my truck with a 21 in. walk behind and a trimmer to make some extra money a side of the U. S. Navy as a helicopter mechanic. At the time, I had enough business and had a little extra cash on hand so I decided to "upgrade" and wanted to take it to the next level. I ended up investing in a complete small scale lawn business that consisted of a 16ft tandem landscape trailer w/4ft sides and equipment box ($2000), an Exmark "Metro" 36 in. walk behind w/15hp & mulch kit ($3200/NEW), an ECHO SRM-260 trimmer ($300), an ECHO PE-260 edger ($300), and an ECHO PB-413T ($400). I also purchased a STIHL MS-230 chainsaw and various other trimmers and such. Needless to say I have it all. Things were great until my full time job picked up and caused me to have to put the lawn business on the back burner. I was pretty disappointed because I knew the potential I had if I were able to devote 100% of the time to it. I just didn't have that option. Now, I am three weeks away from discharging from the service and I'm wondering if I could actually do this full time??? Luckily my wife has a good job with health ins. so this would not be a problem. Before, I didn't get to the point of becoming officially "legit" with ins., lic., exc and would definitely be new costs and obviously mandatory. Considering I have all the equipment at hand, is this a good idea considering the current economic state?? Could I survive if done right? Thanx.
     
  2. DLAWNS

    DLAWNS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,778

    If done right, you can definitely make it in my opinion. I think that you'll need tons of advertising and great customer service. You probably won't be a huge company right away, but if you do it right you will slowly and surely grow. By the way...welcome to the site.
     
  3. tradeyouraccounts

    tradeyouraccounts Banned
    Posts: 344

    If you have some savings in the bank to be safe say 6 months to get you through this period and If you don’t have many bills to pay and your family can be supported the decision is much easier.
    I am sure with enough determination and research as to the business potential in your area you have a greater chance of success.

    Good luck:)
     
  4. krupatex

    krupatex LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    well thanks for the welcome.
     
  5. Lucky Star Lawn Care

    Lucky Star Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 538

    It might be tough at first but if you manage through it you will be ok might have to pick up a small side job to help pull in income but stay positive and grow slow dont rush into being big. GOOD LUCK
     
  6. diysurfer

    diysurfer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    Considering you have all the equipment at hand and you know about the job it shouldn't be very difficult. You might find it a little difficult in the beginning but if you can manage to go through that stage I don't feel it should be any problem for you.
     
  7. scottgalat

    scottgalat LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    Print flyers and get them out many, many thousands. The prime selling season is now and for the next three months. A massive effort will reap a massive return. A tiny, wimpy effort will reap nothing. "Shock and awe" the neighborhoods it makes sense for you to be servicing. Plan on a rider soon. The increased productivity will be twice the walk-behind....that's mostly profit. The number of customers you get is ONLY a result of how many flyers you get out. Do a stunningly large distribution, get a stunningly large result, I personally expect to add 1000 in the next 120 days. Not 1000 dollars, 1000 accounts.
     
  8. krupatex

    krupatex LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    I was under the impression to start slow at first? I'm really considering doing this full time verses taking a full time "nine-to-five" (that's if I am able to find one right now), BUT I've also considered doing what Lucky Star was saying about getting a smaller job to help with income at first. This is such a big decision to make with a family to support, I'm just a little cautious right now. The good thing is that my personel bills are minimal and there is currently not much overhead involved, but we have to eat! Scarry????
     
  9. scottgalat

    scottgalat LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    The smartest business person I ever heard, (he was warning that the real estate bubble was not based on actual real estate value appreciation and will collapse...3 years ago) Said this about starting a business.
    What do you need a side job for? You planning on failing?
    Get in business and commit to that business. You will do whatever you need to do to make it happen. If in the back of your mind you know you have your other job to cover your butt ARE YOU GOING TO PUT IN 80 HOUR WEEKS AS YOU BUILD YOUR BUSINESS TO MAKE IT SUCCEED? Businesses grow by effort and brains and nothing else. You spending time working for someone else....when you need to be growing your lawn business. To reach a reasonable income level does not take long. I get it done under 30 days usually.....just how I told you. Start smal, 1 today, 2 tomorrow 3, the following day. You'll have the basics figured out in 2 weeks-3 weeks.
    You are cutting grass and doing a nice job. Figure out how to do it nice and then fast....haul ass to the next one...repeat. To get better money than your "side job" will take 1 week if you put flyers out. Line them up right now...pre-season...this gives you time to 'take your time"
    line up 30 now...don't be afraid of anything but being lazy. You will never be in a better position in your life then right now to start your business. Your expenses are low, you have no job....dude, if I was your buddy, I'd gently kick you in the ass and say GET ON IT NOW. WHERE YOU GOING TO FIND A JOB THAT WILL START OUT AT $25-$30 PER HOUR... AND BY THE END OF SUMMER WILL BE $40 OR MORE ....IN THIS ECONOMY?
     
  10. scottgalat

    scottgalat LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    You already are starting slow. If you only have 20 lawns... what advantage is there to stopping growth? So you have 30 hours to think about those 20?
    They come in incrementally. Take them, mow them, work them into a route. When you hit 40 why stop there? Get faster, Find what your personal maximum weekly capacity is and then run like that for a while, topped out solo. Consider adding a helper, and max'ing out the productivity capabilities of one truck.
    Helper make a good crew leader? consider growing and adding a 2nd route.
    Call me I'll holler at ya. 321-216-1837
     

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