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Going out on a limb?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lawn-N-Garden Guy, Feb 1, 2003.

  1. Lawn-N-Garden Guy

    Lawn-N-Garden Guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 321

    Ok,HERES MY SITUATION,I have been doing lawncare for 5 yrs now on a part time basis,My fulltime job is working for a very large cable tv co.They are changing my hrs from 8-4:30 pm to 12-8:30 pm permantly,This is gonna conflict with my lawncare bussiness in the summer,I have now approx 22 customers that get mowed weekly plus all the other things that come with lawncare and maintanence.I think if I do the flyer thing and advertise I should get double or maybe triple the accounts I have now.Right now there is only 1 other outfit that works my area and seems like the need for my service is growing more and more.I've been in the cable bus. for 10 years and I'm sick of working for a big co.,Always playing with your hrs.I feel its time to make the move and go on my own.WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK ?
    And if you had to start out all over again what would you do differently ? My finger nails are getting shorter!
    I told my wife I would use up my week vacation before I quit and take her and the kids to Daytona for BikeWeek,Might be the last vacation for a while.LOL
  2. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    The answers simple. Do it! There's too many procrastinators in this world already. If you have the desire, it will be better than you ever thought. I should have started myself years ago, but I didn't. I couldn't be happier now, yet a little sad about wasting the younger, more energetic years of my life. The body takes a little longer to regenerate, so to speak, as you get a little older. Good luck.
  3. danny m.

    danny m. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    I was forced to take that jump myself because of a lung conditon caused from a factory I worked at . I am glad I had my part time lawn business to fall back on. The main thing to worry about is health ins. and stress on the marrage. Now my advise is hussel cut as many yards as you can stand and always quality and do not under price your yards. Hope that helps and by the way I now have less stess my lungs are better and Ilike what I do :D
  4. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Posts: 3,256

    With 22 accounts I'd say you're already off to a good start! Not sure what your area's like, but around my way, doubling that to 44 wouldn't be too hard.

    As someone else already mentioned, my biggest concern would be health insurance. I'm lucky that I'm on my wifes plan. Does your wife work, and if so, does she have benefits that she can add you to?

    One of my biggest regrets is not starting sooner. I wanted to do this 10 years ago, but just didn't. I sure wish I had, I'd be so much further along with my business. But then again, I wouldn't have had Lawnsite to help me out!

    Good luck.
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,839

    Like the other guys, I highly encourage you to take that plunge. You'll make more money, you'll pay less taxes, and you'll be so much happier.

    I, too, was miserable at my corporate job - always taking orders from some nitwit who never did my job before, getting reprimanded for being creative or innovative, the rigid schedule, them dictating my life, when I got more money, etc.....

    I was scared to go out on my own the first year. But I took the plunge and will forever be grateful. I love it. Especially now that I've built up our business to where I don't even have to mow any more. I have plenty of time with my family, I get to see my wife a lot every day, I set my own hours, schedule, salary.... It's great. I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Sure, there are challenges, hassles, surprises, etc. I won't pretend like it's all peaches all the time. But the benefits overwhelm any such challenges, IMO.

    Danny mentioned the possibility of stress on the marraige. I don't know about that. I guess that first year or two, we had some financial stress. But it would have been worse had I stayed at my low-wage job. So even though it was a little stressful financially, it was still better and it just got better from there on. And I guess there was some stress initially because I was working only 20-30 hours per week and she was still working 40-50 per week. But every time she bitched about that I always pointed out that it wasn't the hours that mattered - I still brought home more than she did most months.

    Now, it's great. My wife doesn't have to work any more. She gets to raise our kid, stay at home, and has tons of time for her friends and family. I think the end result is just the opposite - it's HELPED our marraige a great deal!

    Take the plunge, man! This country was founded on Free Enterprise! People faught and died over that right (among others). We have a wonderful opportunity here in this country. And recession or no recession this is still the best country in the world to be in business for yourself. Why not take advantage of that?
  6. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    LNGG-I personally would love the new schedule but I understand the problem.

    I think you should go it on your own.

    that way you'll know what your schedule will be. and it's gonna be something like 6 AM 'till about 10 PM on lotsa days.:eek:

    good luck.

  7. fatboy5803

    fatboy5803 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 330

    I'm in the same situation sorta,, except my hours at my full-time job is allmost perfect for my new lawn care. I'm retired military, have a full-time job and want to go full-time in the lawn service..
    But not sure if it's the right Time, for me ?? You seem more established and the need maybe in your area more than mine. Here in Fla. lawn care people come and go. I still need the income as even I like going places like Bike Week. I might wait another year or two on the full-time lawn care. This might be the time for you to take the plunge of a "Big" change in your life.. If it's meant to happen it will, as I allways say to myself, "Everything happens for a reason" So save your nails and enjoy Bike Week, and maybe we'll bump in to eachother in Daytona !!

    Good Luck,

  8. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Posts: 4,254

    I feel for you. My regular job hours were 4:30pm to 1:00am. That left all day to cut. Then the plant went onto 1 shift. Which is now 6:30am to 3:00pm. As soon as I come home , I go back out until dark.
  9. Lawn-N-Garden Guy

    Lawn-N-Garden Guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 321

    BOB,Thats what I have been doing for 5 yrs and it worked fine till now.I worked 8:00-4:30pm got home and loaded by 5:00 and mowed till dark,getting between 8 and 10 lawns cut and trimmed.Starting my new shift now at 12pm doesn't give me much time to mow in the morning cause usally I couldn't start till 9:30am or 10:00am due to moisture,It really doesn't dry off around here till 10am.

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