Good or bad idea to get in the business

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mwalz, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. mwalz

    mwalz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,179

    So i'm 16. A college is a few years away. I currently cut 12 properties weekly. Equipment is in signature. I'm considering going to college and when i get out, start a big landscape/mowing service. I want to hear from the guys who have big companies if this is a good or bad thing to get in to. I don't exactly want a desk job, and i don't want to cut grass my whole life but i would have no problem managing a business with multiple crews and such. I know landscaping can really bring in some money if done correctly. I just want some advice for going in to this field. I like cutting grass and would love to get in to landscaping and things like that, but a solo guy i find that a little more difficult. And i don't want to grow too much too fast because i am still in high school. I've herd working for a larger company for a couple years will help a lot. Now i realize the first couple years I might only gross 30-40k. but eventually 6-8 years from now, i would like to have a big company and do that. This would be a full time business after college if I decide to go this route.
     
  2. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Posts: 555

    It takes time and a lot of luck to grow a large business, not to mention time. Most of us full-timers work 100 hour weeks in the Spring, I tend to cut back to 70-80 hours in the Summer.

    It all depends on what your local demographic is and how may LCO's are already in your surrounding counties.

    There have been 200+ LCO's in my county for many years, but this year I have already seen 50+ new guys/kids driving around. Mowers hanging out of the trunks of cars, minivans and small suvs pulling home depot trailers, etc. Most of them won't last the season.

    My advice would be to plan on this being a side job or your retirement plan. Once you get another job after college you could have a one or two man crew run your accounts.

    Michael

    p.s. unless you plan on buying a 60" ztr within the next two seasons, just get the 5x10 trailer. I started out with a 5x10 Carry-on but grew out of it within a year but that was after high school. You should focus on small yards for the next few years before purchasing big mowers.
     
  3. cotyledon

    cotyledon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 524

    my advise , if college is in the future and you have already got the landscaping in your blood. go for landscape architecture and get a job with the town or city. 9-5 with paid days off and retirement. im 33 ben doing this scence im 12 . you wont have the energy you have now forever trust me
     
  4. SRT8

    SRT8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CA
    Posts: 1,267

    Any business can be made successful if run the right way. With hard work its all possible. I would go to college and take business courses. Without business knowledge you would struggle running a company grossing +$700k. Im not saying business courses are a must, for some people business just comes natural and they can pick up quick on how to run things and for others its like rocket science.
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  5. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,088

    Good advice
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  6. Mowinglifer

    Mowinglifer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    If you're business minded anything is a good path. The landscape industry has a good share of variables that make growth a pain. We don't have the best workforce to pull from, weather, equipment costs continuing to raise, insane competition, and ease of entry into the industry means lower prices. If you decide to stick with the lawn/landscape industry, plan to go big because as said above your body doesn't last forever. There's a lot of struggles in this industry but you can make money, it just comes down to how much do you want to make and how hard do you want to work towards that goal? College will be good no matter what though, you'll have options at least.
     
  7. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,287

    Owning a business in this industry is great.

    How are you planning on starting this "big landscape/mowing service"? How much capital are you planning on investing in your "big" company?

    Building a successful business takes a lot of effort, time, money and knowledge.
     
  8. mwalz

    mwalz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,179

    Well i haven't put a ton of thought in to all the details quite yet, for now, I'm focusing on school work for the next month until school gets out. Once school gets out then i will start doing more thought on this particular subject. I love doing it, and reading everything on this forum that has to do with it. I'm good with working at my hands as well.
     
  9. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    I think it's a great idea to get into the business. I can't think of another industry that gives you as much freedom wih the ability to make good to great money. I personally not only mowing, but running a business as well. If I would have gotten serious about lawn care at 16 and never joined the military, if probably be netting my self fifty grand a year with weekends off.
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  10. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Posts: 555

    How much time can you put into the business if your planning on going to college full-time? You'll be spending more time per week full time at college then you are now at high school. It takes forever to get a degree part-time, 3-4 years for an Associate's and 6+ years for a Bachelor's.

    In case your high school hasn't told you yet, the majority of college students are now starting to take 5 years to complete a Bachelor's. If you take a couple Winter or Summer classes you could definitely do it in 4, but being a landscaper that isn't possible.

    Michael
     

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