How long before you go full time?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Trinity Lawn Care LLC, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 946

    Hi all,

    I was just wondering about a couple of things. I was full time seasonal with about 60 lawns, but definitely not enough to be full time . The money I made after expenses this year were bleak to say the least.

    My questions are: How long it took others before they were making a descent living and enough biz to do this full time (all year)? I know that everyone's overhead is different, but I am just trying to get an average. Also, I was thinking about snow plowing and doing Christmas decorations for another lco next year. Has anyone ever done this before they were able to stand on their own two feet? Thanks...
     
  2. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,653

    It took me 3 years part time before I went full time this season. I wouldn't say that I'm making a decent living at this point though. I still need to grow. Where in South Jersey are you?
     
  3. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 946

    Hi jc1,

    I am in Gloucester County. I used to live in Cape May County (Ocean City). Where abouts in Cape May County are you from? When you say part time do you mean that you worked an additional job during the growing season, or do you mean that you had another job during the off season? Around how many accounts do you have?
     
  4. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,653

    I had a full time job 8-4 M-F and operated my business from 4 till dark plus Sat and Sun for 3 years. This season I started to increase my customer base in April, by May I went part time at my job by June I left. I could no longer keep up with my business at that point. Once I left and could devote my full attention to my business it took off like crazy. I work from cape may to seaville. I have over 60 accounts
     
  5. SouthJerseyLawns

    SouthJerseyLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    Hey guys, I am in Burlington County and this is my first year as well. I have 64 accounts but I am finding that maybe less cutting and more fertilizer accounts is the key to being able to go full time.
     
  6. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 946

    jc1- Thanks for the info. I greatly appreciate your input.

    South Jersey Lawns- How large is your serving area? Do you cover all Burlington county or do you come down to Camden county at all?
     
  7. SouthJerseyLawns

    SouthJerseyLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    I only operate in Burlington Co. for now. We have a few in Cherry Hill on the border.
     
  8. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Rob, how much equipment did you buy and did you figure all your starting expenses in this year? 60 Lawns is good, depending on the size and what your charging. Did you get any other work from any of these 60 clients, or was it all maintenance?

    2-3 years to get established and comfortable is not unusual. Many LCO's pickup winter work for more than 1 reason. Will you be snow plowing and decorating as an employee or a sub? You can make money pushing snow, if it snows, but it cost good money to start and maintain a plow vehicle. Christmas decorating is becoming more popular in our area as a service, but still suffers from being underpaid, but paid, when it may be the only source of income.

    Drop me an email or give me a call and I can fill you in on some numbers and sources.

    Kirk
     
  9. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    I had a crappy $10.00 an hour job. When I decided I wanted to do this I planned it for a year, quit my job and jumped in full time. IMO its the only way. 1st few years were very tough. Knowing this was my only source of income it gave me the motivation to do whatever it takes to make it. I guess when I think about it I wasnt risking much, I was only giving up a job that barely covered my bills, I didnt have a family or a mortgage, or any real responsibilities. One thing thats nice about making the decision to quit your job is you can focus 100% on building your company. I dont see how people can work a 40 hr week job and try and run a buisness, I say put your time and energy in one or the other and make the best out of that decision. Good luck.
     
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    When I left Hertz in 94, I just started out full time in 95. I was never part time either.
     

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