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How many Solo operators take a full week off for Spring break....?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Exact Rototilling, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. getdown

    getdown LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 297

    I'm sorry I realize now that you are in zone 5b so we have very different circumstances...In Florida, we have very little down time in the "off season". We can mow less, but we don't have to pray for snow or sit at home. Winter (possibly even more than Spring) is when we make BIG bucks...Summer is all keeping up with grass growing in the tropical sunny climate, but winter is landscape jobs.

    If I had the winter off, I could understand feeling guilty for taking time off during the 5 months of "season". Here its year round and I can't let myself feel guilty about taking off a week. Gotta change your oil everyonce in a while or you'll overheat!

    Not to jack the thread, but a lot of people say things like "what's vacation"? And I understand...I'm always working. But when people from up north say that, do you all have winter businesses? I'm not trying to be confrontational or say some people don't work as hard, I'm just curious what goes on during the winter if you don't plow...equipment maintenance and marketing? I have a buddy in the northeast who wants to start a company but worries about the winter hibernation. In Florida we have to work year round...the grass keeps growing and people expect you to show up and maintain their property.

    Is there really not down time/vacation in the winter?
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  2. birddseedd

    birddseedd LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,114

    what is a vacation?
     
  3. Father&Daughter Lawn care

    Father&Daughter Lawn care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 416

    This spring I had not begun working yet. Usually I can take a couple of days off to spend with the kids. That's a great benefit to working solo I set my own schedule and never miss any of my kids activities.
     
  4. getdown

    getdown LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 297

    I like this mentality (and your user name). I originally got into business for myself because I wanted the freedom and to work outside doing something I love. Then I started getting hungry and became a full out capitalist! (nothing wrong with that, my business just became my baby).

    When I have kids of my own, however, I hope I remember that I'm my own boss, and sacrificing a few extra dollars is a lot less to give up than time with my kids...I'm planning on being the father who is with the family every night (even if it's in the workshop)...and even if it means missing out on a few thousand dollars revenue each month that I could have made if I missed dinner with the family every night.

    There's always opportunity costs in business, but the nice thing about being your own boss is you get to decide which you would rather do without.
     
  5. birddseedd

    birddseedd LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,114

    If you dont have kids now its a good time to build your business up to the point where you dont have to work 80 hrs jsut to get by
     
  6. getdown

    getdown LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 297

    I agree 100% birdseed. That's what I'm trying to do right now. My wife is really eager to be a mommy, but I'm putting 110% of my time into the company right now (I don't know whether it makes our relationship stronger that we don't see each other often or if she misses me lol).

    But yes, right now I completely building my business...it's my baby and I never stop working on it. The idea is to become relatively self-propelled. I'm 25 years old. By the time I'm 30, I want to have a couple guys working with/for me (possibly sooner). By the time I'm 35, I want to be in a situation where I'm driving an NPR and not working so much as dealing with customer service and supervising. By the time I'm 40, I would like to have 2 maintenance crews (1 superintendent for both) and a landscape crew (another super). I'd like to be in the office/shop or selling at Chamber of Commerce type of events (engaged politically in the local economy).
     
  7. dstifel

    dstifel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 899

    Winter is hard for me because how do you plan a vacation? okay mother nature I'm planning a vacation on this weekend don't snow for me. OR call your accounts hey I'm out of of town this week so if it snows your SOL. That is the dilemma i run into. I take my fair share of spur of the moment weekend trips but always catch myself checking weather throughout the whole weekend and never going farther then a couple hours away in case i have to high tail it home. We do have downtime i won't lie to you there but when the weather dictates your work its hard to plan a week away. JMO
     
  8. getdown

    getdown LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 297

    Dstifel, I feel ya man...that's a pain. Then in the summer you have to deal with rain, which can be a pain too when you're trying to get stuff done. Winter time you're always on call...it's like being a doctor or something I guess. Because, yeah...I'd imagine that customers who are snowed in would not be very sympathetic if you told them you were out of town when it snowed!
     
  9. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    Yes this is very true. I'm basically married to my snow route. For the first time ever I spent the 2012 Christmas morning with my son via Skype. Better than NOT being there. A few Thanksgiving's back we had a load of family over and I was running on snow all day. When I showed up for dinner it was past 9 pm.

    I hate doing snow but I'm basically forced to do it to make any decent money at this biz.

    I'm off to a sluggish start this year due to a number of circumstances but my prediction is it will be my highest gross and net year ever.
    :)
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,794

    we have no snow removal here. so guaranteed at least 3 months off every year to do whatever we wanna do.
     

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