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How reasonable is it to make a profit in....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by VeteranGreen, Nov 12, 2004.

  1. VeteranGreen

    VeteranGreen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    I am highly considering starting up a lawncare business in April 2007 when I get out of the military. I have taken a few business classes in college, and have done lawncare on the side for almost 10 years now. Right now I just work for a lady who owns 3 bed and breakfasts in this area, and I use all her equipment and everything.(keeps me busy for about 15 hours a week)

    My wife (who used to work for an accountant) told me it is impossible to make a profit the first year in any business. I have been putting some numbers together, and I think it is totally possible as a 1 man show, and provided she gets a job with health benefits for all of us.

    What do you guys think?
  2. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932

    it is definitely possible to make a profit, but more importantly, will you have to make a living at it. better to look at what you are considering "profit". is that after your salary of say $35,000, or are you looking at your salary of $35,000 as the profit? anything is possible. depending on how hard you work at it, I don't think you should have any problem if you plan ahead, and lay out your game plan, especially having the time to do it properly.
    you could work on a lot of research until the time you start, to help you out, and I would consider advertising, or at the very least working up an attack plan, if you are going to try and jump in full time to start.

    so, yes, it can be done, depending on your desire and dedication to it.

    good luck, and keep reading this site, there's a ton on information that you will find to be of great value. also, read up on as many books to help you when you do start.
  3. WigginsLandscaping

    WigginsLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 103

    I personally think that in this business it is very possible although if starting from scratch very hard to make a living solely on this as the primary income. Not impossible but hard. This business unlike many others out there doesnt necessarily have the same guaranteed expenses that say a retail business would have. You wont have rent providing you work out of the home, utilities, etc. This is a plus for you. If you are already paying for a truck then yes technically an expense but something you would be paying anyway. The only big items to start with is the equipment that you will need to operate. Mowers, trimmers, edgers, blowers, you get the point. Depends on your accounting and what you may be considering expenses. I know that many people will disagree with me on some of this. But i would suggest going at it on a part-time (week-end after hours thing) until the workload forces you to quit and go full time. During this period take the money you make from the business to buy more equipment and INSURANCE. I am sure this is not in your equation yet but if you are serious about the business you HAVE TO HAVE IT so that you dont lose everything you have and wish to have in the future. My opinion anyway. Best advise i can give is go slow let it build up. Enjoy it !
  4. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    if you can land a few large accounts you can do well your first year.
    i would recommend working for someone in the trade first though.
    doing this for a living is alot different than being a helper to a lady part time.

    also another reason for working in the business for a while is to get experience. there is ALOT to learn
  5. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    yes I do think that it is possible as well, but it wasn't possible for me
  6. VeteranGreen

    VeteranGreen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    I am shooting for $25000 profit first year (that would be my salary).
  7. BryPaulD

    BryPaulD LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Posts: 392

    of course you make a profit, but you spend it on more stuff to make more money, and then claim a loss.
  8. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Posts: 3,256

    That's a pretty ambitious "profit" for your first year!. I'm curious, how much do you think you need to BRING IN to make that much profit in a year?.
    I ask because I'm trying to get a sense of your understanding or knowledge of running a business.
  9. wayne volz

    wayne volz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    Twins Lawn Care - Your post is right on target.

    Yes Profit is obtainable the first year. Be sure to also calculate your costs per hour of operation so you do not sell yourself short. The failure rates for this industry are very high. And normally it is not caused by a lack of effort. Too many times we don't know what we don't know about the business side of our business.

    The main thing I would like to suggest is to KNOW THY COSTS BEFORE BIDDING JOBS

    Good Luck - Luck is where skill and preparation meet.
  10. wagner17

    wagner17 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 67

    I believe that I can "net" nearly as much as I net now being a teacher. I have paid for all of my equipment this year, so all of my equipment costs for next year will include maintenance issues. That said I have accounted for insurance, tax, and gas, etc. and with my current base I see my net at around mid 20's. Add about 15 more customers by mid-summer and doing some other jobs and I see myself netting around low to mid 30's. Add on top of that, some snow plowing and I'm around high 30's low 40's net.

    It also helps that my wife has a fantastic career and makes 5 to 6 times what I make. I don't worry about any benefits as well - she has taken care of all of that.

    Wayne is correct, know what your expenses are before bidding a job. Also, don't sell yourself low. People will pay the going rate for quality and the lowballers never last more than a season or so.

    Good luck, there is plenty of business out there as I am finding out.


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