How to justify spending 15K....

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by JLL25, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. JLL25

    JLL25 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 200

    Hey guys, I currently work for a lawn care company. I would like to supplement my income, probably on Sundays since my boss has me working typically Monday through Saturday all day. I have rounded up some equipment which totals 15K, this is everything I need- trimmer, edger, 52" ZTR, 6.5'x12' open tandem axle trailer, 32" walkbehind, backpack blower, hedgetrimmer. I have a truck and those items come to about 15K, can a guy justify working all day Sunday to pay for this and still make any money? I am dedicated to making this work, so busting my ass and getting the job done well isn't my primary worry. I just want to know if I can make more than enough to cover my loan.
    Thanks for your help.
  2. Ric3077

    Ric3077 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,113

    What if it pours all day Sunday? You can't wait a week to cut...I think you need to be able to cut more than just one day to justify buying even $5k in equipment. But if you can do some lawns weeknight when you get home from your day job...I say GO FOR IT!!!
  3. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    most residentials dont want you on the property on sunday.....maybe that is why your boss doesnt work sundays....

    i have some farm houses that i do on sunday.. noone close enough to care, or maybe you could get a couple of commercials that you could do on sundays... when it doenst rain on sunday...

    personally i had a hard time justifying 6 thousand, and i mow 5 or6 days a week hahahhaahaah
  4. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    Without being too much of a jerk here, the fact that you can't figure this out, means you have no idea what to charge for services or any type of costs involved with running your own business. Sorry.
  5. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Posts: 0

    Have you given any thought to going off on your own? I really don't see how your going to supplement your income this season only mowing one day a week with 15k of debt.

    Quick calculation:
    Lets say you make $400 for mowing on Sunday.
    and there are approx 32 mowing weeks in the year.
    (400x32=$12,800) (-15,000 initial investment = -2,200)
    You're in the hole -$2,200 at seasons end and you haven't factored in gas for your equipment, repairs, marketing exp, lic & ins, and other misc expenses.

    The other obstacle your going to have is finding property owners that are ok with the Sunday thing. I'm not trying to be negative here but I just don't see it being profitable until at least your second year in business. You need to go back and re-evaluate your equipment costs if you want this to work.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Easy answer==NO.
    I would work on making more on the other 6 days of the week. Move up at your job-- Get another job-- or as Wells said, go off on your own.

    Also Sunday is not a good day for cutting residential.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    You'd be better off with just the 32" and a pair of ramps to get it in the bed of the truck. I wouldn't buy the trailer and the 52" for one day of mowing.

    None of my customers have a problem with Sunday mowing, but like someone mentioned, you're screwed if it rains all day Sunday.
  8. NEPSJay

    NEPSJay LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    I dont think its a great idea either. How many customers do you have already? and how much are you grossing from these accounts? what did the insurance agent quote you for liability insurance? What are your licensing fee's???
  9. JLL25

    JLL25 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 200

    I wish I could mow a property 32 times a year, I think I'd be lucky to mow 22-24 times a year. Also, I would have a bank loan so I wouldn't be trying to pay 15K back in one year, more like 5 yrs.

    I work right under the boss, I am a crew leader which is the highest available position at this point. I work as many hours as possible, which means if my crew gets the list done at 6pm I am calling my boss to see what we can throw on from tomorrows list for a couple more hours (and trust me my crew hates me for it!)), I do this every day I work week after week. I only missed one day of work last year, not saying all this to self promote just to show you guys that I do work all that is possible when working for someone else, and I only get paid $11.00 an hour for crying out loud.

    I have three customers:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
    Two are normal residential, one is a 4.5 acre job
    I got quoted 1 million--2million aggregate, 15kpersonal equipment---$448.00/yr. I figured I would get the one mil. cause I hear most businesses ask for at least that much liability.

    So it seems that you guys think I should have more than one day a week to dedicate to this, which is something I've thought of, makes alot of sense. I have figured my expenses and the 15K I said is actually high, the total startup is 11,900.00 but that is before taxes, and a little bit of money to pay my first months gas and loan bill, until customers start to pay( I'll probably charge end of month). Thanks for the replies and please keep 'em comin.
  10. NEPSJay

    NEPSJay LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    well, something to chew on..... if your customers are late payers and if it takes you longer than you think to get your payments, your screwed, glued and tattooed without a little savings in the bank to keep ya going.

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