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Is my dream a good one?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by jd6323, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. jd6323

    jd6323 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    I've been doing neighborhood yards since I was about 13 and when I got my license last year expanded a little with a pushmower and had up to 8 jobs at one time...a couple being commercial (neighbor's companies). With the crappy equipment I had (WEEDEATER everything and a 15 y.o. mower) I was so frustrated with it all the time that I almost quit mowing but I had few choices before I could drive so I kept at it. In the past year I've been upgrading stuff and will be purchasing a Gravely wb very soon. Since I've experienced working for minimum wage I've come to enjoy mowing a whole lot. I love working for myself and got to cut with a friend for a while that already has a pretty successful lawn business and I really enjoyed it. So now my dream is kinda to end up getting big one day and having a succesful lawncare business. I'm definatly going to college and all but I want to ask the pros this: Would if you could go back to the beginning would you do something else? Any regrets? I mean there probably isn't too big of a chance for me to make a good living off of this from the way I see it but I'd like to do it.

    Cliffsnotes: Should I try to get a "normal" job out of college or persue owning and operating a lawncare in hopes of it being successful?
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I mean, you can expect to gross 30-35k / year, but after it's all said and done this translates to 1000 dollars / month for me.

    If I had to do it all over and I could do anything different today, I would triple or quadruple the initial amount of advertising I put out... I mean, at least double. That would've saved me so much aggravation because when I don't have enough work, I tend to lower my prices and end up doing things I wouldn't normally do like real pita work and on top of it all, for less (much less) than the going rate.

    Other than that, there isn't much I can think of would've prevented the learning curve from happening.
  3. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    Go to college, if this is something that you want to pursue after college then go for it, if its meant to be then it will happen fella if its not it wont.
  4. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    It hard to say, since you don't already have a "business" persay, I would advise you to go to college if you don't have any skills that culd earn you a good living.

    Owning your own business is very rewarding, in the same token there is alot of things and hardships people don't see from the outside looking in. It really depends on what type of person you are.
  5. ArkansasLawns

    ArkansasLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    Go to College
  6. The Cowboy

    The Cowboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 617

    If I could do it again, I'd focus primarily on Agriculture instead of landscaping. My landscape business is getting in the way of my farming habit now; I think I could make equally as much money farming grass and raising livestock, and have a lot less stress. There is money to be made in Agriculture if I were to focus on niche markets. Take selling raw milk for instance. I have a neighbor who has 10 cows on 20 acres, and he is making about 70 grand a year cash selling directly to the mexicans in our area for $3 a gallon. His cattle are grass fed, so his cost is very low. His milk tank gets drained often times before the truck gets there to haul it away. The rest of his 500 acres came out as a loss for the last 5 years, but the niche market makes more money than I've made in 2 years.
  7. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 470

    Don't let comments like this get you down. There are plenty of people on this site that make a lot of money doing what they do. Where you end up is up to you. You still have time to make the decision to go into landscaping, hardscaping, etc - where a lot of the money is. You also have a chance to grow the business in the direction you want it to. I have a goal to run (4) crews within the next five years - I am just getting started.

    Gross 30-35K is likely the first year, maybe longer and you net will be very low because of your start-up costs and new equipment. If you are able to limit yourself to what you buy (a.k.a. - not buy every "toy" you see) you can bring your net up by leaps and bounds. Maintenance of exsisting property is key though. I would rather spend $35 now to save $3500 later you know?

    The best advice I can offer you is to go to college, get your degree in something that interests you. That way you have a backup plan. I graduated with a degree in Politcal Science and Business Management and was accepted to law school. I didn't go because a business opportunity came up that has made me a lot of money (not lawn care). Now I own two businesses, work my own schedule and I have a degree to fall back on if anything was to go wrong.

    After college you will still look back a dozen times and think why didn't I do this? Should I have gone into engineering or lawn or medicine instead? Remember though that doubting yourself is a good thing, it means you want better for yourself. Keep your eye on the goals that you have set and they will be acheived.

    [preaching done]
  8. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    I think he said he was. Do what you like doing. Nothing is more miserable than going in day after day to a job you hate. Ask yourself this , whats more important, money or happiness and the answer will tell you.
  9. chimmygew

    chimmygew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 576

    I think I would have started off with a self propelled 21" instead of the old "push" mower.
  10. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Money is Happiness:p

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