Just wanted to share my story

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mikewhit1010, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. mikewhit1010

    mikewhit1010 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 394

    Hey everyone I have read a lot of post on here and I want to give some words of encourgement. I have been in this business before but nothing like what I have currently grown my business to. I am at 36 accounts. Which includes an apartment complex, church, storage shed, and a large account with a property management company. I currently have atleast 2-3 landscape projects weekely. No this is not cleaning up leaves or trimming trees.

    I do this all with a full time job. I work 8-5 and I have to leave to work at 7 and get home at 530. I work in a corporate office and during this cooler months I bid jobs at lunch and sometimes get a quick mow in. I havent low balled or anything and I have done this all since October 5 2007. I am not bragging but telling you guys that are having problems to hang in there. I could be at a lot more accounts if I did this as my main priority. For you guys thinking about quitting your jobs make sure you have enough work for the slow season. For you young guys stick with it. I graduated from a private school (TCU) and got made fun of when I got back into this. My first year I should push just under 55K. With my full time salary I should make just about 100K. True I have worked myself to the bone. Lost one relationship in the process (She needed to go anyway) and have been sleep deprived for the last 9 months but it is worth it. Young guys do what you can.

    Once again you do this job and you are succesful by working 7 days a week and doing it when the sun gets up and goes down. When it goes down that is when you start doing your books.

    I did this all with $400. I purchased a toro and homelite equipment. 10 mows later toro is still there and homelite stuff is in the dumpster. Currently I have 3 toros, a tiller, 3 echo trimmers, 2 echo hedgers, 4 chainsaws ( I do a lot of trees, misc other stuff.
  2. Smith Lawn & Landscaping

    Smith Lawn & Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 352

    Good story welcome to lawnsite.
  3. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,899

    mikewhit - hats off, you are ambitious and I give you credit for that.

    What are you driving at though? Why do you work full time when you have a 40+ hour work week of work with your own green business? Do you love your full time job? Debt?
    I'd hate to see an ambitious, hard working guy like you lose relationships with other people for the pure sake of working 80 hours a week. Just my two cents...
  4. zz4guy

    zz4guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 901

    WOW that is awesome. Like you I work full time and do this on the side but man you are kicking my butt. 36 accounts!!

    I've been doing this since Jan. 07 with about 10-15 accounts the whole year plus working anywhere from 40-70 hours a week at my main job.

    This year I am trimming things down a little. Ditching the low and late payers and far away people and focussing more on quality. I already make more than enough $$$ at my full time job so wanted to only keep the customers that I enjoy.

    Good luck this year man.
  5. four seasons property

    four seasons property LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    I know how you feel, I myself have a full time job and a small lawn maintenance business, which is fully insured and registered. Unfortunately my past upbringing was not the best therefore I need a second income to help with two great kids in University and a beautify wife helping out the best she can.
    I myself started out with a $1000.00 investment and have improved it to approximately $3000.00. The good news is the great customer’s I have and the support I get from my family. Mike there is a lot of mow and blow guy’s out there with the same story
  6. TexasFire221

    TexasFire221 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 479

    I have always enjoyed lawn care and mowing. Worked for a guy in West Texas when I was younger. He had a huge company with about 50 employees. I am a firefighter and only work about 3 days a week. In January I found a ad on Craigslist for a Lawn Care Business for sale. He had all equipment and about 30 clients for sale. I purchased it all. He called all his clients and I sent letter out to them also and so far have only heard from about 5. I have picked up about 6 new ones since January so if those other 24 start calling I will be in great shape. Yesterday I purchased a 49 inch Bush Hog ZTR. VERY VERY solid mower. I just signed up at this site today so just wanted to introduce myself.
  7. 4curbappeal

    4curbappeal LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 761

    Good luck! I know how it is.
  8. paul vroom

    paul vroom LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 260

    Sounds like you have it going on:cool2:

    But what I really want to know is how did you get rid of her?
  9. mikewhit1010

    mikewhit1010 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 394

    Thanks guys for all those kind words. I wanted to post that so that if anyone is having second thoughts then to keep pushing. You have to work hard to get to where you want to be. I believe anyone who has ever been given something wont appreciate it as much as someone who has worked for it. I also believe if it wasnt for bad times there wont be any good times.

    That being said I underbid a job last weekend and ended up working for $200 a day. Not bad except I was 40 feet up in a tree for 16 hours. Now for the good times. I just landed a landscape job at a guys house who wants to spend nearly 75K. This is a shock to me and I guess he just liked me.

    Hang in their guys and I strongly believe we are some of the most unique people because of the amount of work we do, what we do it for and how we beat our competition with our quality.

    Thanks for replying to my post. Didnt mean to get serious but just wanted to give people some hope even though the economy is down.
  10. mikewhit1010

    mikewhit1010 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 394

    To answer this: She thought with my private school degree I should be doing something else. I believe that there is money to be made in this industry if you do it right. I think its easy to make 40K a year in this business but I think its hard to make 500K or more. I think with the right business plan and the right marketing and structure you can do it. She basically didnt want to bring home a guy who was pushing a lawn mower to her daddy. Funny thing is her dad just got laid off and is to embarressed to tell her family. I wonder if he owns a mower? I also need to add someone to my crew. Ha ha just kidding but this is a great industry.

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