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life expectancy of a solo op?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    if you start at 18, do fertilization/chemicals, mowing,etc- property maint, and small landscapes, staying completely solo, and within a couple years, pay a mortgage, support a wife +2 kids, pay for health benefits, etc........how long can you do this? CAN YOU even do this? assuming it's a seasonal area, where you work 9 months a year. how many years, before you either pack it in, or the elements beat the hell out of you, or kill you. OR, can you do it till your 60? that's 42 years, for those of you who are mathematically challenged. i say it can't be done. i don't care if you're superman, or even me. you would have to carry about 70 lawn mowing clients, mowing is the steadiest part of the business, you need this. even if you can squeeze out $30 a piece for these residentials, you'd get $2100 a week x 36 weeks=$75,600. even if, you got extras, that tallied up another $25,000 for the year, you'd be at 100k gross. your operating costs would be about $20,000 a year. you are now down to 80k. your health insurence would be about $14,000, now you are down to $66,000. uncle sam gets something, let's say 10 grand, now, you are left with 56k. your mortgage is 2 grand a month, or, 24k a year, now you're down to 32k. car payments 300 per month, or $3600 a year, leaves you $28,400. auto insurence, $1400, you are down to $27,000. utilities +phone= about $3000. now, you are down to $24,000. life insurence about $1740. now you are at $22260. this covers everything, except food, clothing, and entertainment, vacations, etc. you now have about $428 a week, left for food (about $200 a week) clothing, entertainment, baseball game, amusement park, whatever. this is cutting it real close. using the numbers i gave , it can be done, but i prefer a more pleasant lifestyle. oh yea, and get sick, get rained out, get beat on a few payments, those numbers crumble. tell me, can a solo man, make a carreer, as a solo op, and live a decent life? i say no, no way, never.
  2. southlin

    southlin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 43

    it can be done. Dont know how it is in jersey but i get $55 a yard.
    Dont drop my gate for less than $40. its kinda steep but its worth it. I have a few CPA offices they pay me $400 a month each year round. All depends on what you want to do in life.

    Just my opinion
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    You need the other 1/2 bobby contributing somehow (groceries, health beenies, etc.). That...or be like me. :D
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Almost forgot...if you're NOT clearing $500 per day, you DON"T belong on the bus. :rolleyes:
  5. jtrice11

    jtrice11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 380

    Why are you asking, you don't seem to care much about what other people think anyway, correct?

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 834

    A smart man knows how to work for money. A wise man gets his money to work for him.
  7. gunner27

    gunner27 LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Posts: 243

    Ten years ago, I would have said yes. Now, no way in hell unless you have your wife working and having bennifts. This buisness is way to easy to get into and with the rising costs of gas, not to mention the rising cost of equipment......... yeah you can make a living, but you could go to work for somebody else and have them pay for your health, retirement, etc, and have alot less headaches. There are people that can pull it off, but as a rule, NO!
  8. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,823

    Without another source of income, wife-working etc,I would say 99.9 percent could not. And that is without taking in the consideration if health deteriorates.
  9. burns60

    burns60 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 291

    I didn't get into the business until I was 57 and retired with a pension. I have thought about your question a good bit. I haven't had the pressure to find out, so I can't say for sure, buy to answer the question I would say "no", not solo, but "yes", if you wanted to let the business grow (not solo then). I don't think I could handle 70 accounts solo. I have 38 (last count) and it is all I can do. I have about 3 that are too big and could do better if I didn't have these, and probably won't next year. Good question Gedd.
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i'll tell you why. at 40.5 years old, i am just starting to realize my mortality. this year, the sun feels much hotter, the weedwacker feels alot heavier, and 60 minutes feels alot like 75. there is no way in hell, a man can do this alone, for 20 years, let alone 40, and generate any kind of an income suitable for raising a family. no way

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