Retirement kind of question

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by HeartOfTexas, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. HeartOfTexas

    HeartOfTexas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    I'm a 53-year-old looking to get back into the business. I've had a part-time lawn business for about 5 years but am looking to re-start something as a bigger operation.

    I'm doing some planning and have wondered if any of you have also thought about this or have seen it done by someone else. It seems that as a lawn mowing/maintenance operation reached a certain size that a person in their mid-60s or older could still be involved but to a lesser extent. Providing that the aging owner had a competent and trustworthy manager(s) that he could have a minimal day-to-day presence. He could still be involved with marketing, doing some of the estimates, invoices, etc.

    If that is possible, than the owner who may not have been as diligent as he should have been about investing in his 401K and other retirement investing could remain out of the poor house. He'd also be somewhat active but wouldn't have to rely on physical strength.

    Has anyone seen this done or have similar plans?

    Thanks
     
  2. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,927

    I am 66 and intend to work at least 60 hours per week, primarily solo. My work is primarily mowing, as I don't want to make significant other investments in the business. I cannot even fathom the idea of finding people to work for me so that I might sit back and not be hands-on. But, others may find it to work for them. However, I surely wouldn't count on much income for retirement living.
     
  3. HeartOfTexas

    HeartOfTexas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    Hmmm, that's kind of discouraging. Seems that it should work though. For example, most people indicate that they make $40 - $50 per hour for the work that they do. If you have 2 people that you pay $10 - $12 an hour to do much of the work you will make money from their labor. That's the way most businesses work. You concentrate on gaining more sales. Its the old idea of "working on the business not so much working in the business."
     
  4. loom-gen

    loom-gen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 150

    Roger is working 60 hours a week. He's making a killing. I only do this part time @ 50 hours a week and w/employees, I am doing over 100K a year. Minus expenses that comes to 16 or 18 dollars a year. This means Roger should have about 20 bucks in his pocket when winter comes.
     
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,328

    One problem is workers......If you know where/how to get them you could make more money providing workers to companies than mowing grass. And workers need 40Hrs per week and they want to work year round.....so to keep them you need to do other stuff.
     
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,927

    For me, this is the heart of the problem -- getting help that will do the job expected, being consistent and reliable. The initial post sounds good on paper, but executing the plan is impossible. In other fields that utilize higher-level workers, the plan will work much better. But, for lawn service, where the work primarily attracts a workforce that requires little education, no training, and limited skill sets, I don't think the idea will work.
     
  7. HeartOfTexas

    HeartOfTexas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    I see what you're saying Rodger and ed2Hess and I agree that it would be a challenge. It would be especially hard to offer year-round work and maybe that could only be done for 1 or 2 key workers.

    However, other industries also face this challenge. One is the fast-food industry. They succeed with lowly educated part-time workers. My wife works with a fast-food company that treats their employees extremely well. Their workforce primarily consists of students.

    This could also be done with lawn care. My son goes to school at Texas A&M. He has worked for a lawncare company that services commercial properties. The owner has 4 part-time employees and they are all college students and great workers.
     
  8. All_Toro_4ME

    All_Toro_4ME LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,578

    Good luck with the football game this wknd against our Sooners. Should be interesting.
     
  9. HeartOfTexas

    HeartOfTexas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    Yeah, that will be a tough game for them, Oklahoma will be favored by a lot. But, I'm an OSU fan but I mean the real OSU. I graduated from the Ohio State University.
     
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,328

    Fast food places offers 7 day a week and 52 weeks a year. We advertise heavily each year and there are NO workers in this area that respond to the required ads we put out.
     

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