Should I do it?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Patfo, Feb 13, 2001.

  1. Patfo

    Patfo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

    I have a 36 in belt drive 14 HP Snapper walk behind which
    I can load into my truck with aluminum ramps, trimmer, and blower(all paid for except truck). 20 residential jobs currently from last year some pretty small made about $9500 last year mowing part time after work. Can I add to my accounts and make enough to mow full time with this equipment? How many guys have given it a go with limited equipment(full time)? I know I need to raise my current customer prices probably $2-$3 a yard and charge more for new ones. Considering Quitting my full time job to do this- my wife can carry medical insurance for us, big decision. Any feedback greatly appreciated! THANKS!
     
  2. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    It's always difficult to make this type of decision. There are so many variables involved, the biggest of which is what do you plan to do to get you through next winter. If the area you live in is growing and/or needs a service like yours I'd say go for it. I'm sure many of the members of this forum started with much less than you have. You'll have to be a real go-getter and drum yourself up some business. Increase your price for your existing customers gradually, don't take a chance of loosing any of them while you're just starting out. Once you've established yourself you can start thinking of buying that new ZTR and a trailer. Then your productivity will soar. Good luck!!
     
  3. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    If you do decide to do this full time, I would call all my customers and tell them you have decided to do this full time and ask them if they have any friends or neighbors that could use your services. When I decided to get my first helper, I did this and doubled my accounts without doing any other advertising, so it can work.
     
  4. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    You might be able to make it,I dont know
    how much you gotta have .There is another post
    here that adresses your situation.It was
    brought to the posters attention that he
    would have to match the money he is making
    at his job plus enough extra to match what
    he is making mowing.That my friend is a lot
    of walking.Good luck either way.
     
  5. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    "Don't sit upon the shoreline and say you're satisfied,choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tide". If my wife and I can leave our jobs of 20 years in Ohio and pick up and move to Florida and have things work out fine, than I say YES, go for it!!! You will never know until you try.
     
  6. Turfclippings

    Turfclippings LawnSite Member
    Posts: 67

    Go for it, word of mouth and flyers will take you far. You might look into a ZTR and small trailer. U can find a used trailer cheap for a year. A monthly payment on a rider can be anywhere from $125-250 a month depending on what ya get. But usually it pays for itself in a days time each month. And then the sky is the limit how much u want to cut. Keep your 36 for gated areas, youll be set to go full time.
     
  7. Bassman

    Bassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    Decide to get in the business whole hog if you are serious about making a living doing it. Depending on your ambition and business experience, you can make ends meet with your current equipment during the season, (April-September). During the off season you will need yearly accts. and a smattering of cleanup jobs to keep you eating and paying the mortgage your first winter. This biz is a slow grow as far as solid, well paying year round customers. If you make it thru your first year, you are on your way, cause your doing something right. Then you need to upgrade to a ZTR A.S.A.P. Try to pay as you go and incur as little debt as possible. This business has the lowest start up cost of any I can think of. That's why so many jump into it. Making a profit and staying solvent is another story. Many can't hack it for one reason or another, mostly in the first year's off season. The positive side of this biz is if you have what it takes to survive after 2 years, you probably have the "Right Stuff". As opposed to more traditional retail business ventures where it usually takes 3-5 years just to realize a profit from the original investment. Best of luck to you. Every business venture is a risk but if you don't go for it, you'll never know.

    [Edited by Bassman on 02-13-2001 at 10:29 PM]
     
  8. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I quit a job as a retirement plan consultant to do this fulltime. I was making really good money. If it wasn't for the cash outlay I would have never missed a dime. For that matter, I did it in 9 mths. verses 12 mths. Leave yourself a small cushion of cash and save money for the first winter. Forget the debt, save and pay cash for new equipment as you can. Be ready for leaves in the fall, these little things are like gold on the ground. :) You can pay for a new Ztr in one leaf season.
     
  9. Russ

    Russ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    Ships in harbour are safe----But, that is not what ships were make for. Only you know if it's time to set sail.
     
  10. Greenkeepers

    Greenkeepers LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE Ohio
    Posts: 695

    I'm in the same boat as you... We had higher sales, but I'm getting married this year and need some security to pay for the wedding. I'll probably wait and see what the spring is going to look like and base my decision on that.. Good luck in whatevery you choose. My fiance wants me to do it so that makes it easier for me as well.
     

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