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This sounds exciting

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by skyguy, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. skyguy

    skyguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I am a recent grad from college(aerospace engineering '04 Purdue University), and I am in a office job that I HATE with a passion. I go into work everyday feeling horrible because it just feels wrong to be there, like I have to die a little just to survive in there. I would LOVE to be outdoors everyday, even if it meant making less, especially if it means I make my own hours, with lots of time for relaxing in the winter. Everything about this lawncare stuff sounds great. I am not too worried about money. I can bear it taking a year or two for this to take off. I recieved an sizable inheritance from my grandmother when she died and I have about 16K saved up in a savings account from my engineering job in addition to that. So basically, I can struggle for a year or two and still not be "struggling." The inheritance was supposed to be for a house and it will be, but I also see it as a safety net, or better put, a source of extreme peace of mind. No matter what happens I have something to fall back on, and with my degree, I can probably find a decent engineering job if this doesn't work out. Basically, WHAT AM I WAITING FOR!? Well, this is a new idea for me, and I need help developing a business plan. Fortunately I live in a well populated area of Virginia. The area is called Hampton Roads. Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, Cheasapeake, Virginia Beach are the cites around Hampton Roads. I like in Newport News. Yorktown is also close by. Does anyone know if this is a good area. It gets pretty dry at times, but I think there are enough residential properties around here for there to be good potential for making decent money.

    At minimum I want to mow lawns. I would also like to do other various yard duties. Basically, anything they'll pay me for I'll do. I am wondering how to go about starting up. How do I investigate if it would even be possible in this area. Should I just create a flyer or something and start going door to door trying to get jobs for next year and then commit to this full time if I get enough jobs? Are written contracts necessary? I have a lot more questions, but this is a starting point. Geez I am dreading going to work tomorrow. I want to quit right now and maybe even get a decent part-time job until I can get this thing going. Oh, that's another question. When should I quit my job? After I get a number of jobs, or right away. The only thing stopping me right now is my parents, ever the proponents of avoiding risk, especially monetarily. But if I am going to be miserable for a third of my life just to get a few more bucks, what's the point? I guess it depends on how much it takes to start up. I could probably sell my car for 1-2K. Add that to my savings I could have about 17000 ready to go into this. It would be my goal not to touch the inheritance. I would need a truck(used of course), trailer(used if possible), 2 push mowers(another safety net in case one breaks down), weed wacker, trimmer, chainsaw maybe. Is 17000 enough for all this? I don't imagine I need a big truck. Just big enough to fit the equipment. What haven't I thought of? What pitfalls am I overlooking? Sorry for the long post, but I really appreciate the help. This job I'm at now is just sucking the life out of me.
  2. leadarrows

    leadarrows LawnSite Senior Member
    from N/A
    Posts: 925

    Aerospace engineering isn't exciting? ;) Frak!

    You went to one of the best Horticulture schools in the nation and now you need help here?

    Well welcome to LawnSite but an old farm boy like me won't be much help to you but there are several here who will chime in soon. In the mean time make use of the search feature and you will find a treasure trove of info on your questions.

    What kind of Business experience do you have? It's more than just cutting grass and having the equipment you need to know.

    Will you be able to make your own repairs on equipment or do you need to budget for that?
    How are your people skills? Can you sell yourself to clients when you don't know what your doing? If this is the case and judging by what your asking it seems to be.
    Those are just some of my thoughts off the top of my head.
    True this isn't Rocket Science...sorry I just couldn't resist. LOL ...but you do seem to realize you can make a big hole for yourself if your not careful. Why don't you think about working part time on weekend for another Lawn Care company before you take the plunge. See if you really like it first before spending your money.
  3. skyguy

    skyguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Right now I'm doing "engineering" at a shipyard. I wouldn't even call it engineering. I don't use any of the skills I learned in school. There is not math, no interesting critical thinking, no room for creativity. How'd I get there from aerospace? I don't know, not a lot of options i guess. I just hate being couped up all day inside.

    I have no business experience, but I believe I conduct myself fairly well. I am about as calm and rational as a person can get. I think I will come across as mature and professional, but I can't be certain.

    I can't do my own repairs as of yet, but would like to learn. I know nothing about car engines, but really, how complex can an internal combustion engine be? These things come with manuals for a reason.

    About trying it out part time for a start. The thing is, I KNOW I will like it more than my current job. That's a certainty. I enjoy busting my butt when it involves physical labor. In fact, the harder the work is physically, the more I will enjoy it most likely.
  4. bigviclbi

    bigviclbi LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Posts: 894

    Before you go jumping into the great unknown, maybe you love engineering and should try to get a different job doing that but one that is more challenging. Obviously you are not happy at your current job but do you like engineering? Sounds like you do.
  5. Varsity L&G

    Varsity L&G LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 418

  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Find a rich woman and marry her.

    Then your problem is fixed.
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    LOL! Or better yet, find a rich woman with a Lawn care business and marry HER!

    GREENITUP LawnSite Member
    Posts: 245

    Skyguy welcome to Northrop Grumman (or at least that is where it sounds like you are - as am I). There is a lot of business in this area (I am from Newport News) - but also a lot of competition. I would ask you first if you have ever done lawn and landscape before full time? The heat and humidity are no joke in this area.... even though you enjoy the outdoors, with the heat index over 105, it's not too much fun some days. I too have a "professional" job here that I loathe and am planning on being my own boss very soon. The more you read in this forum, the better prepared you will be.... "If you fail to plan...you plan to fail". Good luck -pm me if you have questions.
  9. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 503

    If you have the bank account to back you for awhile and the heart to do the work.. DO IT.. I did, I didnt have the bank account but i had *dadddy* to live with while i strggled. IF you want the work and do a good job it will come to you. the better job you do, the more work will come to you.
    Someone said "The Big Words Are Networking And Advertising." So true. good luck.

    Are you at work right now? in your box? imagine looking up and seeing clouds and feeling sunlight... mmmm so much better than flourescent lights and stail air. :rolleyes:
  10. skyguy

    skyguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Believe me, I am cautious, and looking for pitfalls. I am skeptical, because I only want to do this if I am pretty sure I can make enough to support myself. Fortunately, the extra bit of money I have means if I find I can't do this after a year, then I can try to find another engineering job, or find some other means to make ends meet. Life is a risk. Even failure in this venture would be exciting in a way. I see the inheritance I have been given as a gift to the end of ensuring a happy, satisfying life. It gives me the oppotunity for more flexibility in career choices. I don't want to be rich. I could get wealthy and retire at 55 with an engineering job, but I don't care so much about that. If I have to work till 70 that is fine, as long as I can do something that I enjoy somewhat. Exercise and fresh air, AND getting paid for it? That's worth extra years of work. I just want a job I can do happily to the day I die if necessary.

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