What to do?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by NYRookie, May 16, 2003.

  1. NYRookie

    NYRookie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 240

    Here is my dilema. I took a leave of absence from my full time job to catch up on my mowing and to do some landscaping. I am scheduled to go back to my other job on June 2. I am currently making about 3 times what I make at the other job, with about 40hrs of mowing alone per week, 8 of which can only be done 8-5 M-F. I picked up another one today, about a $50 yard, I told him $70, he said when can I do it. My wife is pregnant with our first child and I carry the insurance. She can get insurance but not until she has the baby(pre-existing condition). I can keep my current ins. for $450 a month until she can get hers. Here in NY we're about done in October with lawn work. I do snowplow also but only by the storm, so that is hit or miss. I don't believe I can work 7-3 and be on call and still keep up with all the work I got. My question is do I quit and just go for it or do I try to do both jobs? Any comments would be appreciated, especially from the guys that have done this.

    Thanks, Shawn
     
  2. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,849

    why not hire a highschool/college kid or similiar to give you a hand with the work. Many kids my age (20) don't have fulltime work, they're usually willing to take time off from their other job and work with me if i ask them cause i can pay them much more than they normally work for.

    if you hired one guy you could prolly get your cutting time down to 20 hours a week.

    or take the manager/foreman route and just pay someone by the hour to do the lawns and help out when you can?
     
  3. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Posts: 949

    Not sure if this would work for you but this is what I do. I am a FT engineer and have a lawn care business as well. I have one FT guy and one PT guy. They do about 95% of the work. I pay them good and so far it has been working out great this year but the draw back is that it is all dependant on the quality of help that you hire. This can be kind of stressfull. So now I do all the estimates at night and still have my weekends relatively free except for the occasional big job that I will help the guys with. So now I am bringing in two incomes and don't have to worry about benefits either.
    When you say that you are making 3X more doing this than your other job are you talking net or gross because there is usually a big difference. Heck I am personally grossing more than my engineering job after I pay my employees but after all my expenses I am probably netting about 75% of it.

    Good luck with what ever you choose!
     
  4. NYRookie

    NYRookie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 240

    I do have a friend that helps me out when he can. I would like to hire some people to work for me but I only have 1 truck and then I would have to get w.c. and ins. on them. My figures are net, not gross.
     
  5. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    I'd pray about it and ask God what to do. He knows the future.

    No, I'm not kidding.
     
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    3 questions come to mind. How long have you BEEN at your current job? (In other words, is there a retirement issue in sight?)
    What kind of insurance and benefits do you have if you STAY with your current job? You said you can keep your current ins. for 450 a month, but is that what you're paying now? Also, you said you "make" 3 times what you make on your other job. That IS net? Make sure you're including retirement and health care costs for retirement.
    Also, what kind of security does this job have... Is it a sure thing like a school or something? Or, is it a private co. that can go out of business, sell, downsize, or any of THESE sort of things. The main thing to look at, is this. You can make decent money doing this,... but who is going to take care of you when you are 72? Are you going to have enough banked to pay for health insurance on your own then? And if so, what kind of lifestyle did you lead through your life to be able to do this?
    You literally have to be into the millions over the course of a business career to retire like this. Now, there are several on here, that I envy so much, because many of them already have their retirement in place, and are now doing this. Nevermind what they GET for their retirement monetarily, it the BENEFITS that makes them rich. THESE are the ones that are well off. Now, you said that your wife can get benefits through HER work... That is awesome if you are able to do that, as well. That is the cat's meow, actually. Anyway, weigh these things, and only YOU would know what's best. If your wife is going back to work after the baby, you may very well be alright, but if she's going to hold off for awhile, maybe that's what YOU may want to consider, just to be on the safe side - holding off for one more year, getting through this upcoming winter, and THEN going for it. Anyway, good luck with it, and I wish you the very best. ;)
     
  7. NYRookie

    NYRookie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 240

    Runner,
    I have been at my current job for 8 years. It is a fiberglass factory. I work in maintenance and I have to be on call 24-7 too. I currently pay nothing for my ins., it is part of the benefits. My wife is a teacher, so she is going back as soon as she can with the idea that I will be home in the middle of winter when she is due.
     
  8. Green Finger

    Green Finger LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 839

    NY Rookie,


    Been there before. Keep your job with the insurance. I know you like landscaping and cutting grass. But take care of your family. Being pregnant with no health insurance is not cool. Plus you don't want to rely on the state to give you health insurance for YOU and YOUR WIFE'S new baby. visit those State clinics and hospitals first.

    But keep your job until everything is smooth at home. The business will always be there.

    Wish you and your family well.
     
  9. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I would personally keep my current job and just hire on someone to do the work for you. You never know how the season is going to come out, whether it be dry or wet.

    We struggle during the winter time here, lucky enough though that my wife works two jobs to keep the money flowing because the snow removal is hit and miss.
     
  10. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,218

    NYRookie,
    Your situation is almost identical to mine.
    I have been on my full time job for 9+ years as a driver for a news paper co. I have great benefits along with a very easy job. I am not on call and only work about 30 hrs a week and get paid for 40 hrs.
    I have been in the lawn care business for about 10 years and started a stump grinding service about 3 years ago. I recently bought a tractor for landscaping jobs and will take my landscaping certification test on June 17th.
    My wife don't work a real job to furnish the family with health care insurance. I also have a 13 year old daughter with a medical situation and I fear that no insurance co. will accept her for coverage. As long as I am a employee I cannot be denied coverage. Thats the single most important reason staying with my FT job.
    I know I can be successful If I quit my FT job but I have to think of my family as a whole and do whats best for everyone....

    Our equipment is similar as well.

    Good luck to you...
     

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