Who would quit a job making $58000 to do this?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by kse1221, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,531

    Ah another disenfranchised corporate worker staring out his airconditioned window. Looking at the LCO foreman lounging by the truck while supervising the crew. Thinks to himself, that's the life for me. How hard could it be?

    You need to read many more posts on here before you give your notice. Ask your family what they think.
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  2. torquelandscaping

    torquelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    Your going to have to mow more yards then you could imagine to get to that level. Start researching how to do hardscape installs, mulch and plants, etc. I can make more on a simple retaining wall/plant install on Saturday than I can cutting all week. I used to work for major landscape group in St. Louis with a good 500,000-750,000 in equipment. Doing all landscape work (check out landworksnet.com). Old boss starting cutting grass and worked his way up, but took many many years. Currently I make 40,000 salary as supervisor of diesel mechanic shop and do landscaping/lawn care part time. Figure in few years may be able to go out on my own full time. Currently working on my RN degree for my backup plan. Good luck to all:drinkup:
     
  3. torquelandscaping

    torquelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    check out address on google maps to view scale of operation. He had all supplies brought in by dump truck or eighteen wheeler for retaining walls block/and waterfall blocks. Need alot of space to house all supplies...
     
  4. kse1221

    kse1221 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    I am still here. I wasn't getting the email notifications, so I had a lot of catching up to do. I like reading everyone's input. There is no doubt this business takes hard work and dedication. It has always appealed to me because the grass is always growing. It does slow down from November to February here I the Houston area. Anyway it's always growing and I have seen several people in my area make great money. For example about 7 years ago I called a local company to mow an acre and they said the price was $90hr for a three man crew. I guess when your big enough you can just quote by the hour. But it seemed like great money.
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  5. 4wydnr

    4wydnr LawnSite Member
    from N. IL
    Posts: 1

    After reading most of the responses I wonder why some of you guys still do this work.

    From the sound of it, it seems there is almost no money to be made. Being a farmer I fully understand enjoying the weather and being your own boss but I wouldn't do a job I hated for long for little or no money.

    There has got to be some potential or no one in their right mind would continue. I don't think you can just start out one day and say you are going to run 3 crews or net $60,000 from mowing. But with a ton of hard work, lots of long days, and careful planning I'd have to imagine you can work your way up to something profitable and enjoyable.

    Maybe I'm wrong I mostly joined the site to learn about different mowers but this is an interesting discussion.
     
  6. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Posts: 2,419

    Obviously you are missing a brain if you want to quit an almost $60K/year job where you're getting a matching 401K AND only paying $315/month for health insurance. What do you plan to use in the long term to pay your own insurance at probably close to $800/month, pay wages for this "crew", pay insurance for this "crew", pay your portion of their SS and Mediccare not to mention UI and everything else.. But hey, be a scarecrow and do what you'll do.
     
  7. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,716

    :laugh::laugh::laugh: I think you are missing something in your example.... These are multi million if not billion dollar corporations. Chances are if you had the money they do you wouldn't be interested in Starting an LCO. This kind of sounds like my wife "you work for your parents can't you take a couple days off?" No one realizes even with crews I am the first guy in the morning and the last guy to leave, and last time I checked on those 90 degree days I wasn't in an A/C office, or on a yacht or hammock. I was trimming or sitting on a mower. If you really want to make that income right off the bat take out your checkbook and buy out a large well established business.
     
  8. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Posts: 2,558

    to the OP one thing you may want to consider... I was an IT guy, actually have my M.S. in IT and am a certified auditor. I was making around $70k/year. I was lucky enough that a majority of my work was during tax season and I had a lot of free time during the spring/summer. I had always cut grass in high school and college. My wife has a good job too, I had discussed on and off for a couple years about "giving up" auditing and doing lawn care full time.

    The money was good, very good, in auditing, but the personal headaches and stress was horrible. I primarily dealt with financial institutions and the majority of my stuff went straight to the IRS and SEC. If I goofed up on something I was looking at anywhere between a $10k and $250k fine and possible jail time. I was basically away from home weeks at a time from Jan through June. Well, ahead of time when I decided to "get out" the first thing that me and my wife did was get out of debt as much as possible. I knew there was going to be a drastic pay cut. I had about 20 *clients* that I was able to maintain but that was only about $8k/year. All residential. So I knew immediately I was going from $70k to $8k! Well, in about a year we were able to get out of most debt outside of our mortgage and student loans. I already had a 3/4 ton truck and 5x12 landscape trailer, but I didn't have any commercial grade equipment, so that was my next step. I started saving enough to pay cash for some better equipment, 36" metro, 48" laser Z... and also saving up money for capital.

    Long story short, after doing this full time now for several years I'm making about $36k. The first few years were pretty tough and honestly if we weren't mostly out of debt, my wife's job and I hadn't already owned most everything, I don't think I could have made it. Small vacations during the off season type things, not much eating out on the weekends. However now, I do have two full time employees now too, one makes right over $30k, and one around $28k. I can also staff some part time help during the summer. So that should give you an idea of where I've came from in 10 years.

    Now what you should do, I can't tell you, but in a nutshell that's how I left the "cubicle" world. If you do your planning and prep ahead of time, it may make it a lot easier.
     
  9. arninglawns

    arninglawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    My advice would be not to quit the job, but to go ahead and start the business. Spend your spare time working "on" your business, not "in" your business. Go in with the understanding that you are creating a business, not a job. You're making good money now, an amount you can never make behind a lawnmower. As soon as it gets beyond what you can do in your spare time, hire someone to do it for you. When you have enough positive cashflow coming in from your business to safely quit your job *without* working in your business, then do so.

    Always remember that you are only making as much money as it would cost you to pay someone to do what you're doing.
     
  10. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,531

    Impossible to assemble a crew and route and leave them unsupervised to work your other job. Much less be able to work on it while at your day job.
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