Working during the winter

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mack, Sep 11, 2002.

  1. Mack

    Mack LawnSite Member
    Posts: 80

    Here is my question. I just started two years ago. The first year I made enough money to make it through the year without working. This year with no rain and double the customers I have to go out and fine a job to make through the winter. All my equipement is paid for and want to double again this year. I just have a hard time working for someone else and trying to get my business off the ground so I don t have to do this. Any help with this problem or em I just like other people out there.
     
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    In time, if you budget right, you will have enough, or more than enough to make it through your winter months. All kinds of other contractors do it, too. It's called a "slush fund". The problem you MAY find yourself with, is what to do with your extra time. I travel a bit, spend some time up north, and time with friends (helping one, a fellow lco, out at his shop, and snowplowing.) Last year, however, I was STILL going stir crazy! I found myself siting around the house with nothing to do, and one day, I was sitting on my couch, drinking a cup of coffee, and realized I was watching Jerry Springer. THEN, was a reality check! I asked myself. Has my life really come to this? NO WAY!!! I am NOT letting it happen, and even WITH the wordworking, and such, I am NOT letting myself get cabin fever. I'll go NUTS if I have to sit around again for a winter, SO I took up an offer to get an old position I once held, back at a local school system. It's a campus safety position, and a nice cushy job for the winter. I'm done pretty early in the day, so I can still go out and join the guys, or trade places in most cases, and finish up the day. This is a union position, benefits, and little perks like paid holidays, sick days, and vacation times off. I also like having full nighttime access to "the cage", which is their state of the art weightroom, FULL of benches, sleds, crossover machines, and all kinds of other stuff. (This school has way more than UofM's weightroom has, and more than many local gyms. What's REALLY nice, is having it all to myself, or whoever is with me. Anyway, sorry for rambling, the decision has to be yours on what you want to do, but several on here work during the winter, just for something to do. Good luck to you!
     
  3. Mow&Snow

    Mow&Snow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 335

    You should check out the thread URL=http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=34038]Can one man make a living at this?[/URL]
    Lots of great info there on this topic
     
  4. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    ill be going tomorrow to a local institute of higher learning. hoping to get 30 hrs or less,per wk, to get me thru the winter. they truely do need what i can do forum ,if they will turn me loose. some really ragged grnds
     
  5. Why not look at retail, they always hire around holidays and want seasonal people. Poor pay but could get you through the winter.
    Also Post office ( bulk mail cenetr & others) hires temps Nov, Dec , better pay and still get some time off before spring.
    Either way, with a temp job at least you know the end is in sight.
     
  6. Brian@ELST

    Brian@ELST LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Here what I do...

    I put the bulk of my customers into a year around maintenance contract. This means that I figure the total time I will spend on each property (mowing, ornamental trimming, leaf removal, etc.) and I divide that into 12 equal monthly payments for each contract customer.

    I tend to keep about 20 of these contracts all the time which guarantees my income to be no less than $3,300.00 per month all year. This takes the bite out of winter! Most guys have not figured this out.

    During the summer months I take on plenty of seasonal work (not contracted) as well. Combining non-contract and contract work together helps to keep my summer monthly income to be between $5,000-$8,000 per month depending upon how much work I want to take on. I usually end up turning jobs down after June because my schedule is full.

    I run my lawn service by myself and hire part-time help only when the workload gets too great. If you can do the contracts you will find that the winter time is a breeze!

    Brian
    Express Lawn Services of Tulsa
     
  7. Phishook

    Phishook LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,143

    Look some where that will benifit you.

    Home Depo = Discount on supplies

    Any place you would like to submit a bid. (Submit the bid while you work there, get a contract, then quit in the spring.)
     
  8. Tony Harrell

    Tony Harrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 739

    At least you're just watching Jerry Springer and not a guest!!!
     
  9. LAWNS AND MOWER

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,129

    I feel as if I just read one of my own posts. I do the exact same thing you're talking about. I have 15 of my larger accounts on a 12 month payment plan. I'm still charging ala carte for my services, but I have a pretty good idea of what they are going to spend in a year and spread it out over 12 months (april-march) and adjust the last three monthly payments (up or down) to make the numbers jive. Still like to work as much as possible in the winter, weather permitting. Wifee can get a little bitchy!!

    LAWNS AND MOWER
     
  10. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,076

    You have plenty of options. Get a temp job like substitute teaching, Wally World, selling firewood, hanging Christmas lights etc. I know it is tough but you only have to do it for a short time. Spring clean up will be here before you know it.
     

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