Years of experience before starting your own business

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by B16bri, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. B16bri

    B16bri LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    How many years of experience are necessary or should you have prior to starting your own small landscaping company mowing, mulch, fert and seed fall cleans ups etc
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  2. TheLugNutZ

    TheLugNutZ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 410

    Im just starting out myself part time, with only my own property maintenance and the occasional working with my father-in-law who owns an excavating/paving/landscape install company. Ill let you know how its working out for me. Obviously you are going to need some basic knowledge before diving in. Also i would say having a little mechanical knowledge helps as well (for working on machines, etc...)
    Some stuff that I have done w/ the FIL:
    We re-did my front yard:
    Ripped up old plants. Installed about 14 different new plants. Had to cut out an area for them making a new bed. I moved that sod to an area that a tree fell from Hurricane Sandy last year onto my house.
    I have also plowed and driven a front end loader for him a bunch of times.
    Some small paving work.
    A few small paver jobs and his enormous multi-level paver patio in his backyard.

    I would also say read read read. Make yourself familiar with things and if you know nothing about it, be careful talking it up with a potential client. Im also going to use my father-in-law as a sot of consultant if someone is looking for a larger install job or to have pavers done. Meet people, talk to people, network. Maybe work for someone part time to start as well? Just thinking out loud. Im interested in some other responses as well...
     
  3. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,206

    You don't really need any but you need to be aware of who you are and your limitations. Don't be the yes man get yourself over your head. Don't do anything you arn't confident in doing.
     
  4. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,287

    It would be wise to have some experience/knowledge on how to successfully run a profitable business. This includes but is not limited to knowing how to calculate your company's numbers so that you will know how much you need to charge your clients for each man hour of service your company provides so that you can accurately price jobs that, if executed properly, will turn a profit.
     
  5. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,280

    I had 15 years before I started my own company, 10 of those years as a foreman. You don't need that much but I would highly recommend 5 years before you pretend to be a landscaping company.
     
  6. TML

    TML LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    I did 7 years full time year round and a couple part time. I think it is extremely important, you will learn how long jobs will take, how much material may be needed, where to get material, what type of equipment to use, how to use it and possibly how to fix it if it breaks.
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  7. B16bri

    B16bri LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    I agree I think the more the experience the more successful you can be how ever I work 40+ hours a week at a different job that pays the bills so leaving isn't an option I want to start small on the side and hopfully grow so one day I can leave. I'm trying to read and learn as much as possible but work experience is just that WORK experience
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  8. TheLugNutZ

    TheLugNutZ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 410


    I'm in the EXACT same situation as you. I'm a full time insurance agent and starting this part time next year with the hope of eventually transitioning. Thank goodness my father In law can be a consultant for me, but it will still be trial by fire especially estimating time and materials.
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  9. ScottieG

    ScottieG LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    This is exactly what I have in mind as well. I am a parts counterman at a Ford dealership and if I choose to stay, will be the manager in 4-5 years. Nit sure I want the stress of that regardless of the amount it pays. Plan to do just maybe 4-5 accounts a week next year or two and treat it like I was doing 50. What I mean is keep complete books and strict accounting so I can get a feel for what all is involved 100%- to help not only get a feel for if I think I can make a career of it but also to bolster my bank account and get ahead of the bills before venturing into it completely.
     
  10. blk90s13

    blk90s13 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,452

    I had 4 years full time at a local landscape company owned by a buddy of mine before I started my own.
     

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