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16, looking for advice

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Kkane97, May 8, 2013.

  1. Kkane97

    Kkane97 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 657

    I have been on here for quite a while now, I started my "business" in 2010 with a push mower and nothing else, just mowed my next door neighbor and across the street, in 2012 I picked up my first walk behind, an older troy bilt 33", after I got that I decided to pick things up a little bit being 15 at the time I got 7 more accounts, and raised my prices to compete with other companies, bringing in $35 and up per cut for a 1/3 acre. That's about average for my area. I got tired of the troy bilt and it was slowing me down, so I did some searching for a new mower and got my first real commercial mower, a John Deere gx1320, I then picked up 5 more accounts finishing out last year with a total of 14 accounts, I figured that's not to bad being 15 and making pretty good money. This season I have my license and thinking, I have been doing pretty good so far and have a choice to make, I am looking into buying my first car and if I am wanting to continue the mowing venture, then I will get a truck to make life simpler and help me grow. Otherwise I will get a little car like a focus and go on my way.

    I enjoy the work a lot, but at this point it is more of a hobby. If I am to get a truck and try to get serious, I will get a DBA for the business through my dad to get legit and all, insure and do it all right. I just don't know if it is right. Its weird to say but I do very nice work and have had many people switch from another company in the area to me because I do better work for the same price. I think that if I can keep this up I may have a chance to make this work.

    I suppose I am just nervous being so young and having to make a decision that could technically affect the rest of my life. Have any of you been in this situation before when you started your business? I am just looking for some advice on what to do here that I can maybe factor into my final decision,

  2. Jaybrown

    Jaybrown LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,160

    Well. I make more money doing this than most people that went to school for years You can make well over 100 thousand a year That's amazing in this economy
  3. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    Just don't let it stop you from going away to college if that's what you want to do
  4. Kkane97

    Kkane97 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 657

    I like that about it, so far I have been doing quite good, at 16 I make more than most kids in school.
    Thanks, I am interested in horticulture and landscape design, and would possibly like to pursue that, I am at that point in high school where I need to take classes that can help me in life, for example I am able to take horticulture classes at my local boces program, or I can continue with traditional schooling to get a degree a something else.
  5. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    While the green stuff is important. Don't neglect accounting Econ marketing etc. they are what separate mowing lawns from a lawn mowing business. You don't want to be mowing lawns when you're 70
  6. Ethanslawn

    Ethanslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    would you be able to have a major in something similar in business management and then minor in horticulture? Right now im mowing part time while working a part/full time job at a local university while attending school there. I was lucky enough to land a job as a student with the grounds dept. (although not being able to run the larger machinery) Ive been able to learn about what is really behind the whole landscape/lawn maintenance business. We do it all from irrigation repairs to the fertilization to the pruning. It has really made me realize what you do not need to know and what you do need to know.
  7. goel

    goel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    Work hard, don't expect things to be handed to you. Enjoy life.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Kkane97

    Kkane97 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 657

    That's very true, I have taken 3 business classes in high school so far and that would be a very viable option. Has it been worth it working for the school to learn stuff about the industry? Even though you don't do the bigger things.

    So far I have worked entirely on my own to get where I am now, I am just having trouble determining where to go from here.

    Thanks a lot guys for the replies so far, lots of wisdom on here !
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. bjack312

    bjack312 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 0

    First of all, you should be commended for your work ethic. That is something very lacking in the youth of today.

    I started mowing when I was 12 years old. I continued this business thru college and graduate school. The business provided a nice living for a college student and paid for school. It was a much better choice than other available job opportunities at the time.

    Just because you are doing this now, does not mean that you're stuck with it for the rest of your life. The business knowledge that you get will serve you well in whatever field of work that you ultimately choose.
  10. Zirk's

    Zirk's LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    I was in your shoes 3 years ago. If you are questioning whether or not you should go to college maybe it isn't the best choice? It really isn't for everyone. Are you proud of your business and what you do? Are you going to be burnt out in 5 years? Do you have the drive and determination to make a living on it?

    Maybe set a business goal for this year? Make a goal of 20 new clients, then do some other landscaping on the side. Don't limit yourself to only mowing. See how you like it "full time"

    I'm glad I didn't choose the college route. If you do good work, and have the determination to be successful you will do fine. Give it a couple of years and you will be making more than any of your classmates that will be blowing $30k+ to go out and party every night. :laugh:

    I have a buddy who is majoring in business at a university right now. They're sticking him in classes like zoology and other crap he will never use. :laugh: sound like a good investment?

    Another thing to think about. You will have to let go of all of your clients if you don't attend school nearby.

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