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Advice Please

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sheils8301, Apr 27, 2000.

  1. sheils8301

    sheils8301 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Hello Gentlemen. I will try to get right to the point and not babble. However I must say I enjoy reading the postings and you all really crack me up. I'm posting this message because I have been listening to my other half talk about starting a landscape business for the past 4 years. He has been in the corporate world since graduating college and in short, it has not been good to us (relocation, no advancement, etc.). I have 13 years in the construction industry running various offices, from GC to all types of subcontracting. I know the financial side of it inside and out. I too have been dreaming of a company of my own for a very long time now. We are hard workers and have intense drive. After doing a market analysis and also reading alot of postings here, I do not doubt that the work is there. My dilemma - He wants to start part-time. We both agree that the focus is for company growth. Our goal is to get to the point of utilizing a crew before his body gives out. We are both in our mid 30's. I dont see the feasibility of starting part-time if you can't get your company to profitably grow within 3-5 years. If your going to do it, go for it whole heartedly! Also the mental stress on all of us (including our two boys) if he tries to hold down his corporate job and do this part time would be way too much. Another thought on this subject, I do not relish taking out a loan for start up. Anything he makes would be used to pay for the equipment, etc. We have a large amount of equity in our home. We can use that as a tool for obtaining capital. But we will be paying for that for a long time to come. We are here in NH due to a corporate relocation. Although we like it here, we have no family or ties, etc. We have an opportunity to move to NC (Raleigh area) and start a business with a partner. The start up costs (our portion) would come from some of the equity in our home. We would then own the equipment free and clear and perhaps see a profit sooner rather than later. Also its booming down there and the climate is right. I am sick, sick, sick of the cold, wet weather. Well thanks gents! Any replies will be greatly appreciated. Sheila
  2. walkerrider

    walkerrider LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    Life is short. So if you really want to do this now is a great time. In my area demand is skyhigh for professionals in any craft. Put together a business plan and start slow. Don't rush out for the new truck and the latest and greatest equipment. Get equipment which is dependable and leaves you with a job you can be happy with. If this means a belt drive exmark to start fine. Get the business up and running get your feet on the ground and use the offseason to make decisions about the next steps. And check any ego's at the door. It can be a humbling experience in the beginning and it is easy to get sucked up in the need to present flashy appearances. The bottom line is if you look professional, speak professionally, and present a neat clean persona this is good enough. Do what you promise and remember that your a professional and at the end of the day you need to turn a profit. This concept will not work with all your customers. One way or the other they will become ex-customers preferably sooner than later. Try to have fun with it and remember no matter how tough a day it beats the corporate BS. Good Luck
  3. GrassMaster

    GrassMaster Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Hello Sheila:<p>Come on down south it's nice now down here & it's easier to have work year round!<p>Might not be a bad idea to give it a shot part time & do it a while. That way you will know if you will stick with it or not. Yes it would be very hard on you all, but at least you will have some income comming in, before you take the big plunge!<p>In most cases that's the way most get going, is part time first!<p>Partnerships, well I do not know about that. I personally do not care for them, but all I can offer is poor advice there. I've never been in one.<p>If you do decide on a partnership maybe do this, you & your spouse each own a 3rd of the business. This would be a win win situation.<p>Hey just my thoughts!<p><p>----------<br>GrassMaster - Home: www.lawnservicing.com<br>My Start Up Page www.lawnservicing.com/startup/
  4. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,075

    Unless you have a pile of cash to lean on while starting, part-time is the way Im sure most of us started. Find out what type, Residential or commercial or mix, of customers you desire. Buy some equipment, and advertise in your market area. Ideally you should have started an ad campaign last month to pick up on the spring clean ups. But I had good luck with an ad I placed when starting out a couple Julys ago.<p>As the work increases buy better, faster equipment, and enjoy it, Im 34 and have at least 25 years remaining of labor in these bones. <p>Good Luck
  5. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,117

    My advice for what its worth: 1) Move to Raleigh, I went to college near there and know that it is a growing and wealthy area. 2) Forget about the partnership crap. 3) Go at it full time. When you have everything to lose you have everything to gain. If you (the wife) have another job then ya'll can live off your salary while the business takes off. Its tough but thats what my wife and I did. This year she had our first child, now she stays home and takes care of the business and the baby. Too much damn paper work for me anyways, I was made to work outside.
  6. lbmd1

    lbmd1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 462

    Sheila,<br> where in NH are you. We are located in Rye, by the coast.If you need any local tips on the how the market is around here, let me know. I'll fill you in on the local economy, competition, etc...<p><br>Mike
  7. sheils8301

    sheils8301 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Well Walkerrider, if you can earn yourself trips to Hawaii in the landscaping business, it can't be all that bad:) Thanks for the advice. I agree with you 100%! I know there is alot of &quot;competition&quot; out there, but in my neck of the woods, there are also alot of overnite joe's. These guys give us a bad name and I'm hoping to capitalize on it just by stealing what the **** up! I'm very confident that we will give awesome customer service, or dye trying....
  8. sheils8301

    sheils8301 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Grassmaster - Another day in wet, cold hell. I'll be on the next bus down - Need any office help?LOL - Part time ya think? I just don't get the picture on how to get our company to grow in a timely manner without going full time. What do you think about working nites, landscape during the day? Do you work totally alone or do you have a crew? Like you say - maybe if we get the controlling hand in the our &quot;partnership&quot; it would work out well...
  9. sheils8301

    sheils8301 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Toroguy-thanks for responding. What about a nite job - full time landscaping? Do you think it can be done? Residential customers is the way we would go. My other half says take a little from alot of people. I deal daily with GC's if we decide to go the commercial route? What do you think is the best campaign route at this point?
  10. sheils8301

    sheils8301 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Just because were on what seems like our 14th day of cold, wet hell Id move down south. I do work full-time for a contractor. My other half is willing to work nites - whatever it takes. He is totally disillusioned with Corporate America. Im tired of seeing the same empty look in his eyes when he gets home every nite. So you would go full time? How long have you been in the biz? Do you have a crew?

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