Advice Please

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lech615, May 17, 2002.

  1. Lech615

    Lech615 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    I have just started my lawn business this year. I had worked with a friend for 3 years prior but now have gone outr on my own. Right now it is a secondary job, but I had hopes of making it a full scale operation over the next few years.

    My problem is that I have decided to become a New York City Police Officer. I have been going through the process and found out yesturday that I will most likely be going in the Academy in July. What I also found out is that while I am in the academy I am not allowed to run any type of business. They expect your full attention while in the academy. I may be able to run the business once I finish the academy with the permission of a commanding officer. What do I do know? I have 16 customers, most of them in my immediate area. Should I just try and place them with other LCOs or should I try and makes this cash only (very risky). I have put a lot of time in and I am happy with the way the biz has grown so far. Any ideas or suggestions on what I could do is appreciated.


    Carl :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(
  2. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 773

    I would recommend finding another LCO for your customers so you can focus on your primary calling. Explain to them your plans and they'll be understanding. Everyone knows we need more good men in blue... :)
  3. Tim Baden

    Tim Baden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    I knew a guy a guy who went through
    something like what your problem is.
    He went and found a close family member to take over the biz.Then when he could start mowing again he had his biz.Just a thought.
    Good luck in whatever you do!
  4. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    Lech- Where are you on LI? We are in the Huntington area. Like Tim said, could you find a family member or close friend to run things while you are in the academy? NYPD doesn't have to know about it. I may find myself in the same boat-I'm waiting on the list for FDNY-it's moving fast now after 9/11. I really don't know what I'll do if I get called. Anyway, If I can help you out, let me know. Mike
  5. Dennis E.

    Dennis E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    Hats off to ya'!
    I would not worry about the accounts. Just concentrate on becoming a LEO. God bless ya'!!
    :D :D :D :D
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    If you're worried about giving them to another lco to do, and then not being able to get them back, don't You really have nothing to worry about. All you have to do is find someone reputable, (You know you want good care taken of your customers) then tell all your customers what your intentions are. They'll understand. Once you've told your customers, no one can take these from you, because I think you'll find they'll have a respect and loyalty for and to you. By the sounds of it, you wouldn't really have to worry about it anyway, with AL Inc. willing to help. It sounds to me like he just may be a blessing to your needs, and probably the beginning of a friendship that may be worth having. Anytime you can network with other lco's in your area, that's a good thing. I have so many friends now in the business, that we are pretty much all usually in good shape, whether it be from trading work, or sometimes just stopping in to mow another place for someone else. We sometimes do that like now, when we're real busy, and someone else is going to be on that side of town. Oh, once in a while, a customer might wonder what's going on when a different operation pulls up in front of their house and starts mowing, but after being explained, (usually they are called ahead of time to inform them) they are always satisfied. No, we don't worry about anyone taking work, because as friends, even if we are ASKED by the customers for a price, like on sidework, we simply tell them that it can't be done due to conflict of interest. The customers all respect that sense of loyalty.
    Oh, incidentally, Carl, I wish you good luck and all the best in your new venture. I was going to do the same thing up here, and took an associate degree in Criminal Justice, but then decided against it when I opened some new doors up with the business. ;)
  7. Just Turned Pro

    Just Turned Pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109

    Lech… I don’t know any specifics about the academy and training process in NY, but figure that the rest of your life (including your biz) is going to be put on hold for a few years. Or at least until you complete probation with your department (generally 1 to 1.5 yrs).

    During the academy, the academy is your entire life, period.

    After the academy you will have some type of FTO program for a few months. This is also a major drain on you. You will be the grunt. Expect a lot of learning from the streets and the vets. You can also expect a lot of overtime for training and simply because you will be slow and not know how to do things yet. You probably will get bounced around from shift to shift a lot in the beginning also. On your days off you will just want to sleep, not go out and service 16 clients.

    You will find that your life will change dramatically once you cross the “blue line”. If this is truly what you want to do, you will find that it will consume you. If you want to become a Detective, SWAT member, Bomb Tech, or whatever else, you will learn that those things only come to those that give 125% to the agency.

    My advice… If NYPD is really what you want I would suggest that you part with your biz for a while. Let your clients know the reason and try and place them with a “friendly LCO”. Let the LCO and the clients know that you intend to return in 1,2,3? Seasons and that you will be calling on them. If they are there when you return, great! If not, you’ll get other clients. Experience what NYPD has to offer for a few years then decide if you want continue at 125% or split your efforts between NYPD and the mower.
  8. maple city

    maple city LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 305


    My husband is a firefighter for the city of Gary (Indiana), and he had to go through a 6 month academy, and they pretty much wanted his life for those months.

    One suggestion is to try to get other officers, firefighters, or medics that are already on the job to help you out while you are in the academy. I think you would have fewer worries about getting your accounts back from a "brother" than another lawn care business.

    I know that there other firefighters on my husband's department that do lawn work on the side.

    My husband went to NY right after 9/11 to help, and those are an AWESOME group of firefighters and police officers. They treated my husband and his crew like one of their own. Good luck and God bless!
  9. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 363

    One thing you need to do is figure out what you really wanna be doing for life? Mowing VS/VS Officer. If you end up being a officer would you want to arrest yourself for being a cash only buisness? That wouldnt look to good now would it?
    High stress vs/vs low stress (but always gunna have momma nature against ya).

    Also if you made it into the force, are you going to have set hrs. & the energy to mow after work? Doubt it....

    I say find family/friends or someone who you can trust & knows your situation, who will do a good job & who will be willing to take over your accounts while your training. If ya make it, good for you & thay have the accounts, if not, your customers are happy & you can always rebuild yourself...
  10. Lech615

    Lech615 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    Thanks for all advice and kind words. I think I will find another LCO to take over my accounts this way I can concentrate solely on the academy. Besides I do not want to jeopardize the police force for a few accounts. I will put my time in and may restart the biz in a few seasons. I just hate to waste the work, effort and money I already put into the biz, but being a police officer is what I have wanted to do for along time.



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