Am I crazy?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Busa_bill, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. Busa_bill

    Busa_bill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 179

    The purpose of this question is not to brag about what I currently make. Last year I grossed 93k working as a Quality Manager for an oilfield related company. Great company, but a very long daily drive and I'm tired of the oilfield business in general after 18 years. I had a solo maintenance operation back in the mid 90's. Hired part time help as needed. All of the business profits went into the household budget and I never had the ability to grow. When I gave it up, I had 60k in annual contracts. I absolutely loved the landscape business, but I grew tired of mowing all day then going home to billing, taxes etc.

    So here I go again. A little wiser, more business savvy, and more money to play with. Still working with my current employer, I've purchased an F-350 crew cab, a trailer, and a 32" WB. Currently shopping for a 60" rider and power equipment. Current thinking is commercial/ residential with my 24 year old son handling the operations side which will free me to sell. My son has 3 years experience running crews for other LCO's. My goal is to gross 1M in annual sales by the end of the 5th year. Yes, that is a tall order, but I am relentless when it comes to going after what I want/ need.

    Now that I'm 45, I try to stay focused on the big picture of providing a secure retirement and the need to build something that I can pass on to my children.
    I believe the landscape business can provide both, but there is always the potential for failure. If you were in my shoes, would you take the plunge?

  2. corbster

    corbster LawnSite Fanatic
    from OHIO
    Messages: 29,505

    I don't think your crazy, it's not about what you do it's how you do it!
    You can work both for a short time and see how the "need to build something" works out. My Dad always told me "boy, it doesn't matter if your make $1.00 /hr or $100.00 /hr your do your darn best and work hard". It might take a while to build...but the harder you work/good work the faster the replace pay (93,000) will come.

    DLAWNS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,780

    I would go for it man. You seem like you have the right ideas. Do it up.
  4. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    Just make sure you keep pushing the sales & your son keeps the operations on the up & up. Dad & I started the same way & it ended up w/ me doing everything for nothing. Eventually he got out, but it created a lot of hardships along the way. He thought he was all gun ho, but when he got started he realized it wasn't for him. He liked the money, but not the line of work.
  5. TheLandyman

    TheLandyman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    you already have done it once, with more start up money, a 24 year old son which im sure wouldnt mind workin for his dad, youve got it covered.
  6. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Messages: 0

    Bill, I wish you the best in your endevours and I would agree that you have set the bar pretty high for yourselves but with alot of hard work will come the rewards.

    Your biggest road block this season is going to be the situation the current economy is in, so for any company trying to startup this year their going to really have to work much harder to make a sale.

    People are watching their spending habits more and cutting out many of their extras expences and because of this I would expect this years failure rates in the industry to be much higher then that of past years.

    You've already owned a company in this industry so just do your homework and you should be fine, good luck with everything.
  7. terramanagement

    terramanagement LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Messages: 1

    Bill, I am in the same situation as you. My wife found this thread for me and I would like to share the experience. Im a Director of IT as well and make great money, but ready to become an entrepeneur. I have been purchasing equipment, designing artwork, getting all teh paperwork done, just finished my 3rd day of my irrigation license training today, etc. Im already deep into it and will start officially very soon. I also have some minor experience when I was younger, but didnt have the business sense then. I was unable to find any contact info for you. I wanted to take this offline. I am from Houston too. Write back or if you can PM me your email.
  8. Busa_bill

    Busa_bill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 179

    I guess I'm not smart enough to figure out how to PM on this site.
    My email is
  9. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I don't think you are crazy but your wife might have other ideas. Are you just going to concentrate on maintenance services?
  10. Busa_bill

    Busa_bill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 179

    Fortunately, I have the complete support of my wife. I couldn't do this without her.
    At the onset, I want to do one thing and do it well. Turf maintenance will be the initial business core. Over time, the exposure and revenue become the vehicle for diversification. Cautious diversification! In business, I've seen too many guy's try to become all things to all people; loosing sight of what got them to where they are. In the end, they close shop wondering what went wrong.

    Despite the depressed housing market nationwide, Houston is still growing and expanding. We have one of the best housing markets in the country. As the area landscape continues to improve, someone has to care for those improvements. Guess who will make a play to be that person?

    As you drive the roads here, it is easy to believe there is opportunity everywhere. Granted, there are 10,000 guys in the same race, but there is enough work to go around - especially for the guy who handles his business. Don't get discouraged and never give up. The next door you knock on will open.

    A pep talk? Maybe. Listening to myself more than anything. To each his own. As for me, I'm running in head first. Kicking ass and taking names to come in short order. I have a company to build. Feet don't fail me now.

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