Any retired from a previous career and now operating solo in the lawn care business?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by RScapes, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. RScapes

    RScapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Hello. I am 54 years old, retired and starting up a (solo operation) lawn care business to supplement my pension. I've crunched the numbers and determined that I need to NET about $9,500 per year. In addition to the financial motivation, I am also looking forward to getting back outdoors and getting some exercise. I was wondering if there are any others out there with a little age and "life experience" or retired that are in a similar situation?
  2. nashlawn01

    nashlawn01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 463

    I'm sure there are. Good luck to you on your journey
  3. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,885

    Yup. Retired when I was 47 and purchased this business. 8 years and enjoying every minute of it. It's nice having the pension so you don't have to sweat the slow times.
  4. Chris Feenan

    Chris Feenan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    Retired teacher. I am only 56, too young to slow down. I landscaped for a living when i was young, before I began teaching.

    The exercise is the best thing you can do to keep yourself healthy as you get older. I can still go all day, and I feel better than I have in years. Stress and lack of hard core cardiovascular exercise kills guys in their fifties and sixties.

    My knees won't let me run or play basketball like I used to, but I can walk behind a mower all day without a problem. Strange thing is, my knees are better, not worse.

    I hope you will know what to do with the money when you make more than $9,500 per year !
  5. J & D Greens

    J & D Greens LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 765

    The last few years before retiring, I worked full-time and turned around and serviced 22 accounts to build my customer base when I pulled the trigger. It was very hard working both jobs but well worth it now.

    I do put in a lot of hours in the summer months (about 32-40) and only get off the couch to do snow removal for about 10 account in the winter. It has been great; I now have tons of time for my family. My son, daughter and I have developed a very close relationship.

    As far as money. It all depends on how good you are with pinching those pennies. I have learned through the years where I could have done so much better handling things. One thing is for sure $10 grand would be very easy to pocket from what you can bring in after Taxes and expenses.
  6. RScapes

    RScapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Thank you-appreciate it
  7. RScapes

    RScapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Thanks Nash.

    Russell-I am glad it is working out well!

    J & D--Agreed, time for family is critical. You were smart to have accounts lined up before making the switch-that is something (accounts) I don't have, but I am working on it. I am pretty good at being frugal and it's good to hear that 10k net is doable. Thanks

    Chris-thanks for the encouragement. No problem finding a solution to the extra $ issue. Give more to worthy ministries and of course, more hunting and fishing.

    It's starting slow. Only a couple of customers lined up. I am running an add in a weekly community newspaper (circulation to about 15,000 homes), in the process of building a website, advertising on Craig's list and talking to friends/neighbors. I remain optimistic, know that it takes time to build and will work at it. Thanks for the replies!
  8. J & D Greens

    J & D Greens LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 765

    You know when I said $10 Grand is do-able. I meant you can net it doing this part-time if you work your cards right. Part-time last season we grossed close to $35 grand part time.
    I keep my area very tight. I mean with in a 2 mile radius. That is the area that all my original 22 were in. When I retired and we got to the point where we were going to take on more clients we just flooded the same 2 mile area with flier's and my original customers through word of mouth helped me get to 40 clients. The past few years we have not had to advertise to keep thing there, but this year I plan on sending my renewal letters out with Biz cards letting the customers know I would like to take on a few more and if we get more great if not all is still good.
    To be honest flier's are a good way to get clients but some are good and some not so much, but my best ones come from the referrals.
  9. TPCLandscaping

    TPCLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    you could go work for another landscaper and probably make 20k in a summer and not have to worry about the cost of equipment, fuel, liability insurance, and the taxes that the goverment will take out of your small business
  10. RScapes

    RScapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    J & D--Very good advice. Thank you. I do like the idea of part time as more time with church, the family and hunting and fishing is very important. My guess is netting 10 K is doable but I will have to hustle to do that first year. I will make a specific area/tight route a high priority.

    When you say part time-do you work less than 40 hrs/week? How many months out of the year? We average about 23 to 27 mowings a year here depending on the amount of rain. Do you have any employees helping you? (I will be solo).

    Thank you!

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