As I have posted earlier, I got laid off from my regular job on Dec. 6. I worked writing software for an energy brokerage company. Due to the uncertainty in the industry, I decided to get back into the landscape maintenance business part time this past season (I did work for an lco while in college). I got a very late start and had a boatload to do at my regular job, so I didn't market too aggressively. I had only 2 regular accounts, but had quite a few broken mower and vacation calls. It allowed me to buy some commercial equip (2 used Toro proline 21's, Stihl FS-80 trimmer and Echo PB 602 backpack blower). I wrote an informal business plan and came up with a marketing strategy to start in February that includes business card sized ads in monthly subdivision newsletters and the local weekly paper as well as targeted flyers. I really enjoyed doing this part time this season and I learned quite a bit, too. Even in the heat of the Houston summer, it was nice to get outside on a Saturday or weekday evening after a 50 + hour workweek at the regular job and be alone with my mower, trimmer, blower and my thoughts (I seem to do my best thinking while walking behind a mower). So, earlier this fall, I thought that if the inevitable occurred (getting laid off), I would give fulltime lco a shot. I also took the state mandated course for irrigation and will sit for the test on Jan 24. I started saving my $$ for other equip needs whether I was full or part time. I need a trailer (16'), a good walk behind (probably Exmark Viking 32" since we have 35" gates for new construction...and this will be my primary mower for at least 1 year), a good set of extended hedge trimmers (I'm still a scrub here...use electric for home and manual clippers when I am out at a client :blush: ), and a good edger (Probably a Stihl FC-85...although I have gotten fairly good at edging with a trimmer ). I was hoping that the layoff, if it occurred, would happen closer to Feb/March as the season would be starting up. Obviously, this did not occur, so the money that I have been saving for equipment needs to go to living expenses. I have little savings due to the fact that 4 years ago I got laid off and was unemployed for a full year. I have been fairly good at saving during my career and due to this I had one year worth of salary to live on during this previous unemployment. But today. my savings are minimal. The blessings that have occurred since the decision to go fulltime are: 1. Wife is looking forward to going back to work. She is an elementary school teacher by trade and will go back for at least a semester, possibly 1.5 years or more if need be. She has been homeschooling my twin 9 year old daughters who are in 4th grade. They are coming around to the idea of going to public school. Two of her friends that worked with her years ago in another district are going to their principal today to tell her about my wife and that she is a perfect fit for their gifted and talented language arts position that has just come open (this is what my wife's Master's degree is in). 2. My daughters needed clothes. A neighbor who has twin daughters that are a year or two older than mine was going to give a bunch of clothes to charity, but thought of my wife (neighbor didn't know anything about the layoff) and brought us 4 large bags full of beautiful clothes, many pieces worn less than a handful of times. 3. A friend of mine from church, who is coming over today to help set me up on quickbooks, and who is self employed, stopped me Sunday and asked what was going on. I told him what I have done to this point. I told him that if things get too tight, I have a whole life policy that I have been paying on for 20 years that I could cash in. Turns out, he used to run an insurance agency. He told me not to cash it in. My dividend should more than pay for my premium. I can take out a large part of the cash value (80 - 90 %) and the dividend will pay for a large chunk of that, too. That would not only help with bills, but also could be used for capital for new equipment. 4. Yesterday, out of the blue, I got a call from a 30+ year old woman who happened to get ahold of my business card. She just moved into a new house (her 1st) and said she does not own a mower and has no desire to. I met with her and explained my maintenance program. She signed right up. She also wants me to design and install her landscape. She doesn't like the minimalist design that they put in tract homes. Turns out, she got my card from the gym where my daughters trains for gymnastics. I have been one of their meet sponsors (a business sized card ad in the meet programs), so they allow me to keep a stack of cards at the reception desk. Thank you all for your sharing of knowledge and expertise as well as your encouragement. Without this site I would not be able to give this a shot.