covered up!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by riverjunkie, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. riverjunkie

    riverjunkie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Hello, I have been mowing and doing yard work for several years basically since I was a teenager. After gentle persuasion from my fulltime job in the way of a drastic pay cut two years ago. I decided to give the lawn biz an honest shot this past year. The beginning was discouraging. But I kept my nose down and put every dime back into my co. I am now to the point where I work 3-4 hrs every weekday after my normal 8-5er and at least 10 hrs. On Saturday I occasionally have to work on Sunday though I try not to. I am trying to hold off til spring to pull the trigger on going fulltime in lawn care mainly because it is so late in the season. My question is, is it possible to build up enough clientele on a part time schedule to fill up a fulltime schedule. Right now I feel like I am maxed out and don't have time for any other contracts. Oh yeah I do have a helper who helps me out about two days a week and on Saturdays. But with all the no payers and cheapskate customers who live in 500k plus houses im leary about telling my salary job to shove it...for now! I am sure this is an age old question but don't see how there is enough time to grow to the next stage without taking that leap of faith. I was just curious if anybody has done it.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,747

    I retired young then went into the lawn care business. I have 40 customers and work 5hrs/ day four days a week. I refer many new potential customers to my buddies that are trying to fill full time schedules. If my sons decide to take this business over I will grow it and in my mind it is the only way to make a decent wage in this business. Two or three crews is what I would shoot for. Think long and hard prior to quitting your full time job and do as much networking as you can with existing lawn care companies so you can pick up some work or give some away. Somewhere down the road you will be glad you did.
  3. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 6,309

    There's a Saying, don't quit you day job till your night job pays. So basically. Max out even more till you make more landscaping than your other job.
  4. riverjunkie

    riverjunkie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Thanks for the reply,
    That is my dilemma. I gross about 43 fulltime and im sure I can do that or more in landscaping. But there isn't enough time (daylight) in the day to take on anymore lawns. I don't want to over book myself and end up not getting to them all, but in the same sense I don't want to cut ties with my fulltime job not having work lined up. I am the sole income provider in my household so you can understand my predicament. I do know this is something I want to pursue fulltime that first step is scary.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. Tyler259

    Tyler259 Banned
    Messages: 100

    Take a chance at full-time. I would wait until next season though.

    Run some numbers. How many hours and lawns will it take to make more than your current job?

    The more thought you put into it the better off you will be.

    Make a full business plan, just for yourself to see the pros cons.

    Good luck.

    DLONGLANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,418

    you can easily gross 43k in landscaping but that doesnt mean that you are taking home 43k like your full time job.

    Id really take a step back and see your options and research everything more. How much money do you NEED to get by? What are your bills, and then what do you need to feed yourself/family , pay your helper, ect.

    If i grossed 43k id prob take home about 25-30k. It costs money to make money. My first year (ligitament when i was 16) we grossed 50k, and i took home 41k. That was with no bills, only gas and one part time helper doing just lawns.

    This year we are up to around 270k gross and it costs a hell of a lot more to run a business when you have two full time employees, going to school, and paying for repairs, insurance, taxes...yada yada yada.... I will prob take home about 95k this year, minus school. So after taxes and everything, after 300k of sales i will be up 65k, then my personal bills and feeding my face, and my girlfriends face, and my truck payment, and everyhting else, ill prob be down to about 35k in savings at the end of the year.

    What i would do if i were you, is to get your helper going one full day per week working by himself ontop of what you guys alreaday do, while you are at your full time job, so hes picking up the new clients while your at work, so you can keep building up while your still getting your salaried pay. .....long long sentence, but id keep your job until you have enough clients to take care of your bills and be taking a decent amount home as well.

    It costs a lot more to go full time than part time.
  7. Nate'sLawnCare

    Nate'sLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,001

  8. riverjunkie

    riverjunkie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Thanks for all the good advice. I have been thinking about getting someone to work fulltime a couple days a week solo. What scares me about that is the fact of basically giving someone all my equipment and customer list. And then hoping they do a good job, don't wreck or steal my stuff or cause me to loose clients. ( I think I have trust issues) I do think this is a good plan warranting I find the right employee.
    I'm not really in a position to buy accounts at this time. That would be a great way to increase customer base rapidly.
    Thanks for all the encouragement. I definitely have alot of "cipher'n" to do.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. pfcjs

    pfcjs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    The scary thing in this situation is that you are the only income for your house. Personally if it were me, my first thought after reading this is to work part-time at your lawn business at least one more year. It sucks trying to tough out both jobs I know but you have to provide for your house. But tough it out and try to squeeze in as much business as you can next year and pick up new customers and see how well the year goes for you and how good you become at holding onto customers. And to me the important thing over this winter and all next year is save any and ALL extra money. Stop any spending that is not absolutely necessary. I am not saying that you are not smart with your money, but there is always areas to save more money in. Stop going out to eat, get rid of the frivolous things and put every single extra penny back. That way when you do go full time and go through a rough patch you will have a reserve of funds.

    But that's just my two cents! I hope everything works out for you though, good luck.
  10. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    I have a pt job. Work MWF evenings and Sat 8-4. Work 24.5 hrs a week. Freed up my days to landscape. Steady income to come in as I grow my business. Also job to bring in money when landscape work slows down during the cold months. Can't count on snow. And this job lets me call in sick when it snows.

    The best part is you're working your route, doing top quality work, not abusing your equipment. On the ground noticing work and upselling. Building your business. No way an employee can do this for you.

Share This Page