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I've been running my bus. for 10 years and it has grown well in that time. This year I had a partner but it didn't work for a variety of reasons. I love the lawn mowing biz butI have to decide what to do. I also teach 6th grade. Mowing started as a summer thing but over the last several years I have seriously considered going full time. I suppose my main problem is I am chicken. I now have health ins. and retirement and also "cooped up in a room stress," and the opportunity to be the whipping boy for lots of public taxpayers.

I don't worry about if I would like going full time, I know I would. I just don't know if it would work financially.
How did some of you manage to "push yourselves" over the edge?

How fast did the new accounts come? I currently have 25 and full time could handle another 25 or 30. I also aerate. Great money and I would imagine I could aerate lots more.

What sort of things did you do before you went full time? I know about the business plan, ins, being legal...got all that.

I would love to have just one job, but I would hate to look back in 15 years and think..."I wonder if I could have made it..." I also think I would resent being stuck in a classroom without the opportunity to mow...

Thanks for reading my ramblings, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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You have to put the pencil down on the paper and figure out current salary and bennies along with the retirement plan that you have going and really compare to your lawn service income. I am not trying to discourage you.
There are many personal questions that have to be answered. Are you suffering from career burnout? How long do you have until retirement? Have you thought about part time teaching? What will you lose in terms of seniority if you quit? Do you have a family? Do you have cash reserves to help when times get tough? Are you in good health? Can you take a leave of absence?
If you are going to be a one man show, you know that its all on you. I have considered what you are thinking about. I also have answered the above questions and then some and I have come to a balance from that. I have about 15 years until retirement. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to do both things in my life and they are both fulfilling. There are definately times that I would rather be mowing than be working at the fire station but then there are times that I am glad that I am able to help people through my work there. Its a personal thing that is individually based. I do enjoy both jobs and they offer me different perspectives on life.
Good Luck with your search its a hard decision. There are many others on this site that are successful full timers (that I greatly admire) that can help you more than I can but I just wanted to share my opinions.
And yes I agree with HOMER too.
 

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I would not quit a full-time teaching to work by myself in lawn care.

6th grade? Maybe I would. :)


I think you're in a nice position now, you've got income year-round, benefits, retirement and frankly I think a better job as a teacher vs. working by yourself in lawn care.
 

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Maybe you should ask yourself, 'What is it that you have always wanted to do with your life? Was it to be a teacher or to be a small business owner? Figure that out and then go for it.

The only things in my life I regret are the things I didn't try to do.
 

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IMHO only 10% of lco make wages and bennys above a teacher who has been in the system a long time.

If you quit know your learning curve to make as much as you are making now would be 5 min to 10 years.

Plus you could be out in less than 15 if the change the plan to push the high dollar old bucks out the door.

Can't you find any 16+ kids that want to work?
I think they called that track when I went to school as
co op.

 

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If your business could do more just hire more help and most teachers can retire in 20 yrs I think, so hang in there for a while and just find some good help to run it till then. But its your decision to make.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey folks! Thanks for the great advice/thoughts! The end of the season is probably NOT the best time to think about how to make life simpler:)

I'm thinking I will trim back a few of the longer travel time/less profit accounts. Also I am going to aggressively seek more aerating. I've aerated around 150 lawns per year but I'm thinking in a few years I can double that.

The greatest thing!...probably because it is a change ...today I did my first sprinkler blowout using a large tow behind comp. This is a great service, and pays very well! I must say using the right tool for the job really helps.
Thanks again for the advice I surely appreciate it!
 

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Are subustitute teachers in demand in your area? If so, then you have the perfect oppertunity. If you are sure that you want to go full time into LC, then go for it, and substitute during your building times. You can then sub less and less till your business is built up. You could also sub during the winter months.

Personally, I'd rather be in the classroom.
 

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I know several teachers and yep it can be a pain but to tell you the truth at least in this area the lawn care buisness is getting so over populated that prices are coming DOWN each year! It seems every place you look some guy is cutting a yard, and very few people other then commercial accounts care if ou are insured cary workers comp etc, I hate to say it but soon we will be paying the customer to cut there yard....sorry sounding negitive just the truth here...as a part time job lawn care is good but full time I would stay where you are...Price health care, workers comp, buisness ins, truck commercial ins, equipment ins, taxes...equipment itself...yea it sounded great to me too..at first....and yes it has been good to me but I dont see a good future...you are probably around the 50,000 mark teaching or at least around here that would be about right,,,you would need to be doing around 75,000 in lawn car to make that cash equal after your new expenses,,,,But I do wish you the best of luck if you do decide to go full time...and keep your head up!
 

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I faced the same decision 15 yrs ago.
I opted to keep the regular money and
keep the lawn care to what i could handle
part time. right decision ?, who knows.
But I have seen a lot come and go.
thanks and good luck T M
 

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If you want to make it full time in Lawn care you would have to expand your services beyond mowing. Pushing the aerating, then reseeding, maybe fertilizer weed control...etc.. I personally do alot better landscaping than mowing, almost as much as tree work without all the tools. The mowing money is nothing compared to all the other work.
 

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Homer had the right answer,
If you know Him he will reveal His will to you.
If you don't know Him that should be your most important concern!!
 

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I disagree with trying to do every element of landscape maintenance, why be a jack of all trades and master of none.

We do spring & fall clean ups, cut grass, and plow snow. I give 100% and think what you put into it, is what you will get out of it. This business has been very good to me, my wife does not need to work, I have 4 months off a year and I'm pretty much in control of my own life, what a great feeling of freedom.

I think if you have the entrepreneur sprite you should commit yourself 100% and start the business.

Good luck, whatever you decide.
 
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