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Fireman looking to start part time

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by flames46, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. Hoots

    Hoots LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Messages: 328

    Fire fighters, thank you for the work you do.

    My brother-in-law is a fire fighter.

    I think the issue that some people might have with off duty fire fighters mowing is the part-time mowing appearance. Those that only mow, fert, install etc. cannot really go find another part time gig to make ends meet like yall. The only "extra jobs" we can go find are in the winter time. The properties that off duty fire fighters, and "after regular job" other guys mow, could be available to full time companies.

    I for one started off mowing part time after my work at a golf course.I did that until I had enough customers and income to go full time and grow my mowing business.

    Now for the ethical part. When advertising, PLEASE do not advertise as an off duty fire fighter. In my opinion, that plays on some peoples emotions and would steer them to you and not "XYZ Lawn Company". Again, IMO, there are some actual businesses that are named "God's Lawn Company" and other variations which are not ethical ways to attract business.

    Just do it on a level businesss playing field.

    ffemtmcd, you are absolutely correct.
    This is America right?? We have the right to start a business just like the next guy, to improve our standard of living and provide a service?? Just curious.
  2. Tommy Boy

    Tommy Boy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 220

    Get a new or slightly used 36"walk behind (Hydro) if you can afford it. 6X12 trailer, edger, trimmer, blower. Start small work your circle of friends, get feed back, and then advertise. Pay cash for as much as possible and keep your over head low.

    Good luck my friend!
  3. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,930

    Hey...full time paid FF here...Ive been mowing 7 yrs on my days off. Here is the best advice I can give:

    1. Dont go into debt on this deal. Buy a good used walk behind, a trimmer, a blower, and maybe an edger. But PAY CASH!! Also, nothing is more irritating than a full time FF who mows 10 accounts per week with a $45K truck, a $10k mower, and all the toys. Just pisses me off.

    2. Dont lowball. Youll only end up hurting yourself and every other LCO out there trying to put food on the table. Not to mention all the full time LCO's on here will want to kick your ass and put bubble gum in your hair!

    3. Dont call yourself "Firehouse Lawns" or "Hero Landscaping" or "Dragonslayer/Lawn Cutter" And dont put 75 IAFF stickers all over your truck/trailer and a maltese cross on your lawn shirts....WHY you ask? its obnoxious and if you get into it with a customer, they will call your Chief and he will not hesitate to get all up in your Kool-Aid and F up your life.

    4. Dont take on so much work that you miss out on your family. Keep your weekends free for them if at all possible.

    I hope this helps. I only say it because Ive experienced it. Good Luck!

    Bol O Dhia Ort!:usflag:
  4. Tommy Boy

    Tommy Boy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 220

    Well said, I only wish NozzleHead had this approach - see his post on same site

    Steveo - no bubble gum here, you sound like a professional both on the job and behind a mower, thank for the job and the professionislm

    SCAG POWER LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Around here it seems that every fireman has a mower. This past year i have seen more people driving cars with mowers sticking out of their trunks. Normaly it would not be an issue, but when the customer says the fire man can cut it cheaper, or the fire man is married, or some other sorry story.I got so tired of hearing it,that i started tell people that shure they need to get away from their wifes. That's why they mow or they need more beer money. I use this too totaly support my self,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,. They can teach classes at the locial community college and make twice the money , rather than mowing yards.Stick to putting out fires and leave mowing to those of us who do it full time.
  6. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,930

    ScagPower: I know where you are coming from. I know ALOT of firemen that mow for something to do or for play money. And ALOT of them undercharge...mostly out of total ignorance. They havent taken time to properly learn the business by coming to sites like this.

    I, however, do this job because I need the money. Yes, I could go drive an ambulance or teach FF classes at the local college. But I would rather mow...I think Id rather stick a gun in my mouth than teach FF classes for extra pay.

    In fact, if I was forced to pick one job or the other, Id probably pick LCO.

    So I dont blame you for your frustration. But I for one will do my part to try to educate all the hosejockeys out there on how to properly charge for their services.

    SHARPLAWN LawnSite Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 24

    Haha.. lmao... DRAGONSLAYER/LAWN CUTTER Wow.. classic. I hope you havent really seen anyone with this!

    I love reading posts by people who hate firefighters or who hate firefighters working hard to make a buck. Didn't All you brothers know that when you decide to become a firefighter; you take an oath of poverty and are thereby forbidden to work hard and seek the American dream? I mean... its not like we have any rights. As soon as we go to work for taxpayers they own our souls and can tell us what we can and cannot do IN OUR TIME OFF. It doesnt matter that many of us already work 48 hours a week in defense of their lives and property; how dare we work in our time off?? Hahaha.. classic.. it would make me cry with laughter if it didn't make me see red so quickly.

    Good luck to ANYONE trying to make a go with their own business and a special Good Luck to all my fellow firefighters out there. SLAY THE DRAGON!!!!!!!
  8. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    I don't care if FF's cut grass. But if fireman pay is so bad, why be a fireman? For the chicks?
  9. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    yea, I didn't realize it either, in fact it started a 2nd post.
    But I can say that I now understand why firemen seek 2nd jobs.
    and thanks everyone, I didn't realize the pay was that low...
  10. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    lawnprostevo is right on with his advice. I have been in the fire biz for 24 years (19 full time and 5 as a POC) and the lawn care biz for 14. I can't think of many more tips other than to run the lawn care operation as a business. Know your numbers off the bat. Its alot more than buying a bunch of equipment and putting flyers in doors.

    I know you know how to work hard physically and initially you may work harder until the business affords you the ability to buy equipment that helps you work smarter.

    As far as all the so called experts on our way of life, I respect peoples opinions as long as they respect me. I make no apologies for what I do, that includes being a firefighter or running a lawn care business.

    You know the type of person that always has an opinion about how we are taking jobs or just sitting around are really ignorant. These people have no idea and never will and I certainly don't have to explain myself to them. If you are on the job, you know what we do.

    As far as the volly above is concerned, there are some really good Volunteer firefighters that I know and know they could be full time and do a great job if they chose to be. They are a credit to our profession being a volunteer, or paid on call. Clark lawns, by reading the crap you posted above, I can say you aren't one of them.

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