Full Time Company plus Full Time Career

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by oOTurfmanoO, May 2, 2011.

  1. oOTurfmanoO

    oOTurfmanoO LawnSite Member
    Messages: 245

    Ok, follow me on this.

    We've been in business for about 6-7 years and growth has come with each year. I'll be the 1st admit that I have made mistakes that have hurt the finances of the company but I have also made wise decisions that have propelled us forward.

    I've exhausted every resouce I have (to my knowledge) and have reached the point where I am running in place in terms of $$.

    The work is there and we secured new and larger contracts this year that will aid in our growth (without the addition of new equipment or expenses).

    I think I've hit the point of growth where it hurts...can't afford to add more staff or equipment but paying OT is also crushing me. Cash flow is tight, receivables are trickling in; we started taking credit cards to expidite the process but it's still to early to feel the impact or benefit. I'm a nervous wreck about paying bills and making payroll.

    The strange thing is I am 100% confident that this company will be a success. At times I feel like walking away from it and other times I am so excited to be where I am as a young businessman and entrepreneur. It's one of those "Too good to quit but too bad to stay senarios."

    I've contimplated getting a full time position doing something else. With this being said, I've then thought about disolving the comapany and marking the last 6-7 years up to experience or somehow keeping it going with the help of $$ from my other position. I would promote my lead man to a position of great responsibility and explain the situation.

    I think it is easy to see where my head is, any feedback?
  2. bj1bmx

    bj1bmx LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 76

    dan, not sure what you decided and i see that this post is over 2 months old but i will comment.

    from what you posted I would say i am in a similar situation. I began my business 6-7 years ago basically from scratch and have grown it to the point where i was making a good salary (50-60k a year in 9 months work). yes, this is after expenses, 100% legitimate s corporation.

    i was very excited and motivated the first 3-4 years because i was fresh out of college and being a businessman was new to me. like most people in this business (and most others), when you expand you encounter growing pains. you either learn to deal with them and grow your company or you accept a certain size and remain there for years.

    my body began to really start hurting at age 24 from the long strenuous work weeks, lack of sleep and increased stress. as i hired more employees and took on more work, the associated expenses also increased to the point where i finally decided that I no longer had the motivation to build a multi million dollar empire that I once longed for...

    i decided that i would rather make 30-40k a year doing the same lawns each week with a challenging landscaping/planting job here and there rather than becoming even more stressed, upset and angry by continuing expansion, even if that offered $100k+.

    i also experienced (and still do) a lot of mental confusion and perhaps even depression. i had received my bachelors and masters degrees in business/finance yet made my money mowing lawns. i have never felt that i am above mowing or landscaping, rather that i could and maybe should be using my time working at a job that i was educated to perform. i began working for a cpa firm in the winter doing tax work and later became licensed in insurance, securities, etc. i work at this firm several days a week while still running my landscaping company. i have a somewhat flexible schedule where i can be in the office a few days and outside working a few days. i do very little mowing anymore. my brother and several employees take care of the mowing route and i plant flowers, trim shrubs, etc. i make about 20k less from this business now but that loss is offset by my other job.

    combined, i am making the same money as i always have, but am not as angry or stressed as I was a few years ago.

    i will say that being outside every day sucks sometimes. the heat and extreme cold both suck. so does getting rained on and having dirt smacking you in the face.

    being in an office every day also sucks. you wish you were outside and the days seem longer. there is an equal amount of stress associated with politics, sales quotas, etc. and your overall health decreases from sitting down all day

    this is probably way too much information than necessary but my point is that you need to do what makes you happy. try new things if you aren't satisfied. downsize, try another career, etc. you can always grow the business back if you want.

    i have found i am most happy doing a bit of everything. it keeps me interesting and interested. while it is hard at times to keep the fixed expenses under control working part time, it is possible and can be rewarding whether financially or mentally.

    if i were to rewind and do the last 6-10 years over, i would change almost everything. the lawn/landscaping business has taught me an enormous amount about business, people, money, work ethic, etc. but it certainly is hard work and less than glamorous. there are easier ways to make more money. if i were to do it over, i would have found a full time teaching job and mowed part time. i would certainly have no more than 1-2 employees and would go back to being a very small company working 2-3 days a week.

    hope this helps.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011

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