honest advice on fulltime mowing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cntryboymc, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. cntryboymc

    cntryboymc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 193

    i need some advice.i really want to go into the business full time.i have serious drive and the ability to do a good job.my customers are very pleased with my work and am always asked to do more.my equipment is new and well maintained.i also have no kids,wife,house,etc to worry about.my family members are warning me to think it through because they think there is no money to be made in this business.am i crazy for wanting to do this?how do you get more work effectively?what do you do for taxes(sales,income) and health insurance?how do you approach customers with a contract versus per time mowing?
  2. Willis

    Willis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    Man, I say go for it. This business is really what you make of it. If you really have the drive you say you do, you should have no problem in succeeding because this business definitely has promos, I guaranty it. GOOD LUCK.
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087


    Looks like you have the equipment and you wan to use it more often. You also say that you have the drive and abilty. So, with more accounts, a good accountant and a good insurance agent....I see no reason why you can't make it if you have the staying power.

    My advise to you is to avoid those things you don't have....wife, kids, house, major bills....ect. Bust it the rest of this season and seal the deal on the renewals for next year so you know where you stand with what you already have. Also push yourself that etra mile this fall and get aggressive about getting a lot of extra cleanup jobs. These jobs will test your "heart" for the business and earn you some extra cash for use in picking up more accounts next year.

    By that I mean "ear mark" that cash for any advertising you want to try, gas to run around searchin for work...ect. Be a busy beaver all winter working to aquire new accounts for next year. This will be another test for you and it might even land you enough jobs where you can be full time and actually have a full schedule.

    What you do on Septemeber 12th 2003 can directly effect what you are doing April 12th 2004.
  4. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,386

    Why avoid buying a house. I say one of the best financial moves you can make is buying your own home, interest rates may not get any lower buy, buy , buy. Why rent and make someone else money? Avoid getting married? Why?

    There is plenty of money to be made in this business just takes time. Your family may be right but then again they may be wrong. How will you know if you don't try?
  5. Moguy

    Moguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    I say the same as the other replies. Its all what you make it and the struggles will come but, if youre driven to succeed you will make it. Just remember that those that doubt can be the ones closest to you.
  6. Willis

    Willis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    My wife is the accountant and were buying a house with the fruits of the business. :D It's a win,win.
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I was told I was crazy to do it for years before I started. All it did was delay me starting what has been the most rewarding decision I've ever made. I waited to start for 2 years because people kept telling me it was a bad idea, no money in it, took too much to start up, what would I do in the winter?, etc......

    True, it took me a few years to get good at this business. (Didn't have lawnsite back then.) But it was still the best thing I ever did. My family and I enjoy a nice lifestyle now because of my decision to start my [what started out as just a] lawn care business.

    If you are ambitous and resourceful (e.g. you can find creative solutions to challenges when they arise) that's 50% of this business. The other 50% is getting good at marketing, gaining skill and knowledge, becoming confident and learning correct posture with your clients, your personal and company image, and your business management skills. You don't have to be good at all of those to start. But the more you master these things, the more successful you'll be.

    Go through the above list. If you already have a strenths in many of the things I mentioned, then you stand a high chance of being successful.
  8. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,194

    CountryBoyMechanic, Noticed your age, it is a definite advantage for you now with all your energy. Concerned about your non-attached remarks, it may happen that you'll get that way some time. Just saying to keep your priorities straight, don't kill yourself with work.
    As for mowing full time, that's a choice you're going to have to make after you've sat down and had a long talk with yourself.
    Suggest making a good/bad list, you know, all the pluses on one side, negatives on the other, read and reread the results.
    I'd say go for it if at all possible, but that's coming from someone that spent 30 years in corporate/management life before the fuse on that lifestyle completely burned out.

    Noticed you're an automotive technician. There's some good money in that field, now and long term. Part of the management I used to do was for a national repair chain, I know from where I speak.
    All that is to say that I know if you're a really good tech, it will take several years to match that income level by mowing. I understand you've been doing this for some time and have an existing customer base. Things are different when you go full time. Taxes, insurance, advertising, CPAs, become more of your life than you ever wanted.
    If you're good at being a tech, your gross income should be approaching 3 figures, at least. It's going to take a LOT of mowing to get you there.
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    The why's???

    Well to start with I guess maybe I come off a little stern or anti-something. But I don't mean to. I guess I seem that way because at the age of 28 I have been through a lot business and personal wise. Believe me I know all too well about taking nothing, making something of it and the struggles in between.

    I mean let's come off it here, all of us full timers know this can be a hard business and that starting and building any sort of successful business is no bowl of peaches. It takes time, hard work, attention, dedication and money.

    As a young man it is all too easy to get spread too thin. Let's be honest. The Family Man bit (house/wife/kids) takes all the same things as a business does and it can become hard to maintain the balance. After a while this type of thing can become a crushing amount of pressure if you ae not carefull.

    It's just much easier to focus on the task at hand (the business) if you already have that option to begin with. Get through the troubled waters and out to the smooth sailing at sea financially first. Then you have more freedom to focus on the things that are really important in life.....settle down, get married, buy a house, fill it with kids and all the while live comfortably.....that's living!

    Oh! and yes buying a house is one of he best financial moves you can make, no doubt about it. And yes interest rates may never be lower but....

    As an independent financial advisor, (past 5 yrs) I must say there is a time and place for everything. On the eve of starting up a full time business as the sole source of income, is neither the time nor the place.

    There is a huge difference between starting a business with little to no personal or financial responsibility v/s the opposite. If things go badly or you make costly mistakes, just think of the difference. Single man, lousy business luck, evicted from appartment camps in parents basement until the smoke clears. That v/s bankruptcy, foreclosure, reposession....financially ruined and financially handicaped for oh...the next 10 years.

    I could go on and on about the potential pitfalls and the mistakes people make all to often when they have a home, credit and a business.
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    well, it depends, whats the alternative? are you giving up a $150, 000 a year job on wallstreet to cut grass? id like to tell you about my new lifestyle as a small business owner, with one part time employee. i get up at 7 am. do some situps and crunches, have some coffee. my guy comes in, he loades up, we go. i know how much i need to make, on average, every single day, to pay the bills and pull a profit. how much of a profit? well, how much do u want? if i have say 12 lawns to cut today, i can take my time and smell the roses, or i can bust my butt and be done by 1:30. in that 5 hrs, i make alot more than most people make in a 8 hr day. then i can take the kids fishin, or hang out in the pool, or drink 12 beers, or drum up more work, i can do whatever the f i want. now, if i want monday off, thats easy enough. work all day friday, take monday off. do higher value work. this week i did a stone job, a mulch job, and a big trimming job. ok, on the stone day, and the mulch day, i worked full days, on the trimming day, i did half the job one day(3 hrs) and half the job will be done today. no money to be made you say? i think my profit this week will be well over $2500. and i am small peanuts man. "its not the boat, its the man behind the wheel". i worked for "the man" 20 years, i aint doin it no more, ever. good luck, stay focused, stay fit(this job is physical) and if youre single, o boy

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