How do you guys make it on just this income ?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by KcLawnServices, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. KcLawnServices

    KcLawnServices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    Just wanted to know how you guys make it on this income ? Do people really do this full time ? I love my business, but don't know if the money will let me stick it out. Just seeing if I'm the only one in this boat our or not. Thanks
  2. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    I used to think the same way. However, one thing that I noticed after going fulltime is that I had a whole new mentality about the business. I started to enjoy it and I started to work harder at it since I depended solely on that money. When I was part time things were different...I didn't work as hard because I didn't need the money so to speak.

    There is plenty of work out there, you just have to find it and be smart about it.
  3. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    Define this income? You either operate a successful business or not. Your income might be low for several reasons and have nothing to do with the industry.

    Let me put it another way, there are many industries that are harder to succeed at as business owners then the green industry. You do have to have some understanding of business and the industry you work in to succeed.

    Hang in there, you will figure it out. It takes time to find what works and what does not. It could be that your market is flooded and theres no hope. I wouldn't want to be the new guy trying to make a go at it in my market. That might be your answer, many of us started when the market was in our favor.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    It has been over four years since I've drawn a check from an outside employer, if that defines it.

    I find I spend more time figuring out how to save money nowadays (or do things for less), so I spend far less and put as much aside as I can so I can survive the rough months.

    Nowadays, I buy most of my stuff from salvage barns, dollar stores, and big lots. Food Lion is a luxury store, I haven't been to a mall in years and movies are something I rent or watch on the one Hbo channel I get on Limited cable.

    I fix most of my stuff (cars and equipment) myself. I have an air-compressor and tools, I rotate my own tires, I can do front-end alignments and soon I hope to be able to install tires myself as well, to give you an idea of the extent of what I can do (thou motor and trans rebuilds are out of the question). Hundreds if not a few thousand dollars / year saved right there. I buy everything cash, no loans, no financing (unless it's same as cash), no fees, no interest, no penalties ever.

    I figure I've made some sacrifices but in return, I actually work maybe 6 months out of the year (sporadically speaking, if you add up all the days I work - the days I don't, since rain = a day off) in which time I gross more than I ever earned working 5-6 days a week year-round for someone else. But it's not 6 months on / 6 months off... It's more like 3-4 days work, then 2-3 days off and so on, somewhat random and dependent on demand. On a day off I still do stuff, work on things, whatever.

    I would work harder, but the work isn't always there and when demand is low I refuse to lower my prices in response. Besides, I like sleeping until 9 or 10am, going out for a few hours and be back by 4p. Keep in mind that for 3 months (apr-jun), it's 6-7 days/week from sun-up until after dark (7a - 10p or later, every single day) - I gross almost half my annual income in those 3 months (1k / week minimum, over 5k / month).

    It's different, but it works.
  5. twj721

    twj721 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    Not my only income is the way that I do it plus My wife is the real wage earner. I drive a school bus and get paid year round and have health insurance to boot but after they take out for taxes, retirement and insurance I come home with about $250.00 a month but we actuall only work about 180 days a year and get 10 paid off days a year and if we do not use them they are carried over to the next year On my route in the morning I leave my house at 6:50AM and have dropped all the kids off at school at about 7:45 AM and am back at the house by 8:00AM then I go and mow till about 1:30 PM .The PM route I leave my house@3:15PM and get to Jr High at 3:25 and then High school and all the kids dropped off and I am back home at 4:05 PM then off to mow I go till dark .LOVE MY BUS BUT MOWING IS QUIETER:waving:
  6. JJLandscapes

    JJLandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    i know landscapers who own mercedes benz, brand new vetts, jaguars and own really nice houses here in long island and a nice house here means 700-800K

    You can take 2 routes in this business just stay basic and make a living paycheck to paycheck or you can expand and make real money and make more than doctors "just cutting grass" lol
    im 21 and going to be putting in about 1000 in my pocket a week probably only 30-35 hours a week at most so i cant complain.. With my other business i probably make more than most people twice my age and we are only in our second year of business

    You gotta be doing something wrong ( not charging enough , working to slow, not enough customers)
  7. Daily Lawn/Landscape

    Daily Lawn/Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 695

    Started in business 5 yrs ago after walking out of my job in Feb 2001. My wife is a full time mom with 5 thats right 5 kids to take care of. We have never had a problem making ends meet. There is lots of money to be made in this business. You just have to go out and look for it. You can not wait for it to come to you. Also you need to be diversified . Not just mow grass. You need to trim shrubs, mulch beds, lawn restoration, storm cleanup, pesticide applications ( licenses required) ect. You also have to charge enough for your services. I see people all the time doing it for to little. Just remember you are in business to make a living, not just to put a couple $$ in your pocket. Good luck to you.
  8. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,413

    i am working on 10 + years in the biz . this is my second one . my first i had in fl . did great had 1 account there that paid 3000.00 weekly. but anyway i sold it to come up here and tend to my wifes .until he passed . then started my second biz. in 5 years in nc. i have bouight 2 homes , 3 trucks , 1 rodeo , 1 car , 12 horses , 8 cows , 20 acres , 2 boats and the list just goes on and on . right now i am doing pretty good i think . and i have alot of fight left in me .

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