how long did it take you to net $50, $75, $100,000? How did you do it?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by jau250, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. jau250

    jau250 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I am a college student at Virginia tech and have had a small landscaping business for two years now. I am doing an internship this summer through a big company and may even work for them after i graduate. Or i may go back to my business. I have had the opportunity to grow my company but haven't because of being in school and stuff.
    I Know this will very but i am wondering.
    How long did it take you to grow your company?
    A brief description on what you have done and how long did it take to net 50. 75, and $100,000.
    How much money would it be worth it to you to make coming out of college rather than have taking the chance and investing in starting a business?
    Any other advise for me?
  2. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    You're gonna get answers all over the board on this. It all depends on what kind of services you offer and the pricing you can get in your market. The market I work in, I would barely get by on 50k, other markets 50k a year is considered upper middle class.
  3. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 958

    Net $50-100K. I only see that being likely with several employees and a smooth running operation. I crunch the numbers all the time and in my area as a solo working about as much as weahter permits and having plenty of work charging what this market is going for I find it possible to gross around $32,500. Take a good $10K for expenses so thats only $20Kish. This industry sucks. I like what I do but the money is terrible. I'm thinking about getting ready to become a truck driver in the next year or so.
  4. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,336

    I would estimate I will be around 50 in 2 or 3 years. Just graduated college last year, have slowly been building since I was a kid. Up until a couple years ago I just bought lots of equipment to reduce my tax liability. Now that I own a house and have those expenses I can't really do that as easily lol. 50k is probably the most I could net, solo, in my market, working 7 or maybe 8 days a week LOL.
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  5. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,269

    Green industry in general - good company 10% net, great company 15% net. How long would it take for you to get to 1,000,000 in revenue? 10 years? So in ten years your paying yourself a fair market wage netting 100k to reinvest back into the company - you have 6 or 7 trucks/crews going out each day - your wearing alot of hats and times are stressful but you have learned to have documented processes along the way - you have become connected in your community by serving on a local board or donating time to a worthy cause and those relationships are paying off in referrals - you are having annual and quarterly strategy meetings that clarify your vision and align your team - you project 40% growth for the next year and you wonder how can we fulfill those commitments - your hiring key people to run divisions and the stress of adding management infrastructure before you can really afford it keeps you up at 3am - you push through to 5,000,000 in revenue and are paying yourself a salary of 150k while dropping 500k to the bottom line - the business is fully capitalized, you have 3 months of operating expenses set aside, nothing on your line of credit and taking distributions that allow you to buy the 500k lake cabin and boat you always thought was out of reach......
    Have that entrepreneurial spirit and don't be afraid to go make a mark!
  6. BrunoT

    BrunoT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    I was told the story of a dealer here who decided to get into landscaping and maintence after decades of being just an equipment dealer. Within a few years they not only lost the new biz but it took down the dealership as well. People were getting their tractors back to them in parts, as it closed down suddenly.

    A friend of the family had a son-in-law with a big operation. For a few years it was all fun and games (though scary, we were told, due to the seedy types they hired coming by the house needing money from time to time), then within a couple of years...poof...bankrupt.

    Easy come, easy go.

    No business is easy. This is not the boom years either. There is not a housing bubble pumping up the economy. Unemployment reduces the need for luxury services and those formerly in new construction are now doing maintenance to survive.

    I would advise either working small with low capital outlays and minimal debt till the economy is back (could be a decade) or working for someone else and moving into management first before you strike out on your own. You'll learn about how it's done on a big scale and make your mistakes on their dime instead of yours. And it'll at least look good on a resume, unlike a failed lawncare business, worst case.

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,526

    Whipple, if that is really all you can make then why would you put yourself through the stress of owning a biz? You could go work ar Micky d's and make that much. That's only $600 a week or so. I can do that solo in a day and a half.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 958

    Ya, this industry is a joke here. 16 cuts a year. I used to do a lot of power raking and aerating but now like every other LCO around has them too so they are doing it unreal cheap. Most homeowners here won't even consider hiring out for mowing so much of the income used to be from the turf renovations but those are going away too. The only way a guy can survive in the winter here is to sell like a 100 cords of wood. I truly think this is the year I'm going to get my CDL back that I let go a few years ago and get another trucking job. If you can make $600 in 1.5 days good on ya but around here thats like not even possible.
  9. AceofBlades79

    AceofBlades79 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I have been reading all the replies to this post and it strikes me as odd with all the people that are down on the lawn care business. My company started 4 years ago and has had steady growth since day one. No I havent netted 100K but I will do my best to get my company to that point and beyond. It took me 3 years to net 50K. So im hoping another 3 to hit that 100K goal. Im not bragging dont get me wrong Im just pointing out that theres always work. Yes the economy is bad but I think about like this, the people with jobs need to be working to keep up with that mortgage and dont have the time to be in thier yards. Thats where people like us step in and provide the quality service that the fly-by-nighters wont give them. An english speaking Lawn business owner is a breath of fresh air for a ton of the customers I have come across. If you want advise for this business I suggest this...Persistance, dedication, and keep that overhead low. Just be fair and honest and the customers will call. I doubted myself in the beginning and 4 years in im already pricing out expansion options. Good luck to you....unless your in my area :laugh:
  10. Brown & Co.

    Brown & Co. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    I wouldnt advice going to college for anything other than the certifcations or license you need to do business.

    it could take a me a year for 50 and I expect to increase indefinatly forever by 25% every year...thats my numbers.

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