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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lmalito, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. lmalito

    lmalito LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Hi Everyone, I am new here and would like to get some advice from yall! I am 23 years old and looking to get back into school and earn my degree in Horticulture. I have always had a great interest in plants and would eventually like to have my own business in the field, whether it be running a nursery or having my own landscaping company. I am interested in learning about what it takes to start my own landscaping business, what I should look for in a degree (associates or bachelors?) and just the little things that some people tend to overlook when they are starting a new business. I am in contact with a counselor at a Community College that offers an Associates degree in Horticulture and I am curious if I would need to also look ahead and get into a bachelors program once I complete the Associates. My goal once I complete the Associates program is to start working for a landscaping company or a nursery in order to gain experience in the field and learn the basics of running a business like that. Once I have accumulated enough financial backing I would then like to open my own company. My fiance is getting back into school for business and with the both of our degrees I dont see how we couldnt have all the basis covered to run a successful business. I know it seems far fetched right now since I am not even in school yet but this is something that I think I would enjoy waking up and going to work every day for. So any advice that yall can give me would be greatly appreciated. Just anything you can think of to help someone starting out. Thanks a bunch! :usflag:
  2. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    sounds like you have thought this through pretty well.......maybe while your in school, you can get a job with a landscaper and learn the ropes there also...
  3. Ollie3

    Ollie3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    I'm in Clemson right now with a major in Turf Grass Management. I have a job lined up for the summer with the largest landscaping outfit in Charlotte, NC. Which is close to my residence. I think you are on the right track. This will be my second degree. I have had a small landscaping business before, in another part of the state and I moved and gave it to a friend of mine. I will be opening a turf business in the future. Now I can see first hand how the really big boys operate.

  4. lmalito

    lmalito LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    My ultimate goal is to become the groundskeeper for the Houston Astros! :) But I would be most interested in having my own business too! Something I have thought about is to start out in a Botany class and then start with the horticulture program just to get a good feel for everything before I dive into the big stuff and have a little more background. I work for a general contractor right now as a secretary and so being out at a jobsite has helped me meet some contacts in the landscaping business which would help me in the near future to get a job with one of them.
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I will probably get bashed for this but collage is highly overrated. I know as I have attended and it just seemed to me like a big racket. Yes you learn some things but I think ROI is not great, especially in the green industry. I taught a class yesterday with a professor with a PhD. in horticulture we are the same age and I have less time in the industry than she does. I make considerably more money, and work less. She offers up the text book stuff and I relate the actual field realities. I would suggest you get out in the field ASAP and get your feet wet. You probably don't want to hear this either but your fiance like any partnership always start out great but can go south. So unless you can hire that position I would reccomend some business knowledge too. But again common sense should prevail. You don't need to know how to do a balance sheet you need to know how to operate Quickbooks or Peachtree etc. I have another friend that has a masters in finance. He is a senior financial annalist for Intel, if I took all of his advise I would have been out of business years ago. Small business and big business are two different animals. Some of the best money I have spent on education has been with an E-Myth coach invaluable information can't say enough good things about it. www.equestdevelopment.com its not cheap but you will have a great blueprint for a business if you follow the steps, and it works for any business. I'm not anti-education, I'm anti-collage. Spend your money and time wisely.
  6. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    In your first post you said you wanted to own your own business, the last one said you want to be a grounds-keeper for the Astros. Very different paths to obtain these goals. By the way I recently interviewed a 30 something guy with a degree in turf grass with years of experience, contacts in the sports turf industry and an award for best high school football sports turf in Texas. I'm sure it had a real title but I didn't catch it. I passed his resume to a friend in the industry and he is paying him 16.00 per hour to supervise a master planned community. He can't get work in the sports-turf industry.
  7. lmalito

    lmalito LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Sorry about the confusion...I would like to do some groundskeeper work one day...but my business comes first! :) I havent really looked into what a groundskeeper makes but I always thought it would be a neat job! I am not too familiar with the industry just yet that is why I am coming to all of yall so that I can learn from experienced people who know what it takes to run a successful business! I would like to have my own nursery that would also have an area for people to come in and inquire about landscaping options...we shall see though. I think I want to do the schooling just so that I could have a little more background on different plant types and all...it is good to know that I dont have to have the degree part though. :) Thanks all for your advice!

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