Is it worth it

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Jacdanboy, May 29, 2007.

  1. Jacdanboy

    Jacdanboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    I worked in the lawn cutting and lanscaping business for 15 years, leaving the business as the Head of Construction devision of a multi millon-dollar landscaping company, for a better opertunity. I have been out of the business for about 12 years now.

    I am considering going back into cutting a few lawns for extra money. I already own a truck, trailer, 36" WB, 2-21" wb, blower, weed eater, etc, etc, etc., all my equipment is newer (less then 5 years old) and commercial (Crazy homeowner who needs the best, and knows what it is).

    My current hours would allow me to cut after 4 pm, weekends and every other friday (summer hours).

    I live in a fast growing rural to suburban area, which has had a recent fast increase in growth and median income and most of the LCO's in my area appear fly by night (van with ramps, zero-turn in pickup etc...)

    Is it worth it to get the insurance, register a name, and do it right and cut a few lawns?

    FYI - I also have a 20 month old daughter, and hopefully one on the way who I would like to spend time with (but also want to pay their college education)

    Thanks for the HELP
  2. Bill S

    Bill S LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    NO! Keep your sanity
  3. Lohse's Lawn Service

    Lohse's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    from US
    Messages: 213

    I'd say go for it. Since you were already in the business previously, you have a good background of knowledge on what it takes. I've never had a real job, albeit, I'm only 21 years old, however, the few times I have thought about getting a real job, I'm quickly reminded about having my own hours and running the show, plus getting a pay-check after each job. Being in this business, as you already know, can be seasonal, so depending on your location, just spend the 7-9 months out of the year to mow a few lawns. Remember, you can limit the amount of work you do, so if you don't want to get in over your head, pick out 10-15 (or more) weekly yards and that will provide extra income. You seem to have equipment that will do the job in a timely manner.

    I'm always looking to encourage others to get in this business. Extremely rewarding. Good luck to you!
  4. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    Depends if you know how to charge according to your over head.
    You will be running a business, part or full time, so charge accordingly.
    Crap like the previous poster stated, ignore - run your business like a business and it will be "worth" it.
  5. Lohse's Lawn Service

    Lohse's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    from US
    Messages: 213

    What "crap" are you talking about?
  6. greg1

    greg1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    Hey JD,
    You have 15 vested years of your life in the green industry. My big ? is how did you feel when you left it? Answer it honestly to yourself and you'll find your answer. I can guess that most of the contributers on this site whether they are business owners or employees, have a love and connection to the landscape and horticulture industry. I bet it's still there with you to!
    You have the know how, equipment, and need for extra money with a growing family. Your in a growing market and your part of the community. I say go for it, just remember that if your going to do this part time, don't get in over your head. Keep your overhead low and it will be worth it.

    ps- welcome back.............................greg
  7. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    What he said......

    with your experance you may break a window... but that would be abought all..... big deal you broke a window.....

    I wouldn't expect you to do dumb things .......
  8. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    The crap Bill S stated -my take on this is run your business as a business and there are no problems - only solutions customers are waiting too pay you for.
    But gee, with nine employees and $650K+ per year in business I might still be just a "lawn guy".
  9. Bill S

    Bill S LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    You're pointing your finger at the wrong guy Txgrassguy.

    I don't advise anyone to get into this business p/t. All or nothing. Why do I want more competition from a weekend jockey?
  10. Jacdanboy

    Jacdanboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    Thanks for the advise

    Let me know if I am missing something to be fully legit

    Register name/business with state (sole propieter)
    Obtain Liability Insurance (1 million)
    Modify Auto insurance on truck to include business use.

    This mentality confuses me, You would rather have competition that would have the potential of taking 100 of your accounts, then the competition with a potential of taking 10 of your accounts ???

    If someone as a weekend jockey is going to be fully legit, they are going to basically have the same overhead/per dollar earned, if not more then you are, and they are not going to be able to low-ball jobs (if they are not legit - I agree)

    I would say YOU need to be ALL or NOTHING, either you are cordal with other LCO's or your not.

    on the "keep your sanity" comment - I do understand that one, I was in the business for a while

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