Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by GolfSupt28, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. GolfSupt28

    GolfSupt28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Hello, My name is Eric and I've been a golf course supt. for 5yrs. My asst. and I are thinking of going into the lawn care and landscaping business together. We know how to begin, but don't know how profitable it will be. I'm making 50k/yr. and he's making 31k/yr. I just had a son and don't want to lose the house if you know what i mean. My wife stays at home and thats how i want to keep it. I get beneifits, however, i don't want to work for someone else any more, I feel as though i should use my knowledge for my self. Also, do you think it's a good idea having a partner or should i do it solo? My asst. is very knowledgeable also.
    Thanks for any feedback.:confused:
  2. Cutters Lawn Care

    Cutters Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    Hi Eric. I left a job making about the same amount as you about a year ago and started a lawn maintenance and landscaping company. I'm not married and have no kids. It takes alot of money to get it started right off the bat. You'll have alot of money tied up just in start up costs. I have about 35k invested right now. I talked to alot of seasoned veterans before I got into the business. I was told I wouldn't make very much money for about 3 years and they were all right. I currently have about 50 accounts. I just keep reinvesting as much money as possible back into the company to continue growing it. Obviously your family is your first priority and going from a job with benefits and perks to one that doesn't have any would be a big change. Think what it would cost for health ins., no vacation pay, and you'll be paying alot for insurance for the business. Hope this helps .
  3. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,502

    At the beginning it may be rough, but the going will be tough and it will pay off.

    It's exciting starting up your own business, you do whatever you want. ie) designs of your cards, planning routes, hire people you want, schedule work periods.

    I left purusing law enforcement to open up my own landscpaing / lawn care.

    I just bought a 2003 dodge dakota, and some used equipment.

    I hope it works well for me! good luck do you as well!
  4. johnhenry

    johnhenry LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    if it was a few years ago go for it.But times are differnt now and money is alot tighter since sept 11.You have a young child and a good paying job.Plus you are sort of your own boss there.As far as a partner I cant express enough on this no way.It doesnt work even it is family.There are some many good members here who will state the same.You have alot going for you.Ins,wife who stays at home,great job,no bill collecting.If you really do consider doing this.Start out small this year on the side.Build up your accounts slow and steady as you still work at the golf course.As supt there you might have some great outlets there to build a strong clients base.Best of luck
  5. Lbilawncare

    Lbilawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,119

    If I were in your shoes I would say don't do it. If you were really young & didn't have the family responsibility I wouldn't hesitate to take the "risk". You are making very good money now, and it will take a long time for you to make the same starting a lawn care business (especially with a partner). I would think about doing it on the side though, less risk and an opportunity to see if it really is for you. Even though technically if you started a co. you would be working for yourself, you would still be working for a lot of customers that have the same drain on you (or more) than a boss does. As for a partner, I wouldn't do that- make things too complicated. There is the fairness issue, etc. Best of luck
  6. GolfSupt28

    GolfSupt28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Thanks for all the great responses. I still want to do it, but I will start on the side. I have a couple of fertilizing jobs and one lawn renovation lined up for the spring already. I also have a few mowings lined up. But I still would like to hear from others.
  7. newleaflandscape

    newleaflandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 348

    The first year you should plan for the worst. Because I havent talk to many guys that made much money there first couple years. If I were you I would start doing it on the weekends to build up your popularity. It takes time to establish a business, and if you got lil mouthes to feed it might get a little rough. It may be great though too. Just make sure that you can handle the results if you dont do as good as you hope the first couple years. Specially if you are getting benifits now. Never know though it word spreads terribly fast and you know the right people it could be easy to make more money then you are now. Chances are that wont happen though
  8. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    Wow, i am in the landscaping side and I want to switch to a groundskeeper. However I would need to start above 100K for it to be worth it.
  9. GolfSupt28

    GolfSupt28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Hey SodKing,
    Stay in the landscaping side! i don't know what it's like up there but in the transition zone it's rough. Golfers are a pain in the butt, and owners want things to be perfect on very limited budget. Also, the hours you work for being salary is really unfair. But it does pay the bills for enough of the belly aching.
  10. ToddS

    ToddS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58

    I will also be starting up this year. A lot of you are responding that you don't make a lot of money the first few years. My question is, on average how much did you make the first year that you started? I know this depends on the amount of acct and the size of the jobs, etc, but I was just wondering what to expect on average. Thanks


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